Upcoming Council Programs – October 30, 2019

Our Girl Scouting year is PACKED with amazing programs all around council. Whether your girl(s) are interested in getting outside, learning more about STEM, environmental health, art, and so much more, we have options for girls of all levels. Check out the list below of some upcoming opportunities in November!

(Listings reflect openings as of 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 30)

November 02, 2019 12:30 PM-03:00 PM – 5 Spots Available (Registration Closes at 11:59 PM ET on November 01, 2019) Learn about the relationship between humans and animals through hands-on activites.  Take a tour of the facility and meet a therapy animal while completing all the requirements for the Animal Helpers Badge.

November 09, 2019 04:00 PM-08:00 PM – 36 Spots Available
(Registration Closes at 11:59 PM ET on November 01, 2019)
Asha Animal Sanctuary
Newfane, NY

After the guided tour, girls will enjoy a healthy dinner and watch a farm animal-themed movie: Babe-A Pig Goes A Long Way (1 hour, 31 min.).  It tells us a lot about the emotions of other animals and encourages us to question why humans love some animals, but eat others.  It stars James Cromwell (voice of farmer Arthur Hoggett) who is a superhero to animals off-screen.  He has spoken up to countless viewers that turkeys are just like us in all the ways that matter most and that we should leave animals off our plates.  Movie popcorn included.

November 16, 2019 11:00 AM-02:00 PM – 36 Spots Available
(Registration Closes at 11:59 PM ET on November 08, 2019)
Asha Animal Sanctuary, Newfane, NY
In this fun one-day camp, girls get to meet Albert the Super Cow and his barnyard friends and hear all about their rescue stories.  Learn about common practices in animal agriculture and how we can make a huge impact for animals just by our food choices.  Girls will participate in Albert’s interactive cooking class and have fun making easy, delicious, and healthy recipes without meat, dairy and eggs.  Afterward, delight in the food you made and feel good about all you’ve learned to help animals. 

November 16, 2019 10:00 AM-12:00 PM – 5 Spots Available
(Registration Closes at 11:59 PM ET on November 07, 2019)
Explore the world of glass fusing in this introductory, project based class.  You will learn how to cut glass and transform it into a work of art you will be proud to show friends and family.  Fun patch included.

November 19, 2019 05:00 PM-08:00 PM – 16 Spots Available
(Registration Closes at 11:59 PM ET on November 04, 2019)
Learn the basics of chainmail!  Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to make their own jump rings or make a bracelet from a selection provided.  Utilizing the Byzantine weave or European 4-in-1, students will then create their own wearable piece of art. Adults must stay during the program.

November 23, 2019 09:00 AM-02:00 PM – 96 Spots Available
(Registration Closes at 11:59 PM ET on November 15, 2019)
St. Bonaventure University, Saint Bonaventure, NY
Teams of four will create their very own rubber band-powered car.  Learn about science and engineering by competing with other Girl Scouts.  In addition to competing on performance, your team will create a marketing pitch.  Go for the gold! Lunch is provided. 

7 Ways to Be Respectful (And a One-Step Trick to Getting More Respect From Others)

[This post originally appeared on girlscouts.org]

While respect should be second nature to us (Aretha made darn sure we knew how to spell it and practice it), there seems to be a major deficit of it in our world today. From mean tweets to cliquish behavior on the playground, respect is plainly overdue for a comeback. The good news is that you can play a big role in starting a respect revolution just by modeling respect yourself and teaching your girl to follow suit.

Here are 7 simple ways you can teach your girl to be more respectful today:

1. Listen and be present
If someone else is speaking, give them the courtesy of listening to and thinking about what they’ve said before responding, forming your own opinions, or dismissing theirs. Your girl may not agree with what’s being said, and that’s absolutely OK (and sometimes important!) for her to express, but she should wait her turn, pay attention, and avoid jumping to conclusions. You never know, what someone says could surprise her!

2. Be thoughtful of others’ feelings
Talk to your girl about how she might feel angry, sad, or even embarrassed if someone rolled their eyes at one of her ideas or talked over her when she was trying to speak. It might feel even worse to hear that someone was calling her names or making fun of her. Since she doesn’t want to feel that way, she should do her best to ensure others aren’t made to feel that way either.

3. Acknowledge others and say thank you
If your girl did half the work on a science project, but her partner took all the credit, how would she feel? Probably pretty upset. Similarly, if she made a gift for another girl in school, and that friend never said thank you, she might feel confused or think the gift wasn’t very good. Letting others know that their efforts matter and thanking them for their time, work, and/or thoughtfulness doesn’t need to take more than a few seconds, but it makes a big difference.

4. Address mistakes with kindness
Everyone, even your girl, makes mistakes! Have her think back to a time she messed up a little. Would she want to be called out and humiliated in front of her friends, or would she have felt better if someone pulled her aside, gently told her about the mistake, and then helped her to improve next time? We’re all human and we’re all going to need a helping hand now and then. Helping others grow from their mistakes with dignity is just the decent thing to do.

5. Make decisions based on what’s right, not who you like
Sometimes it might feel easier for your girl to go along with the crowd and either mimic the behavior of her friends or choose their ideas over those of others out of a sense of loyalty or to gain favor with more popular kids, but that’s not smart or fair. Talk to your girl about weighing the pros and cons of the choices she makes in her daily life, about thinking about what’s right, and what will lead to the best outcomes for all involved. Sometimes it takes guts to stand up and support less popular views, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Not only do people’s feelings get hurt when we play favorites, but we can sometimes make poor decisions that have even bigger consequences.

6. Respect physical boundaries
Everyone’s body is their own, and everyone has the right to decide the level and type of physical contact they’re comfortable with. For instance, some people love to be greeted with hugs, some people don’t, and that’s OK! Talk to your girl about the importance of respecting people’s personal preferences and how she should insist on others respecting her boundaries as well.

7. Live and let live
In this great big world of ours, there are a billion different ways to live life, and that’s what makes life interesting! As long as everyone is being respectful and no one is hurting anyone else, it’s important to take a step back and accept that there’s no one right way to exist on this planet.

And finally, how can your girl get more respect in her life? Talk to her about the word integrity. Someone who has integrity is honest, is true to their word, does the best they can, and owns up to their shortcomings without making excuses, covering it up, or passing the blame onto someone else. Nobody’s perfect, but when your girl lives her life with integrity, she’ll earn others’ respect and be able to feel good about who she is as a person—and she’ll make others feel better in the process.

Girl Scouts in Western New York show their spirit!

On Friday, October 4, Girl Scouts of Western New York held its first annual Girl Scout Spirit Day! Members of our council were invited to wear their Girl Scout gear and show off their pride.

More than straight spirit, we also held a contest to give away prizes for our participants. Two adults and two girls were randomly selected to win $25 GSWNY shop gift certificates and Girl Scout swag bags, respectively.

We received submissions from all around our council and selected four winners!

Visit Facebook to check out all our participants!

Girl Scout Spirit Day Album

It wasn’t just our members – our staff wore their Girl Scout gear too! Check out our album here.

Women of Distinction 2019 is in three weeks!

Our annual, girl-led, women’s event of the year is happening in three short weeks on Thursday, September 26. We can’t wait to celebrate our nine amazing honorees and their contributions to the community!

More than just honoring the women, this event is all about mentorship. Each of the honorees was paired with a Girl Scout who will serve as a presenter at the event, sharing about her experience being mentored.

Check out photos of the Girl Scouts and their honorees below!

You can be a part of this special event as well by purchasing a ticket gswny.org.

2019 Women of Distinction:

  • Christine Bonaguide, Esq.: Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP (Erie County)
  • Linda Clark, M.D.: Doctor of Preventive/Occupational Medicine, Founder and CEO, Clark Occupational Medicine Services (Monroe County)
  • Tory Irgang: Executive Director, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (Chautauqua County)
  • Candace Johnson, Ph.D.: President and CEO, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Erie County)
  • Joyce A. Markiewicz: Chief Business Development Officer, Catholic Health (Erie County)
  • Nadia Pizzaro: Homeless Services Director, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc. (Erie County)
  • Katherine Conway-Turner, Ph.D.: President, State University of New York at Buffalo State (Erie County)
  • Lori Van Dusen: Founder and CEO, LVW Advisors (Monroe County)
  • Linda ZakrzewskiVolunteer of Distinction, Teacher, Family and Consumer Science, School 81 Buffalo (Erie County)

10 Tips to make Back-to-School a breeze

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, meaning it’s time for many students in Western New York to head back to school. Instead of letting all the changes disrupt everything, try these 10 tips that can help make going back to school a breeze!

1. Determine your routine

Before you can iron out the rest of the details, you need to determine what your routine is going to look like. Start with what you know – your schedule and your kids schedules – and work from that. Once you have a basic idea, you can add other pieces in and figure out the the planner/schedule that works for you.

2. Establish a family calendar

Using a family calendar is a great way to keep track of what everyone is doing through the week and/or month, depending on the style you choose. Don’t just write the events – schedule a meeting each week to go over them with everyone.

3. Set up screen time rules

This might be something you keep all year long, but if you’ve been less strict over the summer, now is the time to bring back restrictions. Set boundaries with your children about how often they can be on their devices and make sure you take them out of their rooms at night to remove temptation.

4. Keep to a bedtime and wake up schedule

Sleep routines are easily maintained with consistent times when you go to bed and wake up. Set a schedule for both weekdays and weekends so your children develop a rhythm that will promote more restful sleep habits.

5. Don’t overschedule

With everything new going on, it’s easy to say yes to everything and lose out on valuable family time. Refer to your calendar and routine to make sure something is feasible before agreeing – periods of rest are important for family members of all ages.

6. Get ready the night before

Another great habit to get your kids into is preparing for school the night before. Teach them how to pick out their clothes and pack their bag and lunch. This will make the morning go smoothly and help them learn organization and planning skills.

7. Talk to your kids about going back to school

Get a read on how your kids feel about going back to school. Some may be forthright in their worries and excitement, but others might need some encouragement. Learn about their anxieties and help quell them where possible.

8. Take care of yourself

In the hustle and bustle of managing the lives of your children, it might get easier to forget about yourself. Self-care is one of the best ways to keep you high-functioning because it allows you time to pause and think about your own needs as well instead of getting overwhelmed and burnt out.

9. Choose afterschool activities

While you don’t want to add too many activities in, finding at least one or two can be invaluable for your children. From the skills they learn to the fun they’ll have, it’s a nice way to keep them involved.

Of course, our number one recommendation for girls is Girl Scouts 🙂

10. Find more resources from Girl Scouts

As the school year progresses, you might want more resources about dealing with particular issues. Whether you want more back-to-school tips or help raising awesome girls, they have an amazing library of articles to help you!