You’re invited to be a Daisy for a Day!

This summer, we’re kicking off the Girl Scout experience for our new Daisies in a major way. It all begins with our Daisy for a Day party happening all over council Saturday, June 29.

You’re invited to bring your kindergarten and first grade girls (as of fall 2019) to this exciting event where girls and adults get their first taste of what it means to be a Daisy Girl Scout. Our FREE Daisy for a Day events is for girls and their families to discover what it means to be a Girl Scout, enjoy STEM and other fun activities, and learn about the ways they can get involved with Girl Scouts.

This event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held at the following locations:

Niagara County
Niagara County Community College Banquet Hall G209
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd. Sanborn, NY 14132

Monroe County
Al Sigl Center Gymnasium, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14620

Genesee County
Dibble Family Center, 4120 W Main St., Batavia, NY 14020

Erie County
Daemen College, Wick Center Social Room, 4380 Main St., Amherst, NY 14226

Cattaraugus County
Ellicottville Memorial Library, 6499 Maples Rd., Ellicottville, NY 14731

Chautauqua County
Lakeside Park Pavilion, 78 Water St. Route 394, Mayville, NY 14757
*The Chautauqua County event will take place on Sunday, June 30, 11:00-1:00pm

Your pre-k and kindergarten girls can join RIGHT NOW using extended year membership, which means you get the fun of Girl Scouting this summer and you’re all set for the fall. Plus, our new Daisies will receive exclusive activity packets in the mail in June, July, and August.

All our Daisy fun wraps in August when we’re holding our FIRST EVER Daisy Launch Party. Our new Daisies (and their friends who want to join!) are welcome to join us for more fun and their first patch!

If you have any questions, please reach out to MeKenzie Lund at mekenzie.lund@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410.

Spring Renewal is now open!

April 1 marks the first day of Spring Renewal for Girl Scouts of Western New York! This is your chance to renew you and your girl’s membership for the 2019-2020 membership year and win big in the process.

We have a number of incentives, including ear buds, patches, and some Target gift cards ranging from $100 to $300! Those you have a chance to win, but everyone who renews between April 1 and May 31 receives SAGE Tuition Rewards points, aka scholarships for college.

Every girl who renews during Spring Renewal will receive 2,500 points, which turns into $2,500, valid at 300 schools around the country. Co-leaders who renew receive 3,500 points, or $3,500, that are transferable to anyone under the age of 18.

It might be April Fools Day, but we aren’t kidding around! These incentives are the real deal and yours for the taking now through May 31.

Christine Kirwan, our director of Volunteer Experience, explains Spring Renewal in some more details below!

Renew Your Membership Today

March 12 – Tuesday Theme: Girl Scout Birthday and the Importance of Volunteering #GirlScoutWeek

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to school to celebrate your Girl Scout sisterhood. Today, over 3.2 million girls and adults are active Girl Scout members, and over 50 million women are Girl Scout alumnae. In honor of the Girl Scout Birthday, take a moment to recognize and celebrate all that Girl Scouts of the USA has done for local communities across the country!
  • Learn more about Juliette Gordon Low. Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace website. Every year many troops visit the birthplace as an extended trip. Interested in learning more? Check out our Traveling with Girl Scouts packet.
  • Throw a birthday party for Girl Scouts! Celebrate with birthday cake, party games, and more. Invite your sister Girl Scouts and friends who are not yet Girl Scouts. Ask all of your guests to bring a birthday gift to donate to a local charity.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of exciting programs and travel.   
    • Facebook Live – Member of Volunteer Experience will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ volunteer opportunities and how they impact girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership on Facebook and Instagram.

Celebrate Girl Scout Week and The Girl Scouting Year-Round Virtual Join Event!

Girl Scout Week – Sunday, March 10 to Saturday, March 16 – is a time to celebrate Girl Scouts as groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. This year in conjunction with Girl Scout Week, we’re holding The Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event from Monday, March, 11 to Friday, March 15. Join us as we celebrate for your chance to win daily and one-time incentives during the week – view a listing of the incentives below.

This guide offers many ideas for girls to choose their own way to be aG.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ during Girl Scout Week. #GirlScoutingYearRound

Daily Incentives

  • Engagement Incentive: WIN 2 PACKAGES OF GIRL SCOUT COOKIES via Facebook or Instagram! Winners will be selected randomly the day after the question has been posted to social media. Winners will receive a DM or private message asking which 2 flavors they would like and which GSWNY service center location they would like to pick up their prize. (Gluten-free cookies are not available as prizes.) Winners must be currently registered adult or girl members of Girl Scouts of Western New York. New members may participate same day as completing their GSWNY registration. 3/11/19-3/15/19
  • Join Incentives: Existing Volunteers, register a new girl or volunteer, add a new girl to your troop, and be entered for a chance to win two daily gift cards of $25 to Target or Walmart when you email your full name and the full name of the person you registered to communications@gswny.org 3/11/19-3/15/19. Register more people and increase your chances to win. Winners will be emailed with the notification of when and where to pick up their gift card.

One-time Incentives:

  • All new girls who register are entered into a drawing for a Girl Scout starter kit 3/11/19-3/15/19. Winners will be emailed with the notification of when and where to pick up their gift card.
  • Everyone who registers as a new member or registers a new member will be entered for a chance to win a free week at camp valued at $195 to be used at GSWNY Day, Resident or Troop Camp. Existing Volunteers who register a new girl or volunteer, or add a new girl to your troop must also email your full name and the full name of the person you registered to communications@gswny.org 3/11/19-3/15/19.

Overview:

  • March 10 – Sunday: Girl Scout Sunday
  • March 11 – Monday: (Go-Getter) Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event Kick-off
  • March 12 – Tuesday: Girl Scout Birthday and the Importance of Volunteering
  • March 13 – Wednesday: (Innovator) Cookie Power
  • March 14 – Thursday: (Risk-Taker) Girl Scout High Awards and Community Service
  • March 15 – Friday: (Leader) Camp and Outdoor
  • March 16 – Saturday: G.I.R.L. Agenda and Girl Scout Sabbath

March 10 – Sunday Theme: Girl Scout Sunday

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to worship. Talk with your Girl Scout sisters and family to connect with a local place of worship and learn about how Girl Scouts can be represented on Girl Scout Sunday.
  • Host a Girl Scout Cookies and milk party after worship. Bring Girl Scout cookies (and possibly sell some too), share what goals you achieved with your cookie sale, and talk about the skills you have learned from the Girl Scout Cookie program.
  • Earn your My Promise, My Faith Award. Work with your family and faith leaders to earn the pin to celebrate the connection between the Girl Scout Promise and Law and your faith.

March 11 – Monday Theme: (Go-Getter) Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event Kick-off

A Go-Getter is bold, honest, and determined to succeed. Goal-oriented and ambitious, she’s also a life-long learner who believes no challenge is too difficult.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Set a goal to achieve a big objective. Is it a Journey Summit Award, straight A’s, mastering a new routine, or scoring a goal? Create a plan to work hard to make it happen.
  • Learn a new skill. Celebrate your love of learning. Practice a skill that will help you explore something you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Create a motivational mantra. Go-Getters get back up and try again when they fall down. Create a mantra or saying to encourage yourself and others to be determined to succeed.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer a year-round experience for girls from Camping and Outdoors, STEM, to Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship.
    • Facebook Live – Members of Recruitment will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ programs and services for girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram

March 12 – Tuesday Theme: Girl Scout Birthday and the Importance of Volunteering

March 12 is the Girl Scout Birthday! On this day in 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled a group of eighteen girls from Savannah, Georgia for the first ever Girl Scout meeting.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to school to celebrate your Girl Scout sisterhood. Today, over 3.2 million girls and adults are active Girl Scout members, and over 50 million women are Girl Scout alumnae. In honor of the Girl Scout Birthday, take a moment to recognize and celebrate all that Girl Scouts of the USA has done for local communities across the country!
  • Learn more about Juliette Gordon Low. Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace website. Every year many troops visit the birthplace as an extended trip. Interested in learning more? Check out our Traveling with Girl Scouts packet.
  • Throw a birthday party for Girl Scouts! Celebrate with birthday cake, party games, and more. Invite your sister Girl Scouts and friends who are not yet Girl Scouts. Ask all of your guests to bring a birthday gift to donate to a local charity.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of exciting programs and travel.   
    • Facebook Live – Member of Volunteer Experience will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ volunteer opportunities and how they impact girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership on Facebook and Instagram.

March 13 – Wednesday Theme: (Innovator) Cookie Power

Thinking outside the box is an Innovator’s specialty, so she’s always looking for a creative way to take action. She definitely knows how to get things done.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Solve a problem in a creative way. Whether it is a broken shoelace or a polluted beach, Girl Scouts innovate to find unique solutions. Find an imaginative solution to an everyday or community problem.
  • Invent something new. Think outside the box and find a new way to do something. Share your idea with other Girl Scout sisters or your family.
  • Create a work of art. Choose your favorite type of art and make a masterpiece that’s cookie-related that looks like something that no one has ever seen before.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the area of Entrepreneurship with the largest girl-run business in the world – the Girl Scout cookie program and learn what the Digital Cookie Drawing and Cookie Drive-thru is all about. GSWNY Thunderclap Social Media posting where everyone in GSWNY posts the same message to social media on the same day.
    • Facebook Live – Member of Product Program and a girl will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ Cookie Program and how it impacts girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram

March 14 – Thursday Theme: (Risk-Taker) Programs – Girl Scout High Awards and Community Service

Courageous and strong, a Risk-Taker’s keen to try new things and to embrace the unfamiliar. She’s ready to step up and break the mold if that’s what it takes.

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Do something new. Girl Scouts explore the world around them. Do something that you’ve never done before.
  • Eliminate “can’t” from your vocabulary. Think about the times you’ve said “I can’t (do something).” Try something that you thought you couldn’t do.
  • Break the mold. Be the first person you know to try something. Share with your friends and family about your experience.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of the Girl Scout High Awards – Gold, Silver, and Bronze and Community Service.
    • Facebook Live – Member of Girl Experience will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ Programs and how they impact girls year-round and a Girl Scout Gold Awardee and Alum will speak about her experience.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram

March 15 – Friday Theme: (Leader) Camp and Outdoor

A Leader is confident, responsible, and committed to changing the world for the better—and she’s happiest when others join her in taking the lead!

Girl Scout Week Activity

  • Be a role model. Lead younger girls in celebrating Girl Scout Week activities and being G.I.R.L.s!
  • Lead a Take Action project. Make the world a better place when you Take Action to solve issues in your community in a sustainable way.
  • Invite the community. Welcome your community to your Girl Scout Week celebrations or Take Action projects.

Girl Scouting Year-Round – Virtual Join Event

  • Tune-in to a Facebook Live throughout the day or evening and check-in for exciting giveaways around how Girl Scouts offer year-round experiences for girls in the areas of Camp and Outdoor.
    • Facebook Live – Member of Camp/Outdoor Program will speak to the breadth of Girl Scouts’ Camp/Outdoor Program and how it impacts girls year-round.
    • Daily Incentives: Engagement and Membership  on Facebook and Instagram
    • One-time Incentive: Starter Kit and 1 Week of Camp

March 16 – Saturday Theme: G.I.R.L. Agenda and Girl Scout Sabbath

Be a catalyst for change in your community—and the world. Champion your views, influence leadership, and advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda to make the world a better place. Every girl has a voice. Every girl’s voice is important.

  • Girl Scout Week Activity
  • Get inspired. Find a problem big or small in your community. Think of a way you and others can solve it and let your voice be heard.
  • Get prepared. Take a stand and be an advocate for an issue that is important to you. Share with others why you are so passionate about this cause.
  • Get mobilized. Unleash your inner leader and make the world a better place.

Special Alert:

  • Stop in our GSWNY Shops and celebrate Girl Scout Week with us and have a cupcake! By participating in our Balloon Pop Challenge each customer has a chance to save 10%-40% off on their purchase. The challenge runs March 11-15. Come visit us in the shop and POP a balloon to receive a discount on a same day purchase. Each shop is open their normal hours of business for the week. Cannot be combined with any other coupon or discount.
  • GSWNY Thunderclap Social Media Postings March 13, March 20, and March 27
  • Girl Scout Cookie Drive-Thru March 16 and 17
  • Girl Scout Cookie Walk-About Weekend March 23 & 24

GSWNY Staff will Celebrate Girl Scout Week by Discovering, Connecting, & Take Action with the following:

  • To Discover, a Girl Scout Birthday sign will be emailed on Monday that says “Happy Birthday Girl Scouts! My birthday wish for you is . . .” Staff can print, complete a sign, take their photo and send to Communications, who will share via interoffice email and via social media. 
  • To Connect, on Wednesday, staff will share a brief overview of the 5 World Centers via email and interoffice email. Using SurveyMonkey, staff will be able to vote on which center they would most like to visit, and results will be shared at the end of the week.
  • To Take Action, staff are encouraged to donate birthday party items, such as cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons, etc., to be donated to local food pantries.  These items are often scarce and welcomed by families.  They will be collected all week.

Let’s celebrate Girl Scout Week together!

It’s Snow Much Fun to be a Girl Scout: 2019 Recruitment Contest

Welcome to the second year of this exciting recruitment campaign! We’re so excited to do it again, especially with our fun new changes for 2019. There are two pieces to this contest: a Service Unit challenge and prize and a challenge to start 10 new troops.

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.

Thank you for your help in adding new girls and adult members to Girl Scouts! Good luck!

My Experience at Skills and Chills: The Girl Scout Difference

[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.

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A glimpse of the teams after breakfast

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.

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A team called the “Lucky Lemurs” passing the time together

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.

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This volunteer drew faces for all the log sawing competitors, going as in-depth as they requested

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.

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The two on the left dressed as Cruella de Vil and her henchman are leaders

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.

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This volunteer guided all the girls through the different knot knowledge they should have and spent the time after going over what they weren’t sure of and showing proper techniques

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.

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Girl Scout team members helping each other out

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.