Thank you for another great year of the #GirlScoutCampLife

Two weeks ago, we wrapped up another amazing summer at Girl Scout camp. Our three camps, Camp Timbercrest, Camp Seven Hills, and Camp Piperwood, plus our volunteer-run Camp Windy Meadows, were filled with excited campers and great programming.

More than 2,500 girls from around council attended Girl Scout camp this summer, where they rode horses, went swimming, climbed ropes, learned how to build fires, sang camp songs, and of course, made new friends.

While our outdoor programming runs all year long, summer camp is a special time for girls to gather together and learn new skills while honoring cherished Girl Scout traditions. We hear stories all the time about how important camp was and is to our Girl Scouts past and present and we can’t wait to continue creating memories.

Camp might be over for the summer, but we’re already thinking about next year’s programs. Look for the new camp guides out in January to decide what your camp journey will be in 2020. If you can’t get enough of the outdoors, head to gswny.org where you can learn more about all our outdoor opportunities, including equipment rentals, programming, property rentals, and Outdoor Champions who can facilitate programming for you.

To see photos from our resident camps, visit our Flickr page!

Camp Piperwood inspires girls through powerful female role models

Similar to how girls at resident camp are with their units all week, those who attend Camp Piperwood are sorted into groups by age and every group is given a name that corresponds with the camp’s theme.

For 2019, Camp Piperwood has the theme of ‘Explore More’ and the camp staff wanted to choose powerful female role models that relate to exploration. Each Girl Scout level pulls from a different area, whether fiction or non-fiction.

The Daisy groups are named for TV and movie characters:

  • Dora the Explorer
  • Kim Possible
  • Velma and Daphne from Scooby Doo

The Brownies are literary themed:

  • Cam Jansen
  • Babysitters Club
  • Nancy Drew
  • Ramona Quimby
  • Trixie Belden
  • The Sisters 8

The Juniors are scientists:

  • Jane Goodall
  • Madame Curie
  • Rachel Carson
  • Sally Ride
  • Mae Jemison

And the Cadettes are named for historical leaders and explorers:

  • Harriet Tubman
  • Bessie Coleman
  • Nelly Bly
  • Sacagawea
  • Pocahontas

Those doing ropes are Amelia Earhart.

Each week, all the girls who come to Camp Piperwood sign a Kindness Contract with their group. These documents serve as an agreement between groups that they will treat each other, their counselors, and the other campers with respect.

Beyond others they interact with, these contracts are also about ways to be respectful to themselves and a reminder to always treat themselves well.

Check out some of the Kindness Contracts from this year!

Resident Camp is open!

Yesterday marked the official first day of resident camp at both Camp Timbercrest and Camp Seven Hills! We were so excited to see our Session 1 campers arrive so we could begin our first exciting week.

You can stay updated all summer long with our camp activities by checkout out our camp blogs and Flickr account!

Camp Timbercrest News

Camp Seven Hills News

GSWNY Camp Photos

Plus, you can still register for our remaining sessions! Learn more at gswny.org.

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

No camp experience is complete with a few traditions. One of our most cherished are our Friendship Sticks. We close every resident camp season with a final camp fire. During this event, our camp staff will present the current camp director with a Friendship Stick. They read the story behind the tradition and explain why one is presented each year. 

Friendship Stick on display at Camp Seven Hills

Next time you visit Camp Seven Hills or Camp Timbercrest, make sure you check out the dining halls and the Friendship Sticks on display. Now, without further delay, we present the legend behind the tradition:

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

The wood of the friendship stick is alive and solid.  It is curved to fit the curve of the earth.  This symbolizes the friendship that can grow as do the wonderful trees of the forest. 

The green circle at the bottom is for faith—faith in God and faith in one another.  It is first because it is the basis of a happy and meaningful life. 

The next four circles represent the races of the world.  They stand close together indicating that all people are equal.  Every person is capable of becoming a loyal friend. 

The green of hope is above the races.  It is hope for the future.  It is hope that people everywhere will try to overcome any differences and human failings.  Both faith and hope are green—a combination of hues; both combinations of emotional feelings we cannot adequately describe.  The four races bound by faith and hope can produce unity—a working together for the good of all.  The four paths lead toward a central goal signifying the attainment of this unity. 

The smiling face is the result of friendship based on faith and unity.  It is a reminder of the person with whom we promise to be friends.  To be greeted by the smiling face of a friend is one of the greatest joys we can experience. 

The face is crowned by the Girl Scout colors indicating loyalty.

On the back, green is carefully placed opposite the four races to show that peace and charity can exist among all people. 

A Friendship Stick must be carved by its giver.  It shows time, thought, and effort. 

The Friendship Stick can be presented as a gesture of international goodwill; as a part of an inter-troop activity; as a sign of friendship between girls of one troop; at a campfire, or during an indoor ceremony. 

This legend has traveled with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world. 

Author: Ann Evans, Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County



How will you celebrate Great Outdoors Month 2019?

With June comes the arrival of summer, which means it’s time to #escapetheindoors and get outside! All this month, find ways you can get outside and enjoy nature at its warmest.

This celebration dates back more than 20 years to when Bill Clinton was president. At the time, it was Great Outdoors Week and now has grown “into a month-long celebration of the outdoors and all the healthful, social and economic benefits it brings.  This June, celebrate the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America by getting outside during Great Outdoors Month.”

The Great Outdoors Month website has the resources to help you plan your next adventure and experience the outdoors however you prefer. No matter what you do, we want to see how #outdoorlikeagirl!

Of course, don’t forget about the opportunities for you with Girl Scouts all summer long! Girl Scout Camp doesn’t officially start until July, but registering now gets you one step closer.

Share your photos with us either by emailing us communications@gswny.org, tagging us on social media, or using the hashtag #gswny. We can’t wait to see how you celebrate Great Outdoors Month!

Work at Camp Piperwood this summer!


Do you want to volunteer this summer?  Are you looking to do an internship for college credit or majoring in education or camping administration?  Do you love working with children in an outdoor setting?

You can be part of a fantastic summer experience and make a difference in a child’s life!  All you need to do is become a summer camp counselor. You will help girls ages 5-17 develop their full potential; learn to work with, relate to, and respect others; and make decisions while contributing to the camp community. 

In addition, girls and staff alike will make and rekindle friendships, laugh, smile, and experience many new and different things. Paid and volunteer positions available.

Positions available at Camp Piperwood (Day Camp):

  • Unit Counselors
  • Ropes Course Director (training provided)
  • Ropes Course Counselors (training provided)

Interested applicants please contact Janet DePetrillo, Director of Camp Administration at (716)935-6063 or janet.depetrillo@gswny.org To fill out an application click here.

Camp is a commitment of 6/7 weeks, 1 week of staff training and 5/6 weeks of camp.  Although we would like all staff to be able to commit to the entire summer, we realize that sometimes situations arise that prevent this.  If this is the case for you, please do not let this deter you from applying.  We will work with you on the number of weeks that you can commit to working at camp. 

  • Day Camp Dates: Staff week- Saturday, June 22 to June 27, and July 1 through August 10, 2019 summer camp sessions.

Help send a girl to camp this summer

Greetings,

Every year, donors like you provide the opportunity for our girls to go to camp. All this and more await the girls at camp this summer:

Right now, campers here in your community are crossing their fingers and hoping they can go to camp this summer.  Will you make the magic of camp possible for these girls?

Families who have to make hard decisions about their finances want their girl to have the same opportunity as every girl. They want to send them to camp. When you make a gift to the Campership Fund you’re bringing hope to these families. Hope that their girl will be able to have the same experience as all girls, hope that if even for just a little while, she will be able to smile, run, laugh, have fun and will be able to answer the question ~  What did you do this summer? “I went to Girl Scout Camp!”

With your help they can!

Having enough Campership dollars to help families send their girl to camp continues to be a challenge. In the past four years, we have seen an 80% increase in families asking for assistance. We need your help now!

You’ve read what the girls have to say about camp and now I’m asking you to open your heart and make a gift to the GSWNY Campership Fund today to help send more girls to camp this summer.

With gratitude for your support,

Janet DePetrillo

Director of Camp Administration

Help Send More Girls to Camp Today