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!

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To serve God and my country: Girl Scouts put faith in action

Although Girl Scouts is a secular organization, we believe in encouraging girls to pursue their own spiritual journeys through their faith. Our Girl Scout Promise and Law features many principles and values found among religions, which makes it a natural connection.

Aside from the My Promise, My Faith pin, all other religious recognition activities are completed independently from Girl Scouts, but the awards earned can be worn on the our uniforms.

To help the spiritual growth of Girl Scouts, national religious organizations develop programs to reinforce the values integral to Girl Scouting while helping them learn more about and grow in their own faith.

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is an organization who helps make these connections between girls and their areas of faith. They work together with many religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Quakers, to design religious emblem programs to help girls on their journeys.

Last year, several girls from our council completed an amazing service project in the pursuit of earning a Girl Scout religious emblem.

As members of the Nativity of Our Lord Church and the Orchard Park Service Unit, Caroline (Senior, Troop 31101), Kaitlyn (Cadette, Troop 31128), Mia (Cadette, Troop 31128), and Natalie (Cadette, Troop 31128) began working an an emblem called ‘Mary, The First Disciple,’ led by Patti Raab.

Patti serves as a member of our Board of Directors, but her role as Religious Emblem Counselor for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting helps her get directly involved with Girl Scouts seeking these awards.

For their service project, they decided to organize a coat drive in their parish. The weekend before, they included an announcement about their drive and handed out flyers after each mass.

Patti’s heart was warmed by the response of the parish members the following week.

“A total of 268 coats were collected!” said Patti. “They were inspected for cleanliness, zippers working, and overall good wear. Only three were rejected. Therefore a total of 265 were donated!

Patti with Kaitlyn, Mia, Natalie, and Caroline

Because of the organization and work from the Girl Scouts and the generosity of the church, 265 coats were disbursed to the Harvest House, International Institute of Buffalo, and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Caroline, Kaitlyn, Mia, and Natalie went to two of these facilities and got to see the results of their charitable work firsthand.

This is just one of many faith-based projects for Girl Scouts around our council. In fact, Patti currently oversees two other Senior Girl Scouts, Ava and Sophia from Troop 30271, as they pursue their Spirit Alive emblem.

To learn more about Girl Scouts and faith, visit girlscouts.org today. If you, or your troop are working toward any religious pins or emblems, please email your stories to communications@gswny.org.

Shelby: part tomboy, part football player, all Girl Scout

As competition for your girl’s time heats up, it’s easy to dismiss Girl Scouts as not being right for her. Your girl isn’t the girly-girl type, so she wouldn’t enjoy an organization where that’s a big deal. She’s more of a tomboy, so she likely wouldn’t have a good time.

We have news for you: every girl is right for Girl Scouts.

When you’re a Girl Scout, it doesn’t matter if you’re part trendsetter, part change-maker, part athlete, part engineer, part artist, or part go-getter, because you know who you are and where you want to go next. You’re all Girl Scout, and that makes the difference.

Pictured above is Shelby, a self-proclaimed ‘tomboy,’ football player, and Girl Scout Junior. She doesn’t fit the mold of what so many assume Girl Scouts is, yet our program fits her perfectly.

She’s learned practical skills like camping, fire building, and knot tying, but it’s the intangible skills that stand out. As a Girl Scout, Shelby has learned about caring, leadership, giving back, and working together.

Shelby, far right in the back row, with the rest of her troop

Shelby first joined Girl Scouts because it seemed like it would be fun and her mother, Kathy, wanted her to try something new. Since then, Kathy has watched her become independent, gain leadership skills, make friends, and enjoy many opportunities she wouldn’t have had the chance to experience without Girl Scouts. Even more, her confidence has increased.

Because of her interest in ‘boy things,’ Shelby can sometimes feel out of place in school and like she doesn’t fit in. When she’s with her troop, she feels comfortable to be herself.

If someone told Shelby they weren’t the ‘right kind of girl’ to join, she’d let them know it’s a perfect program for them because of all the activities they can do, like camping, crafting, caroling, and more. In fact, girls can pick from an array of different activities, events, and skills they want to achieve.  

Shelby’s favorite thing about Girl Scouts is Camp Timbercrest, where she’s met new friends who are like family

Even though she’s only nine years old, Shelby is already thinking about college. It’s one of the things she’s most excited about Girl Scouts. Through our Spring Renewal program, girls who renew their membership by May 30 receive SAGE Tuition Rewards Points. This translates into $2500 for college every year she renews.

Our partnership with SAGE was one of the things about Girl Scouts that surprised Kathy. She didn’t realize how it could help with Shelby’s future college dreams, or how the Girl Scout Gold Award can help increase a girl’s rank in the military. Another surprise was the number of companies that offer Girl Scouts opportunities, like Apple and Disney.

Both Kathy and Shelby are very active in Girl Scouts because of their belief in the program. For Shelby, it’s about learning about things she doesn’t know.

“She has had so many experiences and more just waiting for her,” Kathy said.  “She and her troop have done volunteer work at our local soup kitchen; they are working on their Bronze Award with a nonprofit little animal rescue; they’ve done beach clean ups to name a few of their projects. She will be able to not only save for college but visit some through the offerings they have at St. Bonaventures and Fredonia State.”

For girls and parents who aren’t sure about Girl Scouts, both Kathy and Shelby believe they should do their research and give it a try.

“As a parent, I would encourage them to do research on what Girl Scouts has to offer,” Kathy said. “Girl Scouts can help in a number of ways, including college through SAGE, travel opportunities, educational experiences, life skills, leadership, and to be in an environment that will help her grow.”

Girl Scouts is for all girls because we know no two are alike. Every girl has her own interests, talents, hobbies, and dreams, and we want to make sure she has the right opportunities to pursue them all. It’s not about what kind of girl you are, as long as you’re all Girl Scout.

Shelby is a lot of wonderful things and she’s all Girl Scout.

Only a few more days to register for L.E.A.P.

Register for our semi annual L.E.A.P. volunteer training by this Friday, October 26!

L.E.A.P. logo

This November 3, we’re inviting all our volunteers to attend the event at either our Buffalo, Lockport, or Rochester Service Center. It runs from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Paula D’Amico, TV news producer will deliver a keynote, and then we have workshops to help your Girl Scout Leader experience. Options include:

  • Keeping your girls engaged
  • Financing your troop
  • Outdoor experiences
  • And more!

As an added bonus, we’re going to take time to test out the new STEM activities from GSUSA so all our volunteers understand the program (and can also see how fun it is!)

Join us at one of these locations:

Buffalo – Daemen College, Amherst NY
Rochester – Rochester Service Center
Lockport – Lockport Service Center

Registration closes October 26

Don’t miss our upcoming volunteer training!

At Girl Scouts, we have a lot of resources to ensure our leaders are equipped to build girls of courage, confidence, and character. While we have training throughout the year, nothing is quite as extensive as our twice-a-year L.E.A.P. event.

L.E.A.P. logo

This November 3, we’re inviting all our volunteers to attend the event at either our Buffalo, Lockport, or Rochester Service Center. It runs from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Paula D’Amico, TV news producer will deliver a keynote, and then we have workshops to help your Girl Scout Leader experience. Options include:

  • Keeping your girls engaged
  • Financing your troop
  • Outdoor experiences
  • And more!

As an added bonus, we’re going to take time to test out the new STEM activities from GSUSA so all our volunteers understand the program (and can also see how fun it is!)

Join us at one of these locations:

Buffalo – Daemen College, Amherst NY
Rochester – Rochester Service Center
Lockport – Lockport Service Center

Registration closes October 26

The Impact of a Volunteer: The Girl Scout Difference

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.

Just like the potential we see in our girls, there’s no limit to what you can do as a volunteer for Girl Scouts.