Today our Girl Scout Cookie drops begin! It’s the weekend when all the ordered cookies are delivered and our wonderful sellers come to our warehouse locations to pick them up.
Cookie season means a lot of Girl Scouts because we know the value it has on our members. Not only are they helping to fund their troop and council programs, they’re learning valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and financial literacy. We love seeing all the photos come in of their excitement around the kick off of Girl Scout Cookie season and taking orders.
To see more Cookie Kick Off pictures from around the council, check out our Facebook Page!
It may the end of part of Cookie Season, but in three short days we’re moving onto booths! Be on the lookout for cookie booths near you or find them here: www.girlscouts.org/cookies
For more than 100 years, we’ve been the preeminent leadership organization for girls, developing businesswomen, astronauts, governors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and even secretaries of state. The benefit of our program speaks for itself, yet it’s easy to miss why our program is so important.
It’s more than just a century of experience that helps us build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’ve done the research to make sure we’re reaching girls where it matters and delivering what they need.
From this we know your girl will learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment, which is exactly what we provide. What this doesn’t mean is a stereotypical ‘girl’ experience with where we do crafts and play with dolls. In fact, we usually prefer robots.
We’re redefining what it means to do something like a girl and showing girls how smart and valuable they are. We’re also girl-led, which means in Girl Scouts, your girl takes the lead. We provide programming for many areas, but the rest of it is in your daughter’s hands.
Instead of telling a girl what she should like or do, we let her choose. We give her opportunities to get outdoors, to learn about coding and cybersecurity, to learn how to run and a business, and so much more.
As the largest girl-run entrepreneurial program in the world, our Girl Scout cookie sales are about more than fundraising and providing the USA with our delicious cookies. When you sell, you learn about business planning and financial literacy. Each level teaches you something different about these areas so every year, your girl is expanding her knowledge and building on her skills.
All our programming stands on our four pillars: STEM, Outdoors, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. The last encompasses several areas, including our commitment to improving our world.
Service is built into so much of what Girl Scouts do. Whether it’s making centerpieces for holiday dinners at homeless shelters or collecting blankets or educating their peers and advocating for more resources, our girls do some incredible work to help those around them.
Girl and troops do projects throughout the year, but we also have three levels of higher awards to promote this culture of giving back. Girl Scout Juniors (4th and 5th graders) can work in their troop for a minimum of 20 hours on a project to earn their Bronze Award.
Next, our Cadettes (6th, 7th, and 8th graders) can earn their Silver Award. Here they’ll work by themselves or in a small group of Girl Scouts for a minimum of 50 hours on a service project.
Finally, our Seniors (9th and 10th) and Ambassadors (11th and 12th) can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, our highest honor. This is a completely individual process and each girl must spend a minimum of 80 hours dedicated to their project. Beyond a one-time service initiative, they have to focus on something that is sustainable and will continue to make an impact after they’re done.
Sound difficult? That’s because it is. Since the beginning of our higher awards, one million girls have earned their Gold Award. That means fewer than 6% of all our Girl Scouts earn it annually.
For those who’ve ‘gone gold,’ it’s worth it. Not only can you enter the military a whole rank higher just for earning it, it’s a critical element in the college admissions decision process.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of girl yours is because here, we’re all Girl Scout. We have something for her to and can help prepare her for a lifetime of leadership.
At Girl Scouts, we believe in the value of camp. Since our beginnings, getting girls outside has been one of our primary areas of focus. In fact, it currently stands as one of our four program pillars – STEM, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Outdoors.
Knowing how important it is for girls to go outdoors, we want to make sure every girl has the opportunity. Our goal is always to make sure that no one is excluded from our program for any reason, including financial.
If your girl is a member of Girl Scouts of Western New York, we have financial aid options available for her. The Summer Camp Financial Assistance Application needs to be completed asap for consideration.
To apply, register for camp and fill out the financial aid application included. Physical forms can be picked up at our service centers.
In February 1926, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from around the world gathered at Camp Edith Macy – now known as Edith Macy Conference Center – and created a special day for members worldwide. The delegates designated February 22 as World Thinking Day.
Now promoted by both Girl Scouts and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), World Thinking Day has been a treasured tradition for more than 90 years. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides alike spend the day doing activities dedicated to changing the world for the better.
The theme for 2019 is leadership and we’re so excited to see what everyone does. For activity ideas, check out the Girl Scouts website for resources geared to help girls at every level.
Girl Scouts who earned their First Class, Curved Bar, Golden Eaglet, or Golden Eagle of Merit, are a part of the Gold Award Girl Scout family. To make it official, we’re debuting a digital credential for you to display on LinkedIn (and other digital platforms) to show that you earned the highest award in Girl Scouting. Now you can display your award with pride and show the world—and potential employers—that you can triumph over any challenge that comes your way! Fill out the form below to access your digital badge, and if you are a recipient of one of the prior awards, you can get your Gold Award pin, too!
Official Gold Award Status
WHEREAS, since 1916, Girl Scouts have accepted the challenge of earning the Movement’s highest award, thereby demonstrating a commitment to bettering themselves, their communities, and the world; and
WHEREAS,this highest award has had different names over the years, including the Golden Eaglet (1916–39), the Curved Bar (1940–63), First Class (1938–40, 1963–80), and, since 1980, the Girl Scout Gold Award; and
WHEREAS, those who have earned it have shown the same outstanding leadership skills, determination, and resilience that have made Girl Scouts’ highest award a unique rite of passage for young women across the Movement;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, do hereby proclaim that all who have earned the highest award in Girl Scouts can on this day, January 15, 2019, and henceforth be recognized as Gold Award Girl Scouts, united by their similarities and their ideals, with all rights and privileges therein.
The highest award in Girl Scouting has gone through many name changes since it was established in 1916 as The Golden Eagle of Merit. Now it’s called the Girl Scout Gold Award, but the essence remains the same. It is awarded to girls who embody community leadership through their actions.
We’re in the middle of our second annual Snow Much Fun to be a Girl Scout Recruitment contest and we have exciting news – the deadline to participate has now been extended to March 31! This means you have more time to plan your events and build your troops for your chance to win our amazing prizes!
As a reminder, the contest has two pieces, one for new troops and one for service units. On the SU side, they receive one entry into a drawing for a Glow Party Dance Kit for every recruitment event they hold through March 31.
For the first 10 new troops formed through March 31, they’ll receive a $50 gift card to the retail store of their choosing or our GSWNY shops. A new troop must have at least five girls and two registered adults.
How can you help us? Share this information with members of your SU! You can help the new troops forming in your area and hold events to help your chances of winning a Glow Dance Party Kit for your SU!
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.
During the month of March, we’re focusing on dental health! Girl Scouts who participate will increase their knowledge of dental health and take action to provide dental hygiene supplies to other children in their communities.
Girls of all levels are invited to participate in the Dental Health Collection and Patch Program and earn this exclusive patch!
Learn about teeth. What are the parts of a tooth? In a book or online, find a diagram of a tooth and learn about its parts. Find the crown, root, enamel, pulp, and cementum. What is the importance of each part?
Find out why it is important to brush and floss every day. Make a personal brushing and flossing chart to record when you brush and floss for two weeks.
Discover how our diet helps or hurts our teeth. A healthy diet means healthier teeth but some foods like sugar can harm them. Learn about a balanced diet. Make a collage or draw a picture that shows which foods are either good or bad for our teeth.
Find out about careers related to dental health. For Daisies and Brownies and Juniors – Draw a picture of what you think a dental health professional looks like. For Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors – Find out about college programs, that are offered at nearby schools, in the field of dental health.
Help others keep their teeth healthy too! Collect dental hygiene items such as toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste to donate to community dental clinics in Western New York. Bring your donations to your nearest GSWNY Service Center during the month of March.
Our GSWNY Dental Hygiene Collection will benefit local children through Western New York Community Dental Providers.
The patch will be available for sale in our GSWNY Council Shops. Count the number of items you collect so we can see how many smiles we’ll make brighter!
Although Girl Scouts is a secular organization, we believe in encouraging girls to pursue their own spiritual journeys through their faith. Our Girl Scout Promise and Law features many principles and values found among religions, which makes it a natural connection.
Aside from the My Promise, My Faith pin, all other religious recognition activities are completed independently from Girl Scouts, but the awards earned can be worn on the our uniforms.
To help the spiritual growth of Girl Scouts, national religious organizations develop programs to reinforce the values integral to Girl Scouting while helping them learn more about and grow in their own faith.
Last year, several girls from our council completed an amazing service project in the pursuit of earning a Girl Scout religious emblem.
As members of the Nativity of Our Lord Church and the Orchard Park Service Unit, Caroline (Senior, Troop 31101), Kaitlyn (Cadette, Troop 31128), Mia (Cadette, Troop 31128), and Natalie (Cadette, Troop 31128) began working an an emblem called ‘Mary, The First Disciple,’ led by Patti Raab.
Patti serves as a member of our Board of Directors, but her role as Religious Emblem Counselor for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting helps her get directly involved with Girl Scouts seeking these awards.
For their service project, they decided to organize a coat drive in their parish. The weekend before, they included an announcement about their drive and handed out flyers after each mass.
Patti’s heart was warmed by the response of the parish members the following week.
“A total of 268 coats were collected!” said Patti. “They were inspected for cleanliness, zippers working, and overall good wear. Only three were rejected. Therefore a total of 265 were donated!“
Because of the organization and work from the Girl Scouts and the generosity of the church, 265 coats were disbursed to the Harvest House, International Institute of Buffalo, and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Caroline, Kaitlyn, Mia, and Natalie went to two of these facilities and got to see the results of their charitable work firsthand.
This is just one of many faith-based projects for Girl Scouts around our council. In fact, Patti currently oversees two other Senior Girl Scouts, Ava and Sophia from Troop 30271, as they pursue their Spirit Alive emblem.
To learn more about Girl Scouts and faith, visit girlscouts.org today. If you, or your troop are working toward any religious pins or emblems, please email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This summer, Carolyn Magner is back as Camp Seven Hill’s Director! She’s been a part of our family for a long time and here is more of her story:
What is your camp name? Goofy
How did you get this name? It was given to me by my counselor because I was always singing loudly. I also was a ropes course camper and was always silly as I climbed.
How many years have you worked at camp? What were your previous positions? I’ve been at Seven Hills for 23 years and I was at Camp Laurel in Connecticut for two years. Started as a kitchen aide, junior counselor, Ropes Counselor/Director, Waterfront Director, Unit Director, Assistant Camp Director and Camp Director.
Did you ever camp as a Girl Scout? If so, where and when? I grew up at Seven Hills and was a camper for 9 years until I became staff. Troop camping we did Sky High and Seven Hills
What’s one of your favorite camp memories? There are so many! From campers years, I would have to say my times on the ropes course. My counselors allowed me to be a leader and encouraged me to reach beyond my comfort zone. I feel this had made me the teacher, I am today! As a staff member, I have worked with many amazing staff who have become a family to me. OVERALL- campfires and friendship path because you can feel the bonds that have formed.
Why do you think girls should come to camp this summer? Camp is one place where girls and staff come together from various locations to unite and bond. Girls get to make new friends and try new experiences-that will help them to grow and gain independence.
What’s your favorite part about camp? Watching the campers grow over the years. Also the generations of families that return and carry on the traditions of camp for their daughters and Girl Scouts.
Help our older girls earn their Torch award by participating
in a fun and interactive fire safety training! Trained Cadette, Senior and
Ambassador Girl Scouts will teach Daisy and Brownie troops how to play safe and
be safe, earning hours for their Leadership Torch Award! After your Daisy and
Brownie troops partipcate in this fun, interactive training- they’ll be on
their way to earning their Play Safe Be Safe Patch!
Is your Daisy and or Brownie troop interested in participating in a FREE training run by our GSWNY trained older girls? Contact Lauren.Bush@gswny.org to schedule your troop’s training!