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Girl Scouts rethink their program

Nov. 29, 2008 at 2:54 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Girl Scout leaders say they're trying to revive interest in the U.S.-based program amid declining membership and dwindling resources.

In the last five years, membership in the nearly 100-year-old program fell by 250,000 to 2.6 million girls, Time/CNN reported Saturday.

Local Girl Scout councils are merging to reduce the total number of councils from 312 to 109, and camps are being closed in Girl Scout chapters in Wisconsin, Missouri, New York and New Jersey.

The Girl Scouts have hired a management consultant to streamline programs and make them known for more than November cookie sales, which have been in decline along with donations, Time/CNN reported.

The Girls Scouts need to become more relevant to girls whose schedules are packed with sports, lessons and homework, said Cathy Tisdale, a Girl Scouts spokeswoman.

In the future, for example, girls will be able to choose weeklong community service programs and programs that focus on math, science, and technology, Tisdale said.

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