The Detroit Service Center will serve as the headquarters of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and it includes several high-tech amenities that maintain a nature theme, such as this meeting space modeled after a cabin.

The Detroit Service Center will serve as the headquarters of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and it includes several high-tech amenities that maintain a nature theme, such as this meeting space modeled after a cabin.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan cut ribbon on new headquarters

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published June 7, 2018

 Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and Denise Dalrymple, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, cut the ribbon for the new Girl Scouts headquarters in Detroit at a reception at the facility June 6.

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and Denise Dalrymple, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, cut the ribbon for the new Girl Scouts headquarters in Detroit at a reception at the facility June 6.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

DETROIT — On June 6, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan welcomed community leaders for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the official opening of its new Detroit Service Center, which will serve as the organization’s area headquarters.

The center at 1333 Brewery Park Blvd. will serve as a hub for all Girl Scout projects in the metro Detroit area, including support of local troops, administration, cookie sale coordination and merchandise.

“Girl Scouts is a local activity, and a Girl Scout service center is there to support the individual troops,” said Denise Dalrymple, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan. “It has a council shop and store, it is a base to resupply our cookie sales, a location for training troop leaders and volunteers, and a space for special events.”

The organization moved from its former location, which also was in Detroit.

“Part our decision to move to the new building was cost,” said Dalrymple. “The square footage of the old facility was very expensive and it needed renovation. It also didn’t lend itself to an open office environment, which we thought would be best for the collaborative attitude we wanted.”

The new facility is 18,500 square feet. The designers took a modern approach to the office design.

“We have lots of both open and private options for the office, which I think was necessary for our staff,” said Dalrymple. “Our offices aren’t private offices — even mine. They are very open and welcoming and used for meetings and so forth. We do have spaces people have to themselves so they have a quiet place to be alone or have a meeting with one or two or three people.”

In addition to more practical changes, the new center was designed aesthetically with the theme of the outdoors and to call back to the camping heritage of the Girl Scouts.

“Because the outdoors is such an important part of being a Girl Scout, we wanted to emulate that with the headquarters. Everything was meant to mimic the outside,” explained Sara Sanders, the center’s manager of girl engagement. “The large lights are like clouds, the little lights hanging down from the ceiling look like raindrops, and we have light-up trees. Our meeting space is even modeled after a cabin.”

Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said the facility is one of the best in the country and is an example of the principles of the Girl Scouts being put into practice.

“This facility compares incredibly well (to similar facilities across the country),” said Acevedo. “It’s fresh, modern and incredibly relevant. Throughout the building, you get the sense of the outdoors while still having a focus on science, technology, engineering and math, and the creativity and leadership that Girl Scouts exemplifies.”

Acevedo stressed how the new center will mean being able to better serve the Girl Scouts of the Detroit area and how taking part in Girl Scouts can make a huge difference in the life of a young girl.

“I think that by being consolidated in one space and having state-of-the-art facilities, it will mean better service for the Scouts, and it will allow us to offer them more programming,” she said. “Only about 8 percent of girls nationally are in Girl Scouts, but approximately half of female elected officials were Girl Scouts. This includes 76 percent of female U.S. senators and almost every female astronaut.”

She also said the new facility will mean being able to effectively manage more local troops.

“You have such a great Girl Scout council here that supports volunteers so they are well-equipped to welcome more kids to Girl Scouts,” Acevedo said. “We encourage any families not taking part in Girl Scouts to join.”

Both Dalrymple and Acevedo said the office is a big step forward for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and will help provide both cutting-edge resources and personal and educational growth to Scouts.

“We want girls to do more than sell cookies,” said Dalrymple. “Our four pillars are the outdoors, healthy living, entrepreneurship and giving back. For a well-rounded Girl Scout experience, you need all of that. … The office is open, warm, functional, forward-thinking and hardworking, and that’s very much what the Girl Scouts are.”