Girl Scouts of Western New York recently participated in the 47th annual Skills and Chills event at Camp Seven Hills Goodyear in Holland, New York.

The Skills and Chills competition allows sixth-grade cadettes through 12th grade ambassadors to test abilities and earn awards.

“It’s important to know these skills,” said Nancy Grimes, chairwoman of the outdoor committee. “It gives girls a sense of strength in the outdoors. They can say, ‘I can do this. I can accomplish this. I don’t need to wait for someone else to do it.’ Part of the philosophy of this program is not just having the skills, but being willing to try and give it a shot.”

Ann Marie Lesnewski brought Cadette Troop 30143 to the event.

“We try to do the skills throughout the year,” said Lesnewski. “Whenever we go camping, we try to incorporate fire building. With first aid, we talk about it all the time and what you should do if certain situations come up. It’s an ongoing process for us, and we don’t just do this to prep for Skills and Chills.”

Girls compete in events including archery, orienteering, canoeing, tent pitching, log sawing, knots and lashing and field sports.

“Points earned are based more on common sense and safety than speed,” said Grimes. “It’s about understanding what’s required to be safe if you use these skills while camping. We’re out here to make sure they enjoy it and can act as leaders to be able to light a fire or perform first aid. Team building and communication are important for the girls to learn and use, too.”

Points were totaled at the end of the evening, and award ribbons were given to event winners.

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