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

Planning a troop year

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

friendsAs we look to the future of the new Girl Scout year beginning, many troop leaders are starting to think about basic planning for the troop year. New troops leaders may also be looking for suggestions on activities to plan with the girls in their troops.

When planning the year keep in mind the importance of girl planning. Girls should have helped with the decision making when planning for what badges and journeys to work on, what activities they want to do, and what events they might like to go to. Troop leaders can help with girl planning by providing choices of appropriate activities for girls to choose from.

Troop leaders should also consider how many meetings the troop will be having throughout the year, how much adult support from parents is available, and how to keep girls engaged and interested throughout the year, even over the summer months.

Great troop years offer girls a variety of activities. Participation in council sponsored product sale programs, the chance to attend council program events and service unit planned events to connect with other girls, discovering their leadership through earning journeys and badges, healthy living activities, STEM activities, community service, and celebrating the success of girls through end of year ceremonies can all combine to make a great experience for girls!

Don’t forget that once trained troop leaders can take girls on outdoor experiences as well! Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways offers troops fantastic properties to choose from for troop camping.

For more information on planning your next troop year, or information on events available for girls to attend, or the properties you can take girls camping on, visit the council website at

If you would like assistance with planning your troop year contact your local Community Development Manager at the service center nearest to you.


By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

community serviceOne of my favorite parts of my job is hearing about what girls are doing to better their local communities! Whether it’s planting a garden at a church, helping animals at a shelter, volunteering at a local walk, or any of the amazing projects girls have done to earn their Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards – we want to hear about it!

Not sure what information we would need? You can click here and download the before the event and after the event forms to get you started. Including photos is a great way for people to really see your girls taking action in their community! If you want something sent out to your local media prior to an event taking place it needs to be received no less than three weeks before the event so we can get it out!

Send the forms, photos, and all of the information to

I can’t wait to see all of the great things your doing in your community!

Girls Can Be Anything!

SM_GirlsCanBeAnythingAs the world’s largest girl-led organization, Girl Scouts of the USA reports to 2.3 million girl bosses – and we go where girls lead us!

And girls lead us to some amazing collaborations with a host of organizations, like Dove, whose Free Being Me campaign empowers girls to challenge beauty stereotypes, and Dell, who we partnered with to close the technology gap and inspire more girls to explore STEM-related fields.

Another relationships we’ve forged is with Mattel. As the experts on girls and girl leadership development, we know young girls cannot be what they cannot see, which is why this relationship emphasizes career exploration. At Girl Scouts, we encourage girls to be whatever they want to be – from CEO of the world’s largest company to CEO of their families.

Three Barbie dolls are sold in the U.S. every second, so the Girl Scout-inspired doll is an invaluable communication tool that will allow our organization to reach millions of girls – members and non-members alike – with the message that they can be anything and do everything. We know that girls love to play with dolls – particularly Barbie dolls. In fact, Girl Scout members – forever having fun – are 20 percent more likely to be avid doll owners than non-member girls, with a full 77 percent of girls playing with dolls at least weekly.

And research shows that the Girl Scout-inspired doll – one aspect of our collaboration with Mattel – is a win with both girls and moms.

Girls associate the doll with hiking and the outdoors, selling cookies, and helping others, all of which are fun experiences firmly rooted in the Girl Scout mission. For over 100 years, Girl Scout programming has inspired over 59 million girls to explore new opportunities in a fun way, which is exactly what the Girl Scout-inspired doll is designed to do.

In fact, 83 percent of moms believe the Girl Scout-inspired doll will encourage their daughters to explore new opportunities, and 77 percent of moms believe the doll will help their daughters feel good about themselves.

We are Girl Scouts. We report to 2.3 million girl bosses. And when our bosses speak, we listen.

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

PromiseHow important is a promise to you? If a friend promises you that she will call you on the weekend and then doesn’t, do you feel badly because of the broken promise or just blow it off? If your child promises to clean their room but then gets distracted with play do you remind them of their broke promise or are you just upset that the room did not get cleaned? When you promise to do something do you put that at the top of your priority list or is just being on the To Do list good enough? What is more important? The intent or the promise? We have watered down the importance of the word “promise” by using it to tell others and ourselves that we intend to do a deed whether we really intend to do it or not. “Promise” has lost its credibility and power.

In Girl Scouting we promise to live by the Girl Scout Law. It’s a promise we make at every meeting, every gathering of Girl Scouts. We are reminded again and again. We made a promise. And the intent is to keep it.

The Girl Scout Law is a guide to how we should conduct ourselves as Girl Scouts. Bit it really is a guide for us in and out of Girl Scouting. It is the Golden Rule of life. How often do we Girl Scout volunteers reflect upon the promise we made to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, etc.? We use the Law when we are dealing with the girls. When there is conflict amongst them we remind them of the Law. When they should be helpful we remind them of the Law. But how often do we remind ourselves? We set the example the girls are going to follow. There is a poem that is often used in Girl Scouting to remind volunteers that little eyes are watching us. Here is a part of it…

There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching night and day;

There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say;

There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;

And a little girls who’s dreaming of the day she’ll be like you.

You’re the little girl’s idol; You’re the wisest of the wise;

In her little mind about you no suspicions ever rise;

She believes in you devoutly, holds that all you say and do,

She’ll say and do, in your way, when she’s a grown-up like you.

How we conduct ourselves as Girl Scouts is noticed by those girls we are helping to become the leaders of tomorrow. We should ask ourselves are we being fair or friendly when we huddle with another adult and make fun of another person in the room. The girls around us are noticing. Are we being considerate when we exclude a volunteer for reasons based on dislike? The girls take notice. When we put ourselves down because of our looks or our ability are we respecting ourselves? Or when we decide not to follow Girl Scout policy and rules because they don’t suit our needs are we respecting authority? When we don’t hold to the promise we made we are sending a message that it is okay to let others and ourselves down, that is okay to hurt and belittle people, that our word is not worth much.

We are not perfect and there are times when we slip up but we should be taking a harder look at ourselves. Girls ARE watching and we are their role models. We made a promise and that is our word.

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

GS_shorthand _ 75Looking for some fun fall programs as you get ready for the upcoming Girl Scout year? Here are three:

Girl Scout jamboree and fall geology weekend – 5pm Friday, September 26-10;30am Sunday, September 28, Herkimer Diamond Mines, 800 Mohawk Street, Herkimer, NY, 13350, (Herkimer County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades K–12, adults, and non-registered girls. Want to learn about geology? Join us! Cost is $23.00 per Girl Scout for program and mining fee. Adult and sibling cost is $7.50 per person for “mining only” fee. Reservations are required. Call 315-717-0175. ♦ All materials will be provided to Scouts during modules. ♦ Scouts will have the opportunity to take home the following items: all Diamonds found in the mines, all Fossils found in the mines or in the sluice, all Gemstones found in the sluice, and all jewelry and gift items made. ♦ Prizes will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony! Movies will be playing both Friday and Saturday in the cinema for the girls too!

Fall foliage trail ride – Saturday, October 4, 9am-11:30am, Liberty Stables, 4618 Buckelew Road, Bloomfield, NY, 14469, (Ontario County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades 6–12. Arrive at the stable in the morning where you will get a quick safety lesson, meet your horse and staff, and head out for the trail! See all the beautiful sights of fall on a trusted trail horse from Liberty Stables. When you return you’ll realize there is no better way to experience the great doors than by horseback!

Amahami harvest fest – Saturday, October 4, 11am-4:30pm, Amahami Outdoor Program Center, 434 Page Pond Road, Deposit, NY, 13754,  (Broome County). Open to Girl Scouts in grades K–12 and adults. Enjoy the fall colors as you explore camp at the third annual Harvest Festival at Amahami! Participate in a scavenger hunt, go on a guided hike, make some fall crafts, and learn some new songs for the end-of-the-day campfire! We will have a no-hands-allowed donut eating contest and, of course, apple cider, too! Please bring a bag lunch and drink as no food will be available.
The Girl Scout traveling store will be there with lots of fun things for the girls to buy. Leaders may call the boutique at 724-6572 ext. 2417 to order and pay by credit/debit card for items they would like brought out to camp the day of the program. These orders must be placed by Wednesday, October 1.

For more information on these and they many other program event opportunities for girls, visit the council website at


Kickoff to fall

By Lisa Kaminski, Manager, Community Development

landing_volunteeringThe dates for the fall kick-offs have been set! Don’t miss out on your opportunity to learn, network, keep up with changes, and meet new friends!

The kick-offs are for adult volunteers. The kick-offs will showcase opportunities such as adult learning, programs for girls, recruitment materials, department updates, and networking and idea sharing with volunteers from your neighboring service units.

Check-in for each of the kick-offs is 5:30-6 p.m. The meeting and dinner begin at 6 p.m. and are expected to end between 8pm-8:30pm.

Those planning on attending, need to RSVP via eBiz by the registration deadline for that event. There is no cost to attend but we need to know how many volunteers to expect.

New Hartford Region, Tuesday, August 12, Trinity Methodist Church, 8595 Westmoreland Road,   Whitesboro, NY, 13492. Registration Deadline: August 5

Watertown Region, Wednesday, August 13, Gouverneur High School, 113 East Barney Street,  Gouverneur, NY, 13642.  Registration Deadline: August 5

Phelps Region, Tuesday, August 19, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 300 Pulteney Street,   Geneva, NY, 14456. Registration Deadline: August 5

Cicero Region, Thursday, August 21, Solvay Masonic Club, 780 Woods Road, Solvay, NY, 13209.   Registration Deadline: August 10

Johnson City Region,  Tuesday, August 26, Chenango Bridge United Methodist Church, 704 River Road,   Chenango Bridge, NY, 13745. Registration Deadline: August 14

Horseheads Region, Wednesday, August 27, United Church of Painted Post, 201 North Hamilton Street,   Painted Post, NY, 14870. Registration Deadline: August 15

Visit the council website at for more details on how to register.


By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

programsSummer is in full swing! Girl Scout programs don’t stop just because it’s summer. We are offering some exciting programs and events for girls during the summer too!

The Glimmerglass Festival Scout Day is taking place on Saturday, July 26. This is the second annual Scout day and Scout’s will enjoy the popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel. Find out how you can attend here.

Don’t miss the Enchanted Forest Water Safari Girl Scout Picnic Event on Thursday, August 14. Girls can enjoy admission to Enchanted Forest Water Safari and a picnic with other Girl Scouts for a discounted price! Find more information here.

Want to help out the Food Bank of the Southern Tier? A program is taking place on Monday, August 18 for girls to tour the Food Bank and then spend some time volunteering with the Food Bank and learning about hunger. Find out how you can help here.

Make sure you stay tuned to our Programs and Events page at our website as we are beginning to post programs that will be taking place this fall.


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