Centennial of Women's Suffrage in NY

Centennial of Women's Suffrage in NY

This patch program has been created in collaboration with the NYS Women’s Suffrage Commission, Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York and Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office.

 November 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of New York women gaining the right to vote—three years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment granted women nationwide the right to vote. The New York victory represented the culmination of the dedication and hard work of dozens of New York women over many years. Suffragists, also called Suffragettes, met regularly in homes and at large open-air meetings to figure out strategies and approaches. They marched in parades; they held rallies; they staffed tents at state fairs and distributed pamphlets; they even sold candy and suffrage items at baseball games, anything to spread the word of how important it was for women to be granted the right to vote. 

In 2020 the Centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote will be celebrated across the nation. This year our state is celebrating the role it played in advancing the right of women to vote. Leading up to the ratification of the amendment there were several key women, organizations and events in New York State advocating that women be granted this right. Much of the grass roots movement of the Suffrage Movement began in New York State and through completing this patch program you will become aware of that movement as well as the women who have shaped history throughout time. 

The Women’s Rights Movement started in the 1840’s here in New York State, long before the formation of the Girl Scouts organization & Girl Scouting. Once Girl Scouts had been formed, many of the suffragists became members of Girl Scouting, one even serving as the National President of GSUSA. Many other famous women and Girl Scouts have impacted the Women’s Rights Movement and are recognized at the Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. 

As you fulfill the requirements for this patch program, try to keep the following in mind: 

What justice means to you. 
If, and how, the Women’s Right Movement is still a part of our current lives? 
Advocacy is a huge part of Girl Scouting and through advocacy we have the power to impact the lives of others.


When you complete the program, you can purchase the patch from the GS Shoppe for $1.75 each. You can download the program information and requirements.

  • Daisies – Complete 3 steps including 1 starred item 
  • Brownies – Complete 4 steps including 1 starred item 
  • Juniors – Complete 5 steps including 2 starred items 
  • Cadettes – Complete 6 steps including 2 starred items 
  • Seniors/Ambassadors – Complete 6 steps including 3 starred items
  1. ☆Who were the first women to lead the suffrage movement? Where did they come from? What was the first event they led for Women’s Suffrage? A good website to learn about suffragettes and the Women’s Rights Movement is www.history.com (search for the 19th Amendment).☆

  2. What women’s groups were instrumental in passing the 19th Amendment? 

  3. Name 3 locations in NYS that were key to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. 

  4. ☆Learn the definition of civil disobedience; discover if there were any instances of civil disobedience during the Women’s Rights Movement. Decide if civil disobedience has been used in our time in supporting any current women’s rights issues?☆

  5. ☆Either virtually www.womenofthehall.org or in person, visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame located in Seneca Falls, NY to see which women, throughout time have been inducted to the hall of fame. There are many famous women that have been inducted that were or are still Girl Scouts. Name at least 1 woman related to Girl Scouting and 2 others that you feel have made an impact in either the Suffrage Movement or other Women’s Rights issues. Who do you feel you have a connection with?☆

  6. ☆There was a Suffrage tent at the Suffolk County Fair at Riverhead, NY set up as a place for child care. In 1913, Suffragists could go about campaigning for women’s rights confident their children were well cared for in the Suffrage tent.☆

    • The types of games girls/children could have played during this time period and perhaps while cared for at the Suffrage tent are listed below. Play one of the games listed with your GS Troop or family. Many of the items need to play can still be purchased inexpensively or even improvised like children of the Suffrage Time Period did. 

    • Marbles - Marbles were made of stone, pottery, clay, or china. Some had colorful swirls or strange designs. Children who had no marbles used musket balls, nuts, or hard berries to play instead. Marble collections were always changing, as children won, lost, and traded their marbles. A big bag of marbles was considered a treasure. Losing at marbles was very disappointing. Perhaps the expression, "lost their marbles," began as a description of an angry loser! There are many websites where you can learn how to play marbles or download this PDF which features simpler version for you to try

    • Pick Up Sticks - Pickup sticks, or jackstraws, was a very popular game and originated with American Indians. It was originally played with straws of wheat. To play, all that was needed was a pile of wood splinters or straws. Some fancy pick-up-stick games had ivory straws. Modern versions of jackstraws use wooden or plastic sticks. The sticks are heaped in the middle of a table. Each player takes a turn removing one stick from the pile. The challenge is to do so without moving any of the other sticks. 

    • Graces - The game of graces was played by two players, either two girls or a girl and a boy. Boys did not play Graces with one another because it was considered a "girl's game." Each player had a stick. Using the sticks, the players tossed a hoop to one another. The game was meant to encourage children to move gracefully.

    • Jacks - The game of jacks is played with small six-pronged objects called jackstones, or jacks. The first player started the game by throwing the jackstones on the ground. The other players then took turns tossing one jack into the air, picking up another jack from the ground, and then catching the flying jack as it came back down-all with the same hand! In the next rounds, players tried to grab two jacks, then three, then four. If someone failed to pick up enough jacks, or allowed the flying jack to hit the ground, that person was out of the game.

    • Hopscotch – Hopscotch is a children’s game still played today. A player tosses or kicks a small stone or other small object into one of several numbered sections of a diagram marked on the ground and then hops on one foot over the lines from section to section and picks up the stone or object , normally standing on 1 foot in an adjacent section. 

    • What other games or toys do you think girls played with during this time period

  7. Did it take very long for women to get the right to vote? For a Women Suffrage Timeline, click here 
  8. ☆Seneca Falls, NY is of key importance to the Women’s Suffrage/Women’s Rights movement. What is the significance of this location in NY? There is even a Women’s Rights National Historical Park that can help you learn about.☆

  9. When was the first Women’s Rights Convention, did many people attend and what was the outcome of the convention? 

  10. Justice, our GSUSA Justice Journey relates to the environment but more so asks for each of us to think and envision what justice means to us as individuals. Think about and list who you feel needs justice most in today’s world. Why do you feel the way you do? Do you think bringing justice to those you listed be difficult? Would it be worth the fight? What could you do to advocate for justice?☆

  11. ☆Discover how democracy works and why voting is important for women by visiting the League of Women Voters of New York State website here There are several youth programs and resources available for you to learn about voting.☆

  12. ☆Within NYS there are maps of both the New York State Women's Rights and Suffrage Trail and the Women’s Heritage Trail. Visit their websites to find 3 locations of interest to you and if possible visit one of these sites to learn more about the history they illustrate.☆

  13. Which of the historic sites on the 2 trails do you feel hold the most importance for Women’s Rights? 

  14. ☆Visit the NYS Women’s Suffrage Commission website here to learn about its members and other information about the Suffragists. The site also offers a map of sites which you can visit in NYS related to the Suffrage Movement.☆

  15. Create your own Suffrage poster/banner or one based on a current Women’s Rights issue. 

Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.