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

By: Carleen Lattin, Troop Leader and National Council Delegate in Elmira

Carleen at the Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City!

Carleen at the Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City!

As many of you know, last week I attended the Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City. Many of my groups and news feeds are still buzzing with topics that will continue well past the ending of the convention. Some of them are the development of the outdoor badges journey/program, advocacy and continuing to swap and share with new friends made at the convention.

Feelings like this and experience is what makes Girl Scouts unique. With the launching of the Girl Scouts Convention app, it allowed you to customize your schedule, post updates and pictures and connect after everyone has returned home. It is a great feeling of girl power and the power of lifting your voice to make your opinion and ideas heard.

Many people often compare Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts and have been asked why families aren’t as heavily involved in Girl Scouts as they are in Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts. As anyone knows girls and boys are wired different for sure. Many factors shape the reason for the differences in the way troops may run.

In my case personally, we don’t discourage families completely. Some activities, such as ceremonies, picnics, etc. can be family involved. If a mom wants to be involved, I highly encourage her to register to volunteer to help the troop. Otherwise, it is not necessary to have the whole family there. There are numerous reasons, including other family members may not be interested in what the girls are doing. Other reasons are simply may not be safe or are enough resources for everyone.

Remember that our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, started our organization in a team where women had few rights and were often expected to serve their husbands and have children as they got older. She was truly a pioneer in her time, one of a kind and definitely a trailblazer for girls and women today. Girls now need to have that progression of slowly gaining confidence to do things without mom and make her own choices, within reason. Of course, I would expect parents to want to accompany their daughters at the Daisy or Brownie level, for example.

I still remember a girl in my troop, who is now in 8th grade. She started off in 2nd grade, very shy, clinging to mom and wouldn’t go anywhere without her. But I remember the time when mom couldn’t come on an overnight trip and she said to her, “That’s ok mom. I’ll be alright.” What a moment! Sure, she had her cell phone and called her to check in but in my mind, I’m thinking “Wow…” This is what Girl Scouts does to girls. Gives them courage and confidence to come out of their shells, make choices. With these choices, made confidently, they make the world a better place.

Realistically, would I want my family to go everywhere with me through high school, college? I love my family, but girls like to spend time with their friends, boyfriends, be silly and just be girls! The best thing a parent can do is to trust their daughters to allow them to go places without them and to trust them to make the right choices. On the same token, know who they are with and that person’s contact information and make sure that their daughter and the contact person has your contact information.

Wow, what a little bit of girl power can do!

Three things for Thursday

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

icantwaitAs the weather begins turning colder and the holidays are approaching maybe you are looking for ideas for things to do with the girls in your troop that are holiday focused. If you are, you need to go visit the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Pinterest page. We have a board full of craft ideas to do with girls, boards on take action projects, and tons of other fun information to help with troop program planning.

Today, here are three craft ideas, which can be found on our Pinterest page:

Oranges and bird feeders – Girls can make bird feeders from oranges, twine, and bird seed. A great, simple, and inexpensive craft to make with some of the youngest Girl Scouts – Daisies and Brownies.

Bird feed recipe – Girls in your troop can each bring in different ingredients for the bird feed recipe. Then use cookie cutters and ribbon to make bird feeders!

Homemade holiday cards – Lots of girls love making art projects. design your own holiday cards that girls can give to friends and family members. Or make troop holiday cards and deliver them to nursing homes, send them to soldiers, or bring them to volunteer fire stations. A great way to incorporate taking action into your fun craft projects!

For more information visit the council’s Pinterest page.



By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

icantwaitNovember Regional Meetings are happening soon! Here is your chance to meet other volunteers from your area, and share ideas on working with troops!

Please join us for the Fall Regional Meetings to learn more about your volunteer positions, receive resources that will help you be successful and share ideas with other service units. Registration begins at 6 p.m. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and we are expected to end between 8 and 8:30 p.m. We will host a cookie exchange — anyone who wants to participate and bring cookies to share with the group will be entered into a door prize drawing. Contact your council representative to sign up for the exchange.

North Region, Tuesday, November 4, Gouverneur High School, 113 East Berney Street, Gouverneur, NY 13642. Registration Deadline: October 28

East Region, Thursday, November 6, Trinity Methodist Church, 8595 Westmoreland Road, Whitesboro, NY 13492. Registration Deadline: October 31

South Region, Tuesday, November 11, Chenango Bridge United Methodist Church, 704 River Road, Chenago Bridge, NY 13745. Registration Deadline: October 29

SouthWest Region, Wednesday, November 12, Moose Lodge, 2096 State Route 14, Montour Falls, NY 14865. Registration Deadline: November 1

Central Region, Tuesday, November 18, Jordan Elbridge Community Center, 1 Route 31, Jordan, NY 13080. Registration Deadline: November 13.

Don’t miss out! Register on eBiz today!

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

mdday_color_logoOne day can make a difference!

That’s the motto for USA Weekend’s Make a Difference Day happening on Saturday. That’s when millions of volunteers across the nation will unite with a common mission – to improve the lives of others. For more than 20 years, USA Weekend Magazine, in collaboration with Points of Light, has brought Make a Difference Day to you. It’s the largest national day of community service.

Whether you serve food to the homeless, clean up a cemetery, paint a house for someone who physically can’t do it, or visit a shut-in. It’s all about making a difference in the lives of people around you. So get out in your community on Saturday and make a difference!

Whatever you’re doing – make sure you tell us about it so we can share how you made a difference! E-mail photos and stories to

For more information about Make A Difference Day or projects going on around the world, click here.

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

icantwait“Girl Scouts is fun! There are so many opportunities available to girls through Girl Scouts,” says Ginger, a Girl Scout with Troop 11013 from Central Square.

When Ginger decided to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award she knew a lot of older girls were dropping out of Girl Scouts to be involved with other activities. She knew she needed to make an impact on these girls.

“There were a lot of girls going in and out of troops because they wanted to be involved with sports or other activities,” she said. “Girls would be asking themselves if they wanted to remain in Girl Scouts or move on to something else.”

So Ginger decided the best way to convince girls that they should remain in Girl Scouts was to make a video showing the fun that girls, especially older girls, can have with Girl Scouts and the opportunities that are open to them.

She began her project in March 2013. She took her camera to troop meetings and to girls’ activities to videotape them. She talked to volunteers and other girls. She even visited WCNY and met with a video editor who taught her that the easiest way to edit your video is to break it down into parts. She just recently completed the video and it is being shown at various open houses and recruitment events and already making an impact. Here’s the video:

Ginger will be recognized in the spring of 2015 for earning her Girl Scout Silver Award.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout in grades 6 through 8 can earn. To earn the award girls must complete a Cadette Journey, the essence of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, gain leadership skills, and then spend at least 50 hours working on a project that provides a positive lasting impact on her community.

Way to go Ginger! To share what your Girl Scout is doing to earn her Girl Scout Gold, Silver, or Bronze Award, e-mail!

By: Carleen Lattin, Troop Leader and National Council Delegate in Elmira

GS_DCTA_Mark_Stacked_RGB (2)I have discovered that I am an archival advocate! What is that? While reading this, you’ll get the understanding of what I mean.

For the last two days, I have been attending a history conference in Salt Lake City, Utah that was sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the USA National Historic Preservation Center. It’s more than just “collecting stuff.” Over 100 participants convened to discuss what to do with our collections, how to categorize it, even to find out what we all had. Most Girl Scout councils, including our own, went through major realignments and merger a few years ago leaving volunteers and staff to figure out what legacy councils had and where it was.

The question is often asked, “What do you do with the items and information you have?” Great question! Some councils are fortunate to have museums, but often most have small display areas in council offices or partnerships with area museums for displays. For Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, we do have a small display room in the Cicero office. We also have the History Trunk and Fashion Show trunk for loan as well.

As a historian and Girl Scout, we are making it clear that we need to share our collections with not only girls, adults, volunteers, staff, fund development, etc. but for the general public and for researchers. Let’s share this wealth of information with everyone, in the correct way of course.

The main part with sharing it with others is that things in our collections are taken care of properly. As an archival advocate, it is wonderful to share what we have but also make sure that it is taken care of properly, respected. If anything such as trademarks or copyrights come into play, that they are followed as well.

Did you also know that many K-12 schools use our archive information for the history portion of their curriculum? With the Common Core standards in 43 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the schools are looking for additional sources to teach their classes. With World War I coming upon an anniversary, Girl Scouts can make awareness of what troops in the past did to support war efforts, such as sell war bonds. Also council archive committees are looking to connect with other archives groups, universities, historical societies, etc. and eventually digitize their collection so that others can utilize our resources.

Stay tuned for more blogs about my role as your National Council Delegate!

Three things for Thursday

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

Are you a troop leader working on planning your year with the help of the girls in your troop? Have you considered taking a trip to one of the program events that Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways has listed on our website?

Here are three:

Wonderworks Overnight – 7 p.m. Saturday, November 8, to 7 a.m. Sunday, November 9, WonderWorks, 9090 Destiny Drive, Syracuse, NY 13204, (Onondaga County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades 2–12 and adults. Spend the night at WonderWorks, where fun and learning come together. Explore over 100 interactive exhibits and rides (simulators). Play laser tag. A light snack and drink will be served. Note: The ropes course is not included as it is not a Girl Scout approved activity.

Cinderella Princess Party – Saturday, December 13, 2014 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Rochester Broadway Theater League, 885 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605, (Monroe County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades K–12 and adults. Enjoy an afternoon fit for a princess! Arrive at the Rochester Broadway Theater League and enjoy a princess tea party-themed dinner and dessert before the show. After the party, watch the theater’s performance of the Disney classic Cinderella! Stick around afterward for “Talk Back” with one of the show’s directors and some of the cast and crew. They will chat about theater production and acting and answer any questions you may have!

The Great Spring Bug Hunt – Saturday, April 18, 2015 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Mendon Ponds Park
95 Douglas Road, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472, (Monroe County).
Open to Girl Scouts in grades 2–8 and adults. In April the insect world is waking up! Investigate and learn about field, forest, and even pond insects that live in Mendon Ponds Park. Who knew so many bugs lived so close by? Brownies will earn their Bug badge by completing this program. The badges are included in the program fee and will be mailed to each girl after the program. This program takes place entirely outside, rain or shine, so please dress accordingly!

For information on these and many other program opportunities we have happening around our council jurisdiction, visit the council website at



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