Displaying items by tag: GSNENY

Thursday, 16 November 2017 17:00

Girl Scouts Troop #3087 Builds a Buddy Bench

[All photos by Lori Mahan]

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Katie Ploss has been the troop leader of Troop # 3087 for the past three years. Her troop consists of 15 third graders who decided they wanted to build a Buddy Bench for their Greenfield Elementary School.

Lucy Ploss, one of the Girl Scouts, described the Buddy Bench as, “something that people can use to go to when they are lonely.”

The bench will be displayed on the playground for years to come. It is a place for any kid who is feeling lonely or left out to sit on and find a friend.

“The bench means that if someone is friendless they can go and somebody might sit down with them,” said Maya Balouskas, Girl Scout.

Ploss said that they started raising money for the bench in August; the girls decided a garage sale would be the best option for money raising and they all contributed items to sell in the Greenfield Town Wide Sale. By the end of the weekend, they had more than met their goal of $350. Once the bench was bought, the girls brought it to the school.

“We had every student in the entire school do a thumbprint in the shape of a rainbow on the back of the bench. We had a plaque made and then we put the school name on the back of the bench as well. Now the girls will implement how to use the bench. The principal has brought attention to the bench being outside and what it’s meant for, being kind and being there for people who are lonely,” Ploss explained.

“The Buddy Bench means kindness to me. Kids can have someone to play with and not be left out for the whole recess,” said Girl Scout Eliza Watson.

“The girls are doing a great job explaining to people what it’s used for and so for years to come it’ll be used by all the students in the school. We just really look forward to seeing it bring kindness. It’s really just about keeping the Girl Scout promise of being courageous, strong, friendly, and helpful, and the girls are doing a great job of showing how to carry that out,” Ploss commended.

In total, the bench cost approximately $350. The Buddy Bench can be found at the Greenfield Elementary School.

Published in Education
Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:55

Girl Scouts Look at Life Saving Equipment

[All photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]

SCHUYLERVILLE — From noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12 four troops in the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York (GSNENY) chapter worked on achieving their First Aid badge or pin by learning about 911, the basics of first aid, such as using household items in a first aid situation and identifying cardiac and stroke symptoms, and meeting with local fire and EMS personnel from the General Schuylerville Emergency Squad and the Saratoga Hose Company,  along with LifeNet paramedics. Coordinator Kim Austin has been Troop #3085 Leader for three years and was given this idea by other troop leader Lana Cawrse.

“We were lucky because one of the other troop leaders, Lana Cawrse, has a brother-in-law who is a paramedic for LifeNet, Andrew Cawrse. They had basically initiated this over a family dinner and when we talked about it and decided to open it up to all of the Schuylerville troops, a lot of that fell into my hands. LifeNet generously donated their helicopter and Hudson Crossing donated the location,” Austin explained.

Along with a helicopter for the girls to explore and learn about, two fire engines were present and the girls got a thorough tour of the compartments in both engines and a lesson on evacuating from a home in the event of a fire with their families and pets. 

“I think the most exciting part of the day was being able to explore the helicopter and try on the gear and participate in a mock rescue. They also learned from the paramedics, Andrew and his partner Brian, about splinting broken limbs with household items like bags of peas and chopsticks. They also learned stroke awareness, identifying the signs of a stroke,” Austin said.

Though it was only 40 degrees that day, Austin said they were lucky that it was a “warm 40 degrees,” so the girls and their leaders could comfortably learn what was being offered to them.

“Every year the GSNENY allows them to earn another 1st aid badge or pin so they continue to increase their skills through the curriculum and they build confidence by seeing people participate in these things. The best thing is they were interacting with real personnel who do these things every day and who they might encounter in these situations. It may make them want to be involved in this type of occupation in the future,” Austin said.

The girls’ parents were excited about what was being offered to their daughters. “From the parents I talked to, they were very excited the girls were having such a rich experience and got to have 20 minutes with each station. They were excited to see the girls learn that much at such a young age,” Austin explained.

“It’s great when we can bring all the troops together for a really great learning experience that is memorable for the girls and continue to build community support for Girl Scouts. We’re not just about cookies and crafts. Our goal is to build the next generation of leaders, which I feel is certainly true in this situation,” Austin vocalized.

Published in Education
Thursday, 14 September 2017 12:36

Girl Scouts Collaborate at Pitney Farm

Photos provided by Dan Forbush and GSNENY.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Pitney Farm has had a very busy summer with numerous activities and projects. The Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York (GSNENY) teamed up with them to create a fairy village. The GSNENY also kept busy this summer at the farm by painting rock markers, creating scarecrows, planting sunflowers, and growing food for Franklin Community Center. When it came time to create their fairy village, the Girl Scouts used natural materials such as bark, stones, and twigs.

“Girl Scouts in Brownies had the opportunity to earn the painting badge and outdoor art creator badge in a program at the farm on Saturday, Aug. 26. Juniors had the opportunity to earn the drawing badge and the outdoor art explorer badge on the same day. The last requirement for both Brownies and Juniors on the outdoor art badge is to design with nature. The fairy house decorating project fits in perfectly to complete the badge,” said Jess Clauser, Girl Scout leader at Dorothy Nolan Elementary, who is leading the art program in the Community Gardens.

 “The Girl Scouts are an important and delightful aspect of the garden. They are full of enthusiasm and spirit. My goal is to share the love of gardening I developed as a young person with others and hopefully they will enjoy being in nature, growing healthy food, and get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in preparing foods that they have had a hand in growing with their families and friends,” said Natalie Walsh, Gardens Director.

Walsh has been the garden's director since the spring and her responsibilities include overseeing the development of the gardens.

The GSNENY fairy village will be on display Saturday, Sept. 16 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“For the fairy house/garden decorating project each girl will get a small wood birdhouse as their starting off point. The houses have been pre-painted with milk paint and approved for use by Natalie. The houses are many different shapes and painted many different colors. The girls will decorate the houses, and then come to the event and the farm to place them into the fairy garden. The first event will be a fairy tea party! The girls can dress up or wear their fairy or butterfly wings if they own them, but it is not mandatory,” Clauser said.

Snacks such as cakes, cookies, and sandwiches will be provided at the fairy tea party and each girl will take a picture with their fairy house. They will have the opportunity to pick out a place in the fairy garden and situate their house.

“I have been involved in every aspect from the planting of the first seeds, to the construction of the raised beds, organizing volunteers, reaching out to the community and more. I have helped new gardeners get started, taught gardening skills on Saturday mornings, planned and planted the sunflower fields, organized events and publicity, and met with community members to let people know what a wonderful resource exists here. Each day is different,” Walsh explained.

Also at Pitney Farm this summer, community organizations such as the Mentoring Group, Saratoga Bridges, Saratoga Transitional Services, the Girl Scouts came regularly and worked in the garden.

“The farm under community ownership is brand new this year and the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York got in on the ground floor. Our first project was painting and decorating rocks for the herb garden,” said Clauser.

“In fact,” Walsh said, “Saratoga Bridges has helped me harvest food that I then deliver to the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry. Community supporting community. That’s a big part of the Community Garden’s mission. We are currently working on creating even more community involvements through the schools and senior center.”

This summer, Pitney Farm also ran a series of classes for adults on gardening and art classes for children to experience the garden through painting and drawing.

There are several children activities in the garden, including, a mini farm created by Judy Brunner. A pasture with fences and a pond with many animals you’d see on a farm surround this mini farm.

The garden also had much success with their food production; many tomatoes, kale, Swiss chard, tomatillos, herbs, melons, pumpkins, and much more had healthy crops.

In the spring, community members planted their own Mammoth sunflower seed, which they tended to all summer.

“Now the plants are fully grown and will be measured at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday the 16th. They are measured for height. The tallest wins,” Walsh said.

The Pitney Farm also rehabilitated their old barn this summer with the help of many community members, Habitat for Humanity, and students from local schools.

The Community Garden has more planned for the fall and they need volunteers to help make it happen. If you’re interested, visit www.pitneymeadowscommunityfarm.org for more information.

Published in Education