Member Essentials – 6/16/20

Dear GSWNY Members,

Please see the updates below:

Girl Scout In-Person Gathering

Please note that while certain geographic areas within our council have lessened the restrictions on gatherings, Girl Scout in-person meetings, events and activities are considered to be in Phase 4 which is not yet open in Western New York counties. Girl Scout in-person activities continue to be cancelled through June 30, 2020.  We will provide any updates for future planning when available. Please know that the activities that you participate in outside of Girl Scouts are completely at your discretion, but that all in-person Girl Scout programs and activities are still prohibited during this time. Thank you so much in advance for your cooperation.

Attend a Wellness & Self-Care Session for Girls (Optional)

Wellness & Self-Care for Girls: Tips to Becoming a Healthier You” with Karl Shallowhorn: Session 1
Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Zoom https://girlscouts.zoom.us/j/98240279391
(Meeting ID: 982 4027 9391 and Password: 923936)

Wellness & Self-Care for Girls: Tips to Becoming a Healthier You” with Karl Shallowhorn: Session 2
Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Zoom https://girlscouts.zoom.us/j/95829535714
(Meeting ID: 958 2953 5714 and Password: 290065)

For questions, please reach out to us at Customer Care customercare@gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410. 


Statement from GSUSA

Black Lives Matter. We need to make that clear. Racism goes against the values of Girl Scouts, and although we have acted to counter racism throughout our history, we know we have enormous work ahead of us to build a truly anti-racist organization. We are prioritizing these efforts, both on an individual level and within every aspect of Girl Scouting. Girl Scouts of the USA and all 111 Girl Scout councils will engage in challenging discussions, center voices we haven’t listened to in the past, act with integrity, and learn from any missteps. We pledge to never stop working to create the just and equitable world that every girl, and all of us, deserve


Juneteenth is a historic and
national celebration that
observes the ending of
slavery in the United States. 

Learn more


Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21!

Here’s to all the dads raising awesome daughters! Happy Father’s Day! 💚


Just because we can’t come together in-person, doesn’t mean that summer is cancelled! We’re offering a variety of ways to stay connected and get outdoors. It’s camp, reimagined with The Summer We Camped At Home! Girls in Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts ages 5-17 can be registered. The weekly cost including the home-delivered Camp Activity Kit is $60 – financial aid is available. 

Use the link below to learn more about our virtual summer camp programs and register today!

Learn more about camp


Announcing a special June Renewal Pop-Up Prize!

During the month of June, we have a

We have two weeks left in June Renewal and in addition to our current incentives, we have a special pop-up opportunity!

Girls who renew by midnight Sunday, June 21, will be entered into a drawing to win (1) her choice: either a 1-year Disney Plus+ Membership OR a Kindle Kids Edition

Leaders who renew by midnight Sunday, June 21,  will be entered into a drawing to win (1) your choice: either a 1-year Amazon Prime Membership or a $100 Amazon gift card

Renew when you’re ready

If you or your girls are not in a position to renew right now, don’t worry – our signature Renewal perk, SAGE Tuition Rewards points , can be earned by girls, co-leaders, and service unit managers who renew by September 30. Financial aid is available.


The Annual Troop Financial Activity Report Submission Window is Open! 

Co-Leaders! The time to submit the annual online Troop Financial Activity Report, or T-FAR, is here! June 1–30 is 2020 T-FAR Time!

A new T-FAR Training Slideshow PowerPoint has been created.  Even if you aren’t new to T-FAR submission, please review it – there are updates as well as information regarding the GSUSA Covid-19 troop fund extension guidelines you won’t want to miss.  Don’t forget you will need to attach your May bank statement to the report.

If you have any questions – please reach out to Customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.


Ready to BE AMAZING in 2021?

Our recognition voting is now open! Check out the new theme and vote on our 2021 recognitions that you love best! 

VOTE TODAY


Girl Scouts Run the World Party—Instagram Live Event

Join GSUSA on Saturday, June 27, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. ET, for an exclusive Instagram Live party presented by Girl Scouts, Jam Jr., and Justice. With all of the challenges we’ve faced and will continue to face this year, we hope you’ll celebrate with us all that we have accomplished together, as we look forward to the summer and a brighter future ahead. This 90-minute virtual event will feature:

  • Special performances by Jam Jr. artists
  • Music by 13-year-old twin DJs Amira and Kayl
  • Product giveaways from Girl Scouts and Justice

For a sneak peek of the giveaways and to sign up for future Girl Scout virtual events, visit our online store.

Join your Girl Scout sisters from all over the United States and invite your friends to be part of the fun to make it extra special—you’re sure to remember this party for years to come! 

This is a free event for Girl Scouts and friends. Follow @girlscouts on Instagram and join us LIVE on June 27.

Learn more


Upcoming National Webinars

Awesome Girls: Family STEM Series – Junior Think Like a Programmer!
Wednesday, June 17 | 4:15 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.

Activities, inspired by our Girl Scout STEM curriculum and rooted in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, cover a range of STEM topics and connections to exciting STEM careers. We will cover the basics of what algorithms are and how computer scientists use them, lead the girls in a hands-on exercise to create their own algorithm, then segue into creating a rapid prototype that could execute their algorithm.

REGISTER FOR JUNIOR PROGRAMMER

Tips for Troop Leaders LIVE: Bringing the Great Outdoors Home
Wednesday, July 1 | 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Outdoor activities offer so much more than fun in the sun; they’re about building tangible outdoor skills, forging deep friendships, and growing girls’ confidence. So how do you keep the excitement and  learning going when traditional summer experiences, like camp, are canceled? In this webcast, we’ll discuss how you can successfully balance virtual activities with hands-on family fun to keep building your troop’s outdoor skills—yes, even from home.

REGISTER FOR LEADER BRINGING OUTDOORS


Girl Scouting at Home

Looking for ways to stay involved with Girl Scouts? Check out our Girl Scouting at Home page today! We regularly add new resources, including new Virtual Badge Work for all Girl Scout Levels on Thursdays!


Girl Scouts Doing Good Things – Gold Award Edition

We’re highlighting the more than 30 Girl Scouts who earned their Gold Award this past year! 

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.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Arielle Tyrpak as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Arielle Tyrpak of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Tyrpak’s project, Saving the Unborn, involved increasing education and reflection around the Pro-Life movement at her high school, St. Mary’s in Lancaster.  

Tyrpak explained, “I chose this project because I feel very strongly about the importance of saving every single life since I, myself, am a child of adoption. I think my project impacted the community by opening up a sincere dialogue about this very impactful issue.” Tyrpak had a representative of the movement come and speak at her school, she also published an informative article in St. Mary’s Gazette newspaper.

Tyrpak finished off her project by planting a garden at Nativity Church in Orchard Park with the purpose of giving people a place to go and reflect. Tyrpak said, “Girl Scouts encouraged me to see my surroundings in a different light, made me more confident in being able to achieve a goal, and showed me how enjoyable and fulfilling it can be to work as a team or individually to help those who may be less fortunate.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Tyrpak will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Alexandra Wilczek as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Alexandra Wilczek of Kenmore, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Wilczek’s project Backpacks for Kids, benefits children in Hillside Children’s Center by giving them a backpack to call their own.  

Wilczek held can and bottle drives in her community to raise funds to purchase backpacks to donate to Hillside Children’s Center. Wilczek said, “I learned that I could really make an impact in someone’s life all by myself. I could work towards a goal I care about and achieve it with my own hard work.” Wilczek chose this project when she learned that Foster Children are not often given bags of their own to move their belongings from home to home, and she wanted to give them something that would be entirely their own.

Wilczek stated, “Because of this project, I know that I can facilitate a massive project and use my resources to make a difference. Girl Scouts gave me leadership skills and opportunities to help others.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Alexandra Wilczek will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Corinne Lapp as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Corinne Lapp of Amherst, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Lapps’s project, Miracle Masks, involved creating 100 face masks for public distribution as well as providing instructions on how to sew additional masks with machine or by hand.

Lapp stated that her goal was to help families stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was happy to assist her community in a way she found fun and that helped her improve on her sewing skills. To streamline her process she worked on the masks in a style similar to an assembly line by batching several through a single step before moving them all on to the next step in the process simultaneously. Below are the instructions she included with each mask. The steps are also available at bit.ly/lappgoldaward on YouTube.

Steps of sewing the masks:

You will need: Fabric, garden wire, elastic, scissors, ruler, pins/clips, and a sewing machine.

Measurements: Fabric= 6inchesx9inches; Garden Wire = 6.5 inches 

Elastic= 6.5 inches for a small, 7 inches for a medium, 8 inches for a large

  1. Lay your 2 pieces of fabric so that both of the outside sides are touching and the wrong sides are on the outside. Line up the 9 inch sides and pin together
  2. Sew the edge with a 1/8th inch seam allowance.
  3. Flip the fabric so that the right sides are on top now and pin the wire into the seam.
  4. Sew close to the wire or with a ¼ inch seam allowance.
  5. Flip back over so the wrong sides are on top and pin together the other 9inch sides Sew. 
  6. Press together with fingers or an iron
  7. With the right sides on the outside, fold in the rough edges of the 6 inch side so that they are in the inside of the mask. 
  8. Pin the elastic in the edges. Sew over elastic with zig zag stitch. Backstitch over elastic 5 times.
  9. After sewing, add in pleats. Simply fold the middle together pin. The fold the top than bottom. Sew with a zig zag stitch. Press for permanence. 
  10. Enjoy your mask and stay safe!

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Lapp will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Emma Smith as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Emma Smith of Pittsford, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Smith’s project, Mural for the Children at the Monroe County Visitation Center, involved working with multiple county agencies and painting her approved design at the visitation center in Rochester to welcome visitors, especially children, and foster a positive environment.

Smith collaborated with the Monroe County Department of Human Services, Society for the Protection and Care of Children, Girl Scouts of Western New York, and other individuals throughout the process.

She wanted to use her love and skills for art to make a difference for the children going through hard times at the Visitation Center. The project impacted her community by brightening up the environment for the children. She had to do research about foster care in Monroe County and how to paint a mural because she had never painted something so large before! Smith explained, “I submitted personal designs and got approval from the county to begin painting. I used the money I had earned in Girl Scouts selling cookies over the past ten years to fund my project and purchase the supplies I needed. Then there was the painting itself, which I did over a four-day period.”

See additional photos of the project in our earlier blog post.

Smith said, “Girl Scouts has benefitted me in my life by teaching me valuable lessons on how to use my skills to make the world a better place.”  

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Smith will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

GSWNY Virtual Summer camp is here!

Just because we can’t come together in-person, doesn’t mean that summer is cancelled! We’re offering a variety of ways to stay connected and get outdoors. It’s camp, reimagined with The Summer We Camped At Home!

All of our offerings will be held from July 6-August 15 and will be based on the following THEMES:

  • July 6-10: Earth
  • July 13-17: Arts
  • July 20-24: Adventure
  • July 27-31: Friendships
  • August 3-7: Exploring
  • August 10-14: Action 

Summer Camp Is a Girl Scout Tradition
CAMP ACTIVITY KITS

Similar to a subscription box service, we’re offering six, week-long sessions, each with a unique theme, led by our creative camp staff, delivered to your door.

Each week we’ll be offering a unique and age-appropriate box for:

  • Daisies and Brownies
  • Juniors
  • Cadettes-14YO

We’re also offering similar programming for Program Aides and CITs

The Camp Activity Kit Experience includes:  

  • Materials for 3 themed activities and invitations for 3 live virtual sessions (M,W,F) to go through the activities with Camp Counselors and the other girls in their group.
  • Invitation to a virtual “Dining Hall” experience on Tuesday. The traditional camp Dining Hall experience is filled with songs, laughter and more. Girls will be able to pull up a chair and join in on the fun.
  • Automatic invitations to the live Virtual Campfires on Thursday nights. Of course you’ll also receive a mini song book (new songs every week) in your box!
  • Younger girls will have the opportunity to write “pen-pal” letters to our Camp Mascots (Molly the Whale, Rosie the Rabbit and Bernadette the Turtle)
  • Juniors and up will have virtual bunk chats. We know girls are missing their camp friends and we’ll be facilitating times for them to connect. 
  • Instructions for self-led activities including: 3 Outdoor activities, a weekly camp tradition and outdoor cooking recipe.
  • And no camp experience would be complete without a friendship bracelet!

Click here to learn more details and register

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Nora Klipfel as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Nora Klipfel of North Tonawanda, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Klipfel’s project, Happy Caps, involved sewing caps and donating them to children at Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

Klipfel got the pattern and instructions from the NYS Federation of Home Bureaus. She collaborated with Girl Scout Troop 30782 and the American Sewing Guild to receive donations of materials and for teams to sew the caps. Members of the St. Jude the Apostle Church also helped sew the caps.  

“I was able to coordinate a sleep-over for my Troop, I led them in an evening of working on the caps. I coordinated a presentation night with the American Sewing Guild. I then led a community service night that was like an assembly line and we were able to get hundreds of caps made to donate,” said Klipfel.

Klipfel stated, “Girl Scouts made me more confident in public speaking, in life skills, and has afforded me the opportunity to have wonderful friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Klipfel will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Avery Roberts as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Avery Roberts of West Henrietta, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Roberts’ project is called Park Benches at Martin Rd. Soccer Park.

Roberts received donations from Home Depot and the Soccer Club so she could purchase the materials needed to create the park benches.

Roberts stated, “I’m happy knowing that the benches will be there for years to come and that I provided seating for both home and away teams.” Roberts created 24 benches from her donated materials and delivered them to the town park for immediate use.

“Girl Scouts has made a huge impact on my life. It has made me be a better person and I’m more aware of providing for my environment and want to service my community. I really enjoyed the feeling of being a part of such an amazing group of peers as we did things out in the community over the years,” said Roberts.

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Avery Roberts will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Jessica Breth as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Jessica Breth of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Breth’s project, Totes for Turtles, involved creating 200 reusable bags to put into circulation, as well as educate the public on how to sew their own before the March 1, 2020, plastic bag ban in New York. She also wanted to reduce the amount of plastic that finds its way into waterways where it can severely harm the ecosystem and wildlife.

Breth explained, “My Girl Scout Gold Award Project was sewing reusable bags to reduce plastic bag usage in the community. Fabric was donated by the summer camp I attend, and from women in my Girl Scout Service Unit. I had help sewing from the people in my church, the Quilter’s Guild, and my Girl Scout troop. I also got donated wood from the Tuesday’s with Tools group at my church to be able to build three displays to feature my bags locally. I sewed about 200 bags which benefitted others by providing them free reusable bags so that they could consciously choose to make a more environmentally friendly choice. My project also included pamphlets that I handed out to people who took my bags, so they could learn about the impact of plastics in our waterways and oceans, and see what they were helping to fight against by using reusable bags. The pamphlet contained a template for the bags that I made so others could go home and sew their own and continue my Gold Award project unofficially.”

Breth stated, “My Gold Award project will be sustained through educating people in my community about what they could do to help the issue, and how it is as simple as using a reusable bag instead of a plastic bag.  Plastics in our oceans are not solely due to plastic bag usage, but plastic bags make up a large percentage of the waste in the oceans and waterways, so I wanted to make these reusable bags so that the amount of plastic bags being used would be reduced drastically.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Breth will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Ava Giangrasso as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Ava Giangrasso of Clarence, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Giangrasso’s project, Music and Memories, involved visiting nursing homes to perform violin versions of songs popular during the residents’ youth in the 1950s and ‘60s to promote memory recall and improve their moods. She recorded videos of her performances to be replayed at any time and expand on the number of people she was able to reach. Giangrasso’s violin that she uses for the performances belonged to her great uncle who was a fighter pilot during World War II.

Giangrasso explained, “I learned about communication and interaction from my project. I also learned leadership skills when I had my Girl Scout troop perform with me on one of my holiday performances. I am extremely happy with how my project turned out and I’m very proud. The most successful part was improving the moods of the residents. It made me happy to see the impact my music was having on people’s lives.”

Giangrasso provided information to the nursing home residents and their caregivers that walked them through how to access her YouTube videos if they ever wanted to rewatch the performances. She was very excited any time she was able to provide a live performance, commenting that often residents would come up afterward to talk about how they used to play violin or mention that a particular song she performed was a favorite from a high school dance.

When asked what advice she would give to other Girl Scouts preparing to earn their Gold Award, Giangrasso stated, “You should really pick something you’re passionate about. This didn’t even feel like a project for me. I enjoyed going every week to play for the residents and it was a feedback thing for me. Don’t just go for your Gold Award just to get it. I think you actually have to have a drive to get something out of it.”

Visit bit.ly/avagoldaward to see Giangrasso’s Gold Award videos.

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Giangrasso will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.