Celebrate Black History Month

[This post is partially from a blog shared at girlscouts.org February 1, 2016]

When you think about history, it’s likely that you think about things that happened a long time ago, perhaps even in a land far, far away. But the truth is, history is happening right now—it’s all around us, and it vibrates through the very fabric of the Girl Scout movement. Think about it: Girl Scouts all over the country are in the process of making history in their schools and communities, instituting meaningful change, standing up for what’s right, breaking records, and setting new precedents.

All of this is why when we celebrate Black History Month, we not only honor and remember the phenomenal black women we learned about in our history books in school—we also celebrate the ongoing strength and vision of the black girls and women who are creating change as we speak.

Just take a minute to think about the black women, both young and more experienced at life, who’ve made headlines in the past few years:

  • In 2014, Mo’ne Davis, then 13, wasn’t just the first African American girl to play in the Little League World Series, she was also the first girl to pitch a shutout in the competition’s history. 
  • That same year, Mia Love got attention as the first black Republican woman in Congress.
  • And in the legal world, 2015 brought us Paulette Brown, who was named the first woman of color to become president of the American Bar Association. 
  • Last year, Misty Copeland was the first African American woman to be named principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. 
  • Also in 2015, Viola Davis became the first African American actress to take home an Emmy award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and quoted civil rights activist Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech.   
  • The U.S. Senate made Loretta Lynch the first Black female attorney general in 2015.
  • Last year, actress and recording star Zendaya not only spoke out against stereotypes about African American hair, she also teamed up with Mattel to create the first Black Barbie doll with a natural hair style. “When I was little, I couldn’t find a Barbie who looked like me. My…how times have changed,” she said. 
  • Simone Biles dominated at the 2016 Olympics and stands as the most decorated gymnast in American history, and ranks third highest around the world. Plus, who can forget her iconic statement when being compared to other athletes: “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles”

We have so much to learn from the leaders who have shaped our world. One such leader (literally in the Girl Scout sense) is Josephine Holloway. Artist Alleanna Harris highlighted her in a Black History Month in 2017, and we love what she made:

Here’s what she shared: “Today’s Black History Month illustration is of Josephine Holloway, the first black Girl Scout Troop Leader. In 1933, she attempted to form a Girl Scout troop for black girls, but the Nashville Girl Scout Council denied her request. In 1942, after lobbying for about 10 years, the first black Girl Scout troop was established. Holloway was such an expert of girls issues that the Girl Scouts hired her as a field advisor for all black troops. Over her time as a field advisor, she supervised over 2,000 black girls and adults.”

Calling All Girls: Win a VIP Trip to Orlando, Florida!

[This post originally appeared on girlscouts.org]

The 2020 Cookie Pro™ contest opens TODAY, February 1—are you ready?

Hey barrier breakin,’ challenge crushin,’ and lead takin’ cookie entrepreneurs! Are you putting that unmatchable Girl Scout courage to the test every year to create positive change? We want to hear from you and reward you for all your hard work selling Girl Scout Cookies® in the 2019–20 season with a chance to win BIG. All you have to do is enter the 2020 Cookie Pro contest February 1–March 31.

Entering is simple: participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program® this season and highlight your unique cookie business smarts by answering questions about the skills you learned and your experience selling cookies!

Before the contest opens for entries, start developing your business skills by earning a pin in the NEW Cookie Entrepreneur Family pin collection, the latest addition to the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Now families can help girls learn while they earn—talk about high-quality time with a purpose! Learn more and start your collection today.

GET YOUR SHOT AT THE GRAND PRIZE 

Twenty-four Girl Scouts—four per level—will be named national cookie pros and get the epic chance to:

  • Travel to Orlando with one parent or guardian for three incredible days of fun and adventure
  • Be a VIP guest at G.I.R.L. 2020, the largest event for girls in the world!
  • Get backstage passes to meet super-cool celebrity speakers
  • Experience Orlando’s mind-blowing theme parks using a special-access pass
  • Meet Girl Scouts of the USA’s CEO, Sylvia Acevedo, and other inspiring Girl Scout entrepreneurs
  • Take part in unforgettable activities with Girl Scouts from all over the country
  • Enjoy exclusive swag, giveaways, and more!

ENTER TO WIN BIG

Participating in the Cookie Pro contest is easy! Simply answer a set of questions online and submit them along with a solo photo of yourself.

We can’t wait to hear how you’ve been crushing your goals, learning tons of new skills, and taking the lead to rock your cookie business all season long!

Come back on February 1, 2020, to enter the contest for your chance to win the grand prize!


UNLOCK THE LIMITED-EDITION PATCH

Every girl who enters the contest will unlock this awesome limited-edition Cookie Pro patch for optional purchase—wear it with pride, girls!

To enter the Cookie Pro contest, girls must be registered Girl Scouts who are participating in the 2019-2020 Girl Scout Cookie Program and legal residents of one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands (collectively, “Residents”) (including Residents currently residing in overseas military installations with a valid APO/FPO mailing address) and apply together with a parent or legal guardian who is 18 years old or older as of the date of entry.

Questions? Check the official contest rules and FAQs, or contact Customer Care at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.

Girl Scouts locked in at the library!

[This post was submitted to us on behalf of the Twin Lakes and Southwest Corners Service Units. To share your story, email us at communications@gswny.org]

What do Hermie the Wormie, a baby bumblebee, and dancing daisies have in common? They are all parts of the happy singalong that Girl Scouts enjoyed at the recent overnight lock-in event held in Westfield’s Patterson Library.

Girl Scouts from Westfield,  Chautauqua Lake, and Sherman schools (Twin Lakes and Southwest Corners Service Units) gathered as the library was closing to take over the basement level and hang out with their sister Girl Scouts of all ages. The 24 girls included four Daisies, four Brownies, nine Juniors, and seven Cadettes.

Activities ranged from a good, old-fashioned singalong to making S.W.A.P.S. (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere-art projects designed to share with others at scouting events), to watching movies in their pajamas and reading anything they chose. They were also given a guided tour of the library at night by Patterson Library’s own Amy Stephenson, leader of one of Westfield’s Cadette troops. Many had never been to the Patterson Library before, so this was a special treat.

Girls from different school districts met and became friends, and look forward to seeing each other at future events.

“Events like these that bring girls from our service units together really help our girls get to know their sister Girl Scouts, as well as see that scouting is so much bigger than their own troop or school district,” said Patty Bowen, who organized the event.

“So many of the younger girls enjoyed playing in the children’s section of the library,  and the older ones were amazing helpers, working in teams to make enough grilled cheese sandwiches to feed an army!” said Bowen’s co-leader,  Wendy Graham. “Since this was our first such event, we’re taking what we learned and are now working hard to tailor future events for the younger and older scouts. In the spring our service unit will host a weekend that includes activities for the little ones, as well as a special overnight for the older girls. We are always striving to do better!”

Judging by the smiling faces at Patterson Library during this event, they are off to a good start.

Thank you, Daisy, for how you changed the world!

Today marks the passing of Juliette Gordon Low on January 17, 1927. The following obituary appeared in The New York Times the next day.

She passed away in the Low home in Savannah, GA, after a battle with breast cancer and complications surrounding the treatments of the time.

We appreciate all she did for girls and how her legacy continues to impact the lives of millions of girls, volunteers, and communities across America and beyond.

Honoring Patricia Whittington's more than 50 years of service

While many of her peers were talking Woodstock back in 1969, Patricia Whittington was also talking Girl Scouts. She had joined the Girl Scouts while a young girl as they advocated for civil rights and launched an initiative to overcome prejudice.

She was there as a young adult when the actress Debbie Reynolds (who was a troop leader) headed a project to introduce the Girl Scouts to under-served communities while building value for the older girls. Soon she would be a part of their work to improve understanding of ecology with a new environmental education program.

Patricia Whittington joined the Girl Scouts in the early 1950’s and earned her First Class and Curved Bars as a Girl Scout. As an adult and parent her service never stopped. In addition to numerous stints as a Troop Leader and Cookie Manager, she served in various leadership capacities for the Aurora Service Unit, which helps coordinate all the local troops. She’s also volunteered regionally for the Girls Scouts of Buffalo & Erie County and served as a delegate at national conferences.

While much has changed since her first days, the core values of the Girl Scouts has remained the same, and Patricia Whittington has loaned her time and talents to the organization in every one of those years. All four of her daughters were active Girl Scouts and remain involved as adults as Troop Leaders and managers for the East Aurora Unit.

On Wednesday, August 28, 2019 the Girl Scouts in East Aurora recognized the retiring leader and volunteer by dedicating a Little Free Library and a park bench at the Aurora Community Pool Park at 690 South Street in her honor. A second bench was also installed to salute Girl Scouts of the past, present and future. Members of her family, friends, other leaders, and many of the Girl Scouts whose lives she touched were present for the surprise presentation.

The dedication was organized by Girl Scout Calissa Rosinski, who built the library and coordinated signage for the occasion, as part of her Silver Award. The Immaculate Conception graduate and incoming East Aurora High School freshmen is the daughter of Kelly & Philip Rosinski of East Aurora.

Pittsford Girl Scouts battle period insecurity with care kits

The Girl Scouts of Western New York’s Pittsford Service Unit recently hosted a menstrual pad packing party to help local girls and women.

Girl Scouts sixth grade and up met on a day off of school to assemble the kits which included 4 pads, 2 liners, a hand sanitizer, a friendship bracelet, a Scensibles disposal bag, and instructions for use, as well as positive messages. The kits were assembled for in-need schools in the Rochester City School District where girls sometimes miss classes or use unsanitary solutions because of their lack of access to supplies. Forty girls gathered at the Pittsford Library for the event and were able to pack 2000 period supply kits.

Sophia Schulitz, a Senior Girl Scout, said, “Period insecurity is scary! Girls around the world miss school or are bullied for this. I am glad we can help some of the girls in our community!”

The Pittsford Service Unit hopes that by providing the kits to girls and making menstrual care something normal to talk about they can end period insecurity and empower girls their own age.

This is the third year the service unit worked with Scensibles, which provided the disposal bags for free and helped the girls organize the party. Scensibles provided 2000 pink satin pouches, 8000 sanitary pads, 4000 hand wipes, 4000 Scensibles bags, and 2000 friendship bracelets. This project is an important part of the company’s charitable efforts. The Girl Scouts provided panty liners for the kits and also the girl power to assemble all of it!

The girls also received $750 from the Pittsford Rotary Club to support their project. This allowed them to increase the size of the kits from previous years of working on this project. Additional supplies were donated to the Pittsford Food Cupboard to assist women in the community who need the supplies.

More of Ava's musical work toward her Gold Award!

Girl Scout Ava is continuing work on her Girl Scout Gold Award. A portion of her project has been live violin performances in nursing homes in her local area. She’s expanded to include her troop in her performances at 2 locations recently. Can’t wait to see her get her Gold Award in June at the ceremony! 💛💛💛