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

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 kdunne@gsnypenn.org.

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 kdunne@gsnypenn.org!

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 http://www.gsnypenn.org

 

 

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

leadershipOutcomesMake the world a better place. It is part of our Girl Scout Law. Girl Scouts at all different grade levels take part in community service and take actions projects to make their world a better place.

Did you know that October 25th is Make a Difference Day? It is always the fourth Saturday of October. What a great way to teach the girls in your troop about community service, taking action, and making the world a better place!

What is Make a Difference Day? Make a Difference Day is a worldwide community service effort. It is organised by USA Weekend magazine, together with Points of Light, a charity which mobilizes and enables people to make a difference. On Make a Difference Day’s website, visitors are invited to either ‘start a project’ or ‘volunteer’. The Day provides a platform and international coverage to encourage people to come together, while allowing them the flexibility to work at the local level on projects that need doing. Campaigns range from setting up an animal welfare shelter to planting a garden to brighten up a neighbourhood, and people can easily find groups near them and get involved using the site’s search engine.

On Make a Difference Day, find out what people are doing to celebrate in your area, or, if you can think of a job that needs doing, use the Day’s platform to get it started yourself and see what a difference you can make.

Or simply use Make a Difference Day to talk about, or begin, or work on a troop community service or take action project in your local community. Work on the “make the world a better place” petal in your Daisy troop, bring your Brownie or Junior Girl Scouts out in the community to clean up neighborhoods or help with food drives for local food pantries, ask older Girl Scouts about the issues in their communities that they can help with.

For more information on community service or take actions projects visit the council website at http://www.gsnypenn.org or the Girl Scouts website at http://www.girlscouts.org

 

5 Tips For A Fit Fall

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The weather’s starting to change, and that means our daily routines soon will, too. But who says that the end of summer has to mean the end of staying fit? In fact, finding ways to stay healthy in the fall is one of the most exciting parts of the season…right? If you’re having the “so long, summer” blues, allow us toe provide a pick-me-up with these five fabulous ways to stay fit this fall.

  • Eat seasonal. Sweet potatoes, apples, and squash… oh my! Fall doesn’t just signify the changing of the leaves; your plate changes, too! Take advantage of the fruits and vegetables that we all love during the fall months and create meals that make being healthy in the fall fun.
  • Switch up your workout routine. Cooler weather doesn’t mean the outdoors is no longer your friend. In fact, that’s when the fun begins! After-school group activities such as flag football or running with the cross-country team are great ways to stay active, and with group workouts, you’re never alone.
  • Walk or bike to your next outing. Does your troop have an outing at the local skating rink? Or maybe this weekend’s activity takes place at the neighborhood park? If you’d usually drive or get a ride to these events, opt for a more physical mode of transportation and ride your bike. If you’re younger, have your parent or guardian accompany you. Make it a family affair!
  • Take troop activities outdoors. Working on your next badge? Brainstorm ways to get active as you earn it! For example, if the Car Care badge is next on your list, switch it up: instead of shadowing a local mechanic, why not host your own neighborhood car wash? You’ll  be outdoors, putting those muscles to good use and doing good for your community members. Can’t beat that!
  • Create fun, healthy alternatives to your favorite snacks. If PB&J is a troop favorite, try switching out the white bread for your favorite rice cakes. You get the same great flavor and more crunch with each bite – and they’re certainly more fun to make! If the crowd is all about pizza, make it a fun-filled night with a homemade pizza party, minus the extra junk that often comes with ordering in. Get creative – there are healthy alternatives to nearly every snack or meal!

Looking for more new ways to stay fit? Check out these great resources from our GirlSports program.

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

volunteer1

What goes into being a Girl Scout volunteer? What are the hardest parts? What are the joys?

It can be an intimidating time – becoming a volunteer for any organization. Sometimes you’re not quite sure what you’re doing or what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we put together this monthly blog series. We are going to follow a relatively new volunteer throughout her Girl Scout volunteer experience. That way you can see first hand what it is like to volunteer with the Girl Scouts. So grab your friends, sit back, and experience first hand the experience of a Girl Scout volunteer.

In September’s blog post, Andrea Decker from Endicott was preparing to be a co-leader for a troop. Since then the troop has held two meetings.

At the first meeting, the girls decorated some stick figure Popsicle sticks for for their Kaper Chart. One new girl joined the troop with a couple of more girls expected soon. The new girl was taught the Girl Scout Promise and Law and the make new friends song. The girls played a hopscotch like game in which they danced/wiggled/sang or clapped depending on what they spun and then once they did that the girls had to raw a card at the end. The cards had questions on them about their summer – favorite place they visited, books they read, favorite indoor/outside activity and a zinger, their favorite veggie, in which most picked corn. The girls then made a button bracelet as their craft and ended the meeting with taps and the Girl Scout squeeze circle.

“It was a pretty low key meeting and a nice way to get back into the process. We had the parents fill out health forms as all of the girls dues were paid from last year and our new Girl Scout was already registered so this made the process pretty smooth when getting back from the summer,” Andrea said. “It was nice to not have to worry about the registration process.”

At the second meeting the girls began working on the bug badge. The girls read some facts about spiders and ladybugs and talked about all the insects that they knew and drew pictures of some bugs. The second part of the meeting was a troop hike through the school’s nature trail. The girls brought a magnifying glass to take a closer look at all the insects they found.

“We had a hiker’s guide to insects and the girls looked for some bugs and then looked up the name of some of the insects in the book. The girls were told about having a buddy system when out and about and about not taking nature out of nature. Girls were encouraged to look at insects, but not to touch,” Andrea said.

The girls found daddy long legs, beetles, ants, and grasshoppers.

The troop will be participating in the fall nut, candy, and magazine sale. Permission slips were handed out to parents at the first meeting.

“We did a brief reminder about safety of selling items and also told the girls that we needed the money upfront for this sale, which is different then the cookie sale in the spring. The girls were very interested in the prizes and we talked briefly about what the girls wanted to do this year with our fundraising and they all said ‘camping’ – glad I took SSC this summer!”

The first troop outing will be to Stoughton Farms to visit a pumpkin and corn maze. Andrea and her co-leader are prepping the permission slips and the request is going to be submitted to the council as soon as possible.

“So far we have not come across any issues yet. We will see how the paperwork goes for the field trip and the logistics that go along with that since that is a new experience for the both of us. We are going to give the parents a schedule next troop or our activities until December. We plan on doing the bug badge, snack badge and a couple others before the December break,” Andrea concludes.

How will the paperwork go for the troop’s first outing? What else will the troop be doing at future meetings? Find out this and more as we continue to follow Andrea and her troop throughout the year! Check back in November for the next installment of Following A Volunteer For A Year!

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