24 Girl Scouts receive $35,000 in scholarships at Girl Scouts of WNY’s 2019 Gold Award Ceremony

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce that 24 Girl Scouts from the Western New York area have received a total of 27 scholarships worth $35,000 at the annual Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony.

Twenty Girl Scouts received $1,500 each from the Educational Scholarship Fund. To earn this scholarship graduating girls were required to have completed their Silver Award and/or Gold Award along with a combination of academic achievements as well as Girl Scout involvement and accomplishments.

Education Scholarship Fund Recipients:

Olivia Borkowski, Henrietta

Natalie Brechtel, Snyder

Olivia Cinquino, Buffalo

Lauren Cody, Mendon

Gabriella Commisso, Pittsford

Elizabeth Del Vecchio, East Aurora

Grace Deroo, Williamsville

Audrey DeVault, Penfield

Erica Ekholm, Honeoye Falls

Alexandra Gordon, Elma

Brianna Grine, Buffalo

Elizabeth Haley, Henrietta

Anna Jegierski, Alden

Alyssa Johnson, Lancaster

Judith Monickaraj, Rochester

Morgan Oun, Alden

Izabella Roth, Honeoye Falls

Jenna Sniatecki, Getzville

Kayla Stevens, Pittsford

Jillian Wojtkowski, Williamsville

Four Girl Scouts received the Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship awarded at $500 each. The Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1998 through the generosity of Carol and Allan Welsh in memory of their daughter, Kimberley, to be awarded to Girl Scouts who completed their Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship Recipients:

Olivia Borkowski, Henrietta

Elizabeth Del Vecchio, East Aurora

Julia Frank, Lockport

Anna Jegierski, Alden

Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger offer one $1,000 scholarship to a girl receiving her Girl Scout Gold Award. All girls who were receiving their Gold Award in 2019 were entered in the pool of candidates. The recipient was awarded the Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger Golden Opportunity Scholarship.

Hans & Charlene Schoenenberger
Golden Opportunity Scholarship Recipient:

Hannah McGroarty, Rochester

The Ralph and Mary McLean Wilson Scholarship offers two $1,000 scholarships to Girl Scouts receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award. All girls who were receiving their Gold Award in 2019 were entered in the pool of candidates.

Ralph & Mary McLean Wilson Scholarship Recipients:

Samantha Jaeger, Lockport

Shira Silverstein, Honeoye Falls

7 Ways Summer Camp Brings Out Her Best

[This post originally appeared on GirlScouts.org]

Summer is when some of the most fun childhood memories are made, but did you know that it’s also an awesome opportunity for your girl to grow, learn, and become her best self? Here are seven amazing benefits your girl will get from her summer camp experience.

1. She’ll make new friends 
There’s nothing quite like giggling over games in the bunk or singing songs with new besties around a campfire. That’s why it’s actually good to send her to camp where she might not know many (or any) other girls! Having a diverse group of friends, not just kids she knows from school, will broaden her horizons and help her see her own worth, too.

2. She’ll see all she can be 
In an all-girl environment like Girl Scout summer camp, girls are more comfortable trying new outdoor activities, and they get to take the lead every single time—meaning there’s plenty of room at the top for your girl to take charge and flex her muscle, both when it comes to outdoor adventure and crucial leadership skills that will last her a lifetime.

3.  She’ll turn off her phone and tune in to nature 
Getting out in nature, soaking up the sun, or dashing inside during a sudden downpour is way more exciting than any app she might have on her phone and is all part of the adventure of camp. Unplugging for a while will keep her more present and truly enjoying every moment instead of simply watching it from a screen.

4. She’ll grow her grit 
The truth is, she might scrape a knee or elbow while she’s away—and that’s a good thing! When she learns to get back up after minor setbacks, like scrapes and bumps, she’s building her resilience and learning that she’s a lot tougher than she thinks.  

5.  She’ll meet new mentors 
Having a variety of awesome role models will help your girl see the many ways to be successful and happy in life. And the incredibly supportive staff and counselors at your girl’s summer camp are ready to step up to the plate and inspire!

6. She’ll gain independence 
Being away from home—especially if that’s a new thing for her!—might be a bit intimidating to both your daughter and you. But having that time away to explore and try activities on her own will make her more self-reliant and able to discover new things to share and teach you when she returns home.

7. She’ll have tons of time for play 
Playtime is anything but a waste of time. In fact, studies show that play allows the neurons in a child’s brain to form new connections—and that this rewiring helps boost emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

The truth is, sending your girl off to camp is one of the best gifts you can give her. The fun, outdoor adventure, and friends will enrich her life and—perhaps without her even noticing—give her the courage, people skills, and leadership chops to succeed at whatever she sets her mind to.   

Learn More About GSWNY Summer Camp

Girl Scouts Give Back To The Longridge Elementary School Community With A “Little Free Library” Service Project

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 60972 of Greece will make the Longridge Elementary School community brighter as they host a presentation in honor of their little free library service project where girls will also earn their wood working badge.

Ten Girl Scouts who attend three of Greece Central School District’s middle schools decided to give back to their local community with a literacy service project and worked with various groups including Greece Odyssey and others to help build the little free library and collect books for the school community at Longridge Elementary. Community service is an important component to the Girl Scout experience and empowers girls to take the lead and make the world a better place.

Join us for an epic State Parks adventure July 13 & 14!

GSWNY is excited to be participating in the national Girl Scouts Love State Parks event, July 13 to 14! This weekend long event has the goal of getting  every Girl Scout outdoors and into a state park. GSWNY will have events at 4 locations across council but Girl Scouts will be able to participate by visiting any State Park!

Registration is open now!
Park Entrance is free with Girl Scouts attire!  

On Saturday, July 13, check out:

  • Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East” and hike some of the 66 miles of trails and check out the three major waterfalls in the park, attend a ranger talk about the geology of the park, or visit the Nature Center or the Mary Jemison House. You could even try out whitewater rafting!
  • Allegany State Park, NY’s largest state park, with 65,000 acres to explore. You might visit natural caves, swim in Quaker Lake, visit the old Quaker store, attend a ranger program and learn about the critters living in the streams at the park, or climb the fire tower.
  • Buffalo Harbor State Park, one of NY’s newest state parks. You might join a 1 hour boat trip on Lake Erie, bike along the bike trail, learn about invasive species, or stroll along the beach.

On Sunday, July 14, check out:

  • Beaver Island State Park, on Grand Island on the Upper Niagara River. You could visit the nature center, play a game of disc golf, swim, bike, or hike, or take a tour of the historic River Lea House. You could also attend a ranger program and create your very own nature journal!

Can’t make it to one of these locations on this weekend? Visit any state park and enjoy the day. Also be sure to check out the NYS Parks Connect Kids Program to participate and get an additional patch on these days or any other days of the year! 

Extended year memberships are still available!

It’s almost time for school to be over and for summer to officially start and we cannot wait! Not only do our summer camps open in the beginning of July, we have other fun activities for our Girl Scouts to do.

If you aren’t a Girl Scout yet, we have an amazing promotion. Right now you can join Girl Scouts for just $35 and it covers the rest of this membership year AS WELL AS the next! Registering now means you’re getting more fun for less money!

Even though many troops meet less frequently throughout the summer, it doesn’t mean a Girl Scout can’t have her own fun. We have Community Events where girls can go to baseball games, water parks, and other events for reduced costs. There’s the STEMtastic Summer Challenge that encourages girls to keep learning in fun and interesting ways. Of course, we still have space in our camps for girls.

This deal is even sweeter for pre-k girls who can’t wait to be Daisies! Even if they aren’t five or in kindergarten yet, they qualify for extended year and can start their Girl Scout experience now.

One great way to begin her journey as a Daisy is to attend our Daisy for a Day event June 29. We’re having six parties around council the last weekend in June to get our future Daisies excited about being Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouting is a year-round experience and you can get started today with Extended Year Membership!

Register Today

Have you visited the Volunteer Marketing Asset Portal?

Next time you need images or flyers for an event, check out the GSWNY Volunteer Marketing Asset Portal, password GSWNY1! We have editable flyers available for you to download highlighting our Four Pillars as well general event and join flyers in both full and half page styles. Also included is a  GSWNY Brand Guide to ensure everything you create falls in line with the Girl Scout brand and doesn’t infringe on anything under trademark or copyright. 

There are five types of flyer templates available, including designs for general upcoming events and styles focusing on our Four Pillars. STEM, Outdoors, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. All templates come in both full- and half-page to suit your specific needs.

In addition to flyers, we have images promoting our program available as well, ranging from camp to the DNA of a G.I.R.L.

All of this and more can be found on the GSWNY Volunteer Marketing Portal, password GSWNY1. Make sure you check out the Brand Guide as well to make sure your events and flyers go in-line with Girl Scouts branding without infringing on any copyrights.

If you have any questions about branding, flyer templates, or anything related to promoting your Girl Scouts, please email communications@gswny.org. A member of our marketing team will be more than happy to assist with your inquiries!

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