Shelby: part tomboy, part football player, all Girl Scout

As competition for your girl’s time heats up, it’s easy to dismiss Girl Scouts as not being right for her. Your girl isn’t the girly-girl type, so she wouldn’t enjoy an organization where that’s a big deal. She’s more of a tomboy, so she likely wouldn’t have a good time.

We have news for you: every girl is right for Girl Scouts.

When you’re a Girl Scout, it doesn’t matter if you’re part trendsetter, part change-maker, part athlete, part engineer, part artist, or part go-getter, because you know who you are and where you want to go next. You’re all Girl Scout, and that makes the difference.

Pictured above is Shelby, a self-proclaimed ‘tomboy,’ football player, and Girl Scout Junior. She doesn’t fit the mold of what so many assume Girl Scouts is, yet our program fits her perfectly.

She’s learned practical skills like camping, fire building, and knot tying, but it’s the intangible skills that stand out. As a Girl Scout, Shelby has learned about caring, leadership, giving back, and working together.

Shelby, far right in the back row, with the rest of her troop

Shelby first joined Girl Scouts because it seemed like it would be fun and her mother, Kathy, wanted her to try something new. Since then, Kathy has watched her become independent, gain leadership skills, make friends, and enjoy many opportunities she wouldn’t have had the chance to experience without Girl Scouts. Even more, her confidence has increased.

Because of her interest in ‘boy things,’ Shelby can sometimes feel out of place in school and like she doesn’t fit in. When she’s with her troop, she feels comfortable to be herself.

If someone told Shelby they weren’t the ‘right kind of girl’ to join, she’d let them know it’s a perfect program for them because of all the activities they can do, like camping, crafting, caroling, and more. In fact, girls can pick from an array of different activities, events, and skills they want to achieve.  

Shelby’s favorite thing about Girl Scouts is Camp Timbercrest, where she’s met new friends who are like family

Even though she’s only nine years old, Shelby is already thinking about college. It’s one of the things she’s most excited about Girl Scouts. Through our Spring Renewal program, girls who renew their membership by May 30 receive SAGE Tuition Rewards Points. This translates into $2500 for college every year she renews.

Our partnership with SAGE was one of the things about Girl Scouts that surprised Kathy. She didn’t realize how it could help with Shelby’s future college dreams, or how the Girl Scout Gold Award can help increase a girl’s rank in the military. Another surprise was the number of companies that offer Girl Scouts opportunities, like Apple and Disney.

Both Kathy and Shelby are very active in Girl Scouts because of their belief in the program. For Shelby, it’s about learning about things she doesn’t know.

“She has had so many experiences and more just waiting for her,” Kathy said.  “She and her troop have done volunteer work at our local soup kitchen; they are working on their Bronze Award with a nonprofit little animal rescue; they’ve done beach clean ups to name a few of their projects. She will be able to not only save for college but visit some through the offerings they have at St. Bonaventures and Fredonia State.”

For girls and parents who aren’t sure about Girl Scouts, both Kathy and Shelby believe they should do their research and give it a try.

“As a parent, I would encourage them to do research on what Girl Scouts has to offer,” Kathy said. “Girl Scouts can help in a number of ways, including college through SAGE, travel opportunities, educational experiences, life skills, leadership, and to be in an environment that will help her grow.”

Girl Scouts is for all girls because we know no two are alike. Every girl has her own interests, talents, hobbies, and dreams, and we want to make sure she has the right opportunities to pursue them all. It’s not about what kind of girl you are, as long as you’re all Girl Scout.

Shelby is a lot of wonderful things and she’s all Girl Scout.

The 2018-19 Program Guide is Out!

With our new Membership Year approaching, we’re thrilled to launch the new Program Guide! Featuring returning favorites and exciting new adventures, we have a little something for everyone planned.2019 GSWNY Program Guide COVER

To view and register for events, as well as see events that are recently added, check out the Events Page on our website!

The Impact of a Volunteer: The Girl Scout Difference

Girl Scouts makes a difference. That’s the whole point behind our Girl Scout Difference campaign and what we’re so passionate about sharing. We want people to know there’s a reason we remain girl-only; we have the time-tested and research-backed programming that tells us this is the best space for her to grow.

But to accomplish this, we need you.

We’re able to offer girls the opportunities to build robotic arms and create shelters in the wilderness because of our volunteers. Our caring adult mentors and strong female role models help shape the environment for our girls. Girl Scouts makes a difference because of our volunteer partners.

As a volunteer, you’ll see the proven results of how girls thrive in these five ways …

  Develop a strong sense of self.

  Seek challenges and learn from setbacks.

  Display positive values.

  Form and maintain healthy relationships.

  Identify and solve problems in the community.

… and you’ll know you had a hand in helping them get there.

It’s about more than just being there for the girls. Girl Scout volunteers tell us about the personal rewards they’ve encountered, like making new friends, enjoying new experiences, and even learning new things right along with their troop.

Girl Scouts doesn’t just make a difference in our girls’ lives, it will make a difference in yours.

Contrary to popular belief, you can volunteer even if you don’t have children. You can volunteer if you’re a man. We have roles beyond troop leader; we need people to help transport the children, manage cookie sales, assist at meetings, speak at events, and everything in between.

Just like the potential we see in our girls, there’s no limit to what you can do as a volunteer for Girl Scouts.

There’s still time to become an Outdoor Guru this summer!

Outdoor Guru Badge

We’re in the last month if the Outdoor Guru Challenge and we’ve loved seeing our Girl Scouts engage in the challenge! If you haven’t earned your patch yet, you still have until August 31! As a reminder, to receive this exclusive outdoor challenge patch, girls must complete a certain number of items from a list of 65 activities, depending on Girl Scouting level:

  • Daisy: 20
  • Brownie: 25
  • Junior: 30
  • Cadette: 35
  • Senior: 40
  • Ambassador: 45

The activities range from watching the sunset and stargazing to earning a Troop Camping Badge. Girls have from July 1 to August 31 to complete as many challenges as possible. When they’re done, they can go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/outdoorguru and fill out the form to claim their patch. The form will be active until September 15. If you aren’t a Girl Scout in our Western New York Council, you’re still more than welcome to attend! For $3, you can order the patch from us here!

For everyone participating, we’d love to see your photos! Email communications@gswny.org to show us how you’re completing the challenge this August!

Below is an image of the challenges, but you can download a copy here: http://bit.ly/outdoorguru

Outdoor Guru

On-Time Renewal Starts Today!

Today is exciting for more than just announcement of the Girl Scout Difference campaign! We are officially kicking off On-Time Registration! But what does that mean for you?

The Girl Scout membership year runs from October 1 to September 30. While some renew during the spring season, others may be getting close to expiration. If you’re in the camp of needing to renew your membership, don’t wait any longer! Not only is it important to get it taken care of, there are also some sweet prizes waiting for you.

2018 Registration Incentives.jpg

Every Tuesday this month, we’re pulling a winner for a $25 Target gift card. That means the sooner you renew, the more chances you have to help us fund your next Target run.

Visit http://bit.ly/joingswny to renew your membership today!

Share Your #GirlScoutDifference Story!

Girl Scouts of Western New York just announced their new campaign, The Girl Scout Difference, with the goal of raising the voices of local Girl Scouts and female professionals (alumnae and Women of Distinction) about the difference Girl Scouts makes in the lives of girls, women, and the whole family.

GS Difference - Share Stories2

From August 1 through November 30, we’re going to focus on these stories and share our campaign across local television and radio stations as well as through print and social media. But the campaign doesn’t stop with the stories of our eight participants.

During the campaign, we want to hear from you! Girls, volunteers, alumnae, and members of the public are invited to tell us about how Girl Scouts is making or made a difference to them. Share your stories and photos with us online using the hashtag #GirlScoutsDifference so we can all see how powerful this movement is.

Here are some platforms where we’d love for you to engage:

We can’t wait to hear your stories!