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Elba Girl Scout receives Gold Award for Stations of the Cross project

By Press Release

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) is proud to announce 2 Girl Scouts in Genesee and Livingston Counties as the 2022 recipients of the Girl Scout Gold Award. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls and acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change-makers.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” The project should fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project.

Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade. In total, 36 girl scouts across the Western New York region will be presented with the 2022 Gold Award on Saturday, June 4, 2022.  For more information on the Girl Scout Gold Award,

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Laci Sewar of Elba, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Laci is a member of Troop 42222.

What Laci said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts has brought me some good lessons and fun memories. I have been a Girl Scout for 13 years and that came with a lot of work from me. I learned basic life skills from going to camp in my younger years which was fun and I kind of want to go back. I got some nice memories that I still haven’t forgotten from that place. I live my life by the Girl Scout Promise and Law. I do those things on a daily basis which makes me the type of person I am today. As I got into my older years of Girl Scouting, doing the budgeting badges and things have helped me balance my money with college coming up and work. I may not seem like it, but I do appreciate my mom for pushing me to stay in all these years, so thank you!

Project: Stations of the Cross Program

For my Gold Award project, I renovated the wooden Stations of the Cross located outside of the Elba church next to the school. I obtained new wooden plaques and stained/sanded/sealed them. I also polished up the old brass plaques that would then be put on the wooden plaques.

I created a program for children in grades 3-6 about the Stations of the Cross. The program included a matching game, word searches, a prayer for each station, and a laminated paper with a description of each station. I obtained materials needed to make my project successful from Home Depot and my home from my dad’s shop. The purpose of my project was to strengthen children’s understanding of the Stations of the Cross. My project will allow the teachers of the Faith Formation classes to continue to use my resources to teach their classes. 

Submitted photos of Laci Sewar


Girl Scouts in Pembroke complete Silver Award projects

By Press Release


Photos and write-up submitted by Julie Beach

Hannah Beach and Lilly Senko worked together in conjunction with Pembroke Jr/Sr High School in creating a sensory "park" area for their peers who sometimes need to take time out of the school day and have a space where they can unwind, relax, and stimulate their sensory needs.

After much planning and interaction with the kids in the 6:1:1 class, plans began for their project.

The park includes an interactive music wall, a sensory wall, a bench, and a sensory garden with plants that students can feel, smell, and even taste.

The girls had a formal presentation of their project to the school on Tuesday, October 11th, with the principal, teachers, the superintendent, several members of the school board, and parents present.

The school was very excited about this new area for the students.


Dianna Kutter worked with the Ronald McDonald House. She reached out to them to see what was needed. She set up several containers for the collection of pop tops, periodically checked her containers, and tracked her progress. Dianna organized a drive to collect needed items for the Ronald McDonald House, she used funds to create care packages to be given out to families staying at the house, also dispersing gift cards to be used by families. Dianna also painted several inspirational rocks that she placed along the gardens surrounding Ronald McDonald House Ronald McDonald house was very happy to receive the gifts


Savannah Meyer was inspired to help the Genesee County Animal Shelter, as she loves animals. She reached out to the animal shelter to see what items they needed. Savannah organized a donation drive to obtain all the needed items for the shelter. She also researched ideas for making animal beds and made several beds and toys for the animals. Savannah hand-painted a storage cubie to hold all the donations at the shelter. The animal shelter was very grateful for all the donations to the shelter 

All four girls have worked very hard at their projects, and have learned so much during the process. 

With lease expiring, Girl Scouts local service center closing until new location can be found after pandemic

By Howard B. Owens


The Girl Scouts branch office on Jackson Street in Batavia closed its doors at the start of the coronavirus pandemic with services to members being provided virtually, by mail, and by other service center locations.

Now that location is closing, said Callie Johnson, VP of Marketing for Girl Scouts in WNY, but the organization hopes to find another service center site in Batavia once it's safe to reopen.

"Our Batavia office lease expires February 1, 2021," Johnson said. "We had originally planned to identify a new location and relocate to a new space in Batavia that better fit our needs, but due to COVID-19, we are postponing the move.

"To use our resources wisely, we will not renew our lease at this time, and we will wait to move to a new location until after the pandemic and at a time when we can safely reopen. Our goal is to maintain a physical presence in Batavia. In the meantime, we are surveying our members on their input on a new Batavia Office space."

It's Girl Scout cookie time

By Howard B. Owens


It's Girl Scout cookie season and locally, Girl Scouts kicked off cookie event at the Scout headquarters on Jackson Street.  Pembroke student Hannah Beach was on hand to greet visitors and hand out the new Lemonades cookie. Scouts who participated also received a cookie slide bracelet and engaged in hands-on activities.

Press release:

Girl Scout Cookie lovers across Western New York are currently able to purchase their favorite cookies from a girl for $5 per box via order taking starting Jan. 11 – Feb. 8, directly at cookie booths during March 1 – 29, and online through direct shipping now throughout the sale until March 29, 2020. For more information visit

The Girl Scout Cookie Program® teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they have fun learning essential skills like money management, public speaking, and decision making, which set them up for a lifetime of success. Nine in 10 Girl Scouts say the cookie program has built their entrepreneurship skills and their interest in pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path—so every cookie purchase is an investment in the world-changing business leaders of tomorrow. What’s more, each and every purchase stays local to power amazing experiences and leadership opportunities for girls in communities across the United States.

GSUSA’s refreshed cookie packaging (with the same great taste!) continues to emphasize what the cookie program is all about, and the updated images feature current Girl Scouts taking part in a diverse range of experiences available to members — from adventure-packed camping and canoeing, to exploring space science and designing robots, to taking action to improve their communities. Every purchase of Girl Scout Cookies makes experiences like these possible for girls in your local community.

And with one of two lemon cookies available nationwide this year, Girl Scouts of Western New York is celebrating the Lemonades cookie, a tasty way to support young female entrepreneurs. Lemonades, alongside classics such as the Thin Mints®, Caramel deLites®, and Peanut Butter Patties® varieties, are savory slices of shortbread with lemon-flavored icing. The variety is offered in select council markets for as long as supplies last.

“We are committed to positioning girls for success both now and in the future through our comprehensive, year-round program experience for girls,” said Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York. “As the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, the Girl Scout Cookie Program® provides girls with an unparalleled experience to hone their entrepreneurial skills and build a lifetime of leadership. We also welcome adult volunteers and girls to join Girl Scouts.”

Girl Scouts from Alexander and Havenwood residents donate handmade stuffed animals to first responders

By Howard B. Owens



Submitted photo and information.

Girl Scouts from Alexander troops 42031 and 42103 along with residents of Havenwood Apartments made 150 stuffed animals over the past few months for first responders to give to children whose families are experiencing stressful difficulties.

The idea began with Marilyn, a resident of Havenwood who passed away but had told the Erin Saile, service coordinator at Havenwood, that she used to make stuff animals in Florida for first responders there. Saile is the wife of Sgt. Jason Saile, Sheriff's Office, so she immediately thought it would be a good project to undertake locally. 

Saile contacted Meghan Ripstein, a Girl Scout leader in Alexander, to enlist Girl Scouts into the effort. Several donations from the community also helped make the project possible.

On Friday, the stuff animals were presented to the Sheriff's Office, City fire, and Batavia PD.


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Video: Alexander Girl Scouts take on community projects

By Howard B. Owens


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Members of Girl Scout Troop 42031 in Alexander were at the Alexander Fire Hall this week to take on a few community projects, including making blankets and care bags for families visiting the Ronald McDonald House, and care bears for Sheriff's deputies to provide to children they encounter in their jobs who might be in the midst of a stressful situation.

Seminar Thursday night to learn to help people with autism

By Billie Owens

An autism seminar to learn how to help people with autism will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at Alexander Fire Department's Recreation Hall.

First responders attending will receive two hours of CME Credits.

Sandwiches and cookies will be available for sale.

The seminar is organized by Katie Green and Angelina Luker for the Girl Scouts' Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve.

Advance registration is preferred, but not required.

To register, call Deb Green at (716) 474-3242.

The recreation hall is located at 10708 Alexander Road (Route 98), Attica.

For more information visit Lake Plains Community Care Network at

Troop #42222 of Elba completes fairgrounds' horse barn project to earn prestigious Cadette Silver Award

By Billie Owens

Elba Girl Scout Troop #42222 members are pictured above from left: Alexandra Belluscio, Lindsay Augello, Laci Sewar and Dakota Brinkman.

Submitted photos and press release:

Elba Girl Scout Troop #42222 is proud to announce the completion on Sept. 30 of the requirements for their Cadette Silver Award.

Their project focused on making multiple improvements to the horse barn at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. The horse barn is used by various horse programs throughout the community during the year.

Just a few of the areas the Troop focused on were various structural improvements made to the west entrance way and gate of the barn.

This consisted of: the replacement of the damaged primary entrance way walls; hand digging 4-foot deep holes to replace support beams for the entrance walls; adding a weed barrier prior to placing fresh mulch; installing a wheel on the gate; and organizing the tool supply storage area after making the necessary wall repairs to improve its usability.

The girls spent numerous hours painting donated wood, walls and doors as well as obtaining several supply donations (rakes, shovels, water buckets, etc.) for shared use by those using the horse barn.

The Troop would like to thank the many donors and volunteers who helped to make this project a successful one. The girls will now bridge from a Cadette to a Senior level Girl Scout and can begin thinking about their Gold Award Project!

Corfu Girl Scout Troop 42025 proudly completes its Bronze Award Project, donates to Roswell Park

By Billie Owens

Submitted photos and information from Julie Beach, leader of Girl Scout Troop 42025, Corfu, and Lyndsey Schneider:
Corfu Girl Scout Troop 42025 completed its Bronze Award Project, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve. They made fun, colorful "Lily Pads" -- a skateboard-like device -- for use at the base of IV poles at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Pediatric Center in Buffalo.
These are handmade, custom-made bases that fit securely on the bases of the IV pole, to be used by children undergoing treatments and in a weakened condition; they are able to ride on their IV pole accompanied by an adult.
For the "Lily Pad Project," the girls planned, wrote letters, then used multiple power tools to create, design and paint six wooden lily pads and build a rolling cart used to store and transport them.
They got the idea after learning on the Today show about a Seattle-area teenager named Nick Konkler who had battled leukemia since age 4. Nick was the first to design and create IV pole platforms after seeing a little girl in Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital struggling to manuever around with her IV pole.
According to the Today show, his plan was to use time in his shop class at Auburn Riverside High School to build one for every child at the hospital. But he never got the chance; he died in 2015 at age 17.
Once they agreed this was the Bronze Award Project they wanted to pursue, the Girls Scouts of Troop 42025 started the process by writing letters to local lumberyards and home centers, requesting donations to help offset the cost of constructing the lily pads.
A prototype lily pad was created and tested on the IV poles at Roswell Park’s Pediatric Center, and after some modifications to the prototype the troop was finally set to begin creating the lily pads.
Each girl in the troop had a hand in creating the lily pads from start to finish. They used woodworking tools to cut, router, fill and sand each lily pad and the storage box. It was the first time many of them had a chance to use power tools.
With such a large troop it was decided to create a reversible lily pad with a different design on each side, allowing each girl an opportunity to layout the design and paint.
Designs include: Captain America/Buffalo Bills, Emoji/Minion, SpongeBob SquarePants /Snoopy, Cupcake/Girl Scout Cookie, Dalmatian/Ladybug, Basketball/Soccer Ball were picked by the girls and traced onto each lily pad and then handpainted.
While it took much longer than expected to complete this project -- a year and a half -- and the troop far exceeded the requirements for the Bronze Award, the results were far beyond anyone’s expectations. The girls, now mostly fifth and sixth-graders, did an amazing job working together to create beautiful lily pads for the children at the hospital. 
They worked hand-in-hand with Roswell Park staff to ensure all necessary steps were taken to ensure their lily pads would be totally functional and safe for children to ride upon to and from there treatments. 
On one side of the cart it says "Please use a Lily pad to ride in style. Made with Love by Girl Scout Troop 42025." The other side of the cart names the troop responsible for this creative feat intended to brighten the day of a sick child, noting it was their Bronze Award Project.
The lily pads and rolling storage cart were presented at Roswell Park Cancer Institute yesterday (June 12) by the troop and its leader, Julie Beach.
The Girls Scouts from Troop 42025 in Corfu who received the Bronze Award are:
  • Hannah Beach
  • Reagan Schneider
  • Lilly Senko
  • Bryonna Bisig
  • Kylie Monette
  • Paige Bryant
  • Makenzie Rich
  • Elle Peterson
  • Olivia Peterson
  • Ashley Johnson
  • Savannah Meyer
  • Sienna Korytkowski
  • Autumn Korytkowski
  • Dianna Kutter
  • Allie Spaulding
  • Kaydence Butler
  • Madison Chatley

Below is a series of submitted photos showing the progress of their project.

Photos: 'Peter Rabbit's Spring Fair' in Darien

By Howard B. Owens


The Girl Scouts in Darien today hosted "Peter Rabbit's Spring Fair" at the Darien Fire Hall, which featured crafts, games, a visit from the Easter Bunny, and a basket raffle.





Oakfield Girl Scout Troop traveled to Dominican Republic this summer

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Girl Scouts of Western New York Troop 42141 from Oakfield made a trip to Cabarete located in the Dominican Republic this past July. 

Girl Scouts Ava Flores, Abby Gardner, Emma Osborn, Regan Burgett, Taylor Wells, along with troop co-leaders Kelly Flores, Stephanie Burgett, and Robin Woodams spent the week-long trip making new friends with some local girls who are now starting their own Girl Scout troop!

They did a beach cleanup and also did volunteer work with a boys group called Inspiredr. The girls also had the opportunity to have fun snorkeling and learning authentic cultural dances. 

The girls also held an exciting bridging ceremony where they moved up from Cadettes to Senior Girl Scouts as they zip lined across the jungle canopy! A bridging ceremony acknowledges accomplishments achieved at a certain age level of Girl Scouts and advances them to the next program level.

The girls added that the trip fulfilled their personal mission statement, commenting, “The purpose of our trip is to expand our limits, have cultural experiences, make new friends, and have fun!”

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Western New York, visit

Photos: Girl Scouts pinewood derby at St. Joe's

By Howard B. Owens


The Girl Scouts held their second Powder Puff Pinewood Derby at St. Joe's this afternoon.  Local Boy Scouts and scout leaders assisted with setup and running the races.







Local Girl Scouts ask City Manager to pick his favorite cookie in taste test

By Howard B. Owens


This year marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies and the Scouts also introduced a new flavor this year, S'mores.

To commemorate, a group of local Scouts stopped by the office of City Manager Jason Molino today to have him do a taste comparison on which cookie he liked better, S'mores and Thin Mints.

Above, Molino holds up the Thin Mints picture signaling his pick. With him are Abbie Mattern, WNY Girl Scouts CEO Judy Cranston, Aubrianna Martinez and Sara Nickerson.

Scouts throughout the county are selling cookies now.

Le Roy Girl Scouts create 'Bright Board' for Wolcott Street School

By Howard B. Owens


Girl Scouts with Trop 42123 in Le Roy created a Bright Board for students at staff at Wolcott Street School. The board is filled with positive messages on bright sticky notes. Students and staff are invited to take a note to brighten their days or leave positive words for someone else to take. The scouts made a prototype and presented it to the principal, scheduled shifts and created the final project. The project took hours and hours to complete.


Photos: Girl Scouts host powder-puff derby at St. Joe's

By Howard B. Owens


It was the girls turn for a change to race pinewood derby cars at St. Joe's this afternoon. Traditionally a Boy Scouts event, the ladies held their own "Race Like a Girl" event this afternoon.

Local Boy Scout leaders, and some scouts, who have the equipment and experience hosting such events, set everything up and the girls raced away.











Photo of winners submitted by Matt Landers. Alexandrea Mann, first place, Bianca Gregory, 2nd, and Casey Tatarka, 3rd.

Girl Scouts donate cat trees to animal shelter

By Howard B. Owens


Photo and information submitted by Jan Seaver.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 42110, from Corfu-Pembroke, presented the Genesee County Animal Shelter with two kitty climbing trees on Sunday. The girls made the trees for their kitten interactive room, along with some cat toys and blankets. The girls are Cadettes and are earning their Silver Award. The wood was donated by Potter Lumber.

Local area Girl Scouts prepare for Charity Golf Tournament

By Steve Ognibene


(Photo above from left, back row (adults): Elba Troop 42222 leader Darcy Sewar, Oakfield Troop 42141 leader Jeanine Corbett, Laurie Shepland  -- VP of Human Resources, Ian Wetherbee -- volunteer coordinator, and Norm Hubbard, Golf Tournament Committee chair. Girl Scouts, front row, from left: Ariana Wolff, Laci Sewar, Rylee Wissinger, Abby Gardner and Ava Flores.)

Chapin International, Inc., is hosting its upcoming 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 8, at Terry Hills Golf Course, 5122 Clinton Street Road, in Batavia. Each year employees raise funds to support local organizations.

“In past years we have chosen the Domestic Violence group of the YMCA, Crossroads and last year the Boy Scouts,” said Norm Hubbard, Golf Tournament Committee chair.

This year’s selected charitable organization is Girl Scouts of Western New York.

The charity fundraiser started out raising $2,000 and last year we raised over $6,000 for the Boy Scouts. Each year it has steadily increased. There are 27 hole sponsors, along with many other local contributors. The more sponsors we get will equally be divided up and recognized throughout the tournament.

Below, Girl Scouts from Elba and Oakfield troops stuff 200 golf appreciation bags provided by Chapin.


With more than 750 mailings locally, we have three local car dealerships sponsoring a hole-in-one and chance to WIN a car as one of the special events: Castilone Chrysler Dodge and Jeep, Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac, and Toyota of Batavia.

“There is no large prize for winning because we want to keep the charity in mind,” Norm said. "We recognize teams that are mixed, men, and women including Chapin’s employees. Other special events include closest-to-the-pin, longest drive, closest-to-the-line and a chance to win a set of golf clubs on the day of the event only."

The registration starts at 11 a.m. with a putting contest for a chance to sink a put and win a recliner from Max Pies Furniture as a Grand Prize. Multiple puts that sink go into a draw pool to decide the winner. There supplemental prizes, too, and lunch for everyone at noon so nobody is left out and everyone will walk away with a prize.

The golf shotgun starts at 1 p.m. and wraps up at 6, with dinner and awards following.   

To register, sponsor or donate visit the tournament Web site at:

YMCA Camp Hough Kicked off the 2015 Season

By Valerie Brey

This past weekend YMCA Camp Hough kicked off the 2015 camping season with a visit from over 100 girls from the East Genesee Girl Scout Service Unit. The girls and their leaders enjoyed many activities at the camp’s location on Silver Lake. With a survivor theme Girl Scout Leaders and volunteers planned many great activities such as Relay Races, Scavenger Hunts, Knife Safety, and Arts and Crafts. Girls also joined YMCA Camp Hough staff for Archery and Rock Climbing. YMCA Camp Hough Director Valerie Brey said, “I love working with the Girl Scouts because they always have so many great ideas and positive energy. I just had a child run half-way across lower camp to thank me for encouraging her to keep climbing on the rock wall. That is why we do what we do.” For more information on YMCA Camp Hough Rentals or Resident Summer Camp visit or call (585) 344-1664.

Corfu Troop 42025 celebrated 103rd birthday of Girl Scouts with baby basket donation

By Billie Owens

Photo and information from Julie Beach:

On Thursday, March 12th, Girl Scouts across the nation celebrated the "birth" of Girl Scouts 103 years ago. Troop 42025 from Corfu decided they wanted to do something to recognize the event, too.

The troop of 27 girls created a gift basket to be given to the first baby born on Girl Scout "birthday." Troop members pictured brought the basket to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.

From left are: Autumn Kortykowski, Sienna Kortykowski, Hannah Beach, Lilly Sanko, Makenzie Rich and Paige Bryant.

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