Troop 20173 attends Golden Gate Bridging Event

Five Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 20173 had the experience of a lifetime as they joined 7,000 of their Girl Scouting sisters on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for the Girl Scouts of Northern California’s Golden Gate Bridging Event. 

The girls, Westfield fifth graders Brooke Luce, Lilly Teeter, Desiree Bowen and Grace Graham and Cassadaga’s Lily Hafner, joined leaders Patricia Bowen and Wendy Graham on a whirlwind trip across the country. The four-day adventure was a time of firsts: for many, it was the first time they had flown; for some, it was their first time away from family; and for all it was their first time amid so many of their Girl Scout peers.

“In Girl Scouting, when a girl moves up to a new level they call it bridging,” Patty Bowen said. “We’ve had bridging ceremonies over small local bridges before. When we found out girls on the west coast bridged over one of the Engineering Wonders of the World, we were in.”

The ceremony was only for 5th graders bridging from Juniors to Cadettes, which means all of Troop 20173 was eligible.

“Then we just had to find funds,” Wendy Graham said.

The catch: the event was just over 4 weeks away when the leaders found out about it. 

“Our small community just came together to make sure we could afford it. It gives me goosebumps to think of everyone who helped to make this happen. We received donations from our local American Legion, Legion Auxiliary, VFW, VFW Auxiliary, Women of the Moose, and Westfield Fisheries along with many personal donations people made when they heard about what we wanted to do and the opportunity we wanted to give these girls. We even had most of the money for our seven flights paid for by one individual donor. It was that one anonymous donation that got the ball rolling!” Bowen said.

In the end, the girls were able to see redwoods in Muir Woods, tour San Francisco by bus, visit Sausalito, take a ferry ride past Alcatraz, ride a cable car, and see the sea lions on Pier 39.

“And that’s all besides the main event!” Graham said. “Bridging day included walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, various Girl Scout stations set up in Chrissy Field, and our girls got to meet the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern California and earned her special CEO patch.  The ceremonies closed with the largest friendship circle in the world, which was truly awesome to see and experience.”

A real bonus was that the girls got to meet the pilot on their return trip- herself a woman in a largely male-dominated industry!

Despite a few bouts of homesickness, all of the girls say they are eager to travel again. They are already looking toward their next scouting adventure, which was truly awesome to see.”

On-Time Renewal is coming!

The summer coming to a close isn’t a complete bummer when you remember it’s almost time for the new Girl Scouting year!

If you missed Spring Renewal, there’s still time to renew your membership and receive some amazing incentives, like gift cards and pop-up gifts. Plus, we have a new incentive for troops this year that you’re going to love. Stay tuned to learn more!

Set a reminder now because On-Time Renewal starts Thursday, August 1, in just eight short days!

Girl Scouts Give Back To The Longridge Elementary School Community With A “Little Free Library” Service Project

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 60972 of Greece will make the Longridge Elementary School community brighter as they host a presentation in honor of their little free library service project where girls will also earn their wood working badge.

Ten Girl Scouts who attend three of Greece Central School District’s middle schools decided to give back to their local community with a literacy service project and worked with various groups including Greece Odyssey and others to help build the little free library and collect books for the school community at Longridge Elementary. Community service is an important component to the Girl Scout experience and empowers girls to take the lead and make the world a better place.

The Mix 100.5 Cookie Crumble Contest is happening now!

The Rochester-based Mix 100.5 holds a pretty sweet contest for our Girl Scout troops in the area every cookie season. The radio station purchases 1,000 boxes of cookies from the troop that wins their Cookie Crumble Contest!


Eight troops are nominated and then selected to enter the contest. Throughout the month of March, people are invited to vote for their favorite troop (labeled as our delicious cookies) and help them advance to the final round.

At the end, the troop who’s received the most votes throughout each round wins and as a result, they sell an additional 1,000 boxes of cookies.

Thank you to Mix 100.5 for holding this annual contest and good luck to all our Girl Scouts who are contenders!

If you’re interested in voting, visit Mix 100.5’s website

A 40-Year Volunteer Shares Her Story: The Girl Scout Difference

The story below comes from Theresa Kasper, a 40-year volunteer with Girl Scouts in Western New York. While she explains the difference Girl Scouts made in her life, we wanted to explain the difference she’s made to us.

With a four-decade history, it isn’t surprised that she’s well known around our council. As soon as you mention her name, most staff have something great to say. Usually it involves the fact that she won’t say no to a girl.

Theresa believes so passionately in Girl Scouts that she makes room when a girl needs troop. To accomplish this, she has meetings twice a week just to accommodate all of her girls. She seeks out girls who need Girl Scouts and gives them opportunities to do whatever they want to learn about, including camping and kayaking. Coming from Niagara Falls, a lot of her girls have never been to camp and likely wouldn’t without Girl Scouts.

Her work with the girls doesn’t end when they age out. Theresa makes an effort to keep in touch with her girls and many leader now as a result. When you’re in the community, it’s likely you’ll run into someone who asks about Theresa because she was in one of her troops. 

Kelly Garrow is a Service Unit Support Specialist who was leading a troop in Niagara Falls before becoming an employee. When it was time to make the transition, she needed someone to take over her troop of older girls. Theresa was so excited for Kelly that she took all her girls. 

Stories like this are what make Girl Scouts and our council shine. We wouldn’t be nearly as successful without leaders like Theresa who are dedicated to our mission and making sure that every girl has the opportunity to become a girl of courage, confidence, and character. 

My Story by Theresa Kasper

There was no such thing as a sleeping bag in 1962.  I was tagging along with my big sister Joyce and her friend Maryann as we rolled blankets, clothing and toothbrushes into a bedroll for Joann’s first campout at Windy Meadows.

Joyce and I begged our parents to allow us to join but to no avail.  With 6 children in the house and one on the way there was no chance of joining.  There was just not enough money. 

Fast forward 16 years later, a marriage, several relocations, a daughter and a son, a nasty divorce and a return home to Niagara Falls.  My mom is now a Girl Scout Leader and she suggests I join scouts for the summer and take my children to day camp.  They need volunteers.  There is a pixie unit for my son and I can head the unit for my daughter.

A week in the woods with other volunteers. Lots of fun and activity distancing me from the stress of my new divorcee status and my unemployment. Not to mention the stress of potentially leaving my children to be employed and all that goes along with it.

A wonderful experience never to be forgotten.  Edward and I had a walk in the woods a thick brush at that time.  We made our own path and eventually were at the end of the property in a field of cows.  He was 4 years old and it was awesome.

Not having raincoats when it rained we donned black garbage bags and kept dry.  It was an adventure. Sarah made many new friends and learned the girl scout way.

In the Fall my daughter was in Second Grade.  There was a girl scout troop and we signed up.  In the middle of the year the leader quit. I was in the church basement with 20 children and no leader.  I improvised and kept them busy until the parent’s showed up. Having had all those little sisters, I knew a bit about crowd control.

That day no one stepped up to take the troop.  I was without employment, a car or resources but told the parents if they would help I would take the lead.

I would always sing and play games with my siblings, so it was all fun for me.  A neighborhood Girl Scout mom called me and I started training. Somehow there was always a ride and someone to take care of my children.  My friend Pat said, “If it is for the kids it will all workout.”  And it did work out.

Over the past 40 years, the training I received in GirlScouts led me to better positions at work. Yes, I got a job the first year I started scouts.  I retired three years ago from work, but I hope to be a Girl Scout leader to the day I pass away!  The experience led me to be abetter person always giving me new learning to this day.  The girls andparents never cease to amaze and inspire me.

And with the ongoing changes in the girl scout experience I have never ever been bored with the program.  Today I lead 5 troops. And there are six fantastic women who love Girl Scouts in the troops that help me.

I reluctantly gave up the Daisy troop this year. There wasonly one girl left after flyups.  Everything changes. Today my largestgroup is the Cadettes with 21 registered. Amazing. This is usually the smallestgroup. 

I never cease to be amazed with Girl Scouts!

Theresa is featured kneeling on the right with some of her girls at a recent tour of the Niagara Falls Police Department.