Give her the gift of camp memories she'll never forget

[This post originally appeared on gswnyblog.com]

Camping has always been a tradition in Girl Scouts, but it was never just about getting outside. We’re believe in the importance of connecting with nature in a girl-led setting, which makes this summer’s camp theme all the more relevant. In an increasingly digital world, we’re celebrating the simplicity of Camp: Life Unplugged.  

This holiday season, you can give your girl the unforgettable gift of a week spent with her Girl Scout sisters doing something they love, whether it’s riding horses, traveling to New York City, climbing ropes courses, learning more about robotics, or simply relaxing. These are just glimpses of what you can expect from Girl Scout summer camp in 2020.  

It’s more than just a week spent at camp–you’re also helping her build courage, confidence, and character, and empowering her to learn skills that last a lifetime. Purchase a Camp Gift Certificate* and give the gift of joy to your favorite girl. Camp Gift Certificates can be purchased in any amount by calling 1-888-837-6410 or by stopping in to any of our service centers.  

The 2020 Summer Camp Catalog goes live January 13, 2020, at www.gswny.org and will outline all of our overnight and day camp options at our three camps – Camp Timbercrest, Camp Seven Hills, and Camp Piperwood. Check it out to see all of the coming excitement!  

REGISTER NOW: Our guides aren’t out for another month, but registration is open for our trip to New York City to see Frozen on Broadway! You can reserve your girl’s spot now for only $25! Visit gswny.org to learn more and reserve a spot.  

We wish you a joyful holiday season and a wonderful new year!  

Sincerely, The Girl Scouts of Western New York Summer Camp Team  

*Certificates are non-refundable and are redeemable during registration time in January 2020.

Please note our offices are closed the following dates:
Friday, December 20 (at 3 p.m.) through Wednesday, January 1. Normal business hours resume Thursday, January 2, 2019.   To see all our business hours, click here.

The winner of this year’s Camp Theme Contest is…

[This post originally appeared at gwnyblog.com]

Every year, we ask our membership a simple question: what do you think our 2020 camp theme should be? Because we’re girl-led, we want our camps to reflect the thoughts of our Girl Scouts.

Last year, we received the idea #GirlScoutCampLife from Girl Scout Brownie Arianna. The year before, we had ‘Camp Like a G.I.R.L.’ For 2020, our winner pulled on her own camp experience for a great camp theme.

The 2020 Camp Theme Survey Contest winner is….

Senior Girl Scout Kaura C. from Olean! Camp name ‘Legacy!’

Not only does she love camp, this year she was a Counselor in Training! We’re so excited to announce her idea, but we’re waiting until International Wear Your Camp T-Shirt Day!

This November 12, we’re celebrating camp by joining the international celebration and wearing your camp t-shirts! During the day, we’re going to provide a sneak peak of next year’s camp guide and announce the 2020 camp theme!

Make sure you wear your camp shirt and check back in to see what we’re planning for next summer’s camp season.

Thank you for another great year of the #GirlScoutCampLife

This post originally appeared on gswnyblog.com

Two weeks ago, we wrapped up another amazing summer at Girl Scout camp. Our three camps, Camp Timbercrest, Camp Seven Hills, and Camp Piperwood, plus our volunteer-run Camp Windy Meadows, were filled with excited campers and great programming.

More than 2,500 girls from around council attended Girl Scout camp this summer, where they rode horses, went swimming, climbed ropes, learned how to build fires, sang camp songs, and of course, made new friends.

While our outdoor programming runs all year long, summer camp is a special time for girls to gather together and learn new skills while honoring cherished Girl Scout traditions. We hear stories all the time about how important camp was and is to our Girl Scouts past and present and we can’t wait to continue creating memories.

Camp might be over for the summer, but we’re already thinking about next year’s programs. Look for the new camp guides out in January to decide what your camp journey will be in 2020. If you can’t get enough of the outdoors, head to gswny.org where you can learn more about all our outdoor opportunities, including equipment rentals, programming, property rentals, and Outdoor Champions who can facilitate programming for you.

To see photos from our resident camps, visit our Flickr page!

Join us for an epic State Parks adventure July 13 & 14!

[This post originally appeared on gswnyblog.com]

GSWNY is excited to be participating in the national Girl Scouts Love State Parks event, July 13 to 14! This weekend long event has the goal of getting  every Girl Scout outdoors and into a state park. GSWNY will have events at 4 locations across council but Girl Scouts will be able to participate by visiting any State Park!

Registration is open now!
Park Entrance is free with Girl Scouts attire!  

On Saturday, July 13, check out:

  • Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East” and hike some of the 66 miles of trails and check out the three major waterfalls in the park, attend a ranger talk about the geology of the park, or visit the Nature Center or the Mary Jemison House. You could even try out whitewater rafting!
  • Allegany State Park, NY’s largest state park, with 65,000 acres to explore. You might visit natural caves, swim in Quaker Lake, visit the old Quaker store, attend a ranger program and learn about the critters living in the streams at the park, or climb the fire tower.
  • Buffalo Harbor State Park, one of NY’s newest state parks. You might join a 1 hour boat trip on Lake Erie, bike along the bike trail, learn about invasive species, or stroll along the beach.

On Sunday, July 14, check out:

  • Beaver Island State Park, on Grand Island on the Upper Niagara River. You could visit the nature center, play a game of disc golf, swim, bike, or hike, or take a tour of the historic River Lea House. You could also attend a ranger program and create your very own nature journal!

Can’t make it to one of these locations on this weekend? Visit any state park and enjoy the day. Also be sure to check out the NYS Parks Connect Kids Program to participate and get an additional patch on these days or any other days of the year! 

7 Ways Summer Camp Brings Out Her Best

[This post originally appeared on GirlScouts.org]

Summer is when some of the most fun childhood memories are made, but did you know that it’s also an awesome opportunity for your girl to grow, learn, and become her best self? Here are seven amazing benefits your girl will get from her summer camp experience.

1. She’ll make new friends 
There’s nothing quite like giggling over games in the bunk or singing songs with new besties around a campfire. That’s why it’s actually good to send her to camp where she might not know many (or any) other girls! Having a diverse group of friends, not just kids she knows from school, will broaden her horizons and help her see her own worth, too.

2. She’ll see all she can be 
In an all-girl environment like Girl Scout summer camp, girls are more comfortable trying new outdoor activities, and they get to take the lead every single time—meaning there’s plenty of room at the top for your girl to take charge and flex her muscle, both when it comes to outdoor adventure and crucial leadership skills that will last her a lifetime.

3.  She’ll turn off her phone and tune in to nature 
Getting out in nature, soaking up the sun, or dashing inside during a sudden downpour is way more exciting than any app she might have on her phone and is all part of the adventure of camp. Unplugging for a while will keep her more present and truly enjoying every moment instead of simply watching it from a screen.

4. She’ll grow her grit 
The truth is, she might scrape a knee or elbow while she’s away—and that’s a good thing! When she learns to get back up after minor setbacks, like scrapes and bumps, she’s building her resilience and learning that she’s a lot tougher than she thinks.  

5.  She’ll meet new mentors 
Having a variety of awesome role models will help your girl see the many ways to be successful and happy in life. And the incredibly supportive staff and counselors at your girl’s summer camp are ready to step up to the plate and inspire!

6. She’ll gain independence 
Being away from home—especially if that’s a new thing for her!—might be a bit intimidating to both your daughter and you. But having that time away to explore and try activities on her own will make her more self-reliant and able to discover new things to share and teach you when she returns home.

7. She’ll have tons of time for play 
Playtime is anything but a waste of time. In fact, studies show that play allows the neurons in a child’s brain to form new connections—and that this rewiring helps boost emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

The truth is, sending your girl off to camp is one of the best gifts you can give her. The fun, outdoor adventure, and friends will enrich her life and—perhaps without her even noticing—give her the courage, people skills, and leadership chops to succeed at whatever she sets her mind to.   

Learn More About GSWNY Summer Camp

Send your camper a resident camp care package!

When you register your girl for camp, you also have the option of ordering a camp care package! This is a great way to make her time at camp even more special.

All you need to do when ordering is include her name, which camp she’s attending, and her session and/or program. With this information, we can make sure the care package is delivered to her while she’s at camp. Quantities for care packages are limited, so don’t wait to order!

Each care package is $35 and contains:

  • Stuffed animal
  • Journal with pen
  • Camp patch
  • Water bottle
  • Drawstring bag
  • and some extra surprises!

2019 Camp Timbercrest Program Spotlight – June 3, 2019

Summer camp is just around the corner and we wanted to remind you about some really cool programs that are taking place this summer.  So don’t delay, sign up now and reserve your spot for the hottest place in town, Girl Scouts summer camp! 

Register for Camp

Wizard Camp (for girls in grades 4-6 in fall of 2019) Session 1: July 7-12, 2019

Welcome to a week of wizardry and adventures! Make oozing and exploding potions, discover helpful plants, and try some magic defense techniques. Spend time conquering your fears with your friends as you play broomstick sports and compete in the Camp Wizard Cup.

New! Timbercrest Firebenders (for girls in grades 4-6 in fall of 2019) Session 4: July 28-Aug. 2, 2019

Here’s your chance to learn and/or fine tune your outdoor skills. Outdoor professionals will work with and teach you different methods of fire building, outdoor cooking with edible plants, and shelter building. Identify things in nature, take a hike and learn to use a compass and map. Apply your skills and work as a team in the great outdoors.

New! Canoeing the Allegheny Reservoir (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019) Sessions 4-5: July 28-Aug. 9, 2019

Spend eight glorious days and seven exhilarating nights discovering the wonderful sites of the Allegheny Reservoir as it takes you through the state park and the national forest. Professional guides from Adventures in Fitness will start your trip at Webs Ferry in Allegany State Park and end your journey in Tionesta, PA. Paddle with friends, pitch tents, and share stores around the campfire at night.

New! Imagine and K’Nex with day trip (for girls in grades 7-12 in fall of 2019) Session 3: July 21-26, 2019

Use your imagination! Create fun craft projects using a variety of supplies such as K’nex Kits and natural materials. Create miniature theme park activities or water slides to show off to your friends. You will also get to see your creative park creations come to life when you take a trip to Splash Lagoon with your fellow Imagine and Connect friends and get a behind-the-scenes tour of how things operate. There will be plenty of time left to spend in the park, too. All this and the other great camp activities are included. Girls will earn requirements towards the Think Like An Engineer Journey.

Me and My Favorite Gal (for girls in grades K-6) Session 3c July 26-28

Girls bring your “favorite gal” (mom, aunt, grandmother, sister, cousin or friend) to enjoy all that Camp Timbercrest has to offer. Go hiking on our adventurous trails, swim in Keyser Lake and play on our new and really cool water toys, make a special gift to take home in arts and crafts and spend time around the campfire with your fellow camp friends. This special time is yours to spend as you and your “favorite gal”would like. Favorite gal must be 21 years of age or older. Troops/girls/gals will be placed in Jackman Lodge and one Yurt.

Make a Difference in a Child’s Life, Be a Summer Camp Counselor!

Do you want to volunteer this summer?  Are you looking to do an internship for college credit or majoring in education or camping administration?  Do you love working with children in an outdoor setting? You can be part of a fantastic summer experience and make a difference in a child’s life!  All you need to do is become a summer camp counselor. You will help girls ages 5-17 develop their full potential; learn to work with, relate to, and respect others; and make decisions while contributing to the camp community.  In addition, girls and staff alike will make and rekindle friendships, laugh, smile, and experience many new and different things. Paid and volunteer positions available.

Positions available at Camp Seven Hills and Camp Timbercrest (Resident Camp):

  • Administrative Assistant                
  • Riding Director
  • Lifeguard