Civics Education: Preparing the Next Generation of Informed and Engaged Citizens

You’re invited to join us for an exclusive livestream focused on civics education!

June 3, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Girl Scouts of the USA is proud to join bipartisan leaders, including Chelsea Clinton, to discuss the importance of educating and engaging today’s youth in civics to preserve and strengthen our country’s democracy.

This nonpartisan event is an opportunity community leaders, public officials and education experts to discuss how out-of-school civics programs can prepare the next generation to be involved citizens with a deeper understanding of their government-both now and for the rest of their lives.

Register Here

Girls, parents, volunteers, and other Movement supporters are encouraged to register and attend this exciting livestream event.

 A recording will be available for those unable to participate in the livestream.

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

You’re invited to be a Daisy for a Day!

This summer, we’re kicking off the Girl Scout experience for our new Daisies in a major way. It all begins with our Daisy for a Day party happening all over council Saturday, June 29.

You’re invited to bring your kindergarten and first grade girls (as of fall 2019) to this exciting event where girls and adults get their first taste of what it means to be a Daisy Girl Scout. Our FREE Daisy for a Day events is for girls and their families to discover what it means to be a Girl Scout, enjoy STEM and other fun activities, and learn about the ways they can get involved with Girl Scouts.

This event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held at the following locations:

Niagara County
Niagara County Community College Banquet Hall G209
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd. Sanborn, NY 14132

Monroe County
Al Sigl Center Gymnasium, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14620

Genesee County
Dibble Family Center, 4120 W Main St., Batavia, NY 14020

Erie County
Daemen College, Wick Center Social Room, 4380 Main St., Amherst, NY 14226

Cattaraugus County
Ellicottville Memorial Library, 6499 Maples Rd., Ellicottville, NY 14731

Chautauqua County
Lakeside Park Pavilion, 78 Water St. Route 394, Mayville, NY 14757
*The Chautauqua County event will take place on Sunday, June 30, 11:00-1:00pm

Your pre-k and kindergarten girls can join RIGHT NOW using extended year membership, which means you get the fun of Girl Scouting this summer and you’re all set for the fall. Plus, our new Daisies will receive exclusive activity packets in the mail in June, July, and August.

All our Daisy fun wraps in August when we’re holding our FIRST EVER Daisy Launch Party. Our new Daisies (and their friends who want to join!) are welcome to join us for more fun and their first patch!

If you have any questions, please reach out to MeKenzie Lund at mekenzie.lund@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.

We’re in the final weeks of Spring Renewal 2019!

By now you’ve probably heard us talk about Spring Renewal. It’s our annual tradition of inviting our members to renew early and earn some amazing incentives. Since April 1, we’ve given out gift cards, t-shirts, tickets, and more. But we aren’t finished yet!

We still have THREE $100 Amazon gift cards to give away, 10% off adult apparel, service unit gift card incentives, GSWNY Program Cards, and the guaranteed win of SAGE Tuition Rewards.

Renewing in the next 16 days automatically enters you into the drawings and provides you with the SAGE points. Essentially, this is free money for college. Accepted at 400 colleges and universities around the United States, every girl who renews by May 31 receives 2,500 points (aka $2,500) and every co-leader and service unit manager who renews by then receives 3,500 points (aka $3,500). Don’t miss this incredible opportunity!

Beyond the incentives, renewing now gets you and your girl ready for the next year of Girl Scouts. When the new school year rolls around, it’s one less thing to worry about because you know you’re all set.

Renew Your Membership Today

Don’t miss this exclusive speaking event May 18 featuring Captain Jessica Tait!

This year, United States Air Force Captain Jessica Tait is D’Youville’s commencement speaker. Before she gives this address, she’s holding an exclusive event for Girl Scouts of Western New York. Girls in levels Juniors and up are invited to attend “A Golden Opportunity – A Conversation with Captain Jessica Tait,” May 18 at 10 a.m. This FREE event at D’Youville’s Academic Center runs until noon and features a Q&A session and light refreshments.

While this is a great opportunity for our Girl Scouts, you’re probably asking why is this event valuable? We’re so glad you asked. Here’s some background on Captain Tait and why she’s a wonderful role model for girls.

Although her father was in the Air Force for 22 years, it wasn’t always the obvious path for Jessica. No matter what career she chose, she knew she wanted to make a difference. and ultimately that path led into the Air Force as well.

In an interview with D’Youville, Jessica said “I believe the constant exposure throughout my childhood shaped me in subtle ways. My decisions were always based on my desire to do something that would inspire positive change within myself and for the world.”

This journey in the Air Force took her to the Republic of Korea, where she serves as the Public Affairs Plans Officer for United States Forces Korea of the US Army Garrison Humphreys. In her role, she’s able to travel all over the world and learn new skills, including photography and journalistic writing.

Last year, Jessica’s career took her to an event that had the whole world watching.

On June 23, 2018. a soccer team of 12 boys and their coach went into a cave in Thailand after practice. Rain began to fall, raising the water level and trapping the boys inside. The world couldn’t stop watching this search and rescue mission in the Tham Luang cave that was plagued by challenges.

More than 10,000 people joined the rescue effort, including 2,000 soliders, 900 police officers, representatives from around 100 government agencies, over 100 divers, and countless workers. There were seven ambulances, 10 helicopters, over 700 diving cylinders, and the constant water pumping that removed more than a billion liters of water.

This massive team included someone else: Captain Jessica Tait.

At the time, Jessica was with the 353rd Special Operations Group, and the government of Thailand selected them to assist in rescuing the team from the Tham Luang Cave system. She served as the US Government Spokesperson for her unit, showcasing her calm demeanor under intense pressure. In total, she appeared in more than 85 on-camera interview and responded to more than 100 inquiries from the media.

After 18 long days, the team was successfully rescued and Jessica was forever changed by the experience.

“I could talk endlessly about the operational things I learned or the deep discoveries about myself, but my biggest take-away was from the Thai people who poured out the most authentic display of hope I’ve ever seen in my life. I truly believe this is why the rescue had the happy ending that it did.”

Due to her high visibility in the situation, she became one of the most recognizable faces in Thailand and was told how her presence impacted others involved in the rescue. She then realized she had an opportunity to use her experience to inspire young girls.

Later, she was invited to return to Bangkok to create a #GirlPower video to support women’s empowerment. She was excited for the opportunity to not only create the video, but speak to girls in schools there as well.

Continuing her passion, Jessica is speaking exclusively to Girl Scouts of Western New York Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. Reserve your spot today to learn more attend this event that sure to leave your girls feeling strong and empowered!

Register for Captain Jessica Tait’s Speaking Event

2019 Summer Camp Spotlight – May 10, 2019

Summer camp is just around the corner and we wanted to remind you about some really cool programs that are taking place this summer.  So don’t delay, sign up now and reserve your spot for the hottest place in town, Girl Scouts summer camp! 

Register for Camp

Summer Camp Spotlight

Camp Piperwood

NEW! The Great Girl Scout Adventurer (for girls 5 years old or entering K-8 fall 2019) Session 1: July 1-3 & 5, 2019

Begin your summer adventure! Brownie Girls will practice the art of letterboxing, Juniors will explore geocaching, and Daisies and Cadettes will put their problem-solving skills to the test! Everyday riddles and adventures are in store for all! Girls will earn requirements towards the following Girl Scout badges: Daisy: Vi’s Story / Brownie: Letter Boxer / Junior: Geocacher / Cadette: Special Agent/Trailblazer

NEW! Nature’s Guardians (for girls in grades 6-8 fall of 2019) Session 6: August 5-9, 2019  

Piperwood is calling all Nature’s Guardians for a week dedicated to the great outdoors. Learn how to keep things friendly as you walk in nature, build safe campfires with your guardian friends, plan & make meals with the environment in mind, learn the important seven principles of Leave No Trace and why as Girl Scouts we always leave a place better than we found it. Girls will earn requirements towards the following Girl Scout badges: Daisy: Eco Learner / Brownie: Eco Friend / Junior: Eco Camper / Cadette: Eco Trekker

Camp Seven Hills

Letterboxing It’s a Real Life Camp Treasure Hunt! (for girls in grades 1-3 fall of 2019) Session 2: July 14-19, 2019

Put your problem solving skills to the test as you spend this adventurous week searching for clues and solving riddles to find the treasures hidden throughout camp. Girls will practice the art of letterboxing by learning the basics, making stamps, thinking of clues, and creating a camp letterbox. Challenge your camp friends to see who can find the camp letterbox first. All of the other great aspects of camp are also included in this great creative week. Girls will earn requirements towards the following Girl Scout badges – Daisy – Rosie’s Petal (Make the World a Better Place) / Brownie – Letterboxer

Night Owls with Lasertron Sleep-In (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019) Session 1: July 7-12, 2019

Are you ready to experience nature’s nightlife at Camp Seven Hills? Prowl around our trails at night, search the sky for a shooting star, have a glow-in-the-dark party with games, plan a kitchen raid, and shop in the Tuck Shop, all at night. You will also head out to Lasertron for a laser tag sleep-in. Stay up all night playing laser tag and games along with pizza and pop. After a hard night of play, sleep late the next morning with time to enjoy your favorite camp activities in the afternoon. Girls must be at least 46 inches tall in order to participate at Lasertron.

Scuba Diving Explorers (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019) Sessions 2-3: July 14-26, 2019  

Experience the underwater world through a mask, snorkel, and breathing device. Professional scuba instructors from Dip N’ Dive will take you through every step necessary for you to obtain your Jr. Open Water Diver or your Open Water Diver scuba certification. Spend a week at camp training in our Seven Hills pool covering the first phase of your certification. Spend your second week completing the second phase: open water dive with overnight conducted at the Windmill Quarry, located in Fort Erie, Canada. When you surface, don’t forget to leave time for all of the other great activities at Seven Hills.

Camp Seven Hills Family Camp Weekend – July 19-21, 2019

Make it a family affair at Camp Seven Hills. During your day enjoy swimming, boating, horseback riding, crafts, games, archery, or hiking the forest trails. Spend the evening around the campfire toasting marshmallows and chatting with family and friends. The possibilities are endless. Open to all girls and their families. Arrival time is Friday at 8 p.m. and departure is Sunday at 9 a.m.

Families will be placed in platform or cabin tent units only. Each sleeping tent sleeps four to five people. A family of six or more will be placed in two (2) sleeping tents. Horseback riding is on a first come, first served basis for an additional fee of $10 per person. Riders must be able to ride without assistance. Riders must be at least 6 years old or older.

Primitive Archer Girl (for girls ages 14 and up) Sessions 4: July 28-Aug. 2, 2019

Connect with trees and your inner archer. Starting from scratch, raw materials, and girl power, you’ll make your own wooden self-bow through traditional woodworking. You’ll be instructed on the wisdom and knowledge of traditional bow crafting, how to use basic hand tools, cordage twisting for bow strings, ancient fire-bending techniques to straighten arrows and fletching with real feathers. You will, of course, have the chance to test out your handiwork with target practice in the woods and on the fields to round out this amazing experience.

Camp Timbercrest

Wizard Camp (for girls in grades 4-6 in fall of 2019) Session 1: July 7-12, 2019

Welcome to a week of wizardry and adventures! Make oozing and exploding potions, discover helpful plants, and try some magic defense techniques. Spend time conquering your fears with your friends as you play broomstick sports and compete in the Camp Wizard Cup.

New! Timbercrest Firebenders (for girls in grades 4-6 in fall of 2019) Session 4: July 28-Aug. 2, 2019

Here’s your chance to learn and/or fine tune your outdoor skills. Outdoor professionals will work with and teach you different methods of fire building, outdoor cooking with edible plants, and shelter building. Identify things in nature, take a hike and learn to use a compass and map. Apply your skills and work as a team in the great outdoors.

New! Canoeing the Allegheny Reservoir (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019) Sessions 4-5: July 28-Aug. 9, 2019

Spend eight glorious days and seven exhilarating nights discovering the wonderful sites of the Allegheny Reservoir as it takes you through the state park and the national forest. Professional guides from Adventures in Fitness will start your trip at Webs Ferry in Allegany State Park and end your journey in Tionesta, PA. Paddle with friends, pitch tents, and share stores around the campfire at night.

New! Imagine and K’Nex with day trip (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019) Session 3: July 21-26, 2019

Use your imagination! Create fun craft projects using a variety of supplies such as K’nex Kits and natural materials. Create miniature theme park activities or water slides to show off to your friends. You will also get to see your creative park creations come to life when you take a trip to Splash Lagoon with your fellow Imagine and Connect friends and get a behind-the-scenes tour of how things operate. There will be plenty of time left to spend in the park, too. All this and the other great camp activities are included. Girls will earn requirements towards the Think Like An Engineer Journey.

Me and My Favorite Gal (for girls in grades K-6) Session 3c July 26-28

Girls bring your “favorite gal” (mom, aunt, grandmother, sister, cousin or friend) to enjoy all that Camp Timbercrest has to offer. Go hiking on our adventurous trails, swim in Keyser Lake and play on our new and really cool water toys, make a special gift to take home in arts and crafts and spend time around the campfire with your fellow camp friends. This special time is yours to spend as you and your “favorite gal”would like. Favorite gal must be 21 years of age or older. Troops/girls/gals will be placed in Jackman Lodge and one Yurt.

What does a bridging ceremony look like?

It’s National Girl Scout Bridging Week! While bridging is an important ceremony to us, you may not understand what it is or how to do it. Never fear! This blog post is designed to help you plan your bridging ceremony and provides resources for each level.

In case you don’t know, a bridging ceremony is the celebration of moving on to a new adventure. We recognize what the girls have accomplished and how they’re ready for their next steps and responsibilities as they move to the next level in Girl Scouts.

While there is a general guide, the most important thing about the bridging ceremony is that it’s fun and personalized by the girls themselves. It’s meant to be done as a partnership between the girls and adults.

Usually held at the beginning or end of the troop year, they generally consist of three parts, including an opening, main section, and closing. The opening is your time to welcome everyone and set the tone for the event. The main section will explain what’s happening and celebrate the girls as they “bridge” to the next level. In closing, the girls can do a friendship circle and thank everyone for attending.

Through every part, it’s important to make sure there’s room for the girls individuality and creativity to shine through, making it a girl-focused event. You’re paying tribute to these amazing girls and want that to remain the focus.

For more information on how each level can earn their bridging awards, check the links below:

Daisies

Brownies

Juniors

Cadettes

Seniors

Ambassadors