Girl Scouts of Oregon & SW Washington Employee Review

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Thoughts about being a Girl Scout staff member
Volunteer (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORAugust 12, 2019
Some of the things to keep in mind when applying for a job at Girl Scouts is that each department has it's own experience as far as employee trust, micromanagement and employee expectations. Some supervisors empower their employees to get their work done in the best way possible and others hold quite tight control over how things are done and even how information is delivered to there team. Your work experience might be different depending on which department you look at.
Pay is ok though their has been a lot of effort to improve things over the last few years however if you are applying for an entry level position in the organization don't expect to move up in the organization. This organization is an excellent stepping stone for other companies, year one you will be learning the job, year two start adding your own input and year three things will become an expert on things and it will likely be time for you to look at moving on to gain more job experience. Things you will take away from working at Girl Scouts is great work experience, make some good friends and a chance to make an impact in the community.
The work at Girl Scouts is hard work. Many director and c suite level staff are overworked and turnover can be consistent in some departments which impacts the entire organization. While most who work here don't shy away from work sometimes the work/life balance is pushed aside because the work being done is so critical.
Their are many benefits to working for Girl Scouts as well- we have a very generous PTO/sick leave policy and depending on your department their can
  more... be a bit of flexibility in working from home occasionally. Most staff are in cubicles and the noise in the office can be quite distracting for those who need it quieter to focus.
For the most part staff are very kind and everyone is here because they believe in the mission but not all on staff share the same opinions on things which is a good thing.
What I would say are the biggest skill needed for a staff member at Girl Scouts is resiliency and flexibility. You need to be able to let things roll off your back and be able to adapt to changes as things happen because if you don't like how it's going- wait a year or two, it will change.
Ultimately the work we do is for Girls and we have an amazing team of volunteers across Oregon and Southwest Washington that make this work happen. If you get a chance to get out and see the impact our girls have had in their communities its pretty incredible. It's easy to lose sight of this when you are behind a desk every day but building future female leaders is a pretty powerful thing to support.
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Where working hard feels worth it
Unit Counselor (Former Employee) –  Philomath, ORSeptember 13, 2019
This was the most demanding and most rewarding job I have had. I did not know that I would be any good at it, but I gained a lot of self confidence through it. As a unit counselor you lead and supervise a group of kids throughout their activities at camp. Since you sleep in the unit, you remain "on call" and are responsible for them excepting 2 hours of break time a day. Success is heavily dependent on the attitude and effort you're able/willing to give.
This was also the only job where I have made friends, since maintaining good rapport with the staff is necessary in such a social environment. My fellow counselors and ad staff were very supportive of me as a new staff member and stepped in wherever their help was needed.
The main disadvantages are in life balance/benefits. Pay for new staff is low, though housing and food is provided during the contract. During camp, you are also very disconnected to the outside world, as devices have little service and may not be used near campers.
Giving children a great experience at camp was the mission, and I felt highly responsible for it. When it's achieved, the staff are proud of themselves and one another. That, along with the fact GSOSW reliably rehires, is why I plan on returning for summers to come.
Free housing and food, great staff culture, job security/rehiring, positive community
Demanding schedule, physically taxing, full commitment
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Ever Make a Friendship Bracelet While on Break With Your CEO? Here You Can
Finance (Current Employee) –  Portland, ORAugust 16, 2019
Non-profit work always presents challenges when it comes to work load (too much) and compensation (too little) so I cannot say that experience is unique to Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington. I can say that the leadership team has made efforts to listen to staff about raises and pay grades and the work culture tries to balance other forms of benefits like flexible scheduling, participation in fun GS events (camp visits), and an overall embrace of Girl Scout like values.

This is not a good place to work if you want guidance and support to learn new skills, this is a place for go-getters to figure out what resources are available and make things happen. Departments vary widely.
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