Have you seen the 2020 Camp Guides yet?

Released last month, the 2020 Day and Resident Camp Guides have us very excited for summer!

We love getting outdoors and all the opportunities to do so at camp! View the guides online or stop into a Service Center to pick up a physical copy (limited number available).

For Troop Camping information, head to the Outdoor Programs Guide.

This year, we're celebrating 90 years at Camp Seven Hills!

[This post originally appeared on campsevenhillsnews.com]

Saturday, August 8 – Activities begin at 9:30 a.m.

In 1930, Camp Seven Hills opened its doors to its first 50 campers. Since then, the grounds have hosted thousands of Girl Scouts from Western New York. This summer, you’re invited to join us in our celebration of 90 years of adventure.

Come and see how the camp has grown and developed over the years through tours showcasing what we’ve done and then see what we’re planning on a dream with us tour. There will be a special, candelit path ceremony and plenty of s’mores to go around.

Of course, we’ll also have some of our favorite camp activities including swimming, boating, horseback riding, ropes course, arts and crafts, and evening campfires. Ropes course and horseback riding will be on a first come, first served basis and will be an additional fee payable at camp.

You also have the option to stay all weekend for our annual Friends & Family Weekend, happening August 7 to 9. Arrival is 7 p.m. Friday and departure is 9 a.m. Sunday.

Register online by July 20, 2020

  • $30 per person for Saturday
  • $40 per person (1 night)
  • $70 per person (2 nights)
  • Children under five years old are free

Questions? Please contact Customer Care at customercare@gswny.org or 1-888-837-6410

The winner of this year’s Camp Theme Contest is…

Every year, we ask our membership a simple question: what do you think our 2020 camp theme should be? Because we’re girl-led, we want our camps to reflect the thoughts of our Girl Scouts.

Last year, we received the idea #GirlScoutCampLife from Girl Scout Brownie Arianna. The year before, we had ‘Camp Like a G.I.R.L.’ For 2020, our winner pulled on her own camp experience for a great camp theme.

The 2020 Camp Theme Survey Contest winner is….

Senior Girl Scout Kaura C. from Olean! Camp name ‘Legacy!’

Not only does she love camp, this year she was a Counselor in Training! We’re so excited to announce her idea, but we’re waiting until International Wear Your Camp T-Shirt Day!

This November 12, we’re celebrating camp by joining the international celebration and wearing your camp t-shirts! During the day, we’re going to provide a sneak peak of next year’s camp guide and announce the 2020 camp theme!

Make sure you wear your camp shirt and check back in to see what we’re planning for next summer’s camp season.

Resident Camp is open!

Yesterday marked the official first day of resident camp at both Camp Timbercrest and Camp Seven Hills! We were so excited to see our Session 1 campers arrive so we could begin our first exciting week.

You can stay updated all summer long with our camp activities by checkout out our camp blogs and Flickr account!

Camp Timbercrest News

Camp Seven Hills News

GSWNY Camp Photos

Plus, you can still register for our remaining sessions! Learn more at gswny.org.

7 Ways Summer Camp Brings Out Her Best

[This post originally appeared on GirlScouts.org]

Summer is when some of the most fun childhood memories are made, but did you know that it’s also an awesome opportunity for your girl to grow, learn, and become her best self? Here are seven amazing benefits your girl will get from her summer camp experience.

1. She’ll make new friends 
There’s nothing quite like giggling over games in the bunk or singing songs with new besties around a campfire. That’s why it’s actually good to send her to camp where she might not know many (or any) other girls! Having a diverse group of friends, not just kids she knows from school, will broaden her horizons and help her see her own worth, too.

2. She’ll see all she can be 
In an all-girl environment like Girl Scout summer camp, girls are more comfortable trying new outdoor activities, and they get to take the lead every single time—meaning there’s plenty of room at the top for your girl to take charge and flex her muscle, both when it comes to outdoor adventure and crucial leadership skills that will last her a lifetime.

3.  She’ll turn off her phone and tune in to nature 
Getting out in nature, soaking up the sun, or dashing inside during a sudden downpour is way more exciting than any app she might have on her phone and is all part of the adventure of camp. Unplugging for a while will keep her more present and truly enjoying every moment instead of simply watching it from a screen.

4. She’ll grow her grit 
The truth is, she might scrape a knee or elbow while she’s away—and that’s a good thing! When she learns to get back up after minor setbacks, like scrapes and bumps, she’s building her resilience and learning that she’s a lot tougher than she thinks.  

5.  She’ll meet new mentors 
Having a variety of awesome role models will help your girl see the many ways to be successful and happy in life. And the incredibly supportive staff and counselors at your girl’s summer camp are ready to step up to the plate and inspire!

6. She’ll gain independence 
Being away from home—especially if that’s a new thing for her!—might be a bit intimidating to both your daughter and you. But having that time away to explore and try activities on her own will make her more self-reliant and able to discover new things to share and teach you when she returns home.

7. She’ll have tons of time for play 
Playtime is anything but a waste of time. In fact, studies show that play allows the neurons in a child’s brain to form new connections—and that this rewiring helps boost emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

The truth is, sending your girl off to camp is one of the best gifts you can give her. The fun, outdoor adventure, and friends will enrich her life and—perhaps without her even noticing—give her the courage, people skills, and leadership chops to succeed at whatever she sets her mind to.   

Learn More About GSWNY Summer Camp

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!

Register Today

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

No camp experience is complete with a few traditions. One of our most cherished are our Friendship Sticks. We close every resident camp season with a final camp fire. During this event, our camp staff will present the current camp director with a Friendship Stick. They read the story behind the tradition and explain why one is presented each year. 

Friendship Stick on display at Camp Seven Hills

Next time you visit Camp Seven Hills or Camp Timbercrest, make sure you check out the dining halls and the Friendship Sticks on display. Now, without further delay, we present the legend behind the tradition:

The Legend of the Friendship Stick

The wood of the friendship stick is alive and solid.  It is curved to fit the curve of the earth.  This symbolizes the friendship that can grow as do the wonderful trees of the forest. 

The green circle at the bottom is for faith—faith in God and faith in one another.  It is first because it is the basis of a happy and meaningful life. 

The next four circles represent the races of the world.  They stand close together indicating that all people are equal.  Every person is capable of becoming a loyal friend. 

The green of hope is above the races.  It is hope for the future.  It is hope that people everywhere will try to overcome any differences and human failings.  Both faith and hope are green—a combination of hues; both combinations of emotional feelings we cannot adequately describe.  The four races bound by faith and hope can produce unity—a working together for the good of all.  The four paths lead toward a central goal signifying the attainment of this unity. 

The smiling face is the result of friendship based on faith and unity.  It is a reminder of the person with whom we promise to be friends.  To be greeted by the smiling face of a friend is one of the greatest joys we can experience. 

The face is crowned by the Girl Scout colors indicating loyalty.

On the back, green is carefully placed opposite the four races to show that peace and charity can exist among all people. 

A Friendship Stick must be carved by its giver.  It shows time, thought, and effort. 

The Friendship Stick can be presented as a gesture of international goodwill; as a part of an inter-troop activity; as a sign of friendship between girls of one troop; at a campfire, or during an indoor ceremony. 

This legend has traveled with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world. 

Author: Ann Evans, Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County