Member Essentials

Member Essentials 9/7/21

Notes from the CEO

Hello GSWNY members,

It is September which means schools are back and we are excited for another great Girl Scouting year.

I could never have imagined in March 2020 that we would still be in the pandemic and I am proud of how at Girl Scouts of WNY we have all come together with the same goal to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Our staff and volunteers have been working extremely hard to provide quality programming in line with safety standards to make sure we are here for our girls. Thank you for all that you do!

I was heartened by visiting girls this year and seeing their smiles, their kindness, and their service to community – some in zoom or google meetings, some in person at our Gold Award ceremonies, at summer camp across our four camp properties, and at Service Unit events.

Many experts have been citing concerns about how youth are being affected by the continued isolation and disruption of the pandemic, and at Girl Scouts we are part of the solution – to help give girls a strong foundation, surrounded by a supportive sisterhood, led by caring mentors, and participating in activities that help build social, emotional and leadership skills. Being part of Girl Scouts has been a big support to me as well, and our mission is a guiding light for me, as I know it is for so many.

In this issue of Member Essentials we have the updated COVID-19 guidelines and Volunteer Essentials for MY 2022—please read below for those and for important council updates.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of Girl Scouts—together we are providing something crucial for girls – you make a difference!


Council Updates

Welcome Back + Join Saturday—September 25
We’re excited to press play on another Girl Scout year, and we hope you are too! To celebrate, we’re hosting a Welcome Back + Join Saturday in all of our service centers (yes, Lockport and Jamestown too!) on Saturday, September 25, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Stop by to enjoy a 10% discount on your retail purchase, explore some of our program offerings, and check out the details on this year’s Fall Product and Cookie Programs–even sample the new Adventureful cookies (while supplies last). We’ll have giveaways and drawings just for stopping in. It’s also your last chance to pick up your Spring Renewal lunch bags if you qualified!

See the flyer for complete details–hope to see you then!

P.S. Don’t worry if you’re attending Skills and Chills that weekend–you’ll get the same discount at the event mobile shop, plus giveaways too!

It’s the last month of On-Time Renewal!
Our Girl Scout year begins October 1, which means you have just over three weeks to renew your membership if you haven’t already. Don’t forget—the sooner you renew, the more chances for prizes! LEARN MORE AND RENEW >>>

Get your gsZoom license today
Keeping your Girl Scouts inspired from home? We’ve got you and your virtual meetings covered! Zoom licenses are now available through the Girl Scout Shop. It’s never been easier to stay connected and keep the fun going with your troop, no matter where everyone is. ORDER TODAY >>>

Programs & Events

GSUSA Digital Leadership Programs
More time online = greater need for understanding online safety. Is your Girl Scout ready to use digital tools and make the world a better place? RSVP for our NEW virtual events hosted with Instagram. Spots are filling up QUICKLY! 

Program on Demand: Helmer Nature Center
Helmer Nature Center utilizes the natural world as a classroom in order to provide practical, integrated learning opportunities, foster environmental awareness, and promote the concept of global stewardship and lifelong learning. We offer fun, hands-on learning experiences to Girl Scout troops. Girl Scouts of all ages can earn badges, enjoy the outdoors, and practice new skills. Programs include team building, Eight Basic Outdoor Skills, Skill Builder Badges, Snowshoeing, Maple Sugaring, Nature Hike, and Animal Presentation.

Our Programs on Demand (POD) provide additional Girl Scout experience opportunities for girls and troops throughout our nine counties. These businesses and organizations feature programs designed to appeal to a wide array of interests, including STEM, art, animals, and many more. Even better, you work directly with these collaborators to determine the specific program and date that fits your schedule. Visit to learn more!

Girl Scout Day with Waste Management—October 11
Ryan Guerra and Tina Stevens from Monroe County will give a brief presentation on the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – to help you to help Monroe County and Waste Management keep materials out of the landfill. You’ll hear an update on the latest recycling information for Monroe County, learn how to make up the recycling bin at your home, and get a brief overview of the County’s Ecopark for hard-to-recycle items. LEARN MORE >>>

Camp & Outdoors

Skills and Chills at Camp Seven Hills—September 24-26
It’s that time of year again! Skills and Chills, our yearly competition that gives Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts the opportunity to test their outdoor abilities and earn awards, is scheduled for September 24-26. Girls face off in events such as one girl saw, jack knife safety, orienteering, archery, kayaking, fire building, tent pitching and more! LEARN MORE AND REGISTER >>>

Girl Scouts Love State Parks—September 11 and 12
Girl Scouts of Western New York is joining GSUSA for the 3rd Annual nationwide initiative to get Girl Scouts outdoors and into our beautiful New York State Parks. Event is FREE. Some parks may have a vehicle use fee to enter the park. Visit to learn and more and register today!


COVID-19 Guidelines Update
Effective September 1, we have new COVID-19 guidelines for in-person Girl Scout meetings and activities. REVIEW THE GUIDELINES >>>

Volunteer Essentials 2021-2022
Volunteer Essentials has been released for the 2022 membership year. Please destroy/delete all previous editions. While there are no substantial policy changes, we encourage you to review for information on:

  • Page 19: Additional guidance on sensitive topics, as well as our procedures for Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment
  • Page 25: Reminder that troops are prohibited from hosting meetings or events in private residences.
  • Beginning Page 32: Updated links and details within the “Girl Scout Cookie Program and the Fall Product Program” chapter
  • Page 50: Reminder to continue to review and comply with current GSWNY COVID-19 guidelines, found on our Safety page.
  • Page 51: Reminder that troops must have a minimum of 2 approved volunteers who are unrelated/not at the same address/not in a significant relationship, at least one of whom is female, who have completed council-required leader training.

In addition, links throughout the document have been updated, and some procedures (such as contact emails, addresses) have been updated, so please refer to the 2021-2022 edition moving forward.


New Shop Hours
Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport & Rochester Shop Hours:

  • Monday 1:00-4:30 Curbside Pickup & In-person Shopping
  • Wednesday 1:00-4:30 Curbside Pickup & In-person Shopping

To place a curbside pickup order, please email the shop location and a retail staff member will call you to confirm your order for payment and schedule your curbside pick-up date and time.


Free Girl Scout lawn signs now available! 
Show off your Girl Scout pride and help spread the word about our program with our FREE “Proud Girl Scout Family” lawn signs. Pick yours up at your local shop today. Hours can be found at

Questions? Please reach out to our Recruitment team at or 1-888-837-6410.

Get Connected to GSWNY

Catch up with past Member Essentials on our blog and make sure you join our Members Group on Facebook for the latest updates. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at or 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.

Renew | Girl Scouting at Home | Volunteer Resources | Work at GSWNY

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