2018 Council Bridging Ceremonies

One of the most important ceremonies for a Girl Scout is Bridging, where a girl moves from one level to another. It’s a moment of reflection of what the girl has accomplished, as well as her anticipation to embrace new adventures and responsibilities. While adults are involved, everything is planned in partnership with the girls.

To Bridge from one level to the next, there are two steps that each girl must complete. From Brownies to Ambassadors, the girls must first Pass It On and then Look Ahead. By Passing It On, they are working with younger girls and showing them the value of moving on and joining Girl Scouts. With Look Ahead, they are learning about the new adventures that lie ahead of them.

Girls at all levels from across Girl Scouts of Western New York held Bridging Ceremonies and their creativity was amazing! Each event, while decorated in rainbow colors, showed a flair unique to the troop or service unit involved. Below are a few pictures, but the rest can be found in an album on our Facebook page.

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Click here to view the rest of the photos

Last Chance for Camp – don’t miss out!

We’re one week away from the official start of summer and just weeks away from the start of camp! It’s going to be such a great time this summer and we can hardly wait. If you haven’t registered your girl for camp yet, now is the time!

While some of our sessions and programs have filled, we still have openings just waiting to be filled by your girl. As of June 13, we have the following sessions available:

Camp Piperwood

  • Session 1
  • Session 6

Camp Seven Hills

  • Openings in select programs in all sessions

Camp Timbercrest

Registration for our last session doesn’t close until July 23, but you don’t want to wait and miss the chance to give your girl the best summer ever!

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!

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.

 

 

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.

Cookies with the Mayor 2018

Girl Scout Cookie Season in Western New York isn’t complete without our visits to see mayors throughout our council counties. This year, we had the privilege of visiting seven area mayors, having our troops ask them questions, and enjoying our delicious cookies with them!

In fact, the mayors are just as enthusiastic as we are each season.

“Each year, I look forward to the Girl Scouts of Western New York visiting Buffalo City Hall with their Girl Scout Cookies,” said Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo. “I’m a strong supporter of this program because it is dedicated to supporting our shared goal of helping young people build confidence, foster community support, while teaching our youth the importance of entrepreneurship and the skills needed to be successful.”

Through our 5-Question Challenge, the girls can ask the mayors about a variety of things. In Lockport, the girls asked about what specific advice she’d give them about finding their future career paths.

“Read as much as you can. It doesn’t matter what aspect of work you get into,” said Mayor Anne McCaffrey of Lockport. “It’s important to understand the world around you. And establish a good work ethic. The more you put into a certain task, you’ll get the payback from that.”

Eleventh-grade Ambassador Girl Scout Erin Fisher found meeting the mayor so inspiring she’s now considering a future career in politics.

From March 7 to 15, 2018, we visited the cities of Lockport, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Batavia, Rochester, and Jamestown.

We planned to take Troop 60095 to meet with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in Rochester, but she was called back to Washington. We’re so incredibly sad to hear of her passing, and wish to express condolences to her family. She was a force of nature and she will be greatly missed.

Our council CEO Judy Cranston expressed her gratitude to Mayor Brown for his support, and her words ring true for all who welcomed us over the past few weeks.

“The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the world. We thank Mayor Brown for his support, as we work to build the next generation of leaders who embody courage, confidence, and charter, who make the world a better place.”

Click the pictures below to see more images from each event!

1
Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey (left) meets with Troops 70923 and 70245, as well as Judy Cranston (right) March 15
2
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster (left) meets with Troops 70074, 70023, 70127, 70016, 70400, and GSWNY Chief Operation Office Alison Wilcox (center back) March 15
3
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (center) meets with Troop 30022 and Judy Cranston March 12
4
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas (center) meets with Troops 20010 and 20033 March 7
5
Batavia Interim City Manager Matt Worth (center) meets with Troop 42003 and Judy Cranston (left) March 8
6
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (second from right) meets with Troop 60420 and Judy Cranston (far right) March 7
7
Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi (center) meets with Troop 20044 and Judy Cranston (right) March 8

Summer Camp Week is Coming!

We’re all SO EXCITED for camp this summer at Girl Scouts of Western New York. Soon it will be warm and time for all of the great activities we’ve planned for this summer. Before it’s actually time to go to camp, we have a way to get even more psyched!

Summer Camp Week is an annual celebration of all things camp, and this year it’s happening April 16 to 19. In just over a month, we’ll have a week of fun leading up to our first open house at Camp Piperwood in Fairport!

2018 Camp Week Flyer

Monday kicks off the week with an invitation for you to come to our Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport and Rochester locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to share your favorite camp memories. We’ll keep what you share on display and even share on our social media accounts!

On Tuesday, you can stop by Lockport, Buffalo, or Rochester again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get the camp craft party started! We’ll have several options for you to come and complete and take home!

The next night, we’ll hold a free camp webinar at 6:30 p.m. to provide some more information about camp.

Thursday we’re taking the party online for our annual Twitter Party! From 3 to 7 p.m. we’ll be tweeting with you and giving away prizes every half hour! Follow us at @girlscoutswny 🙂

Finally we wrap everything up with our open house at Camp Piperwood! This is your chance to see the grounds, make some s’mores, take a hike, and more!

It’s going to be a great week, and we can’t wait for everyone to join in the fun with us! Speaking of fun, have you registered for camp yet?