Want Stronger Community Leaders Tomorrow? Invest In Girls Today

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What is the mark of a strong leader?

Is it the ability to inspire, and transform? The ability think strategically and possess a peerless view of the future?  The ability to calm, listen and unite during challenging times? Ample reserves of confidence, integrity, fearlessness and grit? These are all important qualities to consider when assessing one’s capacity for leadership.

One factor that should not be in consideration? The gender of the leader.

Regardless of political affiliation, many have expressed frustration over the seeming dearth of strong, capable leaders in our country, and the world at large. This watershed moment in our nation’s history presents a remarkable opportunity. The perceived leadership void that currently exists is actually paving the way for the next generation of visionaries prepared to boldly assume the mantle of leadership. We must unite in the quest to expand leadership development for girls and young women—across race, class, and beyond. Indeed, providing ever more girls with comprehensive, relevant leadership development opportunities will prove crucial to the vibrancy of tomorrow.

At Girl Scouts, we understand that before we can effectively address the leadership crisis for girls, we must first connect with under-served and underrepresented girls in a relevant and authentic way, one that speaks to acknowledging—and overcoming—their adversity.  To cite just a few sobering statistics, according to The State of Girls, a recent report released by the Girl Scout Research Institute, in 2015, 19 percent of girls ages 5 to 17 lived in poverty, compared to 17 percent in 2007. And in 2015, a higher proportion of high school girls seriously considered suicide (23%), compared with girls in 2007 (19%). And with 2017 off to a bit of a precarious start on all fronts, the effect on girls and their overall health, happiness, and achievement has hardly improved. It’s understandable that when you’re mired in despair, it can color your worldview, leaving you disillusioned about the extent of your own potential.

The greater truth is this: We cannot hope to flourish as a society by dismissing the promise represented in half of our population. We see talented women who contribute their intelligence, passion, and expertise across the spectrum—and we need more. Girls represent a vital, underutilized and untapped resource of remarkable potential that can―and must―be harnessed to the full benefit of humanity.

At the Girl Scouts of NYPENN, we understand that before we can effectively address the leadership crisis for girls, we must first connect with those who are underserved and underrepresented in a relevant and authentic way, that speaks to acknowledging—and overcoming—their adversity. Conclusively, statistics show that wherever girls are thriving in the United States, the Girl Scout Movement is strong and impactful.  Our comprehensive programming instills the integral skills that ensure girls are well-equipped to navigate interpersonal and professional arenas. And we approach this responsibility with the dedication it deserves, offering girls a foundation for leadership development through our STEM and leadership training initiatives

In short, we’re on the cusp of ushering in a leadership renaissance for girls, nurturing and elevating the next generation of female leaders who will leave an indelible imprint on our nation and our world. And when you really contemplate what that means for the health of our global society, it’s staggering.

We need society at large to invest in girls—in a greater, more sustained capacity. And for a movement to reach the height of its impact, it must embrace allies outside the fold.  We need our brethren-in-arms, our male counterparts who offer their unwavering support—in deeds and donations—and are integral to sustaining our cause for the long haul.

Now as an organization, we sincerely appreciate all of the ongoing support through the purchase of our delicious and iconic Girl Scout Cookies.  However, those sales represent a mere fraction of the funding needed to provide the kind of in-depth, nurturing and proven programming our girls need to grow and thrive.  We all can demonstrate our personal and organizational leadership by making an impact today and investing in our future.

Your investment now is the fuel that propels our girls towards leadership greatness tomorrow.

Ultimately, the leadership gap in America is not a girls’ issue or a women’s issue―it’s our issue.

You can help invest in girls by joining our Family Partnership Program

4 Opportunities Where She Can Take the Lead and Learn

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Leadership can take many forms in our public and private lives. We here at GSNYPENN want to make sure girls are comfortable taking the lead in every aspect of their professional and personal lives. We have several programs and opportunities coming up for Girl Scouts to learn about how they can be prepared to take the lead in unexpected situations.

Talk saves lives: Learn the risk factors and warning signs, how to talk directly with a person at risk, how to connect him/her with a mental health professional, and to dispel myths surrounding suicide and what we’ve learned from scientific research.

Sign up for this program for March 22

Safe dating workshop: What does a good relationship look like? It’s an important question, which this program is equipped to answer. We will help teens recognize the difference between caring, supportive relationships and controlling, manipulative, or abusive dating relationships. Girls will begin to explore what constitutes healthy relationships, provide them with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships, and work on positive communication and conflict resolution.

Sign up for this program for February 22

Leaders in training: Spend this day at camp pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone, and growing your leader voice!

This program is all about exploring your own leadership style and personality, along with learning how to work with other leadership styles and personalities.We will play many challenging team-building games to exercise our teamwork skills, and explore our leadership styles and personality through individualized quizzes and whole group activities.

Sign up for this program for February 23

Become a Delegate: Get ready to ride the bus to Columbus Ohio to represent Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways at our national convention in October. We’re encouraging our most vocal Girl Scouts (14 years and older) to sign up to become delegates at this year’s National Convention. Deadline is midnight, February 3rd and you can fax or email in your registration.

Find out how you can lead our council and let your voice be heard through this special event.

Troop Tuesday: Girl Scouts at the Powderpuff Derby

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A group of Norwich Girl Scouts held a powderpuff derby, Service Unit Manager Karen writes. The “35 girls raced cars and we also had a cookie rally at the same time. Looking forward to next year when the Dad’s have asked if they can also race.”

Sounds like a fun time!

We want to know what our Girl Scouts are up to. Email photos and a short description to Jaime Alvarez @ jalvarez@gsnypenn.org.

Your Questions About Camp: Answered

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This winter weather puts us in a mind to think of the warm days ahead: summer. For girls across our council (whether they are girl scouts or not), they have the opportunity to join us for a number of adventures. Camp registration will open February 1 and we can’t wait for you to see what we have planned!

Until that time, however, we have a few upcoming events parents might be interested in attending.

Come see our camps first-hand: We will be hosting two open houses with the option for an overnight stay at our Comstock and Trefoil properties. This is an opportunity for parents and their daughters to see camp and have all their questions about our facilities answered in this first-hand experience prior to the start of summer camp.

There will be traditional camp games, crafts, and activities which may including archery, boating, and hiking! Lunch is included!

Comstock open house- May 6

Trefoil open house- May 27

Camp Info Nights: If you don’t have time to go to come to one of our camp open houses, then come to one of our MANY camp information nights starting in March! Get all of your questions about summer camp answered. Families and troops alike are invited to join us in making a traditional camp snack, GORP, while you meet our camp directors, get to see our camp video, learn more about the facilities at our camps, what a typical week is like at camp, and how this summer’s new and improved program is going to work.

This informational session is perfect for new parents and campers, but also for returning campers who have questions about our new offerings for 2017.

Non-registered girls and adults are welcome to attend. This session is free of charge, however, participants must be pre-register due to limited space.

See the list of Camp Info Nights

Explore camp other ways: Don’t forget, our camps are open for special programs and troop reservations prior to the start of summer camp, so don’t miss out!

Check out our full list of programs and ways you can start having fun at camp now.

Troop Tuesday: Meet the Girl Scout Basketball Team Out of Little Falls

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It’s amazing to see what kinds of bonds can be made through the Girl Scout program. For these girls, they are more than just troop 20480–they are also an entire basketball team. Yes, this 4th grade basketball team in Little Falls is made up entirely of Girl Scouts!

“These girls are just great. They all want to be together,” troop leader Ashley Morrill told us. “We have a couple of girls that you can tell probably come from basketball families and the rest just wanted to join with them for fun! Every week they had a new Girl Scout join the team after hearing the others were doing it and having fun.”

“Last year the 3rd grade basketball team only had 6 girls,” Ashley said. “This year they jumped  to 13 girls, all a part of troop 20480. They all also did softball together.”

It’s great to see girls encouraging girls to participate and do new and exciting things together.

We want to know what our Girl Scouts are up to. Email photos and a short description to Jaime Alvarez @ jalvarez@gsnypenn.org.

3 Things for Thursday: Discover the Adventures Near You

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Winter is a great time to discover more of the world, or even things you may have not known about in your own hometown. There’s so much to discover, and we want to help inspire you to think about taking on a new adventure.

Discover More: The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier in Binghamton is putting on a number of programs and events for Girl Scouts of all ages on January 28. Daisies and Brownies can learn how to think ahead when saving their pennies; Juniors can learn how to become savvy shoppers; or you can gather up your entire troop for a sleepover in the Discovery Center!

For more information check out The Discovery Center’s events page.

Let’s Go to Broadway! The Service Unit Manager in the Vestal area has put together a bus trip to NYC to see the Broadway show Aladdin on Sunday, February 12! She has 26 seats left and is opening it up to other Service Units.

If you have a non-registered friend that would like to go the cost is $140.

For more information or to get tickets email Kristen Duff at kduff@binghamton.edu.

Discover more (with a friend): Enjoy winter at our Comstock Adventure Center on February 5 with your favorite pal! We’ll go on a winter hike, make a winter craft, and warm up with some hot chocolate. If the weather permits, we can try out the cross country skis and snowshoes.

Sign up here.

For a full list of the events and programs going on throughout the NYPENN community, visit our website.

Troop Tuesday: CookieWow!

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We kicked-off the Girl Scout Cookie season with two amazing events across the NYPENN community. We had over 1,500 attend our second annual CookieWow event in Syracuse and a number of Girl Scouts in attendance at our sister event in Ogdensburg.

It was wonderful to see Girl Scouts of all ages participating in all our programs, sharing their hopes and goals for the upcoming cookie season, and having fun!

Thank you all for making CookieWow such a fun and memorable event! We can’t wait to see all the amazing things you accomplish through your cookie sales.

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We want to know what our Girl Scouts are up to. Email photos and a short description to Jaime Alvarez @ jalvarez@gsnypenn.org.