Member Essentials

Member Essentials – 2/2/21

Dear GSWNY Members,

Last week Governor Cuomo lifted the yellow and orange zone COVID-19 restrictions in Western New York.  As of 2-2-21, GSWNY is removing the yellow and orange zone restrictions and returning to COVID-19 guidelines for NYS Phase Four.

We are including updates to our COVID-19 guidelines for Phase Four below.  The biggest change is that the maximum gathering size permitted in NYS is returned to a maximum of 50 people, although keeping gatherings as small as possible is always encouraged.  We continue to review and assess GSWNY guidelines based on CDC, NYS and county guidelines.

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.

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.

GSWNY will be closed Monday, February 15, 2021 in observance of Presidents’ Day. We will reopen on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, to our virtual hours at 11:00 am. You can visit our website at for all council updates or submit an inquiry to any time.

Thank you for all you do!

GSWNY celebrates Black History Month

The Girl Scouts of Western New York are celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Black women who were pioneers in fields that reflect our four program pillars: Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, STEM, and Outdoors. Each week we’ll share a blog post with her story, as well as other information and activities to help you celebrate the month, too!

This week, we selected Sojourner Truth for Life Skills because she exemplified civic engagement, public speaking, writing and communication, and numerous other skills.


You have another month to grow your girl crew and win big!

Because Girl Scouts are having so much fun, we’re extending the deadline! You can now invite girls and adults and have them join through February 28.

We have amazing prizes, including a patch with charms, GSWNY sweatshirt, AirPods, and more! Check out this flyer to see all the rewards. 

Use the button below to learn more about Grow Your Girl Crew and fill out the referral form for your chance to win!


This FREE virtual campfire is open to ALL AGES! Join us for songs, games, and other campfire fun!

Register for the free virtual campfire using the provided link below. The campfire will take place over Zoom on Tue., Feb 16, 2021, from 7-8pm EST. You must be pre-registered for this event by that day to receive the Zoom info to attend.


Invite a friend to our Feb 16 Virtual Campfire event and earn a camp-themed patch!

  • While pre-registering yourself, provide a name and email for a friend who wants to attend as well!
  • The friend can either be a GSWNY member who has never attended any of our summer camp programs before, OR must register for Girl Scouts for the first time on or before Feb. 16, 2021, and participate in the Feb. 16 Virtual Campfire event.
  • Girls may invite up to 3 friends through the pre-registration form. Girls can earn a maximum of one patch (and must currently be a Girl Scout grade K-12 in Western New York). Patch will be mailed by May 1, 2021.


  • Contest open to all girls who are currently a Girl Scout grade K-12 in Western New York OR register for Girl Scouts for the first time after pre-registering for the campfire or after attending the Feb. 16 virtual campfire event.
  • Girls who fit the above criteria will be entered in a random drawing for a week of 2021 summer camp (valued at $380).
  • Week of camp prize may be applied to any 2021 day, resident, troop, or virtual/alternative camp program. Random drawing will take place in April 2021.
  • Winner will be notified by phone and/or email using the information provided on their GSWNY account

Reminder: World Thinking Day is February 22

World Thinking Day is celebrated by over 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world. This year’s theme calls for peace by allowing girls to create peace in their lives and around the world. 

Visit the Girl Scout website for more information and activities for all levels.

World Thinking Day 2021 Patch 

The World Thinking Day 2021 patch is available through our shops. 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.

Buffalo Service Center 716.935.6035 –
Rochester Service Center 585.239.7901 –
Lockport Service Center 716.935.6080 –
Jamestown Service Center 716.935.6040 –

Retail Item of the Week: Cookie Booth Kit

The kit includes: 1 fabric tablecloth, 1 rollabanna roller banner, 1 hand-held sign, 1 money pouch, 50 plastic Thank You bags and all packaged in a tote!

Price: $30

Email your local Girl Scout Shop to order today!

Click here to check out more gear for the cookie season, including the Cookie Booth Kit

The Volunteer Toolkit Finance Tab is Open!

The Troop Financial Activity Report (the T-FAR) is now open on the Volunteer Toolkit on our website! You may begin to enter any financial activity your troop may have had since submitting your 2020 T-FAR. Please remember to utilize Goggle Chrome as your web browser. The T-FAR functionality doesn’t respond well to Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Due to the impact COVID-19 made on deadlines, there were a variety of submissions dates and bank statements submitted in 2020. No worries! The 2021 T-FAR will encompass troop finance activity from your last T-FAR submission to April 30, 2021. The ending balance on your 2020 T-FAR will be automatically populated as the starting balance in the Financial Summary section of the 2021 report.

The on-line 2021 T-FAR submission window is May 1 – June 1, 2021.
Please attach your April 2021 bank statement with your submission.

The 2021 T-FAR Training is also available to you via this link. You can also access this training at two places on our web site. Via FORMS and also by clicking ADULTS/Volunteer Resources. Please take a minute to peruse this training for updates – there are a few. 

Stay tuned for additional information and reminders as we get closer to the submission window. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Service Unit Finance Consultant.

Who is your Troop Treasurer?

Every co-leader on record should have received an email survey asking for the name of your troop’s treasurer. Please help us to gather your finance go-to volunteer for our records and respond to this survey by February 28. Can’t find the email? Here is the link for your convenience. 

Thank you to all who have responded already!

In the past, when we had a finance question we would have to reach out to all co-leaders in the troop. In addition to streamlining our communication, we will be able to ensure the appropriate volunteer receives troop finance information and important updates. The volunteer holding the Troop Treasurer position must be a registered member of GSUSA and have a cleared background check. To the Troop Treasurers – thank you for taking on the role. The proper stewardship of the girl’s funds is key to a successful troop.

Volunteer of Excellence: GSWNY Adult Recognition Award Monthly Highlight – February 2021

This month we will once again explore the Volunteer of Excellence Pin. Because all Council approved formal award nominations were due by February 1, we will spend the rest of the year looking at Service Unit approved adult awards. The 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. READ MORE

Cookie Program Updates

Watch out for Wacky Weather Warrior Days! When Mother Nature decides not to be so nice, we declare it wacky and give you the chance to win a special Cookie Program Survival Kit! 

We’ll share the photo on your Facebook and then you can share your photos from being out in the wacky weather in the comments. Each time we post, we’ll randomly select one winner.

Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team is happening now!

Every Friday at 10 a.m., our Product Program Team is going live to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand. Check out past videos on our YouTube here.

Girl Scouts go to Virtual Med School with the University at Buffalo -C/S/A
Saturday, Feb. 20 |  9:00am – 12:30pm 

Medical students from the University at Buffalo’s DoctHers organization present “Girl Scouts Go to Medical School,” where Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to spend a day in the life of a medical student. Through science-based activities and games, as well as conversations with students and doctors, girls will learn more about career opportunities available within the medical field. 


Looking for more programs? Visit today!

Free Democracy Badge Booklet Downloads for all levels

As we transition to a new era of U.S. leadership, we want to encourage all girls to be informed citizens so they can become the change-makers of the future. Now through February 4, Girl Scouts is making the booklets and requirements for our Democracy badges free for all to download. With this support, girls will learn about their federal, state, and local governments, including how their elected officials make decisions and how they—girls—can make a difference in their communities and the country.


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 Multi-Level Cookie Express Badge in a Box!

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time and what better way to help girls set up and expand their cookie business than with the new Cookie Express Badge in Box! In this box is everything girls need to earn the Daisy Money Counts, Brownie Meet My Customers, or Junior Savvy Shopper badge and is the perfect complement to the Cookie Program. Activities include: Cookie Memory Card Game, Making Change Game, Customer Role Playing, and making Thank You Cards.

Each box is $8. Grant funds are available for some areas of our Council reducing the cost of boxes down to $5.00. If there is not a grant available in your area, members can apply for Council Opportunity Funds.

There are a limited number of boxes available and will be for curbside pick-up only at the Buffalo, Rochester, Lockport, and Jamestown Service Centers. Click here to order your Badge in a Box.

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

Own Your Future Financial Workshop

Thank you to GSWNY Board Member Nicholle Overkamp who is generously offering her Own Your Future Workshop to Girl Scout volunteers for free with the code OWNYOURFUTURE29. Courses included investing, saving, paying down debt, giving back, and more!

Nicholle is the founder and CEO of Wilcox Financial Group and PowHERhouse Money Coaching.

Use the button below and the code OWNYOURFUTURE29 to take her workshop for free!


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Cadette Troop 30697 enjoyed the lodge at Camp Windy Meadows. The girls made comfort toys for dogs at Open Arms Rescue of WNY. They were also excited to get their new Girl Scout-themed masks!

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.

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