Wednesday, March 14, 2018

𝝿 Celebrating Pi Day with STEM in Girl Scouting 𝝿

Alexis Mandell hosted the Growing Girls'
"Roots" in STEM Science Fair on Sunday, March 4
at La Roche College in Pittsburgh as part of
her Gold Award Take Action project.   

Happy Pi Day! 

 Pi (Greek letter "𝝿") is the symbol used to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. This mathematical principle is celebrated every year on March 14—known as Pi Day.

And, of course we want to celebrate Pi Day by recognizing Girl Scouts who are passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Girls have a natural interest in STEM. They question how the world around them works and how they can contribute to making it a better place.

Alexis Mandell, an Ambassador Girl Scout from North Hills, makes a perfect example of this as she prepares to attend college to study neuroscience.

As part of her Gold Award Take Action project, Mandell decided to make her world a better place by encouraging younger girls to pursue their interest in these subjects.

Mandell sponsored a science fair for girls in grades 4-8, since this is the time when many girls lose interest in STEM. A total of 23 girls submitted their projects.

"My favorite thing was listening to each girl share what she did and what she learned and seeing the excitement and passion they had not, only for science, but sharing science with others," Mandell said.

For more information on Mandell's project, visit

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Camp S'more Flashlight Feature: The Arts and The Crafts

We all love a good arts and crafts project, but these GSWPA camps take a deeper dive into the broader world of the arts. Whether your creativity takes you to fashion art, culinary art, DIY décor, drawing, or theater and performance, there's a camp session that will help you express your artistry!

We’re shining our Flashlight Feature on the sessions below.

Theater Goers - Conshatawba
From creating scenery and applying stage makeup to acting the part, theater is full of chances for artistic exploration. How will you shine in the spotlight?
Girls Grades: 4-8
Dates: June 24-29 Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

Doodlebugs - Hawthorne Ridge
Experiment with almost every medium - paint, clay, wood, plastic, and paper. Find your inner artist as you create, invent, mold, make, recycle or sculpt.
Girls Grades: 2-5
Dates: July 29-August 3 Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

DIY Experts - Conshatawba
Do it yourself, Girl Scout! Try your hand at all kinds of fun decor projects like crayon melting on canvas and life hacks that will keep you organized and fashionable.
Girls Grades: 9-12
Dates: July 15-20 Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

 2018 Camp S’more magazine is a great place to read more about each camp session, as well as look over the many other opportunities for your Girl Scout to find her artistic passion. Check it out!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Let's celebrate our planet!

While Earth Day will be celebrated in nearly 200 countries this year, did you know that the tradition began in the United States in 1970? The annual event, founded by United States Senator  Gaylord Nelson, focused on the concept of peace and honoring the Earth.

It's in a Girl Scout's DNA to see the Earth as our home. From learning about endangered wildlife to developing creative recycling projects or while working toward a grade-level award, girls are always focused on care, conservation, and responsibility to our planet.

GSWPA is excited to host our first-ever Earth Day Festival (see details below), but here are some other ways to celebrate with your troop. Let's all celebrate the beauty and wonder of our planet this Earth Day!


  1. Brush up on your environmental knowledge. Instead of focusing on the whole world, turn your focus to the world around you! Learn about local plant species that are going extinct, the health of a nearby body of water, or the impact of fracking in your area. 
  2. Brainstorm Earth-friendly service projects that would improve your community. Make plans to work on the project during the spring.
  3. Create an Earth Day craft as you learn about the environment. Check out our Pinterest board for project ideas like an herb garden or Earth play dough.
  4. Tell friends and family about what you've learned about your local environment and ways that we can help the planet.
  5. Celebrate at GSWPA's Earth Day Festival! Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is hosting a brand new, full-filled Earth Day Festival at GSWPA Camp Redwing on Saturday, April 21. It's going to be an event that Mother Nature herself wouldn't want to miss! Check out details about the event below!


Girl Scouts of all levels will visit different booths to learn about our planet and ways to protect it, interact with adoptable animals from the Butler Humane Society, and participate in crafts like a recycled art projects and exploding seed bombs to complete requirements from the following badges:
  • Daisy: Outdoor Art Maker
  • Brownie: Outdoor Art Creator, Outdoor Adventurer, Pets
  • Junior: Animal Habitats, Flowers, Gardener, Jeweler, Outdoor Art Explorer
  • Cadette: Outdoor Art Apprentice, Trees
  • Senior: Outdoor Art Expert, Textile Artist, Voice for Animals
  • Ambassador: Outdoor Art Master, Water

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Girl Scout Week: March 11-17

Yay—Girl Scout Week is just around the corner! We are so excited for this special time of year when Girl Scouts of all ages celebrate and show the world what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™

Girl Scouting was founded on March 12, 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, GA. Juliette gathered 18 girls from her cousin’s school and broke the conventions of the time—reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls, including those with so-called disabilities, had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.

In Girl Scouting, we set this week aside, starting with Girl Scout Sunday and ending with Girl Scout Sabbath on a Saturday, to celebrate our history and spiritual beliefs. Download the calendar above for ideas for celebrating all week long! Check out our Girl Scout Week Pinterest board for a collection of fun activities.

And if you're attending your place of worship on Girl Scout Sunday, download and print these Girl Scout Sunday handouts and bulletin inserts to help spread the word about Girl Scouting and faith.

Make sure you share your fun photos from the week on our Facebook page!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Camp S'more Flashlight Feature: Better Than Fiction

Spend a week living in the world of the characters you've come to know and love. Girl Scouts moves at the speed of girls, and that's why we developed these camps sessions featuring popular stories and characters.

From living like Laura Ingles Wilder as a pioneer to the magical world of Hermione and Harry Potter or the fighting the Capitol with Katniss and Prim, the story never ends at GSWPA resident camp!

We’re shining our Flashlight Feature on the sessions below.

Little House on Laurel Run - Conshatawba
What would it take to be a pioneer on the great frontier? While learning skills like candle and soap making, weaving clothing, and navigation, you're sure to be a trailblazer!
Girls Grades: 2-5
Dates: July 22-27 Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

Kamp Katniss - Hawthorne Ridge
The odds are most definitely in your favor! This session shoots straight into into fun at the archery range and learning outdoor skills to prepare for the games. 
Girls Grades: 4-8
Dates: July 1-6 Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

Harry Potter Sessions - Hawthorne Ridge
Whether your a first-year or seventh-year at Hogwarts, there's a magical camp for you at GSWPA. The three sessions for the grade levels below are: A Week at Hogwarts, Triwizard Tournament and O.W.L.s Ordinary Wizarding Levels.
Girls Grades: 2-5, 5-8, 8-12
Dates: July 15-20 Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

Other camp sessions with dragons and princesses, as well as pirates and lost treasure can be found in 2018 Camp S’more magazine. Check it out!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Seeking Girl Scout artists in western Pennsylvania

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania has began a council-wide search for a remarkable, original piece of art to feature on the organization's annual holiday card.

The theme for the contest is Girl Scout Winter Adventurer. We're looking forward to seeing your best works of art that show what Girl Scouting during the winter season means to you.

Remember that as part of the Get Outdoors Winter Challenge, Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania were challenged with various tasks to help capture the beauty of winter. With activities like drawing or taking pictures of winter trees, making snow paint and snow sculptures, or going on a winter landscape photo expedition, you should have ended up with some really special works of art! Consider submitting these works to the Holiday Card Art Contest.

Or, create a brand new masterpiece the next time the season sparks inspiration! Here are the details of the contest:

ELIGIBILITY: Artwork must be an original and created by a Girl Scout from the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania council. The contest is open to Daisies through Ambassadors! All mediums and formats are encouraged and accepted. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 30.

ENTERING THE CONTEST: To officially enter the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania Holiday Card Art Contest, use the form below (or click here to open the form in a new window) to submit your information and your work of art or a photo of your work of art. If for any reason you have trouble uploading your file, please contact Melissa Gawlinski at Also, if your masterpiece is selected as a finalist, you may be asked to bring it to one of the GSWPA offices. This excludes works that are digital photos or videos.

Fill out my online form.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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

Girl ScoutsWestern Pennsylvania (GSWPA) has named three Girl Scouts its top youth volunteers of the year. The honor was granted to Maria Ciao, 17, of Pittsburgh, Megan Sennett, 16, of Erie and Rebecca Shissler, 13, of Greensburg, as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

The honor was granted as part of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide youth volunteer recognition program sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

A nationwide youth volunteer recognition program, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Ciao, a twelfth-grade student at North Hills Senior High School, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, by working with her local government and the Autism Society of Pittsburgh to improve an existing playground to make it more sensory friendly for children with autism and other disabilities. Since age 12, Ciao has volunteered in a program that offers children with autism the opportunity to participate in activities such as riding horses and gardening. The beneficial experiences of these children inspired her to bring that joy to her neighborhood. As the project planner, volunteer coordinator, and fundraiser, Ciao has created a lasting improvement to her community playground by acquiring new sensory panels for the play area and benches and flowers to beautify the area. Her project created a more visually stimulating and sensory friendly place for children with autism and other disabilities.

Sennett, in eleventh grade at McDowell Senior High School, helped coordinate local volunteer efforts in Erie for the Toys For Tots organization. Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. Sennett recruited fellow cadets from her Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) unit, as well as members from her Girl Scout troop, to donate their time to the organization during the unloading of donations, sorting, repacking, and distribution of donated toys. Hundreds of families in the Erie area benefit every year from the work of Toys for Tots and their supporting volunteers like Sennett.

An eighth grade student at Greensburg-Salem Middle School, Shissler earned her Girl Scout Silver Award by building the Veteran’s Memorial Garden at Eastview Union Cemetery in Delmont. Until this project, there was no memorial for the 243 veterans laid to rest at the cemetery, nor a way to access the records for a family member buried there. Shissler worked with business owners, veteran’s groups, local government officials, and members of the Cemetery Board to develop a memorial to honor these veterans. The memorial includes a granite bench designed by Shissler, a 25-foot flag pole, a garden, inscribed paver stones, and an outdoor information center that displays the details the veterans buried there, dating back to the Civil War. Shissler obtained $3,700 in community donations for the project.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents America’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. Since 1995, the program has honored more than 115,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and national level. Learn more at or

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Camp S’more Flashlight Feature: First-Time Camper

As they say, every journey begins with the first step, and the same idea rings true at Girl Scout camp. We believe in helping girls progress in their adventures and skills by acknowledging when she masters a skill and always inviting her to challenge herself further.

So, what is the first step for a Girl Scout who is a first-time camper? From first grade to tenth, our 2018 camp lineup offers over a dozen sessions that make the perfect introduction to camp. These sessions are two or three nights long and are filled with the traditional activities like hiking,  swimming, campfires, and crafts. Each session includes additional unique activities to tie into the theme of the session.

We’re shining our Flashlight Feature on the sessions below.

Mini Explorers - Conshatawba
On this full exploration of camp, girls will hike, visit the creek, chase fireflies, and learn how to set up a pop up tent and build a campfire.
Girls Grades: 1- 3
Dates: August 8-10 Wed.-Fri. (2 nights)
Cost: $175 per person

Midnight Madness - Hawthorne Ridge
Soak up the stars through a telescope, peer into the weird quirks of nocturnal nature, and plan an after-dark glow party.
Girls Grades: 6-10
Dates: July 22-25 Sun.-Wed. (3 nights)
Cost: $225 per person

Splish Splash - Skymeadow
From playing in the creek to swimming in the pool, this one is about all things water like super soakers, water balloons, and slip 'n slide.
Girls Grades: 2-5
Dates: August 1-3 Wed.-Fri. (2 nights)
Cost: $175 per person

More sessions for first-time campers can be found in 2018 Camp S’more magazine. Check it out!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Put a little bling on that booth, girls!

A blinged out and bedazzled cookie booth is a great way to draw in cookie customers. But it can also be a way to earn awesome prizes for your troop when you enter GSWPA's Bling Your Booth contest! Here's the low down: Bling Your Booth
Spice up your booth sales and get a chance at winning great prizes for your troop! All you have to do is let girls use their imagination and get creative about ways to decorate your cookie booth. Then, snap a photo of your troop in action at their cookie booth and upload it at by Sunday, March 25 at 11:59 p.m.

Photo entries will be posted to the GSWPA Facebook page the week of March 26, and voting will be open for one week after the photos are posted. Share the photo of your favorite booth and encourage friends to vote by "liking" your photo. The three photos receiving the most votes (likes) will win a $100, $75 or $50 gift certificate to the Girl Scout Shop!

Visit the official contest page, and be sure to check out Pinterest or Little Brownie Bakers for ideas and printables.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Girl Scouts spend a purr-fect afternoon with Pitt Lady Panthers

It was nothing but net and fun times at Girl Scout Day with the Pitt Lady Panthers on Sunday, February 4. The Pitt Lady Panthers took on Florida State at the Petersen Events Center on University of Pittsburgh's campus.

With great pre-game activities and hanging out with the coolest Girl Scout Panther in western Pennsylvania, these girls from Slippery Rock area Troop 20462 think this event was a slam dunk.

Thanks you, Pitt Women's Basketball, for the wonderful invitation. See you next time!

Check out this recap video from Pitt Women's Basketball Facebook page.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A whole new winter wonderland

One of the wonderful things about being a Girl Scout is embracing the "new." It could be cooking over a campfire, visiting a science center, crafting a homemade present, or bird watching. For Dakotah Vincent, it has been playing in the snow.

That's right! Dakotah, a 6-year old Daisy Girl Scout, recently moved with her family from Texas to McMurrary in Washington County. Dakotah joined Troop 52941 in November 2017 shortly after the move.

She jumped right into the fun by participating in the Get Outdoors Winter Challenge. "The list gave me ideas of fun things to do," Dakotah said. "It did not feel like I was working for something."

Dakotah likes the snow because it means sled riding and icicles. "It doesn't snow in Texas, so I have never seen an icicle until I moved here, but I like the icicles everywhere!" she said.

More than 300 individual girl and adult participants, as well as nearly 25 troops, have completed their requirements for the Get Outdoors Winter Challenge. Check out the album below for photos of other Girl Scouts exploring the snowy outdoors, and share your photos of the activities! 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Special Girl Scout Discount for Disney on Ice

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy set the stage for a star-studded talent extravaganza as Disney On Ice presents Reach For The Stars. The show will be hosting a special Scout Night on Friday, Feb. 23 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania members can take advantage of a special discounted group ticket price of $12.50.* Plus, each Girl Scout in attendance will receive a special Disney on Ice commemorative patch. This offer extends to anyone attending with a Girl Scout, so bring along your friends and family!

For more information or to reserve your tickets, call 412-804-7904 or email

*A 15-ticket minimum is required to qualify for the discount, and a single $10 handling fee will be added to the group total. The discount is valid on select 100 and 200 level seats. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. Discount is not valid with other offers. Offer expires 2/16/18.

About Disney on Ice
Reach For The Stars is a brand new show featuring a host of beloved Disney characters and stories. Join familiar faces like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as new characters like Rapunzel from Tangled, Elsa from Frozen, and Belle from Beauty & the Beast as they sing and glide effortlessly over the ice. Suitable for all ages, Disney On Ice is a spectacular combination of highly talented skaters, dazzling costumes and vibrant light displays that recreates much loved moments and songs from the Disney catalogue. Although it's in an ice rink, little spirits are lifted and warmed with fun sing-alongs in the company of their favorite fairy tale heroes.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

10 Tips for an Altogether Awesome cookie season

Check out these tips to keep you focused on your goals for the 2018 Cookie Program! From ramping up your selling strategies to shooting for Super Troop status, here are the best ways to achieve Altogether Awesome success!

1. SUPER TROOPS: Any troop that sells a Per Girl Average (PGA) of 160 packages of cookies can earn an exclusive Super Troop T-shirt for each selling girl and one T-shirt for an adult volunteer. Any troop that achieves a PGA of 175 boxes earns an additional 5 cents for every box of cookies sold!

2. GOAL GETTER CARDS: Door-to-door sales don't have to end in January! Make sure girls in your troop are using Goal Getter Order Cards (available for download under "From the Council" at These can be used to take in-person orders after the initial orders are submitted. Additional cookies are available at Cookie Cupboards through March 18 to fulfill customer orders.

3. EXPAND SELLING STRATEGIES: Corporate sales can be a great way for older girl troops to expand their cookie selling methods and sell more cookies in a short amount of time. Working with the council staff and community leaders, girls can identify large companies that might buy large quantities of cookies as customer appreciation and employee recognition. Or, the employees themselves might be interested in stocking up! Consider businesses like car dealerships, service companies (house cleaners, mechanic shops, dry cleaners,etc.), realtors, and hotels or bed and breakfast locations.

4. OPERATION: SWEET APPRECIATION: Girls who participate in Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA) or another Gift of Caring program sell an average of 70 more boxes than girls who don't. OSA donations can be made on the Goal Getter Order Card, Digital Cookie and at booth sales, and all donations count toward each girl’s and/or troop’s overall sales. Download these fun printables to use at booth sales to encourage people to donate. 

5. PROMOTE 5 FOR FIVE! Encourage cookie customers to buy five boxes to be eligible to win five CASES of Girl Scout cookies through our 5 for Five! contest. Just give them a 5 for Five! certificate (available for download under "From the Council" at, which includes instructions for entering the contest and an exclusive entry code. 

6. BOOMING BOOTH SALES:  Booth sales will run from Feb. 23-March 18. Start brainstorming now, and go outside the box. Wear T-Shirts with your troop's goal or have a mobile cookie booth (ex. selling from a cart, wagon or sled) or organize a neighborhood blitz with a “Cookie Caravan.” And, don't forget the Bling Your Booth contest! Not only will a bling-ed out booth draw customers and increase sales, but your troop could win either $100, $75, or $50 in GSWPA Shop gift certificates through the Bling Your Booth contest! Check out our Pinterest board for some bling-y inspiration. 

7. SOCIAL MEDIA BUTTERFLY: Social media is a great tool for boosting cookie sales. If a girl is 13 or older, she can post about cookies to social media channels herself, otherwise a parent will have to help. Just be sure to follow the guidelines on the Girl Scouts Internet Safety pledge and Safety Activity Checkpoints

8. DIGITAL COOKIE: The Digital Cookie platform makes it easier than ever for friends and relatives that live far away to support a girl's cookie sales. Cookies can be ordered online and shipped directly to the customer, wherever they live, through March 18. Just send them an email through your Girl Scout's Digital Cookie site, so they can place their order!

9. NEW SKILLS=NEW BADGES: Girls can take their cookie sales to new levels by earning cookie-related badges and activity pins. Cookie Business badges demonstrate that girls at every level learn specific skills related to running their own business. Sweet!

10. FOLLOW THROUGH WITH A FOLLOW UP: Once the sale is made, don't stop selling! Hand out recipes that use Girl Scout Cookies to customers to encourage them to buy one more box. Make flyers to give to customers that explain each girl’s cookie goals and how they will use their cookie proceeds, along with information on how they can buy more cookies. Near the end of the program, girls can reconnect customers, who may have eaten all their cookies and want to purchase more! Include an adult phone number or email address with initial deliveries in case customers want more cookies. Print out labels with parent/guardian contact information and stick them on each box.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Answers to the most frequently asked cookie questions

The first week of cookie season is already gone. Time flies when you're learning the 5 Skills!

To help your cookie business run smoothly, here are some questions we're hearing from customers. Learning these answers are a great way to brush up on your people skills.

Digital Cookie Shipping:

Q: If I choose the shipping option on Digital Cookie, when will I get my cookies?
A: These orders are processed and sent to shipment immediately, so you won't have to wait long to enjoy them!

Q: When will cookies arrive when I choose the Girl Delivery option?
A: Cookies ordered under the Girl Delivery option on Digital Cookie will be delivered by your Girl Scout  late February through mid-March. Your Girl Scout has her specific plan for cookie delivery, so check in with her!

Q: How long is the Girl Delivery option available to customers in Digital Cookie? 
A: Customers will only be able to select Girl Delivery as an option through Tuesday, January 30. But, don't worry! Customers can ship and donate through the last day of the cookie program, which is Sunday, March 18.

Traditional Cookie Orders:

Q: What cookies are available this year, and how much do they cost?
A: Girl Scout S'mores cookies are back this year along with the traditional favorites: Tagalongs, Trefoils, Savannah Smiles, Do-Si-Dos, Thin Mints, Samoas and Toffee-tastic. All cookie varieties are $4 per box, except the new Girl Scout S'mores and the gluten-free Toffee-Tastic, which are $5 per box. Can't remember the name of your favorite? Check out our Meet the Cookies page!

Q: When will Girl Scouts be delivering cookies that were ordered on the traditional order card?
A: In late February, Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania will begin to fulfill cookie orders that were taken by January 26. Delivery continues through mid-March, so check with your Girl Scout for her delivery plans!

Q: I really want to buy cookies now, but I don't personally know a Girl Scout. How can I get my cookies?
A: Girl Scouts will begin their booth sales on February 23. That's when you'll see booths at community locations. Use our Cookie Locator to find a booth near you.

Contributions and donations:

Q: What is Operation: Sweet Appreciation? 
A: Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA) allows cookie customers to purchase boxes of cookies to be sent to veterans and men and women serving our country at home and overseas in the U.S. Military, as well as veteran service organizations. In 2017, GSWPA was honored to send nearly 46,000 boxes of cookies to service men and women. OSA cookies can be donated on an individual girl's cookie order forms, at booth sales, and online at during cookie season. And, we will continue to accept donations through May 29, 2018!

Q: Where does my money go when I buy Girl Scout Cookies?
A: All proceeds from the cookie program stay within our council to benefit all GSWPA Girl Scouts. Find out more about how cookie proceeds are used.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Starting a Daisy on her epic adventure in Girl Scouting

As you may know, the rewards of being a Daisy Girl Scout are abundant and help her discover her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. That’s why we want to offer the opportunity to be a Girl Scout to every girl.

From earning her very first petal and badge to gaining a ton of new skills, Daisies are truly starting an epic adventure through Girl Scouts! We want more girls in grades K-1 to grow and learn like never before in our all-girl, girl-led environment.

This January and February, we're aiming to add more Daisies to our Girl Scout family, and we need your help! 

Daisy leaders, please consider recruiting more Daisies to your troop. Use this flyer to encourage girls to make friends and try new things by joining your awesome Girl Scout troop.

Did you know that some girls join Girl Scouts because they want to sell our iconic cookies? Help these budding businesswomen learn how to work in teams, share ideas, and plan and meet goals. It’s not too late for them to join and be a part of Cookie-powered adventures!

Spread the word. Please consider sharing theflyer and all the benefits of Daisy-hood in your community.

Our long history and research show how much girls grow, learn, and achieve in Girl Scouts—help us share those benefits with more girls in 2018!

For each new Daisy troop that is started between now and February 28, our service unit receives an entry into a drawing for $100. The more Daisy troops that start, the more chances to win. Eligible new troops must have a minimum of two approved leaders and five girls.

Please contact with your questions, or if you’d like help recruiting more girls to your troop.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Girl Scouts invited to special movie screening of Peter Rabbit


Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) members are invited to a free screening of Sony Pictures Animation's new comedy, Peter Rabbit at AMC Waterfront in Pittsburgh, Saturday, February 3!

Peter Rabbit
Saturday, February 3 at 11 a.m.

This Saturday, catch a free screening of Peter Rabbit . There will be some fun family activities beforehand! Register for your free movie passes online. You'll be redirected to a website where you can download your passes. Please have your pass ready to show at the door.

Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude.
Peter Rabbit will be released in theaters February 9, 2018.

The first 100 attendees to arrive with their pass will be admitted. Please arrive early for the best seating options.

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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pittsburgh troop leader receives city-wide recognition

Pittsburgh City Council proclaimed Thursday, December 28, 2017, as Elaine Effort Day in the city of Pittsburgh.

Photo by: Nate Guidry/Post-Gazette
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Effort was recognized by the city council for her 38-year career at KQV-AM (1410), Pittsburgh's oldest, all-news radio station that went off the air at the end of the 2017. 

Not only has Effort been extremely involved in city matters and events throughout the years, she is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Her time in Girl Scouting began 26 years ago. As her daughter bridged to the next level of Girl Scouts, Effort worked to continuously recruit volunteers to lead younger girls in the Pittsburgh area. She is currently a leader of troop 52493 in the Pittsburgh East service unit.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Effort was praised by the nine city council members, including compliments from Rev. Ricky Burgess, who called her "a trailblazer, a friend, and a role model," while directing his remarks in part toward young women in the room. She was referred to as the "personification of grace and class," while never getting a fact wrong.

Aftyn Giles, a current troop leader with Effort and one of Effort's previous troop members says "She inspires girls to discover more about friendship, fun, community, compassion, and themselves through the accomplishment of badge work, goal setting, and field trips."

According to Giles, Effort's professional skills impacted the young girls in her troop by teaching them to ask the right questions, dig deeper, dream bigger, think critically, and make good connections. 

"In general, all of us that were in her troop can boast that we are college graduates and in productive careers that center around many of the values that she and Girl Scouts taught," Giles said. "She's a pillar of the community and has helped open doors for us that would have otherwise been closed."

Friends and family joined Effort for the proclamation, presented at council’s last meeting of 2017.

A special congratulations to Elaine from Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania! 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Join us in the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world!

If you’re a new troop leader or a longtime volunteer, you know the Girl Scout Cookie Program is an exciting time for Girl Scouts. Cookies make amazing things happen for girls, and as troop leaders, you see first-hand what Girl Scout cookies can do. 

Below are some great tips to guide you through this year’s Cookie Program:

There’s time to make this year’s sale amazing for your troop!

If your troop is registered, you're ready to start selling cookies! The Cookie Program runs until March 18, so there's plenty of time to participate and be successful. You can sell cookies after the initial order taking ends using the Goal Getter Order Form. Fill these orders by picking up additional cookies at your nearest cookie cupboard. Plus, troops can participate in booth sales starting Feb. 23. Ask your Service Unit Cookie Manager about the sign-up process for booth sales and the Goal Getter Order Form.

Have questions about your Girl Scout bank account?
Just be sure to have your bank account 
opened up and ACH form submitted by Feb. 28.

Extra help with eBuddeConnect with your Service Unit Cookie Manager to have your troop added into the eBudde system. After that, you're ready to enter in your troop's orders! 

Cookie Cupboard details
Cupboards are located throughout the council and house additional cookies for troops to fulfill orders taken on the Goal Getter Cards and for booth sales. They're open to all troops (but closed to the public) starting Feb. 23
. Find a list of cupboards and reserve cookies to be picked up at a cupboard on eBudde.

Keep in touch!
You don't want to miss out on our Cookie Bytes emails that include helpful tips and to-do reminders throughout the Cookie Program. If you haven't received any, please contact your Service Unit Cookie Manager or email

We've got tons of Cookie Program information on our website (including trainings) and you can always contact us with any additional questions. We also post a lot of great info on Facebook. Be sure to like us!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Scholarship opportunity: 2018 KPMG Future Leaders Program

2018 KPMG Future Leaders Program
Empowering and investing in future generations of women leaders

The KPMG Future Leaders Program is an annual charitable initiative focused on developing future generations of women leaders.

Funded by proceeds from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, the program affords top female high school seniors, selected by the Office of Condoleezza Rice, the opportunity to enhance their personal growth through college scholarships, a leadership development retreat at Stanford University, a mentor for one year, and an introduction to golf.

The program’s main purpose is to help these young women continue to build a strong foundation and instill the confidence and leadership ability they need to succeed in college and ultimately in their long-term careers.

The Future Leaders selected receive:
  • A KPMG Future Leaders Scholarship of $10,000 per year for 4 years of college
  • A three-day KPMG Future Leaders Retreat with Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University from July 15-17, 2018. The retreat will focus on leadership training, career development skills and an introduction to golf clinic
  • A pairing with a mentor for one year through the KPMG Future Leaders Mentoring Program, the mentor being a female executive leader that attended the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, from whom they can seek guidance and support during their freshman year of college
Applicant criteria includes: 
  • High school senior girl planning to enroll in a 4-year undergraduate program for the upcoming fall semester 
  • Proven track record of academic excellence and leadership potential
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA 
  • Interest in a business or STEM academic track 
  • Active in the community 
  • Demonstrates a significant financial need

Deadline to apply: January 31, 2018

Download the scholarship application.

Cookie Orders Start TOMORROW!

Tomorrow begins the most wonderful time of year for Girl Scouts! We’ve been counting down to the big day by talking about the foundation of the Cookie Program—the 5 Skills. Check out our previous posts on Goal Setting and Decision Making and Money Management. In case you missed it, this is a great recap of what this year’s Cookie Program has in store!

While the first three skills are more focused on the logistical side of business, these two—people skills and business ethics—are centered on people. From your customers and your team to yourself, people are the biggest part of business success!

People Skills: Girls learn how to talk (and listen!) to their customers, as well as learning how to work as a team with other girls.

Your team: Whether girls are working towards a troop or individual goal, each Girl Scout will have a team to rely on to help her be successful. Your team may include fellow troop members, parents, or an adult volunteer. Who’s on your team? Remember, these people are excited to see Girl Scouts achieve their goals, and they are willing to help you! At the end of it all, don’t forget to thank everyone for their support.

Your customers: It can be uncomfortable to talk to new people, but the more you do it, the easier it gets! It’s important to improve this skill, because your customers are more likely to understand and be eager to support your goals. Practice your sales speech in your troop—practice makes perfect!

Learning to listen to what others are saying is a trait of a strong leader, and it is a large part of being a strong team player, which is an important piece of girls doing well in school (in group projects, on sports teams, and on the playground) and, later, at work.

Business Ethics: Girls act honestly and responsibly during every step of the cookie sale.

“Honest” and “responsible” are both a part of the Girl Scout Law, but the Cookie Program puts it into practice. From respecting the opinions of others during goal setting discussions to honoring promises with each fulfilled order, girls are learning what it means to be a considerate, passionate, accountable, courageous, and empowered girl leader.

2017 Cookie Program Shout Out: Girl Scouts in Troop 30956 spent a week camping together at Camp Hawthorne Ridge. We heard the weather was rainy, but the girls made a million memories anyway!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sculpting the responsible leader and the ambitious achiever

Three days. Just three days away from opening the door to the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world. We’re currently in a countdown to program kickoff day on Friday, Jan. 5. Check out the first Cookie Program countdown post on goal setting.

The 5 Skills all work together to help make the most of cookie season!

Decision Making: Girls decide where and when to sell cookies, how to market their sale, and what to do with their earnings.

After setting your goals for cookie proceeds, the next question is, “How will I accomplish my goal?”

Where and when will you sell cookies? Create a plan to go door-to-door, visit local business, hold a booth sale and set up your Digital Cookie site. Make sure you’re always partnering with adults for safety!

How will you market your sale? Marketing is a process of promoting and selling a product. Because we’re selling cookies to power amazing adventures and projects, consider sharing your Girl Scout experiences with your customers.

Here are a few ways to match a marketing skill to a selling opportunity!
  • When going door-to-door, leave a door hanger including an adult’s contact information if no one is home. (Available at
  • With a business owner’s permission, girls can leave their order card at a workplace. When possible, make a sign, include a short paragraph about yourself and your goals, and follow up with a personal thank you.
  • With a small, extra touch, you can build on a sale you’ve already made. A thank you card during cookie delivery is thoughtful and builds customer loyalty year after year. Because booth sales happen after initial cookie delivery, consider telling your customers where your booth will be, just in case they run out!
By figuring out these pieces, you’re making decisions to support your plan and goals for the 2018 Cookie Program. Decision making, big or small, is a part of each girl’s life. This program develops the skill to help them make good ones!

Money Management: Developing a budget, taking cookie orders, and handling customers’ money are tasks done by each girl.

Money management skills are a part of each step of the Cookie Program. From planning how to spend the proceeds and understanding how many cookies need sold to tracking which customers need to pay and collecting the funds, it’s formulated to grow a sense of responsibility and ownership.

Here are a few tips when managing money:
  • When preparing to use your proceeds, try to think of all expenses like parking fees, gas money, food cost, and application fees.
  • Be consistent with your order process. When you receive money put it all in the same, safe place and mark it on your order card.
  • Always have a plan for keeping money safe. Girls should avoid having large amounts of cash or keeping it at home or at school. 

2017 Cookie Program Shout Out: Troop 36142 in Erie County planned a trip to Niagara Falls, which was funded with their cookie proceeds. They explored the Cave of Winds, rode the Maid of the Mist, and ate lunch at the Rainforest Café. What an adventure!