Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ringing in the 2018 Cookie Program

In the spirit of the new year, GSWPA welcomes you to Cookie Program Countdown!

 As we count down to the launch of the 2018 Cookie Program over the next five days, we will be remembering how cookie proceeds supported local troops in 2017. We’re ringing in the 2018 Cookie Season by spotlighting the cornerstone of the cookie program—the 5 Skills—and talking about how to build on each of them to make the most of this year’s program!

First skill, first! Before you come up with your new year’s resolution, think about your 2018 Cookie Program goal.

Goal Setting: Girls set cookie sales goals, and with their team, create a plan to reach them. 

  1. Begin by thinking about what you want to use your cookie proceeds to do. Are you working together as a troop, or does each girl have an individual goal? Is it camp, community service, travel, or maybe another new adventure? 
  2. How much will your adventure cost? This planning will help you figure out how many boxes of cookies you’ll need to sell. 
  3. Once you know your selling goal, set mini-goals throughout cookie season to keep you on track!
Goal setting is an important takeaway for Girl Scouts because it is the foundation to understanding and believing that they can succeed in school, on the job, and in life.

Share your goals with us! Leave it in the comments here, or on Facebook. GSWPA wants to know what you’re working towards this year!

2017 Cookie Program Shout Out: Troop 40304 in Somerset County put their cookie proceeds to great use by brushing up on their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills at an overnight event at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. Way to go, girls!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Digital Cookie: Supporting the 5 Skills and cookie sales

The Digital Cookie™ platform is in its fourth year, and it has taken cookie sales beyond the booth with online and mobile channels that make it easier than ever to support the success of a Girl Scout.

Check out these highlights of the Digital Cookie platform!

Learning Modern Business Skills: The Digital Cookie platform supports each sale by making it easy for the Girl Scout to share her Girl Scout experience, her selling goals for the year, and how the proceeds will give her the opportunity to break the mold, take on a new adventure, and create change in her community. Girl Scouts and their parents use the site to track customer information, orders, and data. The Digital Cookie Platform is an awesome introduction to modern business strategies.

Digital vs. Distance: Digital wins—every time! It doesn’t matter if it’s a next-door neighbor or Great Aunt Claire in Utah, Digital Cookie allows customers to pay by credit card and have their order shipped directly to their door. Customers are also able to donate boxes online to Operation: Sweet Appreciation!

  • New this year! Customers can pay for their cookies through Digital Cookie and still have their Girl Scout deliver the cookies to their door. Don’t worry—parents will need to approve these orders for safety and practicality reasons. Ask your troop leader for more information.

Achieve those goals! With all of the tools and resources available through this site and the opportunity for Girl Scouts to cast a wider net than ever before, it’s no surprise that a girls’ success could grow and expand—which means more exploration, learning, empowerment, and inspiration for her!

I’m so excited for Digital Cookie! How do I get started?

Gather customer information: You may not be able to set up your site just yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps to take to get ready! Girl Scouts and parents should sit down and talk about who their digital customers might be—out of town friends and family, cousins in college, or mom’s co-workers! Do you have a current email address for them? You’ll need it in order to invite them to your Digital Cookie site.

Register on the platform: Your invitation to join the platform will come through email at the end of December. Emails are specific to each girl and can’t be shared. The email will come from “Girl Scout Cookie Program.”

  • Be sure to check junk/spam/promotions inboxes, but if you don’t receive an invitation by Jan. 1, go to and click “Forgot password/Need a registration” link.

Work together! Once your site is registered, Girl Scouts and parents should work together to set up their Digital Cookie site before the program kickoff on Friday, Jan. 5. Share your favorite things about Girl Scouting and write about how your proceeds from selling cookies will help you to keep doing those amazing things! You can even make a video welcoming friends and family to your Digital Cookie site.

For more information about the cookie program, visit

Friday, December 15, 2017

We’re Entering the Countdown to Cookie Season!

In three weeks, we’ll be entering the next century of Girl Scouts selling cookies. With 100 years of cookie-selling success at our backs, we are so excited to see the amazing opportunities and experiences that the 2018 Cookie Program will bring to Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA).

Let’s make sure we’re prepared. With three weeks to go, here are three things we want you to know as we approach program kickoff on Friday, Jan. 5.

Get Set Up: A critical piece of accomplishing your goals is being set up for success!
·         All girls who are planning to sell cookies must be registered Girl Scouts. Help her unleash her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. Register or renew now!
·         Remember, all Cookie Managers must be approved volunteers of Girl Scouts and complete the Troop Cookie Manager Agreement.
·         By the end of December, an email will be sent to parents and troop leaders with a Digital Cookie registration link. Note, registration emails are specific to each girl and cannot be shared with others. The email will come from “Girl Scout Cookie Program” (

Know the Dates: While you’re setting goals for your cookie season, it’s important to know deadlines and other important dates. Also, it can be helpful to talk to friends and family over the upcoming holiday season about the beginning of the Cookie Program.
·         Jan. 5: Girls start taking cookie orders. Yay! 
·         Jan. 26: Girls' initial orders are due to troops.
·         Jan. 29: Troop initial order is due in eBudde by 11:59 p.m.
·         Feb. 14-22: Cookie deliveries. Yay! 
·         Feb. 23: Booth sales begin; cookie cupboards open.
·         Feb. 23-25: National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend.
·         March 18: Final day of Cookie Program. Booth sales end. Cupboards close. :(

Get Excited!: This is such a wonderful time of year for Girl Scouts. We’re busy setting our goals and planning our amazing experiences for the year that are powered through the Cookie Program. Share that excitement and your plans for your cookie money as you begin to talk about cookies. And, here are a couple of new things to keep our cookie customers excited, too!
·         Digital Cookie Girl Delivery Option—New this year!
Customers can pay for their cookies with a credit card through Digital Cookie and have your Girl Scout deliver the cookies to their door. Don’t worry—parents will need to approve these orders for safety and practicality reasons. Ask your troop leader for more information.
·         Girl Scout S’moresReturn!
As the most popular flavor to launch in the 101 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, we’re very excited to offer this option again this year.

Keep the countdown to the 2018 Cookie Program going! Check out the resources on for the most current information. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Toonseum offers free admission to Girl Scouts in uniform

Show your Girl Scout pride and get free admission to the Toonseum!

Girl Scouts wearing their uniform will receive free admission now through Sunday, February 25 in honor of the museum's latest comic-book art exhibition, WONDER WOMAN: VISIONS. The exhibit celebrates the 75th anniversary of The Amazing Amazon, who has been in regular publication since her debut in 1941.

WHO: Girl Scouts
WHAT: Free admission to the Toonseum
HOW: Wear your Girl Scout uniform to receive free admission
WHERE: 945 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
WHEN: Now through February 25, find museum hours here

For more presentations, workshops, and tours about the exhibit, visit Toonseum's website.

Toonseum notes that the exhibition is suitable for children ages 8 and older. Adults and non-Girl Scout children must pay regular admission.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pittsburgh Area Troops Celebrate at Annual Bring-A-Friend Event

Ball in the Fall Troop 51061
Girl Scouts from Troop 51061 hit the red carpet along with about 275 other girls from the Pittsburgh area at their annual Bring-A-Friend event. Troop 51061 has hosted the event for the past six years.

On Friday, November 17, West Perry Ambassador Girl Scout Troop 51061 hosted their annual Bring-A-Friend Ball in the Fall Dance.

With record numbers in registration, the event was a huge success! The troop registered 172 Girl Scouts and 103 of their close friends to celebrate this fun evening.

Eleven girls from Troop 51061 have hosted event for the last six years: Maria Arlia, Jordyn Bailey, Julia Bjurstrom, Sarah Hartenstein, Kelly Hatch, Lexi Mandell, Mackenzie MacFarland, Ashly Nicholas, Alyson Ryan, Abigail Schutzman, and Maria Swab. While they will be graduating this year, their work on this event has taken it to the next level. Troop leader Angela Arlia and co-leaders Mary Hatch and Shelley Schutzman are proud of the girls' commitment to all of their passions, including Girl Scouting.

"These girls are so inspirational. They are bright and beautiful, inside and out," says Arlia. "Some hold leadership positions in school, hold National Honor Society merits, play sports, work part time, and participate in drama club, marching band, and cheerleading. The troop started in kindergarten, and it is great to see they remained in Girl Scouts for all these years, too."

The theme, The Rhinestone Runway, offered each girl the opportunity to walk the red carpet as other guests cheered for her arrival. Girls are encouraged to wear their best dresses and their most fabulous bling, and the event provides the opportunity for older Girl Scouts to provide a positive image, leadership and kindness to the younger attendees.

Troop 51061 asks each attendee to bring one non-perishable food item to be donated to the North Hills Backpack initiative, which assists students in the troop's community.

The event received coverage on, The Pittsburgh Tribune website.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Girl Scouts invited to special movie screenings

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) members are invited to a free screening of two films at AMC Waterfront in Pittsburgh this weekend! 

Please plan to arrive early for the best seats. Passes are limited 100 seats total for each screening. 

Girls are encouraged to wear their uniforms since this is a special screening for GSWPA Girl Scouts! 

The Greatest Showman

Sunday, December 10, 10 a.m.

This Sunday, see a free screening of 20th Century Fox's, The Greatest Showman. There will be some fun family activities beforehand! Register for your free movie passes online using code GreatestShowmanGS. You'll be redirected to a website where you can download your passes. Please have your pass ready to show at the door. 

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Greatest Showman is in theaters December 20, 2017.


Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m.


This Saturday, see a free screening of 20th Century Fox's new animated comedy, Ferdinand. Register for your free movie passes online using code FerdinandGS. You'll be redirected to a website where you can download your passes. Please have your pass ready to show at the door. 

Ferdinand tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can't judge a bull by its cover.

From Blue Sky Studios and Carlos Saldanha, the director of "Rio" and inspired by the beloved book "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, "Ferdinand" is a heartwarming animated comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

Ferdinand is in theaters December 15, 2017.

Friday, December 1, 2017

MagNut News for Troops

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) sends a big THANK YOU to everyone for your patience during our pilot year of UNIFY!

Dates and Deadlines 

NOW! - Verify banking information in UNIFY by clicking on Financials located on the Menu
Dec. 5, 12 p.m. - Deadline to submit ACH Adjustment Form
Dec. 12 - ACH Sweep
Dec. 15 - Deadline to submit Delinquent Forms
Mid-December - MagNut recognitions sent to Service Unit MagNut Managers

ACH Sweep

  • To view troop balance due to council, click on Financials and select the Troop Transactions tab.
    • If there is a negative balance, you will receive a refund check in January. 
    • Troops that only did Reach Out Booklets will receive a shop certificate.
  • The ACH Sweep will occur Tuesday, Dec. 12. 
    • The final upload of banking information has been processed.
    • Verify troop banking information on UNIFY. 
      • If the uploaded information is incorrect, you must contact Customer Care at 800-248-3355 no later than Dec. 5 at 12 p.m. The troop must submit a check for the balance owed.
      • If there is no banking information uploaded, the troop must submit a check for payment. 
  • Not enough funds to cover the ACH Sweep? 
    • If the total amount due to GSWPA will not be available in your troop bank account as a result of a delinquent girl payment or for any other reason, an ACH Adjustment Form must be submitted to GSWPA by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Use this form to indicate the amount of money GSWPA can safely sweep from the troop account
    • **Adjustment forms received after Dec. 5 at 12 p.m.will not be processed.** 
  • Submit all delinquent girl paperwork by Friday, Dec. 15.
    • If there is a delinquent girl payment and no adjustment form is submitted, GSWPA will refund the delinquent amount that was swept when the funds were unavailable, as long as the appropriate delinquent paperwork is submitted by Friday, Dec. 15.

      Please mail to:
      GSWPA, Attn: Yvonne Colleran
      30 Isabella Street, Suite 107
      Pittsburgh, PA 15212
    • **After this deadline, no refunds for delinquencies will be processed.**

Late Paper Magazine Orders

Late paper magazine subscription forms (white and yellow copies), along with Paper Magazine Summary Forms, must be mailed promptly. Failure to submit forms will cause delays with the start of customer subscriptions.

Please mail to:
GSWPA, Attn: Yvonne Colleran
30 Isabella Street, Suite 107
Pittsburgh, PA 15212


MagNut recognitions will be sent mid-December to Service Unit MagNut Managers. GS Bucks will also be sent from GSWPA directly to Service Unit MagNut Managers. The Service Unit MagNut Managers will notify Troop MagNut Managers when recognitions are ready for pick-up.

Questions? Please contact your Service Unit MagNut Manager.

Thanks for everything you do!