Girl Scouts in Western New York show their spirit!

On Friday, October 4, Girl Scouts of Western New York held its first annual Girl Scout Spirit Day! Members of our council were invited to wear their Girl Scout gear and show off their pride.

More than straight spirit, we also held a contest to give away prizes for our participants. Two adults and two girls were randomly selected to win $25 GSWNY shop gift certificates and Girl Scout swag bags, respectively.

We received submissions from all around our council and selected four winners!

Visit Facebook to check out all our participants!

Girl Scout Spirit Day Album

It wasn’t just our members – our staff wore their Girl Scout gear too! Check out our album here.

10 Tips to make Back-to-School a breeze

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, meaning it’s time for many students in Western New York to head back to school. Instead of letting all the changes disrupt everything, try these 10 tips that can help make going back to school a breeze!

1. Determine your routine

Before you can iron out the rest of the details, you need to determine what your routine is going to look like. Start with what you know – your schedule and your kids schedules – and work from that. Once you have a basic idea, you can add other pieces in and figure out the the planner/schedule that works for you.

2. Establish a family calendar

Using a family calendar is a great way to keep track of what everyone is doing through the week and/or month, depending on the style you choose. Don’t just write the events – schedule a meeting each week to go over them with everyone.

3. Set up screen time rules

This might be something you keep all year long, but if you’ve been less strict over the summer, now is the time to bring back restrictions. Set boundaries with your children about how often they can be on their devices and make sure you take them out of their rooms at night to remove temptation.

4. Keep to a bedtime and wake up schedule

Sleep routines are easily maintained with consistent times when you go to bed and wake up. Set a schedule for both weekdays and weekends so your children develop a rhythm that will promote more restful sleep habits.

5. Don’t overschedule

With everything new going on, it’s easy to say yes to everything and lose out on valuable family time. Refer to your calendar and routine to make sure something is feasible before agreeing – periods of rest are important for family members of all ages.

6. Get ready the night before

Another great habit to get your kids into is preparing for school the night before. Teach them how to pick out their clothes and pack their bag and lunch. This will make the morning go smoothly and help them learn organization and planning skills.

7. Talk to your kids about going back to school

Get a read on how your kids feel about going back to school. Some may be forthright in their worries and excitement, but others might need some encouragement. Learn about their anxieties and help quell them where possible.

8. Take care of yourself

In the hustle and bustle of managing the lives of your children, it might get easier to forget about yourself. Self-care is one of the best ways to keep you high-functioning because it allows you time to pause and think about your own needs as well instead of getting overwhelmed and burnt out.

9. Choose afterschool activities

While you don’t want to add too many activities in, finding at least one or two can be invaluable for your children. From the skills they learn to the fun they’ll have, it’s a nice way to keep them involved.

Of course, our number one recommendation for girls is Girl Scouts 🙂

10. Find more resources from Girl Scouts

As the school year progresses, you might want more resources about dealing with particular issues. Whether you want more back-to-school tips or help raising awesome girls, they have an amazing library of articles to help you!

We have more than 200 reasons why you should renew

With September days away and the new membership just beyond that, the time has come for On-Time Renewal. This is when our members are invited to renew their memberships with us for another year of Girl Scouts.

Coming back means another year of making new friends, going on adventures, learning new skills, and so much more. Even better, we have more than 200 reasons we can give you about why you should return.

In our Program and Outdoor Guides, you’ll find more than 200 opportunities for our Girl Scouts. Whether they want to pursue science, fashion, history, the outdoors, and everything in between, we have something for them.

Our goal is to provide our girls (and adults!) with amazing experiences they can’t get anywhere else. We keep adding more to make sure every girl can pursue her passion, whatever it looks like.

Don’t miss out on all our amazing programs! Renew your membership today!

GSWNY Staff Celebrate Skills and Chills!

Every year, girls gather at Camp Seven Hills for the culmination of their Outdoor Adventure Training Sequence. It begins for Daisies and Brownies at Tents Up and continues for Juniors and Cadettes at Ready, Set, Camp, all leading to Skills and Chills for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.

What began as a Niagara Legacy Council program has turned into one of our most cherished traditions. This year, we’re celebrating 50 years of Skills and Chills! While the weekend is sure to be incredible, GSWNY council staff wanted to take some time to experience the event like our Girl Scouts.

Keeping with tradition, we formed teams, picked themes, and dressed for the occasion!

Pictured are a few of our themes, including the ‘Spice’ Girls, Wonder Women, Time Travelers (they were our timekeepers!), Terrible Twos, Space Cadettes, and Sharks (think the ‘Baby Shark’ song).

We competed in four of the activities found at Skills and Chills, including knot-tying, cookie-box stacking, fire-building, and tent-pitching. A special Tug-of-War was held at the end to be a tie-breaker!

After a day filled with laughter and friendly competition, we ended our Skills and Chills with a Friendship Circle.

Not only did we enjoy a day of team-building at one of our beautiful camps, we all gained a new appreciation for everything our girls learn in preparation for the real Skills and Chills. We did less than half of the events they do and had much easier rules. It’s truly amazing to see what our Girl Scouts can do!

If you’re interested in learning more about Skills and Chills or registering for the 50th anniversary event happening September 27-29, 2019, visit gswny.org.

New Council Patch Contest for 2019!

We want a new patch for our council and we’re asking the best designers we know – YOU! Girls of all levels, Daisies to Ambassadors, are invited to submit a hand-drawn design to represent Western New York.

The theme is Western New York, meaning your design should feature something that makes you think of the local area. Be careful not to use branded items, like the Buffalo Bills, restaurant names, etc.

When you hand-draw your design, you can make it any shape you want, but we’re asking for a maximum of eight colors, including black and white. Any utensils can be used to design, including markers, crayons, paint, and colored pencils.

Once done, you must mail or hand deliver your design to council so we can have the original artwork to consider in the contest. If you win, there may be changes to your design in the translation to patch, but the concept will remain.

Oh yeah, we also have prizes! The winner will receive:

• (1) new council patch of her design (shipping from the patch vendor may take several weeks)

• (1) $50 GSWNY Gift Certificate

• (1) framed print of the patch design

• A photo taken with the CEO and a press release to the media in the girl’s local area, plus a GSWNY blog post of the press release

• (1) new GSWNY CEO patch

Good luck, Girl Scouts! The learn more or download the form, click here.

DOWNLOAD THE CONTEST FORM

Snow Much Fun Recruitment Contest: Deadline Extended!

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!

To enter the SU Challenge, fill out this form.

It’s Snow Much Fun to be a Girl Scout 2019 Recruitment Challenge Rules

Criteria for the Service Unit Challenge

  • Hold at least one new member recruitment event between January 7 and March 3, 2019.
  • For each recruitment event you host you earn one entry to win. The more events you hold, the more chances you have of winning! You must fill out one Wufoo form to be entered. The form can be found here: https://gswny.wufoo.com/forms/su-recruitment-contest-2019
  • 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.

Girl Scouts are making smiles bright in March!

During the month of March, we’re focusing on dental health! Girl Scouts who participate will increase their knowledge of dental health and take action to provide dental hygiene supplies to other children in their communities.

Girls of all levels are invited to participate in the Dental Health Collection and Patch Program and earn this exclusive patch!

Requirements:

Learn about teeth. What are the parts of a tooth? In a book or online,
find a diagram of a tooth and learn about its parts. Find the crown, root, enamel, pulp, and cementum. What is the importance of each part?

Find out why it is important to brush and floss every day. Make a personal brushing and flossing chart to record when you brush and floss for two weeks.

Discover how our diet helps or hurts our teeth. A healthy diet means healthier teeth but some foods like sugar can harm them. Learn about a balanced diet. Make a collage or draw a picture that shows which foods are either good or bad for our teeth.

Find out about careers related to dental health. For Daisies and Brownies and Juniors – Draw a picture of what you think a dental health professional looks like. For Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors – Find out about college programs, that are offered at nearby schools, in the field of dental health.

Help others keep their teeth healthy too! Collect dental hygiene items such as toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste to donate to community dental clinics in Western New York. Bring your donations to your nearest GSWNY Service Center during the month of March.

Our GSWNY Dental Hygiene Collection will benefit local children through Western New York Community Dental Providers.

The patch will be available for sale in our GSWNY Council Shops. Count the number of items you collect so we can see how many smiles we’ll make brighter!

Download the flyer here