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Customer Engagement Initiative

We’re so excited to share information about our brand new Customer Engagement Initiative with you! For more than a year we've been telling you about the benefits of our new platform. Now, we’re ready to unveil all the amazing features.

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 Your Personal Invitation

All current registered adult members and parents/guardians of registered girl members should have received an email on Monday, July 11, telling you about the “Girl Scout Member Community.” Our council went “live” with the new platform on Thursday, July 14, and we want all of our members to be ready for the new year.

On July 11, all registered members and parents/guardians of registered girl members received a second email, this included your unique login information. This email was delivered from  gsusacustomercare@girlscouts.org.

Please open this email promptly–it will give you the details you need to create your new user profile in the GS Member Community, or “My GS.”  This will be the place where you update your personal profile information.

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Note: When accessing the community, we recommend using Firefox or Chrome. Can’t find the email? Be sure to check your SPAM folder.

   Simplified Troop Management

The new online Volunteer Toolkit (VTK), which was released on July 11, will help troop volunteers get what they need, when they need it! Troops can plan out their whole year and access a roster of all troop member information and access tools to facilitate communication between parents and troop leaders, all from a computer or mobile device.  The VTK is designed to help improve the girl and volunteer experience. These online resources help volunteers work with their troops to plan troop activities their troop loves to do and coordinate these activities with a Journey.  You have access to the VTK through “My GS.”

Note: The VTK is a troop management tool and will only be fully customizable to troop volunteers. Parents can view the VTK if their daughter is in a troop.

The Opportunity Catalog 
The new online Opportunity Catalog will allow parents and volunteers to search for troops, locations and meeting days that work for them and show the volunteer positions that need to be filled to get the troop off the ground. Our goal is to assign volunteers to troops within a week of expressing interest, instead of the 4 to 6 week process of our previous system. 

Especially for our Volunteers
Girl Scout volunteers are the heart of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. They extend the reach of Girl Scout values into our communities, support our girl members in their development and add a special vibrancy to our 104-year-old movement. Each of you plays an important role in helping build girls of courage, confidence and character who truly make the world a better place.

Service Unit Changes – The New Community Support Team

  • GSSWT is moving from 5 regions to 6 areas, as well as, 54 service units to 23 communities for the upcoming Girl Scout year.
  • Individual volunteer positions will be supported by, and work directly with, the related GSSWT departments.
  • Service unit team positions have been redefined.
  • Want to learn more about these exciting changes? Check out our Community Support page here.

Financial Assistance
GSSWT is committed to creating a diverse and pluralistic membership that gives all girls the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting, regardless of socioeconomic background. Needs-based financial assistance is available to cover membership fees for girls who meet the income and family-size thresholds. 

Note: Troop leaders can no longer request financial assistance for girls outside their own household. Only the parent or guardian of a girl can provide the documentation needed to request financial assistance.

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We’re celebrating three months in the new Volunteer Systems technology platform.

We can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding as we all learn this new system together.

A few more changes are coming your way, and we wanted to give all members holding a volunteer role a heads up. These changes will affect title names on troop rosters but in no way affect your function as a troop. The changes are being implemented to aid leaders and ensure the safety of all Girl Scouts within our council. 

What’s changing?

-          Troop Leaders will now be called Co-Leaders

-          Assistant Leaders will be moved into the Co-Leader roles and Assistant Leader roles will be discontinued.

-          Family and Friends role will be discontinued and anyone holding this will be moved into the Troop Helper role.

-          Any member holding an Adult Member role in a troop, with a criminal background check, will be moved to the Troop Helper.

o   Note: Adults with an “Adult Member” role without a criminal background check, are not allowed direct involvement at troop meetings, on field trips or with activities requiring a background check. Please know that this new structure is for each girls’ safety. If adult members want to assist with troop activities, please contact Customer Care to move them into the Troop Helper role and prompt their background check. 

Snapshot of the new troop structure:

Co-Leader(s)

Troop Helper

Troop Money Manager

Troop Nut Manager

Troop Cookie Manager

Troop First Aid/CPR Manager

Troop Camp Certified Volunteer

Why the new structure?

Girls learn from example and we want to ensure that we provide them the best example of teamwork. As a troop, everyone works together.  Functioning in this new structure promotes working together and supporting one another to achieve a successful Girl Scout experience.

This new structure will also allow GSSWT accessibility to data that is consistent council-wide and with it we can help you more efficiently. 

How will I know when my role has been updated?

In Volunteer Systems a lot of functions are automated, such as emails. For example, when “Vicky Volunteer” moves from one position to another, Volunteer Systems automatically sends an email to her and the troop leader. Unfortunately, we do not have any way to eliminate these emails while changes are made. This is a big reason why we want to give you as much notice as we can. Many emails will be sent automatically when positions begin to move with no effect on a person’s membership. 

How long will this take?

Due to the labor involved in these changes, the new structure will be in place by Dec. 31, 2016.

With so much change, we need some help. GSSWT is looking for a temporary part-time employee to help with the data cleanup. If you have great computer skills and are detail-oriented, or know someone who might be interested in applying, please email Kathleen Varallo at kvarallo@girlscouts-swtx.org .

We know that as Girl Scout volunteers, you are passionate about the future of female leaders. Please know that everything we are working toward is to offer the best service that we can to help you build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. If you have any questions or feedback please contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscouts-swtx.org

 

 

CEI FAQs
What is the Customer Engagement Initiative?

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas launched its Customer Engagement Initiative in 2015. This exciting initiative consists of three all-new, online tools—a membership registration system, website with Girl Scouts of the USA shared content, and Volunteer Toolkit. Website conversion took place in November, 2015. In addition to implementing new tools, our CEI involves realigning staff teams to provide more responsive service to girls and volunteers. All Girl Scouts councils across the nation are expected to transition to CEI by 2017, resulting in a consistent, high-quality experience for girls and volunteers.

What are the benefits of CEI?

Girl Scouts of the USA has invested in new tools and technology for councils, designed to improve the adult and girl experience and keep members at the center of our process. When we complete this process, members can expect:

  • A faster and easier joining (and renewal!) experience for girls and adult volunteers. The process of becoming a volunteer – from signing up to being appointed to a troop – can take as little as one week instead of four to six weeks!
  • A simplified volunteer experience, with planning and administrative tasks taking less than half the time as before (from 200 hours per year to fewer than 100) so volunteers can focus on the fun of working with girls! Better communication with Girl Scouts to ensure families and volunteers are having a great experience and have the support they need.
  • In preparation for the July 2016, roll out of these new tools, GSSWT has streamlined processes and realigned staff in order to improve volunteer support, customer service, response time, information availability, and staff synergy.
Why is the council implementing the new Customer Engagement Initiative?

During our National Strategic Learning process, the need to expand our capacity to support our girls and families--both new and existing – was evident. Together with Girl Scouts of the USA, GSSWT has invested in new tools and technology designed to make joining and participating in Girl Scouts easier and more fun!

What is the Girl Scout Member Community?

The Girl Scout Member Community provides easy-to-access services, and will be the place that you manage your personal profile and membership status. 

I’m a current member. How do I access the Girl Scout Member Community?

On July 11, 2016, current members received an email invitation to claim their account in the Girl Scout Member Community. If you manage accounts for other members of your family, you’ll have access to their accounts by claiming your own. 

Do I also register for events, training and camp through the Girl Scout Member Community?

No, for the time being you will continue to maintain your eBiz account for event, training and camp program registration. To simplify your login experience, you may use the same username and password for both eBiz and the Girl Scout Member Community. 

What is the Volunteer Toolkit?

The volunteer toolkit will make it easier for our volunteers to manage their troops, prepare for and lead meetings, and connect with other volunteers. Leaders will have access to important resources to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience including two years of programming plans for Daisy, Brownie and Junior Troops. These plans will incorporate the It’s Your Planet – Love it and It’s Your Story – Tell It! Journeys as well as badge work including many legacy badges. Initially, the Volunteer Toolkit will include Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scout program content. Year planning and troop management tools became available for all levels in July 2016.

Is the Toolkit for all Volunteers or Just Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie and Junior (K-5) Troop Leaders?

The first phase of the Volunteer Toolkit will include program resources for Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scout leaders and volunteers. Leaders will have access to important resources to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience including two years of programming plans for Daisy, Brownie and Junior Troops. These plans will incorporate the “It’s Your Planet – Love It” and “It’s Your Story – Tell It!” Journeys as well as badge work including many legacy badges. The toolkit will also have year planning and troop management tools for leaders of all levels in July 2016.

Why is an email address needed for MyGS?

Keeping our members informed and engaged in the Girl Scout Experience is a priority for GSSWT. As a Girl Scout council with 21 counties, it's important to communicate with our members efficiently. While some of our members live more than 100 miles away from a council office, the use of electronic communication assures that we can communicate easily with all our members. We have found electronic communications such as email to be the most efficient way to communicate with our members.

Who can I contact if I have questions/suggestions about CEI?

We will continue to update our membership via The Volunteer Connection, at volunteer meetings, and on the Customer Engagement Initiative page on our website. Have a question that hasn’t been answered here? We’re happy to help! Email us at customercare@girlscouts-swtx.org for more information.

How can someone register if they don’t have internet access?

Renewing or starting your membership with Girl Scouts is easy, whether or not you have internet access. Our customer care department is equipped with the tools to complete your registration via telephone if needed. Our hours are Monday through Wednesday, from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm, Thursday, from 8:30 am until 6:30 pm and Friday, from 8:30 am until 1 pm.  Customer Care can be reached at 800.580.7247 or via email at customercare@girlscouts-swtx.org

What are your privacy practices?

Safeguarding our members' privacy is very important to us. GSSWT will never sell, rent or share mailing or emailing list with anyone.