Monday, September 26, 2016

Top 7 reasons to try MagNut this year!

It's time for MagNut!
MagNut treats in decorative tins
make great holiday gifts.

If you're thinking, "Mag...what?" you could be missing out on a great way for your Girl Scout to set and achieve goals at the at the beginning of the Girl Scout year by selling magazines, nuts and candy.

Here are the top reasons you should give MagNut a try this year: 
  • Troops receive 15 percent of all sales, which totaled more than $372,000 last year! MagNut helps troops earn proceeds early in the year to fund all their big plans. More proceeds means savings for parents, so MagNut is definitely a WIN-WIN!
  • Online magazine sales. Super-easy and social media shareable, online magazine sales are a great way to participate in MagNut without having to worry about collecting money or picking up or delivering anything!
  • Skip the last-minute dash for teacher gifts. MagNut products make great holiday gifts for teachers and anyone else on your shopping list. Order what you need, then congratulate yourself for planning ahead!
  • Give thanks and give back. Girls can collect donations to send cans of delicious honey roasted peanuts to U.S. soldiers through Operation; Sweet Appreciation!
  • Booklet bonanaza. Take a few minutes to share some addresses through MagNut's Reach Out booklets. Your troop earns $2 for each completed booklet. How easy is that?
  • Girl Scout Bucks! Girls can earn Girl Scout Bucks that may be used for GSWPA camps and programs, service unit-sponsored day camps, Council Shops and Girl Scout registration fees. Girl Scout Bucks earned through Magnut DOUBLE in value when used toward GSWPA-sponsored camps.
  • Earn fun Recognitions and an invitation to the exclusive Super Seller party in the spring!
Learn more about MagNut and start earning proceeds to fund another great year in Girl Scouts!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Support GSWPA on Pittsburgh Gives 'Rain Day'

Back in May, the Pittsburgh Foundation organized an awesome Day of Giving. Then--oops--the website had some technical difficulties.
"Oh, no!" you exclaimed. "I didn't get to make my gift to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania!"
Great news--The Pittsburgh Foundation hired a new online giving company and scheduled a makeup day for you to support your local nonprofits!

Please support Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Sept. 21 on the Pittsburgh Day of Giving. Donate between 8 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. that day at

Want to make a donation now?
For your convenience, you can pre-schedule your donation anytime between now and Sept. 21 with just a few clicks, and it will process on Sept. 21. 

Why donate? 
When you choose to support Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania you're giving girls life-changing experiences and investing in our nearly 25,000 girls who are making the world a better place.
  • Pittsburgh Girl Scout Kaitlyn Burkhart earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by building a community garden that provides food to more than 550 families served by the St. Winifred's Food Pantry. 
  • Jessica Friss developed a rain garden to prevent rainwater runoff from damaging a roadway in Mount Washington.  
  • Cadette Girl Scouts in Troop 54442 of Morningside presented a special patriot-inspired quilt they made to local veteran Felix Natoli at the Morningside Mile, an annual race that honors veterans and soldiers.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SCA Interns Meet, Train at GSWPA in Pittsburgh

Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns gathered at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) headquarters in Pittsburgh for training and to plan amazing adventures for Girl Scouts in the outdoors.

The interns—representing four Girl Scout councils—will help council staff enhance outdoor and conservation activities for girls and volunteers, organize local service opportunities for family and community members, and assist in increasing girl participation levels and volunteer confidence in the outdoors.

Pictured above left to right:

These internships are part of a collaboration between GSUSA and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) that is funded by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation

This pilot program include five councils: GSWPA, Girl Scouts of Alaska, Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Girl Scouts of Greater New York, and Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan. 

Visit for more information.

While in Pittsburgh, the interns took a break from training—and the heat, since the area is enjoying temps in the high 80s—to get a cool treat from a local popsicle truck.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Girl Scouts Present Quilt of Valor to Local Veteran

Girl Scouts proudly display their progress after a weekend of 
cutting and sewing at Camp Redwing. Pictured left to right: 
Zoey Jordan, Mackenzie Mudge, Morgan Sweeney, Kailee Roney, 
Andi Trageser, Haley Grenesko, Abby Cardyn, and Ginny Brooks. 
Cadette Girl Scouts in Troop 54442 presented a special patriot-inspired quilt they made to local veteran Felix Natoli on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Morningside Mile, an annual race that honors veterans and soldiers.

Natoli is the race’s 2016 honoree.

The girls worked with the Quilt of Valor Foundation and earned the Quilting Badge for the project.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation’s mission is to present service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts. To date, the organization has presented 143,940 quilts throughout the nation.

The girls began production of the quilt began during a weekend at Girl Scout Camp Redwing in Renfrew. They learned how to use rotary cutters and rulers to cut fabric, then started sewing together rectangles of red, cream and blue fabric to create a Rail Fence pattern. They continued sewing rows and learned to make sawtooth stars at several meetings over the summer. Rosemarie Fitzgerald, a local quilter, assisted the girls in perfecting their machine piecing skills.

The Quilting Badge culminates a progression of sewing skills the girls have learned since they were in fourth grade. They began by hemming a cloth napkin for the It's Your Planet—Love It! Journey, a part of the Girl Scout curriculum. As first year Cadettes in sixth grade, they worked at Cut and Sew Studio to sew pillow cases for patients at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Troop leader Laurie Cybulski, an avid quilter, felt that this was an excellent opportunity to pass on a skill while taking action to help others.

Cybulski feels this experience showed the girls that success takes time and patience.

“I think girls need to work on long term projects that teach them persistence,” she said. “This quilt definitely taught them that.”

Connecting girls with inspiring role models is an important part of Girl Scouting. Nicole Maroon, owner of The Girl Who Quilts, offered to help the girls complete their badge work by giving them a tour of her business. Maroon talked with the girls about how she started and markets her small business and allowed the girls to work with the long arm quilting machine. She even volunteered to professionally machine quilt their Quilt of Valor.
The girls present the Quilt of Valor to Natoli before the race.

In addition to serving his county in the Army Reserves, Natoli has a long history of active citizenship, another important leadership quality that Girl Scouts celebrate and emulate. He serves on the board of the Morningside VFW, helps keep the neighborhood beautiful as a member of the Morningside Garden Club, is a Fraternal Order of Police member, a Democratic Committeeman for the 10th Ward, and has run in the Morningside Mile every year since it started in 2011.

The Morningside Mile, a race held on Jancey Street between Greenwood and Baker Streets, pays tribute to the men and women who serve, or have served, our country in the military. The event was founded in 2011, and honors a different solider or veteran every year.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Camps get creepy for annual Halloween celebrations!

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:

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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Girl Scouts earn religious awards

Pastor Gino Cosentino presented Serena Shotts
with the God and Me award at One Hope Church
For Girl Scouts, religious recognition programs reinforce many of the values they learn through Girl Scouting and help them grow stronger in and learn more about their chosen faith.

Congratulations to these western Pennsylvania Girl Scouts who recently earned recognition through P.R.A.Y. programs!

God and Me:
  • Serena Shotts, Marion Center
"God and Me" is designed to help children become best friends with Jesus and tell their story of “God and Me” together.

God and Family:
  • Ariana Schwab, Irwin
"God and Family" helps youth understand the importance of family and God’s role in a healthy family and provides an opportunity for young people and their families to explore their faith together.

God and Church:
  • Elaina Hamer, Altoona
  • Olivia Saylor, Mars
  • Victoria Saylor, Mars
  • Mackenze Spence, Cheswick
  • Jocelyn Schwab, Irwin
The "God and Church" program leads girls on a faith journey with three parts: meeting Jesus, worshiping God, and witnessing and ministering for Christ.

Learn more
You can learn about these awards as well as other faith-based recognition and emblems at

Girl Scouts of all levels can earn the My Promise, My Faith pin, which invites them to experience a faith journey through exploration of the Girl Scout Law and teachings from their faith. Girls can earn this national pin each year.

The National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts & Camp Fire offers religious recognitions for girls throughout many counties in the GSWPA council.

Also, the Catholic Committee on Scouting serving the Pittsburgh region offers several events for Girl Scouts, including an annual Girl Scout/Boy Scout retreat, as well as information on earning special patches, awards and religious emblems. For more information, visit the committee's website or read the most recent Catholic Committee on Scouting newsletter.

Win passes for your troop to Splash Lagoon!

Get more girls to join the fun and you could win big during the MagNut Program! Thanks to our friends at the Erie Community Foundation, two troops will make a big splash as they start the new Girl Scout year with passes to Splash Lagoon in Erie.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • List your troop in our Troop Opportunity Catalog. Complete this form if you aren't listed, or to update your troop information.
  • Add at least two new girls to your troop by Oct. 31.
  • Participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA) through the MagNut Program by selling 20 cans of Honey Roasted Peanuts for OSA.
That’s it! The contest ends on Oct. 31, and we’ll announce our two winning troops (up to 10 passes per troop) on Nov. 10 on Facebook, so be sure to like us on Facebook.