Friday, September 14, 2018

Preparing volunteers to get more girls outdoors

Last weekend, September 7-9, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania hosted over 100 volunteers at Camp Redwing for the annual Outdoor Training Summit, which is made possible by a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Volunteers were able to brush up on old skills and learn brand new ones as they gear up for a new year of Girl Scout camping and outdoor experiences and other great adventures!

"This weekend is such a great opportunity for our volunteers," said Dana Young, GSWPA Director of Outdoor Experience. "We're able to set them up with the skills they need to keep getting their Girl Scouts outdoors, and they get time to share ideas and experiences with volunteers from all across the council."

Topics included: outdoor cooking, geocaching, knife skills, naturalist knowledge, first aid and CPR, and small craft canoe training.

Check out photos from the weekend!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

GSWPA announces first-ever Spirit Week

The new Girl Scout year is here, so let’s celebrate! Join in the fun for our first-ever GSWPA Spirit Week.
Sunday, Sept. 23-Saturday, Sept. 29
 We’re asking you to show your Girl Scout spirit by participating in the activities listed below. And, make sure to share it with the world! Every time you share your Spirit Week experiences on social media using #GSWPAspiritweek, you'll be entered to win daily prizes! (Tip: To maximize your entries and your chance to win, make multiple posts of the daily activities using #GSWPAspiritweek in each one!)

Visit gswpa.org/difference for more tools to help you spread the word about Girl Scouts. Once there, you can also join our Girl Scout Champion Rallyhood where you can connect with our recruitment team and other Girl Scout members and find resources, such as flyers and posters to hand out in your community.

Here's our list of daily activities that will help all of us come together as one very proud Girl Scout community.

Sunday, Sept. 23
Share why you love Girl Scouts.
Whether you're a girl member, leader, alum, volunteer, or staff member, share on social media why you're proud to be a Girl Scout. Use #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes. Talk to your friends and family about your love for Girl Scouts, too!

Monday, Sept. 24
Flaunt your favorite.
Share a photo on social media of your favorite or most meaningful badge or patch that you have and tell us why it's important to you. Was it a new experience? An awesome memory? Did it teach you something new or peak your interest in a new hobby? Use #GSWPAspiritweek on social media to be entered to win daily prizes. Write about it for a school project or share your memories with friends and family.

Tuesday, Sept. 25
Show how you're making the world a better place.
Share a photo on social media of something you've done to make your community a better place. Whether it was a community service project, a Take Action project, a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award, or volunteering with a local organization, we can’t wait to see what you’ve done to benefit your community! Use #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes. Consider sharing a photo from a recent community service event or project with the community editor at your local newspaper—you’re contributing to your hometown in a special way, and that’s an awesome story!

Wednesday, Sept. 26
Share what you've done #becauseofGirlScouts.
Tell the world something you've experience or accomplished because of Girl Scouts. It could have been a STEM activity, an outdoor experience, an entrepreneurial opportunity, and/or a civic engagement project that you were a part of because you’re a member of Girl Scouts. Share a photo of this memory or take and share a photo holding our #becauseofGirlScouts printable. Use #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes and #becauseofGirlScouts to share your story with GSUSA.

Thursday, Sept. 27
Help us promote Girl Scouts.
Take some time to promote Girl Scouts by hanging Girl Scout posters and flyers on billboards at local establishments like libraries, churches, restaurants, and more. Take a photo while you’re spreading the word about Girl Scouts and post it to social media using #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes.

Friday, Sept. 28
Wear your Girl Scout spirit.
Wear your Girl Scout uniform or your favorite Girl Scout shirt to school, work, and around your community. Take a photo and use #GSWPAspiritweek when you share it on social media to be entered to win daily prizes.

Saturday, Sept. 29
Place Girl Scout rocks.
Find the perfect location in your community for your Girl Scout-themed rock that you've decorated. You’ll spread your love for Girl Scouting and make someone’s day when they find your work of art! Show us your rock on social media by using #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

To do: 6 simple tasks for a strong start to your Girl Scout year



After a wonderful summer of camping, traveling, and outdoor adventures, school is back in session. And, that means that our new Girl Scout year has begun, and we're excited to keep the fun times coming!

Here are 6 things that will help GSWPA Troop Leaders get ready for troop meetings and other Girl Scout adventures:
  1. Make sure you’ve renewed your membership. Keep the Girl Scout party going! If you haven't already, take a few minutes renew your membership so you can get started on your plans for the upcoming Girl Scout year! And, please be sure all girls in your troop are also renewed before Oct. 1.
  2. Update your troop information. Please help us make sure our troop opportunity catalog information is up-to-date, so that we can help connect more girls to Girl Scouting! Whether you have open spots in your troop, or are no longer accepting new members, please fill out the Troop Opportunity Catalog and Information Update Form with your current troop information.
  3. Set up your Volunteer Toolkit. The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a web app that is accessible from any device. Get access to planning tools and resources to get the most out of every troop or group meeting. If you aren’t currently using the VTK to plan your Girl Scout activities, you’re missing out on this super helpful tool!
    • Plan the troop’s calendar year.
    • Email parents with one click.
    • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update girls' contact information.
    • View Daisy through Ambassador Journeys and badges (to plan for troop meetings), including prepopulated tracks for younger and older Multi-Level troop groups (K–5 and 6–12).
    • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options.
    • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of materials needed and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting.
    • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements.
    • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar.
    • Enter the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).
    • Easily locate resources both national and local council resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints.

      If you are a Troop Leader that has renewed your membership and role for the 2018-19 year, you can access the VTK now to begin planning for the new year. You will also be able to view or print any plan you created last year.
  4. Gear up to head out. Planning any outdoor activities this year? Be sure to check out the Safety Activity Checkpoints, and register for an upcoming Outdoor Skills Training if you haven’t yet completed one.

    And, be sure to check out this collection of online videos to help you introduce girls to the joys of the great outdoors, covering everything from campsite setup to camp cookery.
  5. Review council news. Check out our most recent editions of Patched In to make sure you're up-to-date on council activities, programs, and news.
  6. Fund the fun with MagNut. Build up your troop’s funds at the beginning of the year through the MagNut Program. These magazine, nuts, and candy products are perfect for stocking stuffers! Find out how the MagNut Program can help your troop shine!

As always, we're here to support you! Reach out by calling 800-248-3355 or email customercare@gswpa.org.

Have a great Girl Scout year!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Girls in grades 5-12 invited to apply for community service award

http://spirit.prudential.com/view/page/soc

Every day, Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania are making the world a better place through meaningful Take Action projects. Now, these girls have a chance to be honored for their hard work by applying for a 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

  http://spirit.prudential.com/view/page/soc
This unique youth recognition program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, has recognized more than 115,000 middle and high school students—including thousands of Girl Scouts—at the local, state and national level for outstanding acts of volunteerism over the past 21 years.

Top winners receive sizable cash awards, engraved medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for the national awards ceremony in April 2019.

Girl Scouts in grades 5-12 can apply online at spirit.prudential.com. Application Certifications must be submitted to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania by November 6, 2018 emailing it to customercare@gswpa.org with the subject line, Prudential Award.


Applications will be reviewed and one or more Girl Scouts will be selected to represent our council in the state-level judging. State-level winners will be announced on Feb. 5, 2019.

For more information, please visit spirit.prudential.com, or call 877-525-8491 if you need a paper application.