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Shawnee Girl Scout Council to vote on merger

May 07, 2009

WINCHESTER, Va. -- Members of the Shawnee Girl Scout Council are to vote Saturday on merging with the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital.

Berniece Collis, president of Shawnee's board of directors, expects the merger to be approved.

"We are very excited to become part of such a dynamic council," Collis, said in a news release. "This merger will create enormous opportunities for our girls."

The office in Martinsburg, W.Va., will continue to function as a regional office for the expanded council.

Many Girl Scout councils across the country have merged to create high-capacity councils with volunteers, staff and financial resources to serve growing numbers of girls. By the end of the year, the effort to combine councils will reduce the number of Girl Scout councils to 109 from 313, according to the release.

The Shawnee Council includes 5,000 members and 491 troops. The merger is designed to allow Girl Scouting in the Shenandoah region to continue to grow and thrive, according to the release.

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"We are united by one single commitment -- to provide opportunities to girls," Diane Tipton, president of the board of directors of GSCNC, said in the release. "Our new members can expect to find at GSCNC a strong sisterhood and the highest regard for local involvement. We will continue to serve volunteers through the Martinsburg office and continue to operate Camp White Rock for the benefit of all girls."

The special meeting of Shawnee Girl Scout members to vote on the merger will be at the Best Western in Winchester.

Both the Shawnee Girl Scout Council and GSCNC were formed in 1963. Both councils' first presidents -- Marguerite Cyr of Shawnee and Bobby Lerch of GSCNC -- will participate Saturday in a merger-signing ceremony.

The Shawnee Girl Scout Council serves 14 counties in three states -- Washington and Allegany counties in Maryland; Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy and Mineral counties in West Virginia; and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties in Virginia.

GSCNC is a nonprofit organization with more than 82,000 members, including 58,000 girls in 4,500 troops throughout the District of Columbia, six counties in Maryland and five counties in northern Virginia.

GSCNC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with satellite offices in Frederick and Waldorf in Maryland; and Lorton, Leesburg and Manassas in Virginia.

More information is available at www.gscnc.org.

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