Extended year memberships are still available!

It’s almost time for school to be over and for summer to officially start and we cannot wait! Not only do our summer camps open in the beginning of July, we have other fun activities for our Girl Scouts to do.

If you aren’t a Girl Scout yet, we have an amazing promotion. Right now you can join Girl Scouts for just $35 and it covers the rest of this membership year AS WELL AS the next! Registering now means you’re getting more fun for less money!

Even though many troops meet less frequently throughout the summer, it doesn’t mean a Girl Scout can’t have her own fun. We have Community Events where girls can go to baseball games, water parks, and other events for reduced costs. There’s the STEMtastic Summer Challenge that encourages girls to keep learning in fun and interesting ways. Of course, we still have space in our camps for girls.

This deal is even sweeter for pre-k girls who can’t wait to be Daisies! Even if they aren’t five or in kindergarten yet, they qualify for extended year and can start their Girl Scout experience now.

One great way to begin her journey as a Daisy is to attend our Daisy for a Day event June 29. We’re having six parties around council the last weekend in June to get our future Daisies excited about being Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouting is a year-round experience and you can get started today with Extended Year Membership!

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Today, we celebrate YOU!

The month of April is celebrated by Girl Scouts and other organizations as National Volunteer Appreciation Month. While we try to make sure our gratitude is known year-round, we love having a month to say it loud and proud. Even more, we celebrate April 22 as Girl Scout Leader’s Day.

We know how valuable your time is, and we love that you choose to dedicate some of it to leading troops and changing the lives of our Girl Scouts!

Here’s a message from one of our Service Unit Support Specialists, Kim Howson, about her appreciation for what you do, Lifetime Membership, information about our Spring 2019 L.E.A.P. promotion, and a POP UP PRIZE for all co-leaders who renew by midnight, April 24, you can win of three amazing shirts as shown in the video!

Why Girl Scouts?

For more than 100 years, we’ve been the preeminent leadership organization for girls, developing businesswomen, astronauts, governors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and even secretaries of state. The benefit of our program speaks for itself, yet it’s easy to miss why our program is so important.

The Girl Scout difference is real and powerful, and we want your girl to be a part of it, too.

It’s more than just a century of experience that helps us build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’ve done the research to make sure we’re reaching girls where it matters and delivering what they need.

From this we know your girl will learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment, which is exactly what we provide. What this doesn’t mean is a stereotypical ‘girl’ experience with where we do crafts and play with dolls. In fact, we usually prefer robots.

We’re redefining what it means to do something like a girl and showing girls how smart and valuable they are. We’re also girl-led, which means in Girl Scouts, your girl takes the lead. We provide programming for many areas, but the rest of it is in your daughter’s hands.

Instead of telling a girl what she should like or do, we let her choose. We give her opportunities to get outdoors, to learn about coding and cybersecurity, to learn how to run and a business, and so much more.

Oh yeah, and we also sell Girl Scout cookies.

As the largest girl-run entrepreneurial program in the world, our Girl Scout cookie sales are about more than fundraising and providing the USA with our delicious cookies. When you sell, you learn about business planning and financial literacy. Each level teaches you something different about these areas so every year, your girl is expanding her knowledge and building on her skills.

All our programming stands on our four pillars: STEM, Outdoors, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. The last encompasses several areas, including our commitment to improving our world.

Service is built into so much of what Girl Scouts do. Whether it’s making centerpieces for holiday dinners at homeless shelters or collecting blankets or educating their peers and advocating for more resources, our girls do some incredible work to help those around them.

Girl and troops do projects throughout the year, but we also have three levels of higher awards to promote this culture of giving back. Girl Scout Juniors (4th and 5th graders) can work in their troop for a minimum of 20 hours on a project to earn their Bronze Award.

Next, our Cadettes (6th, 7th, and 8th graders) can earn their Silver Award. Here they’ll work by themselves or in a small group of Girl Scouts for a minimum of 50 hours on a service project.

Finally, our Seniors (9th and 10th) and Ambassadors (11th and 12th) can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, our highest honor. This is a completely individual process and each girl must spend a minimum of 80 hours dedicated to their project. Beyond a one-time service initiative, they have to focus on something that is sustainable and will continue to make an impact after they’re done.

Sound difficult? That’s because it is. Since the beginning of our higher awards, one million girls have earned their Gold Award. That means fewer than 6% of all our Girl Scouts earn it annually.

For those who’ve ‘gone gold,’ it’s worth it. Not only can you enter the military a whole rank higher just for earning it, it’s a critical element in the college admissions decision process.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of girl yours is because here, we’re all Girl Scout. We have something for her to and can help prepare her for a lifetime of leadership.

Girl Scouts Learn to Lead with Fire Safety

This article originally appeared on Prevention1st.org

This fall Prevention 1st trainers delivered the first sessions of the Leadership Development program in fire safety which they developed for the Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY). Sessions held in Rochester and Buffalo, NY, drew 34 Girl Scout Cadets, from 6th-graders to 12th graders, eager to learn leadership and fire safety skills. They will each now present 3 training sessions with younger Daisy and/or Brownie troops.

“This is a chance to up their leadership skills and be role models for younger girls,” said Lauren Bush, Assistant Director of Girl Experience for GSWNY. “And fire safety is so important, it’s good for them to hear it from their peers. As leaders, as adults, we can tell kids these things about fire. But when they hear it from their slightly older peers, it really sticks.”

“They were so enthusiastic and committed to playing a role in their community,” said Bob Crandall, Prevention 1st trainer. “For that age group it was very impressive.”

The Prevention 1st training will count toward the senior Girl Scouts’ leadership awards, and toward the younger Scouts’ play safe! be safe! Fire Safety Education patch. Training sessions were held on a day off from school, with some entire troops attending as well as individual girls interested in the training. The Rochester session was sponsored by the John F. Wegman Fund and the Buffalo session by Prevention 1st.

Molly Clifford taught the girls strategies for teaching younger children and presentation skills to keep their audience engaged and learning. Bob Crandall presented the specific fire safety skills they would need to teach the younger Girl Scouts, drawn from the curriculum of the play safe! be safe! fire safety program. The girls then worked in small groups to develop and rehearse their own presentations.

“They came up with creative ways to be “hands on” with skills,” Crandall recalled, “like using newsprint to make “smoke” and then demonstrating the correct way to Stay Low and Go under smoke.”

Bush hopes that as the younger Girl Scouts learn, they will later step up to do the same training for others:

“There’s no better way to show their leader skills. It’s a “pay it forward” skill.”

Prevention 1st is dedicated to preventing injury by educating and/or hazard proofing the environments of those most at risk: older adults, young children and people with disabilities. Learn more >>>

Experiencing New Opportunities: The Girl Scout Difference

When talking about what Girl Scouts is all about, people usually have misconceptions about our main area of focus. Most will argue it’s cookies and crafts while others will assume it’s STEM based on all the news coverage of our programs. It’s true we’re about one thing, but it isn’t a program or area of focus.

First and foremost, we will always be an organization dedicated to girls.

Our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character doesn’t come with asterisks and specific programs and skills she must develop to get there. It’s true we have the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, but our movement isn’t based on a rigid structure.

We believe in giving girls the opportunities they desire and the experiences they didn’t imagine were possible. There isn’t a series of boxes we check off to ensure a girl reaches her potential. What we do involves partnering with her to discover what she likes.

Deborah Hughes, CEO of the Susan B. Anthony House, Woman of Distinction, and Alumna, says it best:

“There are lots of activities you can engage in, but being a Girl Scout takes care of the whole person. You learn about leadership, you get to play outdoors, you learn skills in science and math, and you become a team together. If you become a Girl Scout, you won’t just learn one particular kind of thing; you’ll become a better person.”

With us, a girl can try anything. A quick peak through our program guide will reveal a number of different experiences, including:

  • Culinary Adventures
  • Car Care with Geico
  • Fashion Lab
  • Kidding Around Yoga
  • Public Speaking
  • Money Matters with Bank of America
  • Taste of College
  • Wildlife Studies
  • Snowshoeing
  • Archery
  • Wilderness Survival
  • First Tee Golf Program
  • Girls Try Hockey
  • Cybersecurity
  • Girls Go to Med School
  • Girls Go to Neuro School
  • STEM-a-palooza
  • Coding with Turing Tumble

Those are just a taste of the different experiences offered by Girl Scouts of Western New York. We regularly add new programs and troops and girls have the opportunities to explore the paths they want.

With Girl Scouts, you get to experience it all. You can find what you like and learn what you don’t. Our single-gender environment creates a safe space and judgement free zone so a girl can try something new without the fear of failure. When you’re in our sisterhood, you know you’re supported.

It’s the combination of all these things – the chance to try something new with your sisters and the new and interesting opportunities – that allows us to be the best option for girls.

Girls don’t leave our program with only a few badges and some cookie season stories; they continue on to be the female leaders the world desperately needs. They have the courage, confidence, and character to make their world better.