Membership Essentials – 4/9/20

Please note that in the interest of providing safe conditions for our girls, volunteers, and staff, all in-person Girl Scout programs are cancelled thru May 31, 2020. Program refunds will be issued within 30 days and if there are any questions, please contact Customer Care at customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.


High Award Updates

GSUSA Extensions

GSUSA is offering a special deadline extension to December 31, 2020 and will continue to re-assess over the next few months: 

Recognizing that many schools, youth activities and community gatherings have been suspended, and that we are navigating a period of rapid change, Girl Scouts is offering a three-month extension from Sept. 30 to December 31, 2020, to provide flexibility for Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors earning Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards. This is particularly relevant for 5th grade Juniors, 8th grade Cadettes, and 12th grade Ambassadors who will bridge to the next program age level officially on September 30, 2020 and typically would be no longer eligible to earn the Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, respectively.

Troop and Girl High Award Support

Reach out to the Girl Experience Team at girl.experience@gswny.org for any questions, guidance, or to request a virtual training.


Watch the Girl Scout Cookie Program Virtual Program Webinar

If you missed Tuesday’s webinar, you can download the slide deck and watch it now.

Watch Webinar

Download the Slide Deck

Updated Cookie Q&A

For more information, please see the March 26 communication about our Cookie Program


Watch Trefoil TV Weekdays at 3:12 p.m. on GSWNY’s Facebook Page

This week, we’re all about one of our program pillars, Life Skills! Make sure you check in every day at 3:12 to catch us live. Can’t make the live broadcast? View all our Trefoil TV videos on FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

Upcoming: Melinda, one of our Placement Specialists, is showing how to make reusable bags out of old t-shirts today on Trefoil TV!

Girl Scouting at Home

Looking for ways to stay involved with Girl Scouts? Check out our Girl Scouting at Home page today!

VISIT GIRL SCOUTING AT HOME PAGE


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

We’re so proud of the great work our Girl Scouts do around Western New York all year long. Check out these examples earlier in the Girl Scout year (all photos taken prior to March 1, 2020).

We are #GirlScoutStrong! Looking forward to talking to you on Tuesday! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

Member Essentials 4-7-20

Visit our Girl Scouting at Home Page Today

We now have a full page on our website dedicated to Girl Scouting at Home! The content is evolving, so keep checking for updates. Also, we love seeing photos about what Girl Scouting at Home looks like for you! Email your photos to communications@gswny.org.

VISIT GIRL SCOUTING AT HOME PAGE

GSWNY Stays@Home Challenge!

While we are social distancing, we can still stay connected! Have fun completing these activities and sharing the results. Grown-ups can share them on social media and tag us so we can all share some Girl Scouting fun! #GSWNYStays@Home

DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST

Watch Trefoil TV Weekdays at 3:12 p.m. on GSWNY’s Facebook Page

This week, we’re all about one of our program pillars, Life Skills! Make sure you check in every day at 3:12 to catch us live. Can’t make the live broadcast? View all our Trefoil TV videos on Facebook YouTube, and Instagram.

Upcoming: Volunteer Experience Manager Kelly Garrow is going live today at 3:12 to make no-bake cookies from Girl Scout cookies!

Other Trefoil TV segments this week include outdoor cooking with pie irons (link), making reusable bags from t-shirts, the Entrepreneurship Family pin, and more!


Girl Scout Cookie Program Virtual Program Webinar

We will behosting a Product Program Update Q & A session tonight for Troop Leaders. Please see the communication from 3-26-20 about our Cookie Program.

Tuesday, April 7
Product Program Update Q&A Session 6:00-7:00 pm. 

Register for a webinar session:
Product Program Update Q&A Session Registration

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to join us via computer or phone.  Please check your junk/spam if you do not receive it; it will come from GoToWebinar.

The recording and updated FAQs from the webinar will be sent in Thursday’s Member Essentials.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

We’re so proud of the great work our Girl Scouts do around Western New York all year long. Check out these examples earlier in the Girl Scout year (all photos taken prior to March 1, 2020).

We are #GirlScoutStrong! Looking forward to talking to you on Thursday! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation

Guest post by Lena Budd, GSWNY Volunteer Experience Manager

During April, we’re celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Month! As someone who works directly with so many of our volunteers (I’m one of the friendly faces from our Rochester office) I see the impact that a simple thank you has on people from our  wonderful troop co-leaders, to our dedicated Service Unit team members, and to all other incredible volunteers!

It’s very easy to tell someone thank you, but did you know that most people prefer to be thanked in specific ways? Some people love applause and public accolades while others really do not like to have the spotlight put on them. So how do you go about thanking someone?

First, let’s talk about a breakdown of appreciation methods. This information is from a favorite book of mine, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” by Gary Chapman and Paul White. You might be familiar with the concept of Five Love Languages – this book gives you the tools to thank staff and volunteers in professional settings.

This handy infographic breaks down the 5 methods.

Let’s explain each of these a little more since the infographic doesn’t answer it all.

  1. Tangible Gifts

Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be valuable! Some tangible gift ideas include awards and pins, gift cards, and handmade gifts.

  1. Acts of Service

This means showing up and helping to get the job done! To some people, getting your hands dirty in times of need shows more appreciation than sending a thank you card later.

  1. Physical Touch 

Physical touch, when appropriate, can be very meaningful! I call this the 3 H’s – hug, handshake, or high five! Other forms of showing thanks through physical touch include fist bumps or pats on the back.

I wrote this blog post a while ago under difference circumstances. This is still an important part of this book, but now that we are practicing social distancing please refrain from physical touch. This is something you can instead change over to a virtual hug or high five using tools like FaceTime, Zoom meeting, or other video conferencing apps.

  1. Quality Time

This is most meaningful when it is personal, focused time. This can can be hanging out or working together. Grab coffee, go to lunch, or attend an event together! Make sure the activity your doing is meaningful to the person you are thanking. For example, don’t take a non-coffee drinker to Starbucks! 

  1. Words of Affirmation

Oral or written thank you’s! The most common form of words of affirmation is a thank you card! Words of affirmation can be done publicly or privately, however remember that not many people actually enjoy public praise.

Now, how do you go about actually putting these 5 languages into action? Easy! Get to know the people you volunteer with and ask them what they like best! Pro-tip: people tend to give thanks the way the like to get thanked. Do they always send you a thank you card after an event? This person’s preferred language is Words of Affirmation. Does this person like to go out to coffee and chat? Their language of appreciation is Quality Time.

What do you think is your preferred language of appreciation? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Thank you!!

Member Essentials – 4/2/20

Our Girl Scouting at Home page is live!

We now have a full page on our website dedicated to Girl Scouting at Home! Below is a list of some of the current content, but keep checking back for updates:

– Information about staying safe online
– Patches, badges, and journeys
– Earned awards Virtual experiences
– Community service and much more!

Don’t forget, we love seeing photos about what Girl Scouting at Home looks like for you! Email your photos to communications@gswny.org.

Visit Girl Scouting at Home Page

Watch Trefoil TV Weekdays at 3:12 p.m. on GSWNY’s Facebook Page

This week, we’re focusing on Acts of Kindness! Make sure you check in every day at 3:12 to catch us live.

Can’t make the live broadcast? Don’t worry! You can watch after on Facebook or check it out on YouTube and Instagram.

TODAY: MeKenzie Lund, Lead Community Engagement Specialist, is discussing why we should ‘bee’ kind this spring to bees!


Girl Scout Cookie Program Virtual Program Options

While our traditional cookie program has been suspended, we have options and suggestions available for virtual booths and direct-ship. Please note that continued participation is optional. 

GSWNY PROGRAM: Transform your troop inventory into a sweet treat for your local hometown heroes! Think of women and men on the front lines and let them know your Girl Scout troop is thankful for them. Let your entrepreneurial skills shine…show us how creative you can be! Learn more here: Flyer and  FAQS

GSUSA PROGRAM :  Our sister councils and GSUSA are also promoting our cookie program across the country through this national program as well. Community members can support girls’ continued success in the wake of COVID-19 through Digital Cookie and Smart Cookie online orders shipped to their door without interruption or donate cookies online and we’ll distribute them safely to provide comfort to first responders, frontline volunteers, and local causes in need. Learn more  here.

We will behosting a Product Program Update Q & A session for Troop Leaders.   

Tuesday, April 7
Product Program Update Q&A Session 6:00-7:00 pm. 

Register for a webinar session:
Product Program Update Q&A Session Registration

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to join us via computer or phone.  Please check your junk/spam if you do not receive it; it will come from GoToWebinar.

We will be sharing the recording and slide deck with all members.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Our Girl Scouts are putting their ingenuity to work and doing great things across our WNY community. Check out a few examples below.

The Girl Scouts in Troop 30734 from Grand Island created this video over Zoom to talk about their cookie donations for essential workers.

We are #GirlScoutStrong! Looking forward to talking to you on Thursday! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

How to use Zoom for your Girl Scout meetings

As you know, the whole world is in a period of adjustment as we navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions in place to keep groups from meeting to slow the spread, many activities have been forced to cancel for the time being.

Girl Scouts of Western New York, of course, is no exception. We’ve currently suspended our cookie program and cancelled programs through April. While this is understandably a challenging time, we’re working to provide virtual Girl Scouting options while you’re at home.

One idea we’ve seen from our members is virtual troop meetings using the platform Zoom, or something similar. Because it’s been so successful, we’ve created instructions and how to run and set a virtual troop meeting.

You can watch the video below or download instructions here.

Member Essentials – 3/31/20

Hello Girl Scout Members,

A Note from Alison:

Today’s newsletter is dedicated to all of our amazing Girl Scout volunteers.  You are wonderful role models, demonstrating resilience, flexibility and care, as you lead with and for our girls to make the world better in challenging times.  We continue to hear so many good news stories about how Girl Scouts are stepping up around our nine counties to shine a light on our community when it most needs it.

We thank you for all of your efforts this year – you have always given of your time to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and in this time you are truly needed more than ever.  We so appreciate you! 

It has been so heartwarming to see how you are responding for our girls in a time of crisis.  From learning new skills and holding your first “zoom” or virtual meetings, to checking on your girls and their families, to navigating running a virtual cookie program, or leading at-home programs and community service projects, and most of all, to everyone, helping to keep our girls home and safe, on behalf of GSWNY board and staff, WE THANK YOU!

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Alison Wilcox
CEO, Girl Scouts of Western New York


Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!

Did you know April is Volunteer Appreciation Month? This is a great time of year to thank the volunteers in your life for the services they provide to you or your Girl Scouts

Read More


Watch Trefoil TV Weekdays at 3:12 p.m. on

This week, we’re focusing on Acts of Kindness! Make sure you check in every day at 3:12 to catch us live.

Can’t make the live broadcast? Don’t worry! You can watch after on Facebook or check it out on YouTube and Instagram.

TODAY: Lena Budd, Volunteer Experience Manager discussed National Volunteer Appreciation Month


Girl Scouting at Home

Your girl’s daily routine may have changed, but there are still ways to participate in Girl Scout activities and earn awards, even at home! While everything is still evolving, here are some ways to get started today:

Caregivers: If you would like to work on Girl Scout programming at home with your girl, you can reach out to the Girl Experience team for guidance. Email customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410 to get in touch.  

Virtual Meetings for Troops and Service Units

One way to stay connected with your troop and/or service unit during this time is through virtual meetings. Use the links below for instructional resources.

Download Zoom Instructions PDF

Girl Scout Cookie Program Virtual Program Options

While our traditional cookie program has been suspended, we have options and suggestions available for virtual booths and direct-ship.

GSWNY PROGRAM: Transform your troop inventory into a sweet treat for your local hometown heroes! Think of women and men on the front lines and let them know your Girl Scout troop is thankful for them. Let your entrepreneurial skills shine…show us how creative you can be! Learn more here: Flyer and  FAQS

GSUSA PROGRAM : Girl Scouts and communities across the country are counting on you. Support girls’ continued success in the wake of COVID-19 through Digital Cookie and Smart Cookie online orders online orders shipped to your door without interruption. Or donate cookies online and we’ll distribute them safely to provide comfort to first responders, frontline volunteers, and local causes in need. Learn more here.

We will behosting a Product Program Update Q & A session for Troop Leaders.   

Tuesday, April 7
Product Program Update Q&A Session 6:00-7:00 pm. 

Register for a webinar session:
Product Program Update Q&A Session Registration

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to join us via computer or phone.  Please check your junk/spam if you do not receive it; it will come from GoToWebinar.

We will be sharing the recording and slide deck with all members.


Spring Renewal Update

Our Spring Renewal Campaign, set to begin April 1, will now be tentatively rescheduled to begin May 1. This date will be reviewed and updated as needed to ensure that girls and volunteers can participate in our amazing incentive program! Watch for more details later in April. 


Raising Awesome Girls

Parents and caregivers – GSUSA continues to add resources for raising girls including talking to your girls about disappointment, leading virtual meetings, or helping girls with schoolwork at home, and this is updated regularly: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/raising-girls.html


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Our Girl Scouts are putting their ingenuity to work and doing great things across our WNY community. Check out a few examples below.

We are #GirlScoutStrong! Looking forward to talking to you on Thursday! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

Let’s celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month!

Did you know April is Volunteer Appreciation Month? This is a great time of year to thank the volunteers in your life for the services they provide to you or your Girl Scouts.

All across our WNY council, we give heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers! From the folks who come in a couple times a month to assist our accounting department all the way to the troop co-leaders who run troop meetings and chaperone events… every volunteer is awesome and important!

Girl Scouts is a volunteer-run organization. Volunteers make it possible to continue our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character during this difficult time with their support, flexibility, and dedication. We hope to make all of our wonderful volunteers feel the virtual love this month and all year long! This month we will be sending communications by email with thank-you messages, but we also want to provide you with ways to thank volunteers yourself!

We have 3 different cards available for download from our website. Please note: if the card opens in your browser window instead of downloading, you need to save it to your computer, then open your saved file. If you type into the browser window, then hit save, most browsers will erase what you’ve typed.

Click here to download this card.
Click here to download this card.
Click here to download this card.

Also, be sure to visit our Facebook page on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 3:12pm. Lena Budd, Volunteer Experience Manager will be doing a Facebook Live making thank you cards for volunteers. (After the broadcast ends, will also be sharing the video to YouTube and Instagram.)

How do you show thanks? Leave a comment saying who you’re thanking or how you’re thanking someone!

P.S. This is more than a Girl Scout volunteer holiday! Consider showing your appreciation for volunteers in other organizations as well, such as healthcare, human rights, or public services (libraries, schools, places of worship, etc.).