Girl Scouts Go Outside: The Girl Scout Difference

Girl Scouts don’t go outside. That’s the major difference between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, right? Boys go camping while girls sell cookies.

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For all the seasoned Girl Scouts out there, you know how ridiculous that is. First of all, we don’t just sell cookies. Cookie season is about more than everyone getting their fill of their favorite cookies. It’s the largest girl-run business IN THE WORLD. Through it, the girls learn goal-setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

Second of all, Girl Scouts go outside. A lot.

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience has four pillars: STEM, life skills, entrepreneurship, and outdoors. Going outdoors is so important to us that it forms one quarter of our foundation. At Girl Scouts of Western New York, we make sure there’s plenty of outdoor programming for our girls.

Summer Camp

We have three different sites where girls can attend programming over the summer, not including our volunteer run Camp Windy Meadows in Niagara County. Whether girls decide to go to resident camp at Camp Seven Hills or Camp Timbercrest or day camp at Camp Piperwood, we have options throughout the council to make sure all our girls can go to camp.

Troop Camping

Whether you choose S.P.P Camping or Core Camping, we have options for our troops. We even offer troop camping training so our co-leaders are ready to take their girls out!

Outdoor Progression Series

Through our Outdoor Progression Series, Girl Scouts can start at the Daisy level and move through a three-level system to become master campers. Each level is designed to teach new outdoor skills until the girls compete in Skills and Chills at the Ambassador level!

Trailblazer Program Series

Similar to our Outdoor Progression Series, this takes girls from Daisies through Brownies and teaches them the skills they need for safe hiking and backpacking. Volunteers are invited too!

Camp Adventure Club

If a Girl Scout wants even more outdoor experiences, she can join Camp Adventure Club for more opportunities like practicing the seven skills of Leave No Trace, learning more outdoor skills, and forming lifelong friendships.

Ropes Challenge Course

Starting at Challenge 1, all levels are welcome to participate. At Challenge 2, it begins with second year Brownies and beyond. From Challenge 3-5, it’s only Juniors through Ambassadors.

These are just the group and series activities. All year long our council is active in a number of other programs, like Me and My Favorite Gal Overnight, Archery Clinic, Earthworks Intro to Winter Wilderness Survival, and more! Check out our 2018-19 Program Guide to learn more about how Girl Scouts get outside!

Share Your #GirlScoutDifference Story!

Girl Scouts of Western New York just announced their new campaign, The Girl Scout Difference, with the goal of raising the voices of local Girl Scouts and female professionals (alumnae and Women of Distinction) about the difference Girl Scouts makes in the lives of girls, women, and the whole family.

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From August 1 through November 30, we’re going to focus on these stories and share our campaign across local television and radio stations as well as through print and social media. But the campaign doesn’t stop with the stories of our eight participants.

During the campaign, we want to hear from you! Girls, volunteers, alumnae, and members of the public are invited to tell us about how Girl Scouts is making or made a difference to them. Share your stories and photos with us online using the hashtag #GirlScoutsDifference so we can all see how powerful this movement is.

Here are some platforms where we’d love for you to engage:

We can’t wait to hear your stories!

My First Visit to Camp Timbercrest

Hello everyone! My name is Chelsea Cummins and I’m a digital marketing specialist for Girl Scouts of Western New York. Today I’m writing to tell you all about my first time at Camp Timbercrest!

That’s me on the left! With me is Susan, my tour guide and fellow marketing team member

As you most likely know, Girl Scouts are crazy about camp. It’s been a part of the organization’s programming since the beginning and remains one of our core pillars. Every summer, our council runs programs at three camps – Camp Piperwood (day camp), Camp Seven Hills (resident camp), and Camp Timbercrest (resident camp). We have a fourth camp that is completely run by volunteers called Camp Windy Meadows!

Prior to camp season, I spent some time at Seven Hills for meetings and celebrations and even worked on a few service projects there. It was incredible to not only get to see our camp, but be a part of its improvement.

This summer, I knew I wanted to see more of our grounds and made plans to tour Timbercrest during one of their sessions. Let me tell you – if I wasn’t a believer in camp, I am now!

The first view I had was the lake – it’s enormous! It stretches through different parts of the property and is simply stunning. Then, we walked to the horses and I even got to pet a few of them. They were so sweet it took me a minute to pull myself away. Later, when I actually got to see girls riding them, I was so envious! But also happy for their opportunity. Not only do our girls ride, they learn how to properly take care of the horses.

As we walked to a new part of the lake, I got to see girls boating in canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards! It took everything in me to not climb aboard. Unfortunately due to recent rains they couldn’t get into the water, but the giant inflatable toys inside looked like a blast.

I talked to girls as they tie-dyed t-shirts and while they ate lunch (it was Taco Tuesday!). I learned all about why they love camp, from swimming to the horses! One common answer touched my heart – making new friends.

The foundation of Girl Scouts is community in safe and girl-led environments. You could tell how relaxed the girls felt and free to be themselves. Our counselors, most who were Girl Scouts and campers, continue to come back because to them, camp is family.

I was sad when I had to leave this amazing place, but I was comforted knowing all the girls who will develop these relationships and find a safe space in Girl Scouts and at Girl Scout camp.

Check out our Instagram page for some highlights from my visit to Camp Timbercrest!

Unleash Strong! Be a Girl Scout.

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The Fourth of July feels the peak of summer fun, but fall is right around the corner. You can even see it in stores . Despite school not starting for more than a month, the back to school sections are popping up. Pool toys are being swapped out for classroom supplies and the bus will be rolling down the street sooner than you’d like.

When school begins, so do the never ending extracurricular activities. At times, it can feel like every night is booked. It’s easy to cut certain programs you don’t feel are as valuable. Unfortunately, Girl Scouts is one that doesn’t always make the cut.

The case for Girl Scouts

You want your girl to succeed in her life, whatever it may look like. You want her to opportunities to shape her own future. While a number of activities can help her, none partner along side of her quite like Girl Scouts.

At Girl Scouts of Western New York, we’re dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. When your girl joins a troop, she isn’t just signing up to do arts and crafts and sell cookies. She’s joining a sisterhood where she can be her own person and make a difference in her community.

We believe in the inclusive, all-girl environment and have the research for why it matters for you girl. This helps us create a safe space for her to try new things, develop new skills, take on leadership roles, and work toward earning the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.

What we do

At Girl Scouts, your girl will have the opportunity to experience new adventures while giving back. All of our programming focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the outdoors, like skills, and entrepreneurship.

Bottom line, we know this is a man’s world, but we want to help your daughter reshape it for herself and generations to come.

Why it matters

More than just what we offer, we have proven results. Women who were Girl Scouts are more successful, enjoy higher incomes, are active volunteers, and vote more regularly.

Half of all female business leaders are Girl Scout alums. More than 70 percent of female U.S. Senators were in Girl Scouts. Every former female Secretary of State are Girl Scout alums.

Unleash strong!

Become a Girl Scout this fall and see the difference it can make for yourself. Join Girl Scouts today!

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!

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Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey (left) meets with Troops 70923 and 70245, as well as Judy Cranston (right) March 15
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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
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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (center) meets with Troop 30022 and Judy Cranston March 12
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Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas (center) meets with Troops 20010 and 20033 March 7
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Batavia Interim City Manager Matt Worth (center) meets with Troop 42003 and Judy Cranston (left) March 8
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Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (second from right) meets with Troop 60420 and Judy Cranston (far right) March 7
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Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi (center) meets with Troop 20044 and Judy Cranston (right) March 8

Cookies are HERE!

Cookie season is one of the most anticipated times of the year. The much beloved Girl Scout cookies are only available for a few months, causing the mania to set in when the sale finally begins. But what about the actual delivery?

In order to bring those delicious cookies to Western New York, a mega drop is held at several warehouses across the council. A truly incredible amount of cookies are dropped off, organized, and given to our Girl Scouts to deliver to their supporters.

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It’s a collaborative process between Council and the troops to ensure each drop is a success every year. This makes it a great time to interact with leaders and girls as well as bring the joy of cookies to Western New York.

This year, a nor’easter threatened part of the drop Friday, March 2. While winds and rain assaulted the East Coast, that precipitation turned to snow in Western New York bringing more than a foot overnight in some areas. Conditions were terrible, and Council actually closed all of their locations due to the weather.

But cookies couldn’t be stopped.

Despite the snow and closings, the drops continued as scheduled, and everyone received their cookies. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of your own!

Thank you everyone who supports our girls as they learn valuable leadership and business skills through cookie sales. You’re helping to raise the leaders of tomorrow, and that tastes as good as it feels.

Girl Scout brand ranks #2 on World Value Index

Every year, the World Value Index is assembled to show which brands ‘do the most and least good for the world.’ Unlike many reports, the information for this ranking comes from people, not shareholders.

According to enso’s website, “the World Value Index measures brand on awareness of purpose, alignment with purpose, whether people will actively support that purpose, and if that purpose impacts purchase.”

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Image via enso.co

What this show us is that in a world with Google, Amazon and Disney, we outrank almost everyone when it comes to our commitment to our purpose. We work tirelessly to ensure what we stand for is always represented by our efforts.

Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and our legacy is built on the results we’ve seen for more than 100 years.

Half of all female business leaders were Girl Scouts.

More than 75 percent of female U.S. Senators with Girl Scouts.

100% of female U.S. Secretaries of State were Girl Scouts.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Joining Girl Scouts places your girl in an all-female environment, providing a safe space where she can learn, grow and try new things. In a world finally seeing the way in which the sexes are separated, now is the time to show your girl all that she can be and accomplish, and we’re here to help her along the way.

Now is the time to continue the shift toward equality, and raising empowered girls who are ready to see the world and how they can make it better. We offer a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with time-tested methods and research-backed programming.

Simply put, we’re more than crafts and cookies. We’re dedicated to changing the world, one girl at a time. Join us in fulfilling our mission today.