Thursday, February 9, 2017

Troop helping troops: Girl Scouts 'adopt' military platoon deployed overseas

Daisy Troop 27074 of Jeanette has been working on projects throughout the year to show their appreciation for our nation's military. And now they're even getting some help from Girl Scout Flat Daisy, who has been sent to spread cheer to a U.S. Army platoon with the 110th Infantry Regiment stationed in Jordan. 

The girls' work to honor military and veterans started in November when the troop hosted their second annual Veteran's Day event, "Holding the Hand of My Hero." Each girl invited a family member or friend who is a veteran to join them for an evening of patriotic songs, readings and activities honoring U.S. military and veterans. The girls made sure each veteran left with a handmade craft, thank you card, patch--and a feeling of appreciation for their service.

That inspired the troop to find a way to extend their appreciation to active duty military deployed overseas. Troop Leader Jaclyn Robinson works with two soldiers serving with the 110th Infantry Regiment, one of them in a platoon that's currently deployed in Jordan. So she reached out to her co-worker's wife--who happens to be Miss Westmoreland County 2017--to help the troop send Valentine packages to the platoon. The 21 girls in the troop created Valentine cards and filled boxes with candy, stickers and self-inflating balloons. 

The troop also decided to send Flat Daisy to their "adopted" platoon to keep them company while they are away from their homes and loved ones. 

"Flat Daisy and the Valentine boxes just arrived to them and they are already making plans for her adventures!" said Robinson. The platoon and Flat Daisy are just outside Jordan's capital city of Amman, and will be traveling through Europe and parts of the United States as they make their way back to western Pennsylvania later this year.

"Our ultimate goal is to let the girls show their appreciation for our military personnel and to teach them about the sacrifices our heroes make for our country," said Troop Leader Jaclyn Robinson, "And most importantly to let them do all of this in their own age-appropriate way." 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Brownie acts fast to help mom

Annabella and her mom, Emily
Through Girl Scouts, girls of all ages are taught to help others in many different ways. Not only do they focus on being considerate, kind and helpful, but they also learn what to do in an emergency.

One Brownie Girl Scout had think fast to put what she learned into action during an early summer afternoon. 

On an otherwise quiet day in June, Annabella Becker witnessed her mother, Emily, having a seizure. Annabella, her brother, and her mother were alone when Emily fell unconscious onto the hardwood floor, hurting her head and back. 

Annabella knew what she had to do. She moved chairs away from her mother and put their two dogs into a room while waiting for first responders to arrive. Her brother ran to the neighbors for help and to call 911, while she remained with their mother. 

Annabella remained calm and reassuring during this scary time. Once the first responders arrived, she gave them room to help her mother and calmly answered their questions. 

Annabella stated, “I knew the EMS would help my mom because I learned that in Girl Scouts.” Annabella is recognized for her heroic action by her neighbors and Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.

Well done, Annabella! We're so proud of you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Aid/CPR/AED trainers needed

Attention volunteers: Want to make friends while helping more volunteers get the necessary training to take girls on awesome adventures? Oh, and get Girl Scout shop and membership perks? Become a certified First Aid/CPR/AED instructor for GSWPA!
We're looking for two volunteers to provide First Aid/CPR/AED trainings to GSWPA members in the northern or eastern counties of the council.

You'll need to be certified as an American Red Cross-certified First Aid/CPR/AED instructor to conduct the trainings. Don't worry if you don't have your certification--GSWPA will pay for you to get it! The instructor training is at least a two-day commitment, plus online learning.

Once certified, you'll just need to provide four American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED trainings per year.

As an instructor, you'll receive your choice of a $25 Girl Scout shop certificate OR a $25 credit toward the Outdoor Training Summit being planned for September (details TBA). Plus, if you conduct two trainings before September, we'll waive your 2017-18 membership dues.

If you’re interested in this unique volunteering opportunity, or are already a First Aid/CPR/AED trainer with the American Red Cross and would like to provide training to our members, contact Amy Snyder, Adult Development Manager at 800-248-3355 or

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Discounted 'Disney on Ice' group tickets available for GSWPA members

Gather your troop for a magical night with Elsa, Ariel, Cinderella and more at Disney on Ice, Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh!

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania members can take advantage of a special discounted group ticket price of $12.50.* Plus, each Girl Scout in attendance will receive a special Disney on Ice commemorative patch.

The deadline to purchase tickets is Feb. 17. Place your order early to get the best possible seats! For more information or to reserve your tickets, contact Jake Sullivan at 412-804-7904.

*A 15-ticket minimum is required to qualify for the discount and a $10 processing fee will be applied to the order total. The discount is valid for seats in sections 101-105 / 109-113 / 200 level. Friends and family are welcome to attend with your group at the discounted price.

About Disney on Ice
Enter a world where adventure is awaiting and courage leads the way at Disney On Ice presents "Dream Big." Through enchanted pixie-dust, Tinker Bell takes you on a journey of beloved Disney tales LIVE ON ICE. Make a splash with the fearless dreamer Ariel as she yearns to explore life above the waves. Watch Rapunzel, Cinderella and Belle as they learn about the power to make their own magic. Travel to the wintry world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa, and the hilarious Olaf from Disney’s Frozen as they learn that true love is the greatest magic of all. Be there to discover a whole new world with the daring Jasmine, and join Snow White, Aurora and Tiana as they remind you to always be strong, kind and fearless. High-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make this an experience your family will never forget. Believing is just the beginning when Disney On Ice presents Dream Big skates into your hometown!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Enter to win prizes for your troop with Bling Your Booth and Cookie Troop 100!

A blinged out and bedazzled cookie booth is a great way to draw in cookie customers. But it can also be a way to earn awesome prizes for your troop when you enter GSWPA's Bling Your Booth contest and GSUSA's Cookie Troop 100 contest! Here's the low down:
Bling Your Booth
Spice up your booth sales and get a chance at winning great prizes for your troop! All you have to do is let girls use their imagination and get creative about ways to decorate your cookie booth. Then, snap a photo of your troop in action at their cookie booth and upload it at by March 26.

Photo entries will be posted to the GSWPA Facebook page the week of March 27 and voting will be open for one week after the photos are posted. Share the photo of your favorite booth and encourage friends to vote by "liking" your photo. The three photos receiving the most votes (likes) will win a $100, $75 or $50 gift certificate to the Girl Scout Shop! 

Check out Pinterest or Little Brownie Bakers for ideas and printables.  

Cookie Troop 100
Once you've blinged your booth, you're already on your way to completing the requirements for the Cookie Troop 100 Contest. 

To celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, one lucky troop from EVERY council around the country will win $100 each to put toward their awesome cookie Take Action or service project. And one VERY lucky troop will win $3,000 to super-power their project!

You can participate in four easy steps:
1. Set a troop goal and share the plan for your cookie money—what cool stuff will you do to improve your community this year?
2. Earn a Cookie Business badge—you can take your pick!
3. As a troop, ask 100 NEW customers to buy cookies.
4. Bling Your Booth. Gather your troop and get those creative juices flowing to come up with a fun theme—a party, a race, a cookie disco—what will it be? You can even include a Cookie 100th twist. Just remember to snap a cool photo!

Once all four steps are completed, submit your entry by April 30 at to unlock your patch, and enter for a chance to win!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Give A Little Love" by collecting donations for Goodwill

"Give A Little Love" Clothing Drive & Community Service Project
Do your family members and neighbors have items collecting dust that someone else could use? With the Goodwill "Give A Little Love" Clothing Drive and Community Service Project, Girl Scouts are encouraged to collect gently used items during the month of February for donation to Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies and Goodwill of Southwestern PA. Collected goods will be sold to benefit Goodwill's programs and services.

Each participating Girl Scout will have the opportunity to earn a patch recognizing their commitment to their community. And the top three Girl Scouts who collect the most donations will win a paid trip to camp courtesy of Goodwill!

How to Participate
Download the participation instructions, registration form and donation guidelines/FAQs below, depending on the county where you live and will be dropping off your donations:

GSWPA Girl Scouts collected nearly 30,000 pounds of donations during last year's "Give a Little Love" campaign.
Shown here is
Penn Wood Hills Troop 52570 dropping off their donations last year.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Help Older Girl Scouts Have a Successful Cookie Season!

Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts already know what a cookie can do – and have the experience to take them places through the Cookie Program.
As a teen, Girl Scout Cookies can bring girls a world of experiences! Whether they’re earning the Silver or Gold Award, traveling to new places, making a difference through community service – or even paying for their Girl Scout membership (or lifetime membership!) next year – our older Girl Scouts build on those Five Skills they learned as a Daisy or Brownie.
Here are a few tips for older Girl Scouts to have a successful Cookie Program:

Use Digital Cookie.
Girls can superpower their cookie sales with Digital Cookie, offering fun, easy tools to reach cookie customers, both near and far, while learning 21st century business skills.
And guess what? Girls who used the Digital Cookie platform in addition to traditional sales sold 76% more cookies and reached their goals faster—so amazing.

Approach businesses.
Corporate sales can be a great way for older girl troops to expand their cookie selling methods and sell more cookies in a short amount of time. Working with the council staff and community leaders, girls can identify large companies that might buy large quantities of cookies to give out to customers or employees. Or, the employees themselves might be interested in stocking up. 

Not sure where to start? Try these businesses:
  • Car Dealers (individual or an auto center) can purchase cookies and give a case to every customer who buys a car in March. 
  • Service Companies (house cleaners, oil change outlets, dry cleaners, etc.) can stock up on cookies and give a box to every customer on Girl Scout birthday or during a special promotional day. What customer wouldn’t love to come home to a clean house AND a box of cookies on the counter? 
  • Corporations can buy cookies and distribute to employees as a thank you for a special project. 
  • Real Estate Agents may want cookies to serve at open house events during the month of March. Give a case of cookies for every house sold (or maybe make arrangements for a year’s worth of cookies). 
  • Hotels and B & B Locations can purchase cookies to serve on their concierge floor or at afternoon tea during the month of March. They could also award a box to a “guest of the day” during the month of March. 
Check out this special Cookies@Work toolkit to help girls maximize sales!

We’ll also let service unit cookie managers know when a business in their area is interested in being contacted by a Girl Scout.

Participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation. 

Girls who participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA) or another Gift of Caring program sell an average of 70 more boxes than girls who don't. OSA donations can be made on the Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie and at booth sales and all donations count toward each girl’s and/or troop’s overall sales.

Download these fun printables to use at booth sales to encourage people to donate.

Maximize social networks. 

Older Girl Scouts use the Internet for a variety of reasons including the online marketing and sale of approved Girl Scout related products.

Check out these social media graphics that can be shared to help spread the word about Girl Scout Cookies.

Just be sure girls stay safe and take the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge before they start.

Build skills by earning badges.
Girls can take their cookie sales to new levels by earning cookie-related badges and activity pins. Cookie Business badges demonstrate that girls at every level learn specific skills related to running their own business. Cadettes can work on writing an effective business plan or marketing plan. Seniors learn how to show college admissions officers and employers the benefits of the sales experience, as well as increasing customer loyalty. And Ambassadors learn about profit and loss, and research and develop new ways to build their cookie business. Sweet!

Want more resources?
Lots of tools are at your fingertips!
Little Brownie Baker Teen Resources (Please note: Digital Cookie replaces the Cookie Club for our council.)