Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 10: It's a great time to sell Girl Scout Cookies!

It's almost January, which in western Pennsylvania means one thing: It's Girl Scout Cookie time! Here are the top 10 reasons why it's a great time to sell Girl Scout cookies!
  1. Recognitions! Girls will hoot over this year's owl-themed lineup of great goodies for go-getters! Fancy a FitBit? Admire the American Girl Doll of the Year? The hottest must-haves are choices for top sellers in 2017!
  2. Keep the fun going! Troops can use cookie proceeds to pay for girls’ memberships through Early Bird registration in the spring.
  3. Earning and learning! The proceeds troops earn from the Cookie Program funds camp, travel, events, programs, uniforms, community service and more!
  4. New Girl Scout S'mores Cookie! The favorite campfire treat is now a Girl Scout Cookie--and they'll be available for customers to buy and try starting Jan. 6. Find out more about the Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies.
  5. Treats for troops! Take donations to send cookies to men and women in the U.S. military and local veterans groups through Operation: Sweet Appreciation!
  6. It's tradition! Girls 2017 marks the 100th year of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts! Find out more about this major milestone
  7. Cookie Troop 100! To celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, one lucky troop from EVERY council across the country will win $100 each and one VERY lucky troop will win $3,000 to support their Take Action project! Check it out!
  8. Digital Cookie! Girl Scouts can reach customers near and far--and gain 21st century business skills--through their very own online sales sites on Digital Cookie. Girls who pair Digital Cookie with traditional sales sold 76% more cookies than girls who did not sell cookies online!
  9. Mad skills! Girl Scouts find the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ within to do awesome things for herself and for her community through the development of the five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.
  10. Girl-powered! The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world! What's sweeter than that?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Digital Cookie superpowers sales!

Is your daughter participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program this year?

Now there's one more way to superpower her sale—by adding online selling with the Digital Cookie platform. 

She can reach friends and family, near and far, to grow her sale. And she can participate at her convenience, based on her schedule and availability, all from the comfort of your living room. How cool is that?

Girl Scout Avery Schaeffer and her mom Chrissy love the convenience of using Digital Cookie to reach out-of-town family. The Schaeffers have lived in western Pennsylvania for only 10 years.

"All of our family is either in eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Florida, or California," Chrissy said. "Avery loves to sell to her family, but it’s challenging to actually get the cookies there. We were excited when Digital Cookie started."

Avery agrees that staying close with her favorite cookie customers is a whole lot easier thanks to the online platform. "I like to use Digital Cookie because my family who doesn’t live around me can still support my troop’s goals.”

Did you know? Girl Scouts who pair Digital Cookie with traditional sales sold 76% more cookies than girls who did not sell cookies online! Sweet!

Ready to jump in? 

Check your email for registration details and instructions. Getting your Girl Scout started on Digital Cookie is super simple, with just four easy steps! She'll register, set up her site, invite customers, and track her goals. That's it!

Check out these Four Easy Steps to Get Movin' with the Digital Cookie Platform!

No registration email? Whether you didn't get one or deleted it by accident, never fear! Just go to digitalcookie.girlscouts.orgenter the email address you used to register your Girl Scout and click ‘Forgot password/Need a registration email.’ then work with your Girl Scout to set up her page, play some cookie games and start inviting customers to purchase cookies and have them shipped to their door. 

Please note: Digital Cookie is not supported in Internet Explorer. Please use another web browser to access the site.
video


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three Girl Scouts Named GSWPA’s Top Youth Volunteers of the Year

Girl Scouts Megan Shissler, Jamie Neely and Gabrielle Corcoran
Girl ScoutsWestern Pennsylvania (GSWPA) today named three Girl Scouts its top youth volunteers of the year.
The honor was granted to Megan Shissler, 14, of Delmont, Jamie Neely, 12, and Gabrielle Corcoran, 13, both of Pittsburgh, as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
A nationwide youth volunteer recognition program, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
By selecting Shissler, Neely and Corcoran as its top youth volunteers, GSWPA has advanced their applications for state-level judging in the 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Prudential will announce Pennsylvania’s top youth volunteers of the year on February 7, 2017.
Shissler, a ninth-grade student at Greensburg-Salem High School, earned a Girl Scout SilverAward for her project to redesign and update her community’s website, delmontboro.com. Her goal was to make the website not only more relevant and updated, but to also increase web traffic and give her community a better online presence.
Neely, in seventh grade at North Hills Junior High School, helped renovate a community garden in Troy Hill. She assisted in creating a brightly colored cinder block garden and adding picnic tables with built-in chess\checker boards. To help make the project environmentally friendly, recycled cinderblocks, pallets, and reclaimed wood were used and new rain barrels were installed. Neely organized a picnic at the completion of the project to reveal the improvements to the community.
A seventh grade student at Providence Heights Alpha School, Corcoran wanted to help the Sisters of Divine Providence at her school take time from their duties to relax and have fun. She scheduled social time for the sisters and introduced games for them to play. Corcoran also created a Knit-a-Thon, benefitting the sisters who take a vow of poverty. More than 200 people were involved in the event, including three local businesses.
Girl Scout Katie Handy
GSWPA also recognized Katie Handy, 17, of Jeanette, for her exemplary volunteer service with a Prudential Spirit of Community Certificate of Merit. She is a senior at Hempfield Area Senior High School.
Handy is working toward a Girl Scout Gold Award for her project to landscape the grounds at the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society’s one-room Harrold Schoolhouse in Greensburg. She is leading a team of volunteers to remove trees, weeds, plant flowers, and bury an exposed pipe. Her project will make the grounds safer and more beautiful for the historic schoolhouse’s many visitors.
“We’re extremely proud of each one of these Girl Scouts who have worked so diligently and creatively to help make their corner of the world a better place,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA. “Their leadership is an inspiration to us all.” 
As Local Honorees, Shissler, Neely and Corcoran are now in the running to be named one of two Prudential Spirit of Community State Honorees for Pennsylvania. State Honorees receive a $1,000 award and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., for several days of special recognition events. Other state-level honorees will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence.
During May’s national recognition events in Washington, America’s top 10 youth volunteers of the year will be named by a distinguished selection committee. Each of these National Honorees will receive an additional $5,000, a crystal trophy for his or her school or organization, and a $5,000 Prudential Foundation grant for a charitable organization of their choice.
"Young people who contribute their time and talents to their communities are role models for all of us," said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. "We salute their dedication, their achievements, and their spirit of community."
"Demonstrating civic responsibility through community volunteerism is an important part of life," said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. "These Honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate."
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents America’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. Since 1995, the program has honored more than 115,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and national level. Learn more at spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Girl Scout discount available for dogsledding at Nemacolin


You don't have to go to Alaska to experience dogsledding. It's right in our backyard at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington! And now, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania members can receive a 10% discount off the normal dogsledding rates.

Start the experience by meeting your very own team of sled dogs and their friends with a tour of the dog yard, which houses 24 Alaskan Huskies. You'll get a short briefing on the basics of dog sledding and how the musher maneuvers the sled while controlling the dogs with specific voice signals. Then, climb on in! Glide across the snow at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, making quick turns up and down the scenic landscape of the Laurel Highlands. Get an adrenaline rush that you have never had before!

GSWPA members will receive a 10% discount off of the following pricing per session: 
  • Rate: $150 for the first person, $25 each additional rider (maximum of 4 riders per session)
  • Holiday rates (Dec. 23-Jan 1, Jan. 13-15 and Feb. 17-19): $250 per session
  • All above rates do not include tax and gratuity.
To book a reservation with this Girl Scout discount, please call Grace Wright, Director of Event Recreation at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, at 724-329-6413.

Important Details
  • Reservations are required. 
  • Includes a 30-minute Kennel Tour and 30-minute ride. 
  • Two guest maximum per sled/cart, families of 3 or more may split ride time with a 4 person maximum per time slot. 
  • Maximum combined weight of 275 lbs. Minimum weight is 45 lbs. for children. 
  • Please meet at the Barn behind the Equestrian Center. The run will take place regardless of weather, so please dress appropriately.
  • Dogsledding hours: 8:30 am, 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Cookies are coming!

Order taking begins Jan. 6!

Our favorite time of year is almost here: Girl Scout Cookie season! Cookie order taking starts on Friday, Jan. 6, with National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend and booth sales starting on Friday, Feb. 24.
Here's the low down on everything you need to know about this year's Cookie Program! 

NEW! Girl Scout S'mores Cookies

We’re SOOO excited about the new Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies. That’s right! We’re combining two iconic Girl Scout traditions—s’mores and Girl Scout Cookies! Find out more about this delicious new addition


http://www.gswpa.org/en/our-council/news/2016/gswpa_announces_addi.html

 
Cookie Lineup
All the classic favorites will be available this year, including Do-si-dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Trefoils, and the gluten-free cookie, Toffee-tastic, will also be offered again! All eight cookie varieties, including Toffee-tastic and the new Girl Scout S'mores, will be available on girl order cards, through Digital Cookie and at booth sales! See the full cookie lineup

http://www.gswpa.org/en/cookies/about-girl-scout-cookies/meet-our-cookies-lbb.html

Digital Cookie 

With Digital Cookie, the Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love is better than ever. Now, there are more ways to sell, more ways to buy—and more ways to learn and have fun!

Parents: Watch for your registration email in late December to get started. You can s
tart setting up your girl's site right away, so she'll be ready to go when sales start on Jan. 6!
  • Registration emails are specific to each girl and cannot be shared with others. 
  • The email will be sent to the email address identified in your membership profile. 
  • The email will come from “Girl Scout Cookie Program” (email@email.girlscouts.org).
Be sure to check your junk/spam/promotions inbox so your Girl Scout doesn’t miss out on all the fun! If you do not receive an invitation email by Jan. 1, go to digitalcookie.girlscouts.org and click the “Forgot password/Need a registration” email link.

https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/login


Cookie Troop 100
In honor of 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! Find out more.

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend -  Feb 24-26
National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend celebrates the world's largest girl-led business--and happens to coincide with the kickoff of cookie booth sales in western Pennsylvania! Girl Scouts will be kicking off the weekend on Friday, Feb. 24 with a cookie blitz in Pittsburgh, Erie and Johnstown, along with booth sales throughout the weekend. Cookie customers will be able to purchase their favorite varieties on-site or donate cookies to send to our troops through Operation: Sweet Appreciation.

Troop Leaders and Service Unit Cookie Managers: Be sure to check your email for Cookie Bytes, which will give you all the info you need on eBudde and much more.  
 

Girl Scouting works: Alumnae more successful and active in communities






Since 1912, millions of women have had their lives positively impacted and transformed by their Girl Scout experience. 

According to the Girl Scouts Research Institute study, "Girl Scouting Works: An Alumnae Impact Story:"
  • One in every two adult women has at some point been a member of Girl Scouts, and there are currently 59 million Girl Scout alumnae.
  • Alumnae with more than three years’ experience in Girl Scouts fare better than shorter-term alumnae in many areas, including sense of self, civic engagement, education and leadership. 
  • All alumnae, even those with two years’ experience or less, are more active in community service and volunteer work than non-alumnae.
And the majority of female elected officials are also Girl Scout alumnae:*
  • Fifty-eight percent of women in the 114th Congress are Girl Scout alumnae. 
  • Seventy-five percent of current female senators are Girl Scout alumnae. 
  • Every female secretary of state in U.S. history is a former Girl Scout: Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton. 
*Source: Girl Scouts of the USA Public Policy & Advocacy Office, Washington, DC (2015)

See more Girl Scouts Alumnae by the Numbers.

Help more girls become tomorrow's leaders today on #GivingTuesday!  

GSWPA is joining charitable organizations from all over the globe by participating in #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29. This global movement celebrates and encourages giving back to the community organizations, like Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, that make a difference in the lives of your family and so many others. 

Last year, more than $45,000 in financial assistance was awarded to 2,200 girls in western Pennsylvania so they could have these life-changing experiences with Girl Scouts. We rely largely on donations--both big and small--to make this possible.

Please consider kicking off your holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift on or before #GivingTuesday, and help us bring Girl Scouting to more girls. We appreciate your support! 


Donate now > 


Monday, November 21, 2016

Girl Scouts explore the fun, challenges of STEM

Eighty-one percent of all high school girls are interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), but only 13% say it is their first choice, with about half of all girls believing that STEM isn't a typical career path for girls. 

At Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA), we believe that connecting girls to STEM and women professionals in STEM careers through the Girl Scouts can help change that perception among and the career opportunities for high school girls.

But showing girls that STEM can be challenging and fun starts long before girls enter high school. GSWPA offers STEM programs and opportunities to girls in grades K-12. Even our youngest Daisy Girl Scouts are discovering and enjoying STEM activities, too!

This Girl Scout year has been full-STEM ahead, with several programs taking place since Oct. 1!

Help more girls have STEM opportunities on #GivingTuesday

GSWPA is joining charitable organizations from all over the globe by participating in #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29. This global movement celebrates and encourages giving back to the community organizations, like Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, that make a difference in the lives of your family and so many others.

Last year, more than $45,000 in financial assistance was awarded to 2,200 girls in western Pennsylvania so they could have these life-changing experiences with Girl Scouts. We rely largely on donations--both big and small--to make this possible.

Please consider kicking off your holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift on or before #GivingTuesday, and help us bring Girl Scouting to more girls. We appreciate your support!


Donate now >


GirlScouts@PSU STEM event at Penn State Shenango, Sharon
 STEM Badge Day at Penn State Behrend, Erie
Girl Scout Engineering Day at Pitt

"Going Gold" helps Girl Scouts achieve success

Girl Scouts has helped girls become strong, confident and courageous leaders since the organization was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912.

Nearly 115 years later, this work is more important than ever. Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) needs your support to continue providing amazing opportunities for girls that helps them achieve success, now and in the future.

More than ninety percent of Girl Scouts not only attributed their success in life to Girl Scouts, but they also said they could not have had access to the same experiences anywhere else.  

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others.

When compared to non-Girl Scout alumnae, Gold Award recipients are more ambitious, placing more emphasis on a successful career, financial security, and being a leader.


“Being able to deliver results...and being able to do it well with experience and leadership, I learned that from Girl Scouts,” said Christy Uffelman, Partner at Align Leadership. Learn more about what Christy learned from being a Girl Scout in this short video.


Gold Award recipients are more likely to see themselves as leaders and to have had leadership experiences in volunteer activities, school, their communities, and politics.
  • 81% think of themselves as a leader, compared with 50% of non-alumnae.  
  • 84% feel they have had success in leadership, compared with 64% of non-alumnae.


Also, Gold Award recipients have had more leadership experiences in volunteer activities (66% versus 37% of non-alumnae), in school (54% versus 39% of non-alumnae), in the community (50% versus 26% of non-alumnae), and in politics (21% versus 8% of non-alumnae).

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit gswpa.org.

Support girls who are changing the world on #GivingTuesday

GSWPA is joining charitable organizations from all over the globe by participating in #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29. This global movement celebrates and encourages giving back to the community organizations, like Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, that make a difference in the lives of your family and so many others.

Last year, more than $45,000 in financial assistance was awarded to 2,200 girls in western Pennsylvania so they could have these life-changing experiences with Girl Scouts. We rely largely on donations--both big and small--to make this possible.

Please consider kicking off your holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift on or before #GivingTuesday, and help us bring Girl Scouting to more girls. We appreciate your support! 



Donate now >

Source: The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Girl Scout Research Institute, 2016

Girl Scout Cookie Program: Teaching Essential Skills for a Lifetime

A well-known component of Girl Scouting is the Cookie Program, the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world. Each year, Girl Scouts around the country venture into the entrepreneurial world to learn business and financial skills and earn money to power new, unique and amazing experiences. 

Through “learning by earning,” Girl Scouts find the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ within to do awesome things for herself and for her community through the development of the five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

In 2016, the Girl Scout Research Institute worked to better measure the impact of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and understand the extent to which Girl Scouts develop these five essential skills. 

Survey responses from 40,000 Girl Scouts, representing all Girl Scout levels and various regions of the country show that:

A majority of Girl Scout “Cookie Entrepreneurs” are developing the five essential skills.*
  • Goal Setting: 85% of girls learned how to set goals and meet deadlines, make a plan for how to achieve a goal, change actions when needed to keep on track with their goal, and work with others to achieve goals set together.
  • Decision Making: 88% of girls learned how to think through different choices, explain the reasons why they made a decision, decide between multiple choices, and listen to everyone’s thoughts when making group decisions.
  • Money Management: 88% of girls learned how to count money and make change, create a plan to save their money, track their money so they know how much they have, and distinguish the difference between wants and needs.
  • People Skills: 85% of girls learned how to be comfortable talking to and being around new people, determine the best way to get their message across when talking with people, and tell people what they hope to achieve when working toward a goal.
  • Business Ethics: 94% of girls learned how to be respectful of others, take responsibility for what they say and do, keep their promises, and not lie to get out of trouble.
  • Significantly, two out of three girls (66%) are developing all five skills.
Participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls experience amazing adventures—a trip she’ll never forget, a service project that will change her community forever, or the opportunity to learn, grow, and build a lifetime of memories at camp that broaden her world. 

Girls also learn essential life skills, gaining opportunities to set goals, make decisions, manage money, understand customers, and work well with others, all while being prepared to practice a lifetime of leadership.

Collectively, this data shows the role the Girl Scout Cookie Program can play in developing financially empowered girl leaders. Learning valuable life skills via the Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls become successful business leaders, now and in the future.

Help more girls develop skills for success on #GivingTuesday

GSWPA is joining charitable organizations from all over the globe by participating in #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29. This global movement celebrates and encourages giving back to the community organizations, like Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, that make a difference in the lives of your family and so many others.

Last year, more than $45,000 in financial assistance was awarded to 2,200 girls in western Pennsylvania so they could have these life-changing experiences with Girl Scouts. We rely largely on donations--both big and small--to make this possible.

Please consider kicking off your holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift on or before #GivingTuesday, and help us bring Girl Scouting to more girls. We appreciate your support! 


*Girls were considered to be developing a skill if the average score of the items that assess it was greater than a 3.0 (max score = 5.0).

Girl Scouts take action to end bullying

Abby Johnson, Ellie Shade, Riley Clever, Haley Bloomquist,
Chloe McMullen, and Ellie Conaway.
Girl Scouts in Troop 30188 hosted an anti-bullying Movie Night for younger girls on Friday, Nov. 4, at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) in Edinboro.

The group of seventh-grade Girl Scouts from J.W. Parker Middle School created and starred in a video called, “Be Buddies, Not Bullies.” The short film depicted brave female students standing up to a bully in school.

The Girl Scouts asked the younger girls to join them in signing a pledge to treat others with respect and kindness, and to promise to report bullying.

After the short program, girls enjoyed popcorn and watched “An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong,” a movie that also carries a strong anti-bullying message.
Girls signed a pledge to end bullying.

The event was the girls' Take Action project, the last step in a Girl Scout Leadership Journey that encourages girls to make the world a better place, have fun, learn more.

Developing healthy relationships, navigating cliques, and moving beyond stereotypes are major themes in "aMAZE! The Twists and Turns of Getting Along." In this Leadership Journey, Cadette Girl Scouts team up on projects with younger girls, senior citizens, or classmates to share their new friendship-building skills, just as Troop 30188 did with their Movie Night.

Well done, girls!





Support girls who are changing the world on #GivingTuesday

GSWPA is joining charitable organizations from all over the globe by participating in #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29. This global movement celebrates and encourages giving back to the community organizations, like Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, that make a difference in the lives of your family and so many others.

Last year, more than $45,000 in financial assistance was awarded to 2,200 girls in western Pennsylvania so they could have these life-changing experiences with Girl Scouts. We rely largely on donations--both big and small--to make this possible.

Please consider kicking off your holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift on or before #GivingTuesday, and help us bring Girl Scouting to more girls. We appreciate your support!

Donate now >

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Invite a friend to start a troop and everyone wins! Deadline extended to Jan. 31!



As a Girl Scout volunteer, you introduce girls to fun, new and unique experiences every day, and help them find their spark as they prepare to practice a lifetime of leadership. You're their biggest fan, their guiding star, and their hero, and we need more amazing mentors just like you to impact even more girls' lives. 

Now through Jan. 31, invite a friend to start a new Girl Scout troop and everyone wins!  
 
When your friend completes the volunteer application, becomes an approved and cleared volunteer, and starts a new Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie or Junior troop, you'll get $50 to spend in our Girl Scouts Official Online Store and they'll get a Volunteer Resource Pack to get their Girl Scouts experience off to a great start! Plus, when you double the friends, you double your prize: $100 for you and a Volunteer Resource Pack for each friend. Awesome!  

Here's how: 
1. Invite a friend to join by sending them a link to our volunteer join form at gswpa.org/volunteer. You can also spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by sharing the graphic below!
2. Once your friend completes the volunteer application, head over to girlscouts.org/inviteafriend to let us know.
3. After your friend is approved and cleared as a volunteer and starts a new Daisy, Brownie or Junior troop, you'll both receive emails about how to claim your prizes.  

Offer ends Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Questions? We're here for you. Email us.

Please review official Terms and Conditions.