Girl scouts announce merger

Special to the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald

ATLANTA - As part of a national initiative to better meet the needs of girls in today's fast-changing world, two local Girl Scout councils have joined forces.

Effective Aug. 1, the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia, Inc., and the Girl Scouts of Pine Valley Council, Inc., merged to form the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc.

The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc., serves approximately 40,000 girls and more than 16,000 volunteer adults in 33 counties of metropolitan Atlanta and northwest Georgia, including in Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Lamar, Meriwether, Murray, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk (Georgia), Polk (Tennessee), Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Upson, and Whitfield counties.

Its administrative headquarters and a volunteer service center are located at 1577 Northwest Expressway in Atlanta. Additional service centers are located in Dalton, Griffin and Rome. In addition, plans are underway to move to a new administrative headquarters and volunteer service center at what previously was the Council's Timber Ridge Conference Center.

"We are excited about this merger," said Ann Hooper, the board chair of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. "This is a great opportunity for our councils to combine strengths and resources to serve more girls with more programs and activities."

Brenda Strozier, who has served as the CEO of the Girl Scout Council of Pine Valley, Inc., said, "The merger strengthens our position as a community-based organization, while allowing us to focus on providing a consistent and quality program with relevance for today's young girls. This brings our best and brightest ideas to make the Girl Scout Movement THE best leadership development opportunity for girls in Georgia."

While the new Council will serve a larger geographic area, its mission remains the same: to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

The Girl Scouts is a widely recognized leadership-development program for girls ages 5 to 17. Since 1912, when Girl Scouting began in Georgia, the organization has inspired more than 50 million girls. In August 2006, GSUSA's National Board of Directors voted to realign the nation's 310 councils into 109 high-capacity/high performance, community-based councils.

The new structure is designed to make the most effective use of resources, deliver a superior and consistent Girl Scout leadership program to even more girls, and revitalize the Girl Scout Movement to remain compelling and relevant to today's girls.

For more information on how to join, volunteer or donate to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc., call 1-800-771-4046, or visit www.girlscoutsofgreateratlanta.org. For information on the national organization, visit the GSUSA web site at www.girlscouts.org.