Every Girl’s Ultimate Summer Bucket List

[This post originally appeared on GirlScouts.org]

It’s finally here—weeks upon weeks of gorgeous weather, lazier mornings, maybe a part-time job, pool parties, and ideally, buckets of free time. Summer is a magical time of year, and it would be an absolute waste to just sleep through it, so we’ve put together the ultimate summer bucket list that will make these warm weather months even more memorable (and give every girl something incredible to tell her friends about when she goes back to class in the fall).

All of these summer ideas work for both independent older girls, who can take on most challenges on their own—and for younger girls who can try their hand at these activities with the help of a parent or other caring adult.

Ready for your best summer yet? Let’s go!

Create Something Beautiful 
Take your Instagram to the next level with some artsy shots, create a cool collage from your favorite magazines, or even try your hand at painting. The way you see the world is unique and cool, so share that vision with the world!

Sleep Under the Stars 
No campground or plans to go camping on the horizon? Set up a tent in your own back yard. No back yard? Cut out paper stars and hang them from your living room ceiling with string and tape, then invite your crew over for an indoors campout. And don’t forget the S’Mores—they’re delish whether they’re made over a roaring campfire or in the microwave!

Do Something Scary 
Test your skills on a ropes course, audition for a play, or try learning a cool skateboarding trick. There’s no need to be perfect—or even good—at whatever it is, the point is to just put yourself out there, try something new, and walk away with a cool story to tell your friends.

Daydream Under a Tree 
Sure, the A/C inside feels good, but so does a nice summer breeze under the shade of a big tree. Take your headphones off, put your phone away, and let the birds serenade you as you dream up even more fun plans for you and your crew.

Make a New Friend 
Chances are, you already know almost everyone in your neighborhood, so introduce yourself to a girl from a different community—maybe a girl at camp, at the pool in the next town over, or even get to know a friend’s cousin when she visits from out of town. New perspectives and ideas will make your summer a lot more interesting.

Get Lost in a Book 
You always hear that the book is better than the movie, and nine times out of ten that’s true—but when school’s in and there’s so much assigned reading, it’s hard to find time to read anything else! Not sure where to start? Head to your local library. The staff there know all the latest and coolest in young adult titles as well as children’s books. Tell them what kinds of things you typically like, and they’ll deliver some solid suggestions.

Take a Hike 
Whether you’ve got a rustic trail nearby or are in the middle of the concrete jungle, lace up your sneakers and check out all the snap-worthy sights. Bonus points? Pack a lunch and find a bench or shady park to have a mini-picnic.

Make a Family Tree 
All families look different, and half the fun of creating a family tree is discovering what shape yours will take! Start with you and your siblings if you have any, then branch out to your parents or caregivers and their brothers and sisters, then to their parents and caregivers, and on and on as far as you can go. Dive deep and add some personal details to your tree, like photos, fun facts, and favorite memories. You’ll get to spend some prime quality time with the people you love the most, and might uncover a surprising or funny story or two along the way.

Be a Hero 
Standing up for something you believe in doesn’t just help change the world, it feels really awesome, too. Learn more about organizations that support the causes you believe in, then volunteer, join a rally, or call your local government and speak up for the issues that matter to you. This is your world, and you can change it.  

Get Cooking 
Learn how to make one delicious meal—something that you love and that will totally impress your family and friends. Ask a relative to teach you their favorite recipe, hunt through cool cookbooks at the library, or just do a quick online search for simple and yummy ideas. Throw a bright table cloth on a picnic table at the park and dig in. Top Chef’s got nothing on you.

Send an Old-School Letter 
Get yourself some cute stationary (or make your own) and write a letter to one of your besties or a relative you don’t get to see too often—then think of how psyched they’ll be to find your note in among the junk mail.

Give Back 
If you think volunteering is boring, you’re doing it wrong. To give back (and have an amazing time, too) think about the things you like doing most. Chances are, those skills and activities could be turned into a cool community service project. Love singing or acting? Put on a show at the senior center or to raise money for your favorite cause. Obsessed with cute cat videos online? Sign up to help at the local animal shelter. Coding’s your thing? Help a younger girl (or, heck, even one of your parents!) learn how to set up her own website. Basically, you’ve got skills for days and the world needs them now.

Master One “Magic” Trick 
This one might seem silly, but trust us on this one—knowing how to pull off one good trick will add a bit of fun to parties and other random hangouts for the rest of your life! Go online and research one simple card trick or other fun illusion. Practice it over and over until you can do it seamlessly, then test it out on family and friends. Presto! You’re ready for the spotlight.

Put Together a Cool Vision Board 
Grab a bunch of old magazines and cut out words and pictures that represent the types of things you want to do or have in your life in the future. Include anything that inspires you—whether it’s fireworks in the night sky, cool pictures of hiking trails you’d love to explore, an adorable kitty, or portraits of athletes you look up to—then use tape, rubber cement, or a glue stick to attach them in any order you like on a poster board or piece of construction paper. Hang it in your room to motivate you and remind you of all the fun your future holds.

Make a Splash 
Head to the beach, the lake, or the local pool to show off your backstroke, or even just dash out to the front yard or the driveway for an impromptu water balloon fight. On a hot day, there’s not much that feels better or that’s more fun.

Explore the Farmer’s Market 
Check out your local farmer’s market with a friend and pick out a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before. Don’t like it? There’s no need to have it again. Love it? As foodies would say, you’ve just widened your palate. Basically, the world is delicious. Get out there and take a bite!

Earn Some Cash 
Although some of the best things in life are, in fact, free—other good things (like, say, ice cream and trips to the movies) cost money. Get down to business and make some cash of your own with a simple lemonade stand or bake sale, through babysitting or dog walking, by mowing lawns, or even teaching an elderly neighbor how to use her new tablet. You’re a natural entrepreneur!

Learn a Language 
Set aside a couple hours each week and learn the basics of another language—either the one spoken in the part of the world you’d like to visit most, or one that you’re simply interested in, like American Sign Language. Check out free apps, online videos, and your local library for books and other resources. You’ll impress friends when you show off your new skills and will be able to communicate with so many more interesting and cool people throughout your life.  

Check Out Some Live Music 
You don’t have to have tickets to that sold-out stadium show to hear some awesome music this summer. Chances are, your town or one nearby will feature live bands during community barbeques, fireworks, and other local events. So head out, discover some cool new music, and maybe even get inspired to start your own band while you’re at it.

Keep a Journal 
You’ll want to remember all the epic fun you’ll have this summer for the rest of your life— so jot down your memories, funniest moments, inside jokes, random thoughts, and most exciting adventures in a journal each night before you go to bed. If you’re on social, you might post some of this there, too, but there’s something really special about a journal that’s just for you that you can keep and cherish forever. Not so into handwriting things? Make a video or audio journal instead, or think about creating a visual scrapbook and fill it with ticket stubs and other mini-souvenirs of your summer.  

Congratulations to our April 2019 contest winners!

April was a busy month for contests, ranging from Spring Renewal to Girl Scout Camp Week! Thank you to everyone who participated and engaged without throughout the month. We’re nothing without your support!

Below is a list of the contest winners, including what they won!

Snow Much Fun Recruitment Contest

  • Randa from the Oatka Service Unit! They won a Glow Party Kit to use as a Service Unit event

Spring Renewal Incentives

  • Courtney M., co-leader of Troop 70420 in Lockport SU ($300 Amazon Gift Card)
  • Katherine N., co-leader of Troop 51082 in Ashantee SU ($300 Amazon Gift Card)
  • Harper B. of Troop 60203 in Spencerport ($300 Amazon Gift Card)
  • Stella B. of Troop 60084 in Brighton ($300 Amazon Gift Card)
  • Analise S., co-leader from Troop 19420 (GSWNY volunteer T-shirt)
  • Jennifer C., co-leader from Troop 31312 (GSWNY volunteer T-shirt)
  • Abigale T., co-leader from Troop 63113 (GSWNY volunteer T-shirt)

Girl Scout Camp Week Contests

  • Freya B. from Troop 60547 (camp duffel bag)
  • Kayleigh B. from Troop 74148 (camp duffel bag)
  • Michelle G. from Troop 31790 (camp duffel bag)
  • La’Myha D. (free week of camp)
  • Mia W. (camp onesie)
  • Cierra G. ($25 gift card)
  • Sydney K. ($25 gift card)
  • Leah M. ($25 gift card)
  • Delaney S. ($25 gift card)
  • Deborah W. ($25 gift card)

Stay in touch for future contests and your chance to win!

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!

Make a Difference in a Child’s Life, Be a Summer Camp Counselor!

Do you want to volunteer this summer?  Are you looking to do an internship for college credit or majoring in education or camping administration?  Do you love working with children in an outdoor setting?

You can be part of a fantastic summer experience and make a difference in a child’s life!  All you need to do is become a summer camp counselor. You will help girls ages 5-17 develop their full potential; learn to work with, relate to, and respect others; and make decisions while contributing to the camp community. 

In addition, girls and staff alike will make and rekindle friendships, laugh, smile, and experience many new and different things. Paid and volunteer positions available.

Positions available at Camp Seven Hills and Camp Timbercrest (Resident Camp):

  • Administrative Assistant                 
  • Health Supervisor
  • Assistant Riding Director
  • Lifeguard

Positions available at Camp Piperwood (Day Camp):

  • Health Supervisor
  • Unit Counselors
  • Ropes Course Director (training provided)
  • Ropes Course Counselors (training provided)

Interested applicants please contact Janet DePetrillo, Director of Camp Administration at (716)935-6063 or janet.depetrillo@gswny.org To fill out an application click here.

Camp is a commitment of 6/7 weeks, 1 week of staff training and 5/6 weeks of camp.  Although we would like all staff to be able to commit to the entire summer, we realize that sometimes situations arise that prevent this.  If this is the case for you, please do not let this deter you from applying.  We will work with you on the number of weeks that you can commit to working at camp. 

  • Day Camp Dates: Staff week- Saturday, June 22 to June 27, and July 1 through August 10, 2019 summer camp sessions.
  • Resident Camp Dates: Staff week- Saturday, June 29 to Friday, July 5, and July 7 to August 11, 2019 summer camp sessions.

Be the role model she’ll always remember

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.

Change her life and yours. Consider volunteering with Girl Scouts today!

Learn More

Invest in a Lifetime Membership

Becoming a lifetime member of Girl Scouts is about more than just recognizing the impact the organization had on your life—it’s about realizing the impact you can have on girls today.

Girl Scouts provides girls with programming in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); the outdoors; entrepreneurship; and life skills—areas essential to preparing them for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. Your investment in lifetime membership ensures that girls always have the support they need to reach their full potential and change the world.

In fact, the moment you sign up as a lifetime member, you’ve already made the difference in the life of a girl. A $25 portion of your lifetime membership dues goes back to your local council to fund a one-year membership for an underserved girl. You know Girl Scouts can be a life-changing experience—and you can give that to a girl who might not otherwise have the opportunity.

Lifetime membership is available to any individual who accepts the principles and beliefs of the Girl Scout Promise and Law, pays the one-time lifetime membership fee, and is at least 18 years old (or a high school graduate or equivalent).

Ordinarily, lifetime membership dues are $400 with a “young alum” price of $200, given to former Girl Scouts under the age of 30. This month, however, that price is opened up to a larger audience.

Because April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, we want to thank those who have been with us for 10 years or more. As a special promotion this month, these volunteers can purchase the membership for $200. As a note, the 10 years must be volunteer years alone—your years as a Girl Scout do not count toward this promotion. You can upgrade when you go to renew through MyGS or through the Lifetime Membership website.

Other benefits of a lifetime membership include:

  • LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP CARD AND PIN—COMING SPRING 2019
  • 10% OFF GIRL SCOUT MERCHANDISE PURCHASED ONLINE
  • INVITATION TO JOIN AN ANNUAL CALL FOR LIFETIME MEMBERS HOSTED BY GSUSA’S CEO
  • INVITATIONS TO EXCLUSIVE LOCAL AND NATIONAL EVENTS
  • MONTHLY ENEWSLETTER FOR GIRL SCOUT ALUMS
  • OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE GIRL SCOUTS OF THE USA’S EXCLUSIVE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP SCARF IN SUMMER 2019!

Upcoming Programs: January

The new year is here and we have so many exciting programs planned for girls and adults! Check out our available training events and programs for the month of January:

Leader Training (New and Experienced)

  • Wednesday, January 9, from 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Jamestown Service Center
  • 20 spots available
  • Register Here

This is a great training for all new leaders, as well as a great refresher for established experienced volunteers!

Join the Girl Experience Team to learn about the 3 keys and processes to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.  Learn how you can ensure girls are able to discover, connect and Take Action with all you do this Girl Scout year.

STEM Lab Adult Learning – Think Like an Engineer (DBJCSA)

  • Friday, January 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Buffalo Service Center
  • 12 spots available
  • Register Here

Take a hands-on, in-depth look at the new STEM content!

Are you:

  • Excited about the new Stem content?
  • A total STEM newbie and feeling intimidated by STEM programming?
  • Know STEM but not sure how to excite your girls?
  • Want to get to know robots, mechanical engineering, space science, cybersecurity, and more?

Volunteer Toolkit Hands-on Training

  • Saturday, January 12, from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Rochester Service Center
  • 15 spots available
  • Register Here

New, current, prospective and long standing leaders are all invited to join us for an in-person, hands on, VTK training.  Please bring your personal device, weather that be a tablet, smart phone or laptop and we will work one on one, hands on with leaders to learn more about this fantastic GS resource!

Leader Training (New and Experienced)

  • Saturday, January 12, from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Lockport Service Center
  • 22 spots available
  • Register Here

This is a great training for all new leaders, as well as a great refresher for established experienced volunteers!

Join the Girl Experience Team to learn about the 3 keys and processes to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.  Learn how you can ensure girls are able to discover, connect and Take Action with all you do this Girl Scout year.

STEM Lab Adult Training – Mechanical Engineering (DBJ)

  • Saturday, January 12, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Lockport Service Center
  • 17 spots available
  • Register Here

Take a hands-on, in-depth look at the new STEM content!

Ingredients for Success: Creating a Smarter Cookie (JCSA)

  • Registration closes TONIGHT, January 7, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • SUNY Fredonia Williams Center
  • 36 spots available
  • Register Here

The Girl Scouts will gain skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, and independence through interactive workshops!

Volunteer Toolkit Hands-on Training

  • Saturday, January 19, from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Buffalo Service Center
  • 14 spots available
  • Register Here

New, current, prospective and long standing leaders are all invited to join us for an in-person, hands on, VTK training.  Please bring your personal device, weather that be a tablet, smart phone or laptop and we will work one on one, hands on with leaders to learn more about this fantastic GS resource!