Thursday, August 27, 2015

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 happenings called Camp Creepy!

Come to these annual festivals at three of our camps 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 three haunts this year:
  • Camp Redwing in Butler County on October 10 (Also includes Haunted Hollow for older girls.)
  • Camp Conshatawba in Cambria County on October 17
  • Camp Hawthorne Ridge in Erie County on October 24

All three camps offer family-friendly frights, suitable for children in grades K-5 and are open to the public. 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 additional $4 each. (General public fee is $19 for children, $4 for adults and includes the meal.)

Haunted Hollow offers extra chills at Redwing

After they’ve visited all of the activities at Camp Creepy at Redwing, 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!

Girl Scout Member registration:
Not a Girl Scout member? Complete this form to register.

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. Volunteers will receive dinner, and free lodging for Saturday evening after Camp Creepy. Find out more.

Help us bring Girl Scouting to more girls through the Family Partnership

As a member of our Girl Scout family, you know Girl Scouting provides girls with amazing experiences that help them today and in the future. Please help us give those same experiences to even more girls here in western Pennsylvania by making a tax-deductible donation through our Family Partnership Campaign.

What does your contribution do?
Your contribution benefits girls in need of financial assistance and resources, helping us to honor our promise to offer the Girl Scout experience to all girls no matter the circumstances. Whether they decide to participate in Girl Scouting through a troop, school-based program, camp, or educational programs, they each gain courage, confidence and character. Your contribution fosters their development in a girl-led environment where they learn skills that will serve them all their lives.
  • $15: Can sponsor membership for one girl in GSWPA
  • $25: Can purchase a life vest for camp water activities
  • $50: Can offer girls STEM programming
  • $100: Can help send a girl to a night at camp

And, if you donate $15 or more to the Family Partnership Campaign, you'll  receive a patch!

How to donate
It's easy! Simply select the donation amount of your choice when registering or renewing your membership. (You'll be asked to do so before getting to the final payment screen.)

Already registered/renewed? Make your donation through our online giving form. Just be sure to type "Family Partnership Campaign" in the Donation Notes section.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It’s time to kick off the best part of back-to-school!

What’s your next adventure? That’s the theme of the 2015 Kick-off Celebrations—events that help our great volunteers get geared up for Girl Scouting fun.
This year’s Kick-off Celebrations aren’t just another meeting; You’ll have a ton of fun with volunteers and older Girl Scouts while learning about all that’s new for the school year.
As a matter of fact, there isn’t even an agenda for Kick-offs. There’s a FUN-genda! Check it out:

  • Browse resource stations to get all the deets for MagNut, the Cookie Program, camp, Volunteer Essentials, upcoming programs, girl awards, and a creation station for extra fun.
  • Opening session featuring an introduction created by Girl Scouts, of course. GSWPA staffers will also fill you in on all the exciting changes and new resourcres available for the 2015-16 Girl Scout year. 
  • Attend break-out sessions for the topics most important to you and visit—or revisit—your favorite resource stations. 
  • Stick around for awesome prizes and a memorable closing by local Girl Scouts. 
Idea-sharing, question-answering break-out sessions will cover: 
  • Volunteer Toolkit—Get hands-on experience in the Volunteer Toolkit.  No more hunting for the right activity or building your own supply lists.  You've got everything you need right here in this web app that helps you plan and quickly organize your Daisy, Brownie and Junior troop year.  Save time, plan for success, and make every troop meeting awesome!  
  • New Leaders—Are you a new troop leader? Are you ready to start planning the next big adventure for your girls? Visit this roundtable to meet other new leaders, get answers to your start-up questions, and learn tips and tricks to make your troop year a great one. 
  • Service Unit Management—Leading the leaders who lead Girl Scouts? Find out what you need to know to help support the volunteers in your Service Unit. 
  • Travel/Trips—Every girl deserves a chance to explore her world.  From field trips as Brownies to globe-trotting as teens, travel builds the foundation for a  lifelong love of adventure by visiting new places. Learn the ins and outs of trip planning for girls of all ages.  It's her world, help her explore it! 
  • Product Sales—When you support girls in selling Girl Scout products, you're doing more than just helping the community stock up on delicious treats. Girls are learning valuable leadership skills that last a lifetime.  Attend this session to share and learn tricks of the trade for the largest girl-led business in the world! 
  • Girls Matter! What do you want your next adventure to be? Share your ideas with Girl Scout staff and other girls!

Kickoff Celebrations are FREE! Girl Scout volunteers and Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts are invited to attend. Register now for a Kick-off Celebration near you!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Volunteers needed to make Camp Creepy a spooky success!

Camp Creepy is coming...And we need your help to make it spooktacular! We're looking for adult volunteers and Cadette, Senior and Ambassador troops to help out at our three Camp Creepy events: Oct. 10 at Camp Redwing; Oct. 17 at Camp Conshatawba; and Oct. 24 at Camp Hawthorne Ridge.

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. Volunteers will receive dinner and free lodging for Saturday evening after Camp Creepy.

Interested? Join us for an upcoming planning meeting as we discuss what crafts, games and other stations are needed:
  • Camp Redwing Volunteer Meeting: Thursday, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m., GSWPA Pittsburgh Office (Also via webinar. Email to register.)
  • Camp Hawthorne Ridge Volunteer Meeting: Thursday, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m., Camp Hawthorne Ridge, Thompson Hall
  • Camp Conshatawba Volunteer Meeting: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m., Camp Conshatawba, Memory Lodge
If you can't make it to a planning meeting but would still like to volunteer, email the appropriate camp at, or Or call 800-248-3355.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Girl Scout Camp fun for moms, too!

by Lisa Shade

Troop 30188
After camping with troop 30188 and their super-cool moms recently at Singing Hills, I’ve created the Top 10 reasons why every mom should attend camp with Girl Scouts.

10. It’s a girls-only weekend. ‘Nuff said.

9. Make new friends. This is something that girls do in Girl Scouting, but it goes for the moms, too!

8. Get out(side). GSWPA camps (there are nine of them!) are located in spectacularly scenic spots throughout western Pennsylvania. Kick back and enjoy the fresh air.

7. S'mores. Go ahead, have two!

6. Comfort. We stayed in a modern lodge complete with a full kitchen and attached bathrooms and showers. Of course, platform tents and yurts are available, too.

Preparing for dinner.
5. The girls do most of the cooking and cleaning. Girl Scouts is all about building skills and trying new things, which for our troop included making a killer lasagna for dinner and a breakfast that rivaled Eat ‘n’ Park.

4. You get to carry on like a kid. Our group of moms did the low ropes course together and we laughed like hyenas. We played cards and games with the girls, stayed up late, and giggled after lights-out.

3. Feel like a super hero. Completing the challenges on the low ropes course left us all feeling like we can do anything!

Fun and teamwork on the low ropes course.
2. You’re the cool mom. So, you got hoisted by your mom friends through a giant tire at Girl Scout camp? You rock!

1. Make fun memories with your daughter. Going to Girl Scout camp brings us closer together every time. The shared fun gives us tons of stories to laugh about for years to come!

Moms balancing the "ship" on the low ropes course.

Girls work as a team on the "ship."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Outdoor Badges now available!

What makes the new Outdoor Badges so special? They were chosen by you

Now, you have the chance to earn five unique badges that represent your favorite outdoor activities--including Outdoor Adventurer, Horseback Riding, Archery, Paddling and Ultimate Recreation Challenge. 

Stop by our store, or shop online for the chance to wear a badge voted on and designed by girls! 

More Girl Scout Shop Talk

Need some help beginning your Girl Scout adventure? We have just the thing. 
Starter Kits include the basic essentials that every girl needs to start out, or to move to the next grade level. 

Kits start at $50.35, and include: FREE drawstring eurosack (black or lilac), Flag Patch, Troop Numerals (5) GSUSA ID Set, Insignia Tab, Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, and Journey Book (Choose one from any series including It's Your World--Change It!, It's Your Planet--Love It!, or It's Your Story--Tell It!)

Let's get started! 

Check out August's Patch of the Month--It's only available for a limited time, so grab it while you can!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Help bring Girl Scouting to more girls through Erie Gives

If you want to help more girls access the character-building, adventure-seeking, forever-friend-finding experience that Girl Scouting delivers, then today is your day.

Why? Today is Erie Gives! From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today any donation made to us will have a portion of that gift matched by the Erie Community Foundation.

Thank you for your support!