Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is a worldwide celebration of the accomplishments of women, regardless of race, gender, nationality, political affiliation, or economic situation. This year, the theme is #BalanceforBetter, focusing on the idea that balance between men and women is truly the key and everyone’s responsibility.

This is actually the 110th year a Women’s Day has been celebrated in the United States. Efforts first began in 1909 to support a garment worker’s strike out of New York. Women were protesting their working conditions and the Socialist Party designated February 28 as the first National Women’s Day.

The Socialists took the day international the following year at a meeting in Copenhagen. It’s goal was to support both women’s rights and universal suffrage. More than 100 women from 17 countries unanimously agreed to the day.

For years after, the movement grew with women in using the day and their voices to keep fighting for equal rights and protesting impending wars, advocating for peace instead. 1975 was dubbed International Women’s Year and it was then the United Nations began official celebrations of International Women’s Day on March 8.

In 2019, women may have equal rights on paper, but reality is a much different situation. We’re still fighting to be treated equally in the workplace, especially when it comes to pay, and to destroy the subtle sexist behaviors that continually plague our society.

We can all play a role in achieving #BalanceforBetter. According to International Women’s Day, “a balanced world is a better world,” and by celebrating the achievements of women, raising awareness around gender bias, and continually taking action against inequality, we can achieve a much needed balance.

Even though today’s the day we celebrate, the drive to #BalanceforBetter continues beyond March 8. Join the online conversation with hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceforBetter, and by sharing your photos of your hands out in a pose to represent the balance we’re constantly working toward.

Take a minute today to thank and acknowledge the incredible women in your life!

You can be a part of the Girl Scout difference

Girl Scouts is an organization with more than 100 years dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Despite our storied history, many misunderstand the purpose of our organization or consider it irrelevant in today’s world.

In reality, the need for Girl Scouts has never been more apparent.

Far from the stereotypes of cookies and crafts, Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership organization for girls. We have decades of research showcasing the need for a single-gender environment and why it’s the best place for girls to grow. Beyond our research, we have the proven results seen in the lives of our alumnae:

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This past election, more than 110 women won seats in the US House of Representatives. Already hitting a record for female candidates, it’s important to note that at least 58% of the women who won were Girl Scouts.

When you support Girl Scouts, you’re investing in the future of our girls. You’re building our future leaders, visionaries, and game-changers. You’re telling all girls, no matter who they are or what path they choose in life, that they’re important and capable. You’re helping them achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Our program makes a difference because it’s designed by girls, for girls. Through our Four Pillars: Outdoors, STEM, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship, we want to give every girl the opportunity to find her passion and pursue it with confidence. We don’t tell a girl what she should do; we let her choose.

Everyone is familiar with how delicious Girl Scout cookies are, but few realize it’s the largest girl-run business in the world and designed to teach five financial literacy skills, including money management, decision making, and goal setting.

Beneath the Girl Scout stereotype is an organization dedicated to raising girls up and showing them that no matter what society says or does, they are equal and they matter. Be a part of the difference we make in the lives of our girls today. 

Donate Today

Election 2018: Girl Scouts Then, Leaders Now

The 2018 midterm elections gave women a reason to celebrate: out of the 266 women who ran for office, nearly half of them won their seats for a record-setting number of women in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. 

Even better? Of those elected to the 116th Congress, 60% were involved with our program. An impressive 74% of our women senators and 57% of women representatives and delegates are Girl Scout Alums.

The number of women governors in the United States increased by 6% and 56% of them were Girl Scouts. 

More than just numbers, 2018 boasted many historic firsts for women:

  • Kyrsten Sinema became Arizona’s first female senator, defeating Martha McSally. Both are Girl Scout alums.
  • Ayanna Pressley, Girl Scout Alum, is Massachusetts’s first black congresswoman.
  • Texas has its first Latina congresswomen with Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar, Girl Scout Alum. 
  • Marsha Blackburn is Tennessee’s first woman senator. 
  • The first Muslim women EVER were elected to Congress – Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. 
  • We also have the first Native American women in Congress – Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids. 
  • Kristi Noem was elected as South Dakota’s governor, becoming the first woman to hold the position.
  • Both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Girl Scout Alum, and Abby Finkenauer were elected to Congress and stand as the youngest women ever to serve. 
  • Jahana Hayes is Connecticut’s first black congresswoman. 
  • Stacey Abrams, Girl Scout Alum, was narrowly defeated in the Georgia gubernatorial race, but stands as the first black woman to be a major-party gubernatorial nominee in the United States. 

We’re so proud of what our sisters accomplished this year and how they’re continuing to break the boys club mold. But our work isn’t done. 

Even with this year’s exciting statistics and stories, the gender gap is still an issue in our elected offices. Between governors, senators, and representatives, there are 591 offices. Only 136 are currently held by women, meaning they hold less than 25% of the positions available. 

The reason women don’t hold more positions is because they aren’t running as frequently as men. More than 65% of girls say they’re interested in politics, yet something stops them from running for office as adults. Some of those reasons include:

We know our Girl Scouts gain the confidence they need to succeed in their lives. The 2018 midterm election results are proof that Girl Scout show’s girls they’re capable of more by encouraging them to be leaders and sure of themselves. 

Here’s to working toward an equal future, where women being good enough or smart enough to run for office isn’t even a consideration because they know what they’re capable of. The future is female. 

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.

Unleash Strong! Be a Girl Scout.

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The Fourth of July feels the peak of summer fun, but fall is right around the corner. You can even see it in stores . Despite school not starting for more than a month, the back to school sections are popping up. Pool toys are being swapped out for classroom supplies and the bus will be rolling down the street sooner than you’d like.

When school begins, so do the never ending extracurricular activities. At times, it can feel like every night is booked. It’s easy to cut certain programs you don’t feel are as valuable. Unfortunately, Girl Scouts is one that doesn’t always make the cut.

The case for Girl Scouts

You want your girl to succeed in her life, whatever it may look like. You want her to opportunities to shape her own future. While a number of activities can help her, none partner along side of her quite like Girl Scouts.

At Girl Scouts of Western New York, we’re dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. When your girl joins a troop, she isn’t just signing up to do arts and crafts and sell cookies. She’s joining a sisterhood where she can be her own person and make a difference in her community.

We believe in the inclusive, all-girl environment and have the research for why it matters for you girl. This helps us create a safe space for her to try new things, develop new skills, take on leadership roles, and work toward earning the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.

What we do

At Girl Scouts, your girl will have the opportunity to experience new adventures while giving back. All of our programming focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the outdoors, like skills, and entrepreneurship.

Bottom line, we know this is a man’s world, but we want to help your daughter reshape it for herself and generations to come.

Why it matters

More than just what we offer, we have proven results. Women who were Girl Scouts are more successful, enjoy higher incomes, are active volunteers, and vote more regularly.

Half of all female business leaders are Girl Scout alums. More than 70 percent of female U.S. Senators were in Girl Scouts. Every former female Secretary of State are Girl Scout alums.

Unleash strong!

Become a Girl Scout this fall and see the difference it can make for yourself. Join Girl Scouts today!