Monday, July 20, 2015

Lake Erie Duathlon: Important race day deets!

The Lake Erie Duathlon is just around the corner!

Please read the race details below carefully. If you have any questions, contact Lisa Shade at

Packet pickup—Pre-registered racers can pick up race packets at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, Thursday, July 30 from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday, July 31 from 9 a.m. until noon. The address is 5681 Route 6N, Edinboro, PA 16412.

Please note: Timing chips are NOT in race packets. Chips will be distributed prior to the race at the Beach 11 pavilion beginning at 6 a.m., so please make sure you stop by the pavilion even if you picked up your packet in advance. Packets can also be picked up at the pavilion beginning at 6 a.m.

Race day
Pre-race instructions will be announced 15 minutes prior to race start.
While our race uses chip timing, it’s a gun start, so please make sure you are ready to go by our 7 a.m. start time.
Leave ample time to arrive at Beach 11, which is toward the eastern tip of Presque Isle State Park. The speed limit at the park is 25 mph, so it can take up to 20 minutes to reach the Beach 11 parking lot depending on traffic.

Please note, you are not permitted to ride your bike within the marked transition area. Volunteers will alert you to when you can mount/dismount your bike. PARTICIPANTS MUST BE WEARING HELMETS PRIOR TO EXITING THE TRANSITION AREA.
Relay teams:
Bikers wait in designated place for runners within the transition area (bikes remain on racks).
Runners enter transition area, then transfer chip to biker (chips are on a strap). Biker can then retrieve bike from rack and walk to start. After doing one loop, biker dismounts at entrance to transition area, places bike on rack, and transfers chip to runner waiting in designated space within the transition area.


First 5K
Runners start at beach 11 and head west on the multi-purpose trail (paved surface) past the Perry Monument to the turnaround, then return to the Beach 11 transition area. The entire course is on the multipurpose trail. Please be alert for the turn into Beach 11. Volunteers will be there to guide you.

20K Bike—one loop of Presque Isle State Park
Please remain in the right hand lane the entire loop. Crossing into the other lane may result in disqualification.
The turnaround is near the Beach 1 bathhouse, then you head back to Beach 11. Please be alert for the turn into Beach 11. Volunteers will be there to guide you.
Cyclists must wear an ANSI-approved helmets during the entire bike segment of the race
The race course will not be completely closed to automobile, pedestrian or bicycle traffic.
Participants must be alert at all times.
NO drafting.

Second 5K
Runners exit the east side of the transition area and head north on the multipurpose trail (paved surface) toward Beach 10 to turnaround, then back to Beach 11 for the finish. Please be alert for the turn into Beach 11. Volunteers will be there to guide you to the finish.

Water is located in the transition area and at the first mile of the second 5K. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New online shop coming July 1!

The Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania Online Shop is getting a makeover on July 1, 2015! GSWPA online sales will now be processed from the Girl Scouts of the USA Online Store using a custom GSWPA Shop page. Expect an improved online and mobile shopping experience, a full assortment of Girl Scout merchandise available to you shipping directly from the GSUSA distribution center in New Jersey.

What is the link to the new online store? Starting July 1, the new site can be accessed at the same address as the previous one: A hyperlink to the new Shop site can also be found on the homepage of

Will I need to create a new user name and password? If you have not previously shopped on the national online shop, you will need to create a user name and password. When you first visit the new site after July 1, click on the "Register" button to create your account. After that, you'll just need to log in using the email address and password you provided when setting up your account. 

Will online sales benefit our local council? Yes, GSWPA will still benefit from every purchase made locally. A portion of any purchase made within one of the council’s zip codes will automatically be credited to our council.

Can I still buy GSWPA merchandise online? Yes, you will be able to purchase GSWPA branded merchandise online. Council specific merchandise will ship locally from one of our GSWPA council shops.

What about shipping fees? GSUSA’s official online store offers a variety of shipping options from which to choose. The shipping cost is based on the value of the entire order. Standard shipping times range from five to ten days.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us!
Phone: 1-800-811-9342, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fox Chapel volunteers receive awards

The Fox Chapel Service Unit 5903 presented awards to two amazing volunteers recently. Thank you to these outstanding role models for helping build girls of courage, confidence and character!

Amulya Garimella, Appreciation Pin recipient Kathy Demetri, and Satya Venneti
Satya Venneti and her daughter Amulya Garimella presented the Appreciation Pin to troop leader Kathy Demetri.

This was Amulya's last year with the troop and she thanked Kathy for being an outstanding troop leader.

Appreciation Pin Criteria: The candidate is a registered Girl Scout Adult Volunteer and has provided outstanding service to ONE or MORE geographic or program delivery audience in a way that furthers the Council’s goals. The candidate has significantly contributed to meeting one or more council goals in membership growth and retention, fund development, or increased community visibility in two or more geographic areas. And the candidate activity recognizes, understands and practices the values of inclusive behavior.

Wow! Congratulations Kathy on your award!

Troop leader Sue Stiger was presented with the Volunteer of Excellence Pin by co-leader Kathy Jerich. The girls in their troop attend Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy.

Sue Stiger and Kathy Jerich
Volunteer of Excellence Pin Criteria: The candidate has successfully completed a term of service and fulfilled all requirements of the position. She/he has performed beyond expectations for the position to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls using the national program portfolio or has gone beyond the expectations of the position and supported council’s mission delivery goals in one or more of the following areas: Membership Development/Community Cultivation, Volunteer Relations/Support, Program, Leadership and Governance, Fund Development, and Council Support Services. She/he actively recognizes, understands, and practices the values of inclusive behavior in her/his troop and service unit. 

Awesome! Congratulations Sue!

Want to honor Girl Scout volunteers who are doing amazing things for girls? Check out the awards criteria and how to nominate on our Adult Awards section of our website.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tour camp and discover the fun!

Camp Open Houses are a perfect opportunity to come to camp and see where your daughter may be staying and meet some of the staff. Girls who attend open houses are familiar with what camp looks like and already have friendly faces they know when they arrive.
Camp locations and contact information is available here. Families welcome!
Camp Skymeadow
Sunday, May 3
2-4 p.m.
Camp Singing Hills
Sunday, May 17
noon-2 p.m.
Camp Hawthorne Ridge
Sunday, May 17
4-6 p.m.
Camp Redwing
Saturday, June 13
10 a.m.-noon
Camp Conshatawba
Sunday, June 14
1-3 p.m.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Du" something fun!

On August 2, GSWPA is hosting a special event at Presque Isle State Park in Erie called the Lake Erie Duathlon. 

This run-bike-run event is popular among local weekend athletes, and draws many cyclists and runners from the Pittsburgh region as well. 

The race kicks off at 7 a.m. sharp and the event will last until approximately 11 a.m. You can learn more about the race at


Adult and girl volunteers are needed for these super-fun opportunities:
  • Courage Corridor—a tunnel of cheering Girl Scouts and families will encourage our participants to finish strong! Bring your whole troop and any accessories that can help fuel the fun, like pom-poms, signs, small flags, etc.
  • Hydration Stations—hand cups of water to thirsty runners at one of our two water stops on the race course. Cheering is welcome at Hydration Stations, too, so your whole troop can be involved.
  • Three Miles of Smiles—grab some sidewalk chalk and help us cover the last 5K of the race with inspirational messages to runners. They’ll be glad you did!

Girls and adults who register to volunteer by July 1 are each guaranteed to get a snazzy volunteer t-shirt, so don’t wait!  Click here to register or contact Lisa Shade at

Debuting this week...The new!

New and improved GSWPA website is now live! 

We’re so excited about the changes coming this summer that will make being a member of GSWPA easier, more manageable and more enjoyable. 

So, we're thrilled to announce the first piece of the initiative is now up and running: the new GSWPA website!

The brand new has a fresh, new look, easy-to-navigate design and improved features and functionality. Some of the highlights of the new site include:
  • a mobile-friendly design so it can be easily viewed and navigated on any device;
  • a searchable forms library that will allow you to find forms and files based on category or keyword;
  • an events calendar with advanced search capabilities and a convenient calendar view; 
  • banner ads throughout the site to promote seasonal initiatives, and much more!
We’re one of nearly 30 councils from across the country that have transitioned to this new national web platform, which features both up-to-date national content from GSUSA, along with important resources and information specific to our council.

Questions or comments about the new site? Reach out to us! 

Coming Soon - New GSWPA Shop Website!
Just like our main website, the GSWPA online shop will undergo a makeover this summer. Launching in early July, the new site will offer an improved 24/7 online shopping experience, including a mobile-friendly design for shopping on the go. And because the site will be managed by GSUSA, this transition will help us to maintain consistent branding, pricing and a full assortment of Girl Scout merchandise.
  • GSUSA will process all online orders and ship them directly from their NJ distribution warehouse.

  • Customers can still purchase GSWPA merchandise online, and those items will be shipped directly from GSWPA. This will reduce council operating costs (inventory, freight, data hosting, mailing supplies and postage).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Volunteers remembered for their service, kindness

With heavy hearts we say goodbye to two of our treasured Girl Scout sisters.

Ni Carlson
Naomi "Ni" Carlson of Bradford started her Girl Scouting journey in 1945. She served in many roles in Girl Scouts, from troop leader to member of the council board of directors.

In 1994 she received the Thanks Badge II, which is the highest Award in Girl Scouting for adults. 

Ni was beloved to girls, adult volunteers and staff at GSWPA.

Ni passed away on May 14. You can read Ni's obituary here.

Jackie Schoch

Dr. Jacqueline L. Schoch, DuBois, was a dedicated volunteer for many organizations in her community. She served on the board of directors for Keystone Tall Tree Girl Scout Council, one of the councils that merged to form GSWPA

She also received the council's Woman of Honor award.

Jackie's legacy to support Girl Scouts continues as hundreds of girls make new friends, try new things and make a lifetime of memories every summer at the lodge at Camp Curry Creek that bears her name. You can view her obituary here.

Both women will be deeply missed by our Girl Scout family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time.

Jackie Schoch Lodge at Camp Curry Creek