Exploring Wyoming on a Girl Scout Destination!

Exploring Wyoming on a Girl Scout Destination!

By: Tyler Lindner, Girl Scout from Norwich, NY

Let’s start off by saying that this was definitely one of the best experiences of my life!

The first day of my Wyoming Wildlife Wonders was great. I instantly became friends with three of the girls in my cabin and we all hung out quite a bit for the rest of the week. Don’t worry, we also hung out with other people too! I remember the first night we played this game where there were people swinging a jump rope and one person had to get through per rotation. When it was my turn to go through, I decided it would be great to trip over the rope and done one of those “Superman” falls. Needless to say, my elbows and knees were pretty scratched up.

Then came the second day and of course even with my burning elbows I was excited as ever! We went on a long hike through the woods at Teton Science Schools (TSS) that day. We made many stops just to sit and enjoy nature. It was so relaxing. Eventually we hiked to the top of a massive hill. I was so out of breath when I got to the top, but it was so worth it because the view was incredible!


Day three, we went to Grand Teton National Park. We hiked to the top of String Lake (I think that was what it was called at least) and canoed back down. Canoeing was one of the few things I didn’t love about this trip, but I’m still glad I tried it. After all, you never know until you try it! The lake was so pretty and I got tons of pictures. I actually learned just how much I loved photography on this trip. I’ve always liked the idea of it, but I never really got into it and on this trip I took so many pictures that I’m actually really proud of.

On day four we finally got to go to Yellowstone, the thing I had been looking forward to the most! The first thing we saw at Yellowstone was Old Faithful. It erupted right when we got there so we had lots of extra time to walk around in groups and look at the surrounding geysers, hot springs, and etc. The eruption was so cool and lasted for around 10 minutes. After Old Faithful we headed to the Grand Prismatic, which was one of my favorite things on the trip. It was so colorful and the water that wasn’t colored different shades of red and orange was the prettiest blue ever. My olnly complaint is that I wish there was a raised platform so I could’ve got some better pictures.


The fifth day we woke up at 5:15 a.m. so we had a better chance of seeing some of the animals in Yellowstone like wolves, bears, and foxes. We ended up seeing a ton of bison, pronghorns, elk, a fox, and much more. Then we went on another hike. It was my least favorite out of the multitude of hikes we had done but it was still beautiful. The view on the top was really cool and you could see a ton of Yellowstone. Then we went to a wolves and bear exhibit to see some animals up close. It was cool but as cool as seeing that in the wild and, of course, before we left we all had to play on the playground because we are 5-year-olds at heart.

The next day was the last full day because the next morning we had to leave. I couldn’t believe it was already coming to an end. On the last day we saw the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and I got some really good photos and then we had to drive three hours back to TSS.

When we got back we had a goodbye party. We all made skits of inside jokes that had happened that week and made fun of our counselors. At the end we all sobbed our eyes out because it was the last time we got to see each other since half of us were leaving for the airport at one time and the other half at another time. It was really sad. The group had become like another family.

All in all, Wyoming was an experience to last a lifetime and I will never forget it!

Find out more about how you can go on a Girl Scout Destination here.

4 Things for Thursday: Holiday Open House & Store Discounts

4 Things for Thursday: Holiday Open House & Store Discounts

Mark your calendars. On this week’s Things for Thursday, we’re giving you a heads-up on a few Holiday open houses happening across the NYPENN region this December, plus a grand re-opening of the Cicero STEM Lab.

Our Girl Scout shops in New Hartford, Johnson City, Cicero, and Horseheads will be playing host for one day on December 3. During this regional event, girls will be invited to drop by our stores anytime between 10am and 2pm to participate in activities and enjoy a special discount!

The store will be offering 20% off Everything! And a free gift with $100.00 purchase.

There will also be a drawing for a Free GoldieBlox Set and refreshments!

You will also be eligible to enter for these drawings…
1. Free Overnight in Activity Center & use of STEM Lab
2. Free use of a Program Kit (one at each center)
3. Each girl attendee will receive a fun patch

What’s more, the Cicero open house will be celebrating the grand re-opening of their STEM Lab with special science-related activities for girls to enjoy.

We hope to see you there!

Visit the New Hartford event page for more information

Visit the Johnson City event page for more information

Visit the Cicero event page for more information

Visit the Horseheads event page for more information

Project Update: Anna’s Shares Her Silver Success

Project Update: Anna’s Shares Her Silver Success

Much of the time, an issue just needs the right advocate in order to make a difference. Anna Lioto of Troop 10623 did just that for the animals at her local shelter. She dedicated a number of hours an energy all toward the goal of making their stay (until they find their forever home) a little more bearable.

Since we last wrote about Anna’s progress, she has completed her project.

“I collected tons of donations from boxes and local shops and Amazon Wish List, and had blanket donations mailed to me,” she told us. “I also made many different toys from re-purposed t-shirts, fleece, and pvc. And I made beds and crate pads also.”

girl scout anna

What’s more, Anna’s project had another layer to it: she wanted to make sure her project was sustainable. By reusing scraps, she was able to up-cycle many discarded items that would have been wasted in a landfill.

Anna’s wish is that others continue by her example. “I made a video encouraging others to help their local shelters,” she wrote.

We’re always looking to share stories about our girls and what they’re doing in and for their community. Send photos and info to nshoemaker@gsnypenn.org.

Troop Tuesday: Girls Renew Their Commitment to Girl Scouts

Troop Tuesday: Girls Renew Their Commitment to Girl Scouts

CEO Julie Dale writes us about her daughter’s troop #10410. They recently had their rededication ceremony, which is an opportunity for girls (and adults) to renew their commitment to the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Want to be featured in a Troop Tuesday? Email photos and a short description to Natalie Shoemaker @ nshoemaker@gsnypenn.org.

Meet September’s Volunteer of the Month

Meet September’s Volunteer of the Month

We recently put out the call to the Girl Scout community to tell us about volunteers who they’ve seen go beyond the call of duty. We’re proud to announce September’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Kim Westcott of Service Unit 104 in Oswego County.

After all, there are so many ways for people spend their time—it’s a precious thing—which is why we’re honored when people choose to volunteer with the Girl Scouts.

Kim’s nominator explained to us why she deserves to be recognized: 

“Like many volunteers, Kim Westcott’s enthusiasm for Girl Scouts is contagious!  In addition to leading two troops – one a large multi-level Daisy/Brownie/Junior troop and the other, a newly formed Cadette troop. Kim has served as Recruiter and Events Coordinator for the Oswego Service Unit for several years. She has planned several kick-off events, including a luau and sock-hop. Her troops have enjoyed many great adventures including lots of day trips and camp-outs. She has been known to be up at all hours talking Girl Scouts with fellow volunteers and rumor has it – is one of Michaels’ best customers!

“Kim has recently formed a Girl Scout Honor Guard, which has participated in multiple parades throughout the CNY area. Additionally, she is also the driving force behind the GSNYPENN Volunteer Facebook group.”

As for Kim, we asked her what drives her to do what she does for Girl Scouts:

“Working with the girls, the parents, seeing the leadership skills evolve in both levels.  I love figuring out how to give the girls in my charge ways to get out and move about their community, increasing their visibility. I consider this a win – win – win.  The girls win by becoming more visible. The community wins buy reaping the benefits the girls sow with their service. The movement wins by having more girls interested in joining the program. To me I count that as all pure joy!”

Keep up the great work Kim!

If you know a Girl Scout volunteer who deserves to be recognized, consider nominating them for our Volunteer of the Month.

3 Things for Thursday: Questions for Julie, Disney on Ice, and More

3 Things for Thursday: Questions for Julie, Disney on Ice, and More

We have some exciting things to discuss and share with you this Thursday. Read on for the details.

Q & A with Girl Scouts of NYPENN CEO Julie Dale! We know you have questions, so send them in and we’ll ask them to our new CEO. Please send any and all of your burning questions to nshoemaker@gsnypenn.org. We’re planning on creating a video of all your asks and releasing it later this month. Stay tuned!

Girl Scout Night at Disney on Ice: Celebrate the most memorable Disney tales with all your favorite characters in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy and Daisy on a journey to the timeless worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Disney’s Frozen.

Find out how to register for this event.

Colgate University Girl Scout Day: Yes, the Colgate University Women’s Basketball team will be having a Girl Scouts Day on December 10th. Girls are invited to watch the basketball game, and after enjoy a basketball clinic. Plus, pizza, ice cream, & soda included!

Find out how to register.

Find Out What Pushed This Girl Scout to Become a Top Seller

fall product programWe get it, when people think of Girl Scouts, they think of cookies. But there’s a lot of meaning behind their efforts.

This Isabella from Spencer, NY, she was NYPENN’s top seller in 2015 for the Fall Product Program (learn more about it here), selling a grand total of $1,145 worth of product (nuts, candy, and magazines).

Her motivation? 

“I set a goal on how much to sell,” Isabella said. “In order to reach my goal, I made my list of people who I wanted to ask. I went door-to-door, online, and shared with family and friends what my goal was. I like product sales because the troop gets to have fun after I sell the nuts and candy.

For Isabella, it’s about raising money for her troop, so they can do amazing things together.

“When she makes her list, I provide her with transportation to folks within our rural neighborhood, phone numbers, emails etc.,” her mom, a troop and service leader, said. “She did the talking, emailing and the delivering of course with my assistance and supervision. I then feel that I have done my role as parent in supporting her to be successful. She gets the incentives, she does the work, right down to sorting out the orders when in and including personalized thank you notes-cards for each person who ordered.”

The product sale does help build up business skills. But it helps them realize how much a group of people can accomplish together. Her money, along with the money from her other troop members will allow them to go on trips, fund community service projects, and more.

Have something you’d like featured on our blog, tell us about it! Want to share an op-ed about the day-in-the-life of a volunteer? Or perhaps you have an idea for a piece you’d like to see on this page? Send submissions/pitches/ideas to me (Natalie Shoemaker) at nshoemaker@gsnypenn.org