Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Aid/CPR/AED trainers needed

Attention volunteers: Want to make friends while helping more volunteers get the necessary training to take girls on awesome adventures? Oh, and get Girl Scout shop and membership perks? Become a certified First Aid/CPR/AED instructor for GSWPA!
We're looking for two volunteers to provide First Aid/CPR/AED trainings to GSWPA members in the northern or eastern counties of the council.

You'll need to be certified as an American Red Cross-certified First Aid/CPR/AED instructor to conduct the trainings. Don't worry if you don't have your certification--GSWPA will pay for you to get it! The instructor training is at least a two-day commitment, plus online learning.

Once certified, you'll just need to provide four American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED trainings per year.

As an instructor, you'll receive your choice of a $25 Girl Scout shop certificate OR a $25 credit toward the Outdoor Training Summit being planned for September (details TBA). Plus, if you conduct two trainings before September, we'll waive your 2017-18 membership dues.

If you’re interested in this unique volunteering opportunity, or are already a First Aid/CPR/AED trainer with the American Red Cross and would like to provide training to our members, contact Amy Snyder, Adult Development Manager at 800-248-3355 or asnyder@gswpa.org.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Enter to win prizes for your troop with Bling Your Booth and Cookie Troop 100!

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 and GSUSA's Cookie Troop 100 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 gswpa.org/bling by March 26.

Photo entries will be posted to the GSWPA Facebook page the week of March 27 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! 

Check out Pinterest or Little Brownie Bakers for ideas and printables.  

Cookie Troop 100
Once you've blinged your booth, you're already on your way to completing the requirements for the Cookie Troop 100 Contest. 

To celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, one lucky troop from EVERY council around the country will win $100 each to put toward their awesome cookie Take Action or service project. And one VERY lucky troop will win $3,000 to super-power their project!

You can participate in four easy steps:
1. Set a troop goal and share the plan for your cookie money—what cool stuff will you do to improve your community this year?
2. Earn a Cookie Business badge—you can take your pick!
3. As a troop, ask 100 NEW customers to buy cookies.
4. Bling Your Booth. Gather your troop and get those creative juices flowing to come up with a fun theme—a party, a race, a cookie disco—what will it be? You can even include a Cookie 100th twist. Just remember to snap a cool photo!

Once all four steps are completed, submit your entry by April 30 at girlscouts.org/cookietroop100 to unlock your patch, and enter for a chance to win!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Give A Little Love" by collecting donations for Goodwill

"Give A Little Love" Clothing Drive & Community Service Project
Do your family members and neighbors have items collecting dust that someone else could use? With the Goodwill "Give A Little Love" Clothing Drive and Community Service Project, Girl Scouts are encouraged to collect gently used items during the month of February for donation to Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies and Goodwill of Southwestern PA. Collected goods will be sold to benefit Goodwill's programs and services.

Each participating Girl Scout will have the opportunity to earn a patch recognizing their commitment to their community. And the top three Girl Scouts who collect the most donations will win a paid trip to camp courtesy of Goodwill!

How to Participate
Download the participation instructions, registration form and donation guidelines/FAQs below, depending on the county where you live and will be dropping off your donations:

GSWPA Girl Scouts collected nearly 30,000 pounds of donations during last year's "Give a Little Love" campaign.
Shown here is
Penn Wood Hills Troop 52570 dropping off their donations last year.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Help Older Girl Scouts Have a Successful Cookie Season!

Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts already know what a cookie can do – and have the experience to take them places through the Cookie Program.
As a teen, Girl Scout Cookies can bring girls a world of experiences! Whether they’re earning the Silver or Gold Award, traveling to new places, making a difference through community service – or even paying for their Girl Scout membership (or lifetime membership!) next year – our older Girl Scouts build on those Five Skills they learned as a Daisy or Brownie.
Here are a few tips for older Girl Scouts to have a successful Cookie Program:

Use Digital Cookie.
Girls can superpower their cookie sales with Digital Cookie, offering fun, easy tools to reach cookie customers, both near and far, while learning 21st century business skills.
And guess what? Girls who used the Digital Cookie platform in addition to traditional sales sold 76% more cookies and reached their goals faster—so amazing.

Approach businesses.
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 to give out to customers or employees. Or, the employees themselves might be interested in stocking up. 

Not sure where to start? Try these businesses:
  • Car Dealers (individual or an auto center) can purchase cookies and give a case to every customer who buys a car in March. 
  • Service Companies (house cleaners, oil change outlets, dry cleaners, etc.) can stock up on cookies and give a box to every customer on Girl Scout birthday or during a special promotional day. What customer wouldn’t love to come home to a clean house AND a box of cookies on the counter? 
  • Corporations can buy cookies and distribute to employees as a thank you for a special project. 
  • Real Estate Agents may want cookies to serve at open house events during the month of March. Give a case of cookies for every house sold (or maybe make arrangements for a year’s worth of cookies). 
  • Hotels and B & B Locations can purchase cookies to serve on their concierge floor or at afternoon tea during the month of March. They could also award a box to a “guest of the day” during the month of March. 
Check out this special Cookies@Work toolkit to help girls maximize sales!

We’ll also let service unit cookie managers know when a business in their area is interested in being contacted by a Girl Scout.

Participate in 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.

Maximize social networks. 

Older Girl Scouts use the Internet for a variety of reasons including the online marketing and sale of approved Girl Scout related products.

Check out these social media graphics that can be shared to help spread the word about Girl Scout Cookies.

Just be sure girls stay safe and take the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge before they start.

Build skills by earning 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. Cadettes can work on writing an effective business plan or marketing plan. Seniors learn how to show college admissions officers and employers the benefits of the sales experience, as well as increasing customer loyalty. And Ambassadors learn about profit and loss, and research and develop new ways to build their cookie business. Sweet!

Want more resources?
Lots of tools are at your fingertips!
Little Brownie Baker Teen Resources (Please note: Digital Cookie replaces the Cookie Club for our council.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Scholarship opportunity: 2017 Chuck McLane Scholarship Program

2017 Chuck McLane Scholarship Program

In June of 2013, GSUSA announced the five year Chuck McLane Scholarship available for Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients. The scholarship program awards a $10,000 college scholarship to two (2) recipients each year, up to a total of ten (10) recipients by 2017. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Arconic Foundation (formerly called Alcoa Foundation).

Who is eligible to apply?
  • Girl Scout Gold Award recipients who completed  a STEM Take Action Project (project involves a STEM field -Science, Technology, Engineering or Math)
  • Recipients who will attend an accredited four year college or university as a freshman beginning in the fall of 2017 to pursue and complete studies in a STEM-related field. (At time of submission,  applicants may not be enrolled in college yet but will have to confirm enrollment before scholarship can be awarded.)
Scholarship requirements:
  • Scholarships are awarded to Gold Award recipients with an innovative, sustainable STEM-related Take Action Project that has significant impact on a community.
  • Recipients must be enrolled in an accredited four-year college, beginning their freshman year in the fall of 2017, and complete their studies in a STEM-field. (Recipients will be required to submit transcripts after their sophomore year showing they are pursuing studies in a STEM-related field and have maintained a grade point average of at least 3.0.)
  • Distribution of payments will be as follows:  Recipients will receive the first $5,000 for their freshman fall semester followed by the second $5,000 for her fall junior year.
  • Scholarship funds may be used exclusively  to defray educational costs such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies, as well as room and board in a college dormitory.
Application  process:
  • Girls should submit completed applications to acarson@gswpa.org by February 13, 2017.
  • Each council is responsible for reviewing the girls' applications they receive and for selecting up to two nominees.
  • A panel of corporate and community leaders will assist GSUSA in choosing two scholarship recipients from the pool of nominees. Councils and applicants will be notified by May 8, 2017.
Download scholarship information and application.

Scholarship opportunity: 2017 KPMG Future Leaders Program

2017 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 17-19, 2017. 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 30, 2017

Download scholarship information and application.