Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is a worldwide celebration of the accomplishments of women, regardless of race, gender, nationality, political affiliation, or economic situation. This year, the theme is #BalanceforBetter, focusing on the idea that balance between men and women is truly the key and everyone’s responsibility.

This is actually the 110th year a Women’s Day has been celebrated in the United States. Efforts first began in 1909 to support a garment worker’s strike out of New York. Women were protesting their working conditions and the Socialist Party designated February 28 as the first National Women’s Day.

The Socialists took the day international the following year at a meeting in Copenhagen. It’s goal was to support both women’s rights and universal suffrage. More than 100 women from 17 countries unanimously agreed to the day.

For years after, the movement grew with women in using the day and their voices to keep fighting for equal rights and protesting impending wars, advocating for peace instead. 1975 was dubbed International Women’s Year and it was then the United Nations began official celebrations of International Women’s Day on March 8.

In 2019, women may have equal rights on paper, but reality is a much different situation. We’re still fighting to be treated equally in the workplace, especially when it comes to pay, and to destroy the subtle sexist behaviors that continually plague our society.

We can all play a role in achieving #BalanceforBetter. According to International Women’s Day, “a balanced world is a better world,” and by celebrating the achievements of women, raising awareness around gender bias, and continually taking action against inequality, we can achieve a much needed balance.

Even though today’s the day we celebrate, the drive to #BalanceforBetter continues beyond March 8. Join the online conversation with hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceforBetter, and by sharing your photos of your hands out in a pose to represent the balance we’re constantly working toward.

Take a minute today to thank and acknowledge the incredible women in your life!

Celebrate Girl Scout Week and The Girl Scouting Year-Round Virtual Join Event!

Girl Scout Week – Sunday, March 10 to Saturday, March 16 – is a time to celebrate Girl Scouts as groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. This year in conjunction with Girl Scout Week, we’re holding The Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event from Monday, March, 11 to Friday, March 15. Join us as we celebrate for your chance to win daily and one-time incentives during the week – view a listing of the incentives below.

This guide offers many ideas for girls to choose their own way to be aG.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ during Girl Scout Week. #GirlScoutingYearRound

Daily Incentives

  • Engagement Incentive: WIN 2 PACKAGES OF GIRL SCOUT COOKIES via Facebook or Instagram! Winners will be selected randomly the day after the question has been posted to social media. Winners will receive a DM or private message asking which 2 flavors they would like and which GSWNY service center location they would like to pick up their prize. (Gluten-free cookies are not available as prizes.) Winners must be currently registered adult or girl members of Girl Scouts of Western New York. New members may participate same day as completing their GSWNY registration. 3/11/19-3/15/19
  • Join Incentives: Existing Volunteers, register a new girl or volunteer, add a new girl to your troop, and be entered for a chance to win two daily gift cards of $25 to Target or Walmart when you email your full name and the full name of the person you registered to communications@gswny.org 3/11/19-3/15/19. Register more people and increase your chances to win. Winners will be emailed with the notification of when and where to pick up their gift card.

One-time Incentives:

  • All new girls who register are entered into a drawing for a Girl Scout starter kit 3/11/19-3/15/19. Winners will be emailed with the notification of when and where to pick up their gift card.
  • Everyone who registers as a new member or registers a new member will be entered for a chance to win a free week at camp valued at $195 to be used at GSWNY Day, Resident or Troop Camp. Existing Volunteers who register a new girl or volunteer, or add a new girl to your troop must also email your full name and the full name of the person you registered to communications@gswny.org 3/11/19-3/15/19.

Overview:

  • March 10 – Sunday: Girl Scout Sunday
  • March 11 – Monday: (Go-Getter) Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event Kick-off
  • March 12 – Tuesday: Girl Scout Birthday and the Importance of Volunteering
  • March 13 – Wednesday: (Innovator) Cookie Power
  • March 14 – Thursday: (Risk-Taker) Girl Scout High Awards and Community Service
  • March 15 – Friday: (Leader) Camp and Outdoor
  • March 16 – Saturday: G.I.R.L. Agenda and Girl Scout Sabbath

March 10 – Sunday Theme: Girl Scout Sunday

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to worship. Talk with your Girl Scout sisters and family to connect with a local place of worship and learn about how Girl Scouts can be represented on Girl Scout Sunday.
  • Host a Girl Scout Cookies and milk party after worship. Bring Girl Scout cookies (and possibly sell some too), share what goals you achieved with your cookie sale, and talk about the skills you have learned from the Girl Scout Cookie program.
  • Earn your My Promise, My Faith Award. Work with your family and faith leaders to earn the pin to celebrate the connection between the Girl Scout Promise and Law and your faith.

March 11 – Monday Theme: (Go-Getter) Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event Kick-off

A Go-Getter is bold, honest, and determined to succeed. Goal-oriented and ambitious, she’s also a life-long learner who believes no challenge is too difficult.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Set a goal to achieve a big objective. Is it a Journey Summit Award, straight A’s, mastering a new routine, or scoring a goal? Create a plan to work hard to make it happen.
  • Learn a new skill. Celebrate your love of learning. Practice a skill that will help you explore something you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Create a motivational mantra. Go-Getters get back up and try again when they fall down. Create a mantra or saying to encourage yourself and others to be determined to succeed.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer a year-round experience for girls from Camping and Outdoors, STEM, to Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship.
    • Facebook Live – Members of Recruitment will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ programs and services for girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram

March 12 – Tuesday Theme: Girl Scout Birthday and the Importance of Volunteering

March 12 is the Girl Scout Birthday! On this day in 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled a group of eighteen girls from Savannah, Georgia for the first ever Girl Scout meeting.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to school to celebrate your Girl Scout sisterhood. Today, over 3.2 million girls and adults are active Girl Scout members, and over 50 million women are Girl Scout alumnae. In honor of the Girl Scout Birthday, take a moment to recognize and celebrate all that Girl Scouts of the USA has done for local communities across the country!
  • Learn more about Juliette Gordon Low. Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace website. Every year many troops visit the birthplace as an extended trip. Interested in learning more? Check out our Traveling with Girl Scouts packet.
  • Throw a birthday party for Girl Scouts! Celebrate with birthday cake, party games, and more. Invite your sister Girl Scouts and friends who are not yet Girl Scouts. Ask all of your guests to bring a birthday gift to donate to a local charity.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of exciting programs and travel.   
    • Facebook Live – Member of Volunteer Experience will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ volunteer opportunities and how they impact girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership on Facebook and Instagram.

March 13 – Wednesday Theme: (Innovator) Cookie Power

Thinking outside the box is an Innovator’s specialty, so she’s always looking for a creative way to take action. She definitely knows how to get things done.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Solve a problem in a creative way. Whether it is a broken shoelace or a polluted beach, Girl Scouts innovate to find unique solutions. Find an imaginative solution to an everyday or community problem.
  • Invent something new. Think outside the box and find a new way to do something. Share your idea with other Girl Scout sisters or your family.
  • Create a work of art. Choose your favorite type of art and make a masterpiece that’s cookie-related that looks like something that no one has ever seen before.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the area of Entrepreneurship with the largest girl-run business in the world – the Girl Scout cookie program and learn what the Digital Cookie Drawing and Cookie Drive-thru is all about. GSWNY Thunderclap Social Media posting where everyone in GSWNY posts the same message to social media on the same day.
    • Facebook Live – Member of Product Program and a girl will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ Cookie Program and how it impacts girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram

March 14 – Thursday Theme: (Risk-Taker) Programs – Girl Scout High Awards and Community Service

Courageous and strong, a Risk-Taker’s keen to try new things and to embrace the unfamiliar. She’s ready to step up and break the mold if that’s what it takes.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Do something new. Girl Scouts explore the world around them. Do something that you’ve never done before.
  • Eliminate “can’t” from your vocabulary. Think about the times you’ve said “I can’t (do something).” Try something that you thought you couldn’t do.
  • Break the mold. Be the first person you know to try something. Share with your friends and family about your experience.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of the Girl Scout High Awards – Gold, Silver, and Bronze and Community Service.
    • Facebook Live – Member of Girl Experience will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ Programs and how they impact girls year-round and a Girl Scout Gold Awardee and Alum will speak about her experience.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram

March 15 – Friday Theme: (Leader) Camp and Outdoor

A Leader is confident, responsible, and committed to changing the world for the better—and she’s happiest when others join her in taking the lead!

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Be a role model. Lead younger girls in celebrating Girl Scout Week activities and being G.I.R.L.s!
  • Lead a Take Action project. Make the world a better place when you Take Action to solve issues in your community in a sustainable way.
  • Invite the community. Welcome your community to your Girl Scout Week celebrations or Take Action projects.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of Camp and Outdoor.
    • Facebook Live – Member of Camp/Outdoor Program will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ Camp/Outdoor Program and how it impacts girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram
    • One-time Incentive: Starter Kit and 1 Week of Camp

March 16 – Saturday Theme: G.I.R.L. Agenda and Girl Scout Sabbath

Be a catalyst for change in your community—and the world. Champion your views, influence leadership, and advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda to make the world a better place. Every girl has a voice. Every girl’s voice is important.

  • Girl Scout Week Activity
  • Get inspired. Find a problem big or small in your community. Think of a way you and others can solve it and let your voice be heard.
  • Get prepared. Take a stand and be an advocate for an issue that is important to you. Share with others why you are so passionate about this cause.
  • Get mobilized. Unleash your inner leader and make the world a better place.

Special Alert:

  • Stop in our GSWNY Shops and celebrate Girl Scout Week with us and have a cupcake! By participating in our Balloon Pop Challenge each customer has a chance to save 10%-40% off on their purchase. The challenge runs March 11-15. Come visit us in the shop and POP a balloon to receive a discount on a same day purchase. Each shop is open their normal hours of business for the week. Cannot be combined with any other coupon or discount.
  • GSWNY Thunderclap Social Media Postings March 13, March 20, and March 27
  • Girl Scout Cookie Drive-Thru March 16 and 17
  • Girl Scout Cookie Walk-About Weekend March 23 & 24

GSWNY Staff will Celebrate Girl Scout Week by Discovering, Connecting, & Take Action with the following:

  • To Discover, a Girl Scout Birthday sign will be emailed on Monday that says “Happy Birthday Girl Scouts! My birthday wish for you is . . .” Staff can print, complete a sign, take their photo and send to Communications, who will share via interoffice email and via social media. 
  • To Connect, on Wednesday, staff will share a brief overview of the 5 World Centers via email and interoffice email. Using SurveyMonkey, staff will be able to vote on which center they would most like to visit, and results will be shared at the end of the week.
  • To Take Action, staff are encouraged to donate birthday party items, such as cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons, etc., to be donated to local food pantries.  These items are often scarce and welcomed by families.  They will be collected all week.

Let’s celebrate Girl Scout Week together!

Berta Caceres – Women’s History Month Day 5

Berta Caceres was born into a time of civil unrest in her country. She was a member of the Lenca people in La Esperanza in southwestern Honduras, the predominant indigenous group in that area. Her mother, Austra Flores, served as her first role model for activism.

Austra served both as a midwife and social activist in her region, welcoming and caring for refugees entering Honduras from El Salvador. Eventually she was elected as mayor of La Esperanza and served for two terms. After, she served as a congresswoman, and then governor of the Republic of Intibuca.

Berta’s activism followed in 1993, when as a student she co-founded the Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH, dedicated to supporting the rights of indigenous people in her country. Her campaigns focused on feminism, LGBT rights, illegal logging, and more.

Her first major work into environmental rights happened in 2013 after plans to construct a hydroelectric dam in Rio Blanco were revealed, threatening the Lenca people’s way of life. The companies planning the dam failed to talk to the locals, which went against international law.

She and COPINH continued to protest the dam, with security frequently removing protesters. The situation escalated with the Honduran military firing on the protesters and killing one, with many others receiving threats from the military, security, and company. The violence carried into 2014 with two more being killed and three being injured.

Eventually, two of the companies left the project due to the ongoing protests from COPINH, but a third decided to simply move sites. Despite the ongoing threats of harm and violence, Berta and her fellow protesters continued through many issues, never giving up.

Her efforts led to several honors, including being awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015. According to the Goldman Environmental Prize, their mission is to honor “the achievements and leadership of grassroots environmental activists from around the world, inspiring all of us to take action to protect our planet.”

Berta’s efforts are even more heroic when you consider what she knowingly faced: the amount of environmental activists that are killed in Honduras compared with its population makes it the most dangerous country in the world to take a stand for the environment. In 2014, 12 activists were killed.

Sadly, Berta too was killed in 2016 for her environmental work. Even though her life was tragically cut short, the legacy she left reminds us about the importance of standing up for what’s right and fighting for the rights of others, no matter what.

Learn more:

Why We Remain Girl-Only: The Girl Scout Difference

With the Boy Scouts making the monumental decision to admit girls into their programs, many have asked if Girl Scouts will in turn welcome boys. Some feel that in 2018, a true step of gender equality is to accept all to whatever program they desire. While we believe that it’s time to separate the idea of what constitutes ‘boy things’ and ‘girl things,’ Girl Scouts will not compromise our belief that our program works because it is girl-only.

Unfortunately, we live in a world filled with both conscious and subconscious gender bias. Research shows that girls are more self-conscious in environments with boys and are even less likely to raise their hand in class. Teachers frequently leave boys to solve problems on their own while providing girls with a little more assistance.

Examples like these show how girls are taught from a young age that they aren’t capable.

It’s not as if everyone is setting out to place these prejudices against females, but the sad reality of our culture is that’s what happens. Think about your own experiences. Whether it’s getting cat-called on the street, being mansplained to about an area you’re educated in, getting passed over for a promotion because it went to a man with less experience, or having men comment on your appearance at work, it’s likely you’ve felt these frustrations.

The whole world still feels like a boys club, with professions still regarded as for men and activities that discourage girl participation. Most of our lives are spent around the opposite sex, so Girl Scouts serves as an oasis where girls can grow without feeling the societal gender pressures.

Some will argue further that the separation shows girls they can’t compete with boys, and an organization with both genders levels the playing field, but they’re missing the point. When combined, girls are less likely to be confident, take risks, or experience new opportunities. Girl Scouts allows them to grow and try new things where it’s safe and judgement-free.

If you need to be further convinced, check out this post from Girl Scouts of the USA > 10 Reasons Girl Scouts is (Still) the Best Place for Girls

At the end of the day, we have the research that shows girls thrive in all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environments. Not only do they learn better, they have the chance to try new skills, see what they’re capable of, be leaders, and know that failure is okay because we always get back up and try again.

Unleash Strong! Be a Girl Scout.

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The Fourth of July feels the peak of summer fun, but fall is right around the corner. You can even see it in stores . Despite school not starting for more than a month, the back to school sections are popping up. Pool toys are being swapped out for classroom supplies and the bus will be rolling down the street sooner than you’d like.

When school begins, so do the never ending extracurricular activities. At times, it can feel like every night is booked. It’s easy to cut certain programs you don’t feel are as valuable. Unfortunately, Girl Scouts is one that doesn’t always make the cut.

The case for Girl Scouts

You want your girl to succeed in her life, whatever it may look like. You want her to opportunities to shape her own future. While a number of activities can help her, none partner along side of her quite like Girl Scouts.

At Girl Scouts of Western New York, we’re dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. When your girl joins a troop, she isn’t just signing up to do arts and crafts and sell cookies. She’s joining a sisterhood where she can be her own person and make a difference in her community.

We believe in the inclusive, all-girl environment and have the research for why it matters for you girl. This helps us create a safe space for her to try new things, develop new skills, take on leadership roles, and work toward earning the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.

What we do

At Girl Scouts, your girl will have the opportunity to experience new adventures while giving back. All of our programming focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the outdoors, like skills, and entrepreneurship.

Bottom line, we know this is a man’s world, but we want to help your daughter reshape it for herself and generations to come.

Why it matters

More than just what we offer, we have proven results. Women who were Girl Scouts are more successful, enjoy higher incomes, are active volunteers, and vote more regularly.

Half of all female business leaders are Girl Scout alums. More than 70 percent of female U.S. Senators were in Girl Scouts. Every former female Secretary of State are Girl Scout alums.

Unleash strong!

Become a Girl Scout this fall and see the difference it can make for yourself. Join Girl Scouts today!

Why Girl Scouts should still be the choice for your girl

Today Boy Scouts announced a change in who they are – while its parent organization will keep the title of Boy Scouts of America, its actual boy scouting program will be called ‘Scouts BSA,’ starting next February. This change came after the controversial decision in 2017 to let girls join its program.

For more than a century, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts coexisted with programming designed to nurture boys and girls in separate, targeted environments with strategies to aid in leadership development. As the world changed, so did the programs to reflect the current challenges each gender faced and the best way to overcome. At least that’s the case for Girl Scouts.

It’s not a secret that both organizations have experienced declines in membership due to increased competition. Families are running from one activity to the next and for a number of reasons, including a lack of understanding, Scouting is falling lower and lower in importance. While both organizations have felt these effects, we’ve chosen to respond differently.

Boy Scouts is throwing up the Hail Mary by inviting girls into their programming. A campaign set to launch this summer – ‘Scout Me In’ – is designed to show the ease of taking all your children to the same meeting, making it more convenient to be a Scout. Rather than design unique programs, Scouts BSA will simply divide boys and girls where they will follow the same curriculum. A selling point is that now girls can also work toward the highly praised level of Eagle Scout.

What that fails to mention is Girl Scouts already have the option to not only reach that same level, but pass it with their project. The Girl Scout Gold Award, while less seen, requires more time and effort to achieve than the award of Eagle Scout. Because it doesn’t have the Boy Scout boost and notoriety, few understand just how incredible it is for a girl to become a Gold Award recipient.

More importantly, Girl Scouts refuses to budge from its stance on only accepting girls because it will not compromise its mission. Especially in today’s world with more and more women finding their voice and fighting for their seat at the table, we understand the value of what we do. We’re showing girls from a young age their value and letting them know they’re capable of anything. We believe in building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, and we don’t plan to step away from that.

Girl Scouts is an organization that is fun for girls, but we can’t forget its importance. Yes, it might mean taking your children two places for their troop meetings, but your child’s future shouldn’t be built on convenience. While we try to make it as easy as possible for you, we want your girl to be a part of our organization because of what she can become.

We’re more than cookies, crafts, and friendship bracelets. We see the lack of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics so we’re creating more programs to expose girls to these opportunities at a young age. We teach outdoor skills and survival, all while making sure your girl is empowered.

Our programming comes from years of research to ensure we’re raising female leaders. Even better, we have proven results. All of our female Secretaries of State were Girl Scouts. Almost all female astronauts. Your girl has potential, and we want her to unleash it early and often with Girl Scouts.

Lee Snodgrass from the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes council summarizes it well:

“We proudly own the ‘Girl’ in Girl Scouts. Since our inception, Girl Scouts of the USA has been about putting girls front and center, ensuring that everything we do is with their best interests in mind and equips them to be the fearless leaders and change-makers our more than 50 million alums prove themselves to be. For 106 years, Girl Scouts has prepared girls with essential leadership skills and provided them with a supportive network of girls and women who can face any challenge, from the wilderness to the boardroom, with confidence, compassion, and success. Our focus has always been and always will be girls.”

Girls Scouts isn’t just an activity for your girl. It can change her life beyond the memories she’ll make at at camp and the lifelong friends she’ll find. Just like you, we believe in your girl’s greatness. Join us today and help her grow.