Building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

veni.vidi.vici.It’s a diamond anniversary for veni.vidi.vici.! We are in the 10th year of offering the area’s largest all-girl sleepover to Girl Scouts!

veni.vidi.vici. offers girls the opportunity to take part in program sessions that allow them to be creative, healthy, make a difference in the community, and have fun. This year’s event is on October 25 and 26 at Ralph Perry Junior High School in New Hartford. Over 500 girl and adult members from all over the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways 26 counties spend an evening participating in new activities, swimming, climbing the rock wall, and helping out the community with a service project, before spending the night at the school.

veni.vidi.vici. will kick off with a dance party. Other activities girls will have fun with include a service project to help local animal shelters, a cheer and dance program, learning how to make decoders and sending messages, a Barbie-related program using the Girl Scout Be A Friend First program, and more.

The cost to attend is $35 per person and the registration deadline is Friday, October 10. For registration information visit the program page at Adult interested in volunteering at the event should contact Miranda Nieto at

Girls that are not currently registered Girl Scouts can register as Girl Scout by paying the additional $15 registration fee. Financial assistance is available.

We can’t wait to celebrate 10 years with you! Diamonds really are a girls best friend!

GS_DCTA_Mark_Stacked_RGB (2)This year, Girl Scouts of Utah is the host of the Girl Scouts’ 53rd national convention in the spectacular Salt Lake City, Utah, October 16-19, 2014. If you love outdoor adventures, if camp is in your blood, or if you’d just like to get out and experience the natural beauty of Utah, we invite you to register here and join Girl Scouts of Utah on October 16 as we take you on an adventure to discover and tour our remarkable Trefoil Ranch.

You’ll travel by coach to this picturesque camp with facilities that excite beginning riders and skilled equestrians alike. Once there, you’ll learn all about our A.I.A. award – winning collaborative partnership with the University of Utah’s College of Architecture, through which girls engaged in STEM programming and worked directly with architecture students to build sustainable cabins. You’ll also tour the cabins, constructed of locally sourced timber made from beetle-kill pine, and hear about the girls’ experience with space planning and building design, as well as what they learned about sustainability, material fabrication, and Trefoilconstruction.

The University of Utah’s architecture partners will join us on the tour to share how you can take the lessons learned from Utah and build your own partnerships with colleges, universities, and businesses in your area. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the year-round programming at Trefoil Ranch and Camp Cloud Rim, and discover how to create your own cooperative enterprises with elements of learning, skill building, teaching, inspiration, and environmental stewardship built right in.

All outdoor program managers, camp directors, property managers, executive leadership, and outdoor enthusiasts are invited to join us as we explore how Utah’s best practices can be taken back to local councils. Get all the information here!

This your year to reunite with friends, deepen and share your knowledge of Girl Scouts, and help invigorate a global movement of girls, women, and men around the theme “Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World.”

Learn more about attending, including discounted travel arrangements and special gatherings that start a few days before convention’s official kickoff (including Girl Scout History Conference 2014 and several learning opportunities). Register Now!

No (Wo)man is an Island

By: Georgia Gilbert, East Syracuse/Minoa Area Service Unit Manager

In Girl Scouting we sometimes come across those troops that I like to refer to as “islands unto themselves.” These are troops that meet regularly and sometimes are very active. But only within their troop. They rarely attend service unit or council events. They don’t participate in encampments. The leaders take only the training that is absolutely necessary. If policy and procedures are being followed; if program is being delivered this is perfectly fine.

But, they are missing out on a lot!

In my years as a Girl Scout volunteer and as a service unit manager I find that these types of troops are the ones that do not last very long. Whether it is that the girls are bored or the leaders have run out of ideas I have yet to see a solo troop last more than a few years. My feeling is that it is because the girls are only getting a part of the Girl Scouting experience. The missing part is where they get to meet new people and have new experiences outside their troop. There could be many reasons why a troop decides to keep to themselves. Leaders and girls may have too many other obligations to do much outside of their meeting time. Maybe trainings and events are outside their comfort level. Or maybe it is hard to get everyone on the same schedule.

Bringing these new opportunities to the girls has to begin with the leaders. We need to look at our own leadership and ask if we are doing what is best for the girls. If time is an issue, try to recruit the parents to help. If this isn’t an option, rely on your service unit and council for support. For example, if your girls want to camp but you can’t go on overnights because you have small children at home, contact the other leaders in your area. Your girls may be able to pair up with another troop or you might have a couple leaders that have time time to assist your troop camping. A big benefit of participating in service unit and council events aside from giving the girls great experiences is that the work is done for the leader! Stumped for ideas for a badge or journey? Most likely there is an event for that! Your girl want to go canoeing? There might be an event through the council that would give them the experience. That saves the leader from having to find someone certified to take the girls canoeing, planning where and when to go and the girls get to do what they chose to do! Win-win!!

If attending events with strangers is out of the volunteer’s comfort zone (I know I am not the only introvert out there!) challenge yourself to step outside of it. Start by attending as many service unit meetings as you can. Find some training that you think will benefit you and your troop. Take the outdoor overnight training! You will find support, get some great new ideas and find comrades-in-arms. You get to talk Girl Scouts with other like-minded people! I have never come out of a training session yet without at least one really good idea to take back to my troop! The more comfortable you are the more comfortable the girls will be.

Scheduling is always an issue. It is hard to get everyone on the same page. The girls should understand that sometimes they will not be able to attend every event the troop wants to do together. But they can be assured that there will be other events they can attend in the future. An all or nothing attitude will keep your troop isolated.

Experiences and friendship – isn’t that what we all want? Making friends in Girl Scouting, whether it is the girls or adults, is fairly easy – we already have something in common by virtue of being Girl Scouts. Think about how you made friends when you were younger. There was always a common thread – you went to school together, you played on the same teams together, you were in clubs together. When girls attend events or summer camp they meet girls who they already have something in common…girls who are like them but from different areas.

Take the plunge and let your troop see that they are a part of a large, world-wide organization! Not only let them know about their service unit, their council, GSUSA and WAGGGS but bring them out so that they can meet us and we can meet them!

Three things for Thursday

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

There are lots of new program event opportunities listed for girls and troops to attend this fall! Here are three:

Be a Letterboxer – Saturday, September 13, 10am-2pm, Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 NY Route 80, Sherburne, NY 13460, (Chenango County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades 2–3. Earn your Letterboxer Badge! This program will get you started in letterboxing. You’ll find your own stamp, practice solving clues, search for a letterbox, and make a letterbox. Be sure to bring a bagged lunch. It’s suggested that you bring a mid-morning snack as well. The program fee includes a Letterboxer badge for each girl that completes the requirements.

Zinni Petal Workshop – Saturday, September 27, 10am-11am, The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier,  60 Morgan Road, Binghamton, NY 13903, (Broome County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades K–1 and adults
Explore Zinni’s story and learn about what makes us similar and different. Make a special friendship pin for a secret pal and craft your own blank Girl Scout Friendship Scrapbook to use all year long!

I know a horse – Sunday, September 28, 10am-noon, Turk Southwind Stables, 2178 Dean Road, Lodi, NY 14860, (Seneca County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades K–12. Troops begin their adventure with a safety discussion and barn tour to meet the horses. Working in pairs, girls learn how to groom and tack a horse. Take a short ride around the arena to get some saddle time! You’ll also learn about the daily chores and routines of owning a horse, horse colors and markings, and horse health care. Girls and leaders should review the Horseback Riding Safety Activity Checkpoints before attending. A Horseback Riding patch is included in the program fee.

For more information on these and many other program events, visit the council website at




By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

landing_volunteeringHave you seen the new volunteer resources packs available in the Girl Scout shops? They include everything a new volunteer needs to get started with a troop! The pack is perfect to help volunteers begin their year and working with girls on a journey and on building leadership experiences!

The pre-pack includes a grade-level appropriate Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, an Adult Insignia Tab, Official Girl Scout Membership Pin, WAGGGS Official Pin and new Official Volunteer Pin. Then customize the packet by adding an adult guide and journey book set of your choosing and an adult polo uniform shirt (if you choose to)

Shop now and get ready to begin meeting with your troop this fall!

Visit the Girl Scout website at



5-ways-to-KindergartenPencils, backpacks, and school buses. New friends, new teachers and a brand new schedule every morning. Starting school brings a lot of change for both you and your daughter. But there are a few simple things you can do to help her walk through doors on her first day not only ready to learn, but with a big smile and a sense of confidence.

From Girl Scouts For Adults, here are 5 ways to prepare her for a happy, safe (and fun) start to her first ever school year:

  1. A little independence goes a long way. This is especially important if your daughter has never been away from home all day. Start small. Work on your child’s ability to do basic physical things for themselves before school starts. Can she put on and take off shoes? Check. Zip up her coat? Check. Does she know how to navigate the bathroom independently at potty time? Check. And remember, tights are tough. So is anything with lots of complicated zips, buttons and snaps. Kindergarten is a place to play, run, climb and learn, so the fancy dress you bought last week might be best saved for your next special occasion rather than her first day of school.
  2. Get to know the school. Lots of schools set aside a day to let incoming kindergartners and parents get familiar with the classroom, so take advantage of the opportunity or ask to schedule a special visit. Get beyond the classroom – show your child the hallways, the bathroom and other important places like the library too. And don’t forget the fun – make sure you leave some playground time.
  3. Take turns telling a story with your girl. Even if she’s the social butterfly in your neighborhood or within the family, she still may need a little boost to help her communicate with others in a new setting. Tell a piece of the story as your child listens and ask her to pick up where you left off. It’s not only fun, but also really develops the listening and communication skills that will give her a smooth transition into kindergarten. Reading bedtime stories is helpful too. Try stories and books about kindergarten, as the first day gets closer.
  4. Do a practice run. A few days before school starts, set the alarm for the new wake up time, visit the bus stop, or walk the route to school. If you have neighbors who will be attending the same school, it might be a great time to find your bus buddy – or a friendly face to join her on the first ever walk to school.
  5. Kindness counts. Friendships are important, but if this will be the first time you don’t choose her friends, just remember one thing: That’s ok. To reinforce the skills that will help her make new friends, let her know when you see those positive behaviors in action. Like the way she shared with a younger sibling or neighborhood playmate? Tell her. Did she notice someone was sad and try to cheer her up? Let her know what a nice thing she did. And when kids aren’t kind: Make sure she’s just as comfortable as her brother is speaking up for herself and being her own advocate.

Looking for more things to do with your daughter? Check out more tips and activities you can do together to help her get ready for school.

icantwaitWe’re making our summer push for girls and adult volunteers to join Girl Scouts, the country’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With families already thinking about how to allocate their free time during the coming school year, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has released new data showing the organization’s benefit for both girls and volunteers.

Results of a summer 2014 pulse poll conducted with over 3,500 volunteers and parents of Girl Scouts in the K-5 age range show positive effects on members of all ages. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter, that she had fun and exciting new experiences (95 percent), and that she has learned or tried something new (96 percent). In addition, 94 percent of parents say that because of Girl Scouts their daughter feels special, has more friends (95 percent), and is happier (89 percent).

The data shows it is not just girls who benefit: 94 percent of volunteers have made new friends, 88 percent believe their life is better because they volunteer with Girl Scouts, and two-thirds believe their volunteer experience has helped them professionally. Ninety-five percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls’ lives better.

“Girl Scouts has provided a safe, fun, and engaging place for girls and adult volunteers to lead and thrive for over 100 years,” said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We know the majority of volunteers feel their Girl Scout experience has helped them both personally and professionally, but in many places throughout the country, the lack of volunteers is what keeps girls on waiting lists. Every adult who volunteers for Girl Scouts can help us bring fun, new experiences to at least five girls. Imagine what that can do to shape the next generation of female leaders.”

Girl Scouts gives girls a place to explore topics of interest in a judgment-free space outside of classroom confinements; it cultivates cooperative and self-directed learning, as well as the growth mindset (the understanding that intelligence and talent can be developed) – all of which help foster a lifetime passion for learning. The variety of experiences and the value for the money the Girl Scout program provides are also popular selling points. Eighty-nine percent of parents say their daughter gets a greater variety of experiences from Girl Scouts than she does from other extracurricular activities, and the majority of parents feel Girl Scouts is a great value for the money compared to other extracurricular activities. Overall, parents consider Girl Scouts one of the most beneficial extracurricular activities for their daughter.

“We are excited to be able to offer a variety of programs to girls,” said Pam Hyland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways. “From programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math, to programs that better the community, such as volunteering at a food pantry – there are many opportunities for girls. Girls begin their leadership journeys early by choosing what they want to do and be involved in.”

Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. The more adults that step forward to volunteer, the more girls will get the chance to be a Girl Scout. Adults over age 18 may become volunteers; both girls and adult volunteers can join at any time of the year. Girl Scout volunteers come from all walks of life; they are men, women, young professionals, retirees, college students, and more. For more information on volunteering, visit

To join the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, click here for more information.

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