Member Essentials – 1/12/20

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!


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is next Monday, January 18

Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is actually a federally recognized day of service—meant to be not a day off, but a day on?

Here are some ways that you, your troop, and your family can get involved and help your community on MLK Day. To keep yourself and your community safe during COVID-19, we encourage you to minimize your contact with others.

READ MORE


Join-a-Thon is tomorrow!

The G.I.R.L. Scout Join-a-Thon is a 12-hour membership drive offering unique incentives to both adults and girls who register during the allotted time. This year, it’s tomorrow, January 13, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We have several prize options available for our new members and current members also have a chance to win! If you refer someone to join Girl Scouts as a co-leader and they join tomorrow, you’re entered into a gift card drawing for the store of your choice. Simply fill out this form to let us know who you are and who you talked to about joining: bit.ly/2021joinathonreferral


GSWNY Summer Camp 2021

At GSWNY we know how important it is for girls to have a wonderful summer camp experience. We also want to assure you that 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 to operate camp in-person or switch to our alternative camp (virtual) program mode. You will have several summer camp options for you and your girl to consider. 

VIEW THE CAMP NEWSLETTER

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 we are asking all of our GSWNY camp families who are interested in having their child participate in summer camp 2021, to please pre-register to reserve a spot. From January 13 to April 30, 2021, you will have the opportunity to pre-register and reserve a spot for your girl . It is at this time that you will be required to pay a refundable $25 deposit and select an option of day camp, overnight camp, troop camp adventure, alternative camp or both. The link will be available tomorrow at gswny.org.


Own Your Future Financial Workshop

Thank you to GSWNY Board Member Nicholle Overkamp who is generously offering her Own Your Future Workshop to Girl Scout volunteers for free with the code OWNYOURFUTURE29. Courses included investing, saving, paying down debt, giving back, and more!

Nicholle is the founder and CEO of Wilcox Financial Group and PowHERhouse Money Coaching.

Use the button below and the code OWNYOURFUTURE29 to take her workshop for free!

REGISTER FOR OWN YOUR FUTURE


New resources on the Troop Leader Blueprint 

Check out our newest, specially adapted badges, Journeys, and activities on the Troop Leader Blueprint. These great resources are organized by grade level and constantly updating. Stay tuned for even more new resources in February!

VIEW THE BLUEPRINT


Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team is happening now!

Every Friday at 10 a.m., our Product Program Team is going live to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 

This week, the team is covering and unboxing this year’s recognitions! They’ll discuss the early recognition awards, including the sweatshirts.

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand. Check out past videos on our YouTube here.


Batavia Office Update

We shard this news in our December 22 Member Essentials, and are including this notice as a reminder in case you missed this news over the holidays. 

As you may know, our Batavia office has been closed since March 2020 when COVID-19 struck since that time we have been serving our members virtually, through mail, and through other service center locations. Our Batavia office lease expires February 1, 2021.

We had originally planned to identify a new location and relocate to a new space in Batavia that better fit our needs, but due to COVID-19 we are postponing the move. To use our resources wisely, we will not renew our lease at this time, and we will wait to move to a new location until after the pandemic and at a time when we can safely reopen.

Volunteers in the GLOW counties were invited to a virtual meeting on December 16 and we shared this news with them at that time. Please know our goal is to maintain a physical presence in Batavia. In the meantime, we would like your input on a new Batavia Office space and you can take the survey here. Thank you.


Retail Item of the Week: Girl Scout Strong Pencil and Mini Notebook

These items can be ordered together or separate and are perfect for Girl Scouts to show their pride and keep organized during the cookie selling season!

  • Pencil – $.50
  • Notebook – $4.00

This adorable mini spiral notebook is the perfect size to throw in your purse or backpack! The notebook is the size of a traditional small memo pad. We love the trefoil on the front to show off your Girl Scout pride! Don’t forget to slide a pen or pencil in the spiral so you can quickly write things down so you never forget a thought. 

Email your local shop to arrange Curbside Pickup OR click the link below to order directly from the GSUSA website.

Order Pencil | Order Notebook

HOW TO ORDER CURBSIDE



Registration Deadline: TOMORROW, January 13, 2021

Wondermakers Star Spangled Tales – D /B
Saturday, Jan. 16 | 11:00am – 11:45am  

Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with American folk tales, including stories from the African American tradition. Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to get up on the “stage” and join The Wondermakers as we play characters in the stories. This is a fun and spirited way to celebrate our country and learn more about our culture.  
REGISTER
Digital Game Design – S
Saturday, Jan. 16 | 10:00am-1:00pm

Girls will learn about the different steps of designing a game and implement them in real life. Girls will get a chance to share their games and continue working on them after the program ends to create a game that can make a positive difference in the world. Girl Scout Seniors will earn their Coding for Good 2: Digital Game Design Badge.   
REGISTER

Check out these upcoming programs!

Buying Power – S/A
Thursday, Jan. 21 | 6:00pm-7:00pm

Join us in this program to learn how to get more bang for your buck! We will cover: How to determine which items really cost less Places to shop Brand name vs. generic products Need it, want it, gotta have it! And other financial literacy concepts!  
REGISTER BUYING POWER  

App Development – A
Saturday, Jan. 23 | 10:00am-1:00pm

Ambassadors will begin to explore app development. Ambassadors will learn the different steps of designing an app and implement them in real life. Girls will get a chance to share their designs and continue working on them after the program ends to create an app that can make a positive difference in the world. Girl Scout Ambassadors will earn their Coding for Good 3: App Development Badge. 
REGISTER APP DEV.
Travelers – S
Wednesday, Jan. 27 | 6:00pm-7:00pm

Join this program and imagine the wonders of travel. We will develop fun itineraries, learn how to travel inexpensively, and become travel experts as we plan a trip to make memories.
REGISTER TRAVELERS  

Valentine’s Day Squash Books – S/A
Wednesday, Feb. 3 | 6:30pm-7:30pm

Create an origami-style photo book to hold up to 4 photos. Using unique folding, create your folding photo book which can make a great gift for a friend or loved one. Decorate with paper, markers/pens, stickers and other craft supplies. Use ribbon to keep the book closed and add a cute touch. Participants will receive included supplies in the mail, and will need to bring their own needed and optional supplies.
REGISTER SQUASH BOOK  

Looking for more programs? Visit gswny.org 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. 

Patch Challenge: GSWNY Feeds New York

Help fight hunger in our community while earning the GSWNY Feeds NY Challenge Patch. Be part of this council-wide effort to combat hunger through knowledge, awareness and support of our local food banks. Have fun completing these activities and sharing the results.

DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST

Looking for more options? Head to girlscouts.org for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Five Girl Scouts from Como Lake Troop 37102 recently earned their Girl Scout Silver Awards. The Girl Scout Silver Award takes roughly 50 hours to complete and can be done individually, as a pair, or as a small group. Visit gswnyblog.com to read more about their projects!


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.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is meant to be a day on, not off

Guest Post by Sarah Murphy, GSWNY Girl Experience Specialist and AmeriCorps VISTA

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sarah and a friend at an MLK Day of Service event in 2018 with the Flower City Habitat for Humanity

If you’re anything like me, you probably to look forward to the third Monday in January as a much-needed day off as you struggle to get back in the swing of things after the holidays. But you might not know that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is actually a federally recognized day of service—meant to be not a day off, as most of us treat it, but a day on.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first observed in 1986, but it didn’t become an official day of service until 1994, when Congressmen Harris Wofford and John Lewis challenged Americans to turn the holiday into a day of citizen action. In the 26 years since, coordinated acts of service on MLK Day have inched us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community”: a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love for one’s fellow human beings of all backgrounds.

Since 1994, the MLK Day of Service has been coordinated by AmeriCorps, which also runs enormous volunteer programs meant to help others and meet critical needs in communities across the country. AmeriCorps members dedicate about a year of full-time volunteer service to organizations all over the United States, and this year I’m one of them—and I’m lucky to be volunteering right here at GSWNY!

Sarah’s VISTA cohort

I was a Girl Scout myself for 11 years, so I know how dedicated my Girl Scout sisters are to making the world a better place. I also know that Girl Scouts across our council have been instrumental in supporting our community during COVID-19. From donating cookies last spring to making masks for frontline workers to getting out the vote this past fall, you have made a HUGE difference, and I’m cheering you on to keep going!

Below are some ways that you, your troop, and your family can get involved and help your community on MLK Day, which will be observed on Monday, January 18, 2021. To keep yourself and your community safe during COVID-19, we encourage you to minimize your contact with others.

  • Send cards or pictures to people in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and/or hospitals to brighten people’s days and let them know that someone is thinking of them. (Note: Check to see if the organization will accept a physical copy by mail or if you should scan and email them copies of these instead.)
  • Send a thank-you note or an encouraging message to a front-line worker such as a healthcare provider, a teacher, a food bank volunteer, or a firefighter. (Note: Check to see if the organization will accept a physical copy by mail or if you should scan and email them copies of these instead.)
  • Donate food to a local food cupboard. Search for an organization near you, find out what kinds of food they need, and work with an adult to gather food and organize a contactless drop-off.
  • Call a friend, family member, or neighbor who might be isolated during this time and lift their spirits with a game or a virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Visit AmeriCorps’ MLK Day of Service website at mlkday.gov and search for additional service opportunities near you! The site lists both remote and in-person opportunities, so please serve safely. If you choose to serve in person, wear a mask and maintain social distancing!

I can’t wait to see what Girl Scouts across our council do to make the world a better place on January 18. Have fun, stay safe, and remember that MLK Day isn’t your only opportunity to help your community—you can serve any and every day of the year!

Are you doing community service in-person or at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day? We’d love to share your photos on social media! Please submit your photos (or videos) to communications@gswny.org and include the names of anyone in the photos, troop number, where the community service is taking place or who it is for, and an explanation of what is happening in the photos.

PHOTO GUIDELINES: Please remember that for in-person activities we currently are only accepting photos following our COVID media guidelines. Due to the fact that it is often impossible to tell who is in the same household visually, we are only accepting photos that show all girls and adults properly wearing masks and social distancing, even if they are related. We understand this limits the number and types of photos that can be submitted and will be accepted for posting, but due to the number of questions we have received about what is being depicted in photos we can currently only use photos clearly following the above rules. Photos must also respect the COVID guidelines relevant to the local area of the council (if your area of council is not allowing in-person meetings, we are unable to use photos of in-person activities even if they were not done as a part of a Girl Scout activity). We apologize for any confusion and for the limitations this imposes, but we want to make sure we are clear about the safety of our members. We reserve the right not to post any photos for any reason.

5 from Troop 37102 earn Girl Scout Silver Award in 2020

Five Girl Scouts from Como Lake Troop 37102 recently earned their Girl Scout Silver Awards. The Girl Scout Silver Award takes roughly 50 hours to complete and can be done individually, as a pair, or as a small group. To read the full requirements of the Silver Award, click here. The below stories were provided by the girls’ troop leader.

Anna Winnicki earned her Silver Award by completing her project individually. She decided to take on The Sensible Source’s Pad Project. Normally, her Girl Scout Service Unit (a geographic grouping of local Girl Scout troops) would host an event to pack menstrual care items, but due to the pandemic, this was not possible. Anna decided to step up and take on the work herself. She was able to work independently at her home packing one-gallon bags with one month of supplies. Troops in Como Lake Service Unit donated supplies.  Anna’s Leader, Maryann Gramza, assisted in buying supplies. Anna’s mom made a wish list to get donations. Ann Germanow, the Founder of “Sensible Source” provided guidance and disposal bags for the kits.

Anna donated her kits to the Lancaster Youth Bureau and Resurrection Food Pantry. (Fellow Girl Scouts Hailey Prowse and Kayli McIsaac, also from Troop 37102, assembled menstrual care kits that were donated to Response to Love and Nativity Miguel as a Service  Project.) About 400 kits were donated in total.



Madison Massaro and Johnica Rosa-Mutignani worked together to complete their Silver Award. Their project involved making dog and cat collars for the SPCA Serving Erie County, NY. To begin, they toured the facility to get ideas for a project.  They decided that they wanted to make something that adopted dogs and cats could leave the facility with for use at their new home. They used YouTube to get ideas and settle on a process for creating the collars. It just so happened that a nearby sewing store was closing. They were able to get discounts and donations for their project. Their troop leader, Maryann Gramza, provided them with machines and guidance with their sewing. Johnica and Madison donated over 100 collars when they attended the Animal Helper Badge with their Troop at the SPCA. (Photos are pre-COVID.)

Kailey Allen’s Silver Award Project was called “Increasing Literacy in My Community.” Kailey worked closely with the Librarian at Depew Middle School on projects to keep the library organized and running smoothly for students. She also volunteered at the Lancaster Public Library in the children’s section and for the annual book sale. Kailey sorted donations and spent time volunteering at the sale. She dedicated her time in the children’s section helping kids choose books for purchase and replenishing materials as needed. Kailey has a strong passion for promoting libraries.


Eva Shurmatz’s Silver Award project was called “Hope for Horses.” Eva has been volunteering at Phoenix Rising Equine Rescue located in Clarence. She saw that there were so many needs at the facility. (This was before COVID and their needs are even greater now.) Eva established ongoing bottle/can drives to purchase items for the barn and a recycling program at William Street School.


To submit your girl’s or troop’s Higher Award stories for publication on our social media or blog, please submit photos and details to communications@gswny.org. (Please note this is not the same as the submission process for completing a Higher Award. All paperwork must be finalized with the GSWNY Girl Experience Department. Questions? Please contact customercare@gswny.org.)

1-8-2021 Update From GSWNY CEO, Alison Wilcox

 Hello Girl Scout Families, Volunteers and Members,

As CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York, I am writing to you knowing that you, like me, may be struggling with how to process, and talk about the Capitol riots on Wednesday with your girls, either in your own family discussions or in troop meetings.

In times of crisis, the importance of our mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place can be a beacon of hope for us, our girls, and for the future as we prepare our girls to take the lead today and tomorrow. We strive to create a safe, respectful and empowering space for girls and also to serve as a resource for our members.

Our Girl Scout Promise and Law is shared by every member of Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout Law outlines how we act towards one another and the world, and is a crucial foundation for our girls as they live up to the Promise and Law in all aspects of their life:

“I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely and make the world a better place.”
 
Girl Scouts of the USA has a resource page on its website, Raising Awesome Girls, which includes many articles sharing advice including this article on 7 Ways to Deal When the World Is Just So Overwhelming, and other articles from the past year about how to talk about difficult issues with girls including injustice, standing up for what is right, and COVID-19 among others. 

Some additional resources include:

  • National Geographic – Talking To Your Kids About Chaos: Here
  • Child Mind Institute – Helping Kids Understand the Riots at the Capitol: Here
  • And a past article from PBS – Helping Kids Navigate Scary News Stories: Here

This has been a difficult and distressing time, and I am grateful to be part of our committed and dedicated community of Girl Scouts who share my passion for empowering our girls, and doing what we can, together, to make the world a better place.   

Yours in Girl Scouting,  

Alison Wilcox
CEO, Girl Scouts of Western New York

Member Essentials – 1/5/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

Happy New Year! We are grateful to all of our members for your continued participation and support of our mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. We are looking forward to another great year of Girl Scouting in 2021. 

We have also heard from some of you about concerns about the production of Girl Scout cookies and the use of palm oil. GSUSA is committed to ensuring the development and use of sustainable practices that protect human rights. As the world’s current food supply is intricately tied to the use of palm oil, we believe promoting sustainable manufacturing principles is the most responsible approach for Girl Scouts.

To be very clear, child labor has no place in the production of Girl Scout Cookies. We have and continue to work with our baker, ABC Bakers, to increase the transparency and sustainability of our production lines and sourcing to prevent these types of occurrences from happening. Our baker has worked to ensure that the palm oil used in making Girl Scout cookies is certified sustainable by the RSPO and continues to research viable alternatives. Read more about palm oil and Girl Scout cookies: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/FAQs.html

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!


Our annual Join-a-Thon is back next Wednesday! The G.I.R.L. Scout Join-a-Thon is a 12-hour membership drive offering unique incentives to both adults and girls who register during the allotted time. 

We have several prize options available for our new members. All girls who  join during the promotion will receive an exclusive Join-a-Thon patch, and all who join will be entered into a drawing for three prizes, including gift cards and a year supply of cookies!

Current members also have a chance to win! If you refer someone to join Girl Scouts as a co-leader and they do on January 13, you’re entered into a gift card drawing for the store of your choice. Simply fill out this form to let us know who you are and who you talked to about joining: bit.ly/2021joinathonreferral


Direct sales starting

Initial Order Taking begins Saturday! 

The Girl Scout Cookie Season kicked off online in December, but this Saturday, January 9, marks the start of the initial order taking period. This is the time when girls can take in-person orders (and still collect online orders) through February 7.

Plus, there are early recognition awards girls can win if they reach their goals of 170/180/200 packages, including a hoodie, keyring, and patch!

Cookie Resources

Starting this Friday: Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team

Starting the first week of January, our Product Program Team is going live weekly to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 

You’re invited to join them Friday, January 8, at 10 a.m. as they welcome everyone to the 2021 Cooke Program, discuss our new cookie, show how to send e-cards with direct ship options, how to register, and more!

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand.


Reminder: Renewal Incentive Distribution!

We are finally starting to receive our shipments of GS-branded face masks from GSUSA! We are currently sorting through over 7,000 masks and patches. Troop packets will be delivered to SU’s starting in January and troops will be informed by their SUM regarding safe pickup. Troops with only 1 renewal or Juliettes will have incentives mailed to them in January.


Retail Item of the Week: Antibacterial Door Opener

Stay healthy and safe during 2021 using this stylist Girl Scout Antibacterial Door Opener! Keep it on your key ring for easy access and use it to open doors, touch screens, and use pin pads safely.

Price: $5.00

Email your local shop today to set up a time/date for Curbside Pickup.

HOW TO ORDER CURBSIDE


Thanks Badge & Thanks Badge II: GSWNY Adult Recognition Award Monthly Highlight

We’re going to kick off the New Year learning about the Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II – which are the highest awards volunteers can earn! The Thanks Badges recognizes volunteer service which has had an impact on the entire council or entire Girl Scout movement. The Thanks Badge II is the highest award given to an individual volunteer. Only previous Thanks Badge recipients can earn the Thanks Badge II.

READ MORE


Senior/Ambassador Collage Artist
Tuesday, January 19 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM via Zoom

Get started on the Senior Collage Artist badge with local collage artist Jesse Amesmith! Jesse will lead us through the basics of collaging and share about her journey as a collage artist. Join us for a fun and inspiring night of creativity! Girls will need to supply their own scissors, old magazines/newspapers/etc., glue, and paper.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jesse is a collage artist, tarot reader, musician & Yogi living in Rochester, NY. “I’m more interested in process than product.” Jesse says. “Exploring the middle is much more exciting to me than any end result.” Making art & music are integral parts of how she processes life, and explores the major themes of what it means to be an evolving person. You can learn more about Jesse and view samples of her art at JesseAmesmith.com.

Registration Deadline: January 8

REGISTER NOW

Join us for a fun filled day at camp this winter as we build a winter shelter, try snowshoeing or go for a winter hike, get warm around a fire, play winter games, and more. Event will occur even if there is no snow. Fun patch, Hot Cocoa, and snack included. Please pack a bagged Lunch. 

Timbercrest – 1/23 | Seven Hill s- 1/30 | Seven Hills – 1/31 | Piperwood – 2/6 | Piperwood – 2/7

Do you know or want to know all of the planets in our solar system? Do you like to adventure outside at night to look at the sky? Do you dream about going into space someday? Join us at camp for the evening and learn how to read the stars, find constellations, take a night hike, and hear how other cultures explain the night sky through myths and stories around the campfire. 

Timbercrest – 1/23 | Seven Hills – 1/30 | Piperwood – 2/6

Calling all Seniors and Ambassadors who have heard what it takes to camp in the snow. Are you ready to give it a try and show us how Girl Scout Strong you are? This program is not for the novice camper. Come spend the night in a tent in near freezing temperatures, practice the skills you learned in Winter Camping Basics  and see what it’s like first hand. You are stronger than you think! (“Winter Camping Basics” strongly recommended but not required). 

Seven Hills – 2/20-21 | Timbercrest – 3/6-7


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. 

Upcoming Buffalo Zoo Virtual Programs! 

By level:

  • Brownie Bugs
  • Junior Animal Habitats
  • Daisy Tula Petal
  • Cadette Animal Helpers

Looking for more options? Head to girlscouts.org for even more at-home opportunities for your Girl Scout.


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things

Troop 31151 in Clarence held a virtual bridging ceremony. The troop of 14 girls are officially Juniors!


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.

Member Essentials – 12/22/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

What a year 2020 has been!  On behalf of Girl Scouts of Western New York, thank you for all of your commitment, support and dedication to building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. 

I am so proud of how our volunteers, staff, families and community supporters helped to keep Girl Scouting available for our girls, and I am so proud of how our girls stepped up to lead in their communities and make a difference.

The mission and spirit of Girl Scouting remains strong, and it is because of each of you.
We wish you a peaceful and safe holiday season, and we look forward to a wonderful New Year in 2021.

Thank you for all that you do for our girls.

Alison

Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts of WNY

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.


Batavia Office Update:

As you may know, our Batavia office has been closed since March 2020 when COVID-19 struck since that time we have been serving our members virtually, through mail, and through other service center locations. Our Batavia office lease expires February 1, 2021.

We had originally planned to identify a new location and relocate to a new space in Batavia that better fit our needs, but due to COVID-19 we are postponing the move. To use our resources wisely, we will not renew our lease at this time, and we will wait to move to a new location until after the pandemic and at a time when we can safely reopen.

Volunteers in the GLOW counties were invited to a virtual meeting on December 16 and we shared this news with them at that time. Please know our goal is to maintain a physical presence in Batavia. In the meantime, we would like your input on a new Batavia Office space and you can take the survey here. Thank you.



Renewal Incentive Distribution!

We are finally starting to receive our shipments of GS-branded face masks from GSUSA! We are currently sorting through over 7,000 masks and patches. Troop packets will be delivered to SU’s starting in January and troops will be informed by their SUM regarding safe pickup. Troops with only 1 renewal or Juliettes will have incentives mailed to them in January.


What’s better than making new friends and getting free stuff?

Our Grow Your Girl Crew contest is happening right now! Don’t know what it is? When you invite someone to join Girl Scouts, and they do, you automatically get a prize! It’s that simple. For adults, we have an amazing sweatshirt for you and a mask for who you get to join. We have three tiers of prizes for girls, including a patch with  charms, sweatshirt, and Air Pods!

Click here to learn more about what you can win and how to enter!


Higher Awards Extension Deadline

While the GSUSA deadline for Bronze and Silver Awards has been extended to 12/31/2020, we do not expect you to worry about submitting paperwork over the holidays. Please submit as soon as possible in the new year. Please contact girl.experience@gswny.org if you have additional concerns or if you need to discuss a further extension. We want to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to earn the higher awards.


Are you participating in the online Cookie Program? 

As a reminder, girls who sell 24 packages online will earn the #Buzzz Online patch. 

Questions about the Cookie Program? Visit our Cookie Page for additional resources and support.

New: Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team

Starting the first week of January, our Product Program Team is going live weekly to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 

You’re invited to join them Friday, January 8, at 10 a.m. as they welcome everyone to the 2021 Cooke Program, discuss our new cookie, show how to send e-cards with direct ship options, how to register, and more!

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand.


New Outdoor Opportunities!


Shop Online Now! GSUSA has 30% off holiday bundles and continued free standard shipping thru December 31, 2020.


Resume, Interview, and Job Seeking Basics for Seniors and Ambassadors
January 6, 6:30-7:30 via Zoom


Are you going to be looking for a job soon? Are you curious what it takes to apply for a job? Learn how to stand out from the other job seekers! You will also learn how to create/build your resume, get tips on job seeking, interview skills, and dressing for success. Program Facilitator Kathy Reisenweber is an expert on this topic—come learn from the best!

Supplies needed: Pen & paper

REGISTER NOW


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. 

Badge in a Box Clear Out!

This is the last chance to get the boxes currently available in limited quantities, as they won’t be available after the New Year. The Daisy Outdoor Art Maker, Junior Independence, Cadette Special Agent, Senior Space Science Expert, Ambassador Programming Robots, and Democracy boxes are now only $5.

The boxes will be available for curbside pick-up at the Buffalo, Rochester, Lockport, and Jamestown Service Centers. Please fill out the following survey, and be sure to include the number of Girl Scouts in your troop that will need kits.  Request 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

Juliette Girl Scouts from Amherst Gabriella McCann and Patricia Fuller (not pictured) recently organized a neighborhood Winter Warmth Drive for children in need at Windermere Blvd. Elementary School. Approximately 50 hat and glove sets were donated. December happens to be Empathy Month for students and staff at the school.


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.

Member Essentials – 12/15/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

Thank you for your patience as we work on our upgraded membership system VS 2.0. We apologize as there may be a slight delay in our Customer Care Team’s response time as we adjust to the new workflow. We always strive to give the very best customer service to each of you and want you to know how important you are to us.

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.



Are you participating in the online Cookie Program? 

Cookie ordering has been open for 10 days so far! As a reminder, girls who sell 24 packages online will earn the #Buzzz Online patch. 

Questions about the Cookie Program? Visit our Cookie Page for additional resources and support.

New: Coffee Break with Your Product Program Team

Starting the first week of January, our Product Program Team is going live weekly to go over different topics and answer your cookie questions. 
You’re invited to join them Wednesday, January 6, at 1 p.m. as they welcome everyone to the 2021 Cooke Program, discuss our new cookie, show how to send e-cards with direct ship options, how to register, and more!

All videos will premiere on our Facebook page and be available after for viewing on demand.


  • Cheddar Up is an on-line account payment platform, Troops can continue to collect funds via cash and check.
  • As of the 2021-2022 membership year, Cheddar Up will be the only approved on-line payment platform to be used by GSWNY troops.
  • Each collection page (including cookies and the Fall Sale) created provides an option for you to record the receipt of on-line payment, cash and checks to keep a full accounting of all payments made to the troop.

Council has received a number of questions and the Cheddar Up FAQ has the answers to many of them. We highly encourage you to please follow the FAQ link and take time to review it.

What do I need to do to start using Cheddar Up?

  • Get started by creating your FREE Cheddar up account.  Just follow the instructions you receive in your Welcome email from Cheddar Up. Didn’t receive the Welcome email? (Check your junk/spam folders!) Contact Cheddar Up Support at friendlysupport@cheddarup.com . Give them your first and last name, GSWNY Troop # and email.  Make sure you only create your account using the link in this welcome email, because it will give you access to perks (free monthly subscription plans!) and special tools specific to GSWNY. Once your account set-up is complete, you are ready to dig in and set up your collections.

If you don’t see the information you are looking for, have additional questions, or need help:

Schedule a live chat 9-5 pm, M-F: https://my.cheddarup.com/contact


Girl Scouts: We want to hear from you!

Photo taken prior to March 2020. Girl Scouts in East Side YMCA Afterschool Troop

We are looking for 6 girls to join the Recruitment Team for a Facebook Live conversation. Are you having a good Girl Scout Troop experience that you want to share? Is your troop meeting virtually? Have you completed a badge? Have you completed a community service project? If you answered yes to any of these questions, are a current Daisy-Cadette Girl Scout and have a story to share please complete the survey below and a member of the GSWNY Recruitment Team will contact you about joining an upcoming Facebook Live Conversation on your experience.

GIRL SCOUT EXPERIENCE SURVEY


Retail Item of the Week: GSWNY Ornament

For this week only, our GSWNY Ornament is on sale for $8! Check out this refined wooden ornament that is the perfect addition to your holiday decorations! This ornament is made of Birchwood with wood-burned border with the GSWNY acronym.

Do you have a crafty Girl Scout? This is a perfect ornament to paint and decorate together, too! The ornament measures 2.75″ x 3.5″ and has a red satin ribbon for easy hanging. Email your local shop today to set up a time/date for Curbside Pickup.

How to Order:

  1. Place your order via email by emailing the shop location you want to pick it up from. Include a daytime phone number for the shop staff to contact you.
  2. Await confirmation from the shop staff that your order is complete with the total amount due.
  3. Make payment via debit or credit card and choose pick up day and time with retail staff during confirmation call. Current Pick up hours: Monday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM & Wednesday 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
  4. Arrive at scheduled location on pick up day and time.

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. 

New Patch Challenge: GSWNY Feeds New York

Help fight hunger in our community while earning the GSWNY Feeds NY Challenge Patch. Be part of this council-wide effort to combat hunger through knowledge, awareness and support of our local food banks. Have fun completing these activities and sharing the results. 

DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST

Badge in a Box Clear Out!

This is the last chance to get the boxes currently available in limited quantities, as they won’t be available after the New Year. The Daisy Outdoor Art Maker, Junior Independence, Cadette Special Agent, Senior Space Science Expert, Ambassador Programming Robots, and Democracy boxes are now only $5.

The boxes will be available for curbside pick-up at the Buffalo, Rochester, Lockport, and Jamestown Service Centers. Please fill out the following survey, and be sure to include the number of Girl Scouts in your troop that will need kits.  Request 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 30711 was recognized on 11-23-20 as “Citizens of the Month” by Erie County, NY and Legislator Joseph Lorigo.  Last year, the Troop joined with other Troops in East Aurora to dedicate a Tiny Library in honor of Patricia Whittington, a volunteer leader and former Girl Scout who had just celebrated her 50th Anniversary as a volunteer and member of the Girl Scouts family.

Troop 30711 pivoted to meet the needs of the community and transformed it into a Tiny Pantry for use by families struggling through the pandemic. Sophia Benzin was also recognized for her work making children’s masks for local hospitals. Congratulations to Troop members Sophia Benzin, Nicole Koch, Ashlyn Houghton, and Bethany Francis. Thank you to Troop co-leaders Julie Benzin and Erin Francis.


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.

Fall Foliage Photo Contest 2020

The results are in! Congratulations to our winners below and thank you to everyone who participated in our Fall Foliage Contest.

There are three categories for both Girl and Adult Submissions: Best Fall Composition, Best Fall Foliage, and Best Fall Family Portrait/Selfie. Winners will be receiving their prizes in the mail. The winners are…

Girl Winners:

Best Fall Composition: Scarlett Mecca

Best Fall Foliage: Vivian Wegman

Best Fall Family Portrait/Selfie: Jazmyn Norrod

Adult Winners:

Best Fall Composition: Molly Wegman

Best Fall Foliage: Stephanie Nickles

Best Fall Family Portrait/Selfie: Jan Covino

Member Essentials – 12/8/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

As promised last week, we are including updates to our COVID-19 guidelines for the yellow, orange and red zones. We continue to review and assess GSWNY guidelines based on CDC, NYS and county guidelines.

The major change is that we have updated our orange zone restrictions. Effective 12-8-20, in-person meetings and programs can now occur in a county with orange zone designation, but the size must be limited to 10 people or less.

Please see the updated COVID-19 guidelines and the updated COVID-19 FAQs for more information.   

As always, in-person activities are optional, and virtual and at-home programs are the safest way to participate in Girl Scouting. Any in-person activities must follow safety guidelines.

Thank you for all that you do to keep Girl Scouting available for our girls. We hope that you and your family have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

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.


Family Property Rentals

For a limited time, we are opening our property rentals to private households at the Girl Scout rate.  COVID-19 guidelines have affected the number of girls and troops who have been able to rent our properties, and we want to ensure that girls still have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our properties with their families. Here are some FAQs for families about renting our properties. 

How do I make a reservation? Go to our Camp Property Rental page to find available accommodations and reserve your space. Be sure to choose the Girl Scout rates. 

What is a private household? Private households encompass anyone who you regularly live with. Groups cannot exceed 10 people and should not mix multiple households. 

Who can attend? Each private household must include at least one registered Girl Scout. 

What are the accommodations like? Each of our heated buildings includes a kitchen space and beds with mattresses. Families will need to bring food, cookware and bedding. 

What about insurance? Anyone who is not a registered Girl Scout will need non Girl Scout insurance. After booking your space, our Customer Care team will work with you to purchase the insurance. The minimum fee is $5. 

Where can we go? Family Property Rentals are available at all four of our camp properties. We’re currently taking these specific reservations until May 1st, 2021. 

What are the COVID-19 guidelines? Private households do not have to wear masks while in their reserved cabin. However, we do ask that you wear masks while out on the trail, in case you run into others. All accommodations include hand sanitizer and cleaners. In addition to leaving the space clean, we require that all groups sanitize surfaces upon departure.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Care team at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.


Girl Scouts: We want to hear from you!

We are looking for 6 girls to join the Recruitment Team for a Facebook Live conversation. Are you having a good Girl Scout Troop experience that you want to share? Is your troop meeting virtually? Have you completed a badge? Have you completed a community service project? If you answered yes to any of these questions, are a current Daisy-Cadette Girl Scout and have a story to share please complete the survey below and a member of the GSWNY Recruitment Team will contact you about joining an upcoming Facebook Live Conversation on your experience.

GIRL SCOUT EXPERIENCE SURVEY


VS 2.0 Updates

Great News: We’re Live! Our refreshed Girl Scout member account management system is LIVE and we’re so excited! Over the last couple of weeks Girl Scouts has been busy making updates to My GS to make it easier than ever to manage your household’s Girl Scout memberships and keep track of your Girl Scout experiences. To get started, you’ll need to reset your account password.

To help, Girl Scouts will be sending a special email to members and household account managers containing a link to reset your Girl Scout account password. Look for the email to arrive sometime today, if it hasn’t already. Once you receive your email, simply click on the Reset Password link, follow the steps provided, and you’ll be all set to begin exploring Girl Scouts’ new member portal! Can’t find the email? We understand. Emails can land in Junk folders or simply get lost in today’s crowded inboxes. You can still get started. From the council’s website, www.gswny.org , click on My GS and follow the system provided prompts and guidance.

Of course, if you have any trouble, be sure to reach out to Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410 (hours listed below) and we’ll be happy to support and welcome you to our refreshed Girl Scout member platform!

  • Monday | 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-1) 1:00-4:30
  • Tuesday | 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-2) 2:00-4:30
  • Wednesday |11:00-1:00 (closed 1-2) 2:00-6:00
  • Thursday | 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-2) 2:00-4:30
  • Friday | 8:30-12:00 (closed 12-1) 1:00-4:30

Professional Zoom Licenses for Troops

GSUSA has subsidized the cost of professional Zoom licenses for troops. The monthly fee will be $3 per month ($36 per year).

Licenses can be purchased by troops using troop funds, or troops can request financial aid support through the Council Opportunity Fund. 

There is only one license per troop available, and the license is good through July 31, 2021. Use the button below to request your Zoom license today.

REQUEST ZOOM LICENSE


Retail Item of the Week: Stocking Stuffers & Holiday Gifts for your Girl Scout!

The Holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to fill those stockings! Check out these items that are perfect for the holidays and are sure to put a smile on the Girl Scout in your life’s face!

  • GSWNY Knit Pom-Pom Hat – $23
  • Trefoil Antibacterial Door Opener – $5
  • GSWNY Girl Scout Strong Pencil – $.50
  • Mini Trefoil Notebook – $4
  • GSWNY Girl Scout Strong Water Bottle – $20

Remember, your local Girl Scout Shop is open for CURBSIDE PICKUP ONLY. Please email your local shop with your order and we will call you back for payment and to schedule a pickup time.

How to Order:

  1. Place your order via email by emailing the shop location you want to pick it up from. Include a daytime phone number for the shop staff to contact you.
  2. Await confirmation from the shop staff that your order is complete with the total amount due.
  3. Make payment via debit or credit card and choose pick up day and time with retail staff during confirmation call. Current Pick up hours: Monday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM & Wednesday 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
  4. Arrive at scheduled location on pick up day and time.

Last week the invitation went out to all Co-leaders and Service Unit Finance Consultants and it looked like this….Did you get yours?

If you haven’t received your Cheddar Up invitation (don’t forget to check your junk mail!) please reach out to your Service Unit Finance Consultant and let her know. She will work with the Volunteer Experience Manager to insure an invitation gets sent to you.

Click this link to receive more information Cheddar Up GSWNY FAQ


Call All Seniors and Ambassadors with Holiday Spirit!

Join Scrooge, The Grinch, and all the other bah-hum-buggers as we take some of my (and hopefully your) favorite winter song classics and create new and funny singalongs. Bring your vocals, bring your lyrics, bring your ideas, or just bring your ears as we transform “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” into “Got Another Splinter in my Hand” and many more.

Wednesday, December 16, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Click here to register!


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

Troop 31262 spent time during their virtual meeting making holiday cards to send to a local nursing home! 


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.

Happy Holidays from the GSWNY Summer Camp Team

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Siblings, and Friends: 


Camping has always been a long standing tradition in Girl Scouts were girls can get outdoors to reconnect and embrace the wonders of nature. To explore and experience Camps: Endless Summer Adventures.

This holiday season, you can give your girl the unforgettable gift of Girl Scout camp, no matter what it looks like. Whether it’s alternative programming or in-person camp, this is a present she’s sure to love. She’ll get a week making new friends, trying new things, expanding her knowledge, and having fun throughout it all. These are just a few of the things Girl Scout camp has to offer.

It’s more than just a week spent at camp–you’re also helping her build courage, confidence, and character, and empowering her to learn skills that last a lifetime. Purchase a Camp Gift Certificate* and give the gift of joy to your favorite girl. Camp Gift Certificates can be purchased in any amount by calling 1-888-837-6410 or by stopping in to any of our service centers.

The 2021 Summer Camp Catalog goes live January 12, 2021, at www.gswny.org and will outline all of our overnight and day camp options at our four camps – Camp Timbercrest, Camp Seven Hills, Camp Piperwood and Camp Windy Meadows. Check it out to see all of the coming excitement!

Alternative Camp: At GSWNY we know how important it is for girls to have a wonderful summer camp experience. We also want to assure you that we have every intention of operating summer camp 2021 in person. However, if the need should arise, we will be prepared to provide your girls with an amazing alternative camp program. Additional information about alternative camp programming can be found on our website at gswny.org.   

Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season and peace, happiness and prosperity in the coming year!

Yours In Scouting, 
The Girl Scouts of Western New York Summer Camp Team

*Certificates are non-refundable and are redeemable during registration time in January 2021.


Please note: Our offices are closed the following dates:
Wednesday, December 23 (at 3 p.m.) through Friday, January 1.
Normal business hours resume Monday, January 4, 2021.

To see all our business hours, click here.