Emma Smith completes her Gold Award project, a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center

[The information and quotes for this post were gathered from the ‘Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Mural at the Visitation Center‘ post on the Society for the Protection and Care of Children’s website. To learn more about her project, click here to read the full submission.]

Recently, Emma Smith, high school junior, completed her Gold Award project. Pulling from her love for art, Emma decided to paint a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center, where there are 1,500 supervised visits a month between foster children and their parents/families.

Image via SPCC

Her inspiration came from the ‘Freddie-Sue’ bridge in downtown Rochester, named for Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. She added some of the city skyline, the Genesee River, and a peregrine falcon. She wanted a design that would appeal to both children and adults who passed by it when coming to the Center.

She spent many hours researching foster care in Monroe County and working with different organizations to get the project and mural design approved. Once the details were finalized, Emma spent four days painting the mural.

To fund her Gold Award project, she pulled from profits she’s earned during her 10 years of selling Girl Scout cookies!

Based on her submission, the mural began bringing joy before it was finished, with children smiling and looking at it as they passed by when Emma was in the process of painting it.

Well done, Emma, and congratulations!

Troop 30789 – Ace Adventure 1 training and overnight at Camp Piperwood

[The post was submitted to us by Troop 30789. To submit your troop story, email communications@gswny.org]

This past weekend our Junior Troop, 30789, traveled to Victor, NY to attend the Ace Adventure 1 camp training at Camp Piperwood. We also decided to take advantage of the option to spend the night in one of the camp lodges so that we could explore the grounds of the camp at our own pace.

During the training the girls practiced reading a map, they learned how to care for and safely use sharps (including knives and saws), and they made hot cocoa using a camp stove and then practiced proper dish washing procedures. 

The girls also talked about the elements that are necessary to make a fire and then they were given the opportunity to work in teams to collect materials and safely build and light their own fire. The girls finished out the training by creating their own pocket-size first aid kits, and they practiced what to do in the event of various emergency situations.

Rebecca, one of our trainers, remained behind so that each of the girls could practice safe knife use while whittling their first piece of wood.

A shout out to Rebecca, Carla and Joelle who made this training not only an educational experience, but a fun, hands-on training that truly engaged the girls (and leaders) who participated. 

After the training and a brief break to haul in our overnight gear, our troop set out to explore the grounds of Camp Piperwood. We also used this opportunity to enjoy a 2 hour hike through the locally marked trails, while we searched for and located our first cache using a a geocaching app.

We cooked dinner inside, but later ventured out again to practice our fire building skills and to make s’mores. It was a night full of laughter and memories.

Troop 30789 closed out their training and overnight with a Friendship Circle!

Check out photos from the 2019 Gold Award Ceremony!

Fifty-eight Girl Scouts from across Western New York received their Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 1, 2019. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

View the 2019 Gold Award Ceremony Album

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 to enter the military a full rank higher than her peers. 

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.

Taste of Camp Event next Saturday at Camp Piperwood

Taste of Camp is a great way to see our grounds, meet our staff, and ask your questions about summer camp. Plus, attending means you’re entered into a drawing for a free week of camp!

For those in the Rochester area or interested in day camp, our first Taste of Camp event is happening at Camp Piperwood next Saturday, April 27, from 1 to 3 p.m.


New to summer camp? Visit us this spring to get a glimpse of what your summer camp experience will look like. Informational sessions, tours, and a sampling of camp crafts will be available. You will also have an opportunity to register for summer camp 2019, and a chance to enter your name for a free week of camp and other cool camp prizes.

April 27  1 to 3 p.m. 
Camp Piperwood
222 Turk ill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450

Taste of Camp Recruitment Events

New to summer camp? Visit us this spring to get a glimpse of what your summer camp experience will look like. Informational sessions, tours, and a sampling of camp crafts will be available. You will also have an opportunity to register for summer camp 2019, and a chance to enter your name for a free week of camp and other cool camp prizes.

April 27 ◾ 1 to 3 p.m.
Camp Piperwood
222 Turk ill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450

May 4, 2019 ◾ 1 to 3 p.m.
Camp Seven Hills Goodyear
10150 Olean Road (Rt 16), Holland, NY 14080

May 11, 2019 ◾ 1 to 3 p.m.
Camp Timbercrest
11169 Moore Rd., Randolph, NY 14772

2019 Summer Camp Spotlight – March 18, 2019

Summer camp is just around the corner and we wanted to remind you about some really cool programs that are taking place this summer.  Don’t forget our early bird discount expires March 31st so don’t delay! Sign up now and reserve you spot for the hottest place in town, Girl Scouts summer camp! 

Register for Camp

Summer Camp Spotlight

Camp Piperwood

Program Aide – (OPEN TO GIRLS ENTERING GRADES 7-8 IN FALL 2019)

Girls can register for two program session weeks only.

Here is an opportunity to get a jump start on being a future camp staff member. Spend time at camp getting trained in program aide, earning leadership hours and developing valuable skills through hands-on experience working with younger campers. This training program will also allow you to assist at program events, troop meetings, and campouts. At the end of the week girls will receive their program aid pin for successfully completing the program.

Jr. CIT –  (OPEN TO GIRLS ENTERING GRADES 9-10 IN FALL 2019)

Girls can register for one program session option only.

Begin training to become a camp counselor. Junior Counselors in Training (JCITs) learn the fundamentals of leadership, camp management, childcare, and the safety and risk management aspects of running a camp program. A participant must demonstrate appropriate maturity for her age, have leadership potential, a positive attitude, and be able to work well with others. Junior CITs can access all of the basic camp programs, (e.g., exploring nature, arts & crafts, and relaxing around campfires, songs, games, etc.) This is a two-week program. No application, interview, or references required.

Camp Seven Hills

Letterboxing It’s a Real Life Camp Treasure Hunt! (for girls in grades 1-3 fall of 2019)

Put your problem solving skills to the test as you spend this adventurous week searching for clues and solving riddles to find the treasures hidden throughout camp. Girls will practice the art of letterboxing by learning the basics, making stamps, thinking of clues, and creating a camp letterbox. Challenge your camp friends to see who can find the camp letterbox first. All of the other great aspects of camp are also included in this great creative week. Girls will earn requirements towards the following Girl Scout badges –

  • Daisy – Rosie’s Petal (Make the World a Better Place)
  • Brownie – Letterboxer

The Lazy Days of Summer (for girls in grades 4-6 in fall of 2019)

Spend your time at Seven Hills lazing your days away with friends. Sleep in late, lounge by the pool, or just catch up on one of your favorite books. In the evenings there are campfires to enjoy and sparkling stars to keep you company. #GirlScoutCampLife is what you make of it. The decision is yours during these relaxing weeks at camp.

Scuba Diving Explorers  (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019)

Experience the underwater world through a mask, snorkel, and breathing device. Professional scuba instructors from Dip N’ Dive will take you through every step necessary for you to obtain your Jr. Open Water Diver or your Open Water Diver scuba certification. Spend a week at camp training in our Seven Hills pool covering the first phase of your certification. Spend your second week completing the second phase: open water dive with overnight conducted at the Windmill Quarry, located in Fort Erie, Canada. When you surface, don’t forget to leave time for all of the other great activities at Seven Hills.

Camp Timbercrest

Tent, Trail, ‘N Kayak (for girls in grades 4-6 in fall of 2019)

Discover and explore the natural splendors of camp. Professionals from Adventures in Fitness will spend three days and two nights teaching you the basics of backpacking and kayaking, compassing, knot-tying, building safe fires, outdoor cooking and low-impact camping. You will also learn how to develop an itinerary, pack your backpack and hike and camp out under beautiful starlit skies at Allegany State Park. You will learn the basics needed to prepare yourself for future wilderness trips of Camp Timbercrest. All the other wonderful activities of camp are also included.

Canoeing the Alleghany Reservoir (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019)

Spend eight glorious days and seven exhilarating nights discovering the wonderful sites of the Allegany Reservoir as it takes you through the state park and the national forest. Professional guides from Adventures in Fitness will start your trip at Webs Ferry in Allegany State Park and end your journey in Tionesta, PA. Paddle with friends, pitch tents, and share stores around the campfire at night.

The Mix 100.5 Cookie Crumble Contest is happening now!

The Rochester-based Mix 100.5 holds a pretty sweet contest for our Girl Scout troops in the area every cookie season. The radio station purchases 1,000 boxes of cookies from the troop that wins their Cookie Crumble Contest!


Eight troops are nominated and then selected to enter the contest. Throughout the month of March, people are invited to vote for their favorite troop (labeled as our delicious cookies) and help them advance to the final round.

At the end, the troop who’s received the most votes throughout each round wins and as a result, they sell an additional 1,000 boxes of cookies.

Thank you to Mix 100.5 for holding this annual contest and good luck to all our Girl Scouts who are contenders!

If you’re interested in voting, visit Mix 100.5’s website

Kate Gleason – Women’s History Month Day 4

Today our incredible woman holds the title of the first female engineer. In a time when engineering schools wouldn’t admit women, Kate Gleason found a way. Even better, Kate was from our very own Rochester.

Born Catherine Anselm Gleason, Kate was born into a mechanical family. Her father owned a machine shop and at a young age she started her education by studying books about machines and engineering.

At age 11, she stepped in to help her father at his shop after her oldest brother, his primary support, died of typhoid. In a time when this would’ve naturally be met with resistance, some researchers believe he let her help without protest due to her mother’s friendship with none other than Susan B. Anthony, famed women’s rights advocate.

Eight years later, Kate entered the Mechanical Arts program at Cornell as the first woman to enter the engineering program. Unfortunately, she was never able to complete her degree. Soon her father’s shop faced some financial troubles so she returned to Rochester to assist him.

This didn’t stop her from earning the title of engineer. She continued to seek out education when she could, including class at the Sibley College of Engraving and the Mechanics Institute, now known as the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Within a few years, she helped expand the company into Europe, one of the first American manufacturers to do so. These international sales remain a core portion of their business.

Today, Gleason Corp. is a top provider around the world of the technologies, machines, and tools used to make the gears found in almost anything you can imagine, including power tools, vehicles, wind turbines, and airplanes. This is largely because of the work she and her brothers did to help expand the business.

Her career didn’t stop at helping her father’s shop. As World War I broke out, the president of the First National Bank of Rochester left to go serve, leaving the space wide open for Kate. She was the first woman to serve as the president of a national bank without family ties.

In this role, she drew on her engineering knowledge and began to think about low-cost housing options for workers. After developing a new pouring method, her work grew into a model for the future.

It was in 1918 that the American Society of Engineers elected her as their first female member. Their decision was unanimous given all of her impressive work.

Her legacy continues in many forms, including

  • “The Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology became the first engineering school in the country to be named for a woman” (1998)
  • RIT also created the “Kate Gleason Endowed Chair in 2003 for a professor, who among other qualities motivates women in engineering activities and builds ‘upon the tradition of Kate Gleason as a role model for women in engineering.'” (2003)
  • “The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Foundation established the Kate Gleason Award recognizing the contribution of distinguished female leaders in the engineering profession” (2011)
  • Quotes via ASME

Read more about Kate Gleason: