Troop 60462 volunteers at the historic Rapids Cemetery

The following is a submission from Troop 60462 co-leader Carol Yacono-Harrison. If you would like to submit your troop story, please email communications@gswny.org.

Our merry band of Girl Scouts has been volunteering at the historic Rapids Cemetery since July, 2017, starting as Brownies/Juniors, and now as Cadettes.  We were invited to assist by Mr. John Curran, who is a member of our parish, St. Monica’s, and part of a group working to restore and protect this piece of Rochester history.  Graves in this cemetery, in the middle of a residential area of Congress Ave. in the city of Rochester, are dated from 1842 to 1908.

The first year, after a tour of the grounds and a little history lesson, we helped clear the northeast corner of wild garlic and other weeds, and that area, free of graves, is now a meditation garden.  That same year, we helped pick black raspberries in the “edible forest” in the northwest corner, also free of graves, to take to a soup kitchen in the city.

Troop 60462 pre-COVID-19

Each year since, we, along with other community groups, have returned to continue helping in any way possible.  For our girls, that has meant picking an ever-growing amount of black raspberries for the soup kitchens.  This year, we also helped clear dirt and debris from three newly discovered graves from the mid-1800s, and will be returning this Sunday, September 27th, to help lay mulch and prepare the grounds for the winter.

We see this as a “sustainable” project, a community service, and a part of our BREATHE journey and Trees badge work.  We have contacted the city regarding planting a tree on the grounds.  We heard back from Brian Liberti, Forestry Department, this past week!  The city has a shipment of trees due to be delivered some time in April 2021, and he has agreed to reserve one for our girls to plant and help maintain.  We’re hoping to do this as part of an Earth Day celebration!

GSWNY Zoom/Video Backgrounds

With back-to-school season, we thought it might be fun to create some versatile new Zoom backgrounds for adults and girls to enjoy!

To save any of these images:

  • From your computer, right-click and “Save image as” then choose where you want to save it on your computer. Most people find it easiest to save it to their desktop so they don’t lose it.
  • From your phone, hold your finger on the image until additional options pop up. Depending on the type of phone you have, you can save to Camera Roll or open in a new window and save that image to your phone’s photos.

For instructions on how to use Zoom backgrounds, please read this page directly from Zoom. Adding a virtual background in Zoom or other video conferencing apps is fun and easy! Not only can you share your Girl Scout pride, but it allows you to be online a little more safely as people won’t be able to see your home.

34 Girl Scouts receive $36,000 in scholarships at Girl Scouts of WNY’s 2020 Gold Award Celebration

WESTERN NEW YORK (July 28, 2020) – Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce that 34 Girl Scouts from the Western New York area have received a total of 38 scholarships worth $36,000 at the annual Girl Scout Gold Award Celebration.

Thirty-one Girl Scouts received $1,000 each from the Educational Scholarship Fund. To earn this scholarship graduating girls were required to have completed their Silver Award and/or Gold Award along with a combination of academic achievements as well as Girl Scout involvement and accomplishments.

Education Scholarship Fund Recipients:

  • Danielle Bellis, Akron
  • Rachel Bernstein, Honeoye Falls
  • Shauna Blochwitz, Akron
  • Annabella Bogart, Amherst
  • Sophia Braithwaite, Webster
  • Rachel Burt, Webster
  • Diega Ciraolo, Niagara Falls
  • Justine Cole, Livonia
  • Jessica Dawson, Macedon
  • Maeve Devine, Lancaster
  • Elizabeth Fairchild, Honeoye Falls
  • Christy Faller, Sanborn
  • Zaria Gibson-Stevenson, Rochester
  • Angelina Gonzalez, Buffalo
  • Caeley Harsch, Akron
  • Kaylin Hoffman, Williamsville
  • Kaitlyn Hoitt, Fairport
  • Amber Hornquist, Glenwood
  • Elizabeth Humphrey, Wilson
  • Olivia Kisiel, Lewiston
  • Zoe Lucyshyn, North Chili
  • Morgan Mahoney, Hamburg
  • Hope Marshall, Jamestown
  • Rylee Penders, Honeoye Falls
  • Leah Rosen, Rochester
  • Olivia Rosen, Rochester
  • Isabella Sherron, Rochester
  • Alexandra Snow, Buffalo
  • Nicole Spiegel, East Amherst
  • Julia Wasley, Sanborn
  • Renee Wright, Holland

Four Girl Scouts received the Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship awarded at $500 each. The Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1998 through the generosity of Carol and Allan Welsh in memory of their daughter, Kimberley, to be awarded to Girl Scouts who completed their Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship Recipients:

  • Danielle Bellis, Akron
  • Annabella Bogart, Amherst
  • Zaria Gibson-Stevenson, Rochester
  • Hope Marshall, Jamestown

Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger offer one $1,000 scholarship to a girl receiving her Girl Scout Gold Award. All girls who were receiving their Gold Award in 2020 were entered in the pool of candidates. The recipient was awarded the Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger Golden Opportunity Scholarship.

Hans & Charlene Schoenenberger
Golden Opportunity Scholarship Recipient:

  • Alexandra Wilczek, Kenmore

The Ralph and Mary McLean Wilson Scholarship offers two $1,000 scholarships to Girl Scouts receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award. All girls who were receiving their Gold Award in 2020 were entered in the pool of candidates.

Ralph & Mary McLean Wilson Scholarship Recipients:

  • Jessica Breth, Orchard Park
  • Aniyiah Harris, Buffalo

All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts from across Western New York received acknowledgment of their achievements at the virtual Gold Award Celebration on June 16. All the 2020 recipients will be included in the 2021 in-person ceremony next June. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces all 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce all WNY Gold Award Girl Scouts. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

Click on the girls’ names below to be directed to the press release for their specific Girl Scout Gold Award project.

ERIE COUNTY

Name Hometown Project Title
Danielle Bellis Akron First Kicks: A Teen-Led Preschool Soccer Program
Jessica Breth Orchard Park Totes for Turtles
Ava Giangrasso Clarence Music and Memories
Angelina Gonzalez Buffalo Trees of Hope
Aniyiah Harris Buffalo Let’s Get School Supplies!
Bridget Hersee North Tonawanda Fort Niagara Naturalization Ceremony
Amber Hornquist Glenwood Lothlorien Feed Bins and Organizing
Nora Klipfel North Tonawanda Happy Caps
Caroline Kowalski Orchard Park Therapy and Rehabilitation Garden
Corrine Lapp Amherst Miracle Masks
Morgan Mahoney Hamburg Game Time!
Madison Rettig Hamburg The Importance of Healthy Nutrition and Exercise for Female Youth
Alexa Sass Hamburg Pollinator Garden
Nicole Spiegel East Amherst Daycare Project
Sarah Stuhr Orchard Park Spiritual Murals
Arielle Tyrpak Orchard Park Saving the Unborn
Alexandra Wilczek Kenmore Backpacks for Foster Kids
Renee Wright Holland Reading Garden

LIVINGSTON COUNTY

Name Hometown Project Title
Justine Cole Livonia American Flag Education

MONROE COUNTY

Name Hometown Project Title
Rachel Bernstein Honeoye Falls Benches and Sign for Community Garden
Sophia Braithwaite Webster Titan Ambassador Program
Rachel Burt Webster Promoting Water Safety
Mikaela Campbell Honeoye Falls Soccer Field Seating
Audrey DeVault Penfield Bats and Butterflies
Mallory Edgell Fairport Inspiring Through Art: Perinton Pedestrian Bridge Mural
Ellie Fairchild Honeoye Falls STEM in the Library
Zaria Gibson-Stevenson Rochester Inspire You
Lauren Gulick Fairport Art Day at Gilda’s Club
Audrey Huff Fairport Girls on the Run 10-Hour Relay
Emma Nelk Pittsford Grief is Different for Everyone: A Teen’s Point of View
Elizabeth Newell Webster Educating People on Owning Exotic Birds
Carmen Ponce Pittsford Improving the Display of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers’ Pictures & Information
Avery Roberts West Henrietta Park Benches at Martin Road Soccer Park
Emma Smith Pittsford Mural for the Children at the Monroe County Visitation Center
Bridget Taylor Rochester Mercy Morsels: A Cookbook to Benefit Bethany House
Isabell Timm West Henrietta Breese Park Birdhouses

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Sarah Stuhr as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Sarah Stuhr of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Stuhr’s project, Spiritual Murals, involved creating murals at St. James UCC in the town of Hamburg.  

Stuhr said “I chose my project because I wanted to communicate happiness in the church’s community, in hope that anyone who looked at my murals would leave feeling better than before. The project impacted my community by giving my audience a newly gained positive attitude.”

Stuhr purchased the materials needed, got her designs approved by the Church Board, and got to work. After she finished sketching, she painted the walls to create the final image she pictured in her head and sketches. Stuhr’s artwork pieces will now be a staple in the St. James UCC facility.

Stuhr said, “Girl Scouting has allowed me to give back to the community, make new friends, and to grow in confidence and character. I have learned so many life skills just by being around the people in my troop and through the organizations in which we worked with. Girl Scouts has helped me to become a better version of who I am today.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Stuhr will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Renee Wright as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Renee Wright of Holland, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Wright’s project, Reading Garden, involved building a custom reading nook for the Toddler Room of Orchard Park Wesleyan church in Orchard Park.

Wright’s project combined her passions for her church community, reading, and working with children and gave the children at her church a safe and productive space to read and play in. This process involved designing and creating a custom cubby unit, safety gate, and bookshelves that were themed to match the rest of the space.

Wright explained, “Every week I see the children work and enjoying the Toddler Room and using my Reading Garden during their story time. I learned how to use power tools to complete this project as well as created several new relationships within my church. I built, painted, and assembled all these pieces myself, as well as coordinated all the project donations, communications, and volunteer meetings. After the project was completed, I hosted several question and answer sessions for parents and other church members, as well as wrote an article that was included in the church’s electronic newsletter.”

“I am happy to promote early literacy within a community that is so important to me and appreciate the support from everyone who helped me during this process,” stated Wright.

Wright is the first in her community to earn her Gold Award in the last decade. As a Girl Scout Ambassador, she often aids younger troops, and hopes that the completion of her project will inspire the girls she works with to continue to serve their community as well.

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Wright will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Madison Rettig as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Madison Rettig of Hamburg, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Rettig’s project is called The Importance of Healthy Nutrition and Exercise for Female Youth. Madison Rettig created a curriculum, website, and worksheets to help younger Girl Scouts learn to lead healthy lifestyles.

Rettig teamed up with younger Girl Scouts to present them with research she had done on exercise and nutrition. She also prepared worksheets to help them earn a badge. Rettig didn’t stop there and created a website called “HelloFit” using Wix.com for girls to use as a trustworthy resource for information on a healthy diet and exercise, because she personally knows how challenging it can be to find good information on the subject.

While in Girl Scouts, Rettig said, “I’ve learned how important it is to have a group of friends that I can rely on and how rewarding hard work can be.” By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Rettig will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Elizabeth Fairchild as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Elizabeth Fairchild of Honeoye Falls, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Fairchild’s project, STEM at the Library, involved hosting a day of STEM activities at the Mendon Library and providing the library with STEM activities for the future.

Fairchild’s goal was to address the need for women in STEM fields and keep girls interested in STEM throughout their years in middle school. Fairchild stated, “They learned about different STEM topics, the problem with the shortage of women in STEM fields, and were inspired to continue STEM education and encourage other girls to be interested in STEM.”

Fairchild created a website that has all of her program plans on it along with other resources to help girls learn more about STEM. She also sent her program plans to other area libraries so they can use the activities. She will train someone to continue running STEM programs at the Mendon Library after she graduates.

Fairchild said, “I have learned so many life skills in Girl Scouts and I have bonded with many people. My Silver and Gold Awards helped me develop my leadership skills.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Fairchild will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Bridget Taylor as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Bridget Taylor of Rochester, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Taylor’s project is called, Mercy Morsels: A Cookbook to Benefit Bethany House. Bethany House is a shelter for women and children in the Rochester area that relies entirely on donated goods.

Taylor reached out to people within her high school, Our Lady of Mercy’s network to get started. She contacted current Mercy families, staff, and alumni who sent her recipes for the cookbook. After selling the cookbook, Taylor used the profits to purchase items off Bethany House’s wish list, to donate to them.

Bethany House impacts more than 2,000 individuals and families a year. “My project benefits people served by Bethany House by providing things they otherwise would not have. They are in constant need of baby products, feminine hygiene products, toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper products, and food,” said Taylor.

Taylor explained, “My Gold Award was such an amazing opportunity; to be able to provide so much hope and happiness to the women and children at Bethany House was such a humbling experience and a wonderful feeling. Girl Scouts has allowed me to feel more connected to my community and those living in it.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Taylor will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.