The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is one of the most valuable resources for our volunteers, helping you to stay organized and in communication with your troop and parents. Check out the 10 tips below to make sure you’re getting the most out of the VTK.
In Girl Scouts, we have a long, storied, and successful history of getting girls outdoors. One of the most cherished memories of many of our Girl Scouts is their camping experience. It’s not just about getting outside: we believe in the importance of connecting with nature in a girl-led setting. We believe in #GirlScoutCampLife.
Whether it’s your girl’s first opportunity for summer camp or she’s a seasoned camper, you can get the gift that’s sure to make her smile. We have so many different opportunities that get your girl outside and let her enjoy what she already loves, like riding horses, climbing ropes courses, learning about wilderness skills or robotics, seeing a Broadway show in NYC, and competing in a cupcake competition. Those are just a sample of all the amazing programs we have planned for this summer at camp.
This holiday season, you can give her the gift of memories she’ll never forget. More than just a week of fun, you’re helping to build her confidence and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Purchase a Camp Gift Certificate* and give the gift of joy to your favorite girl. Camp Gift Certificates can be purchased in any amount by calling 1-888-837-6410 or by stopping in to any of our service centers.
The 2019 Summer Camp Catalog goes live January 14, 2019, at www.gswny.org and will outline all of our overnight and day camp options at our three camps – Camp Timbercrest, Camp Seven Hills, and Camp Piperwood. Check it out to see all of the coming excitement!
We wish you a joyful holiday season and a wonderful new year!
Sincerely, The Girl Scouts of Western New York Summer Camp Team
*Certificates are non-refundable and are redeemable during registration time in January 2019
The story below comes from Theresa Kasper, a 40-year volunteer with Girl Scouts in Western New York. While she explains the difference Girl Scouts made in her life, we wanted to explain the difference she’s made to us.
With a four-decade history, it isn’t surprised that she’s well known around our council. As soon as you mention her name, most staff have something great to say. Usually it involves the fact that she won’t say no to a girl.
Theresa believes so passionately in Girl Scouts that she makes room when a girl needs troop. To accomplish this, she has meetings twice a week just to accommodate all of her girls. She seeks out girls who need Girl Scouts and gives them opportunities to do whatever they want to learn about, including camping and kayaking. Coming from Niagara Falls, a lot of her girls have never been to camp and likely wouldn’t without Girl Scouts.
Her work with the girls doesn’t end when they age out. Theresa makes an effort to keep in touch with her girls and many leader now as a result. When you’re in the community, it’s likely you’ll run into someone who asks about Theresa because she was in one of her troops.
Kelly Garrow is a Service Unit Support Specialist who was leading a troop in Niagara Falls before becoming an employee. When it was time to make the transition, she needed someone to take over her troop of older girls. Theresa was so excited for Kelly that she took all her girls.
Stories like this are what make Girl Scouts and our council shine. We wouldn’t be nearly as successful without leaders like Theresa who are dedicated to our mission and making sure that every girl has the opportunity to become a girl of courage, confidence, and character.
My Story by Theresa Kasper
There was no such thing as a sleeping bag in 1962. I was tagging along with my big sister Joyce and her friend Maryann as we rolled blankets, clothing and toothbrushes into a bedroll for Joann’s first campout at Windy Meadows.
Joyce and I begged our parents to allow us to join but to no avail. With 6 children in the house and one on the way there was no chance of joining. There was just not enough money.
Fast forward 16 years later, a marriage, several relocations, a daughter and a son, a nasty divorce and a return home to Niagara Falls. My mom is now a Girl Scout Leader and she suggests I join scouts for the summer and take my children to day camp. They need volunteers. There is a pixie unit for my son and I can head the unit for my daughter.
A week in the woods with other volunteers. Lots of fun and activity distancing me from the stress of my new divorcee status and my unemployment. Not to mention the stress of potentially leaving my children to be employed and all that goes along with it.
A wonderful experience never to be forgotten. Edward and I had a walk in the woods a thick brush at that time. We made our own path and eventually were at the end of the property in a field of cows. He was 4 years old and it was awesome.
Not having raincoats when it rained we donned black garbage bags and kept dry. It was an adventure. Sarah made many new friends and learned the girl scout way.
In the Fall my daughter was in Second Grade. There was a girl scout troop and we signed up. In the middle of the year the leader quit. I was in the church basement with 20 children and no leader. I improvised and kept them busy until the parent’s showed up. Having had all those little sisters, I knew a bit about crowd control.
That day no one stepped up to take the troop. I was without employment, a car or resources but told the parents if they would help I would take the lead.
I would always sing and play games with my siblings, so it was all fun for me. A neighborhood Girl Scout mom called me and I started training. Somehow there was always a ride and someone to take care of my children. My friend Pat said, “If it is for the kids it will all workout.” And it did work out.
Over the past 40 years, the training I received in GirlScouts led me to better positions at work. Yes, I got a job the first year I started scouts. I retired three years ago from work, but I hope to be a Girl Scout leader to the day I pass away! The experience led me to be abetter person always giving me new learning to this day. The girls andparents never cease to amaze and inspire me.
And with the ongoing changes in the girl scout experience I have never ever been bored with the program. Today I lead 5 troops. And there are six fantastic women who love Girl Scouts in the troops that help me.
I reluctantly gave up the Daisy troop this year. There wasonly one girl left after flyups. Everything changes. Today my largestgroup is the Cadettes with 21 registered. Amazing. This is usually the smallestgroup.
I never cease to be amazed with Girl Scouts!
Today marks the return to work after the Thanksgiving feasting and we sincerely hope you had a wonderful time with friends and family.
We want to take a chance to say again how thankful we are for you and your support of Girl Scouts of Western New York. The evidence of the Girl Scout difference is everywhere, including the recent election where 58% of the women elected to the House of Representatives were Girl Scouts. This is so incredible to hear and we know we can’t do it with you.
#GivingTuesday is the social revolution of generosity and it’s happening tomorrow! Your support helps us continue to make a difference in the lives of our girls. Consider giving today and join the global movement to celebrate giving back.
Thank you for all you do!
Our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place is more than just words; we see it in action. Girl Scouts throughout Western New York continually live out our mission.
Consider Jaylah’s story, the Girl Scout pictured above.
Courageously speaking to elected officials at a community meeting, Jaylah said “We don’t want people building businesses in our neighborhood that don’t care about what is good for us.”
Her determination continued and she met with officials and obtained their signatures on a petition to shut down what would become the second liquor store in her community.
Her dedication paid off – soon after the liquor licenses was denied and there are no plans to move forward with that type of establishment.
Jaylah embodied all that we value in Girl Scouts through her courage to speak up for what’s right, her confidence to talk to groups and elected officials, and the character to stand her ground for what was right for her community.
Girls with confidence are more likely to speak their mind, believe in their intelligence, and desire to be a leader. Unfortunately, there’s a crisis of confidence happening among our girls. More than 60% of girls say they like to be in charge, but 33% admit to being afraid about leading so they aren’t perceived as bossy.
We live in a world where if a girl or woman asserts herself or her authority, she is being bossy. It’s a negative word based on gender stereotypes that strips everything good away from being a leader. As a young girl, being told you’re bossy is something to shy away from and you learn to act in ways that keep you from being labeled so harshly.
With self-confidence, you can disagree with a friend and not be concerned, but nearly 50% of all girls won’t say what they’re thinking or if they disagree because their desire is to be liked. Girls with the highest GPAs are the ones most likely to report feeling this way.
Help us change this.
With your support, we reach more and do more to turn this crisis of confidence around for our girls and help them realize just how smart and important they are. We work every day to create a space where they can grow and fail without judgement. We want to keep hearing stories of our girls being unafraid to stand up for what’s right even if it’s an unpopular opinion.
When you invest in Girl Scouts, you’re doing more than support an organization where girls do crafts and sell cookies. You’re helping to build the future generation of leaders. You’re changing the world.
Black Friday is upon us and Cyber Monday is approaching quickly. You’ve created your gift list and checked it twice, so now you’re determined to find the best deals. Did you know that you could save money AND support Girl Scouts of Western New York at the same time?
When you shop with AmazonSmile, a portion of your qualifying purchase comes back to us and helps us build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. There aren’t extra taxes or hidden fees; it really is this simple.
All you have to do is click this link to choose Girl Scouts of Western New York as your chosen charity. Once you’re set up, start making your purchases from smile.amazon.com. Everything looks the same, except now your purchase goes further. It’s the Amazon you love with the giving back that feels good.
Make a difference this holiday season and shop with AmazonSmile.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Girl Scouts of Western New York!
Girl Scouts is more than just an activity for your girl. It can have life-changing effects on who she becomes and what she believes she can achieve. Take Maria’s story, for example.
Maria’s journey with Girl Scouts began in Puerto Rico, when she joined as a Daisy. Five years later, she’d leave her home and troop to move to the United States. Starting a new life in a country with strange language were only some of the obstacles facing Maria.
Research shows that a girl’s confidence sharply declines by more than 25% between fifth and ninth grade. Almost 50% of high school girls don’t believe they’re smart enough for their dream career. Even when a girl experiences the academic success of a 4.0 or higher, 1 in 3 will feel they aren’t good enough to pursue their passion.
Fortunately for Maria, she had Girl Scouts.
Once she arrived in Buffalo, her mother looked for a Girl Scout troop in the area. Finding none and understanding the importance, she started her own troop so Maria could develop the friendships she needed.
With her troop, Maria was able to enjoy experiences she never imagined would be possible, like white water rafting, learning how to code, walking on ropes courses, and discovering more about how the brain works.
Her fellow Girl Scouts became her community and support, and with the help of them and their leaders, she was able to learn English and graduate high school. Now in college, the distance doesn’t get in the way of the friendships she made as a Girl Scout. These relationships are one of a kind and even if they don’t talk for awhile, they always have each other’s backs.
The confidence Maria gained did more than help her learn English, take on the impossible, and form new friendships; it helped direct the course of her life.
The lack of women in STEM-related fields is no secret, but it’s alarming when you consider that 75% of girls believe they’re good at math and science, but only 45% consider it for a career.
It’s illogical to assume that most girls simply aren’t interested when you learn girls’ interest in math and science increases as they get older, despite the decline of girls believing they’re good at these subjects.
Despite these odds, Maria had the confidence to pursue her passion. After attending a Girls Go to Neuro School event at the University of Buffalo, Maria was able to learn more about the mind and brain. This sparked an interested so she began doing more research on her own.
Now she’s a freshman psychology major on the pre-med route at Albany College.
Because of Girl Scouts, Maria realized she was smart enough, good enough, and confident enough. The activities she enjoyed were more than just fun excursions – they helped shape the course of her life.
You can help make a difference in the lives of our Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts takes the potential of girls and combines it with robust skill-building programs that allow them to enjoy experiences outside of their comfort zones, like building a robotic arm, learning to survive outdoors, and growing a cookie business.
Your donation makes building girls of courage, confidence, and character who makes the world a better place possible. Thank you.
November is a month filled with promotions. What used to be shopping on Black Friday led to Cyber Monday and now you can shop amazing deals virtually the entire month long. With all this spending, why not welcome a chance to give back?
#GivingTuesday is a global movement that falls the week after Thanksgiving. It’s more than just donations; the movement is all about helping others whether it’s your time, monetary support, goods, or even your voice.
As a kick-off to the season of giving, this special day resonates around the world thanks to the power of social media. Together, we celebrate the spirit of generosity as well as the difference our philanthropy can make. Even though it’s a worldwide event, there are ways to get involved in your local community.
At Girl Scouts, we’re all about benefiting our community. In fact, its in our mission. We build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, and often the world falls in our own backyard. We believe that when our girls succeed, so does society.
You can be a part of our mission, too. Whether it’s your time or donation, your support makes a difference in the lives of our members. We need men and women dedicated to raising the next generation of female leaders who are willing to give their time, whether that looks like leading a troop or speaking as a subject-matter expert at an event.
Your financial support can give a girl the chance to see what she’s capable of and achieve more than she imagined possible. Every gift matters to our girls.
Consider making a difference this #GivingTuesday, November 27.
Today and today only, Girl Scouts of Western New York is hosting a council-wide Join-a-Thon! We’re inviting girls and adults from our nine wonderful counties to start their Girl Scout adventure today between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
To sweeten the deal, we have some incentives:
We literally mean sweet considering our second prize is a year’s supply of cookies! If we register 150 adults and girls, we’ll up the bounty and give away a 2 YEAR SUPPLY OF COOKIES! If you’re wondering, that’s a lot of cookies.
What you see there are 104 boxes of cookies, aka a box for every week for the next two years. You’ll be set when cookie season ends and beyond (if you can resist that long!)
Aside from these amazing incentives, being a Girl Scout has a lot to offer. We’re the best leadership organization for girls for a reason. For more than 100 years, our focus has been on girls and helping them succeed.
Joining is easy. You can call 1-888-837-6410, visit gswny.org/join, or come in and see us at any of our service centers until 6 p.m.