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!

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

Don’t forget to register for your Sage Rewards Points!

First, we want to thank everyone who participated in our Spring Renewal Campaign. We are beyond thrilled with how many adults and girls renewed early this year. Even better than our gratitude, all our early birds qualify for some pretty great perks, including Sage Tuition Rewards Points.

This system turns your renewal fee into money for college for anyone you choose still in high school. Every dollar turns into a point, which in turn becomes a $1,000! The $25 cost for girls becomes $2,500 and the $35 for co-leaders and Service Unit Managers becomes $3,500! Even better, you don’t have to assign these points right away and you can change who you’d like to receive them.

To receive these points, you must create an account with Sage Scholars by Friday, June 8. This allows the points to be added automatically this summer. Failing to sign up unfortunately means you won’t receive your points – they can’t be added retroactively.

Visit www.tuitionrewards.com to set up an account.  At that time, you can designate recipients for the tuition points, or edit the list later.  If you have issues logging in, or have questions about your account, please contact Sage directly using the “Contact Us” link on their website.  We are unable to assist with your account. While on the Sage Rewards website, you can learn more about how the points work, who can use them, qualifying colleges and more.

If you have additional questions, please review this FAQ sheet.

Celebrate Great Outdoors Month with the #gsoutdoors Challenge!

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This month Girl Scouts are celebrating one of our greatest partners – the outdoors! Camping has been a tradition with the Girl Scouts and the skills you learn from experiencing the outdoors can help make you a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader).

More than just encouraging you to go outside, Girl Scouts of the USA is excited to announce the official #gsoutdoors Challenge! Each week, girls are encouraged to go outside, snap a photo, and enter to win!

At the end of each challenge, one winner will be randomly selected by Girl Scouts to receive an AMAZING prize, courtesy of our new partner, The North Face. That means in total you have four chances to win – but even if you don’t exploring the outdoors is rewarding enough.

The challenges are:
June 1-8: Go the Distance
June 9-15: Rock the Lifestyle
June 16-22: Embrace Adventure
June 23-30: Nurture Nature

Official Rules on How to Enter:
1. Head to Instagram and follow @girlscouts.
2. Post a photo tagged with #gsoutdoors that shows how you’re taking on Girl Scouts’ outdoor challenges.
3. Wait for a confirmation from @girlscouts that we’ve received your entry. Once you get the message, claim your post to complete your entry.

You can enter once a day, but don’t let that stop you from taking more pictures and spending more time outside! Even better, non-Girl Scouts can participate too! The contest opens June 1 and runs until June 30 with the first winner being selected June 11. Check the Official Sweepstakes Rules and FAQs from GSUSA.

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Girl Scouts in Action: Memorial Day 2018

Girl Scouts from around the council spent their Memorial Day Weekend embracing the true spirit of the holiday – honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom. From planting flowers to marching in parades and everything in between, GSWNY is so proud of our girls’ commitment to giving back.

Here are a few photos from their activities:

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“This past Saturday, Junior Jaylah B; along with fellow Girl Scouts, participated in the Memorial Day Wall of Honor Wreath Laying Ceremony, at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, where five Western New Yorkers were added to the Wall of Honor. This event recognized and honored those men and women who gave their lives in service protecting our nation’s freedom.”
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In preparation for the Memorial Day Parade in Honeoye Falls, Troops 60362, 60381, and 60514 from the Totiakton Service Unit weeded the flower bed around the Pioneer Cemetery signs. The girls had fun while learning a new skill and helping their community!
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“Girl Scouts from Troop 42024 (Corfu) participated in the Memorial Day Parade in Corfu, where they handed out red, white and blue necklaces to spectators, they also took part in the flag ceremony and memory flowers.”
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” West Seneca Service Unit 317 was well represented at the Memorial day parade. From Daisies on up and along with our wonderful leaders, they carried their flags with pride !”
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“Troop 20094 Walked in the lakewood ny parade”
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“The East Aurora Girl Scouts participated in the West Falls Memorial Day Parade and memorial service in West Falls, NY.”
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‘Brownie troop 60670
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Webster troops marched in the Memorial Day parade and participated in the ceremony to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. “

Visit our Facebook page to see the complete album!

Girl Scout Alums Remind the World That Girl Scouts Grows Female Leaders Who Drive Powerful Change

Girl Scouts of the USA recently released a new national PSA, “Lifetime of Leadership,” heralding the organization’s legacy of fostering female change-makers and preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. Featuring notable Girl Scout alums in fields such as technology, politics, media, and sports, the PSA showcases the positive change these powerful female leaders have created through activism, speaking up, breaking glass ceilings, and more—and illustrates the importance of Girl Scouts in providing girls with the leadership experiences they need to make their voices heard and effect change.

From philanthropist Melinda Gates and athlete Venus Williams, to supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, Girl Scout alums highlighted in the PSA have inspired people worldwide. Narrated by Queen Latifah, the PSA also features Dolores Huerta, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Ellen Kuras, Dr. N. Jan Davis, Tyra Banks, Sheryl Crow, Céline Dion, Dakota Fanning, Susan Wojcicki, Senator Susan Collins, and Cassandra Levesque, a 19-year-old Girl Scout alum who worked to ban child marriage in New Hampshire.

“Lifetime of Leadership” brings to life what recent studies have shown: Girl Scouts have better life outcomes than their non–Girl Scout peers. They are more confident, seek challenges to a greater degree, are more active decision-makers, and are more proficient problem-solvers in their communities. The PSA also shows how civic engagement is a core part of the Girl Scout DNA—which is why it premiered today at G.I.R.L. Agenda 2018: Leading Change Through Civic Action. This unique event, which took place in Philadelphia, featured a keynote address from educator and former second lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, and a panel moderated by writer, professor, and television host Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry. Thousands of girls and those who care about them joined in-person and virtually for a conversation about preparing girls to lead positive change. The PSA brought to life what a Girl Scout’s leadership journey can look like as she grows into a woman, and it inspired all in attendance to take the lead and take action in support of causes they care about.

“We are proud to premiere our powerful new PSA and showcase the impactful change that Girl Scout alums have created to make the world a better place,” said Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA CEO. “We know that leadership and meaningful civic action start at a young age—at home, at school, and in local communities. This PSA is a rallying cry for more girls to realize their leadership potential with Girl Scouts. The world is counting on them, and we hope our more than 50 million alums will be inspired to reconnect with us and share their leadership journey with the next generation of girls who will lead our country into the future.”

“I have no doubt that the girls of today will become the leaders and change-makers of tomorrow. Supporting them, empowering them and ensuring they have the opportunities they deserve is good for all of us,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “My Girl Scout experience taught me confidence, perseverance, and gave me skills that inspired me to pursue public service and helped me become a better leader. Girl Scouts is the preeminent organization that gives girls the place and the opportunity to develop their powerful voices.”

The new Girl Scout PSA was created and written by Girl Scout alum, Rachel Howald, founder and CCO, Invisible Man.

To watch the PSA and for more information about Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscouts.org/leadership. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.