We’re in the middle of our second annual Snow Much Fun to be a Girl Scout Recruitment contest and we have exciting news – the deadline to participate has now been extended to March 31! This means you have more time to plan your events and build your troops for your chance to win our amazing prizes!
As a reminder, the contest has two pieces, one for new troops and one for service units. On the SU side, they receive one entry into a drawing for a Glow Party Dance Kit for every recruitment event they hold through March 31.
For the first 10 new troops formed through March 31, they’ll receive a $50 gift card to the retail store of their choosing or our GSWNY shops. A new troop must have at least five girls and two registered adults.
How can you help us? Share this information with members of your SU! You can help the new troops forming in your area and hold events to help your chances of winning a Glow Dance Party Kit for your SU!
We will choose one winner of our prize which is a Glow Dance Party Kit for you to use as a Service Unit event. Glow dances are increasingly popular, and with the kit it will be very easy to host an amazing event for your girls. The kit includes black lights, glow in the dark body paint, glow sticks, and everything else you would need! You can host the party as a standalone event, as part of a SUCO, or as a yearend celebration.
Please reach out to your SU’s CES for any support you will need including flyers or promotional materials.
Criteria for the New Troop Challenge
The goal of this challenge is to form 10 new troops across GSWNY between January 7 and March 3, 2019.
The first ten troops to form with at least five girls and two registered, trained, and approved co-leaders will receive a $50 gift certificate to the GSWNY shop or a retail store of their choosing.
Please promote this challenge at any recruitments you host during the Snow Much Fun period so new troops in your SU can be eligible. New troops will be added to the Opportunity Catalog prior to January 7 and they will be clearly marked for this promotion. We can give you the eligible troop numbers prior to any event you host if you’d like. Please reach out to your CES with questions.
The New Year rolling around is practically synonymous with resolutions. There doesn’t seem to be a better time to change your life than at the start of a brand new year filled with hope and possibility.
In a recent survey of 2,000 people, the numbers showed that despite how different we are, we’re largely looking to improve the same areas of our life. Whether it’s being healthier, planning to be financially responsible, bettering yourself, or learning something new, we all want this year to be different.
Being a Girl Scout is about building and empowering yourself to take on the world. It doesn’t matter if you join as a girl or volunteer – we know you’ll walk away with the experience to check off your resolutions.
We hear from leaders that because they volunteer, they’re more active. Our girls participate in the Girl Scout Cookie sale, aka the largest girl-led business in the world. But it’s not just about selling delicious cookies; Girl Scouts learn about financial literacy and entrepreneurship along the way. Don’t even get us started on everything new you’ll learn as a Girl Scout.
[This is a guest post written by council staff member Chelsea Cummins]
Even though I’ve worked at Girl Scouts of Western New York for nearly a year, Skills and Chills was the first opportunity I’ve had to attend a true Girl Scouting event. Co-workers told me how much fun I would have, but honestly I wasn’t really prepared for how right they’d be in the end.
For those who aren’t aware, Skills and Chills is an annual event held at Camp Seven Hills. While it is a GSWNY program, it’s completely run by volunteers. It’s the third of our Outdoor Progression series, following Tents Up for Daisies and Brownies and Ready Set Camp for Juniors and Cadettes. The first two focus on the skills you need to compete in Skills and Chills.
When I arrived Saturday morning, I was immediately blown away. There were more than 200 people buzzing with excitement in the dining hall. Girls were dressed in costumes ranging from custom labels on a shirt to a full-on lumberjack outfit complete with a drawn on beard. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
The atmosphere didn’t change despite the long day spent outside. It was hard not to feel good around a group of people who were just so enthusiastic about what they were doing. And I’m not just talking about the girls competing.
I’ve seen a lot of volunteers who just show up and do what they need to do at an event. They’re more preoccupied with when it ends than really focusing on the kids in attendance. I didn’t come in expecting this level of apathy, but I assumed it would be a similar feeling of I can’t wait until this ends.
To all our Girl Scout volunteers, I’m so sorry I underestimated you.
What I found from the adults in attendance was something truly special. They were just all, without exception, so encouraging. The ones dressed up were just as into it as the members of their team.
The ones judging the events never looked exasperated for frustrated, even if a team was taking a long time to complete their task. They patiently watched and offered words of support. When acceptable, they gave little pieces of advice to help the girls without compromising the competition. It was clear they were having just as much fun.
I spent time listening to volunteers in certain areas and it was hard to leave. They guided the girls through and cared about their learning. Skills and Chills is a competition, but it’s clear it’s still a learning experience. It doesn’t matter if a girl has practiced for an event or this is her first day, the volunteers remained happy to guide however possible.
Because my experience as a Girl Scout lasted less than one year, I thought about interactions I’d had in similar situations as a child. It’s not like every volunteer I’d encountered was negative, but none stuck with me quite like the helpers at Skills and Chills.
As the day continued, I didn’t hear the girls becoming frustrated with each other. They didn’t get mad at teammates when something didn’t go as well as they’d hoped. The spirit of competition was prominent, but it never affected how they interacted with each other. No one was cutthroat or tried to puff themselves up. It was simply a group of girls doing their best, trying to win, but most importantly having a blast.
I believe in the Girl Scout Difference, but I haven’t always. I tried Girl Scouts when I was young but moved on quickly. Like too many people, I assumed they were all about crafts and cookies. Even when I was first hired, I told people I was conflicted about working here because I didn’t really believe in the organization.
It’s laughable how far I’ve come in a year. Actually, it only took about a day to realize Girl Scouts was so much more than I imagined.
Now I’m so into Girl Scouts I’ve signed up my niece and convinced my sister to become a co-leader. I’ve seen firsthand the impact of Girl Scouts and I want them both to experience the difference. I want my sister to help lead girls and watch her daughter grow. I want my niece to develop friendships in a space without competition and pressure. I want her to see that no matter what the world tells her, she’s capable of greatness in any area she wants.
I’ve believed in the Girl Scout Difference for awhile, but if I had any doubts, Skills and Chills erased them all. Never in my life have I experienced something like it, where the girls felt safe to succeed and fail and the volunteers cared about encouraging and making every girl feel important.
People are busy and there are other activities, but I know Girl Scouts is the best option for your girl. She gets to do a bit of everything and set herself up for a lifetime of leadership and success. Nothing is more important, because here’s the thing: we know success looks different for everyone. We don’t want to force your girl to do something she doesn’t want to or feels like she has to. We care that she finds her thing and never looks back.
That’s what motivates me every day at my job. That’s the Girl Scout Difference.
One of the best events of the year is only two weeks away. Every year, we celebrate eight amazing women in the Western New York area for their character, dedication to community, and passion for mentoring girls and women. The event is appropriately called Women of Distinction.
Like all of our events, it’s a girl-led ceremony prominently featuring our Girl Scouts. In fact, eight girls will spend time shadowing and learning from one the honorees. At the awards, she’ll share her experience.
This year, we have the privilege of honoring:
Lindsay Cray: Co-Founder & Executive Director, Earthworks, Inc. (Monroe County)
Rosanne Frandina: President of Frandina Engineering and Land Surveying (Erie County)
Althea E. Luehrsen: CEO, Leadership Buffalo, Inc. (Erie County)
Patti Ann Pacino: Batavia City Council Member (Genesee County)
Venus Quates: President and CEO, launchTECH (Erie County)
Dr. Dilara Samadi: OB/GYN, Buffalo Medical Group (Erie County)
Honorable Joanne Winslow: Associate Justice of the New York State Supreme Court (Monroe County)
This event isn’t limited to Girl Scouts, either; we’d love to have you with us! This year we’re celebrating at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Buffalo Thursday, September 20, with the evening’s events beginning at 5:30 p.m.
To learn more about the experiences and passions of former honorees, check out The Girl Scout Difference campaign for their stories.
Interested in Being a Sponsor? Sponsorship opportunities for organizations of all sizes exist. Invest in the future of girls today by sponsoring an event – 100% of your investment will stay in Western New York to help girls develop important leadership skills. Learn about sponsor opportunities by viewing our sponsorship packet and change the world by investing in girls today!
For more information about this event or becoming a sponsor contact Eileen Hettich at 1.888.837.6410 x6030 or email
Speaking out for what’s right folds right into our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character. When you’re a Girl Scout, you learn why it’s important to stand up against injustice while becoming bold enough to defend those in need.
It can be scary as a young girl seeing someone being bullied. You know it’s wrong, but if you say something the bully might focus on you. Or maybe your friend is a bully and you know if go against her, she won’t want to hang out with you anymore. Even as adults we deal with these dilemmas, but we’re fighting for a world where women aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right and who can speak confidently in the face of pressure.
One of the most important ways Girl Scouts makes a difference is through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, or GSLE. To help prepare girls for their future, we believe in developing skills in four different areas known as the pillars to the GSLE:
Together, these four pillars create a well-rounded experience for girls. Many recent college graduates find themselves facing adulthood with no real idea how the world works. School teaches many subjects, but there are areas necessary for life that are overlooked, like taxes, loans, and budgeting.
A benefit of being a Girl Scout is these terms don’t have to be new or scary ideas. Because our program is dedicated to exposing girls to as many opportunities as possible, we want them to grow up knowing they can handle anything. For example, we host a Money Matters event every year where financial professionals come in to discuss these exact things.
When you’re considering what activities to choose for your girl, don’t fall for stories of convenience for the whole family. Think about her future and all you want her to accomplish. There’s a reason Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership experience for girls. Discover the difference for yourself today.
Over the summer, Girl Scouts announced 30 new STEM badges for girls as well as new journeys. In November 2017, the organization pledged to raise $70 million to help bring 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025. While many viewed this news with enthusiasm, some still ask why it matters. Others argue not every girl wants to be in a STEM field and worry Girl Scouts is moving away from its roots in the outdoors. We’re here to help you understand.
What is STEM?
Before we continue, it’s important to identify exactly what STEM is. The acronym stands for science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, four subjects most girls in the United States will be exposed to, yet few will pursue.
Why don’t more girls pursue STEM fields?
Think about the clothes you’ve seen in the kids section. The girls have frilly shirts covered with sparkles, claiming things like ‘when I grow up, I want to be a mermaid’ or ‘princess’ or ‘unicorn.’ Meanwhile boys clothes will say things like ‘astronaut.’
Realize it or not, girls are conditioned to think about more ‘feminine’ careers from a young age. This is encouraged through stereotypes and the underlying current of sexism that still plagues our society. One of our studies found that girls were less likely to raise their hand to answer a math question if boys were in the room, even when they knew the answer.
Basically, at some point it became assumed that STEM wasn’t for girls. We’re trying to change that perception.
It goes beyond the STEM pipeline
While we strive for equality in the workforce, both in job selection and salary, it isn’t our sole reason for encouraging STEM in our girls. Most people remember that Girl Scouts is about building girls of courage, confidence, and character, but they may not know the crucial second half: who make the world a better place.
We know there are things in this world that can be improved. Through our journeys and badges, we help girls learn about taking care of the planet and conservation. We encourage them to be away of their impact and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Simply put, we were a girl-led green movement before it became popular.
We know it’s not for every girl
We’re continuing to add STEM badges in areas like cybersecurity, but it doesn’t mean we think every girl needs to become an engineer or scientist. We just believe every girl has the right to choose exactly what she wants to do, and we want to increase her chances of success by exposing her to different fields.
Maybe your Girl Scout wants to be a park ranger. Or a stay at home mom. Or an accountant. Or a veterinarian. Or maybe even a princess. We’re here to support her no matter what, so your girl can have courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place in her own chosen way.
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.
We know it’s not technically the new year, but it almost is for us! Our membership year runs October through September, so we’re about to say farewell to 2017-18 and hello to 2018-19.
If you’re unsure of whether Girl Scouts is the right option, let us give you confidence. There are a lot of opportunities for your girl, but we offer so much more. She won’t just walk away knowing how to do one type of thing; she’ll have a variety of skills that enable her to choose whatever path in life she desires.
You know us for our delicious cookies and all the fun we have, but did you know how passionate we are about making sure your girl becomes a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, risk-taker, innovator, leader)? We mean it when we say we build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out really stories from current Girl Scouts, alumna, and Women of Distinction as they explain what Girl Scouts means to them. We like to call it The Girl Scout Difference. Join today and discover the difference it will make for you.
Already a member? Renew today for your chance to win awesome incentives!
As part of our Girl Scout Difference Campaign, we’re going to highlight different benefits each week. Our first focus comes from one of the ways we know Girl Scouts helps girls thrive:
Identify and solve problems in the community.
We’re so proud of the way we see our Girl Scouts giving back. Before ‘being green’ became a thing, Girl Scouts were working to take care of the environment. It’s a tradition we continue today.
This dedication comes from one of our four pillars of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Life Skills. We believe in teaching girls why it’s important to take care of their world.
Troops share stories with us about the work they’re doing in their communities. From planting flowers to cleaning up parks to making cards in nursing homes, our girls are constantly in action. Even our cookie program incorporates giving back.
On the purchasing end, you can order one to send to troops. For the troops, they can choose how they want to spend their cookie money, and many choose service projects. This year, one troop even funded an emergency medical flight for a child.
Girl Scouts not only teaches the importance of giving back; it instills these values in our girls so this attitude is carried with them throughout the rest of their lives. Our prestigious Gold Award is focused around a project that identifies and helps correct a need.
In 2018, our Gold Award Girl Scouts did some amazing work. Projects involved creating curriculum to help teach other students, building long-need items in parks, and much more. One Gold Award Girl Scout even received international attention for her project that centered around sending feminine hygiene products.
It’s truly incredible what our Girl Scouts can do.