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

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

red crossThe Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to help save lives and we are asking for you to help!

Everyone who donates blood or platelets at any donation center throughout New York State by July 31 will receive a box of Girl Scout cookies while supplies last.

It’s quick. It’s easy. And it could help save a life!

Donation centers are located in Albany, Binghamton, Utica, Liverpool, Rochester, Perinton, Greece, West Henrietta, Cheektowaga, and North Tonawanda.

Choose your day to donate by visiting the Red Cross Blood Donation web site or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

Take part in the American Red Cross’s 100 days of summer, 100 days of hope campaign, #chooseyourday to donate and receive free cookies!

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

fairLooking for something fun to do to wind down the summer and usher the kids back into school? Then why not join us at the Great New York State Fair!

The fair runs August 27-September 7 and we will be represented in the Youth Building throughout the fair with a table. Not only that but September 2 is Girl Scout Day! Make sure you stop out and see us marching in the parade at 6 p.m.

There is always a lot to do at the Great New York State Fair so make it an all day visit, take in the sights and sounds, and make sure you stop over to see us!

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

Quilt01Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

That is what Girl Scouts is all about. Every day volunteers work with girls to teach them about a myriad of things. Learning about careers in their community by visiting the fire station, cooking, kayaking, camping, business sales skill. All of the life skills that girls are learning are increasing their confidence, and teaching them to courageously face challenges and opportunities. Being a part of a group, with positive adult role models, and positive peer interaction while they are learning, and having fun, provides them with character.

Making the world a better place. I think that’s the most important part. Using all of that courage, confidence, and character to better our world, whether it is within a girl’s family, her neighborhood, her larger community, or more globally. Taking action to make a difference.

Troops all around the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways jurisdiction are working on take action projects. All the time. There are so many good things happening in our communities because of girls, and the volunteers who work with them.

Here are three:

Junior Troop 30181, thought that some families might not be able to provide candy and goodies for their children at Easter time. They created over 110 goodie bags and distributed them at a soup kitchen at a local church so that more children in their community could enjoy a visit from the Easter Bunny.

Oswego service unit has been doing emergency room bags for kids as a service project.  They put together bags with a small toy, coloring sheets, story book and crayons so that kids who are either patients or waiting for a family member have something to do while they wait.

An Auburn, NY Daisy troop decided while working on the Daisy flower garden journey that parts of their community needed beautification. They planted flowers at schools to brighten their community.

For more ideas on ways girls can take action in their communities, visit the council website at http://www.gsnypenn.org

 

Learning Opportunities

By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development

volunteer1One of the resources that Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways provides to volunteers is training and adult learning opportunities. These opportunities provide volunteers with a chance to increase their knowledge and skills in working with girls, or in whatever volunteer role they choose.

There are many learning opportunities to choose from! Some are required of troop leaders and co-leaders, like Girl Scouting 101 which covers the basics of Girl Scouts, such as ways to participate and the mission, promise, and law. Others are enrichments such as ceremonies and traditions, which helps volunteers to learn specifics about planning and implementing different ceremonies within their troops or service units.

There is age level training, new leader mentor training, training on outdoor cooking, some designed especially for service teams, and outdoor training.

With so many to choose from volunteers are sure to be able to discover something new, connect with other volunteers, and take action to increase their own knowledge and skills which helps every girls’ experience a better one!

For more information on the adult learning opportunities available visit the council website at http://www.gsnypenn.org

 

By: Marian Van Vlack, Lifetime Girl Scout from Whitesville, NY

hike2Before I began my recount of the past few weeks, I want to do a brand gear review. As I have mentioned before, gear is extremely personal. There is no list of perfect items that will work for everyone. Footwear is a great example. Many people have started hiking in trail runners while others prefer to wear boots, and there are also those who are extreme and hike in Chackos or barefoot. I personally could not be more happy with my decision to wear my boots from L.L. Bean. They are extremely comfortable and very supportive. There have been several occasions when I have stepped at an odd angle and worried about twisting my ankle, but each time the support of my boots have held up against water. Hikers affectionately refer to Vermont as Vermud, but my boots kept my feet dry through the entire state. Even when there has been a lot of rain and the rivers are running over the nice rock crossings, I can walk through a few inches of water without worrying about having wet feet for the rest of my hike. For such an important piece of equipment, I am thankful to have found the right fit for me.hike1

I can’t believe I’ve completed more than half of my hike! Tonight I write from the Mizpah Hut which is one of the huts operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. AT hikers can sometimes do a work for stay in the huts which means we help out with clean up in exchange for delicious leftovers and a spot to sleep for the night.

After leaving Manchester, VT, Fixxi and I decided we would hike together to Hanover where she would be finishing her section hike. The first day on the trail was fun because we hiked up a ski slope and got to see some great views. I almost ended up walking down the wrong side of the mountain, but luckily I walked up to the peak to take pictures and saw a sign pointing me in the opposite direction. That night I met back up with the group of Long Trail (LT) and AT hikers that I had been with.

The shelter we stayed in was right next to this beautiful stream with pretty waterfalls. The next morning though, the little stream turned into a raging torrent from the storm that hit during the night. Everyone took their time leaving the shelter because it was cold, wet, and rainy. Finally I made it out onto the trail. The wind was so powerful it was pulling trees up out of the ground. I didn’t see any actually fall, but one big gust of wind made the tree right in front of me lean so far I could see all the roots lift up out of the ground. I was welcomed to the next shelter with a loud round of applause from my trail family. I wasn’t planning to stay because Fizzi and I were supposed to push on to the next shelter about five miles away, but when I came up the stairs and saw Fizzi already cuddled up in her sleeping bag, we decided it was a good choice to just stay there at the Little Rock Pond shelter for the night. The pond was gorgeous and I figured it was time for my first skinny dip on the trail, something I knew my mother would be proud of.

hike3The next day we got off to a much better start and got to see the pond as the fog was just rising off the water. The trailwent through a scenic pine forest and there were two spots with what looked like a whole village of cairns. Fizzi and I headed into Rutland, VT and stayed at the Yellow Deli hostel. We ended up deciding to stay an extra day to recover and avoid the rain. The food at the deli was absolutely delicious, especially the fresh baked bread. On our day off Scott Jurek passed us over Killington. Scott Jurek is a famous ultra marathoner who recently beat the record for fastest time to complete the AT with assistance. He completed the trail in 46 days 8 hours 8 minutes.

The next day the AT broke off from the LT and we were sad to be leaving our LT family. The next section of the trail was really nice. We passed this cabin called the Lookout, which is privately owned, but hikers are allowed to stay overnight. One of Fizzi’s friends named EJ met up with us and had some lunch and delicious pie at the On The Edge Farm. We tented in a trail angel’s yard with two guys named Red and Slingshot.hike4

The next day was the perfect day. We slept in and I took my time all day. The weather was wonderful and the trail was beautiful. There was a nice variety in terrain and a good balance of ups, downs, and flats. The trail was wide and clear, which was a nice change. I found a few spots where I could pick wild raspberries and stopped at the Cloudland Farm market for lunch. That night we stayed in West Hartford with a wonderful family who welcomes hikers on a daily basis and make them breakfast and dinner. We were well rested and well fed for our hike into New Hampshire on the Fourth of July.

When we got to the road crossing there was a trail angel named Tumbles who thru-hiked last year waiting with hot dogs for all the hikers. He was incredibly nice and helpful. When I mentioned that I needed to buy a pair of trekking poles he actually gave me his old set. We met up with Fizzi’s parents finishing our hike over the border. We had a fun forth in Hanover, but the next day Fizzi headed home. It was hard to say goodbye, but we were both on to new adventures.

hike5The same day Fizzi left, my friend from RIT came to hike with me for a week. She quickly received the trail name Joy, because she is such a happy person, and even when we were hiking tough miles, she always had a smile on. Our second day out we made a stop at the Ice Cream man’s house, another trail angel who offers hikers free ice cream and a place to stay. We just stopped for a snack, but we still had a long way to go. The hike was beautiful and we enjoyed some great views as well as wild blueberries. The hike was long and tough and we didn’t make it to the top of the mountain until pretty late, but we stayed in a cabin which was warm and dry.

The next day we had a few different options for stopping points. We decided to try out the Mt. Cuba Sugar House, which ended up being a great choice. We got to stay inside on a mattress and make pancakes with real maple syrup in the morning. The caretaker told us about when the first woman who solo hiked the AT stopped at his parents’ house and asked what was for supper. Apparently they’ve been taking in hikers ever since. The most exciting part of our hike was over Mt. Moosilauke. We only hiked about seven miles, but had an intense climb. This was our first day above tree line and it was gorgeous.hike6

The next two days were pretty intense and we had to break up our mileage a little. Our last day we stopped at the Lonesome Lake Hut for lunch. It was a beautiful place and I want to go back some day. We made it to Lincoln and met Joy’s family. We spent the night in Lincoln and Joy’s dad was kind enough to let me stay with them and treat me to a wonderful dinner and breakfast.

It was tough heading out solo after spending the past two weeks hiking with friends. Luckily my first day was up the Franconia Ridge. It was a clear day and I got to spend most of my hike above tree line walking along the ridge. Having such a gorgeous view all day made being solo worthwhile. The next day I made a stop at the Zealand Falls Hut. It was too early for me to stay, but one of the crew members heated up some leftover for me before I headed to the next shelter.

The hike to Mizpah wasn’t too hard but I didn’t have a lot of motivation. Getting to the hut made me so happy. Tomorrow I will be headed to Mt. Washington!

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

Did you know that by donating to our Opportunity Fund you could give a girl the gift of Girl Scouting?

We want every girl, everywhere to be able to have the amazing Girl Scout experience. By donating to this fund you will help girls that need financial assistance with their membership dues, their girls guide and journey book, uniform pieces, and other program activities, including camp.

To find out more information about the Opportunity Fund, and how you can help, listen to this month’s podcast recorded by members of the NYPENN Girl Media Team.

Don’t let finances stand between a girl and an experience she’ll never forget! Donate to the Opportunity Fund today!

By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager

red crossDid you know that every two seconds someone is in need of blood that could save their life?

We are proud to be partnering with the American Red Cross to offer this: this month if you donate blood or platelets at any American Red Cross donation center in New York State you’ll receive a box of Girl Scout cookies, while supplies last!

Donation centers are located in Albany, Binghamton, Utica, Liverpool, Rochester, Perinton, Greece, West Henrietta, Cheektowaga, and North Tonawanda.

You can choose your day to donate by clicking here or calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

Help save a life this summer!

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