It’s hard to believe the month of April is over and tomorrow brings us May! While we’re excited about the flowers and sunshine, we’re here to talk about Spring Renewal and the amazing incentives still available for you!
First of all, in case you don’t know, Spring Renewal is a time to re-register for the following year of Girl Scouts. Our membership year begins in October, but renewing early secures your spot for the fun yet to come AND includes amazing incentives.
Renewing your membership by May 31 automatically qualifies your girl for SAGE Tuition Rewards. These points translate to money for college, meaning the $25 you pay for her membership turns into 2500 points, which becomes $2,500 to be used at one of 400 colleges and universities across the United States.
The deal is even sweeter if you’re a co-leader. When you renew early, you receive 3500 SAGE Tuition Rewards points, or $3,500, that your girl, son, niece, nephew, god child etc. can use for higher education.
Outside of those GUARANTEED rewards for re-registering during Spring Renewal, you have other chances to win. If you renew by 11:59 p.m. TONIGHT, you’re entered into a drawing for one of three $200 Amazon gift cards. If your entire troop and two co-leaders are renewed, your troop can win one of two sets of tickets to your favorite local museum or zoo (up to 12 tickets).
Beyond the regular camp experiences for girls, we have Troop Camp Adventure, Specialty Programs Camping, Troop Camp, and Service Unit Camp Out Day Camp.
Troop Camp Adventure
Troop Camp Adventure is the perfect setting for leaders who want to take their girls troop camping without the responsibility of providing program, meals or having experienced/certified adults. At Camp Timbercrest we deliver all of that for you. All troop leaders have to provide is the necessary child to adult supervision ratio. You and your girls can participate in as much or as little programming as you choose.
S.P. Camping (Specialty Programs)
With S.P. camping, troops can now get the best of both worlds of troop camping and specialized programs such as ropes course, archery and boating. Troop leaders will have the freedom of troop camp with the comfort of knowing that pre-determined specialty program options and times have been scheduled for you and your girls. Leaders are expected to provide the necessary girl-to-adult supervision ratio and an adult with CPR/First Aid certification. Leaders are no longer required to have taken Troop Camp Training, but are required to comply with the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Camping (page 39 of the Safety Activity Checkpoints 2018, available at gswny.org). S.P. Camping will take place at Camp Seven Hills – Lakeside and Camp Piperwood only.
Leaders can bring their girls to camp for a fun filled outdoor adventure. Whether you rent a lodge, cabin or tent unit the opportunities that await you are endless. With troop camp, leaders provide their own programs, meals, supplies and certified adults. Troop camping is available at Camp Windy Meadows and Camp Seven Hills – Lakeside during the summer months.
SUCO (Service Unit Camp Out) Day Camps
Service units can bring their girls and leaders to camp for a fun filled outdoor adventure day camp program. How you ask, by operating a SUCO (service unit camp out) event for a maximum of four days only. This is a great way to offer fun and engaging day camp activities to your girls. If you are interested in learning more about this fantastic opportunity to provide volunteer run mini day camp programs for your service unit please contact Janet DePetrillo, Director of Camp Administration for specific information. Service units can operate their mini day camp programs at Camp Windy Meadows and/or Camp Seven Hills – Lakeside or another approved off council camp site during the months of July-August 2019.
Without our volunteers, we couldn’t achieve our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character. The women and men who generously give their time to help develop our girls are the real superheroes and we’re so thankful for them.
As a volunteer, you’ll introduce girls to new experiences that show them they’re capable of more than they ever imagined. You’ll be their cheerleader, guide, and mentor, helping them develop skills and confidence that will last a lifetime. Imagine the smiles, the excitement, the memories made—those are the moments you’ll share at Girl Scouts.
A common misconception around being a Girl Scout volunteer is the time involved. Many say they would, but their schedules are too busy. We get that completely and are here to tell you that it’s all on your schedule.
We don’t set the times of meetings or mandate how often you have to meet as a troop. In fact, you don’t even need to be a troop co-leader! That’s just the most notable way a person can get involved, but we need people to serve as troop chaperones, drives, and even subject matter experts for our events! Whatever your schedule, we have the opportunity for you.
More than just giving your time, you’re changing the lives of the girls you interact with. Whether you’re their role model, mentor, or just someone they can talk to, you can make the difference as they navigate through the challenges of adolescence.
April is one of our favorite months of the year because it’s a special time to thank the everyday heroes in the lives of our Girl Scouts – our volunteers! While we love and appreciate them (and you!) every day, April is a special time to show our gratitude.
We know that without our volunteers, our girls wouldn’t develop into G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™. They help our girls unleash their most confident selves and transform them into a force for good. They take our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to heart and apply it in all they do.
All year long, our volunteers make meaningful and inspiring contributions to our movement and we’re so thankful they choose to dedicate their time to preparing Girl Scouts for a lifetime of leadership. Our program makes a difference, and it’s because of how hard our volunteers work and care.
They say not all heroes wear capes, but ours wear the passion for what they do as a notable indicator that they’re Girl Scout volunteers. And yes, some of ours wear vests and patches!
More than just us thanking you, we know how grateful our members are for our volunteers, which is why we have the option for you to thank volunteers as well!
All month long, show your favorite Girl Scout volunteer how much they mean to you with a straight-from-the-heart, personalized ecard. Choose from four predesigned templates. Just fill in the blank to finish the sentence, and share your ecard with them on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email!
Also during National Volunteer Week (April 7–13) you can head over to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to show love for your favorite Girl Scout volunteer by sharing what makes them so special to you. Be sure to mention all the ways you support them throughout the year too. And remember to tag @girlscouts and use #NVW2019 so we can follow the love!
As a token of our appreciation, you can save this month at our online store. Use code VOLUNTEER19 for 15% off* one item from our online store, the Girl Scout Shop, and bring a smile to a volunteer’s face! Or pick up something new for yourself. We can say with confidence you’ve definitely earned it!
Not a Girl Scout volunteer?
It’s not too late to embark on this incredible adventure! If you’re looking for ways to have a powerful, lasting influence on girls in your community, we’d love to chat.Volunteer Now!
*The code is active April 1 through April 30, 2019, for 15% off one item from a customer’s order. The 15% discount will be applied to the highest priced item in an order. If a customer buys two or more of the same item that the discount applies to, the 15% will only be taken off one item. The code is for one-time use per customer, online only at girlscoutshop.com.
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!
We’re in the middle of our second annual Snow Much Fun to be a Girl Scout Recruitment contest and we have exciting news – the deadline to participate has now been extended to March 31! This means you have more time to plan your events and build your troops for your chance to win our amazing prizes!
As a reminder, the contest has two pieces, one for new troops and one for service units. On the SU side, they receive one entry into a drawing for a Glow Party Dance Kit for every recruitment event they hold through March 31.
For the first 10 new troops formed through March 31, they’ll receive a $50 gift card to the retail store of their choosing or our GSWNY shops. A new troop must have at least five girls and two registered adults.
How can you help us? Share this information with members of your SU! You can help the new troops forming in your area and hold events to help your chances of winning a Glow Dance Party Kit for your SU!
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.
The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is one of the most valuable resources for our volunteers, helping you to stay organized and in communication with your troop and parents. Check out the 10 tips below to make sure you’re getting the most out of the VTK.
The story below comes from Theresa Kasper, a 40-year volunteer with Girl Scouts in Western New York. While she explains the difference Girl Scouts made in her life, we wanted to explain the difference she’s made to us.
With a four-decade history, it isn’t surprised that she’s well known around our council. As soon as you mention her name, most staff have something great to say. Usually it involves the fact that she won’t say no to a girl.
Theresa believes so passionately in Girl Scouts that she makes room when a girl needs troop. To accomplish this, she has meetings twice a week just to accommodate all of her girls. She seeks out girls who need Girl Scouts and gives them opportunities to do whatever they want to learn about, including camping and kayaking. Coming from Niagara Falls, a lot of her girls have never been to camp and likely wouldn’t without Girl Scouts.
Her work with the girls doesn’t end when they age out. Theresa makes an effort to keep in touch with her girls and many leader now as a result. When you’re in the community, it’s likely you’ll run into someone who asks about Theresa because she was in one of her troops.
Kelly Garrow is a Service Unit Support Specialist who was leading a troop in Niagara Falls before becoming an employee. When it was time to make the transition, she needed someone to take over her troop of older girls. Theresa was so excited for Kelly that she took all her girls.
Stories like this are what make Girl Scouts and our council shine. We wouldn’t be nearly as successful without leaders like Theresa who are dedicated to our mission and making sure that every girl has the opportunity to become a girl of courage, confidence, and character.
My Story by Theresa Kasper
There was no such thing as a sleeping bag in 1962. I was tagging along with my big sister Joyce and her friend Maryann as we rolled blankets, clothing and toothbrushes into a bedroll for Joann’s first campout at Windy Meadows.
Joyce and I begged our parents to allow us to join but to no
avail. With 6 children in the house and one on the way there was no
chance of joining. There was just not enough money.
Fast forward 16 years later, a marriage, several
relocations, a daughter and a son, a nasty divorce and a return home to Niagara
Falls. My mom is now a Girl Scout Leader and she suggests I join scouts
for the summer and take my children to day camp. They need
volunteers. There is a pixie unit for my son and I can head the unit for
A week in the woods with other volunteers. Lots of fun and
activity distancing me from the stress of my new divorcee status and my
unemployment. Not to mention the stress of potentially leaving my children to
be employed and all that goes along with it.
A wonderful experience never to be forgotten. Edward
and I had a walk in the woods a thick brush at that time. We made our own
path and eventually were at the end of the property in a field of cows.
He was 4 years old and it was awesome.
Not having raincoats when it rained we donned black garbage
bags and kept dry. It was an adventure. Sarah made many new friends and
learned the girl scout way.
In the Fall my daughter was in Second Grade. There was
a girl scout troop and we signed up. In the middle of the year the leader
quit. I was in the church basement with 20 children and no leader. I
improvised and kept them busy until the parent’s showed up. Having had all
those little sisters, I knew a bit about crowd control.
That day no one stepped up to take the troop. I was
without employment, a car or resources but told the parents if they would help
I would take the lead.
I would always sing and play games with my siblings, so it was all fun for me. A neighborhood Girl Scout mom called me and I started training. Somehow there was always a ride and someone to take care of my children. My friend Pat said, “If it is for the kids it will all workout.” And it did work out.
Over the past 40 years, the training I received in GirlScouts led me to better positions at work. Yes, I got a job the first year I started scouts. I retired three years ago from work, but I hope to be a Girl Scout leader to the day I pass away! The experience led me to be abetter person always giving me new learning to this day. The girls andparents never cease to amaze and inspire me.
And with the ongoing changes in the girl scout experience I have never ever been bored with the program. Today I lead 5 troops. And there are six fantastic women who love Girl Scouts in the troops that help me.
I reluctantly gave up the Daisy troop this year. There wasonly one girl left after flyups. Everything changes. Today my largestgroup is the Cadettes with 21 registered. Amazing. This is usually the smallestgroup.
November is a month built on being thankful and we take that seriously at Girl Scouts of Western New York. We’re one month into our new membership year, and we want to thank all of our new leaders!
Throughout the month, we’re celebrating our new leaders with fun giveaways, resources at the Girl Scout shop, and Facebook Lives/Instagram Stories about the Four Pillars of Girl Scouts – Outdoors, STEM, Entrepreneurship, and Life Skills. For more details, you can check out our schedule below and visit the Volunteer Training Page.
More than what we’re doing, we want to see what YOU’RE doing! Share your pictures and stories with using the #newleadergswny and #newleadernovember hashtags across social media and by emailing us your adventures at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Takeaway in GS Shop
11/5 @ noon
Facebook live – Youtube live – Instagram TV
All about the Outdoors with Lindsay Cray, GSWNY Senior Dir. of Outdoor Program
11/8 @ 6pm – VTK hands-on training in Rochester & Buffalo Service Centers
STEM Lab Adult Learning
Rochester Service Center
-Mini-knot tying kit
-Local programming resources
11/12 @ noon Facebook live – Youtube live – Instagram TV
STEM Excitement with Abby K., Americorps VISTA
STEM Lab Adult Learning
11/11 @ 9am Rochester Service Center
11/13 @ 6
Buffalo Service Center
-Local programming resources
11/19 @ noon
Facebook live – Youtube live – Instagram TV
Women in Business with surprise guest!
None this week – We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!
-Girl Scout play money kit and activity
-Local programming resources
11/27 @ 2:30pm
Facebook live – Youtube live – Instagram TV
Using my Girl Scout life skills in real life with Cheyenne Z. GSWNY alum
11/29 @6pm – VTK hands-on training at all GSWNY Service Centers
-Mini-beach ball and activity
-Local programming resources
Girl Scouts makes a difference. That’s the whole point behind our Girl Scout Difference campaign and what we’re so passionate about sharing. We want people to know there’s a reason we remain girl-only; we have the time-tested and research-backed programming that tells us this is the best space for her to grow.
But to accomplish this, we need you.
We’re able to offer girls the opportunities to build robotic arms and create shelters in the wilderness because of our volunteers. Our caring adult mentors and strong female role models help shape the environment for our girls. Girl Scouts makes a difference because of our volunteer partners.
As a volunteer, you’ll see the proven results of how girls thrive in these five ways …
Develop a strong sense of self.
Seek challenges and learn from setbacks.
Display positive values.
Form and maintain healthy relationships.
Identify and solve problems in the community.
… and you’ll know you had a hand in helping them get there.
It’s about more than just being there for the girls. Girl Scout volunteers tell us about the personal rewards they’ve encountered, like making new friends, enjoying new experiences, and even learning new things right along with their troop.
Girl Scouts doesn’t just make a difference in our girls’ lives, it will make a difference in yours.
Contrary to popular belief, you can volunteer even if you don’t have children. You can volunteer if you’re a man. We have roles beyond troop leader; we need people to help transport the children, manage cookie sales, assist at meetings, speak at events, and everything in between.