Member Essentials – 12/22/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

What a year 2020 has been!  On behalf of Girl Scouts of Western New York, thank you for all of your commitment, support and dedication to building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. 

I am so proud of how our volunteers, staff, families and community supporters helped to keep Girl Scouting available for our girls, and I am so proud of how our girls stepped up to lead in their communities and make a difference.

The mission and spirit of Girl Scouting remains strong, and it is because of each of you.
We wish you a peaceful and safe holiday season, and we look forward to a wonderful New Year in 2021.

Thank you for all that you do for our girls.

Alison

Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts of WNY

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


Batavia Office Update:

As you may know, our Batavia office has been closed since March 2020 when COVID-19 struck since that time we have been serving our members virtually, through mail, and through other service center locations. Our Batavia office lease expires February 1, 2021.

We had originally planned to identify a new location and relocate to a new space in Batavia that better fit our needs, but due to COVID-19 we are postponing the move. To use our resources wisely, we will not renew our lease at this time, and we will wait to move to a new location until after the pandemic and at a time when we can safely reopen.

Volunteers in the GLOW counties were invited to a virtual meeting on December 16 and we shared this news with them at that time. Please know our goal is to maintain a physical presence in Batavia. In the meantime, we would like your input on a new Batavia Office space and you can take the survey here. Thank you.



Renewal Incentive Distribution!

We are finally starting to receive our shipments of GS-branded face masks from GSUSA! We are currently sorting through over 7,000 masks and patches. Troop packets will be delivered to SU’s starting in January and troops will be informed by their SUM regarding safe pickup. Troops with only 1 renewal or Juliettes will have incentives mailed to them in January.


What’s better than making new friends and getting free stuff?

Our Grow Your Girl Crew contest is happening right now! Don’t know what it is? When you invite someone to join Girl Scouts, and they do, you automatically get a prize! It’s that simple. For adults, we have an amazing sweatshirt for you and a mask for who you get to join. We have three tiers of prizes for girls, including a patch with  charms, sweatshirt, and Air Pods!

Click here to learn more about what you can win and how to enter!


Higher Awards Extension Deadline

While the GSUSA deadline for Bronze and Silver Awards has been extended to 12/31/2020, we do not expect you to worry about submitting paperwork over the holidays. Please submit as soon as possible in the new year. Please contact girl.experience@gswny.org if you have additional concerns or if you need to discuss a further extension. We want to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to earn the higher awards.


Are you participating in the online Cookie Program? 

As a reminder, girls who sell 24 packages online will earn the #Buzzz Online patch. 

Questions about the Cookie Program? Visit our Cookie Page for additional resources and support.

New: Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team

Starting the first week of January, our Product Program Team is going live weekly to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 

You’re invited to join them Friday, January 8, at 10 a.m. as they welcome everyone to the 2021 Cooke Program, discuss our new cookie, show how to send e-cards with direct ship options, how to register, and more!

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand.


New Outdoor Opportunities!


Shop Online Now! GSUSA has 30% off holiday bundles and continued free standard shipping thru December 31, 2020.


Resume, Interview, and Job Seeking Basics for Seniors and Ambassadors
January 6, 6:30-7:30 via Zoom


Are you going to be looking for a job soon? Are you curious what it takes to apply for a job? Learn how to stand out from the other job seekers! You will also learn how to create/build your resume, get tips on job seeking, interview skills, and dressing for success. Program Facilitator Kathy Reisenweber is an expert on this topic—come learn from the best!

Supplies needed: Pen & paper

REGISTER NOW


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. 

Badge in a Box Clear Out!

This is the last chance to get the boxes currently available in limited quantities, as they won’t be available after the New Year. The Daisy Outdoor Art Maker, Junior Independence, Cadette Special Agent, Senior Space Science Expert, Ambassador Programming Robots, and Democracy boxes are now only $5.

The boxes will be available for curbside pick-up at the Buffalo, Rochester, Lockport, and Jamestown Service Centers. Please fill out the following survey, and be sure to include the number of Girl Scouts in your troop that will need kits.  Request your Badge in a Box today!

Looking for more options? Head to girlscouts.org for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Juliette Girl Scouts from Amherst Gabriella McCann and Patricia Fuller (not pictured) recently organized a neighborhood Winter Warmth Drive for children in need at Windermere Blvd. Elementary School. Approximately 50 hat and glove sets were donated. December happens to be Empathy Month for students and staff at the school.


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 customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

Member Essentials – 12/15/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

Thank you for your patience as we work on our upgraded membership system VS 2.0. We apologize as there may be a slight delay in our Customer Care Team’s response time as we adjust to the new workflow. We always strive to give the very best customer service to each of you and want you to know how important you are to us.

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



Are you participating in the online Cookie Program? 

Cookie ordering has been open for 10 days so far! As a reminder, girls who sell 24 packages online will earn the #Buzzz Online patch. 

Questions about the Cookie Program? Visit our Cookie Page for additional resources and support.

New: Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team

Starting the first week of January, our Product Program Team is going live weekly to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 
You’re invited to join them Wednesday, January 6, at 1 p.m. as they welcome everyone to the 2021 Cooke Program, discuss our new cookie, show how to send e-cards with direct ship options, how to register, and more!

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand.


  • Cheddar Up is an on-line account payment platform, Troops can continue to collect funds via cash and check.
  • As of the 2021-2022 membership year, Cheddar Up will be the only approved on-line payment platform to be used by GSWNY troops.
  • Each collection page (including cookies and the Fall Sale) created provides an option for you to record the receipt of on-line payment, cash and checks to keep a full accounting of all payments made to the troop.

Council has received a number of questions and the Cheddar Up FAQ has the answers to many of them. We highly encourage you to please follow the FAQ link and take time to review it.

What do I need to do to start using Cheddar Up?

  • Get started by creating your FREE Cheddar up account.  Just follow the instructions you receive in your Welcome email from Cheddar Up. Didn’t receive the Welcome email? (Check your junk/spam folders!) Contact Cheddar Up Support at friendlysupport@cheddarup.com . Give them your first and last name, GSWNY Troop # and email.  Make sure you only create your account using the link in this welcome email, because it will give you access to perks (free monthly subscription plans!) and special tools specific to GSWNY. Once your account set-up is complete, you are ready to dig in and set up your collections.

If you don’t see the information you are looking for, have additional questions, or need help:

Schedule a live chat 9-5 pm, M-F: https://my.cheddarup.com/contact


Girl Scouts: We want to hear from you!

Photo taken prior to March 2020. Girl Scouts in East Side YMCA Afterschool Troop

We are looking for 6 girls to join the Recruitment Team for a Facebook Live conversation. Are you having a good Girl Scout Troop experience that you want to share? Is your troop meeting virtually? Have you completed a badge? Have you completed a community service project? If you answered yes to any of these questions, are a current Daisy-Cadette Girl Scout and have a story to share please complete the survey below and a member of the GSWNY Recruitment Team will contact you about joining an upcoming Facebook Live Conversation on your experience.

GIRL SCOUT EXPERIENCE SURVEY


Retail Item of the Week: GSWNY Ornament

For this week only, our GSWNY Ornament is on sale for $8! Check out this refined wooden ornament that is the perfect addition to your holiday decorations! This ornament is made of Birchwood with wood-burned border with the GSWNY acronym.

Do you have a crafty Girl Scout? This is a perfect ornament to paint and decorate together, too! The ornament measures 2.75″ x 3.5″ and has a red satin ribbon for easy hanging. Email your local shop today to set up a time/date for Curbside Pickup.

How to Order:

  1. Place your order via email by emailing the shop location you want to pick it up from. Include a daytime phone number for the shop staff to contact you.
  2. Await confirmation from the shop staff that your order is complete with the total amount due.
  3. Make payment via debit or credit card and choose pick up day and time with retail staff during confirmation call. Current Pick up hours: Monday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM & Wednesday 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
  4. Arrive at scheduled location on pick up day and time.

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. 

New Patch Challenge: GSWNY Feeds New York

Help fight hunger in our community while earning the GSWNY Feeds NY Challenge Patch. Be part of this council-wide effort to combat hunger through knowledge, awareness and support of our local food banks. Have fun completing these activities and sharing the results. 

DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST

Badge in a Box Clear Out!

This is the last chance to get the boxes currently available in limited quantities, as they won’t be available after the New Year. The Daisy Outdoor Art Maker, Junior Independence, Cadette Special Agent, Senior Space Science Expert, Ambassador Programming Robots, and Democracy boxes are now only $5.

The boxes will be available for curbside pick-up at the Buffalo, Rochester, Lockport, and Jamestown Service Centers. Please fill out the following survey, and be sure to include the number of Girl Scouts in your troop that will need kits.  Request your Badge in a Box today!

Looking for more options? Head to girlscouts.org for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Troop 30711 was recognized on 11-23-20 as “Citizens of the Month” by Erie County, NY and Legislator Joseph Lorigo.  Last year, the Troop joined with other Troops in East Aurora to dedicate a Tiny Library in honor of Patricia Whittington, a volunteer leader and former Girl Scout who had just celebrated her 50th Anniversary as a volunteer and member of the Girl Scouts family.

Troop 30711 pivoted to meet the needs of the community and transformed it into a Tiny Pantry for use by families struggling through the pandemic. Sophia Benzin was also recognized for her work making children’s masks for local hospitals. Congratulations to Troop members Sophia Benzin, Nicole Koch, Ashlyn Houghton, and Bethany Francis. Thank you to Troop co-leaders Julie Benzin and Erin Francis.


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 customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

GSWNY Family Newsletter – December 2020

Distance Learning During Coronavirus School Closures

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has turned the world as we know it upside down, to say the least. Millions of families are trying to keep the learning alive at home amid virus-related school closures—even while they attempt to adjust to their own work-from-home realities, stock up on household essentials, and do everything in their power to keep their loved ones healthy. Frankly? It’s a lot.

The good news is that even though you’re social distancing (staying in when possible and keeping at least six feet away from those not in your household), you’re absolutely not alone in this struggle. We talked to a few teachers who’ve been there, done that, and they had some amazingly practical advice for how everyday families can get through this difficult time.

READ MORE

Holiday activities for your family

It’s undeniable that 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, but that doesn’t mean it needs to dampen our holiday spirit. Even though activities may look differently this year, the holidays are still a perfect opportunity to spend time with your family and spread cheer to others.

READ MORE

Girl Scout Cyrene and her family recently rented Manuel Lodge at Camp Seven Hills

Family Property Rentals are now available

For a limited time, we are opening our property rentals to private households at the Girl Scout rate. COVID-19 guidelines have affected the number of girls and troops who have been able to rent our properties, and we want to ensure that girls still have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our properties with their families. You can read the FAQs here.

VISIT FAMILY PAGE

The Online Cookie Program is happening now

The Online Cookie Program is happening now We are more than a week into our online sales! If you have questions, use the button below to find resources for cookie sellers. We also have a recorded training for parents/guardians (password: BEAMAZING).

LEARN MORE

Keep your family safe while going virtual!

Upcoming Girl Scout Programs

Programs are marked by level: Daisies/Brownies/Juniors/Cadettes/Seniors/Ambassadors

CodeCampKidz – Think Like a Programmer Online Journey – J/C/S Dec. 1 – Dec. 31
Virtually Outdoors: Knot Tying 101 – D/B/J/C/S/A Tuesday, Jan. 5 | 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Resume, Interview, and Job Seeking Basics – S/A Wednesday, Jan. 6 | 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Healthy People, Healthy Planet – A Saturday, Jan. 9 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Championship Martial Arts 716 – D Sunday, Jan. 10 | 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Coding Basics with Innova Girls Academy – J/C Monday, Jan. 11 | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Virtually Outdoors: Hiking & Leave No Trace – D/B/J/C/S/A Wednesday, Jan. 13 | 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Digital Game Design – S Saturday, Jan. 16 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Wondermakers Star Spangled Tales D/B Saturday, Jan. 16 | 11:00 AM – 11:35 AM
Meghan’s Tasty Treats Cupcake Decorating Class – C/S/A Sunday, Jan. 17 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Collage Artist – S/A Tuesday, Jan. 19 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Coding Basics with Innova Girls Academy – J/C Wednesday, Jan. 20 | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The programs listed above are available as of December 10, 2020. All programs are virtual unless otherwise noted. To view more programs, visit gswny.org.

Fall Foliage Photo Contest 2020

The results are in! Congratulations to our winners below and thank you to everyone who participated in our Fall Foliage Contest.

There are three categories for both Girl and Adult Submissions: Best Fall Composition, Best Fall Foliage, and Best Fall Family Portrait/Selfie. Winners will be receiving their prizes in the mail. The winners are…

Girl Winners:

Best Fall Composition: Scarlett Mecca

Best Fall Foliage: Vivian Wegman

Best Fall Family Portrait/Selfie: Jazmyn Norrod

Adult Winners:

Best Fall Composition: Molly Wegman

Best Fall Foliage: Stephanie Nickles

Best Fall Family Portrait/Selfie: Jan Covino

Member Essentials – 12/8/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

As promised last week, we are including updates to our COVID-19 guidelines for the yellow, orange and red zones. We continue to review and assess GSWNY guidelines based on CDC, NYS and county guidelines.

The major change is that we have updated our orange zone restrictions. Effective 12-8-20, in-person meetings and programs can now occur in a county with orange zone designation, but the size must be limited to 10 people or less.

Please see the updated COVID-19 guidelines and the updated COVID-19 FAQs for more information.   

As always, in-person activities are optional, and virtual and at-home programs are the safest way to participate in Girl Scouting. Any in-person activities must follow safety guidelines.

Thank you for all that you do to keep Girl Scouting available for our girls. We hope that you and your family have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

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


Family Property Rentals

For a limited time, we are opening our property rentals to private households at the Girl Scout rate.  COVID-19 guidelines have affected the number of girls and troops who have been able to rent our properties, and we want to ensure that girls still have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our properties with their families. Here are some FAQs for families about renting our properties. 

How do I make a reservation? Go to our Camp Property Rental page to find available accommodations and reserve your space. Be sure to choose the Girl Scout rates. 

What is a private household? Private households encompass anyone who you regularly live with. Groups cannot exceed 10 people and should not mix multiple households. 

Who can attend? Each private household must include at least one registered Girl Scout. 

What are the accommodations like? Each of our heated buildings includes a kitchen space and beds with mattresses. Families will need to bring food, cookware and bedding. 

What about insurance? Anyone who is not a registered Girl Scout will need non Girl Scout insurance. After booking your space, our Customer Care team will work with you to purchase the insurance. The minimum fee is $5. 

Where can we go? Family Property Rentals are available at all four of our camp properties. We’re currently taking these specific reservations until May 1st, 2021. 

What are the COVID-19 guidelines? Private households do not have to wear masks while in their reserved cabin. However, we do ask that you wear masks while out on the trail, in case you run into others. All accommodations include hand sanitizer and cleaners. In addition to leaving the space clean, we require that all groups sanitize surfaces upon departure.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Care team at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.


Girl Scouts: We want to hear from you!

We are looking for 6 girls to join the Recruitment Team for a Facebook Live conversation. Are you having a good Girl Scout Troop experience that you want to share? Is your troop meeting virtually? Have you completed a badge? Have you completed a community service project? If you answered yes to any of these questions, are a current Daisy-Cadette Girl Scout and have a story to share please complete the survey below and a member of the GSWNY Recruitment Team will contact you about joining an upcoming Facebook Live Conversation on your experience.

GIRL SCOUT EXPERIENCE SURVEY


VS 2.0 Updates

Great News: We’re Live! Our refreshed Girl Scout member account management system is LIVE and we’re so excited! Over the last couple of weeks Girl Scouts has been busy making updates to My GS to make it easier than ever to manage your household’s Girl Scout memberships and keep track of your Girl Scout experiences. To get started, you’ll need to reset your account password.

To help, Girl Scouts will be sending a special email to members and household account managers containing a link to reset your Girl Scout account password. Look for the email to arrive sometime today, if it hasn’t already. Once you receive your email, simply click on the Reset Password link, follow the steps provided, and you’ll be all set to begin exploring Girl Scouts’ new member portal! Can’t find the email? We understand. Emails can land in Junk folders or simply get lost in today’s crowded inboxes. You can still get started. From the council’s website, www.gswny.org , click on My GS and follow the system provided prompts and guidance.

Of course, if you have any trouble, be sure to reach out to Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410 (hours listed below) and we’ll be happy to support and welcome you to our refreshed Girl Scout member platform!

  • 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 1-2) 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

Professional Zoom Licenses for Troops

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.

REQUEST ZOOM LICENSE


Retail Item of the Week: Stocking Stuffers & Holiday Gifts for your Girl Scout!

The Holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to fill those stockings! Check out these items that are perfect for the holidays and are sure to put a smile on the Girl Scout in your life’s face!

  • GSWNY Knit Pom-Pom Hat – $23
  • Trefoil Antibacterial Door Opener – $5
  • GSWNY Girl Scout Strong Pencil – $.50
  • Mini Trefoil Notebook – $4
  • GSWNY Girl Scout Strong Water Bottle – $20

Remember, your local Girl Scout Shop is open for CURBSIDE PICKUP ONLY. Please email your local shop with your order and we will call you back for payment and to schedule a pickup time.

How to Order:

  1. Place your order via email by emailing the shop location you want to pick it up from. Include a daytime phone number for the shop staff to contact you.
  2. Await confirmation from the shop staff that your order is complete with the total amount due.
  3. Make payment via debit or credit card and choose pick up day and time with retail staff during confirmation call. Current Pick up hours: Monday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM & Wednesday 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
  4. Arrive at scheduled location on pick up day and time.

Last week the invitation went out to all Co-leaders and Service Unit Finance Consultants and it looked like this….Did you get yours?

If you haven’t received your Cheddar Up invitation (don’t forget to check your junk mail!) please reach out to your Service Unit Finance Consultant and let her know. She will work with the Volunteer Experience Manager to insure an invitation gets sent to you.

Click this link to receive more information Cheddar Up GSWNY FAQ


Call All Seniors and Ambassadors with Holiday Spirit!

Join Scrooge, The Grinch, and all the other bah-hum-buggers as we take some of my (and hopefully your) favorite winter song classics and create new and funny singalongs. Bring your vocals, bring your lyrics, bring your ideas, or just bring your ears as we transform “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” into “Got Another Splinter in my Hand” and many more.

Wednesday, December 16, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Click here to register!


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. 

Looking for more options? Head to girlscouts.org for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Troop 31262 spent time during their virtual meeting making holiday cards to send to a local nursing home! 


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 customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

Happy Holidays from the GSWNY Summer Camp Team

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Siblings, and Friends: 


Camping has always been a long standing tradition in Girl Scouts were girls can get outdoors to reconnect and embrace the wonders of nature. To explore and experience Camps: Endless Summer Adventures.

This holiday season, you can give your girl the unforgettable gift of Girl Scout camp, no matter what it looks like. Whether it’s alternative programming or in-person camp, this is a present she’s sure to love. She’ll get a week making new friends, trying new things, expanding her knowledge, and having fun throughout it all. These are just a few of the things Girl Scout camp has to offer.

It’s more than just a week spent at camp–you’re also helping her build courage, confidence, and character, and empowering her to learn skills that last a lifetime. Purchase a Camp Gift Certificate* and give the gift of joy to your favorite girl. Camp Gift Certificates can be purchased in any amount by calling 1-888-837-6410 or by stopping in to any of our service centers.

The 2021 Summer Camp Catalog goes live January 12, 2021, at www.gswny.org and will outline all of our overnight and day camp options at our four camps – Camp Timbercrest, Camp Seven Hills, Camp Piperwood and Camp Windy Meadows. Check it out to see all of the coming excitement!

Alternative Camp: At GSWNY we know how important it is for girls to have a wonderful summer camp experience. We also want to assure you that we have every intention of operating summer camp 2021 in person. However, if the need should arise, we will be prepared to provide your girls with an amazing alternative camp program. Additional information about alternative camp programming can be found on our website at gswny.org.   

Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season and peace, happiness and prosperity in the coming year!

Yours In Scouting, 
The Girl Scouts of Western New York Summer Camp Team

*Certificates are non-refundable and are redeemable during registration time in January 2021.


Please note: Our offices are closed the following dates:
Wednesday, December 23 (at 3 p.m.) through Friday, January 1.
Normal business hours resume Monday, January 4, 2021.

To see all our business hours, click here.

Get your Girl Scout cookies for Christmas 2020

Today’s the big day! Place an online order with your local Girl Scout! Don’t know a Girl Scout? Please customercare@gswny.org and we’ll assist you!

Think Outside the Cookie Box

Inside: Delicious cookies for you
Outside: Amazing experiences for girls 

What’s inside the box is super tasty, but it’s the amazing experiences that happen outside the cookie box that make Girl Scout Cookies® extra special.

When you make a Girl Scout Cookie purchase, you’re helping the next generation of young female entrepreneurs get an important taste of what it takes to be successful—teamwork, planning, and a positive outlook (and that’s just the beginning).

Because proceeds from your purchase stay local, you help the awesome entrepreneurs who sell Girl Scout Cookies in your community power new experiences for themselves and their troop.

When you support her success through the Girl Scout Cookie Program®, you’re narrowing the entrepreneurship gap between women and men by nurturing that go-getter spirit early on and equipping her with the confidence and know-how to dream big and do bigger.  

Your cookie purchase is an investment in the world-changing business leaders of tomorrow!

Holiday activities for your family

It’s undeniable 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, but that doesn’t mean it needs to dampen our holiday spirit. Even though they make look different this year, the holidays are still a perfect opportunity to spend time with your family and spread cheer to others.

Here are some ideas for your family to enjoy the season while remaining safe and healthy:

Share family memories and traditions over Zoom

You may not be gathering in person, but you can still reminisce about years past and annual traditions with your extended family. Schedule a time to gather together virtually and consider playing games or making similar snacks to bring you all together in spirit.

Make homemade gifts and cards together

Whether you’re making cards to send to friends and family or baking cookies to package for your delivery people, there are so many ways to create handmade presents that leave hearts aglow. Even better, there’s an option for every skill and age level! It doesn’t matter if your family are craft masters or just entering the world of DIY, there are options for you.

Drive around and look at the Christmas lights

Whether it’s an official display or enthusiastic neighbors, there are likely ways to enjoy the holiday nights in your neighborhood. Load up your car, put on some of your favorite holiday tunes, and enjoy the twinkling displays.

Find ways to give back

Even if you can’t volunteer in person, there are many ways to give back to others this holiday season. Consider donating old toys and clothes to local organizations, purchasing meals for a food pantry, sending cards to a nursing home, and making monetary donations to charity.

Do random acts of kindness together

Spread your cheer to the world around you by engaging your family with small acts of kindness. Pay for the food or beverages of the people behind you, hold the door, and let a person or car go ahead of you. In a season that can be busy and stressful, your family can focus on bringing some light to someone else.

Bake together

Baking is another activity that can be very simple or complex, depending on where you fall. You can make sugar cookies from scratch or purchase ready-to-bake dough from the store and then spend time as a family decorating. Not only is this wonderful time together, you get a delicious treat at the end.

What traditions does your family have? Send your stories and photos to communications@gswny.org!

Member Essentials – 12/1/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family last week.

We appreciate your flexibility and diligence with following COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of our girls, volunteers and staff. We are continuing to assess the recent yellow and orange zone regulations in our WNY regions and we will be sharing updated information next week in Tuesday’s Member Essentials on December 8.

In the meantime, please continue to refer to our current COVID 19 guidelines and FAQs.

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


GSWNY is holding a Girl Scout Cookie training for troops TONIGHT!

This was previously shared and for those who can’t attend, the recording will be made available by Thursday, December 3 on GSWNY’s website under Cookies+ in the resources section.  

REGISTER FOR TONIGHT’S COOKIE TRAINING

Create moments of joy this holiday season!

We’re opening our online Cookie Program this Saturday, December 5th, which means you can get Girl Scout cookies in time for the holidays!

While social distancing measures may continue to keep families and friends apart, cookie customers will be able to stay connected this season through a gift box option that ships directly to their family and friends via the Smart Cookie online platform.

All cookies will be available for $5 a package.

Consumers will delight in knowing their cookie purchase is an investment in girl leadership in WNY. With every sale, the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls to think like entrepreneurs as they run their small businesses and learn lifelong skills, like goal setting, people skills, and decision—making, which are imperative for any leadership role.


Volunteer of Excellence: GSWNY Adult Recognition Award Monthly Highlight

For the month of December we will explore the Volunteer of Excellence Pin. This is a great award to give as we think about this season of giving! The Volunteer of Excellence is similar to the Appreciation Pin, but is awarded at the Service Unit level, not the council level. This award is approved by your Service Unit Adult Recognition Coordinator or Service Unit Adult Recognition Committee. There is no set deadline to submit a nomination – so it can be given at any time!

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Cyber Monday Week Sale! Exclusive Preview!

From Monday, November 30, to Friday, December 4, we are offering all PLUSH for only $9.95!

Every Girl Scout wants to hang out with the cutest plush around! These huggable plush buddies have a rainbow pattern with “Girl Scouts” embroidery and are perfect to fill every girl’s stocking.

Plush includes: Sloth, Monkey, Narwhal, Lion and Unicorn.

ORDER ONLINE


VS 2.0 System Upgrade Updates

We’re excited because on Sunday, December 6, the new VS 2.0 Go-Live is anticipated to take place! At the time of Go-Live, the system will begin processing 1.8 million member accounts which will start the process to send the “We’re Live!” email to all members who migrated with a unique email address. Accounts are processed in random batches meaning that all council members will not receive their reactivation email at the same time. Emails will be sent in batches, which will continue through Monday December 7.

Starting November 18 at 11:59 PM EST, Girl Scouts began system-wide updates that will temporarily pause access to myGS including your member profile and the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) for approximately 2-3 weeks. Please watch for an email from Girl Scouts in early December announcing the debut of our refreshed member account management system as well as updated login information and instructions for accessing your account.

During system downtime: To continue the fun with your Girl Scout(s) during this time, visit our national Girl Scouts at Home page here  for badge and Journey activities, service projects, patches, and event recordings that you can use either in-person or virtually. Visit our GSWNY Troop Leader Blueprint for additional resources here. You can also visit the Girl Scout Shop for printed or downloadable program materials by badge and Journey.

Pop-Up Message: After Login to myGS or VTK – example can be seen in the image to the right.

Given the momentary system updates, if a member or non-member has any trouble joining or renewing their membership online, please use this special digital form here  and a Customer Care representative will be in touch or call 1-888-837-6410. Thank you.


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. 


Virtual Girl Scout Badges with the Buffalo Zoo

Dates available throughout 2020 with programs for different Girl Scout levels.

Each badge includes:

  • Animal demonstrations
  • Exclusive live views of animal exhibits at the zoo
  • Badge-related discussions and activities.

Is your troop interested in a badge that’s not listed? Contact us at lthibault@buffalozoo.org and we can set up a custom badge for your group of 10 or more girls.

LEARN MORE


Daisies from Troop 70720 during a Kidding Around Yoga session from October

Looking for more options? Head to girlscouts.org for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Girl Scout Troop 60755-Millwheel (612) collected for a food drive for the Penfield Food Shelf on November 14, 2020. They gave out flyers the week before and picked up today while being socially distant!


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 customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

Volunteer of Excellence: GSWNY Adult Recognition Award Monthly Highlight – December 2020

For the month of December we will explore the Volunteer of Excellence Pin. This is a great award to give as we think about this season of giving! The Volunteer of Excellence is similar to the Appreciation Pin, but is awarded at the Service Unit level, not the council level. This award is approved by your Service Unit Adult Recognition Coordinator or Service Unit Adult Recognition Committee. There is no set deadline to submit a nomination – so it can be given at any time!

Volunteer of Excellence is an opportunity to recognize volunteers who have contributed outstanding service in support of mission delivery to girl and adult members at a troop or Service Unit level.

What’s a Volunteer of Excellent look like? Carrie took over for five older girls who wanted to stay in Girl Scouts when their former co-leader decided to step down. She encouraged and helped three of her girls to complete their Silver Award and now is encouraging them to complete their Gold Awards. Carrie is an active member of the Service Team and is always willing to help with activities that supports girls. In this example, Carrie is definitely a Volunteer of Excellence!

To earn the Volunteer of Excellence pin, a fellow volunteer must nominate the awardee and one peer reference is needed to endorse the nomination. Download and complete the nomination form, located on the Adult Recognition page of our website, and submit it your Service Unit team. Celebrate the recipients of the Volunteer of Excellence award at Service Unit leaders’ meeting, awards ceremony, or other Service Unit function. Council will acknowledge all awardees in print at our Annual Recognition Event. Remember to submit a complete list of awardees in your Service Unit to Council prior to May 1.

Why is recognizing volunteers so important? Volunteers need to feel appreciated and know that they are having an impact on the community in which they serve. The result is volunteer retention! When volunteers feel appreciated and important, they are more likely to feel connected to the program and continue their involvement. There are several reasons to recognize and celebrate those involved in service: to highlight their achievements, to educate and inspire others, and simply to have fun!

For more information about the Volunteer of Excellence Pin, and all other GSWNY adult awards, please read our Adult Awards and Recognitions Quick Guide or check out our Adult Recognition web page. You can always reach out to a member of the Volunteer Experience team for more information! Connect with us by emailing volunteer@gswny.org. Thank you for all that you do!