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!

Resident Camp is Off to a Great Start!

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Even though camp season officially kicked off last week at Camp Piperwood, the spirit has finally spread to the rest of the council. Our resident camps, Camp Seven Hills and Camp Timbercrest, each began this week with girls participating in a number of programs, including Dumbledore’s Army, Climbing Masters, Pony Pals, and more!

To stay up to date with the action, make sure you follow our Camp Timbercrest and Camp Seven Hills blogs. They’re updated daily by our onsite camp staff, bringing you recaps and more!

For those visual people, we have albums chronicling each session as well. Check out GSWNY’s Flickr account for all the great photos! Another council staff member travels to all the camps, and you can check out her photos on our Facebook page! She posts albums from the sessions she attends. Our Page also features a drop off album for parents and guardians to share their photos of leaving their girls!

We have so many ways for you to keep up with camp, but we also have a challenge. Just because you aren’t at camp doesn’t mean you can’t get outdoors. Try working toward your Outdoor Guru Challenge badge this summer!

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!

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!

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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!”

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

Our STEM focus extends to our camps

Hosting STEM programs at camp this summer is like the marrying of two of the initiatives we’re most excited about. Girl Scouting has always been about enabling girls to do more and push themselves and their knowledge further. Because of this, our programs always take a progressive approach to dealing with problems faced by women every day.

This is one reason camp has been a part of Girl Scouts since the beginning. We believe in helping girls become leaders in the great outdoors by showing them important skills. Plus most of us can agree that some of the best memories are created at camp!

Our STEM focus is to battle the overwhelming majority of men who work in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. A major goal of Girl Scouts is to funnel more women in the STEM pipeline and close the gender gap currently found there. By exposing girls to STEM activities at younger age, they feel more comfortable with their place in that world.

With STEM-specific camps, we combine the outdoor fun with the educational aspects associated with these programs. With five programs targeted at younger girls, we want them to get excited about STEM and their potential future in the field!

Camp Piperwood

  • Citizen Scientist to the Rescue (Grades K-8)
  • Science Wonders (Grades K-8)

Camp Seven Hills

  • Silly Scientists (Grades 1-3)
  • Zoologist (Grades 1-3)
  • GIRLbots (Grades 4-6)

 

If you haven’t registered for camp yet, now is the time!