Member Essentials

Member Essentials – 9/29/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

GSWNY COVID-19 guidelines through 9-30-20 will remain in effect until the updated guidelines are released on 10-6-20 in Member Essentials and on our website. Please continue to follow the current guidelines and check out M.E. and our website for the updated guidelines next week. Thank you for your diligent efforts to keep our members safe.

Our NEW Customer Care Council Hours will start on Monday, October 5th. You can call 1.888.837.6410 or email us 24/7 at for support.

Our Customer Care phone lines will be open

  • Monday 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-1) 1:00-4:30
  • Tuesday 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-2) 2:00-4:30
  • Wednesday 11:00-1:00 (closed 12-1) 2:00-6:00
  • Thursday 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-2) 2:00-4:30
  • Friday 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-1) 1:00-4:30

Our NEW Retail Shop curbside pickup service open hours:

  • Monday 1:00-4:00
  • Wednesday 2:00-6:00

Email the shop with your order:,, and The retail team will contact you to make payment arrangements and schedule your curbside pickup date/time.

​​Please see the important announcements below and for questions, please contact Customer Care or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

2020-2021 Programs Update

Given these uncertain times, there will not be a printed program guide this year. All programs and events can be found on our website. Check back regularly for new opportunities for your girl and troop!

Event Calendar | Event List

We are excited to offer programs scheduled for the fall through May 2021 and we will continue to add programs throughout the year.


You must renew memberships by Wednesday 9/30 @ midnight to qualify for our great renewal incentives!

Girls earn:

Leaders earn:

  • 3,500 SAGE Tuition Rewards Points
  • Chance to win a $300 gift card

Those who have already renewed have already qualified for these great incentives.  Remember that financial assistance is available as well!


Virtual Meetings: Adapting Badges and Journeys

Check out our newest training video! We walk you through our existing badges and journeys tailored for virtual meetings and share some tips on adapting badges and journeys for online.

October 2, 2020 is Girl Scout Spirit Day!

Every year on the first Friday of October, we celebrate Girl Scout Spirit Day! October is the start of the Girl Scout membership year and we want the world to know how proud we are to be Girl Scouts!

Wear a piece of Girl Scout attire to work, school, or even kicking around home on that day. Share your photos on Facebook and Instagram, or by emailing to show the world you’re part of something awesome!

Zoom Into Fall

Join us for one of our FREE adult training sessions to learn all about how you can use Zoom this Fall to run your Girl Scout Troop and Service Unit meetings. We will walk you through setting up a Zoom account, how to schedule meetings, and how to run a Girl Scout meeting virtually. 

Questions? Contact Customer Care at 1-888-837-6410 or


GSUSA has subsidized the cost of professional Zoom licenses for troops. The monthly fee will be $3 per month ($36 per year).

Licenses can be purchased by troops using troop funds, or troops can request financial aid support through the Council Opportunity Fund. 

There is only one license per troop available, and the license is good through July 31, 2021. Use the button below to request your Zoom license today.


Retail Item of the Week: New 2020 Council Patch

As stated in last week’s Member Essentials: We have a new 2020 Council Patch! Mariana, a 6th grader, and her patch design was among seventy other hand drawn entries that went through a voting process to become a finalist and then the winner.

The Council Patch is a major symbol that celebrates Girl Scouts’ mission and unity across GSWNY’s nine counties twelve years ago when multiple, individual Girl Scout councils from across the region merged into one, to become Girl Scouts of Western New York.

This patch is a store exclusive and available by emailing your local shop today! For ONLY $2 this LARGE patch is a MUST HAVE! Email your shop TODAY to arrange pick up!

First Aid/CPR Training Schedule

If you need to renew your First Aid and CPR certifications, EPIC Trainings, our FA/CPR course providers have got you covered. We have hybrid trainings scheduled every month, trainers and students alike will be required to be masked at all times, equipment is sanitized after each student, and students will be assigned individual assessment times in 6 minute blocks – all will be COVID safe. (students who arrive before their assigned time are asked to wait in their car until their block begins.) Check the Volunteer Resources page on our website for the scheduled for each office – Buffalo, Rochester and Jamestown.


NCS Keynote Speaker Event, Register by September 30

The GSUSA Board of Directors invites all Girl Scout members to attend the National Council Session keynote presentations being delivered by National Board Chair Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, interim GSUSA CEO Judith Batty, and the founding chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, Dianne Belk, on October 3 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET. 

A virtual reception for Juliette Gordon Low Society members will follow the keynotes, from approximately 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET. This event is free of charge.


Girl Scouting at Home

Looking for ways to stay involved with Girl Scouts? Check out our Girl Scouting at Home page today! New resources are added regularly. 

Celebrating The World-Changing Power of Girls

Join Girl Scouts as we celebrate the world-changing power of girls on Saturday, October 10, at 4:00 PM EST, for an International Day of the Girl party. The first 1,000 currently registered Girl Scouts who attend the event will get a FREE exclusive World Changer patch to wear with pride.


Upcoming SPCA programs

The SPCA Serving Erie County offers a variety of virtual programming for Girl Scouts. Watch for live virtual badge workshops for individual Girl Scouts listed on our GSWNY Events calendar such as:

In-person and/or virtual tours and patch programs (fee based & on demand) for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors also available.  Your troop can complete simple activities in your virtual troop meetings or individual scouts and then invite the SPCA Serving Erie County to your troop meeting for a virtual field trip and animal meet and greet.  Suggestions for which activities work best virtually are made for each age group below.

Please see, email or call (716) 875-7360×234 for more information or to set up a program.

Cost: $50 per troop for a 30-minute virtual tour and animal encounter. Patches cost $2 per participant and will be mailed to the troop leader following completion of the evaluation form.  Programs are available Monday-Saturday afternoons and evenings.

Begin setting up your virtual or in-person field trips:

The SPCA Serving Erie County is not affiliated financially in any way with any other animal agency, including the Niagara County SPCA, the ASPCA, or any other humane society or animal welfare group. Our protocols, policies, and procedures are unique to this organization, a completely independent humane society that does not receive any city, county, state, or federal tax dollars. The important programs and services of the SPCA Serving Erie County are possible only due to the caring people and organizations that support us.

Pen Pal Program Full!

We put the call out and you answered! Thank you for helping to fill our Pen Pal Program in just one week! Over 20 residents from Kaleida Health’s HighPointe on Michigan and DeGraff Skilled Nursing facilities were paired with a Girl Scout and will start exchanging letters in October. At this time, the program is not accepting new inquiries.

Looking for more options? Head to for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout by grade level, and check out some of the online opportunities below:

Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Girl Scouts Mackenzie, Maya, and Jessica finished their Girl Scout Silver Award. The 3 Girl Scouts are making 100+ fidget/busy blankets for Strong Behavior Health and collecting infant to toddler toys for Strong and The Pirate Toy Fund.

These 3 have been in Girl Scouts since Brownies, already earned their Bronze Award, and will be inducted into the Junior National honors society. Troop co-leaders Shannon Wynne and Anne Leibeck are very proud of their girls!

We are #GirlScoutStrong! Looking forward to talking to you next Tuesday! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Customer Care or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

Categories: Member Essentials

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