Making an impact in girls' lives starts with you

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has been impacting girls’ lives. To girls like Shelby, it doesn’t matter if they’re part trendsetter, part change-maker, part athlete, part engineer, part artist, or part go-getter, because they know who they are and where they want to go next.

Shelby is a Girl Scout in Troop 20258 in Dunkirk, and she’s been in Girl Scouts for 4 years. We want to share her story with you, in her words, about what Girl Scouts means to her.

What are the things you have done in Girl Scouts that you never thought you would do?

I went backpack camping with my troop and we filtered river water to drink. We learned to make a fire using flint. I also competed in the Dream It Do It 500 with a team of Girl Scouts where we made a rubber band-powered car and learned about engineering. I made a lot of new friends by going to programming like that.

How did you feel after you accomplished these things?

I am brave. Accomplishing new things in Girl Scouts makes me happy.

What do you see in your future because of your Girl Scout experiences?

I see myself traveling to France and Japan with Girl Scouts. I have never traveled to another country but Girl Scouts is giving me these goals, and my mom is encouraging even though we have to step outside of our comfort zone.

Because of Girl Scouts, last year Shelby was able to choose from over 150 programs made possible through the support of committed and generous donors.

We asked Shelby’s mother, Kathy, about the changes she’s seen in her daughter through Girl Scouts.

How have you seen Girl Scouts impact Shelby’s life?

She knows how to work as a team, plan out a project, and work together. I’ve seen her knowledge grow in public speaking, leadership, empathy, and acceptance. She is a unique person, some call her weird, but she’s a sweet girl. She likes that she can be anything she wants in Girl Scouts.

How have you seen Shelby grow since joining Girl Scouts?

It’s a constant battle outside of Girl Scouts because she’s not a “girly girl,” but that doesn’t make her stand out when she’s at Girl Scouts. At Girl Scouts Shelby can be herself and be accepted. It’s a safe environment for her. She is now a leader and her confidence shines through her.

In Girl Scouts, girls find a safe place that lets them be themselves in a supportive, nurturing environment while they step outside of their comfort zone and discover new interests.

Shelby knows who she is and where she’s going because of the programs available in Girl Scouts.

We need your help to keep these opportunities available for all girls, because we know that no two are alike and each has her own interests, talents, hobbies, and dreams.

Join us in inspiring the next generation of future female leaders by supporting Girl Scouts today.

Thank you from each girl that gets to experience Girl Scouts because of you.

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Memories from a Hi-Adventure volunteer

Girl Scouts of Western New York recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, but the history of Girl Scouts runs much deeper in the area. Prior to becoming one, our legacy councils served their girls with unique and unforgettable programs.

One such program was Hi-Adventure, an outdoor experience for girls in Niagara County. They would learn outdoor skills and venture into the wilderness for seven to 10 day trips where they would backpack, camp, and canoe.

Recently, one of the program volunteers reached out to us to share some of his memories and photos from his time leading trips with Hi-Adventure.

Dean Johnson, pictured above in a tipping test, was a canoeing instructor who started his time with Girl Scouts as a one-time volunteer helping girls in a pool learn about canoeing. Soon he became a part of the Hi-Adventure program, helping to lead several trips.

After going through his photos, Dean sent along all the photos in this post (and promises to send more!).

Since our beginning, Girl Scouts have been passionate about getting outdoors. In fact, one of the main goals of Girl Scouting in the beginning was getting girls involved in physical activities outside. Juliette Gordon Low even established the first Girl Scout camp in 1921.

Volunteers like Dean have helped us continue Juliette’s mission and help girls get outside and find adventure. Hi-Adventure no longer exists, but its spirit lives on in our outdoor programs and camps.

Why Girl Scouts?

For more than 100 years, we’ve been the preeminent leadership organization for girls, developing businesswomen, astronauts, governors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and even secretaries of state. The benefit of our program speaks for itself, yet it’s easy to miss why our program is so important.

The Girl Scout difference is real and powerful, and we want your girl to be a part of it, too.

It’s more than just a century of experience that helps us build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’ve done the research to make sure we’re reaching girls where it matters and delivering what they need.

From this we know your girl will learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment, which is exactly what we provide. What this doesn’t mean is a stereotypical ‘girl’ experience with where we do crafts and play with dolls. In fact, we usually prefer robots.

We’re redefining what it means to do something like a girl and showing girls how smart and valuable they are. We’re also girl-led, which means in Girl Scouts, your girl takes the lead. We provide programming for many areas, but the rest of it is in your daughter’s hands.

Instead of telling a girl what she should like or do, we let her choose. We give her opportunities to get outdoors, to learn about coding and cybersecurity, to learn how to run and a business, and so much more.

Oh yeah, and we also sell Girl Scout cookies.

As the largest girl-run entrepreneurial program in the world, our Girl Scout cookie sales are about more than fundraising and providing the USA with our delicious cookies. When you sell, you learn about business planning and financial literacy. Each level teaches you something different about these areas so every year, your girl is expanding her knowledge and building on her skills.

All our programming stands on our four pillars: STEM, Outdoors, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. The last encompasses several areas, including our commitment to improving our world.

Service is built into so much of what Girl Scouts do. Whether it’s making centerpieces for holiday dinners at homeless shelters or collecting blankets or educating their peers and advocating for more resources, our girls do some incredible work to help those around them.

Girl and troops do projects throughout the year, but we also have three levels of higher awards to promote this culture of giving back. Girl Scout Juniors (4th and 5th graders) can work in their troop for a minimum of 20 hours on a project to earn their Bronze Award.

Next, our Cadettes (6th, 7th, and 8th graders) can earn their Silver Award. Here they’ll work by themselves or in a small group of Girl Scouts for a minimum of 50 hours on a service project.

Finally, our Seniors (9th and 10th) and Ambassadors (11th and 12th) can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, our highest honor. This is a completely individual process and each girl must spend a minimum of 80 hours dedicated to their project. Beyond a one-time service initiative, they have to focus on something that is sustainable and will continue to make an impact after they’re done.

Sound difficult? That’s because it is. Since the beginning of our higher awards, one million girls have earned their Gold Award. That means fewer than 6% of all our Girl Scouts earn it annually.

For those who’ve ‘gone gold,’ it’s worth it. Not only can you enter the military a whole rank higher just for earning it, it’s a critical element in the college admissions decision process.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of girl yours is because here, we’re all Girl Scout. We have something for her to and can help prepare her for a lifetime of leadership.

Camperships are available for your girl

At Girl Scouts, we believe in the value of camp. Since our beginnings, getting girls outside has been one of our primary areas of focus. In fact, it currently stands as one of our four program pillars – STEM, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Outdoors.

Knowing how important it is for girls to go outdoors, we want to make sure every girl has the opportunity. Our goal is always to make sure that no one is excluded from our program for any reason, including financial.

If your girl is a member of Girl Scouts of Western New York, we have financial aid options available for her. The Summer Camp Financial Assistance Application needs to be completed asap for consideration.

To apply, register for camp and fill out the financial aid application included. Physical forms can be picked up at our service centers.

It’s not too late to sign up for Girl Scout summer camp!

While it’s technically late spring, we can all agree that school letting out and the beautiful weather signifies that summer is FINALLY here! The only thing more exciting than summer vacation is figuring out how you’re going to spend your time and we have good news:

CAMP IS WAITING FOR YOUR GIRL!

Just because summer is here doesn’t mean it’s too late to sign up your girl! We still have options for all grade levels at our camps to make sure she has the best summer ever.

Camp and the outdoors are part of our Girl Scout DNA. We believe in addition to fun, camping teaches your girl important leadership skills and helps her on her path to become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader). Even better, we have a program planned for just about anyone.

At Camp Piperwood, your girl can experience the best of day camp through programs like The Great Outdoors, Science Wonders, Citizen Science, Cables and Carabiners, and more!

If resident camp is what you’re looking for, our summer is filled at Camp Seven Hills and Camp Timbercrest with horseback riding, science-based camps, Harry Potter, and much more!

Spaces are filling up quickly so make sure to register your girl for camp today! Day camp starts July 2 and resident camps starts July 8, with all sessions ending August 10.

 

 

The deadline for Camp Financial Aid is tomorrow, June 1

Our camperships exist to partner with you so your girl can go to camp. We want every girl to experience new opportunities to grow and not be held back by current circumstances. If you’d like assistance in sending your girl to camp, the time to apply is now.

Simply go to our website and register for camp. Here you can explain why you need the additional support in detail, as well as provide your household income information and submit the required documents. We need to know what you can provide, and we promise to never share the information with anyone.

As a reminder, in order to qualify you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your girl must be a registered member of Girl Scouts of Western New York
  • Your application is due by June 1
  • You must be caught up on all your payments for cookies, QSP merchandise, programs, and prior years camp fees

See you at camp!

Camp Financial Aid Deadline is Approaching

We believe in the benefits of camping for your girl, like providing her opportunities to develop and improve her leadership skills and educate her about acceptance and tolerance. Because of this, we want to provide every opportunity we can to get her there.

Financial assistance is available for all who fill out an online camp application. You can begin the process by going online to register here. As a reminder, our camperships are meant to assist you, not cover the entire cost.

Once you fill out an application, you will be asked to complete the Financial Aid – Household Income Information section, including how much you plan to be able to contribute. We provide a section for you to explain why you’re asking for assistance in as much detail as possible. You’ll also be required to submit income verification documents.

Please remember all of what you submit is confidential and we will never share your story with anyone else.

Other than the income requirements, there are a few considerations to remember:

  • Your girl must be a registered member of Girl Scouts of Western New York
  • Your application is due by June 1
  • You must be caught up on all your payments for cookies, QSP merchandise, programs, and prior years camp fees

We look forward to seeing your girl at camp!