Arbor Capital Management donates Girl Scout cookies to local hometown heroes

WESTERN NEW YORK (April 9, 2021) – On April 9, 2021, Arbor Capital Management donated 500 packages of Girl Scout cookies to The Hometown Heroes Project through the Girl Scouts of Western New York. The cookies were delivered to local essential workers, first responders, and other hometown heroes to thank them for their tireless work in the WNY community.

Arbor Capital Managements’ purchase will also support local Girl Scouts in their entrepreneurial efforts. The Girl Scout Cookie Program® is the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world, where girls get hands-on practice with a variety of skills, including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics as they learn to think like entrepreneurs. Through the Cookie Program, girls not only discover their inner leadership potential, but also use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troop, including community service, travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming.

The Hometown Heroes Project is an effort from the Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) to make our corner of the world a little brighter and thank local hometown heroes such as first responders, essential workers, and community organizations for their service. GSWNY partners with businesses by providing the link to donating in their community while simultaneously supporting Girl Scout troops in their area.

Arbor Capital Management is an independent wealth management firm specializing in providing a combination of financial growth and wealth preservation services to investors with financial assets ranging from five hundred thousand dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. They focus on wealth preservation and growth as well as on relationships, clarity, service and performance.

The purchase of Girl Scout cookies is an investment in the world-changing business leaders of tomorrow. The Girl Scout Cookie Program® isn’t only about cookies; it’s about helping the next generation of young female entrepreneurs get an important taste of what it takes to be successful. The proceeds stay local in the WNY region. Girls decide how to use their portion of the proceeds for unforgettable leadership experiences and community projects, while GSWNY depends on the funds to deliver life-changing Girl Scout programming to 14,000 girls in Western New York.

To become a Hometown Heroes sponsor, contact customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410. To learn more about Girl Scouts of Western New York, visit www.gswny.org today.

About Girl Scouts of Western New York

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves nearly 14,000 girls and 6,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council’s administrative service centers are located in Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls, and Rochester.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls discover their personal best and prepare for a positive future, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world and take action to solve problems and improve their communities. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit http://www.gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

April 2021 DEI Celebrations Round-Up

On behalf of the GSWNY Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, every month we’re highlighting different holidays and events that are celebrated by people around the world. DEI Celebrations in April include the ends of Passover and Deaf History Month; National Autism Month; Easter; Ramadan; Earth Day’ and Arbor Day.


Passover (Began March 27, Ended April 4)

Passover is a Jewish celebration to represent the Israelites being led out of Egypt, also know as the Exodus. The standard length is eight days and it begins with either one or two nights of seder, a specific feast. Individual celebrations may vary, but there are certain things to expect at seder, including prayers and a seder plate. This contains a number of things including unleavened bread (matzoh), bitter herbs (maror), and more.

The matzoah, or unleavened bread, represents the speed in which the Israelites left Egypt. Their bread didn’t have time to rise, so they honor this during Passover celebrations. Learn more about Passover


Deaf History Month (Began March 13, Ends April 15)

This month actually spans two, as it ends April 15. The reason for this comes down the significant days for the Deaf community in history. The first was April 15, 1817, when the first permanent public school for the deaf was established in Hartford, Connecticut. The second recognizes the signing of the Gallaudet University charter on April 8, 1964, by President Abraham Lincoln. This established the only university in the world that exists only for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Finally is March 13, 1988, when the Deaf Now protest took place, which resulted in the first Deaf President of Gallaudet University. Read more from the National Association of the Deaf


Autism Awareness Month

The entire month of April is dedicated to autism awareness. Autism, a brain disorder that can affect a person’s ability to communicate, respond, and form relationships, is considered a growing health crisis by the United Nations. Ten years ago, 1 in 125 children were diagnosed. In 2020, the rate of prevalence increased to 1 in 54.

With a goal of increased awareness, organizations try and educate the public about signs and symptoms of autism, as well as ways to celebrate differences and encourage kindness. April 2 is celebrated as World Autism Day, where people are invited to wear blue.


Easter (April 4)

This celebration features both religious and secular traditions. The roots of the holiday tie back to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah whose life and teaching define Christianity. For Christians, it is a week of remembrance beginning with Palm Sunday the week before and leading to Good Friday (the crucifixion) and then the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Church services throughout the week are common, with Friday being a time of reflection on the cross and Sunday a celebration.

Outside of religion, Easter is a fun spring holiday celebrated by many. While most of the traditions, including coloring eggs, stem from religious symbols, today they standalone. The Easter Bunny delivers baskets of goodies and candy to children. Easter Egg Hunts are common ways communities and churches celebrate.


Ramadan (Begins April 12)

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and viewed as the most sacred. According to the Prophet Mohammed, Ramadan sees the gates of Heaven opened while the devils are chained in a locked Hell. It was during Ramadan that God first revealed the beginning of the Quran to Mohammed during the Night of Power.

Muslims who observe Ramadan will spend every day, from dawn until sunset, fasting as it is a time of spiritual discipline where they can examine their relationship with God and strengthen their faith. But it is not necessarily a somber time, despite the fasting. Instead, this is a time of joy that is meant to celebrated with families and loved ones. Learn more about Ramadan >>>


Earth Day (April 22)

Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 as a way to show support for our environment. Activities are held that support this initiative and people are reminded to be mindful of how we treat our planet. Plus, we have a GSWNY patch challenge designed to help you celebrate!


Arbor Day (April 30)

Arbor Day is all about caring for our trees! It’s a day of observance where both individuals and organizations plant trees. While many countries celebrate, the date will vary based on planting seasons.

Recognizing Deaf History Month 2021

Students from St. Mary’s School for the Deaf signing The Girl Scout Promise

Deaf History Month is a time to commemorate and recognize the accomplishments of people who hard of hearing and deaf. It spans two months, March 13 to April 15, to include three significant days for the Deaf community:

April 15, 1817

The last day of Deaf History Month marks the earliest milestone included for the Deaf community. Dr. Mason Cogswell recognized the need for a school after his daughter, Alice, was deafened by a fever in childhood. At the time, there were no options in the United States available. He asked Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet for assistance, and after touring schools in Europe, he returned and opened what is now the American School for the Deaf, the oldest permanent school in the country for the deaf.

April 8, 1864

A school for deaf and heard of hearing children was a good first step, but soon the need for advanced education became clear. Edward Miner Galluadet, son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, was one of the citizens fighting for an additional school. This led to the creation of the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Dead and Dumb and the Blind in 1857. The school grew rapidly, eventually leading to President Lincoln signing and enabling them to grant college degrees. April 8 became the charter day of what was now called Gallaudet University.

Girl Scout afterschool program at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf

March 13, 1988

Even though Gallaudet University was the first university of its kind, it still had its shortcomings. For its more than 100 year history, the Deaf community felt that the Deaf were underrepresented in the faculty selection. In 1988, the current president resigned, and the students began advocating for a deaf president. After a long search, the board narrowed it down to three candidates, two of which were deaf. On March 6, the hearing candidate was officially selected, causing outrage that led to marches and protests. Eventually, after much back and forth, the original choice resigned, allowing Irving King Jordan to become the first deaf president.

Deaf President Now‘ was the cry of the students and community, and while it addressed that particular situation, it now serves as a larger stance of empowerment. The phrase represents the self-determination of deaf and hard of hearing people around the world.

Did you know?

Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts, was almost totally deaf as an adult. In her late teens and early 20s, she developed an infection in one ear that wasn’t treated properly, causing her to be partially deaf. A few years later, on her wedding day, a piece of rice was lodged in her other ear, leading her to lose most of her hearing in it as well.

None of this stopped her determination or drive in life. It was later, after losing most of her hearing, that she went on to found Girl Scouts in the United States and create the legacy of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

What can you do?

This month (and beyond!) continue to educate yourself about the Deaf community and all of their achievements. Spread awareness about these and reach out to companies to make sure they are supporting their obligations. Donate what you can to deaf-based charities and seek out deaf businesses that you can support.

My Woman Role Model: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Lexi from Troop 34682

This year, one of the ways we celebrated Women’s History Month was by running a contest and asking our members to tell us about the women they view as role models. Our winner is Lexi D., age 9, from Troop 34682. Her submission is shown below, as well as a transcription of what she wrote.

My Woman Role Model: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth was the first woman to be in the Supreme Court. She was raised by her mother Stella Ginsberg. She taught Ruth to stand up for her rights. Sadly Stella died from cancer when Ruth was only in college.

Years later Ruth met someone named Marty. They both wanted to be lawyers. Ruth and Marty married a few years later and had a child. Ruth went off to lawyer school and became top of her class.

A few years later Ruth was a lawyer. Many days later it was her first day of being a lawyer. She wore her mother’s outfit. Ruth nailed it fourteen years later. Ruth got a call. She was a judge!

How she influenced me

Ruth influenced me because she amazes me how she follows her dream and went through the obstacles of men telling her she can’t do it and becoming a judge even if she had to take care of her child and do all her work till three in the morning. She is an amazing role model.”

Note: Lexi’s submission was only edited for spelling. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, but that doesn’t take away from the amazing life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Member Essentials – 4/6/21

Dear GSWNY Members,

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.

Thank you for all you do!


New for GSWNY Members on Facebook!

To provide an improved customer service experience for our members on the GSWNY Facebook page, we’ve made some updates. In addition to viewing great content on the GSWNY main Facebook page, GSWNY members will now also have a special place to collaborate and receive helpful information through our private GSWNY members-only group ! This group will help to foster greater collaboration and information sharing for members. Use the link below to learn more and join!

LEARN MORE


Month of the Military Child

April is here! A time for many celebrations, including Month of the Military Child. Girl Scouts and Girl Scouts of WNY are proud to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide. Celebrate the Month of the Military Child with using the button below.

MONTH OF MILITARY CHILD


Your voice counts! Girl Scout Voices Count survey coming in April

At Girl Scouts, we care about your experience—good or bad—and we want to hear from you!

In April, we are conducting a national survey with girls, parents or caregivers, and troop leaders called Girl Scout Voices Count. We will use your feedback to find out what’s working and what’s not to improve our services and programs.

The surveys opened April 5, check your email for the invitation to participate. As a thank you, everyone who completes the survey will have a chance to win one of 20 $50 gift cards! We can’t wait for you to make your voice count!

Got questions? Email GSVoicesCount@girlscouts.org.


Spring Renewal is ON!

Our Spring Renewal campaign opened on April 1! Girls and adults who renew their Girl Scout membership during our Ultimate Spring Renewal–April 1-30–will qualify for super incentives, with other incentives continuing through 5/31.  We’ve got sneaker drawings, lunch sacks, Best Year Ever Packs, SAGE Scholars Tuition Reward Points and more!  Check out our Renewal Page for complete list of incentives and renewal instructions.

Our first timed incentive is coming up!

Girls and co-leaders who renew by 11:59 pm 4/14 will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 5 pairs of KSwiss cookie-inspired sneakers! 

VISIT RENEW PAGE

Earn Points for College Scholarships From Girl Scouts of Western New YorkRenew by 5/31

This is an exclusive benefit for girls, co-leaders, and SUMs who participate in our annual Girl Scout Membership Spring Renewal Campaign and renew by 5/31. After their first year of Girl Scouts, girls, co-leaders, and SUMs can earn Tuition Reward Points when they renew their Girl Scout membership. Each 1 Point equals $1 in college tuition scholarship. Girls earn 2,500 Points and co-leaders/SUMs earn 3,500 Points. Points will be applied to SAGE Scholars accounts in July. Want more information? Visit our SAGE Scholars Page.

Celebrate your story in our Becoming Me program, inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama!

As we celebrate your strength, we want you to celebrate how far your girl has come this year and how far she’ll continue to go. Check out our new Becoming Me program, through which girls can explore their stories and who they can become, earn badges, and even attend a special members-only virtual event on May 6 with Mrs. Obama! Kick off a new year of Girl Scouting and  save your spot by April 30.

Use this link to reserve your spot and renew your membership all in one place. Already renewed but want to attend? Click here


Happy 2021 Volunteer Appreciation Month! We truly, deeply appreciate all that you do for us and how you’ve been Girl Scout Strong for us this entire past year and beyond. Check out the video below for a special thank you from all of the staff at GSWNY! 

Tenure and Years of Service: GSWNY Adult Recognition Award Monthly Highlight – April 2021

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month! This April we are going to circle back to Years of Service and Tenure pins. These are an easy and meaningful way to show volunteer appreciation. The greatest gift a person can give you is their time. The least we can do is formally thank one another and recognize each volunteer’s hard work and dedication. The Years of Service and Tenure Pins do just that – thank people for the years they have given to the Girl Scouts.

KEEP READING

The GSWNY Volunteer Experience Team is hosting our 2nd New Leader Welcome Meeting via Zoom “Face to Face with GSWNY!” for new co-leaders on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The purpose of the virtual meeting will be for them to meet GSWNY staff face to face, learn about our council’s various departments and what they do through a series of short presentations, and network with other volunteers. 

Service Unit Team members are also invited; come meet and greet your new volunteers.

REGISTER TODAY

First Aid/CPR Training

Did you know that each troop should have at least 1 adult with First Aid/CPR training for trips and certain troop activities? GSWNY provides these courses through EPIC Trainings Inc. at a reduced rate for our adult volunteers.

Check out our Volunteer Resources page on our website for the schedule and to learn more. To register, contact EPIC Trainings, Inc via email at mail@epictrainings.com or via phone at (585)615-4379.

VOLUNTEER RESOURCES PAGE

To submit your own Volunteer Spotlight, please fill out this form:  http://bit.ly/gs-vol-spotlight


Retail Item of the Week: Western New York Volunteer Tee

This T-shirt comes in two colors: navy and turquoise. Each one reads “I Became a Girl Scout Volunteer Because Your Life Is Worth My Time!”

Original price $15 | Spring Sale Price is $9.99 each (while supplies last)

Email your local Girl Scout Shop to order today!

Girl Scout Shops – Time for a Spring Sale!

The shops are having a GSWNY April Spring Sale, we will feature several items throughout the entire month and feature a select few each week. 

Email us at Shop.Buffalo@gswny.org, Shop.Jamestown@gswny.org, Shop.Lockport@gswny.org & Shop.Rochester@gswny.org to learn all about these items or come check them out in person! Our shops are open Monday 1:00-4:00 pm for curbside pickup only, Wednesday 2:00-6:00 pm curbside pickup & in-person shopping and Friday 1:00-4:00 pm curbside pickup & in-person shopping during the months of April & May!

For in-person shopping we do recommend if you have a large shop order to please email them to us a few days before your visit allowing us time to have it ready and you still have plenty time to look around.


April 6 to May 4 is #ThanksToCamp month! Did camp change you as a person, teach you a new skill, or help you meet people who make your life more enriched? On our Facebook and Instagram find our #ThanksToCamp posts and tell us your story! Prefer to tell us directly? Email communications@gswny.org and include #ThanksToCamp in the subject line!

Summer Camp 2021

Pre-registration for Summer Camp is open now! Review the camp guides and pre-register for camp (and earn that sweet, exclusive summer camp patch for pre-registered girls ONLY)!

We have every intention of operating summer camp 2021 in-person while following all of COVID guidelines and regulations. However, if the need should arise, we will be prepared to provide your girls with an amazing alternative camp program. We have set April 30, 2021, as our decision date.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CAMP

We want to hear from you about our camp properties!

Get a sneak peak of the draft Concept Maps for all four of our camp properties. During the meeting, you will hear about the overall Master Plan process and then we will be breaking out into rooms by camp for in-depth looks at the plans for the future. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions. Please join our Zoom call Tuesday, April 6, at 7 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting using the link below:

REGISTER TODAY

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

REGISTER TODAY


The Cookie Jar with General Salinas

Yesterday our CEO Alison Wilcox and Lead Community Engagement Specialist MeKenzie Lund had a conversation with ​​​Major General Angie Salinas, United States Marine Corps (Retired), CEO Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.

WATCH VIDEO


Child Care Focus Group

Community organizations across Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Seneca, Ontario and Yates counties are currently trying to meet the needs of parents/guardians who are navigating today’s challenges during the pandemic. They’re asking for parents/guardians in Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Seneca, Ontario and Yates to participate in a series of focus groups with them so that they can better understand your needs. 

The results will remain anonymous and will be shared with members of the task forces which include: school district staff, doctors/health professionals, community organizations, child care providers, out of school time providers, and funders.

Click this link to learn more and use the link below to register.

REGISTER FOR FOCUS GROUP


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

Caroline C., Caroline T., Emily L. and Morgan W. of Troop 51140 earned their Girl Scout Silver Award by improving the trails at Indian Fort Nature Preserve. The girls created boardwalks to prevent people from further damaging the trails and making the path more accessible to park goers. 

LEARN MORE


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.

New for GSWNY Members on Facebook!

We’re pleased to announce an exciting new change happening TODAY!

To provide an improved customer service experience for our members on the GSWNY Facebook page, we’ve made some updates. In addition, to viewing great content on the GSWNY main Facebook page, GSWNY members will now also have a special place to collaborate and receive helpful information through our private GSWNY members-only group! This group will help to foster greater collaboration and information sharing for members.

The main GSWNY Facebook page will serve more as an outward facing welcome mat to invite the public to Girl Scouts. The GSWNY members-only group will serve as a private inward facing space with content catered specifically for GSWNY members to use and also collaborate with other members.

Please note that you will still be a part of the main GSWNY Facebook page; however, anyone who has not joined the GSWNY members-only group will not be able to see the content inside it. This is a special members-only space to work together across the council, so please feel free to post and share YOUR ideas, resources, and questions with each other and council in alignment with the rules.

Five Q&A’s To Know:

Q1: Why is GSWNY making a separate members-only Facebook Group?

A1: We want to provide an improved internal and external customer service experience on Facebook by creating a special group for current members to share and receive helpful information and by forming a more public-facing space to invite those who may want to know more about Girl Scouts using relevant terminology. Currently, the main Facebook page is filled with content that pertains to members with events and terminology that mainly only members would know about. Also, based on Facebook’s changing features, it may or may not allow you to share and collaborate with other members on the main page.

Q2: How do I join the Facebook group and will I still be a part of the main Facebook page?

A2: Members can join the members-only group by clicking here, answering two simple verification questions, and then please review the rules in the about section of the page to begin. Yes, you will still be part of the main GSWNY Facebook page and we encourage you to like and share content. We want your continued help in spreading ways for non-members to interact or join. Members are encouraged to share recruitment content with friends and family who aren’t Girl Scouts yet!

Q3: What special features will the members-only group have?

A3: The private members-only group will allow you to collaborate in new ways with the ability to share and learn about what other members are doing. You can also get important announcements and enjoy special members-only contests with prizes. The page will also allow you to find content using special tags that mark posts by topic to help sort the information even further, such as #NewLeader, #Question, #Cookies, #Renewal, etc.

Q4: What type of information can I expect to see on the GSWNY main page vs. the members-only group?

A4:

Page (public facing)Group (private for members)
2021 Gold Award announcements and storiesHow to find and submit Gold Award paperwork
How to buy Girl Scout cookiesGirl and troop cookie recognition rewards
How to join Girl Scouts and/or try an eventUpcoming programs for current members
Thank yous for volunteersResources for volunteers

Q5: How will the content transition?

A5: For a little while you will see double-posting of some content on the main page and group. This may seem a little redundant, but we want to make a carefully paced transition before we completely separate the posts. After April, you will start to see the member-oriented content almost exclusively in the group. Throughout the year at certain points, you will see reminder posts on the main page that the group exists and notifications in Member Essentials. 

We want to know…

Since this is going to be a new venture for us, we want to know your feedback. If you think there’s a way to improve the group or page, we’d love to hear it. If you have any feedback about the page or group, please email customercare@gswny.org, post in the group, or send us a private message on the page.

Please note that the GSWNY Facebook page and group will continue to be operated and monitored by the GSWNY Marketing & Communications team. For some questions/feedback, you may still be directed to Customer Care to receive an answer or assistance. The Customer Care team is still the primary team to respond to customer needs at: customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410. Thank you.

Come join our GSWNY Members Group!

Renew Your Membership—Together, We’ve Got This

Strength, resilience, togetherness, and the support of community—that’s what Girl Scoutsis all about. So in this uncertain world, you can count on one thing for sure: today, tomorrow, together, we are on your team.

When you stick with Girl Scouts, you’re not just giving your girl something to do, you’re giving her someone to be. The bravest, boldest, best version of herself. The version of herself that walks with her head a bit higher and acts with confidence.

And as she grows, we’ll grow with her, guiding her through life’s ups and downs, supporting her strengths, and showing her new and exciting paths to take.

RENEW TODAY

Not only does renewing mean another year of Girl Scouting, you also qualify for these amazing incentives!

Here’s a breakdown of all our incentives for Ultimate Spring Renewal, now through April 30! Check out the grid below for Spring Reneal Incentives through May 31.
  • Renew by 4/14 to be entered to win one of those adorable cookie-inspired KSwiss sneakers – 5 girl and 5 co-leader winners to be drawn! 
  • Co-leaders and girls who renew by 4/30 will earn a GSWNY lunch sack.   
  • Troops who renew 90% of girls + 2 co-leaders by 4/30 will earn a $20 GSWNY credit for shop, program or property.
  • Girls, co-leaders and SUMs who renew by 5/31 will earn Sage Tuition Reward points.
  • Join us for a new program launching May 6, with a members-only virtual event featuring former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

Check them out below!

Here is the full list:

Tenure and Years of Service: GSWNY Adult Recognition Award Monthly Highlight – April 2021

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month! This April we are going to circle back to Years of Service and Tenure pins. These are an easy and meaningful way to show volunteer appreciation. The greatest gift a person can give you is their time. The least we can do is formally thank one another and recognize each volunteer’s hard work and dedication. The Years of Service and Tenure Pins do just that – thank people for the years they have given to the Girl Scouts.

Years of Service Pin

Tenure and Years of Service pins are given to recognize volunteers for the time they have been registered Girl Scout members – given in 5-year increments. Tenure pins are given for the total years a person has a Girl Scout, including youth and adult years. Years of Service pins recognize the number of years a person has been a Girl Scout volunteer. For example, Janelle was a Girl Scout for 10 years as a child and has been a troop co-leader for the past five years. Janelle would wear a 15 year Tenure pin and a 5 Years of Service Pin.

Tenure Pin

Did you know GSWNY will give you a FREE pin for 15 years for Tenure, and 10 Years of Service? You just have to submit and complete the form for each award! The nomination process for Years of Service and Tenure pins is so simple! You can request a pin for yourself or for a fellow volunteer in your Service Unit through our easy Survey Monkey form. You can also mail or email in a pin request by downloading a paper form, located on the Adult Recognition page of our website.

Council acknowledges Awardees with more than 20 Years of Service and/or Tenure in print and with numeral guard at the Annual Recognition Event. All others years of commitment should be recognized within the Service Unit. Submit your Years of Service and Tenure pin requests ASAP so you receive them in time to give them out at a year-end Service Unit Adult Appreciation event. For more information about these pins and all other GSWNY adult awards, please read our Adult Awards and Recognitions Quick Guide or check out our Adult Recognition web page. Reach out to a member of the GSWNY Volunteer Experience team for more information by emailing us at volunteer@gswny.org. Thank you again, and Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!

Member Essentials – 3/30/21

Dear GSWNY Members,

New York State has recently changed guidelines for gathering size and for quarantining after domestic travel. Our COVID-19 guidelines and FAQs for in-person meetings and activities have been updated accordingly. The changes for gathering size are effective immediately, and the changes for quarantining after domestic travel are effective as of April 1, 2021. Please see the updated guidelines below:

Updated Guidelines | Updated FAQs

As a reminder, we thank you for continuing to follow all safety guidelines for in-person activities, including staying home when sick, wearing masks, social distancing and adhering to cleaning guidelines. The safety of our members is our #1 priority.

NYS has expanded the eligibility for vaccines to include those 30 and older as of today, 3-30-21, and those 16 and older will be eligible as of Tuesday, April 6. Please discuss any questions about the vaccine with your primary health provider, and this link has additional information for determining eligibility and how to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

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.

Thank you for all you do!


We’re so excited for our Spring Renewal campaign to begin April 1! While our campaign will run April 1-May 31, we encourage members to renew as part of our Ultimate Spring Renewal in April, when we are offering some amazing incentives for girls, co-leaders and troops. Check out our Renewal page for full details!

VISIT RENEW PAGE


Your Story is Your Power

Be a part of our Becoming Me program, inspired by former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

Explore your story and who you can become in our Becoming Me program, which launches with a special members-only virtual event with Mrs. Obama in early May.

Kick off a new year of Girl Scouting and save your spot by April 30 at girlscouts.org/becomingme


Celebrating Girl Scout Volunteers, the 2021 way!

Every April we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month with extra celebrations on April 22 – National Girl Scout Leader Day!

Here are some ideas we have for volunteer appreciation & recognition celebrations for April and the rest of the year.

KEEP READING

The GSWNY Volunteer Experience Team is hosting our 2nd New Leader Welcome Meeting via Zoom “Face to Face with GSWNY!” for new co-leaders on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The purpose of the virtual meeting will be for them to meet GSWNY staff face to face, learn about our council’s various departments and what they do through a series of short presentations, and network with other volunteers. 

Service Unit Team members are also invited; come meet and greet your new volunteers.

REGISTER TODAY

Troop Leader Blueprint

Keep your troop going strong with these specially adapted badges, Journeys, and activities for virtual and safe in-person meetings, as well as current COVID-19 guidelines and resources. We’re here to support you as you help your troop thrive.

VIEW THE TROOP LEADER BLUEPRINT

To submit your own Volunteer Spotlight, please fill out this form:  http://bit.ly/gs-vol-spotlight


Make New Friends: A Kindergarten Readiness Series

Starting kindergarten is a big step, and you obviously want your girl to feel as comfortable and confident as possible from day one. Let Girl Scouts stand with you to support and inspire her as she makes new friends, meets new teachers, and tests out new ideas. 

Make New Friends, our girl-centered kindergarten readiness series are free and open to any girl entering kindergarten this fall. We’ll help prepare her for all the new friends, new responsibilities, and for the big changes school will bring. We have five sessions available for this four-part series.

LEARN MORE


Summer Camp 2021

Pre-registration for Summer Camp is open now! Review the camp guides and pre-register for camp (and earn that sweet, exclusive summer camp patch for pre-registered girls ONLY)!

We have every intention of operating summer camp 2021 in-person while following all of COVID guidelines and regulations. However, if the need should arise, we will be prepared to provide your girls with an amazing alternative camp program. We have set April 30, 2021, as our decision date.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CAMP

We want to hear from you about our camp properties!

Get a sneak peak of the draft Concept Maps for all four of our camp properties. During the meeting, you will hear about the overall Master Plan process and then we will be breaking out into rooms by camp for in-depth looks at the plans for the future. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions. Please join our Zoom call Tuesday, April 6, at 7 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting using the link below:

REGISTER TODAY

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

REGISTER TODAY


Retail Item of the Week: Girl Scout Cookie Keychains

These double-sided keychains feature our delicious Girl Scout Cookies! They’re the perfect way to accessorize any set of keys, bag, or backpack. 

Reduced Price: $3.00 each until April 30. While supplies last!

Email your local Girl Scout Shop to order today!

The GSWNY Shops has an updated schedule for in-person shopping and curbside pickup opportunities for April & May which will start Monday, April 5, 2021:

  • Monday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm – curbside pickup only
  • Wednesday 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm – in-person shopping & curbside pickup
  • Friday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm  – in-person shopping & curbside pickup

Please visit gswny.org to see our updated schedule for all shop locations


She THRIVES: Building Positive Mental Health Practices
Saturday, April 17 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | C/S/ A

Girls asked for mental health programs and we’ve answered! GSWNY is proud to work with our sponsors The Thinkers and the Girl Scouts NY State Training Cohort to bring this exciting program to our members! Vetted facilitators from Google, NASA, Emmy Award Winners, New York University, and Georgetown University will deliver 3 sessions to participants. 

Session Topics:

  • Daily Self-Care Practices for Positive, Inner Growth 
  • Be Mindful: Tips to Prevent and Manage Anxiety & Stress 
  • Build Healthy and Authentic Friendships & Relationships 

REGISTER TODAY


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. 


Kidding Around Yoga

Yoga classes through Kidding Around Yoga with Donna Baia can be scheduled this spring for troops either indoors at The Fountain Wellness Center in Clarence where this class was held or outdoors at a park. A KAY patch is included.

View the flyer using the button below for more information.

LEARN MORE


Badge in a Box Updates

Multi-Level Cookie Express Badge in a Box is 50% off now through March 31! For just $4, girls can earn the Daisy Money Counts, Brownie Meet My Customers, or Junior Savvy Shopper badge.

Badge in a Box can now be shipped right to your door!* For an additional $10, receive your Badge in a Box filled with activities, supplies, and all the Girl Scout fun you need in order to earn your badge and the badge itself! *Kits will only be shipped within the contiguous United States.

Click here to order 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 70173 of Niagara Star Service Unit took advantage of the nice weather to help spruce up the Lockport Service Center’s Silver Trefoil Memory Garden. They raked, hung new bird feeders, and added the lettering to their GSLaw signs which will be installed soon. They worked hard and had fun! A shout out to their parents who raked and trimmed, too!


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.

Celebrating Girl Scout Volunteers–the 2021 way!

Guest Post by Lena Budd, Volunteer Experience Manager at GSWNY

At GSWNY we know how hard every volunteer works towards furthering our mission of building girls of courage confidence and character who make the word a better place. If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it’s how important Girl Scouts and a sense of normalcy is to our lives. Last March the pandemic hit Western New York. We did not get to do many things that traditionally close the year like our volunteer appreciation events at either the Service Unit or the Council level. In April, May, and June we were all still focused on “survival mode,” staying at home, and adjusting to working and schooling remotely. This year we have adjusted more to our “new normal” and many of us are becoming hopeful that there is some light at the end of this tunnel! Getting through Girl Scouts (and life in general!) in 2020 & 2021 had been no small feat! We all deserve to be recognized and appreciated. In Girl Scout speak: you should get a patch for that!

Every April we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month with extra celebrations on April 22 – National Girl Scout Leader Day! Here are some ideas we have for volunteer appreciation & recognition celebrations for April and the rest of the year:

Hold a virtual celebration

Yes, another Zoom call, but… Make it a fun call! It is a celebration after all! Have all the volunteers in your Service Unit get together for a virtual happy hour or craft night. This past year, the Pittsford Service Unit hosted a holiday gnome making craft party for their volunteers. Similarly, the Iroquois Service Unit volunteers made hot cocoa bombs together via Zoom.  You could host a painting night or cook-along, play trivia, bingo, or play other fun virtual games. Plan some fun games or ice breakers at the beginning of the meeting, sprinkle in adult recognition awards throughout the meeting or announce them all at the end of the meeting. Use the chat box and polls to keep participants engaged in the celebration. Sounds like a fun evening to me!

Meet in person

Another fun idea for a volunteer appreciation celebration is holding a socially distanced picnic. First pick a date, then choose a local park or reserve a beautiful GSWNY camp property. To limit interactions, have everyone bring their own food, drink, and picnic blanket or camp chair. Pre-package volunteers’ gifts, awards, pins, or certificates and set them out on a table. Stand in front of the group to award the recognitions and honor the recipients. Wearing masks, a volunteers then grab their goodies from the table. Liven up the picnic by playing socially distanced games like bingo or charades. Familiarize yourself with all GSWNY COVID meeting guidelines before the event. Masks must be worn at all times unless you are eating or drinking, social distancing must be maintained, and meetings or events are not allowed to take place at private residences or backyards.

A little of Column A, a little of Column B

Remember, not everyone is comfortable meeting in person, and that’s okay! If you host an in-person event, consider doing a porch drop off or recording the award ceremony for those who do not attend. Or hold two volunteer appreciation events – one virtually and one in person. This will give people the option to participate at their own comfort level. I always say, it doesn’t hurt to say thank you more than once in more than one way! Try to think outside of the box! You could drop off volunteer awards or pins to everybody, then open them all together at once on a Zoom meeting. Imagine a great unboxing – how fun!

Other fun ideas for 2021!

Use one of our templates to print or send e-cards to fellow volunteers. Girls can also use these templates to send cards to their leaders! You can download and print or electronically fill in these great cards for younger and older girls. Alternatively, you can craft and mail your own thank you card. Spending a little time on a thank you card can have a big impact on someone’s day! Check out Hallmark’s tips for writing thank you cards.

Surprise volunteers with a gift from the Girl Scout shop! Help bring a smile to someone’s face with a Girl Scout token of appreciation! Use discount code VOLUNTEER2021 from April 1-April 30, 2021 for a one-time 10% discount in the online shop. Get creative and makea cute card or gift for volunteers! Check out our GSWNY Pinterest account for a spark of inspiration!

Shout out the volunteers in your life (including yourself!) on social media. Let your online network of friends and family know how thankful you are to the volunteers in your life. Follow GSWNY and GSUSA all month for great posts, videos, and even Facebook profile picture frames. Like and share to keep the celebration going!