Girl Scouts, San Jacinto Council, Logo

Betsy Denson
or 1-800-392-4340, ext. 1236

Lady Oliver
or 1-800-392-4340, ext. 1361

Girl Scouts Opens Program Place for Girls
Also Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History

Hallway in the Program PlaceSan Jacinto Girl Scouts truly have a place to call their own with the grand opening of the Program Place and Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History. The $5.6 million building acquisition and renovation was part of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council’s (GSSJC) successful Capital Campaign. The opening of this one-of-a-kind building was celebrated by alumnae, donors, city leaders and friends at a series of recent events.

The Program Place is 14,000 square feet of space, just for Girl Scouts, including a theatre, expanded Girl Scout shop, stage, café and older girl lounge as well as park space and a fire pit for s’more roasts. The Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History features timeline panels and interactive displays from the start of the Council in the 1920s until today. Current headquarters at 3110 Southwest Freeway will remain the Council’s administrative and training center.

“The Program Place is a dream come true for our Council,” says Mary Vitek, GSSJC CEO. “It will allow us to grow our membership and continue to offer high quality programming to the Council’s Girl Scouts.”

Girl Scouts Enjoy the Program Place ActivitiesGSSJC is the largest council in terms of girl members in the country and the Program Place will help 6,500 additional girls per year take part in Girl Scouting. It is completely “girl-centric” as girl members had input on the design of the building as well as the building components. “I love everything about the building - especially the café and museum,” says Girl Scout Kelli Lozada. “It’s awesome to see that this is all for us!”

“It is our hope that generations of girls will enter these doors to gain the leadership skills they need to be the responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow,” says GSSJC president Dr. Mary B. McIntire. “Every donor gift was critical in making this building a reality.”

The Program Place was designed by Gensler who also served as the project’s Executive Architect. Key members of the team were Clark Condon Associates Landscape Architects, Gensler, JE Dunn Construction, SURROUND Creative LLC and Terry Pro. In addition, University of Houston graduate architecture students from the University’s Design/Build Studio designed and built the entrance canopy of the Program Place.

“This project has been very special to us because we are contributing to the future of young women in an important and tangible way,” says Gensler principal and design director Marilyn Archer.

“It has been a pleasure of ours to work with outstanding people who do such good work in our community,” seconds Shelley White with Terry Pro.

The San Jacinto Council’s campaign goal of $11.3 million was determined by the Council’s strategic plan and was the largest such fundraising appeal in the Council’s history. Other major capital improvements funded by GSSJC’s capital campaign are the Camp Agnes Arnold Nature Center, scheduled for a spring opening, and the Camp Casa Mare Sailing Center. The McNair Equestrian Center, also funded through the campaign, opened at Camp Misty Meadows in 2004.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with more than 3.8 million girls and adult members. Today, as when founded in 1912, GSUSA helps cultivate values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls, while also teaching them critical life skills that will enable them to succeed as adults. Girl Scouting—builds girls of courage confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is a United Way affiliated agency serving more than 64,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 25 southeast Texas counties. For more information about membership or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, call 713-292-0300 or visit

GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.

GSSJC | Communications Department
3110 Southwest Freeway  Houston, TX 77098