Happy First Day of Camp!

After months of planning and preparation, camp has finally arrived! Girl Scouts of Western New York camp kicked off its official summer at Camp Piperwood, our day camp located in Fairport, New York.

This week, girls entering grades kindergarten through 8th will learn all the basics of camping with The Great Outdoors. More than simply pitching tents and s’mores, the campers will learn about hiking, healthy snacks, cooking over an open fire, and how to navigate the woods without leaving a trail.

Starting next week, July 8, both our resident camps will begin their summer programming. Camp Seven Hills will see girls in grades ranging from kindergarten through 12th pass along the grounds in the following programs: Pony Pals; Silly Scientists; Be Happy, Relax, Namaste; Camp Adventure G.I.R.L.; Climbing Masters; Long Rein, Free Walk; A Little at a Time Mini Session; G.I.R.L. Tough; Riders Up; and Seven Hills Amazing Race.

At Camp Timbercrest, the youngest girls still have a week to wait, but all the other grades will be there. Its programming includes the extremely popular Dumbledore’s Army; I’m a Go-Getter; Ready to Ride; The Great Cupcake Challenge; and Quest Seekers!

This all sounds like so much fun and we haven’t even shared the best news! This is just the beginning and it’s not too late to register your girl!

What is S.P.P. camping?

A Girl Scout’s summer is filled with opportunities to have the time of her life at camp. We offer so many great programs for girls entering kindergarten through 12th grade in the fall and want to make sure we have something for everyone. For some girls and troops, this looks a little different than traditional resident or day camp.

 

SpecialtyProgramsProvided (S.P.P.) Camping is a great way for troops to get the best of camping together and experience specialized programs, like ropes courses, archery, and boating. The troop leader is responsible for most camp-related considerations with GSWNY providing the specialty programs and times.

In order to host troop camp like this, leaders must have either their Level I (for lodge camping) or Level II (for cabin and tent camping) camp training. Additionally, an adult with current first aid and CPR certifications must attend.

Specifically, our camp provides the boating and archery programming while leaders provide everything else, including meals. Our lakeside facility includes a like, central dining hall, infirmary, shower house, lodges, cabins, platform tent units, and an archery area. Your troop can choose from options at either Camp Seven Hills or Camp Piperwood.

For troops in the Buffalo area, Camp Seven Hills has two sessions available for S.P.P. Camping. Girls in grades K-12 are welcome to camp with their troops Friday, July 20, through Sunday, July 22, and Wednesday August 1, through Friday, August 3. The cost per girl is $35.

For those in the Rochester area, Camp Piperwood can welcome your girls in k-12 from July 27 to 29. The cost is $45 and the girls will get to experience archery and the ropes course!

Register with your troop today!

Gold Award Girl Scout Chris Belin reflects on what Girl Scouts taught her and the importance of the program for girls

[Below is a guest post written by Gold Award Girl Scout Chris Belin]

My name is Chris Belin.  I am a 38 year-old self-employed Health and Business Coach living in East Amherst, NY.  Just over 20 years ago, I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, and to this day, it is still one of my proudest moments!

On my honor.jpg
That’s me on the left!

I became a Girl Scout when I was 6 years old.  I still remember our meetings in a church basement!  Learning the Girl Scout Promise, selling cookies, and singing songs.  Within a few years, I went to Girl Scout Camp and volunteered in the community at soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  But, as I got older, it became more difficult to juggle my school work, sports, social life and Girl Scout activities.  I wanted to quit.  But, my Mom, not a Girl Scout herself, refused to let me.  She knew the impact it had on me and the community.  She said “this is your commitment and you are going to finish it!”

GS with Mom.jpg
Me with my mother at the Gold Award Ceremony

While in high school, I earned my Silver Award, and without much time in between, I began working on my Gold Award.  My first two ideas were rejected by Council.  I was so upset and shocked actually!  But looking back, I see why.  It would have been too easy!  I really needed to push myself and do more for others.  I began a project of Female Empowerment with young girls in my community.  It lasted three months and was an amazing experience for them and me. I learned just how powerful one person can be, no matter their age!  Nothing else could have better prepared me for college, and later….working full time, motherhood, and entrepreneurship!

GS Troop.jpg
Me and other members of my troop at the Gold Awards

I am now a wife and mom of two kids, an 8-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son.  Raising kids is a lot of work and it certainly “takes a village”.  For that reason, and many others, we are and will always be a Scouting family. Girl Scouts is a great resource in teaching so many important life skills to my daughter, such as leadership, contribution, healthy relationships, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, etc. I am not aware of any other organization that does all that!

20170622_234529626_iOS

When I was a Girl Scout, I didn’t fully understand why we sold cookies. Through my daughter’s experience, I learned that the Girl Scout Cookie Sale is the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world!  As an entrepreneur myself, I love that! It has taught my daughter how to be confident, how to talk to people, how to shake hands, how to manage money and deadlines, etc.  She was her troop’s top seller this year!

20171231_162738495_iOS

I am thrilled to be part of my daughter’s own Scout experience.  She is learning, growing, and having fun!  If you have a daughter, I urge you to check out a local meeting, and find a troop that is right for her.  You will be so glad you did!

Chris Belin

Mompreneur & Founder, Design Your Days Nutrition

716-207-0134

chris@chrisbelin.com

It’s not too late to sign up for Girl Scout summer camp!

While it’s technically late spring, we can all agree that school letting out and the beautiful weather signifies that summer is FINALLY here! The only thing more exciting than summer vacation is figuring out how you’re going to spend your time and we have good news:

CAMP IS WAITING FOR YOUR GIRL!

Just because summer is here doesn’t mean it’s too late to sign up your girl! We still have options for all grade levels at our camps to make sure she has the best summer ever.

Camp and the outdoors are part of our Girl Scout DNA. We believe in addition to fun, camping teaches your girl important leadership skills and helps her on her path to become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader). Even better, we have a program planned for just about anyone.

At Camp Piperwood, your girl can experience the best of day camp through programs like The Great Outdoors, Science Wonders, Citizen Science, Cables and Carabiners, and more!

If resident camp is what you’re looking for, our summer is filled at Camp Seven Hills and Camp Timbercrest with horseback riding, science-based camps, Harry Potter, and much more!

Spaces are filling up quickly so make sure to register your girl for camp today! Day camp starts July 2 and resident camps starts July 8, with all sessions ending August 10.

 

 

Camp Financial Aid Deadline is Approaching

We believe in the benefits of camping for your girl, like providing her opportunities to develop and improve her leadership skills and educate her about acceptance and tolerance. Because of this, we want to provide every opportunity we can to get her there.

Financial assistance is available for all who fill out an online camp application. You can begin the process by going online to register here. As a reminder, our camperships are meant to assist you, not cover the entire cost.

Once you fill out an application, you will be asked to complete the Financial Aid – Household Income Information section, including how much you plan to be able to contribute. We provide a section for you to explain why you’re asking for assistance in as much detail as possible. You’ll also be required to submit income verification documents.

Please remember all of what you submit is confidential and we will never share your story with anyone else.

Other than the income requirements, there are a few considerations to remember:

  • Your girl must be a registered member of Girl Scouts of Western New York
  • Your application is due by June 1
  • You must be caught up on all your payments for cookies, QSP merchandise, programs, and prior years camp fees

We look forward to seeing your girl at camp!

Why Girl Scouts should still be the choice for your girl

Today Boy Scouts announced a change in who they are – while its parent organization will keep the title of Boy Scouts of America, its actual boy scouting program will be called ‘Scouts BSA,’ starting next February. This change came after the controversial decision in 2017 to let girls join its program.

For more than a century, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts coexisted with programming designed to nurture boys and girls in separate, targeted environments with strategies to aid in leadership development. As the world changed, so did the programs to reflect the current challenges each gender faced and the best way to overcome. At least that’s the case for Girl Scouts.

It’s not a secret that both organizations have experienced declines in membership due to increased competition. Families are running from one activity to the next and for a number of reasons, including a lack of understanding, Scouting is falling lower and lower in importance. While both organizations have felt these effects, we’ve chosen to respond differently.

Boy Scouts is throwing up the Hail Mary by inviting girls into their programming. A campaign set to launch this summer – ‘Scout Me In’ – is designed to show the ease of taking all your children to the same meeting, making it more convenient to be a Scout. Rather than design unique programs, Scouts BSA will simply divide boys and girls where they will follow the same curriculum. A selling point is that now girls can also work toward the highly praised level of Eagle Scout.

What that fails to mention is Girl Scouts already have the option to not only reach that same level, but pass it with their project. The Girl Scout Gold Award, while less seen, requires more time and effort to achieve than the award of Eagle Scout. Because it doesn’t have the Boy Scout boost and notoriety, few understand just how incredible it is for a girl to become a Gold Award recipient.

More importantly, Girl Scouts refuses to budge from its stance on only accepting girls because it will not compromise its mission. Especially in today’s world with more and more women finding their voice and fighting for their seat at the table, we understand the value of what we do. We’re showing girls from a young age their value and letting them know they’re capable of anything. We believe in building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, and we don’t plan to step away from that.

Girl Scouts is an organization that is fun for girls, but we can’t forget its importance. Yes, it might mean taking your children two places for their troop meetings, but your child’s future shouldn’t be built on convenience. While we try to make it as easy as possible for you, we want your girl to be a part of our organization because of what she can become.

We’re more than cookies, crafts, and friendship bracelets. We see the lack of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics so we’re creating more programs to expose girls to these opportunities at a young age. We teach outdoor skills and survival, all while making sure your girl is empowered.

Our programming comes from years of research to ensure we’re raising female leaders. Even better, we have proven results. All of our female Secretaries of State were Girl Scouts. Almost all female astronauts. Your girl has potential, and we want her to unleash it early and often with Girl Scouts.

Lee Snodgrass from the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes council summarizes it well:

“We proudly own the ‘Girl’ in Girl Scouts. Since our inception, Girl Scouts of the USA has been about putting girls front and center, ensuring that everything we do is with their best interests in mind and equips them to be the fearless leaders and change-makers our more than 50 million alums prove themselves to be. For 106 years, Girl Scouts has prepared girls with essential leadership skills and provided them with a supportive network of girls and women who can face any challenge, from the wilderness to the boardroom, with confidence, compassion, and success. Our focus has always been and always will be girls.”

Girls Scouts isn’t just an activity for your girl. It can change her life beyond the memories she’ll make at at camp and the lifelong friends she’ll find. Just like you, we believe in your girl’s greatness. Join us today and help her grow.

Explore Our Grounds: Piperwood

Camp Piperwood in Fairport, NY, features vast hiking trails, a state-of-the-art splash pad, high and low ropes courses, an archery area, and open fields. Camp Piperwood is a great setting for campers looking for a day camp experience.

Browse our summer camps today and don’t forget to register!