Member Essentials

Member Essentials 9/21/21

Notes from the CEO

Dear GSWNY Members,

GSWNY has been so fortunate to have the leadership of Debbie Whais, our CFO, who has served our WNY council and legacy council of Buffalo and Erie County for over 21 years. Please join me in congratulating Debbie on her upcoming retirement in January 2022.

Debbie has provided financial expertise as a Certified Public Account and Chartered Global Management Accountant to ensure excellent fiscal budget management and oversight throughout her time at Girl Scouts. Debbie’s leadership was especially paramount during the merger of our four legacy councils where she oversaw the uniting and creation of new budgets, staff systems, finance policies and procedures, as well as ensuring GSWNY’s fiscal stability during the pandemic.

In addition to her financial oversight, Debbie is a true champion of Girl Scouts with a strong passion for building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. I want to thank Debbie for her many years of service to GSWNY – she will always have a special place in our hearts. Debbie is superb in her field, and she is most recognized for listening to and valuing the feedback of her colleagues, the board, volunteers, and girls to make the best business decisions to ensure that Girl Scouts is not only in great fiscal shape to serve the needs of girls for the present, but for years to come.

We thank Debbie and congratulate her on her retirement, and we are now undergoing an executive search for GSWNY’s next Chief Financial Officer. GSWNY is partnering with FinancialPeople Staffing for the search. FinancialPeople Staffing is an affiliate of CP Staffing Solutions, a 51-year recruiting firm with main offices in Williamsville.

From an Executive Recruiting Experience standpoint, FinancialPeople Staffing has five recruiting professionals covering the Buffalo/WNY market with a combined total of over 70 years of Accounting and Executive Finance leadership recruitment experience.

Todd Callen, Senior Recruiting Manager, will be the point of contact for this recruitment engagement. Todd brings 17 years of debits and credits experience from his own Accounting career (including 13 years in the nonprofit sector) prior to joining FinancialPeople Staffing in 2006.

If you are interested or know of anyone who may be interested in this role, please submit your resume to Todd at for consideration. All available job openings at GSWNY can be found at

Thank you, and we wish you a wonderful retirement Debbie!


Don’t forget to renew your membership!

The official Girl Scouting year ends Thursday, September 30. Please renew your membership before the new year begins October 1. How to renew:

  1. Visit to register for the next year online
  2. Contact Customer Care for assistance at 1-888-837-6410 or

Attend our Welcome Back event this Saturday (details below)

Council Updates

Welcome Back + Join Saturday—September 25
The 2022 Membership Year is just around the corner! Help us celebrate by stopping by any of our service centers on Saturday, September 25, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for our Welcome Back + Join Saturday. To start the year off right, we are offering:

  • Renew or join on the spot if you haven’t already
  • 10% discount on all retail purchases except clearance items (in store or curbside pickup arranged for that day)
  • Info on packaged/ready-to-go programming to make this year even easier
  • Details on Fall Product and Cookie Sale + samples of the new Adventurefuls cookie (while supplies last; first come first served)
  • If you qualified, last chance pickup for Spring Renewal lunchbags!

Just for stopping by you’ll be entered to win some fun prizes, including a Badge in a Box set for your whole troop! We’ve also got some random freebies and extra supplies for the taking.

Can’t stop by but need some help getting renewed or other Girl Scout support? Customer Care will be available that day 9 a.m. to noon–give us a call at 1-888-837-6410 or email

Girl Scout Spirit Day
Help us kick off the Girl Scouting year with a Spirit Day on Friday, October 1! Show off your Girl Scout spirit by wearing your uniform and/or Girl Scout clothes and accessories to school and work! Make sure you take and share a photo before heading out for the day so we can celebrate our Girl Scout spirit together!

Programs & Events

Program Partner: Buffalo Beauts
Visit and use the promo code GSWNY22! Stay tuned for more information regarding GSWNY Day on January 9, 2022. LEARN MORE>>>

Program on Demand: Lollypop Farm
Lollypop Farm is excited to offer brand-new Girl Scout workshops. Each workshop includes a unique, hands-on, behind-the-scenes experience. During the two-hour program, Girl Scouts will explore the shelter on a guided tour, get up close and personal with an animal friend, complete a mini service project, and fulfill the requirements needed to earn one of four Girl Scout animal-themed badges.

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!

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 >>>

Our GSWNY Ropes Courses are Now Open!

Do you like a challenge? Are you an adventurous person? Do you love the outdoors? Then you will love our rope challenge courses located at Camp Seven Hills and Camp Piperwood.

Starting this October troops and or families can now reserve and utilize our ropes challenge courses. Simply complete the GSWNY Ropes Course Challenge Application and submit it to Once received our ropes course coordinator will reach out to you to confirm details of your program selection.

Trained ropes course facilitators will guide you through our courses and all COVID safety guidelines/protocols will be followed. For additional questions on our ropes course programs, please reach out to Customer Care at


Recruitment materials now available! 
When you’re looking to host an event or recruit more girls, we have resources for you! More resources are being added, so check back soon. DOWNLOAD FLYERS >>>

Product Program

Troop leaders: Pre-Order your Gluten-Free Cookies today
Girl Scouts of Western New York will offer a gluten-free Girl Scout Cookie again this year. Troops must let us know of their intent to participate in advance of our normal ordering and selling period.

Pre-order is required by ABC Bakers due to the special requirements of gluten-free products. If your troop would like to order Gluten-Free Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies, please submit your order by October 22, 2021. Payment will be due in March at the same time as all other varieties. PRE-ORDER NOW >>>


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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