Cadette Troop 20173 pushed themselves, conquered their fears, and had fun at Splash Lagoon.

[The following was submitted to GSWNY from Troop 20173. To have your troop story featured, email communications@gswny.org]

Members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 20173 are learning to push themselves to conquer their fears, and are having fun while they do it!

After selling more than 2,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies last year, the five girls earned tickets to Erie’s Splash Lagoon for exceeding 300 boxes per scout. They, along with leaders Patricia Bowen and Wendy Graham, spent the day there recently to enjoy the fruits of their efforts.

“I was so proud of our girls for selling so many cookies!” Bowen said. “For a troop our size to sell that many is a real feat, and it helped us be able to take them to San Francisco in April. They are learning that hard work can earn rewards. I’m especially glad that our whole troop met their goal so we could all go to Splash Lagoon together.”

While they were there, some of the girls had to build up their courage to explore the water slides. At first, only a couple felt comfortable whooshing down, but as the day progressed, their sister scouts helped them conquer their fears. 

After hours of wet fun, the girls, Westfield’s Lilly Teeter, Brooke Luce,  Desiree Bowen and Grace Graham, as well as Cassadaga’s Lily Hafner, moved on to the next part of the challenge: the Tree Top Ropes Course.

“I was frightened at first because I don’t like heights,” Hafner said. “[I was] relieved at the end because I was uncomfortable.” She said she felt good about herself when it was all over.

All five girls climbed the ropes with large, frightened eyes, but slowly became more accustomed to the height. After a half hour of walking on narrow beams, wobbling planks, and thin ropes, the girls descended with grins and a sense of accomplishment. 

“I’m in awe of these girls,” Graham said. “I saw the looks on their faces and at times they were all scared out of their minds. But they pushed through the fear and talked each other through the rough spots. I watched them hold hands out to each other to help their friends, and I saw them strategize how to maneuver around the course. This is why I love Girl Scouts. Seeing these girls I’ve been with for three years grow like that is inspiring.”

Women of Distinction 2019 is in three weeks!

Our annual, girl-led, women’s event of the year is happening in three short weeks on Thursday, September 26. We can’t wait to celebrate our nine amazing honorees and their contributions to the community!

More than just honoring the women, this event is all about mentorship. Each of the honorees was paired with a Girl Scout who will serve as a presenter at the event, sharing about her experience being mentored.

Check out photos of the Girl Scouts and their honorees below!

You can be a part of this special event as well by purchasing a ticket gswny.org.

2019 Women of Distinction:

  • Christine Bonaguide, Esq.: Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP (Erie County)
  • Linda Clark, M.D.: Doctor of Preventive/Occupational Medicine, Founder and CEO, Clark Occupational Medicine Services (Monroe County)
  • Tory Irgang: Executive Director, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (Chautauqua County)
  • Candace Johnson, Ph.D.: President and CEO, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Erie County)
  • Joyce A. Markiewicz: Chief Business Development Officer, Catholic Health (Erie County)
  • Nadia Pizzaro: Homeless Services Director, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc. (Erie County)
  • Katherine Conway-Turner, Ph.D.: President, State University of New York at Buffalo State (Erie County)
  • Lori Van Dusen: Founder and CEO, LVW Advisors (Monroe County)
  • Linda ZakrzewskiVolunteer of Distinction, Teacher, Family and Consumer Science, School 81 Buffalo (Erie County)

10 Tips to make Back-to-School a breeze

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, meaning it’s time for many students in Western New York to head back to school. Instead of letting all the changes disrupt everything, try these 10 tips that can help make going back to school a breeze!

1. Determine your routine

Before you can iron out the rest of the details, you need to determine what your routine is going to look like. Start with what you know – your schedule and your kids schedules – and work from that. Once you have a basic idea, you can add other pieces in and figure out the the planner/schedule that works for you.

2. Establish a family calendar

Using a family calendar is a great way to keep track of what everyone is doing through the week and/or month, depending on the style you choose. Don’t just write the events – schedule a meeting each week to go over them with everyone.

3. Set up screen time rules

This might be something you keep all year long, but if you’ve been less strict over the summer, now is the time to bring back restrictions. Set boundaries with your children about how often they can be on their devices and make sure you take them out of their rooms at night to remove temptation.

4. Keep to a bedtime and wake up schedule

Sleep routines are easily maintained with consistent times when you go to bed and wake up. Set a schedule for both weekdays and weekends so your children develop a rhythm that will promote more restful sleep habits.

5. Don’t overschedule

With everything new going on, it’s easy to say yes to everything and lose out on valuable family time. Refer to your calendar and routine to make sure something is feasible before agreeing – periods of rest are important for family members of all ages.

6. Get ready the night before

Another great habit to get your kids into is preparing for school the night before. Teach them how to pick out their clothes and pack their bag and lunch. This will make the morning go smoothly and help them learn organization and planning skills.

7. Talk to your kids about going back to school

Get a read on how your kids feel about going back to school. Some may be forthright in their worries and excitement, but others might need some encouragement. Learn about their anxieties and help quell them where possible.

8. Take care of yourself

In the hustle and bustle of managing the lives of your children, it might get easier to forget about yourself. Self-care is one of the best ways to keep you high-functioning because it allows you time to pause and think about your own needs as well instead of getting overwhelmed and burnt out.

9. Choose afterschool activities

While you don’t want to add too many activities in, finding at least one or two can be invaluable for your children. From the skills they learn to the fun they’ll have, it’s a nice way to keep them involved.

Of course, our number one recommendation for girls is Girl Scouts 🙂

10. Find more resources from Girl Scouts

As the school year progresses, you might want more resources about dealing with particular issues. Whether you want more back-to-school tips or help raising awesome girls, they have an amazing library of articles to help you!