The 2018-19 Program Guide is Out!

With our new Membership Year approaching, we’re thrilled to launch the new Program Guide! Featuring returning favorites and exciting new adventures, we have a little something for everyone planned.2019 GSWNY Program Guide COVER

To view and register for events, as well as see events that are recently added, check out the Events Page on our website!

Why STEM Matters for Girls: The Girl Scout Difference

Over the summer, Girl Scouts announced 30 new STEM badges for girls as well as new journeys. In November 2017, the organization pledged to raise $70 million to help bring 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025. While many viewed this news with enthusiasm, some still ask why it matters. Others argue not every girl wants to be in a STEM field and worry Girl Scouts is moving away from its roots in the outdoors. We’re here to help you understand.

What is STEM?

Before we continue, it’s important to identify exactly what STEM is. The acronym stands for science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, four subjects most girls in the United States will be exposed to, yet few will pursue.

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Why don’t more girls pursue STEM fields?

Think about the clothes you’ve seen in the kids section. The girls have frilly shirts covered with sparkles, claiming things like ‘when I grow up, I want to be a mermaid’ or ‘princess’ or ‘unicorn.’ Meanwhile boys clothes will say things like ‘astronaut.’

Realize it or not, girls are conditioned to think about more ‘feminine’ careers from a young age. This is encouraged through stereotypes and the underlying current of sexism that still plagues our society. One of our studies found that girls were less likely to raise their hand to answer a math question if boys were in the room, even when they knew the answer.

Since we started doing STEM programming, we’ve seen success in our Girl Scouts in a number of ways. One of the most startling is when a girl admits she thought boys were just better at STEM-related activities until she was engaged in them herself. If you want to read more about that and other revelations, check out the full report.

Basically, at some point it became assumed that STEM wasn’t for girls. We’re trying to change that perception.

It goes beyond the STEM pipeline

While we strive for equality in the workforce, both in job selection and salary, it isn’t our sole reason for encouraging STEM in our girls. Most people remember that Girl Scouts is about building girls of courage, confidence, and character, but they may not know the crucial second half: who make the world a better place.

We know there are things in this world that can be improved. Through our journeys and badges, we help girls learn about taking care of the planet and conservation. We encourage them to be away of their impact and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Simply put, we were a girl-led green movement before it became popular.

We know it’s not for every girl

We’re continuing to add STEM badges in areas like cybersecurity, but it doesn’t mean we think every girl needs to become an engineer or scientist. We just believe every girl has the right to choose exactly what she wants to do, and we want to increase her chances of success by exposing her to different fields.

Maybe your Girl Scout wants to be a park ranger. Or a stay at home mom. Or an accountant. Or a veterinarian. Or maybe even a princess. We’re here to support her no matter what, so your girl can have courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place in her own chosen way.

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!

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?

Are you prepared?

Girls doing schoolwork.Have you been in a situation where you’ve honed your craft for years and kept asking yourself, when will my time come?  Everyone else is being recognized while you wait silently for your chance. I think we’ve all experienced these feelings at some time in our lives. The important factor is that when the opportunity arrives, be prepared.

Sounds simple enough, but it takes dedication and commitment to continue to perfect your skills, talents, and abilities while waiting for your opportunity.  My passion is in the sciences and I remember staying after school to perfect my science experiments. While my peers were outside playing after school, I was focused on my projects. In the end, my hard work paid off and I won several science awards.

I also remember hearing my mother tell me that the “early bird gets the worm.”  Hearing those words now, has a different meaning than they did when I was a child.  Being prepared sets us up for success because we are equipped to handle challenges that may come our way and we are focused on the end result, our goal.

I read that Kathryn Stockett, the author of the bestselling book, The Help, received 60 rejection letters.  I don’t know how many of us would have continued on the journey to have our books published with so many rejections.

We’ve all heard about Walt Disney being turned down 302 times for financing for Disney World and JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter, whose publisher told her that she should get a job because there was no money in writing children’s books. By the way, she was rejected by 12 publishers.

If you noticed, each one of these persons had one thing in common. They found success when opportunity and preparation collided.  Ask yourself, what are you doing to prepare for the opportunity of your dream?

When the curtain on the stage of life rises, will you be ready for your big performance? You will be if you rehearse, receive the proper education, and tell yourself that excellence is what you require.

If you fail to focus on your goal, chances are, you won’t recognize your opportunity when it arrives making your preparation in vain.

I’m reminded of what I often hear a friend say, “if you don’t prepare to succeed, then prepare to fail.”

Benefits of Outdoor Activity

???????????????????????????????????With summer right around the corner, I’m instantly reminded of my childhood and the endless hours I spent outdoors with friends.  We played all the traditional outdoor games like hopscotch, double dutch or jacks. We also were known to make up new games to pass the time.  We stayed outdoors until we saw the street lights come on, that was our indication it was time to come in. Camp was the other great summer activity. Hiking, swimming, campfires and meeting new people made the summer exciting. Those were the days.  What happened to this simple approach toward childhood?

Traditional summer activities have been challenged with video games, cell phones, and more and more technological devices.

I recently read that the average person spends more than 90% of their time indoors missing out on all the benefits that nature freely gives.  By going outdoors, studies show that the sun’s rays (with the use of sunscreen) can help increase our vitamin D levels which have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer, and improve the body’s immune system, just to name a few.

It’s also a great opportunity to get exercise which decreases the risk of obesity and stress.  Actually, our overall mental and physical well-being is being tied to being outdoors.

Who knew that these simple childhood pleasures could one day prolong, if not save your life.

Enjoy your summer!