Monday, December 8, 2014

Girls know best! Second round of outdoor badge voting now open

The girls have spoken and Outdoor Recreation has been chosen as the theme for the next set of Outdoor badges! Girls can now vote for their favorite set of badge activities: water activities like kayaking and swimming, outdoor exploration like tent camping and horseback riding, or challenge activities like rock climbing or zip lining. GSUSA plans to announce the final results on March 12.
 
The first phase of voting was held during November, when girls were given three choices of outdoor badge categories: Recreation, environment or survival. The new badges were announced during the National Council session at the Girl Scouts' National Convention in October in Salt Lake City. GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez led a discussion about the importance of outdoor programming in Girl Scouting by announcing that new outdoor badges for Brownies, Cadettes, Juniors, Seniors and Ambassadors will be introduced in the fall of 2015 through a Girl’s Choice program.
 
Girls can vote as many times as they want--but no grown-ups allowed! When you vote, please share what you chose with us on social media using #gswpavotes. We'll be tracking that hashtag to see what programs girls in our council would like to see more of!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Picture this: Your love of drawing and painting could win you a house!


A dollhouse that is!

Just submit your artwork of biking or running or both according to the contest rules below and you’ll be entered to win this amazing, fully-furnished dollhouse.

Selected artwork will be used for awards at a GSWPA event in August at Presque Isle State Park in Erie—the Lake Erie Duathlon!
To enter, your artwork must meet the following specifications:
  • Artwork needs to be on 5x7 sheet of paper or card only. Nothing can extend beyond the 5x7 border. Orientation can be either portrait or landscape.
  • Artwork MUST reflect the event theme, which is “Bike and Run!” Artwork can depict biking, running or both!
  • Any medium can be used (watercolor, crayons, pencil, pen and ink, pastels, etc.).  However, artwork cannot contain any 3D elements such as beads, ribbons, or puffy glue/paint. No photography.
  • Artwork must be signed with first name, Girl Scout level and age. For example:
    • Correct: Melinda, Girl Scout Junior, age 8.
    • Not correct: Lisa, Cadette, age 11. (Signature must include “Girl Scout” prior to level).
  • Your contact information must accompany your artwork on a separate sheet of paper (do not write any contact information directly on the front or back of your artwork). Please include on a separate sheet of paper your name, mailing address, phone number and email.
Mail your entry to: Bike and Run Art Contest, c/o GSWPA, 5681 Route 6N, Edinboro, PA 16412.
ALL artwork submitted by the contest deadline are entered for a chance to win! All registered Girl Scouts—Daisy through Ambassador—are invited to participate!
Additional contest rules:
  • No purchase necessary. One entry per person.
  • Winner must pick up dollhouse at the GSWPA Pittsburgh Shop, located at 30 Isabella Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 no later than Friday, Feb. 6. Please note: The dollhouse is quite large and fully furnished. You will need a truck and several helpers. Dollhouse dimensions are 36” high, 57” long, 29” wide.
  • Deadline to enter is Jan. 15, 2015.
  • A winner will randomly be chosen and be notified by telephone.
Questions? Contact Lisa at 800-248-3355 ext. 1427 or lshade@gswpa.org

Monday, December 1, 2014

Girl Scouts National Convention 2014 inspires girls to take action

More than 20 girls, adult members and staff from GSWPA were among more than 6,500 from around the world to converge on Salt Lake City for the 53rd Annual Girl Scouts national Convention, Oct. 16-19.

This dynamic event, which was centered around the theme, “Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World,” was filled with activities and speakers--including news makers, leaders, policy makers and celebrities from around the world—aimed at celebrating and invigorating the Girl Scouts global movement. It was also an opportunity for representatives from councils across the country to take part in decisions that chart the future of the organization through the meeting of the National Council.

Girls from GSWPA head to Salt Lake City.

GSWPA adult delegates Krystal Boburchock and
Stephanie Barefoot-Mitchell with GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chavez.
“Attending the 2014 National Convention for Girl Scouts was an incredible experience,” said Brittany McCartney, an Ambassador Girl Scout from Meadville who attended both as a Girl Scout Leadership Institute participant and a national delegate. “I honestly had no idea what to expect going into convention but it exceeded any expectations I could have set for myself.”

Three girl delegates and 10 adult delegates represented GSWPA this year on the National Council, the membership body of Girl Scouts of the USA charged with giving broad direction to the future of the Girl Scout Movement. As required by the Girl Scouts of the USA Constitution in the Blue Book of Basic Documents, the body convenes every three years and is the major link between Girl Scout councils and the national organization. National delegates gather feedback from GSWPA members on the proposals and discussion topics on the National Council Session Agenda and then act as the voice of the council.
This year at convention, National Council voted on, and ultimately adopted, three proposed amendments to the Constitution of Girl Scouts of the USA in these areas:
  • Flexibility of dues and registration practices
  • Reporting relationship of the chief financial officer
  • Role of past presidents

Sightseeing in Salt Lake City's Tabernacle Square.

Also at the National Council session, GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez led a discussion about the importance of outdoor programming in Girl Scouting by announcing that new outdoor badges for Brownies, Cadettes, Juniors, Seniors and Ambassadors will be introduced in the fall of 2015 through a Girl’s Choice program.
 
“It was almost unanimous that the girls wanted to go back outdoors in Girl Scouting,” said McCartney. “As one girl said, we need to put the “out” backing in Scouting!”

As if being a part of a national decision-making process wasn’t exciting enough, convention attendees also took part in some pretty amazing activities, heard from inspiring speakers, and even had some time to do a little sightseeing.

Throughout the convention, Girl Scouts Leadership Institute participants (12 from GSWPA) teamed up to create a “Take Action” project to address an issue that was affecting people in their communities: hunger, basic needs, education, healthy relationships, teen violence, self-image, gender equality, diversity and inclusion. “In researching and discussing the issues I learned more about myself, and became more aware of issues that girls from across the world are facing,” said McCartney.

The group also heard from several inspiring speakers, including Elizabeth Smart, an activist and speaker who was abducted at age 14 and rescued nine months later, and Alison Levine, a mountaineer who has climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents.

The list of awesome experiences from the convention is seemingly endless.

“It was absolutely amazing to see so many young women in Girl Scouts in one place,” said adult volunteer Sharon Enslen. “We got to experience how the national proposal process works, see the Hall of Experiences, enjoy the Girl Lounge, trade SWAPs, sample cookies and nuts, meet Anna Maria Chávez, see the Parade of Flags, make new friends, ride in a bicycle rickshaw, hear the Mormon tabernacle choir, go to a private party at Clark Planetarium, attend a dance party and so much more! Wow, what a trip!”

Feeling inspired to experience the Girl Scout Convention for yourself? Well, we have good news for you! The next convention, slated for Oct. 12-15, 2017, will be held right in our backyard in Columbus, Ohio. Stay tuned for more details!



Friday, November 21, 2014

Give the gift of camp for the holidays! Register by Dec. 31 for 10% off!


Catching fish at Camp Skymeadow
Give your girl a gift for the holidays that will lead to a lifetime of memories. Give her the gift of summer camp with GSWPA! 
 
To show our appreciation for our regular campers, we're offering an additional 10% discount for those who register by Dec. 31.
 
To take advantage of the discounted rates:
  • Take a look at the many great camp offerings for 2015 (a special sneak-peak for our loyal customers!) and select the camp program of your choice.
  • Complete the 2015 Customer Appreciation Camp Registration Form.
  • Mail the completed form along with the required deposit to GSWPA, Summer Camp Registration, 5681 Route 6N, Edinboro, PA 16412. (Unfortunately, online registration is not available for this special offer.)
  • Financial assistance forms can be mailed along with your registration form.  
Mail must be postmarked by Dec. 31. As of Jan. 1, 2015, new prices will be in effect (no exceptions). Between Jan. 1 - March 31 we will offer a 5% discounted rate. Any registration forms with a postmark of 2015 will be registered at the 5% discounted rate.
 
For specific details about any particular camp or program, e-mail that camp name at gswpa.org, for example hawthorneridge@gswpa.org. For more information about the discount, please contact 800-248-3355 ext. 1007.
 
And be sure to watch your mailbox for Camp S'more, coming out in mid-December! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wexford Girl Scouts win President’s Volunteer Service Award

For girls in Girl Scout Troop 51514, giving back to the community is a tradition.
During the past two years, girls strived to “do a good turn daily.” 
Two years ago, the troop of 20 fourth graders from Marshall Elementary School in Wexford completed nearly 1,500 good deeds.

This commitment to community service was so well received by the girls and their families, troop leaders Amy Herne, Belle Zimmer and Brandy Campbell decided to up the ante.
They challenged the girls in July 2013 to work toward earning the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Zimmer began tracking all of the girls’ service hours and certifying all of the work girls did in their community. The troop logged more than 600 service hours in 11 months. In addition to troop projects, girls were encouraged to volunteer on their own and with their families.
The girls completed a variety of service projects as a troop, including:

·         helping the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden get ready for a fairy garden event by collecting items from the woods.

·         creating "Birthday-in-a-Bag” kits for North Hills Community Outreach’s food bank.

·         volunteering at the Marshall Township Halloween Parade and Celebration by hosting a game for local children.

·         collecting winter hats, gloves and scarves for Light of Life Mission.

·         building bird houses for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.

·         assembling more than 40 Jared Boxes for patients at Children’s Hospital.

·         making Valentines for a local nursing home.

·         sending Christmas cards to hospitalized veterans.

·         hosting a karaoke night for Ronald McDonald House.

Some of the efforts the girls did on their own/with their families included:

·         volunteering at local nursing homes.

·         dance-a-thon for Cystic Fibrosis

·         ringing bells for the Salvation Army

·         clean-up of a local fire station

·         local church events

Each Girl Scout was presented a Silver Pin for her uniform and a certificate signed by President Obama at a Girl Scout ceremony in June.

 


 

Call for Nominations for Pittsburgh Girl of Distinction Awards


2014 Girl Scout Humanitarian Award winner Veronica Brueggman, GSWPA CEO Patricia Burkart, and 2014 Girl Scout of Distinction Award winner Laura Sosovicka.
We think ALL Girl Scouts are amazing, but do you know one that goes above and beyond? Nominate her for a Girl of Distinction or Girl Scout Humanitarian Award.

GSWPA will present the 2015 Awards of Distinction at a luncheon in May 2015 at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

The Awards of Distinction Luncheon event will recognize two Girl Scouts in the following categories:

The Girl of Distinction is a current Girl Scout who:
  • is active in her community and education institution
  • exhibits strong leadership efforts through school functions, Girl Scout activities
  • continues to strive for higher learning
  • emulates a healthy life style for herself
The Girl Scout Humanitarian Award is a current Girl Scout who:
  • demonstrates outstanding volunteer community service
  • promotes friendship, cooperation and community spirit among all people
  • displays compassion, self-sacrifice, leadership, and creativity in her humanitarian work for their classmates, schools, communities or charitable organizations
*Nominees for both awards should be in high school grades 9-12 and reside in the Allegheny, Beaver and Butler service areas.
 
Each award recipient will receive a $500 scholarship toward her academic pursuits. 
 
Honoree selections are the responsibility of the Awards of Distinction Committee, which is comprised of a diverse group of professional and community volunteers.
Submission Requirements:
Mail or email a letter of recommendation outlining the nominee’s leadership qualifications for a specific award. Also, please include a head shot photo to: aburns@gswpa.org
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania
AOD-Pittsburgh
30 Isabella Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
 
Deadline for Submission: December 31, 2014
 
And if you know an inspiring woman in the Pitsburgh area, nominate her for a 2015 Women of Distinction Award!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Girls choose! Vote on the next outdoor badges

 
GSUSA has announced that not only will four new Outdoor badges be added in fall 2015 for Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors, but girls can vote to select the badges they can earn.
 
Girls are invited to vote online now through Nov. 30 for the content area they're interested in within the Outdoor category: Recreation, environment, or survival.
 
Once a majority vote is tallied for the content area, girls will get to vote again Dec. 1-31 on the badge topic based on their grade level in the coming year. GSUSA plans to announce the badges on March 12.
 
Girls can vote as many times as they want. There's just one rule: No grownups allowed! Of course, you can help younger girls access and read the voting site, but the decision must be up to them.
 
So encourage all the girls you know to cast their votes today!