Monday, September 29, 2014

Shop on AmazonSmile, help GSWPA


Attention Amazon shoppers: Did you know you can have a percentage of your Amazon purchases donated to GSWPA at no extra cost?

We’re participating in AmazonSmile. It’s a way for people to support their favorite nonprofit automatically every time they shop, at no cost and by taking just a few simple one-time steps. Awesome, right?

Just go to smile.amazon.com, log in to your Amazon account, and you’ll be asked to select a charity. Type in Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania and select it from the list. And if you’re already participating in AmazonSmile and want to change your charity to GSWPA, simply click on “Supporting” in the upper left side of the page when you’re logged in and select “Change your charity.”
After that, all you have to do is make sure you go to smile.amazon.com every time you shop and Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to GSWPA! Your smile.amazon.com account is the same as your amazon.com account, so your shopping cart, wish list, registries and other account settings are the same no matter which one you use. Want to learn more? Here are some AmazonSmile FAQs.
Thank you for shopping—and supporting GSWPA!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tell us what you can't wait to do!

When a girl says, "I can't wait to," you know that what's coming next is something she's excited about. Whether she's talking about tomorrow's field trip or the big game next Saturday, that wide-eyed anticipation  is one of the best parts of childhood. And for our troop leaders and volunteers (who know the secret to staying young!), seeing that excitement--and feeling it themselves--is often the best part of being active with Girl Scouts.

So we want to know: What can't you and your girls wait to do this year?

Snap some pictures of yourself, other volunteers, or girls in your troop holding a white board explaining--in just a few words--what you can't wait to do this year along with #icantwaitto (just like the photos at right). Post the pics to our Facebook wall, email them to socialmedia@gswpa.org, or share them on Twitter or Instagram (just be sure to mention GirlScoutsWPA in the post so that we see it), and we'll share them on our social media channels. We want to tell the world how awesome it is to be a Girl Scout--and want our girls and volunteers to do the talking!

Please be sure to include your troop number and location (or just your location if you're an Indie Girl), and that any girls pictured have not opted out of the photo release at registration.

We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Volunteer shares favorite hobbies through Girl Scouting


For Girl Scout volunteer Jodi Sando, seeing the joy girls get from mastering a new skill is icing on the cake, especially since Jodi is the one who teaches them how to ice the cake.

Cake decorating is just one of the programs Jodi leads as a volunteer program facilitator. In addition to leading a multilevel troop, Jodi teaches girls cake decorating, outdoor cooking, geocaching, crochet and cross stitch to Girl Scouts through S’more programs by request.

Girls gain confidence from trying new things, and that’s what Jodi enjoys about leading programs. “I love watching them go from nervous about trying something new to excited about what they’ve accomplished,” she said. “I’m so proud of them. Every time.”

Even when things don’t exactly go as planned, girls still have fun and learn important lessons. During one outdoor cooking session, Jodi recalls, the rack in a cardboard oven fell, sending raw eggs sliding in all directions. “There was egg ooze on the picnic table and eggs frying right on the charcoal,” she said. “The girls loved it—they thought it was cool.” They cleaned up, started again, and made sure the cooking rack was secure. “Live and learn!” she said, smiling.

Jodi loves sharing her own skills and hobbies with girls, especially cross stitch and cake decorating. “I feel they are lost arts, so I’m glad they can still learn them in Girl Scouts.” They are also her favorite programs to teach. “Nothing can get burned,” Jodi laughed.

A volunteer for 32 years, Jodi loves the opportunities Girl Scouts offers her. “Girl Scouts keeps me young,” Jodi said. “I do things in Girl Scouts that I wouldn’t do on my own, because the girls want to do them.”

She is impressed with the adventures available to today’s Girl Scouts. Girls can try zip lining, archery, shooting sports, all things Jodi said she would have never considered trying as a child.

“And travel,” Jodi added, “These girls can go anywhere in the world.”

Jodi will travel with Ambassador Girl Scouts from her own troop in 2015 to Savannah, Ga., the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliet Gordon Low. The girls will be presented with their Gold Award pins while visiting the place where Girl Scouting began.

“They are finishing their Girl Scouts years with a great moment,” Jodi said. “I can’t wait.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Camps get creepy for Girl Scouts Halloween festival


It’s not an autumn breeze or cold feet that are raising goose bumps at Girl Scout camp this October—it’s the haunting Halloween happening called Camp Creepy!

Come to this annual festival to enjoy Halloween-themed games, crafts and activity stations created and staffed by sister Girl Scouts. You’ll also go trick-or-treating, play glow-in-the-dark games, take a haunted hike, visit the mad scientist’s lab for spooky science experiments, make s’mores and hear stories at the campfire.

Camp Creepy has two haunts this year:
Both camps offer family-friendly frights, suitable for girls in grades K-5. Come as a troop or with family! Chaperoned siblings are also welcome. Plan to spend at least two to three hours to see everything. Registration costs $15 per girl (no adult fee). A meal option of a hotdog, chips and a drink is available for an addition $4 each.

Haunted Hollow offers extra chills at Redwing

After they’ve visited all of the activities at Camp Creepy, girls in grades 8-12 are invited to cross the spooky bridge into Haunted Hollow to hike a haunted trail or visit our ghostly carnival, complete with scary fun-house maze and ghoulish games. Experts will be on-hand to talk about ghost hunting and ghost hunting equipment. Please note: Haunted Hollow is not appropriate for kids under the age of 13 or those who scare easily.

Click on the links below to register for this ghostly good time! Don't forget your costumes!

Volunteers needed

Not only are girls, troop leaders, volunteers and parents invited to attend Camp Creepy, but camp organizers are also looking volunteers to help make the event a spooky success! Troops in grades 6-12 can plan and host an activity or station, and adults are also needed to help with registration, food, and more. If you’re interested, please e-mail hawthorneridge@gswpa.org or redwing@gswpa.org.


Super Saturdays, Cool New Gear at GSWPA Shops!



It’s a new Girl Scouts year, which means it’s time to stock up on all your GS gear! With Saturday hours and special deals throughout the fall, plus new starter kits, clothing and other merchandise, you’ll definitely want to check out what the GSWPA Shops have to offer. And as always, you can also shop online at gswpa.org/shop

Super Saturdays

We know weekdays can be hectic, so we’re opening up several of our GSWPA shops on select Saturdays throughout the fall for “Super Saturdays.” Not only can you see the newly released clothing and collectibles, but you can also take advantage of some great Saturday-only specials!


  • September 27, 9 a.m.-noon (all locations): Double your dough! All Nut Bucks, Cookie Dough and Early Bird Bucks will be DOUBLED in value. It's a great chance to use these rewards before they expire.
  • October 4 & 18, 9 a.m.-noon (Beaver, Edinboro, Greensburg, Kittanning, Johnstown and Pittsburgh shops only): Receive a free gift with your $50 purchase!
  • Nov. 15 (all locations), 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Open House, featuring refreshments, special savings, and a free gift with your $50 purchase. Plus bring a non-perishable food donation in exchange for 15% off (some exclusions apply).

Camp Redwing Trading Post

Stop by the Camp Redwing trading post during Journey Palooza from noon - 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept 28! We'll have Camp Redwing merchandise and all your other favorite Girl Scout items. This is a great chance to use your Cookie Dough and Nut Bucks before they expire, and we’ll also accept cash, checks, credit cards, Early Bird Bucks and Program Certificates.

Brand New Starter Kits are here!

These kits include all the basics that every girl needs to begin her Girl Scout adventure or to move to the next grade level. All kits include either a sash or vest, flag patch, 5 troop numerals, council ID set, insignia tab, your choice of Journey Book, the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, and FREE pink or green drawstring bag.