Registration is now open for G.I.R.L. 2020!

Be a part of one big, bold celebration! G.I.R.L. 2020 is a momentous chance to spark change through targeted conversation, leadership, and action—Girl Scout style. Join generations of Girl Scouts and their supporters from across the nation and around the world—register now for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

REGISTER NOW

Join thousands of women and girls, and their families and supporters, from around the world in Orlando, Florida, October 23–25, 2020. Hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA, this mega event will provide attendees with unforgettable experiences as they gain inspiration, tools to empower themselves, and the know-how to lead change in their communities—connecting with some of the world’s most influential women along the way.

G.I.R.L. 2020 will be a weekend like none you’re been a part of before—one that centers the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and the incredible promise it holds for all girls and the world.

Join generations of Girl Scouts and their supporters from across the nation and around the world—register now for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

This March, Girl Scouts are out to brighten smiles again!

Just like last year, we’re holding our Making Smiles Bright dental health collection and patch program in March! Keep reading for more information and to see how you can get involved.


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 in all levels are invited to participate and earn this exclusive patch.

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!

Elements to the Patch Program:

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.

Download the Flyer

Cast your vote for the new Council Patch!

We’re selecting a new patch to represent Girl Scouts of Western New York and we need your help! Last year, we asked for YOUR patch ideas and we loved seeing all the creativity.

Out of all your amazing submissions, we’ve selected our top 6 for everyone to vote on. We can’t wait to see the winner!

VOTE TODAY

Remember, the design of the patch is subject to change based on our design work with the printer, but the overall essence will remain.

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:

Option 4:

Option 5:

Option 6:

How to Survive Your Daughter’s First Crush

[This post is originally from GSUSA as part of their Raising Girls blog dedicated to parenting advice for daughters]

You knew this day would come, but you had no idea how soon. Now suddenly, the girl who’s never needed more than her family, her friends, and maybe the snuggles of a favorite pet is streaming sappy pop songs, wandering about with a silly grin on her face, and writing mysterious initials on her book covers/the back of her hand/any available surface.

It’s time to come to terms with reality: your daughter probably has a crush.

Now, crushes are called as such for a reason. As much as they can make a person feel happy, they can also leave one feeling rather dramatically destroyed by the world. So, as her parent, you’ll need to approach dealing with her first crush with caution; empathy; and, as always, love. Lots and lots of love! Here’s how you might navigate some trickier aspects of her first brush with puppy love.

The issue: You think she’s too young to be in love or dating.

Reality check: While it can be jarring to think of your girl having romantic feelings, remember that having a crush does not mean the same thing as dating or even being in love—even if she insists she feels that way. Crushes are often rooted in infatuation and go no further than a bit of daydreaming and doodling. Actual dating rarely comes with crushes. Plus, forbidding her to have a crush may only deepen her feelings—after all, so often when young people are told they can’t have or do something, they want to all the more.

Try this: If she’s been inking initials or someone’s name on everything in sight, take the time (when it’s just the two of you—you don’t want to embarrass her!) to ask who this special someone is and figure out why she likes them. And even if she says they’re “dating” or “going out,” there may not be any cause for alarm. Ask what those terms mean to her. To many young girls, dating or going out might just mean that they sit together at lunch—or perhaps that they like each other, everyone knows it, and they text! A little fact-finding can go a long way to soothe your nerves and open lines of communication. This way, when she does start dating in a more meaningful way in the years to come, she’ll already know she can trust and turn to you.

_____________________________

The issue: You don’t approve of the person she’s crushing on.

Reality check: Most crushes, especially at this age, are fleeting, so there’s almost no chance of this person being in her life for the long haul. But beyond that, you might want to take a step back and make sure you aren’t assuming things about her crush based on how they look, what part of town they live in, or something else that likely has nothing to do with why your daughter likes them.

Try this: Ask your girl what it is she likes or admires about this person. If she focuses on appearances first—spoiler alert, she probably thinks her crush has great hair—go deeper, and ask her if they’re kind to others or if they share any particular interests with her. This is a good opportunity for you to talk about what makes a person worthy of attention and admiration over some of the more superficial qualities she might be focused on. If there are more serious concerns about this person, like an inappropriate age difference, known behavioral problems, or something else, bring them up gently, and ask her how she feels about those things. Hearing her out and having a conversation with her (even if you know you’re eventually going to have to flat-out tell her this person isn’t worthy of her affections) will help her feel respected; heard; and, most of all, that you really care and aren’t just saying “no” to be mean.

_____________________________

The issue: Her crush doesn’t like her back.

Reality check: The sight of your daughter crying into her cereal bowl over some super awkward kid may seem ridiculous to you—not to mention a waste of her precious time and energy—but to her, this is anything but silly. Think back to your early crushes and how, even if they didn’t last long, it felt like the sun rose and set by that person’s existence in your life. Your daughter likely feels that way right now.

Try this: Instead of telling her to “get over it” or that her crush wasn’t so great anyway, find a quiet moment to ask her how she’s feeling, then actually listen. She’s been rejected by someone she really likes (even if you don’t think they’re great shakes!), and she’s probably hurting. Be there for her, and try to find things to do together that will brighten her day. Maybe you can plan some time to watch a favorite movie or schedule a night when her best girl friends can come for a sleepover party. Over time, she’ll almost definitely start to feel better, and your bond will be stronger than ever.

Have you seen the 2020 Camp Guides yet?

Released last month, the 2020 Day and Resident Camp Guides have us very excited for summer!

We love getting outdoors and all the opportunities to do so at camp! View the guides online or stop into a Service Center to pick up a physical copy (limited number available).

For Troop Camping information, head to the Outdoor Programs Guide.

This year, we’re celebrating 90 years at Camp Seven Hills!

[This post originally appeared on campsevenhillsnews.com]

Saturday, August 8 – Activities begin at 9:30 a.m.

In 1930, Camp Seven Hills opened its doors to its first 50 campers. Since then, the grounds have hosted thousands of Girl Scouts from Western New York. This summer, you’re invited to join us in our celebration of 90 years of adventure.

Come and see how the camp has grown and developed over the years through tours showcasing what we’ve done and then see what we’re planning on a dream with us tour. There will be a special, candelit path ceremony and plenty of s’mores to go around.

Of course, we’ll also have some of our favorite camp activities including swimming, boating, horseback riding, ropes course, arts and crafts, and evening campfires. Ropes course and horseback riding will be on a first come, first served basis and will be an additional fee payable at camp.

You also have the option to stay all weekend for our annual Friends & Family Weekend, happening August 7 to 9. Arrival is 7 p.m. Friday and departure is 9 a.m. Sunday.

Register online by July 20, 2020

  • $30 per person for Saturday
  • $40 per person (1 night)
  • $70 per person (2 nights)
  • Children under five years old are free

Questions? Please contact Customer Care at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410

The initial order period for Girl Scout Cookies closes February 9

Girls can keep collecting orders through February, but the initial order period ends Sunday, February 9. The current ordered gathered and initial recognition selections must be entered into Smart Cookies by 11:59 p.m.

As a reminder, the final payment and recognition order are due by Tuesday, March 31, at 11:59 p.m.

All girls who sell at least 170 packages by February 8 will earn the Initial Recognition Reward, which is the ‘Chase Your Adventure’ hoodie and ‘Goal Getter’ patch.

Girls who add 10 more boxes will receive a limited edition swag tag!

Questions? Contact Customer Care at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.

It’s not too late to sell cookies!

If your girl hasn’t renewed her membership yet, it’s not too late! Girls often tell us selling cookies is one of their favorite activities, and there’s still time to get on board for this year’s cookie sale!

How can she participate? 

  • With a troop.  Enjoy the fun of Girl Scout programming with a group.
  • On her own schedule.  Your daughter can participate as an Individually Registered Girl – we call them Juliettes – and do Girl Scouts her own way.  She can still sell cookies, attend camp, earn badges, and more.  Learn more about Juliettes here

*If your girl is currently active with a troop:  Head to your MYGS account and renew her membership!

*If your girl is looking for a new Girl Scout opportunity:  Visit our Opportunity Catalog through your MYGS account. 

  • Your email address is your log in.
  • Select “Add/Change Troop” under Membership and enter your zip code.

You’ll see the available troops in your area as well as the Individually Registered Girl option.

Only registered girls are able to sell cookies and earn incentives, so make sure your girl’s registration is current!

Contact us at 1-888-837-6410 or Customercare@gswny.org with any questions or if you need assistance getting your girl registered.

RENEW NOW

Celebrate Black History Month

[This post is partially from a blog shared at girlscouts.org February 1, 2016]

When you think about history, it’s likely that you think about things that happened a long time ago, perhaps even in a land far, far away. But the truth is, history is happening right now—it’s all around us, and it vibrates through the very fabric of the Girl Scout movement. Think about it: Girl Scouts all over the country are in the process of making history in their schools and communities, instituting meaningful change, standing up for what’s right, breaking records, and setting new precedents.

All of this is why when we celebrate Black History Month, we not only honor and remember the phenomenal black women we learned about in our history books in school—we also celebrate the ongoing strength and vision of the black girls and women who are creating change as we speak.

Just take a minute to think about the black women, both young and more experienced at life, who’ve made headlines in the past few years:

  • In 2014, Mo’ne Davis, then 13, wasn’t just the first African American girl to play in the Little League World Series, she was also the first girl to pitch a shutout in the competition’s history. 
  • That same year, Mia Love got attention as the first black Republican woman in Congress.
  • And in the legal world, 2015 brought us Paulette Brown, who was named the first woman of color to become president of the American Bar Association. 
  • Last year, Misty Copeland was the first African American woman to be named principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. 
  • Also in 2015, Viola Davis became the first African American actress to take home an Emmy award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and quoted civil rights activist Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech.   
  • The U.S. Senate made Loretta Lynch the first Black female attorney general in 2015.
  • Last year, actress and recording star Zendaya not only spoke out against stereotypes about African American hair, she also teamed up with Mattel to create the first Black Barbie doll with a natural hair style. “When I was little, I couldn’t find a Barbie who looked like me. My…how times have changed,” she said. 
  • Simone Biles dominated at the 2016 Olympics and stands as the most decorated gymnast in American history, and ranks third highest around the world. Plus, who can forget her iconic statement when being compared to other athletes: “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles”

We have so much to learn from the leaders who have shaped our world. One such leader (literally in the Girl Scout sense) is Josephine Holloway. Artist Alleanna Harris highlighted her in a Black History Month in 2017, and we love what she made:

Here’s what she shared: “Today’s Black History Month illustration is of Josephine Holloway, the first black Girl Scout Troop Leader. In 1933, she attempted to form a Girl Scout troop for black girls, but the Nashville Girl Scout Council denied her request. In 1942, after lobbying for about 10 years, the first black Girl Scout troop was established. Holloway was such an expert of girls issues that the Girl Scouts hired her as a field advisor for all black troops. Over her time as a field advisor, she supervised over 2,000 black girls and adults.”

Calling All Girls: Win a VIP Trip to Orlando, Florida!

[This post originally appeared on girlscouts.org]

The 2020 Cookie Pro™ contest opens TODAY, February 1—are you ready?

Hey barrier breakin,’ challenge crushin,’ and lead takin’ cookie entrepreneurs! Are you putting that unmatchable Girl Scout courage to the test every year to create positive change? We want to hear from you and reward you for all your hard work selling Girl Scout Cookies® in the 2019–20 season with a chance to win BIG. All you have to do is enter the 2020 Cookie Pro contest February 1–March 31.

Entering is simple: participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program® this season and highlight your unique cookie business smarts by answering questions about the skills you learned and your experience selling cookies!

Before the contest opens for entries, start developing your business skills by earning a pin in the NEW Cookie Entrepreneur Family pin collection, the latest addition to the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Now families can help girls learn while they earn—talk about high-quality time with a purpose! Learn more and start your collection today.

GET YOUR SHOT AT THE GRAND PRIZE 

Twenty-four Girl Scouts—four per level—will be named national cookie pros and get the epic chance to:

  • Travel to Orlando with one parent or guardian for three incredible days of fun and adventure
  • Be a VIP guest at G.I.R.L. 2020, the largest event for girls in the world!
  • Get backstage passes to meet super-cool celebrity speakers
  • Experience Orlando’s mind-blowing theme parks using a special-access pass
  • Meet Girl Scouts of the USA’s CEO, Sylvia Acevedo, and other inspiring Girl Scout entrepreneurs
  • Take part in unforgettable activities with Girl Scouts from all over the country
  • Enjoy exclusive swag, giveaways, and more!

ENTER TO WIN BIG

Participating in the Cookie Pro contest is easy! Simply answer a set of questions online and submit them along with a solo photo of yourself.

We can’t wait to hear how you’ve been crushing your goals, learning tons of new skills, and taking the lead to rock your cookie business all season long!

Come back on February 1, 2020, to enter the contest for your chance to win the grand prize!


UNLOCK THE LIMITED-EDITION PATCH

Every girl who enters the contest will unlock this awesome limited-edition Cookie Pro patch for optional purchase—wear it with pride, girls!

To enter the Cookie Pro contest, girls must be registered Girl Scouts who are participating in the 2019-2020 Girl Scout Cookie Program and legal residents of one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands (collectively, “Residents”) (including Residents currently residing in overseas military installations with a valid APO/FPO mailing address) and apply together with a parent or legal guardian who is 18 years old or older as of the date of entry.

Questions? Check the official contest rules and FAQs, or contact Customer Care at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.