The Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio cut the ribbon to officially open their new office at 8580 South Ave. in Boardman. The new office features a meeting room, a history gallery, offices for recruitment and sales of Girl Scout items, high-speed Internet service, and plenty of space to store cookies next year.
"We ended our annual cookie sales in March just prior to our move," said membership, volunteer and program coordinator Sabbrina Landers. "We opened our Boardman office for business on April 29."
Since that date, the women who serve as the day-to-day staff have been working hard to set up their office space while continuing the operational business of the office.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Head historian for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio, Trudee Davis, shows one of several showcases that contain artifacts from the early years of Girl Scouting in Ohio. The displays are set up in a hall leading to the assembly room at the Girl Scouts new office on South Avenue in Boardman.
The office originally opened in Niles in the mid 1960s and has operated from that location until the move this year. Landers said the move gives them more visibility and helps Girl Scouting to stay relevant in the community.
The Boardman office is one of five offices in the northeast district. It serves Ashtabula, Lake, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. Within the northeast district are roughly 40,000 girls and 14,000 adult volunteers involved in Girl Scouting.
The office has 10 staff members who handle the daily operations from cookie distribution to camping, supplies and items like uniforms, badges and other Girl Scout paraphernalia.
Included in the move was setting up a display area to show the history of Girl Scouting in Ohio. Historian Trudee Davis handles that chore as head of the history department. In the move, she had the task of going through boxes of old items and records in an attempt to save what was important.
Davis was given a half dozen plexiglas, wall-mounted display cases to put together displays. One display shows Girl Scout cookie boxes through the years, including a rare box from Canada.
"We have an early trumpet used in camp and a first aid kit in a tin box," Davis said. "We also have a vintage leather wallet that went on the uniform belt when camping. The hardest part of finding all these items was to clean them."
Landers said the new history display and new space will help the local office better perform on a daily basis. She said there will be plenty of space for next year's cookie sales too.
"I think this move will be a plus for next year's cookie sales," she said. "But we are just happy to be in the area promoting Girl Scouts."
With financial support from the Raymond John Wean Foundation, the Youngstown Foundation, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, and the Community Foundation of Mahoning Valley, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio has implemented a community cultivation plan to recruit and train even more volunteers, recruit and provide leadership programming to hundreds of new Girl Scouts, and expand partnerships with Youngstown City Schools, Youngstown State University, and Youngstown Playhouse, just to name a few.
A grand opening celebration of Girl Scouts will take place at the new Youngstown area Service Center in Boardman in September. Details about this family event will be posted online at www.gsneo.org later this summer.