Friday, June 23, 2017

Early Bird incentive winners announced!


As the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. 
Thankfully for our early birds (those who renewed their Girl Scout memberships between April 1 and June 15), they'll be receiving exclusive Power of G.I.R.L. patches instead! And some very lucky girls, troops and service units will receive great prizes and incentives for renewing early. 

The following girls who renewed before June 15 were randomly selected to win tickets to entertainment spots/events:

  • Isabella Korey- "The Little Mermaid" at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh 
  • Raina Little - GSWPA Day at the Pittsburgh Zoo
  • Nora Anderson - Lincoln Caverns   
  • Makayla Murphy & Ellie Richter - Altoona Curve
  • Chalcie Gervasoni - Clearfield County Fair
  • Faith Giannamore & MacKenzie Dunn - Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park

Congratulations to the following service units, which had at least 50% of girls renewed. They'll receive 25 cents per renewed girl for their service unit ACH account:
  • Baldwin/Whitehall
  • Bellwood
  • Bethel South
  • Cameron County
  • Corry
  • Glendale
  • Grove City
  •  Lakeview
  • Mercer
  • Petroleum Valley
  • Scrimshaw

In addition to the winners listed above, the first 500 girls and 105 troop leaders to renew will receive $10 shop coupons; the first 10 troops to renew at 100% will receive $50 for their troop ACH account; and the first 105 troops to have at least two leaders renew their membership and role will receive $25 for their troop ACH account. All incentive winners will receive notification via email by the end of June that they have been selected.

Didn't renew your membership yet? Even though you're no longer eligible for Early Bird incentives, you can still renew for another year of amazing Girl Scout experiences. Renew today


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Camp in the outfield at Erie SeaWolves Girl Scout Sleepover!

Girl Scouts and their families are invited for a full night of fun at UPMC Park at the Erie SeaWolves Girl Scout Sleepover on Friday, June 30.
Cheer on the Seawolves as they take on the Altoona Curve starting at 7:05 p.m., After the game, meet some SeaWolves players and get their autographs before pitching your tent in the outfield and watching a family-friendly movie on the video board! Donuts and refreshments will be provided in the morning. And all girls will receive a special SeaWolves patch!
Tickets are $14 per person for upper box seats, Smith's hot dog, Utz chips and a drink, or $8 per person for upper box seat tickets only.
To order tickets, please complete this form or contact Brendan O'Neill at (814) 456-1300 or brendan@seawolves.com.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New barn, new adventures at Camp Skymeadow



Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) officially opened a new horse barn at Camp Skymeadow, 164 Skymeadow Lane, Avonmore, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the camp on Tuesday, June 6, at 4:30 p.m.

The barn will be the hub of the camp’s 17 equestrian resident camp programs, which serve girls in grades 2-12.

Girls in the horse programs learn about western riding, grooming techniques, and horse safety, while also enjoying Girl Scout camp traditions like campfires, songs, swimming, and archery.

By building this new barn at Camp Skymeadow and taking full advantage of its miles of beautiful woodland trails, girls of all riding levels can progress in skill and adventure this summer at resident camp.

“Equestrian programs here will help girls build confidence, master problem-solving skills, and inspire an appreciation for nature,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA, as she welcomed the crowd.

Jon Colburn, member of the GSWPA board of directors and chair of the board’s property committee, also addressed the audience before the ribbon-cutting. “This barn is an example of the board of Girl Scout Western Pennsylvania’s commitment to providing the best camp experience it possibly can.”

Girl Scouts from troop 52359 cut the ribbon to officially open the barn and kick off the 2017 summer camp season, which begins June 16.

It's not too late to register for horse programs at Camp Skymeadow! Visit our website to register today.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Let's go Bucs! Important info about GSWPA Day at the Pittsburgh Pirates




Joining us on Sunday, June 11 for Girl Scouts Day with the Pittsburgh Pirates? Be sure to stop by our office at 30 Isabella St. (right next to PNC Park) for some 'tailgating' fun before the game! Our Pittsburgh shop will also be open if you'd like to do some pre-game shopping.


Still need tickets? It's not too late! Get yours now!


Here's what you need to know to have a great time before and during the game:
Before the game:
  • The Girl Scout Shop will be open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Stop by to stock up on some summer Girl Scout gear!
  • GSWPA tailgating fun starts at 11 a.m. outside the GSWPA office. (Note: We'll be on the Isabella Street side of the building, not E. General Robinson Street.) 
  • Check out our SWAP station and make your own baseball-inspired SWAP to keep or trade.
  • Get your face painted and snap some pics at our selfie station! 
  • Get some free stuff! If you haven't renewed your membership for the next Girl Scout year (which starts Oct. 1, 2017), GS staff will be on-hand to help you register online. The first 25 girls who renew their membership that day get a goodie bag! 
  • Don't forget to wear your favorite Girl Scout gear. (That goes for moms and dads, too!)
During the game:
  • Game time is at 1:35 p.m.
  • Take lots of pics and share them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #GSWPADayPirates. 
  • Have a blast! You're going to be sitting in a section with lots of your sister Girl Scouts from all around our council, so be sure to say hello and always remember the Girl Scout Law:
Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.
.
 See you next Sunday!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Older girls invited to apply for the Trailblazin' and Stargazin' team

Ready to make your mark? Willing to roll up your sleeves and blaze a trail for those who will come behind you? Yes? Then we’ve got the perfect opportunity for a go-getter like you.

Join us at Camp Skymeadow August 7-18 for an awesome hands-on adventure that will make a lasting impact for Girl Scouts for years to come. Adventurous explorers who have completed the ninth grade are invited to apply for this unique experience. 

As part of a 10-girl team, you’ll get your hands dirty upgrading current horse trails and helping manage trail erosion. You’ll also put your outdoors skills into practice by backcountry camping—cooking, laughing, singing, and sleeping under the stars! 

You’ll work hard, but you’ll play hard, too. Relax with your team during two just-for-fun activities away from camp.  

Are you in? Complete the application by July 1 to be considered for this opportunity. If selected, the cost for the program is $50 in addition to a $50 deposit to hold your spot which will be refunded once you’ve completed your adventure. Team selection will take place by July 8.

This program is being held in partnership with Student Conservation Association as part of the RK Mellon Outdoor Initiative. 

Tracy DeCock: 2017 Women of Distinction Award - Business

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations to Tracy DeCock, recipient of the 2017 Women of Distinction Award in the Business category!


Tracy J. DeCock is a senior vice president in corporate finance for PNC Bank, N.A. She serves as a senior relationship manager for large corporate clients headquartered in Pittsburgh/western Pennsylvania. She advises her clients on financial decisions they encounter in areas such as capital raising, treasury management, mergers and acquisitions, foreign exchange, and interest rate management. Tracy joined PNC in January 2007 as manager of professional services. In addition, she served as sponsorship liaison for several key PNC sponsorships, including the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Allegheny County Bar Association and Tech Council.

Tracy, a graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in finance, also serves as the local executive sponsor for PNC Pittsburgh Women’s EBRG, Women Connect. In this role, she coordinates with the local leadership team and executive management. She helps drive diversity and inclusion objectives and assists with professional development and personal growth initiatives for women at PNC.

Prior to joining PNC, she worked in Pittsburgh with Colonial Gallery/Joseph M. Alfery and Associates, her family business in the real estate and retail industries. She participated in all aspects of running the business including finance, purchasing, advertising, and facilities infrastructure. She also held several roles with Bank of America in Chicago, including as a senior vice president and managing director, where she was the team leader for the Healthcare, Higher Ed, and Non-Profit Group for the midwest market.

Tracy has received numerous performance awards including Market All-Stars, Chairman’s Circle, Pittsburgh Gorillas, PNC Summit Honoree, and Debt Capital Markets Million Dollar Club. Additionally, She was PNC’s Working Mother of the Year in 2013, featured in Working Mother magazine’s December 2013 issue, Oakland Catholic Leading Lady in 2014, and Women of Achievement Honoree in 2016. Currently, she is a member of the World Affairs Council.


Tracy serves on the board of directors for Little Lake Theatre, and is on the finance committee and is the co-chair of the theatre’s Apprentice Program. She represented PNC for three years on the executive committee of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of the United Way of Allegheny County, and remains a WLC member. She is married and has two teenage children.

Lynn Banaszak: 2017 Women of Distinction Award - Technology & Communication

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations to Lynn Banaszak, recipient of the 2017 Women of Distinction Award in Technology & Communication!

Lynn M. Banaszak is the executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She is a one of Pittsburgh’s most connected executives with national reach: guiding, mentoring, and coaching professionals and startup
technology companies.
Since 2013, DHTI has invested $5 million in 38 projects led by CMU researchers who are working with industry, payers and providers striving to create disruptive healthcare solutions. Prior to her appointment at CMU, Lynn was vice president and chief relationship officer at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, where for nearly a decade, she worked with 400 startup companies, helped deploy nearly $20 million in direct investment in 75 companies leveraging over $900 million in additional capital to the region.
Lynn was also one of the original directors of the $8.1 million Accelerator Fund, LLC life sciences venture firm. Lynn was recently recognized as one of only three Pittsburgh businesswomen on the national American Business Journals “Women to Watch” list— selected from 1,000 women across the country. She was designated one of the “Best Personalities of Pittsburgh,” was selected as a Pittsburgh Business Times 2016 Business Women First Award winner and was the 2015 Athena of Greater Pittsburgh Award Winner. In addition, Lynn was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 to facilitate the first Bench to Bedside course for the $5 million Coulter Program that funds and mentors translational research by clinician-bioengineer teams that address unmet clinical needs through innovative technologies. Lynn is a national innovation thought leader for events like the Louisville Innovation Summit, a coach for the AARP Miami Innovation Competition, the SXSW Vegas and Impact Pediatric Health Pitch Competitions and the Jewish Healthcare
Foundation Health Fellows Program.
Lynn, along with her sisters, founded The Caileigh Lynn McDowell Foundation in honor of the beautiful life of her precious niece Caleigh, who tragically passed away in April 2016 due to catastrophic injuries from undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease. The foundation is working to transform political, social and economic systems and institutions to create a kinder, more equitable, and just society for all, while also advocating specifically about issues that affect teenage girls.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kiya Tomlin: 2017 Women of Distinction Award - Entrepreneur & Small Business

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations to Kiya Tomlin, recipient of the 2017 Women of Distinction Award in the Entrepreneur & Small Business category!

Kiya Tomlin, owner/designer of Uptown Sweats, is a women’s wear designer of ready-to-wear and custom design. With a love of fashion since childhood, Kiya submerged herself in design textbooks and sewing manuals, creating prom dresses for friends and family. Kiya is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and studied at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art and Architectural Planning. After almost two decades of designing custom apparel, Kiya understands women’s endless search for both comfort and femininity, and the importance of being able to move seamlessly through the various roles women play throughout the day. 
Kiya was inspired by her own busy lifestyle as wife to National Football League head coach, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and mother of three, to design the impossible—a versatile dress that combines cover girl glamour with the comfort and ease of a favorite sweatshirt. Her ready-to-wear collection, Uptown by Kiya Tomlin, addresses the modern day woman’s need for comfort and style. Kiya expanded her design reach into the equestrian world with her second line, Kiya Tomlin for 2KGrey. During a recent introduction to the equestrian world and 2KGrey, she fell in love with the fit and complementary concept behind the brand.
Between her busy schedule as wife and mother to her three children, Kiya has found time to support a variety of causes over the years. Among her more visible roles, Kiya currently serves as a board member for the Pittsburgh Promise, co-chair of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s annual Hat Luncheon, and headlining designer for the annual Steelers Style Fashion Show, which benefits the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Center and Cancer Cares Institute.
At her flagship store and design studio location in Pittsburgh’s East End, Kiya works closely with clients to create designs unique to their individual taste and figure. Kiya’s designs are elegant and timeless, displaying her love of unusual and luxurious textiles.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dawn Keezer: 2017 Women of Distinction Award - Arts & Education

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations to Dawn Keezer, recipient of the 2017 Women of Distinction Award in the Arts & Education category!

As director of The Pittsburgh Film Office, Dawn Keezer has put the southwestern Pennsylvania region on the map for film and television production. Since 1994, Keezer has successfully attracted 141 feature film and television projects to the region, in the process helping infuse more than $1.2 billion into the southwestern Pennsylvania economy from film-based production.

Keezer played an instrumental role in the creation of “Creativity in Focus,” the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s film industry tax credit program.

In addition, she created the “Lights! Glamour! Action!”™ Oscar® party and the Friends of the Film Office (FOFO) Membership Program to raise additional funds for the Pittsburgh Film Office.

In 2006, the Pittsburgh Film Office opened a satellite office in Los Angeles. Since that time, Keezer serves the Pittsburgh Film Office by marketing the southwestern Pennsylvania film industry to studios and production companies from her office in Los Angeles.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lauren Duderstadt: 2017 Girl of Distinction

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations Lauren Duderstadt, the 2017 Girl of Distinction! 

Lauren began Girl Scouts as a Daisy. She has many fond Girl Scout memories, including camping, dances, geocaching and tours of both Washington D.C. and New York City. In addition to fun, Girl Scouts has helped Lauren develop as a leader. Today, Lauren is a co-captain for the Hampton High School girls’ soccer team and its varsity goal keeper, a sponsor and mentor to Hampton Middle School enrichment program’s mock trial teams, and a martial arts certified instructor. Lauren is also an outstanding student who was recently inducted into National Honor Society.       

For her Gold Award, Lauren wanted to encourage middle school girls with interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to continue pursuing those interests.  Lauren learned that the dramatic drop in girls’ interests in STEM during middle school is due to multiple factors, including gender bias and a lack of awareness of the practical application of STEM principles. To help overcome these factors, Lauren developed six hands-on STEM workshops and delivered them to middle school girls with STEM interests.  All of Lauren’s workshops, lesson plans and other supporting material can be accessed by any interested parent or educator at her website www.stemlikeagirl.com.


Lauren is currently a junior at Hampton High School. Upon graduation, she plans to attend college for mechanical engineering. Lauren is very honored to be named as a 2017 Girl of Distinction and is grateful to so many for their inspiration, assistance, guidance and support, including her parents, Janet Spohn, Gwen Cohen and Patti Coholich.        

Ashley Plater: 2017 Girl Scout Humanitarian Award

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations Ashley Plater, the 2017 Girl Scout Humanitarian Award recipient! 

Ashley B. Plater, a senior at Penn Hills High School, became a Daisy Scout in kindergarten and belonged to two troops: Girl Scout Troop 1530 in Penn Hills and also Troop 50597. In her mind, there is no such thing as too much Girl Scouting!

Ashley is also a Cadet in the Penn Hills Naval Junior ROTC program. Because of the leadership skills that she has acquired through Girl Scouting, Ashley has been able to demonstrate the ability to take command of a platoon, and was chosen by the commander and first sergeant of the NJROTC program to be the platoon commander for two years.

Ashley has also been elected as the state president of the Ruth Mitchell Tucker Girls Youth Department by her peers.  The Girls Youth Department is a part of Deborah Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Prince Hall Adopted, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The purpose is to stimulate interest in higher education, to enhance self-esteem, and to encourage involvement in community and continued personal growth.

Ashley will be continuing her education at California University Pennsylvania, where she plans to major in mechatronics engineering, which blends mechanical, electrical and computing technology with automated control and information systems.


Girls Scouts was the roots of all of these things. Through the leadership skills she has gained from Girl Scouts, her life was set on a fast track to success. 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Finding success: Girl Scouts create geocache course at camp

Eleven Girl Scouts in Troop 52359 from Oakmont recently earned the Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can achieve.

Working an average of 25 hours each, the girls designed and installed a geocaching course at Camp Skymeadow in Avonmore, Armstrong County.

Troop members are Aine Hasselman, Alexandra Pastor, Anna Pinto, Audrey Myers, Carley Watts, Georgia Tsambis, Gianna Portera, Gwyneth Fichte, Isabella Nolan, Riley Russell and Isabella Ruby Bee.

Learn more about their project—and perhaps get inspired to earn the highest awards—through this summary provided by troop leaders Susan Portera, Madeline Welsh and Jill Myers.

Well done, Girl Scouts!
The girls met with camp ranger Tim Shank.

Title of project:                
Install a Geocaching Course
      
They began by working together to determine what they wanted to do. 

Since the girls loved geocaching they decided that they wanted to create a course so that other Girl Scouts could experience geocaching and earn their badge. 

First, they met with Tim Shank, the ranger at Camp Skymeadow, to understand what was possible. 

They conducted research to plan their course and the containers they’d need. They prepared their containers, put together the information that would be shared in the instruction booklet for the course, and then installed the caches at Camp Skymeadow.

The geocaching course they installed is a sturdy permanent course that was planned and placed strategically to hold up against weather and use. It's now available at the camp for other Girl Scouts to go on a geocaching adventure and earn the Junior Geocaching Badge.

The girls worked together well, respecting each other and the property where their course was being installed. They also completed this project in support of "being a sister to all Girl Scouts."

The troop hopes that their course will inspire others to do more geocaching.

Leah Lizarondo: 2017 Women of Distinction Award - Community and Non-Profit

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation GEICO will be honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction Luncheon on Wednesday, May 31 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Register now

Congratulations to Leah Lizarondo, recipient of the 2017 Women of Distinction Award in the Community and Non-Profit category!

Leah, founder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue, brings a 15-year track record of leadership positions with global corporations and non-profits. Leah received her master's degree in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, graduating with highest distinction.
She began her career as a product manager in Southeast Asia, working in consumer packaged goods and technology before moving on to her passion in food and health advocacy. She has worked in leadership positions for non-profits in New York and Pittsburgh. She is interested in the intersection of social good and technology, and mines her experience launching startups as she works to grow 412 Food Rescue.
Leah is an active advocate for food, health and innovation. She has also trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City and received her certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University. The Brazen Kitchen, Leah’s blog and Pittsburgh Magazine column, won the 2013 National City & Regional Magazine Awards. She served as editor-at-large for NEXTpittsburgh and her work has been featured in national media including NPR, Oprah.com, and GOOD Magazine online. In April 2014, she gave the TEDx Talk “Why the Farm Is Not Getting to the Table.” In 2017, she was named in SmartBusiness “Who To Watch” as one of the individuals “poised to shape the Pittsburgh region in 2017 and beyond.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Grand opening of new barn at Camp Skymeadow


Please join us on Tuesday, June 6 from 4-6 p.m. to help us officially open the new barn at Camp Skymeadow! 

Pat Burkart, CEO of GSWPA, and local Girl Scouts will cut the ribbon, officially opening the new barn for the summer camp season!

By building this new barn at Camp Skymeadow and taking full advantage of its miles of beautiful woodland trails, girls of all riding levels will enjoy programs that progress in skill and adventure this summer at resident camp!

4 p.m.—Guests arrive at camp
4:30 p.m.—Ribbon-cutting

After the ribbon cutting, meet the horses and enjoy free refreshments!
Girls of all ages can have a galloping good time with horse-themed activities:
  • Skymeadow selfie station
  • Pin the tail on the horse
  • Horse coloring station
  • Lasso the horse game
Camp director Pam Williams (a.k.a. Ducky) will be on hand to answer your questions about camp!

This event is FREE, but registration is required. Register now