Friday, June 8, 2018

10% more thanks for soldiers


Every year, customers help Girl Scouts from GSWPA send delicious Girl Scout Cookies to our U.S. military active duty and veteran service member organizations by donating to Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA).

On behalf of everyone at GSWPA, from girls to volunteers and staff, we're so grateful for each donation received this year. OSA donations during the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program increased by 4,588 packages from last year! Donations totaled 50,461 packages that each carry a super sweet message of thanks to U.S. military women and men.

Soldiers and veterans aren't the only ones who benefit from this initiative. Check out this video about why girls at GSWPA love participating in OSA:




Donations are currently closed for the 2018 Cookie Program, but you can donate tasty snacks to our military in the fall through the MagNut Program!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Last chance for camp!

It's not too late to sign up for Girl Scout camp! Maybe you just realized that summer break has begun, or maybe she doesn't have any plans yet—don't let her miss the opportunity to come to Girl Scout summer camp with Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.

There are camp programs for a variety of interests! From a traditional camp experience to building robots, there are adventures just waiting for your Girl Scout this summer.

We've listed some sessions that still have availability here, and you can check out all of the available camp programs at Camp ConshatawbaCamp Hawthorne Ridge, and Camp Skymeadow.



Conshatawba

Outdoor Artist CORE (Lodge) 06-29-18
Me & My Gal- 4th of July Summer Bash (Lodge) 07-01-18 (NEW)
Spa Retreat 07-22-18 (NEW)
Me & My Guy- Messy Mayhem - Camp Conshatawba - 08-10-18

Hawthorne Ridge 

Back to the Basics CORE 07-13-18 
Slumber Party CORE (Lodge) 07-13-18 (NEW) 
Pony Party 2.0 07-22-18 (NEW) 
Hogwarts Summer School 07-22-18 (NEW) 
Me & My Guy- Messy Mayhem - Camp Hawthorne Ridge - 07-27-18 
Adventure Squad Camp Set Sail 07-29-18 (NEW) 


Skymeadow 

Pony Party (Introduction Level) 07-15-18 (NEW)
Horse Lovers --CORE 07-18-18 (NEW)
Skymeadow Sampler -- CORE 08-01-18 (NEW)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Do you want to make a difference at a national park this summer?

Girl Scouts is partnering with The Student Conservation Association (SCA) to create an incredible opportunity for service-minded, outdoor-loving 15-18 year old Girl Scouts.

Join Girl Scouts from nine different states and put your skills to work improving our public lands as you enjoy the beauty of Olympic National Forest in Washington State.

WHAT IS A “NATIONAL CREW?"

Every summer, SCA brings teens together on two-to-five-week experiences to complete maintenance and restoration projects in national, regional, state, and local parks. Led by experienced adult leaders, SCA crews get to visit new places, camp with new friends, and enjoy nature as they conserve habitats and protect natural resources. Learn more about SCA’s National Crews.

WHY SHOULD I APPLY? 

If you love the outdoors and have a passion for service, this experience is for you! The Crew Experience will be an immersive outdoor experience. You will be camping, learning new outdoor skills, and spending most of your days outside. You will also be making a difference by completing a service project that will help future generations enjoy the park. Throughout the experience, you will be applying and learning new leadership skills and making lifelong connections with Girl Scouts from across the country. Find out what your daily Crew Experience will be like.

Katherine, a Girl Scout from Pittsburgh, was on the first all-Girl Scout crew at Shenandoah National Park in 2016.

For any girls that are thinking about doing this trip in the future, I definitely recommend this,” Katherine said. “I had so much fun and I made lifelong friends.” 

Check out Katherine’s video about her adventure on the crew:

TELL ME ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC GIRL SCOUT CREW!


  • Location: Olympic National Forest in Washington State 
  • Dates: July 29-August 11 
  • Projects: Restoring infrastructure in the park while enjoying nature and learning about public lands careers! 
  • Participants: 10 Girl Scouts, ages 15-18, from nine different states 


WHAT ARE THE COSTS? 

This is an experience, not an expense! Thanks to a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, costs for 10 Girl Scouts to participate in this crew on the ground at Olympic are fully paid! There is no program fee for this experience. Your only costs to participate will be gear needed for your trip (i.e. sturdy boots, backpack, long work pants, etc.).  Gear rentals may be available from SCA for a small fee.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?


  • Enthusiasm, a positive attitude, and a commitment to give this experience everything you’ve got! 
  • Comfortable sleeping in a tent and spending time outside (no significant experience required – just a willingness to experience the outdoors!) 
  • You must be 15-18 years old at the time of the Crew (July, 29 2018) 
  • Be a registered Girl Scout with one of the following six councils: 
    • Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania 
    • Girl Scouts of Alaska 
    • Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine 
    • Girl Scouts of Greater New York
    • Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan 
    • Girl Scouts of Black Diamond (West Virginia) 
    • Girl Scouts of Maine o Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming 


HOW DO I APPLY? 

This is a competitive application, as there are only 10 total spaces for this experience. Tell us about who you are and why you would enjoy this opportunity.

Questions? Contact GSWPA Customer Care at 800-248-3355 or customercare@gswpa.org.

Monday, June 4, 2018

New Girl Scout Elected to Participate on Board of Directors

Chianne Boburchock poses with her mother, Krystal Boburchock, at the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) Annual Meeting where Chianne was elected to the Girl Advisory Panel with GSWPA’s Board of Directors.
Chianne Boburchock, 16, was recently elected to serve on the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) Girl Advisory Panel at the council’s annual governance meeting in April. With three other Girl Scouts from the council on the panel, it is a leadership accomplishment to be elected to the Girl Advisory Panel.

Girl Scouts is a girl-centered organization, from troop meetings to board meetings. As a member of the panel, Boburchock will attend the GSWPA Board of Directors meetings to provide an important girl perspective during discussions. She will be a part of decision making for the GSWPA council, which is made up of nearly 21,000 girl members, 11,000 adult members, close to 100 full-time staff spread across 27 counties of western Pennsylvania.

This is not Boburchock’s first time representing her Girl Scout council. In October 2017, she was asked to serve as a national delegate for GSWPA at the National Girl Scout Convention in Columbus, which occurs every three years. Boburchock participated in the National Board of Directors election other votes that would shape the next three years of the Girl Scout Movement across the country. Boburchock has also served as a local GSWPA delegate for the last two years representing Somerset area.

Boburchock has recently begun working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award achievement in Girl Scouting. She has been a dedicated Girl Scout for 11 years. Boburchock is also a program aide at her local Girl Scout day camp and is a member of GSWPA’s Camp Conshatawba’s Outdoor Club.

Boburchock is in tenth grade at Somerset Area High School and lives in Friedens, and in addition to Girl Scouting, Boburchock is active in her community and school.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Honoring remarkable women and their accomplishments


On Friday, May 18, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania honored oustanding community service and leadership at the annual Awards of Distinction luncheon at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

The prestigious event included special guest and CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA Sylvia Acevedo. She set the tone for the event by sharing her story of how she broke barriers and became one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn their master's degree in engineering from Stanford University.

She spoke about growing up on a dirt road with parents who had not gone to college and were not wealthy ranchers. She shared how her experience in Girl Scouting made her see that cooking is no more than a chemistry experiment, and she learned that she was rather good at science and math.

"When it was time to go on to college," Acevedo said, "and the college counselor opened the door and looked at the lobby and looked around me, and she said 'What are you doing here?' and I said 'I'm going to college.'"

Acevedo continued, "She said 'Girls like you don't go to college.' And, unfortunately, statistically she was right. But, she wasn't right in my case."

Acevedo's personal history with growing courage, confidence, and character through Girl Scouting launched the event into impactful comments on female accomplishments, leadership, and wisdom.

The Girl Scout of Distinction, Alexis Mandell credited her experience in the Movement as inspiration to create the same opportunities for young girls in her community.

"Girl Scouts has provided me a supportive, all-girl environment to explore whatever my intention was in life," Mandell said. "Inspired by that all-girl environment, I created an all-girl science fair for my Gold Award project to encourage the younger girls excited by STEM."

Maurita Bryant, 2018 Woman of Distinction in government and law, spoke about her 39 years working on the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

When considering advice for the future leaders in attendance she said, "The love you have for one another will always overshadow the ugly in this world."

Megan "Megs" Yunn, 2018 Woman of Distinction in entrepreneur and small business, was unable to attend due to the arrival of her baby boy. She sent her words of wisdom with Katelyn Livingston, Director of Community Engagement for her company Beverly's Birthdays. Yunn encouraged the audience to follow their gut and follow the path that feels right, even if the people around you think it's crazy.

The event left the room feeling inspired to make a difference in their community and beyond. For photos from the event, visit the photo album on GSWPA's Facebook page. The clips from Acevedo's keynote speech are included here: Part 1Part 2 Part 3.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

CAMP ANNOUNCEMENTS: New Sessions Added!

GSWPA has added more camp sessions to the 2018 summer line up. Below you’ll find a list of the recently added sessions with a direct link to their registration page.

We hope you and your camper will find something that hits the target, lights their campfire, or splashes adventure into summer!

Me & My Gal- 4th of July Summer Bash (Lodge)
July 1-3
Grades: 1-8
Camp Conshatawba

Spa Retreat
July 22-27
Grades: 4-8
Camp Conshatawba

 Adventure Squad Camp Set Sail
July 29-August 3
Grades: 4-9
Camp Hawthorne Ridge

Hogwarts Summer School
July 22-27
Grades: 2-8
Camp Hawthorne Ridge

Slumber Party CORE (Lodge)
July 13-15
Grades: 1-12
Camp Hawthorne Ridge

Pony Party 2.0
July 22-25
Grades: 2-5
Camp Hawthorne Ridge

Horse Lovers – CORE
July 18-20
Grades: 1-12
Camp Skymeadow

Skymeadow Sampler – CORE
August 1-3
Grades: 1-12
Camp Skymeadow

2018 Awards of Distinction | Girl Scout Honorees

2018 Girl Scout of Distinction Alexis Mandell, left, and 2018 Girl Scout Humanitarian Maria Ciao, right, received their awards at the Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction luncheon on Friday, May 18.
Girl Scout of Distinction
Alexis Mandell’s 12 years as a Girl Scout have helped her cultivate strong leadership skills, which inspired her to help other girls develop those skills as her Gold Award project. Pairing that inspiration with her passion for science, Mandell aimed to impact the lack of encouragement for young girls who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers.

“Sadly, girls are often shut out of STEM because of the preconceived notion that science and math are for boys. As a result, women represent only about one in five people employed in the fields of computer science, mathematics, engineering and the physical sciences,” said Mandell in her interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

For her Gold Award project, Mandell produced the Growing Girls’ Roots in STEM Science Fair, an all-girl science fair for fourth through eighth graders. Twenty-three participants followed the scientific method to research, hypothesize, test, and present on a topic in the fields of biology, environmental science, or physical science. Mandell coordinated STEM professionals to volunteer as judges, and her website, growinggirlsrootsinstem.org, provides educators and parents with resources to host more all-girl science fairs.

 Outside of Girl Scouts, Mandell participates in her high school orchestra, Irish dancing, and tennis. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is the public relations officer of North Hills’ Students Against Destructive Decisions Club. After graduation, Mandell will be continuing her education at Duke University with a plan to study neuroscience on a pre-medicine track.

She thanks her parents and her project adviser, Rebecca Watters, for their support and help in making her Gold Award project possible.

Mandell further thanks the Girl Scout Movement for allowing her to learn the leadership skills necessary to make a difference in today’s world and for helping her make lifelong friends along the way.

Girl Scout Humanitarian
Service to others and leadership come naturally to Maria Ciao, a Girl Scout since she was a Daisy in kindergarten. Ciao’s Gold Award project improved safety and accessibility of a local playground for children with autism and other disabilities.

Ciao is an avid equestrian and has combined her love of horses into years of community service at Glade Run Lutheran Services with a program that helps children with autism enjoy activities like riding horses. Inspired by seeing how animal therapy helped engage children with social challenges, Ciao earned her Girl Scout Silver Award by co-authoring a children’s book about autism that featured a friendly horse as the narrator.

Ciao saw further needs in her community for children with autism. From 2015 through spring 2018, she worked with her local government, the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, and community groups to make safety improvements and add sensory-friendly components to an existing playground at Allegheny County’s North Park. With consultation from experts, she coordinated the installation of tactile and musical sensory panels that are accessible to children with autism and children in wheelchairs, addressed safety issues, and made aesthetic upgrades to make the space welcoming.

Ciao hopes that her project is a model for more public playgrounds to incorporate sensory-stimulating components so that all children, regardless of ability, can play together and have fun in a safe space.

To girls considering the Girl Scout Gold Award, Caio says, “Volunteer wherever you can and don’t fear the weight of the project—because in the end it’s worth it. I never realized the positive ripple effect this project would have—but then I saw the bigger picture.”

Ciao will pursue a degree in public relations at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio this fall, where she also plans to continue her advocacy for people with autism.

She is very honored to be named as 2018 Girl Scout Humanitarian and is most grateful for the support and guidance she has received from her parents and family, troop, and the Girl Scout Movement.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

2018 Women of Distinction Awards

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation, FedEx Ground, were honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction luncheon on Friday, May 18 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.

Health Care

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Miller, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Health Care category!

Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, is the director of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and professor of Pediatrics at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is also the medical director for Ronald McDonald House Charities Care Mobile, Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, and the 412 Youth Zone.

Trained in medical anthropology, as well as internal medicine and pediatrics, Dr. Miller’s research has included examination of sex trafficking among adolescents in Asia, teen dating abuse, and reproductive health, with a focus on underserved youth populations, including pregnant and parenting teens, and foster, homeless, and gang-affiliated youth. Her current research focuses on the impact of gender-based violence on young women’s reproductive health.

She conducts research on brief clinical interventions to reduce partner violence and unintended pregnancy, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Justice. In addition, she is conducting a study of a sexual violence prevention program entitled “Coaching Boys into Men” that involves training coaches to talk to their young male athletes about stopping violence against women, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is also involved in projects to reduce gender-based violence and improve adolescent and young adult women’s health in India and Japan.

Miller is the recent recipient of the 2018 Visionary Award from Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

A Japan native, Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in history of art at Yale and a master’s in medicine and a doctorate in anthropology at Harvard.

She and her husband reside in Pittsburgh. Her daughter, Hannah, is a student at the University of Chicago and her son, Joey, attends Taylor Allderdice High School.

Technology & Communications

Congratulations to Jennifer Bullano, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Technology category!

Jennifer Bullano joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006 as a graduate intern and spent the following two years as manager of media relations before being promoted to director of communications in 2008. She is entering her twelfth season with the team and currently serves as senior director of communications. She is presently the only female to hold her position in the National Hockey League.

Bullano oversees the daily operations of the Penguins communications department and is responsible for coordinating all player and management interviews. She travels full time with the team and was a part of the Penguins Stanley Cup championships in 2009, 2016, and 2017. Jennifer has been a key contact for behind the scenes shows, such as HBO’S 24/7 The Road to the Winter Classic, NHL Revealed, In the Room, and Showtime Sports ALL ACCESS: Quest for the Stanley Cup. She recently won an Emmy for her role in “There’s no Place like Home with Sidney Crosby” in the “sports program one-time special” category.

The native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, also teaches part-time as an adjunct professor at Point Park University. Bullano teaches Media Relations in Sports for the Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management program within the School of Business.

Bullano earned a bachelor of arts degree in public relations from Penn State University in 2003, as well as a master of business administration with concentration in sports, arts, and entertainment management from Point Park University in 2007. Bullano and her husband, Eric Ridgley, reside in the north hills of Pittsburgh with their daughter, Harper.

This is the third of four installments published in recognition of the 2018 Women of Distinction and Girl Scout honorees.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

2018 Women of Distinction Awards

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation, FedEx Ground, were honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction luncheon on Friday, May 18 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.

Arts & Education

Congratulations to janera soloman, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Arts & Education category!

janera solomon is the Executive Director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, a historic live arts venue in Pittsburgh now in its tenth year of presenting progressive, evocative, new works in dance, music, film, education, and cultural programming. Her curatorial work includes projects with some of contemporary performance’s brightest stars.

Recognized for her transformative leadership and contributions to the revitalization of East Liberty, janera managed the merger of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Dance Alloy in 2011, while maintaining affordable dance instruction at The Alloy School and creating a series of diverse programs designed to inspire and engage a wide range of audiences.

An experienced arts and culture consultant, she has played a critical role in numerous cultural

projects, including the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Brooklyn Museum of Art, the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh and numerous others with the Toronto-based, cultural planning firm Lord Culture.

She has a passion for artists creating new work and the development of new art forms and has served as curator and advisor to a variety of artistic projects. janera maintains volunteer board positions for several organizations, including the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and The Ellis School. In 2014, she formed the August Wilson Center Recovery Committee. In 2015, janera was featured in Pittsburgh Magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh”, and in 2018, she was awarded a “2018 Women of Influence Award” by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Athletics

Congratulations to Heather Lyke, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Athletics category!

Heather Lyke is the director of athletics at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the first woman to hold the full-time director of athletics post.

Lyke has an exemplary record of 22 years in increasingly high-level roles in collegiate athletics administration. She served as vice president and director of athletics at Eastern Michigan University since 2013. Prior to her EMU tenure, she was a ranking athletic administrator at Ohio State for 15 years and additionally held posts at the University of Cincinnati and with the NCAA.

Lyke found the beginning of her professional path during her days as a scholarship student-athlete at the University of Michigan, where she captained the Wolverines’ Big Ten champion softball team. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Michigan and a juris doctor from the University of Akron School of Law.

At Eastern Michigan, Lyke oversaw a department that sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 550 student-athletes. Her tenure witnessed high levels of achievement, not only in the competitive arena but also academically and from a fundraising standpoint.

A reflection of her undergraduate studies in education, Lyke is enthusiastically dedicated to helping younger professionals in their growth and advancement. She is a frequent speaker and presenter at national conferences and serves on the board of directors of Women Leaders in College Athletics.

In 2014, Lyke became the first woman to chair the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Committee. She additionally chaired the Mid-American Conference’s Cost of Attendance Task Force.

Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Lyke starred at GlenOak High School in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She accepted a softball scholarship from Michigan, where she was a two-time team captain and helped Michigan to the 1992 Big Ten Championship.

Lyke and her husband, David Catalano, have three children: Elle, Sophie and Eli.

Business

Congratulations to Sylvia Diez, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Business category!

Sylvia Diez is senior vice president and regional managing director for PNC Institutional Asset Management covering the central/east region. Her primary responsibility is leading sales and client service for the region. She is also chair of the Council of National Practice Groups that include Taft-Hartley/Public Funds, Endowment & Foundation, Healthcare and Insurance within Institutional Asset Management, and leads a team of segment specialists and business development officers.

She was previously the western region sales director for PNC Wealth Management. She was responsible for the sales process and the development and execution of the sales strategies for the western region.

Prior to joining PNC Wealth Management in March 2001 as a relationship manager, Diez was a retirement planning specialist with CitiStreet, a member company of Citigroup. During her ten years with CitiStreet, she served in positions of increasing responsibility from account executive to a regional manager in Anaheim, California and Pittsburgh offices. She was voted by CitiStreet’s Board of Directors to receive the Director’s Trophy, which was awarded to one employee for his or her company contributions.

Diez holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing earned from Robert Morris University. Her professional licenses have included the National Association of Securities Dealers Series 7, 6, 63, 65, and 26. She has also completed Duquesne University’s Executive Certificate in Financial Planning.

Diez is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXII. She was also a corporate team member of PNC’s Grow Up Great program and a current member of PNC Women Connect EBRG, where she is the executive sponsor for the External Connections committee. Diez is a mentor in Robert Morris University Women’s Leadership and Mentorship program. She has served on several boards and has been a host committee member for many local charitable organizations, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Girls Scouts Western Pennsylvania, and Western PA School for the Deaf.

This is the second of four installments published in recognition of the 2018 Women of Distinction and Girl Scout honorees.


Monday, May 21, 2018

2018 Women of Distinction Awards

Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation, FedEx Ground, were honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction luncheon on Friday, May 18 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.

Community & Nonprofit
Congratulations to Amy Hart, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Community & Nonprofit category.

Amy Hart is the president and chief executive officer of the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. (HDS).

HDS is the region’s only non-profit agency providing comprehensive services to people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, or have other communication needs. Her tenure at HDS has been known for growth and innovation in programs and services.

Prior to coming to HDS, she was the director of community relations at Mars Home for Youth and vice president of community investments at United Way of Allegheny County. She was founding executive director of the PA Service Corps, one of the original national service demonstration projects, and was founding executive director of PA Campus Compact. She also worked on the Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Treatment Unit at St. Francis Hospital and for the Collegiate YMCA of Pittsburgh.

Hart is known as an entrepreneurial leader who is effective at building winning relationships and effective partnerships, as well as supporting others in the field. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University.

Entrepreneur & Small Business
Congratulations to Megan "Megs" Yunn, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Entrepreneur & Small Business category.

Megs Yunn is the founder and co-director of Beverly’s Birthdays, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that provides birthday cheer for children experiencing homelessness and families in need. Yunn started the organization after meeting a young girl, Beverly, who shared with her that she had never had her own birthday party or even her own slice of birthday cake. Inspired by the story, Yunn submitted her idea for Beverly’s Birthdays to the 2011 Scholastic Be BIG in Your Community Contest and was named one of 10 first place winners. She received $2,500 in January 2012 to start Beverly’s Birthdays. Now, six years later, Beverly’s Birthdays has raised over $1.5 million, and Yunn and her team of five full-time staff members, a 13-member board of directors, and hundreds of volunteers/donors, have worked together to celebrate more than 25,000 children’s birthdays. Beverly’s Birthdays and Yunn were recently recognized on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and on PEOPLE.COM for the inspiring work their team is doing to spread joy, cheer, and laughter for so many deserving children. Yunn is a Pittsburgh Magazine 40 under 40 recipient and was named by Next Magazine as one of five people “Making Pittsburgh a Happier Place.”

Outside of Beverly’s Birthdays, Yunn has served as an adjunct instructor at Point Park University in the communications department. She has a bachelor of arts degree in organizational communications from Marietta College and a master of business administration from Point Park University. Yunn is passionate about youth programming, servant leadership, and working with children in vulnerable communities.

Prior to starting Beverly’s Birthdays, Yunn did a term of service as an AmeriCorps volunteer and ran a character development program with adjudicated youth.

Yunn truly believes that we are all here on this earth to make a difference and to help one another. When asked about Beverly’s Birthdays and the work they are doing, she always says “I just want to dump birthday glitter on the city of Pittsburgh.”

Yunn and her husband, Mike Yunn, reside in Irwin and are the proud parents of three beautiful children—Wyatt, Lincoln, and Sadie—with their fourth son born just recently.

Government & Law
Congratulations to Maurita J. Bryant, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Government & Law category.

Maurita J. Bryant is serving in her 40th year of law enforcement. After serving 39 years with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, she retired in May of 2016, as the assistant chief of the Investigations Branch. She joined the Allegheny County Police Department in June 2016 and currently serves as the assistant superintendent for the Uniform Division.

She is a 1970 graduate of George Westinghouse High School, and received her master’s degree in criminal justice from Point Park University, where she served as an adjunct professor. Superintendent Bryant is a 2004 graduate of the 218th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and has taught numerous criminal investigations and terrorism courses internationally.

Throughout her career, she has been passionate about issues impacting the victimization of women and children. She is most proud of serving as the executive director for a teenage intervention program called Save Our (little) Sisters (SOS); being the facilitator for the Bureau’s Moms and Cops program; serving on the executive boards for Gwen’s Girls, Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation, Birmingham Foundation, YES program, NOBLE, Standing Firm, Greater Pittsburgh Business and Professional Women, Inc.; and most of all for having two daughters, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

This is the first of four installments published in recognition of the 2018 Women of Distinction and the Girl Scout Honorees.

Monday, April 30, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Becky Robert

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



Becky  was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for going above any beyond for the girls and her Service Unit during the 2018 Cookie Program.


Becky Robert
Bethel Park | Troop 51234

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
Currently in my 14th year of volunteering.

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
Watching the friendships grow and being able to help other people.

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
When my first group graduated high school and they all had their college blankets at the fly up ceremony to Adult Girl Scout. Most of the kids were with us since first grade. It was humbling and I will never forget the words of thanks that came our way and how proud of each of them we were and still are to this day!

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
Honesty, integrity, and service to others will keep you grounded. Respect is earned, and there is a time to work hard and a time to relax by the fire. When people are deliberately mean, steer clear of them. Keep learning and keep teaching—and keep those forever friends. I hope they know how proud we are of them and how much they enhanced MY life as well as my co-leaders.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Shout out for volunteers with H.E.A.R.T.

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

The following GSWPA volunteers were nominated to be highlighted for having H.E.A.R.T. as part of our National Volunteer Month celebrations.

Melissa Ealum

Glassport
"Melissa is an incredible Service Team member. She is always willing to help out when asked and always answers in a prompt manner. Her dedication to Girl Scouting truly shines through her work in the community. She wears many hats and wears them well!"

Megan Foradori

Pittsburgh
"Megan has stepped up as the Service Unit Manager for the Fox Chapel Service Unit. Megan has worked closely to find out what the leaders feel is important to be discussed and planned at their meetings. She has also done a great job embracing the new leaders who have recently come on board. Thank you Megan!"

Dawn Reams
Philipsburg
"Dawn is an enthusiastic and energetic volunteer who has worked hard all year to grow her Service Unit. She is a go-getter and is always willing to step up and help out!"

Nancy Carolan

North Huntingdon
"For many years, Nancy has led a team of volunteers that plan a fantastic day of activities as the Westmoreland Mall Girl Scout Day. This event draws girls and volunteers from multiple service areas and shows members of the community how much fun and learning comes from being a part of Girl Scouts."

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 

Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Christan Baker

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



Christan is a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T., and she passes that on to the girls in her troop.


Christan Baker
Saxonburg | Troop 26070

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
3 years

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
I love the relationships the girls have and the relationships within the organization that I have built! I also love seeing the girls learn about life and grow into beautiful young ladies. They each have these amazingly wonderful, unique personalities that make our group so fantastic! I also enjoy working with my co-leader. We compliment each other so well. Just like the girls, we have our own strengths and weaknesses, but together we all accomplish more!

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
We were volunteering at a community event, and one of the girls had this “aha moment.” She said, “All people want is to know they are important to someone, and we can help that happen!” I was so proud and tearful!

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
I want them to remember how they feel when they are helping others. They can never go wrong in life if they are working toward helping someone else or building someone up!!!

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Friday, April 27, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Guest Blog with Angela Cochran

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



Angela was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for stepping up to support her troop during the 2018 Cookie Program.


Angela Cochran
Somerset | Troop 52905

I've been a volunteer with Girl Scouts since October 2017.

My daughter, who is five years old, is very shy and afraid to talk to strangers. The first time she had to work a cookie booth on her own, I was concerned she wouldn't talk to any of the potential customers passing by. I told her if she wanted to sell a lot of cookies to reach her initial goal (750 boxes), she needed to ask people if they would like to buy.

I told her I was not asking, and that it was her responsibility. She stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. I could not believe how much selling cookies and being goal driven brought her out of her shell. She asked everyone. And each person that showed even the littlest bit of interest, she talked their ear off about the cookies, especially her favorite, the Girl Scout S'more Cookie. I was so glad I was able to witness this with her. If I wasn't a volunteer as a leader, I wouldn't have been there with her to watch her blossom.

I want the girls to look back at Girl Scouts and remember all of the fun experiences they had and the friendships they had with their fellow Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout throughout elementary school, and I still think back on all of the fun we used to have at meetings and especially at camp.

As I move forward as a leader, I would like to think of activities and experiences that will impact their future positively. Perhaps, I can instill a love of nature, a love of traveling, or a love of crafting.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Pamela Siergiej

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



As a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T., Pamela is an amazing champion for Girl Scouts. for stepping up to support her troop during the 2018 Cookie Program.


Pamela Siergiej
Monaca | Troop 16061

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
29 years

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
I value the friendships I've made over years and the opportunity to grow personally and in many new skills.

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
I was totally overwhelmed when my troop nominated me for an award and surprised me at a joint bridging. It was truly great to receive the recognition from the girls I served!

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
I hope that the girls grow to appreciate that they can be whatever they want and to be open to learning something new every day.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Monday, April 23, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Diane Kurtz

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

Diane was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for raising her hand to volunteer as Service Unit Manager and for the unity she's created while in the role.

Diane Kurtz
Bethel Park | Troop 51234

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
10 years as a leader and two years as a Service Unit Manager.

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
I liked teaching and giving the girls new experiences.

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
When we went rock climbing. Everyone was encouraging everyone else.

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
I want them to remember the experiences and the friendships that they gained by being in Girl Scouts.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Shout Out for Volunteers with H.E.A.R.T.

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

The following GSWPA volunteers were nominated to be highlighted for having H.E.A.R.T. as part of our National Volunteer Month celebrations.

Romanee Yandura
Perryopolis
"Romanee has stepped up as the Service Unit Manager this year after mostly all of the Service Unit had resigned. She has scheduled meetings and started to organize the Service Unit to continuing them on a positive journey within the Service Unit. I want to thank her for this and continuing the work within Girl Scouting to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place!"

Tina Magri
Bethel Park
"Tina has been Finance Manager—it seems forever! She keeps on top of new troops and gets them checking accounts. She pushes troops for finance reports and helps with budgets, if needed. She is at every neighborhood meeting, and she was very good at helping troops switch banks last year. Tina is an asset that is very underrated."

Cheryl Carr
St Marys
"Cheryl has done a great job in her new role as Service Unit Finance Manager. She is helpful, organized, and a wonderful new member to her team."

Colleen Peary
Connellsville
"Colleen is a great Service Unit Manager and Troop Leader! Colleen works so hard to provide an amazing program within her troop and within the Service Unit. She is a great mentor and is extremely dedicated to her girls and Girl Scouting in general."

Mary Kay Matlos
McKeesport
"Mary Kay is an awesome Service Unit Manager. Her planning and organization is impeccable. The Service Unit leaders, volunteers, and girls benefit from this. They have monthly events or activities for the girls, which keep them active in their community. Mary Kay has a true passion for Girl Scouting, and it definitely shows in her position as Service Unit manager!"

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 

Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Honoring awesome volunteers at the 2018 Annual Meeting

Thanks Badge I, a national award from Girl Scouts of the USA, is an honor given to a registered Girl Scout volunteer whose service continues to impact the entire council of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania or the Girl Scout movement in extraordinary ways and is separate from service that has been previously recognized.

GSWPA is proud to have three Thanks Badge I recipients in our council.
Mae Lynn Edwards,
Thanks Badge I Recipient

Mae Lynn Edwards, a Girl Scout volunteer in Butler, has been Girl Scout volunteer for 21 years. Edwards is a troop leader, service unit manager, product sales manager, delegate, and member of the Gold Award committee.

Malinda Young, who nominated Edwards for the award said, "Mae Lynn serves as a mentor to other troop leaders in her Service Unit, providing guidance on troop leadership and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience."

She provides training to girls and volunteers on the Silver and Gold awards, and assists in the planning and implementation of the Gold Award Ceremonies. Her creativity and insight have strengthened programs and helped to retain membership. Those who know her see her as an exemplary Girl Scout, understanding and loving, and a sister to every Girl Scout. She truly lives by the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
Amy Miehl,
Thanks Bade I Recipient

Amy Miehl has been a Girl Scout volunteer for six years. She serves GSWPA as a service unit manager, delegate, trainer, day camp coordinator, and as a member of several GSWPA committees.

Her nominators were Malinda Young and Janet Kovacs. Her nominations detailed her contributions to the entire council through her skills and expertise.

She serves as a member of the Gold Award Committee and as a GSWPA Trainer. In these roles, she is a mentor to girls throughout council and brings her legendary knowledge of outdoor skills and songs and games to all volunteers that want to learn.

She is a dedicated volunteer whose efforts have increased membership, demonstrated inclusive behavior, helped retain volunteers, and developed innovative program opportunities.
Dottie Neal, Thanks Badge I Recipient

Dottie Neal has been a Girl Scout volunteer for 26 years as a service unit manager, trainer, troop leader, delegate, day camp volunteer, and
several other roles.

"As Service Unit Manager, Dottie has impacted the Movement in her community through program and camping events, as well as participation in community events," said Melinda Shoenfelt, Dottie's nominator.

She proactively includes girls and leaders from other service areas in these programs, many of whom attend time after time because of the quality and value they receive. She provides invaluable service as a trainer for GSWPA in the areas of New Leader and Outdoor Skills, and has served as a mentor for new volunteers in the role of Service Unit Manager.

The President's Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals.

Two groups have been honored with the award this year.

Laurel Service Unit Team recognized that their market share was low. They set membership goals and achieved them by increasing visibility in the community and supporting each other's efforts in recruitment. They have increased their programming for girls, to include hosting a Journey Weekend, a Thinking Day event, a Cookie Rally, and Court of Awards.

Cranberry Service Unit Team acknowledged the difficulties experienced by several girls at camp, and chose to make a positive change in that experience by raising funds to purchase a golf cart for a GSWPA camp. The girls organized and hosted a lip sync battle event to raise the money, learning valuable event planning and business skills. Additionally, the service unit proactively recruits in the community through events, school functions, parades and maintaining a public Facebook page. They support girls within their service unit through dynamic programming and a junior counselor program.

Honor Pin
This award recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which has had measurable impact on two or more geographic areas of service, allowing the council to reach and surpass its mission-delivery goals.

In order to receive this award, volunteers have to go outside their own service unit, and support others. Sometimes this is accomplished by mentoring Gold Award candidates. Other times, it’s by offering much needed training to volunteers.

Karen Schmidt
14 years as a Girl Scout Volunteer
Troop Leader of Girl Scout Troop 54476
Karen is an active member of the Gold Award committee, mentoring girls throughout the council. She conducts training on both the Silver and Gold Award and assists with the Gold Award Court of Awards.

Sharon Enslen
23 years as a Girl Scout Volunteer
Troop Leader of Girl Scout Troop 52619
Sharon is an active member of the Gold Award Committee, mentoring up to 35 girls at a time. She conducts Silver and Gold workshops and has served on the Travel Committee, giving girls the opportunity to travel the world!


From GSWPA, congratulations to all of our phenomenal volunteers!




GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Kimberly Gnarra

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



Kimberly is recognized as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for her commitment to the Movement and her passion for leading and teaching her girls.

Kimberly Gnarra
Lake City | Troop 36458


How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
Four years.

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
I love being a part of each one of my girls' lives and watching all their life long friendships form. It is a great feeling when you see them have a sense of self accomplishment when they learn something new and the confidence they gain from that.

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
Teaching my troop the National Anthem and watching them sing it at our court of awards ceremony.

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
I want them all to know how much I care about each one of them as they were my own. I want them to always have the self confidence and hunger to learn and try new adventures. And may they always remember what it means to give back.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Guest Blog with Nancy Lampert

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



Nancy was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for her expertise of keeping volunteers within her Service Unit registered, cleared and trained. 


Nancy Lampert
Tarentum | Troop 59027 & Service Unit 5905

This is my seventh year as a leader, second as a Service Unit Manager.

I love seeing my girls shine, I love seeing them step out of the comfort zone and try something for the first time and I love talking to them about current events and hearing where they stand.

This year's World Thinking Day will be one of the memories that stays forever. Of my troop, all but three participated. The day of the event, the girls showed up with wonderful displays, knowledge of their country, and smiles. They hosted their countries so well and made me so proud! They stepped out of their comfort zones with the whole thing, and they were shining examples of what a Girl Scout can do!

I hope my Girl Scouts learn that anything is possible through hard work, friends make life easier,
and that they are all important.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Monday, April 16, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Guest Blog with Joan Emanuel

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



With an enormous passion for Girl Scouting, Joan was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. because of her dedication to the Service Unit and her guidance and support of other volunteers.


Troop 53037
Joan Emanuel 
Connellsville | Troop 53037

I've been been in Girl Scouts 37 years as an adult and three as a girl.

What I enjoy about Girl Scouts the most is working with the girls, taking them camping and going on trips.

There are so many great moments I had in Girl Scouts. The moment I will never forget is my first rappelling trip with Ed Cole and my troop in Dunbar mountains. I never dreamed I would go rappelling.

I want the girls to learn from me to be kind and that you can do anything you put your heart into. I hope they use their Girl Scout experiences that I gave them to become a leader or work with a troop to share their experience with new girls and keep the Girl Scout s
pirit going.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight | The H.E.A.R.T. of Gail

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

Gail was nominated by 10 people to be highlighted for having H.E.A.R.T. as part of our National Volunteer Month celebrations.

Gail Schell
Springboro

"Gail is a outstanding role model to all young girls. She goes above and beyond to help everyone. Even on her worst days, when she does not feel well or has troubles of her own, she still pulls through for the girls."

"I’m nominating, Gail Schell for this award because she goes above and beyond for her community. She takes all the girls in her troop under her wing, as if they were her own family. She takes care of these girls outside of all the Girl Scout meetings. Any one of the girls could call her up for anything, and she’d drop what she’s doing in that very moment to go help them. As her granddaughter, I’ve seen this first hand. Although I’m no longer in her troops, I still think she’s the best nominee for this award."

"Gail is always going above and beyond to help out the girls and the community. She makes sure the girls have what they need when they can't afford it, and she organizes food drives and clothing drives for our community. Because we have a very poor community, any help counts and is very appreciated. She has taught the girls to do for others without expecting anything in return. She has been teaching them how to work well with others and teaches them simple home chores like cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. And, some of the girls don't have anyone else in their lives to teach them. I have seen shy and quiet girls come out of their shells—just by being in her troop. I have watched sad girls become happy with themselves and gain confidence."
"My girls have been in Girl Scouts for the past two years with Gail. She is wonderful with my girls, and she goes out of her way to do things with them and for them. She is very good with all the girls in the troop. We couldn't ask for a better leader."

"She is my nieces leader, and she does a great job."

"Gail is mine and my sister's Girl Scout leader. She volunteers her time to be our troop leader, and we think she is the best." 
"I have known Gail for over 30 years. We both had Girl Scout troops in the 80's, and Gail is still doing Girl Scouts all these years later. She does a great job."
"Gail takes the time to pick up her Girls Scout from school and does community service, like have them help at fire hall dinners and decorate the window at the local library. She's really great with them."
"She is always going beyond her duties to do things for the girls."
"She cares about the girls, and she is good with them."

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 

Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Friday, April 13, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Lori Fitzgibbon

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



As a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T., Lori was nominated for going above and beyond on behalf of the girls to ensure that every Service Unit event is well planned and executed, as well as her qualities as a role model and mentor for other volunteers.


Lori Fitzgibbon
Ligonier | Troop 52764 & Service Unit 4612

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
15 years in PA and 3 years in North Carolina

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
There are so many things, but my absolute favorite is the girls. I love watching them grow and learn things they never would have tried without someone putting it in front of them. Girls in our small community are limited to the experiences they get to have. Girl Scouting offers and provides opportunities for girls of all ages and backgrounds to have these opportunities and experiences.

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
One year at Service Unit camp our adventures were based on exploring and reading a map, something this group of girls didn't know how to do. I laid out the course and had two Brownies come to me with worried and sad faces. When I looked at them and asked what was wrong, they said they didn't understand how to read a map and were lost.

When I showed them how to use landmarks and assured them they wouldn't get lost, they went on their way, slowly, but they went. I notified two older girls and asked them to keep an eye on them

At lunchtime, those same girls came up to me and said, "We did it Ms. Lori. We figured it out!"

And, after lunch those same girls had to overcome more obstacles in the events, but they did it. I was so proud of them. The older girls who watched over them told me at lunch they only took one wrong turn and had to ask for help. They learned that it's okay to ask for help, and trying something new can lead to great adventure.

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
I want my girls of all age groups to know that when they see a Girl Scout—no matter her age—she is a friend and someone to trust and count on. I tell my leaders as they come into my Service Unit that they are the number one person that little girl will learn from. They need to make sure when they are at a meeting their behavior and attitude is based solely on their troop, and any other adults working with them must follow the same. In this way they know we are putting them first. They may get put aside at home with busy parents and family life, to no fault of their own. When they are with us, they are our #1. My leaders stay on a long time and are the greatest leaders around. I couldn't do what I do without them.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Erin Carter

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.



As a co-leader for several troops, an archery instructor, and an advocate for girls, Erin was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T.
Erin Carter
Bethel Park | Troop 26521

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
9 + years

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
The best part of leading any group, young or old is the giggles, the smiles, the "thanks, that was the best" or the " WOW! I never tried that before!". Most important working together as a team with Girl Scouts of all ages so that everyone has fun, a new experience and makes new friends!

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
There are so many happy memories, I could never choose just one. However, the bond with my own daughter as we tried new experiences, met new people, the new places we explored and all because of Girl Scouts will forever be special to me.

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience? 
That I was willing to fail or succeed right along with them .

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Monday, April 9, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Volunteer Feature with Kristen Eliason

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

Kristen was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for raising her hand to become a troop leader for her nieces and for her contagious enthusiasm.

Kristen Eliason
Waterford | Service Unit 3616

How long have you been a volunteer with Girl Scouts?
Four years.

What do you like best about your role with Girl Scouts?
Seeing the girls grow and learn new things and how excited they get when they try something new and really like it.

Describe a moment you've had in Girl Scouts you'll never forget.
Taking the girls in our older troop camping in covered wagons. It was quite the experience. The girls still talk about it. My co-leader and I still laugh hysterically about the whole trip.

What do you most want your Girl Scouts to learn from you or remember about you and their Girl Scout experience?
That there is not anything they can't accomplish if they set a goal and work for it. I want them to have had fun and remember
how important it is to always give someone a hand up.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Shout Out for Volunteers with H.E.A.R.T.

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

The following GSWPA volunteers were nominated to be highlighted for having H.E.A.R.T. as part of our National Volunteer Month celebrations.

Becky Robert
Bethel Park

"Becky has been extra helpful with the Service Unit cookie cupboard. She helps troops get extra cookies,  keeps the flow going between troops if there are extras or needed cookies, and she even reaches out to neighboring Service Units to help them. It works out very well for all,  and troops really like the fact they do not have to go far for cookies."

Dorothy DeCarli
Ridgway
"Dorothy has planned some amazing events for girls in her Service Unit. She is always willing to pitch in."

Laurie Bungard
Pittsburgh
"Laurie always goes above and beyond in Service Unit needs. She involves her scouts in all activities that will enhance their leadership and knowledge as young women and young Girl Scouts. Laurie also helps many in her community with othervolunteer efforts."

Lisa Hohman
Sewickley
"Lisa took on the very large role of becoming our Service Unit Finance Manager. She had to convert over 20 bank accounts and will receive all of the Finance Reports." Thank you for stepping up, Lisa!"

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 

Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Friday, April 6, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Guest Blog with Emily Parana

Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.

Emily was nominated as a GSWPA volunteer with H.E.A.R.T. for her commitment to her Service Unit and her passion for leading girls through wonderful meetings and events.

Troop 26521
Emily Parana
Kane | Troop 26521

This is my sixth year as a leader. I love it when my Girl Scouts learn a new skill and feel great about themselves—they want to take on the world.

There are so many moments that I'll never forget! I'll never forget how my troop came together on a survival-style camping trip. The Girl Scouts who were skilled at fire-building took charge of that so we could cook, and everyone had to prepare their own food and wash up. They were a well-oiled team without prompting, and they were so proud of themselves. It was wonderful to see.

I want my Girl Scouts to remember that there are no obstacles, only challenges. I'd like them to remember a leader who became a lifeguard at age 40 when we needed one for camp, along with becoming Archery and Canoeing certified, a leader who backpacked with them up over hills with gear, and we made up a cadence to make it easier.

I hope they remember that Girl Scouts made them stronger and that they feel proud of themselves.

Ask your Girl Scout to share what their volunteer means to them by sending us one of these: 
• A photo of the two of them together 
• A photo of a short, hand-written note of thanks 
• A short thank you video 
Send all media to socialmedia@gswpa.org.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T. | Hand-raiser. Expert. Advocate. Resource. Teacher.


"The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others." Deann Hollis

Dear GSWPA Volunteer,

As a Girl Scout Volunteer, you wear many hats, learn many skills, and impact many lives. You have a full plate and work hard to make it possible for girls to enjoy and benefit from an adventure-having, skill-building, lead-taking, life-changing, good time.

GSWPA volunteers have H.E.A.R.T.

Hand-raiser: Even with a full plate, you’re the first to offer to help. Whether it’s a girl, a fellow volunteer, or a staff member, you step up, raise your hand, and get the job done. And you do it with heart!
Expert: There are many different hats to wear as a Girl Scout volunteer, and you navigate it all with enthusiasm and encouragement. From badge planning to outdoor skills, your experience and knowledge allows girls to explore new territory.
Advocate: Always there to tell a girl “Yes, you can!” You’re her cheerleader as she tackles every adventure and learning moment. You’re the driving force to make sure she has the best Girl Scout experience.
Resource: You’re a problem solver! Finding creative uses for dollar store items, offering a hair tie at the best moment, guiding girls to discover their passions—you’re a remarkably, reliable resource for so many around you.
Teacher: It’s more than badge work that she’s learning from you! From mother nature to other people, she respects the world around her, and she’s learning about being an empathetic and strong, ethical leader—just like you.
Truthfully, without our volunteers’ commitment to unleashing the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, we couldn’t and wouldn’t be the largest girls’ leadership organization in the world. But we are. Thanks to you. And we love you for it.

To show our thanks, we have partnered with coffee shops throughout our council to offer you a free cup of coffee on Friday, April 20 from 9 a.m.-noon. In addition to the list of locations below, each GSWPA office will have coffee and pastries for our volunteers at the same time! Stop by and say hello!
  • CREATE Brookville/Fusion Cafe - Brookville 
  • Michelle's - Clarion 
  • Aegis Coffee Roasters - DuBois 
  • Flip - Edinboro 
  • Coffee in the Park - Erie 
  • Fresh Grounds - Greenville
  • Sweet Buzz Bean and Bistro - Harrison City
  • Bee's Knees and Sweet Buzz - Latrobe 
  • Creative Crust Bakery - Meadville 
  • Tarot Bean Roasting Co. – Meadville
  • The Confluence - New Castle 
  • Kafe Buna Cafe - New Kensington 
  • The Bean Coffee House - North East
  • Tazza D'oro - Pittsburgh
  • Gingersnapped -  Punxsutawney
  • Carlisle's Coffee Shop and Sandwiches - Waynesburg
  • Saxonburg Coffee and Tea - Saxonburg 
  • Arbor Coffee House - Warren 
  • Chico Baccello - Washington

Also, as our special thank you, the GSWPA shops will be offering volunteers an exclusive discount.
  • In Store: Friday, April 20, 9 a.m.-noon: Take 10% off your order at our Edinboro, Greensburg, and Pittsburgh Girl Scout Shops (some exclusions apply). 
  • Online Only Exclusive Offer: During the month of April, use code VOLUNTEER18 for 15% off one item from our online store. Code valid for a one time use per customer from April 1-30. 

We'll be using our presence on social media, as well as this blog, to promote the work of our seriously amazing volunteers all month long. To share your proud moments as a volunteer, fill out this form, or to nominate somebody else, tell us about them here.

You're a genuine hero, and your H.E.A.R.T. is your super power. Without the amazing H.E.A.R.T. of each one of you, our council could not have the same influence in girls' lives. We are so incredibly grateful for you—the hand-raiser, expert, advocate, resource and teacher.

Sincerely,
Staff of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania