Weekly Feature



2018-03-01 / Lifestyles

Girl Scouts of WNY Launches New Summer Camp Activities


Participants of STEM- the Girl a- palooza Scouts event of Western work on New a computer. York’s Participants of STEM- the Girl a- palooza Scouts event of Western work on New a computer. York’s In an effort to help girls develop a greater appreciation for the outdoors and interest in science, technology, engineering and math, the Girl Scouts of Western New York has launched a series of new summer camp activities.

The organization’s summer camps will continue to offer camp favorites such as horseback riding, building shelters and ropes adventure courses, but it will also include more innovative tasks that will encourage girls to step out of their comfort zone and become leaders.

With funding from United Way, the Girl Scouts of WNY established eight new programs including G.I.R.L. Tough, where girls complete challenging outdoor obstacle courses; Escape Artists, where girls solve puzzles, research and crack codes, and take a day trip to the Buffalo Escape Room; and Be Brave and Bold, where girls learn the fundamentals of archery and precise target shooting. Girls in kindergarten through 12th grade can register for any of the organization’s four summer camps, which include Camp Piperwood in Fairport, Camp Seven Hills in Holland, Camp Timbercrest in Randolph and Camp Windy Meadows in Lockport.


air Two girls sit 40 feet in the on a tire after completing a high- ropes obstacle course at Camp Timbercrest in Randolph. air Two girls sit 40 feet in the on a tire after completing a high- ropes obstacle course at Camp Timbercrest in Randolph. Girls do not need to be registered in Girl Scouts to attend the summer camps, which begin in July and run until the beginning of August.

“We want girls to have fun, take on new challenges and learn leadership,” said Alison Wilcox, chief operating officer at Girls Scouts of WNY. “We found that girls tend to stop taking risks because they’re worried about what boys will think. When you get them in an all-girl environment, they’re more likely to test their own limits.”


HOLLY LIPKA Reporter HOLLY LIPKA Reporter With hopes to bridge the gender gap in the technology industry, Girl Scouts of WNY established a new STEM camp activity called GIRLbots, where girls design, program and control a fully functional robot.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women in the U.S. hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. There are many possible factors contributing to this discrepancy, including a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping and less family friendly flexibility in STEM fields.

Wilcox believes Girl Scouts can change that with early exposure and hands-on activities taught by female mentors.

“If girls see a woman doing it, they think, Wow, that can be me,’” said Wilcox. “Our

Girl Scout Research Institute found that 80 percent of all female tech leaders were Girl Scouts, so we know that we can really make a difference.”

Girls can also choose to canoe and go rafting at Letchworth State Park; complete a zoologist program and learn about animal habitats and proper care needed for different kinds of animals; or go scuba diving and obtain a Junior Open Water certification.

No matter what a girl decides to try, Wilcox said each activity gives girls an opportunity to grow.

“They are going to gain confidence in their leadership ability and understand the importance of corporation and team building,” said Wilcox. “It’s about them understanding their role in the world and how they can use their skills to transcend.”

For more information about summer camp, including a list of all the available camp programs, details regarding the online or paper registration process, and financial aid opportunities, visit gswny.org.

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