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Open Letter to Girl Scouts of Nassau County from CEO Rande Bynum

It has been about six months since things were “normal.” Everything we do now is different than what we are used to and the uncertainty of what is going to happen next can be overwhelming. I know I wake up every day thinking, “what is today going to be like?” Often I have a plan for the day that changes as soon as I get my day started. Quite simply, “this is hard.” I worry about my family, I worry about my community, my friends, the GSNC families, volunteers, and staff. I worry about you and how you are managing in these unprecedented times.

The one thing that has kept me going is that Girl Scouts of Nassau County is proudly kicking off its 102nd year of serving girls and families in Nassau County. We are a legacy organization. We are resilient. We are a pillar in the Nassau County community. If anything is going to come out on the other side of this Girl Scouts will. As I look back on the last six months, I see how our continued response not only kept girls and families safer, but kept them engaged. The GSNC team continues to strive for excellence and raises the bar every day.

We know girls need Girl Scouts now more than ever before, and the world needs Girl Scouts more than ever now. Right now girls are facing unprecedented challenges. As schools are struggling to figure out how to best get students in the classroom, either in person or virtually, we are all concerned about students falling behind. There is also a concern about how self-isolating and social distancing will impact young peoples’ need to connect and have peer interaction. Finally, we are all dealing with the financial impact of this pandemic as well as the overall stress on our personal well-being. These are unusual times because the world is experiencing it together. Unlike past crisis, where we can lean on neighbors, friends and family, this crisis is a strain on all families.
I hear a lot of discussion about waiting to see what “Girl Scouts will be” or waiting for “Girl Scouts to come back.” That is the great thing about Girl Scouts, we never left and we are always evolving. The Girl Scouts of today isn’t the same as my mother’s experience in the late 1940s or my experience in the 1970s, and that is a good thing. We want Girl Scouts to meet the ever-changing needs of the girls today and for the girls of tomorrow. Girl Scouts still offers the best leadership development experience for girls in Nassau County. We are the only girl-led organization with the infrastructure, scale, and know-how to meet girls’ needs right now and into the future.  

Membership makes us stronger, but it also makes our girls stronger. Being active in Girl Scouts responds to the critical concerns on everyone’s mind. Girl Scouts can help mitigate learning loss. Girl Scouts supports girls’ mental health. Girl Scouts promotes equity and civic education. I could easily say, “please renew for me,” but it isn’t for me. It isn’t even for us. It is for the girls. Across Nassau County, I know there are thousands of girls with untapped talents and leadership skills who just need opportunities to realize their potential. Girl Scouts offers those opportunities.

I am so proud of this council and how we have stuck together through this pandemic. I am hopeful and excited for what is ahead for us. I challenge you to join or renew today.

Yours in Girl Scouts,