Girl Scout cookie season is FINALLY here, meaning for a few short months the world can enjoy our delicious cookies. For the girls, it’s about participating in the largest girl-led business in the world and learning about entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
If your girl hasn’t renewed yet, it’s not too late to get her in on the fun! Girls often tell us selling cookies is one of their favorite activities.
This year, Paula Austin will serve as the Camp Director at Camp Timbercrest! She’s crazy excited about her new position, and we’re pretty excited too! Check out the interview below to learn more about your new director.
What is your camp name? Zoe
Why did you choose this name? I have no idea how I ended up with it. It was 1997 and I was a CIT, it was too long ago and there was no big memorable reason behind it. Now however, my name is most often associated with “Zoe Cakes,” a dessert I created during a cookout gone wrong in 1999. I was thrilled when my daughter started coming to camp to find out that they still make them!
How many years have you worked at camp? What were your previous positions? Over the last 20 years, I have worked at Seven Hills off and on for 11 summers. This will be my first summer at Timbercrest, and I can’t wait to experience all it has to offer. Previous positions include junior counselor, assistant unit leader, unit leader, CIT director, head counselor, administrative assistant,and assistant camp director.
Did you ever camp as a Girl Scout? If so, where and when? Camping was one of my favorite things to do with my Girl Scout troop as a kid! We had a pretty tight group that was together from Daisy up until high school. Our favorite winter camping destination was Sky High which had a great sledding hill behind the cabin. We cabin camped at Green Lake, Margaret Castle,and Seven Hills, and got to try out the platform tents at Seven Hills when we participated in the encampments for our service unit.
What’s one of your favorite camp memories? It’s hard to pick a favorite camp memory! However, some of my favorite summers were the three that I spent working with the CIT’s. I loved watching the growth that happened throughout their program and the transition from camper to staff. The following year, when they would return as staff, I loved being the one to give them their staff shirts during staff week. Many of them had come to camp since they were little. The symbolism of that shirt and their long journey to finally be a counselor was always a huge moment for them, and a favorite of mine!
Why do you think girls should come to camp this summer? Girls should come to camp because they will find the best version of themselves there! It sounds so cheesy, but its so true. When a girl comes to camp, she is met with daily opportunities to step outside of her comfort zone, out of her everyday life, and experience new things. The growth that can happen in a single week at camp is unbelievable. Sometimes it is little things, a seven year old left to get the shampoo out of her hair without her parents help for the first time. A nine year old that has spent a few summers at camp and “finally” makes it to yellow cap at her swim test. A girl that thought she was afraid of bugs and now she can remove a daddy long legs from her tent to help out a friend. First time on a horse, in a canoe,shooting an arrow, or trying the ropes course… camp has so many unbelievable opportunities!!
What’s your favorite part about camp? My favorite part of camp is campfires, specifically closing campfires. While everything at camp is special, it is the traditions that keep girls coming back year after year. At closing campfire, girls are presented with their 5, 10, 15+ year pins or patches. It is such a big moment for so many. The first time I attended a closing campfire as a CIT, I watched the girls telling their favorite memory during their five years at camp before getting presented with their pins. It was at that moment that I was hooked on camp! I knew I wanted to meet that milestone and more! Last summer, I was able to present my own daughter with her five year pin at Seven Hills and it was such an amazing thing for us both. I was so proud of her for her five summer sat camp, but more than that, it was such a great moment to share with her as we share our love for camp!
With heavy hearts we say farewell to our fearless leader, Judy Cranston. She joined us in 2009 as our COO and helped navigate our merger from several councils around our nine counties to the organization we are today, Girl Scouts of Western New York.
For the last three years she’s been our CEO and continued to lead by example and push us to further success. Her passion for our mission was displayed by the way she led every day.
During her farewell celebration, there was hardly a dry eye in the house as staff members shared stories of the impact she had on their lives. She wasn’t an unavailable CEO; she gained our respect by relating to us and most importantly, caring about us.
Leader, mentor, and friend are three of the best words to describe Judy, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t more. Pulling from the Girl Scout Promise and Law, you see how she’s friendly and helpful; considerate and caring; courageous and strong; responsible for what she says and does; respects herself and others; and is a sister to every Girl Scout.
Staff submitted words like encouraging, inspirational, supportive, kind, leader, welcoming, inclusive, thoughtful, wise, hilarious, and fun-loving. When you think about a person who embodies all those characteristics, it’s easy to understand while she’ll be so missed.
Fortunately, we can comfort ourselves knowing we’re still in wonderful hands.
Alison Wilcox has served as our COO for three years and will now become our CEO. With 17 years of global experience in organization leadership and experience with Girl Scouts both at the national and local levels, Alison has channeled her passion for championing women and girls into a successful career. We’re thankful to have Alison, an alumna, as our new CEO.
To access all of Judy Cranston’s tweets while she was our CEO, click here (Excel Spreadsheet)
Welcome to the second year of this exciting recruitment campaign! We’re so excited to do it again, especially with our fun new changes for 2019. There are two pieces to this contest: a Service Unit challenge and prize and a challenge to start 10 new troops.
Criteria for the Service Unit Challenge
Hold at least one new member recruitment event between January 7 and March 3, 2019.
We will choose one winner of our prize which is a Glow Dance Party Kit for you to use as a Service Unit event. Glow dances are increasingly popular, and with the kit it will be very easy to host an amazing event for your girls. The kit includes black lights, glow in the dark body paint, glow sticks, and everything else you would need! You can host the party as a standalone event, as part of a SUCO, or as a yearend celebration.
Please reach out to your SU’s CES for any support you will need including flyers or promotional materials.
Criteria for the New Troop Challenge
The goal of this challenge is to form 10 new troops across GSWNY between January 7 and March 3, 2019.
The first ten troops to form with at least five girls and two registered, trained, and approved co-leaders will receive a $50 gift certificate to the GSWNY shop or a retail store of their choosing.
Please promote this challenge at any recruitments you host during the Snow Much Fun period so new troops in your SU can be eligible. New troops will be added to the Opportunity Catalog prior to January 7 and they will be clearly marked for this promotion. We can give you the eligible troop numbers prior to any event you host if you’d like. Please reach out to your CES with questions.
Thank you for your help in adding new girls and adult members to Girl Scouts! Good luck!
Recently Adam Dolce from the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County interviewed Samantha Nichols, Community Partner Program Facilitator with GSWNY, and Rosa, a Girl Scout from Dunkirk, about our program!
We’re still months away from summer and our camp season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start dreaming about all the fun we’re going to have. Both our Resident and Camp Guides are out to tell you all about the amazing programs we have planned this summer!