Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Give A Little Love, Girl Scouts!

What better time to spread the love than February?  The "Give a Little Love" donation drive is back!

With the Goodwill “Give A Little Love” Donation Drive and Community Service Project, Girl Scouts are encouraged to collect gently used items for donation to Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania and Goodwill Southern Alleghenies.

Collected goods will be sold in 25 Goodwill Retail Stores to benefit Goodwill’s many programs and services to help individuals with barriers to employment.

As a participant, you will have the opportunity to earn a Goodwill patch recognizing your commitment to your community. And, the top 4 Go-Getters will win a free resident camp session (up to $350).

Download a 2019 Give A Little Love Participation Kit to get started!
SWPA Participation Kit for Troops
SWPA Participation Kit for Individuals
Southern Alleghenies Participation Kit for Troops
Southern Alleghenies Participation Kit for Individuals

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Shop Talk in January | Cookie Collection and Savings!

Here are special announcements for January from the GSWPA Shops!

Ring in the New Year with savings!

Shop our Semi-Annual Clearance Event now through Saturday, Jan. 12 in all GSWPA Shops! Take an additional 50 percent off already reduced prices! Shop now!

Don't Miss the Cookie Patches!

Get your cookie patches in the shops while supplies last. Choose from Cookie Rally, Cookie Booth, Gift of Caring or Cookie Rookie (all $1 each).

Remember, there's also the Operation: Sweet Appreciation patch ($1.50 each)! Add a red star fun patch near your OSA patch to signify another year of participation (.60¢ each)

View the entire cookie collection.

Shop Hours 

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday: Closed
Second Saturday each month (Sept.-May only): 9 a.m.- noon

Upcoming Extended Hours: 
  • All Shop Locations (Edinboro, Greensburg, Pittsburgh) 
    • Saturday, Jan 12: Open 9 a.m. - noon. Take an additional 50% off clearance prices!
    • Monday, Jan. 21: All shops and office will be closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Monday, December 3, 2018

More girls means more adventure in 2019

From an appreciation of nature to the development of lifelong leadership skills and so much more, we know the benefits of Girl Scouting will positively impact how a girl performs in school, in clubs and sports, and in her career someday.

It's time to pass those benefits on to more girls and get ready to have even more fun and adventures in 2019! From Nov. 26-Jan. 4, troops* will be rewarded when two or more new girls join.

 Here's how it works:
  • Add two new girls to your troop and receive $15 in your troop account.** 
  • Add three new girls to your troop and receive $20 in your troop account.** 
  • Add four new girls to your troop and receive $25 in your troop account.** 
  • Add five new girls to your troop and receive $35 in your troop account.** 
  • Add six or more new girls to your troop and receive $40 in your troop account.** 
*Troops must have at least two active troop leaders registered into the Troop Leader role to qualify. If you have over 12 girls, troops must be at correct Troop Ratio to qualify.
**Prizes will be distributed to troop accounts after January 21, 2019.

Need to display your troop or to open more spots in your troop? Fill out the Troop Opportunity Catalog and Information Update form. Make sure to update your troop meeting information if you haven’t had the chance to yet this year.

If you have questions, reach out to our Customer Care team at or call 800-248-3355.

Pass on the wonders of Girl Scouting to a girl, and we'll pass a prize on to you!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Shop Talk in December | Fun Patch Catalog

Here are special announcements for December from the GSWPA Shops!

Celebrate the seasons with fun patches!

From holidays, to hiking, favorite things to do, to making friends, there's a fun patch for it all in the new Fun Patch Catalog!

Upcoming Specials

Saturday, Dec. 8 (All shop locations will be open 9 a.m. - noon.)

  • Receive a free gift with $50 purchase!
  • The clearance sale begins—take an additional 50% off clearance prices!

Shop Hours 

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday: Closed
Second Saturday each month (Sept.-May only): 9 a.m.- noon

Upcoming Extended Hours: 
  • Greensburg
    • Monday, Dec. 3: Open until 7 p.m. (prior to scheduled service unit meetings)
  • All Shop Locations (Edinboro, Greensburg, Pittsburgh) 
    • Saturday, Dec. 8: Open 9 a.m. - noon. Specials include a free gift with $50 purchase, and the clearance sale begins—take an additional 50% off clearance prices!
    • Dec. 24 – Jan. 1: All shops and offices will be closed, but orders can be place online at

Friday, November 30, 2018

December Girl Scout Discounts

As members of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, the following discounts are available to you during the month of December. Enjoy the show!

Disney on Ice: Frozen and Friends
Erie Insurance Arena
December 14 at 7 p.m.
Upper Bowl: $14 | Lower Bowl: $22
For more information and to purchase group tickets, email or call 703-448-3656.

PPG Paints Arena
December 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
To purchase tickets online, please visit:, or for more information and to purchase by phone, call the PPG Paints Arena at 412-804-7904.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Help a Girl Scout in need get ready to lead!

It takes more than just a big idea to lead. It takes courage, confidence, and character to plan a project with members of a community and address a real need. Girl Scouts do just that every day while learning to become caring, selfless, and effective leaders.

Maria is a young, humanitarian leader and local Girl Scout alum. For her Gold Award Take Action, Maria identified a playground in her neighborhood that needed updates to better serve children with autism and physical disabilities. She worked for three years with local government and the Autism Society of Pittsburgh to improve the park's safety and accessibility and to install musical and tactile play panels. She wanted to ensure that every child visiting the park felt welcome and had fun!

Maria, furthest left, with family, friends, and community members.
Maria is an extraordinary young leader. Just think how many more girls could make a difference like her with your support! So, this Giving Tuesday, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania asks you to sponsor a local girl in need to become a Girl Scout.

Just $25 provides a one-year membership to a local Girl Scout in need. 
$50 provides a one-year membership and uniform to a Girl Scout in need. 

You can help a girl learn to lead and accomplish something big in her community. Sponsor a girl of today to become a female leader of tomorrow through a gift to Girl Scouts. 

Thank you! 

Your local sisterhood, 
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Lovely Start to the Season of Giving

Happy National Philanthropy Day! We want to thank the volunteers, parents, and community members who understand that philanthropy means “love of humankind” through having made a charitable gift. You should take pride in your giving nature! For countless girls, the time and resources you devote to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania change their lives.

Last week, we honored our donors’ devotion at our council’s annual Celebration of Giving. The private reception honored members of the Juliette Gordon Low Society who contribute planned gifts; the Pearl Society who generously contribute annual gifts of $1,000 or more; and our Leadership Donors who support our mission at the $500-$999 level.

At the reception, we inducted donors into the Pearl Society with a pin designed by J.A. Sharp, a women-owned Pennsylvania jeweler. Congratulations to all our newest members!

From left to right, GSWPA board chair Lois Kuttesch joined Katie Thompson, GSWPA vice president of Girl Program, and Deb Smith, GSWPA chief administrative officer at the council's annual Celebration of Giving on Thursday, Nov. 8.
And, you have the chance to join our community of supporters! This upcoming Nov. 27 is Giving Tuesday, a day to start off the gift-giving of the holidays. Even as little at $15 can help a girl start her journey to becoming a future leader who can make the world a better place. Send your support at today.

Your local sisterhood,
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

Monday, November 5, 2018

Guest Blog: Looking Back on a Girl Scout Destination by Bree Opperman

Bree Opperman is a Girl Scout alum from Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. She is 25 years old and is currently attending New York Chiropractic College. While she was a Ambassador Girl Scout, she participated in a Girl Scout Destinations trip to New Zealand.

Girl Scouts: What Destination did you participate in? 
Bree: I went on a destination to New Zealand! We spent two weeks traveling around the whole North Island. We had a group of Girl Scouts from the states, a group of Girl Guides from England, and a couple girls from Australia. We went to Wellington, Auckland, Rotorua, and many more places. We went tobogganing down sand dunes, dolphin watching, soaked in natural hot springs, visited traditional Maori villages, learned about sheep shearing, met up with local Girl Guides, and much more!

Girl Scouts: How did you find out about Destinations, and what inspired you to apply? 
Bree: I honestly don't really remember how I found out about Destinations, but once I did find out about them I knew it was something I had to do. I was really sad I didn't know about them until my final year of Girl Scouts, however I am so happy I was able to experience it! I have always had a travel bug since I went with family to Italy in 6th grade. So when I found out I could travel AND participate in a Girl Scout event, I was extremely excited. I applied to four destinations and somehow got into all four! Because they are on the more expensive end, I had to choose one of the four (New Zealand, Peru, Ireland, or England). I ultimately chose New Zealand, and I’m so happy I did!

Girl Scouts: What advice would you give Girl Scouts who are thinking about going on a Destination? 
Bree: Don't be afraid to apply! The worst that can happen is that you don't get in, but if you don't apply you have no chance of getting in any way! Destinations are a great opportunity that you may never get to do again. They allow you to get out of your comfort zone, explore a new place and culture, and help create friendships with other girl across the country and the world!

The Destination group poses with Maori villagers after
watching their performance of the Haka and traditional
Maori dances and chants.
Girl Scouts: Is there a particular moment you can remember from your Destination that illustrates for you why you feel travel is important?
Bree: There is no one moment in particular that comes to mind, however I think the fact that we got to not only see modern New Zealand, but also the traditional Maori villages is extremely important. Seeing how the original people of the island lived (and still do), allows travelers to help understand different cultures and appreciate the similarities and differences we all share no matter where you are from. Traveling helps you better respect the diversity in the world, and lets you explore what else is out there—and there is more out there than you can ever believe!

Girl Scouts: What kind of impact has being a Girl Scout had on you?
Bree: Being a Girl Scout has shaped me in so many ways I cannot even begin to explain them all—I’d be here for days! Because of Girl Scouts, I was able to have a wide variety of experiences that many of my non-Girl Scout friends never got to enjoy. I got to be on TV, go whitewater rafting and horseback riding, try hockey and lacrosse, and learn business skills. I went to sleepovers in museums and a million other things. It has helped form me into the woman I am today and has given me so much guidance into every decision I make.

Grace, left, and Bree pose for a photo after
their day of sand dune tobogganing.
Girl Scouts: Do you still keep in contact with your friends from your Destination?
Bree: Yes! Especially Grace who was a Girl Guide from England!! We have made it a priority to keep in touch. Even if it's just a quick update to each other every now and again, we make sure to communicate somehow. When I studied abroad in undergrad, I spent five months in Austria and made it a point to visit Grace and a few of the other girls from the trip while in England. A few years later, Grace came to visit me in the states, and we went to New York City and Canada. Each time we get together, we try to pay homage to Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, since it is what brought us together. We toured Pax Lodge when I visited her in England and Girl Scout Headquarters when we went to NYC. We are hoping to plan another trip together soon and are thinking either Kenya or India to visit another WAGGGS World Center. It’s amazing how one trip created such an amazing lifelong friendship!

Girl Scouts: Where are you now?
Bree: I am getting ready to graduate from New York Chiropractic College and will officially be Dr. Brianna Opperman on November 26, 2018! I’m not sure where I will be practicing yet, but wherever I end up, I plan to volunteer with whatever council I am in and give back to this amazing organization!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Announcing the GSWPA Holiday Card Art Contest Winner

Once again, we invited Girl Scouts across western Pennsylvania to enter the GSWPA Holiday Card Art Contest to help our council create our 2019 holiday card. Girls were asked to create a piece of art in the theme of "Girl Scout Winter Adventurer" using any medium.

Congratulations to our finalists whose entries will be used in our digital card and are also available as printable holiday cards for girls and volunteers. The artwork from our winner, Bhawana B. of Allegheny County, will be the artwork on our printed holiday card which is mailed to community partners and supporters throughout our council.

This year's winning artwork was submitted by Bhawana B. of Allegheny County
“When I think of winter, I think of girls and boys playing outside as the white snowflakes fall as if they were dancing. Winter adventures mean spending time outside playing and having fun. Throwing snowballs, making snowmen, sledding, ice skating, and so much more. I wanted to create that vision of kids playing as a blanket of snow covers the ground as the sun goes down.”
-Bhawana B., GSWPA Cadette Girl Scout

Use Girl Scout artwork for your holiday card!

GSWPA received so many amazing submissions as part of this art contest, so we decided to make each finalist into a printable holiday card. The artwork, instructions, and even sample messages to help you get started can all be found at

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Help inspire GSWPA's next council patch

Juliette Gordon Low’s vision for the Girl Scout Movement was that it would be, and will always remain, girl-led. In celebration of her birthday today, October 31, GSWPA asks our Girl Scouts to take the lead to help our council develop our new Girl-Inspired GSWPA Council patch!

Use our online submission form to enter your artwork for the Girl-Inspired GSWPA Council patch.

PARTICIPATION: Submit your council patch ideas that demonstrate what it means to be a Girl Scout in western Pennsylvania. 
Previous GSWPA Council patch

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, formats, and shapes are encouraged and accepted. The deadline for submissions is Monday, December 17. 

ARTWORK SUBMISSION: Use our online submission form to officially enter your artwork to be considered for the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania Girl-Inspired Council patch. You can upload your work of art or a photo of your work of art! 

IMPORTANT NOTES: Elements of more than one Girl Scout's submitted artwork may be incorporated into the final patch design. Submitted artwork will be used to inspire the look of the patch, and the final patch may not be an identical replication of any singular submission. 

If for any reason you have trouble uploading your file or completing the online form, please contact Melissa Gawlinski at

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Shop Talk in November | Holiday Open House

For November, here are some special announcements from the GSWPA Shops.

GSWPA Shop Holiday Open House (Click Here for Event Flyer)
It's that time of year again! The GSWPA Shop Holiday Open House is just around the corner, so check out all of the details here. We'll have refreshments available for you as you get a head start on your holiday shopping! The Girl Scout Shop features gifts for current Girl Scouts, troop leaders, parents, and alumnae, as well as all the gear and uniform basics needed for adventures in Girl Scouting.

Where: All Shop locations (Edinboro, Greensburg and Pittsburgh)
When: Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Holiday Open House Exclusives: 
  • Bring in a non-perishable food donation* and receive 15% off your full order (some exclusions apply), or receive a free Food Drive fun patch if you are a Girl Scout Daisy-Ambassador making a donation. (Girl must be present to receive patch.) *Please check expiration dates before making donation.
  • Enjoy a free gift with your purchase of $50 or more. Supplies are limited, so shop early! 
Can’t make it on Saturday? Bummer! We'll miss you, but you don't have to miss the sale!
Visit one of the GSWPA Shops on Friday, Nov. 9 from 9 a.m.-noon to shop our Preview Sale, and get the same deals listed above!

Coming soon: Cyber Weekend Specials
Look for Cyber Weekend specials, including free shipping from Friday, Nov. 23- Monday, Nov. 26 at

Shop Hours Reminders:
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday: Closed
Second Saturday each month (Sept.-May only): 9 a.m.- noon

Upcoming Extended Hours: 
  • Greensburg: 
    • Monday, Nov. 5: Open until 7 p.m. (prior to scheduled service unit meetings)
    • Tuesday, Nov 6: Open until 6 p.m. (prior to Service Unit Cookie Manager Training)
  • Edinboro:
    • Thursday, Nov. 8: Open until 6 p.m. (prior to Service Unit Cookie Manager Training)
  • All Shop locations (Edinboro, Greensburg, Pittsburgh):
    • Friday, Nov. 9 Holiday Open House Preview Sale: Open 9 a.m.-noon.
    • Saturday, Nov. 10 Holiday Open House: Open 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Troop camping opportunities extend beyond summer

Last month, GSWPA Troop 30487 of Erie County set off for a weekend fall camping trip to Camp Skymeadow in Armstong County. The group of eleven girls and their leaders arrived for their first camping trip at this GSWPA camp on a Friday evening and stayed through Sunday morning.

The group took full advantage of their time at Camp Skymeadow with activities like hiking, archery, building and cooking over a fire, and canoeing, which was a new experience for most of the girls.

Their troop leaders, Leanne, Angela, and Molly, said they knew the activity was beyond the comfort zone of some of the girls, a few of which made it clear ahead of time that they wouldn't go out on the water.

"Of course we would never force them," said Leanne, "but the instructor was really wonderful and walked them through each step."

With the great instructions and watching their friends out on the water, the confidence in them started to grow, and soon the whole group was in canoes learning about canoe safety, practicing switching spots with one another, and racing across the pond with their new paddle skills.

All of these experiences, including debuting a new recipe for Campfire S'mores in a Cone (A tip from the girls—add peanut butter!), made truly wonderful camping memories for the Girl Scouts and their leaders.

The troop even used Camp Skymeadow lodging as a way to help their girls get to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium that weekend to join their sister Girl Scouts for Girl Scout Day, which reduced their usual drive to Pittsburgh from over two hours to a mere 50 minutes!

"Our weekend was filled with amazing memories, and I had a fun and awesome time," said GSWPA Cadette Emma P.

"Camp Skymeadow has many enjoyable features," said Elizabeth K., GSWPA Cadette. "From canoeing to archery, they know how to keep Girl Scouts entertained!"

Start planning your next camping trip at a GSWPA camp using the resources and online reservation system on the left side of the GSWPA camp page at

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Making sure you're MagNut-ready!

At GSWPA, our fall product sale is fast approaching. Here are a few things that will help you start off your Girl Scout year with a great 2018 MagNut Program.

1. Check your email: On Tuesday, September 25, troop leaders will receive an email from our new vendor, M2. Inside that message will be a link to log in and get started. Then, troop leaders will be able to send an email to all parents. Note: If troop leaders don't receive the launch email from M2 on September 25, please check your spam or junk folder, then contact GSWPA Customer Care.

2. Get your girl involved: From creating her own avatar and playing games to connecting with possible customers, the M2 platform is a great tool. Take some time to sit down with your Girl Scout and explore!

3. Understand the benefits for girls: 
➤ Like the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the MagNut Program helps girls to develop five skills they'll use throughout their lives, including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
➤ Girls can earn fun Recognitions or can opt for Girl Scout Bucks that may be used for GSWPA camps and programs, service unit-sponsored day camps, Council Shops and Girl Scout registration fees. Girl Scout Bucks earned through Magnut DOUBLE in value when used toward GSWPA-sponsored camps.

4. Understand the benefits for the troop:
FUNd Bucks—NEW! Troops that have $100 in total sales will receive a $10 FUNd Buck which can be used as payment for council-sponsored programs and camps, service unit day camps, purchases at a GSWPA shop or camp trading posts, and for annual Girl Scout membership. FUNd bucks are not doubled for camp. Only troops are eligible to earn FUNd Bucks. Not available for individual Girl Scouts.
➤ If your troop (minimum 5 girls participating) has a PGA of $175 for MagNut and a PGA of 160 boxes of cookies, you’ll earn an extra $.02 per box of cookies during the 2019 Cookie Program.
➤ If your troop (minimum 5 girls participating) has a PGA of $250 for MagNut and a PGA of 160 boxes of cookies, you will earn an extra $.03 per box of cookies during the 2019 Cookie Program.


5. Prepare your resources: Set aside some time to prepare yourself for success. Whether it's collecting email addresses for potential customers or making sure you've reviewed the GSWPA MagNut Program Guide information—You'll be heading in the right direction for the Magnut Program. Remember to use as a resource, and if you have any additional questions contact GSWPA Customer Care at or call 800-248-3355.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Preparing volunteers to get more girls outdoors

Last weekend, September 7-9, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania hosted over 100 volunteers at Camp Redwing for the annual Outdoor Training Summit, which is made possible by a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Volunteers were able to brush up on old skills and learn brand new ones as they gear up for a new year of Girl Scout camping and outdoor experiences and other great adventures!

"This weekend is such a great opportunity for our volunteers," said Dana Young, GSWPA Director of Outdoor Experience. "We're able to set them up with the skills they need to keep getting their Girl Scouts outdoors, and they get time to share ideas and experiences with volunteers from all across the council."

Topics included: outdoor cooking, geocaching, knife skills, naturalist knowledge, first aid and CPR, and small craft canoe training.

Check out photos from the weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

GSWPA announces first-ever Spirit Week

The new Girl Scout year is here, so let’s celebrate! Join in the fun for our first-ever GSWPA Spirit Week.
Sunday, Sept. 23-Saturday, Sept. 29
 We’re asking you to show your Girl Scout spirit by participating in the activities listed below. And, make sure to share it with the world! Every time you share your Spirit Week experiences on social media using #GSWPAspiritweek, you'll be entered to win daily prizes! (Tip: To maximize your entries and your chance to win, make multiple posts of the daily activities using #GSWPAspiritweek in each one!)

Visit for more tools to help you spread the word about Girl Scouts. Once there, you can also join our Girl Scout Champion Rallyhood where you can connect with our recruitment team and other Girl Scout members and find resources, such as flyers and posters to hand out in your community.

Here's our list of daily activities that will help all of us come together as one very proud Girl Scout community.

Sunday, Sept. 23
Share why you love Girl Scouts.
Whether you're a girl member, leader, alum, volunteer, or staff member, share on social media why you're proud to be a Girl Scout. Use #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes. Talk to your friends and family about your love for Girl Scouts, too!

Monday, Sept. 24
Flaunt your favorite.
Share a photo on social media of your favorite or most meaningful badge or patch that you have and tell us why it's important to you. Was it a new experience? An awesome memory? Did it teach you something new or peak your interest in a new hobby? Use #GSWPAspiritweek on social media to be entered to win daily prizes. Write about it for a school project or share your memories with friends and family.

Tuesday, Sept. 25
Show how you're making the world a better place.
Share a photo on social media of something you've done to make your community a better place. Whether it was a community service project, a Take Action project, a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award, or volunteering with a local organization, we can’t wait to see what you’ve done to benefit your community! Use #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes. Consider sharing a photo from a recent community service event or project with the community editor at your local newspaper—you’re contributing to your hometown in a special way, and that’s an awesome story!

Wednesday, Sept. 26
Share what you've done #becauseofGirlScouts.
Tell the world something you've experience or accomplished because of Girl Scouts. It could have been a STEM activity, an outdoor experience, an entrepreneurial opportunity, and/or a civic engagement project that you were a part of because you’re a member of Girl Scouts. Share a photo of this memory or take and share a photo holding our #becauseofGirlScouts printable. Use #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes and #becauseofGirlScouts to share your story with GSUSA.

Thursday, Sept. 27
Help us promote Girl Scouts.
Take some time to promote Girl Scouts by hanging Girl Scout posters and flyers on billboards at local establishments like libraries, churches, restaurants, and more. Take a photo while you’re spreading the word about Girl Scouts and post it to social media using #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes.

Friday, Sept. 28
Wear your Girl Scout spirit.
Wear your Girl Scout uniform or your favorite Girl Scout shirt to school, work, and around your community. Take a photo and use #GSWPAspiritweek when you share it on social media to be entered to win daily prizes.

Saturday, Sept. 29
Place Girl Scout rocks.
Find the perfect location in your community for your Girl Scout-themed rock that you've decorated. You’ll spread your love for Girl Scouting and make someone’s day when they find your work of art! Show us your rock on social media by using #GSWPAspiritweek to be entered to win daily prizes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

To do: 6 simple tasks for a strong start to your Girl Scout year

After a wonderful summer of camping, traveling, and outdoor adventures, school is back in session. And, that means that our new Girl Scout year has begun, and we're excited to keep the fun times coming!

Here are 6 things that will help GSWPA Troop Leaders get ready for troop meetings and other Girl Scout adventures:
  1. Make sure you’ve renewed your membership. Keep the Girl Scout party going! If you haven't already, take a few minutes renew your membership so you can get started on your plans for the upcoming Girl Scout year! And, please be sure all girls in your troop are also renewed before Oct. 1.
  2. Update your troop information. Please help us make sure our troop opportunity catalog information is up-to-date, so that we can help connect more girls to Girl Scouting! Whether you have open spots in your troop, or are no longer accepting new members, please fill out the Troop Opportunity Catalog and Information Update Form with your current troop information.
  3. Set up your Volunteer Toolkit. The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a web app that is accessible from any device. Get access to planning tools and resources to get the most out of every troop or group meeting. If you aren’t currently using the VTK to plan your Girl Scout activities, you’re missing out on this super helpful tool!
    • Plan the troop’s calendar year.
    • Email parents with one click.
    • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update girls' contact information.
    • View Daisy through Ambassador Journeys and badges (to plan for troop meetings), including prepopulated tracks for younger and older Multi-Level troop groups (K–5 and 6–12).
    • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options.
    • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of materials needed and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting.
    • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements.
    • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar.
    • Enter the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).
    • Easily locate resources both national and local council resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints.

      If you are a Troop Leader that has renewed your membership and role for the 2018-19 year, you can access the VTK now to begin planning for the new year. You will also be able to view or print any plan you created last year.
  4. Gear up to head out. Planning any outdoor activities this year? Be sure to check out the Safety Activity Checkpoints, and register for an upcoming Outdoor Skills Training if you haven’t yet completed one.

    And, be sure to check out this collection of online videos to help you introduce girls to the joys of the great outdoors, covering everything from campsite setup to camp cookery.
  5. Review council news. Check out our most recent editions of Patched In to make sure you're up-to-date on council activities, programs, and news.
  6. Fund the fun with MagNut. Build up your troop’s funds at the beginning of the year through the MagNut Program. These magazine, nuts, and candy products are perfect for stocking stuffers! Find out how the MagNut Program can help your troop shine!

As always, we're here to support you! Reach out by calling 800-248-3355 or email

Have a great Girl Scout year!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Girl Scout Day at the Pittsburgh Zoo—Can you 'bear' the excitement?

It's 'giraffing' us wild!

The Girl Scouts are taking over the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium on September 16! GSWPA and zoo staff have planned a day packed full of fun activities with your favorite animals and special Girl Scout-only experiences.

Important notes:
  • All Girl Scouts will receive 10% off merchandise in all Zoo gift shops. Please wear your Girl Scout uniform or shirt! This discount does not apply to already discounted items, rentals or media.
  • Are you a member of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium? If so, you are eligible for a discounted rate of $1 per person for Girl Scout Day at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. You must submit this form in advance!

Schedule of  Events

Admissions Plaza:
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Registration
Village Plaza:
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Girl Scout Travel Shop
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Girl Scout displays and SWAPS table
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Zoo Education activity station


Red Panda Overlook:
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Celebrate International Red Panda Day and try your hand at the prize wheel.
Gorilla Overlook:
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Stop by the gorilla overlook for an up-close look at gorilla biofacts. See the newest member of the gorilla troop, a male infant born on May 25, 2018.
PPG Aquarium:
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Take the plastic pledge and find out how to use less plastic in your everyday life.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meet the shark mascot and some of our aquatic animal friends.
11:30 a.m. Diver in the large open ocean tank with a special message for Girl Scouts


Giraffe Overlook: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Special giraffe photos (Must be in line by 12:15 p.m.)
Education Complex: 11 a.m. - Noon & 1-2 p.m.
Monarch Madness · Learn about the monarch butterfly, tag a monarch, and meet animal ambassadors. Bring your cameras! (Tagging activity is for Girl Scouts only, while supplies last)


Water’s Edge:
11 a.m. Polar bear feeding (in the water)
12:30 p.m. Sea otter feeding
1 p.m. Northern elephant seal feeding
Kids Kingdom:
1:30 p.m. Beaver feeding · See the six beaver kits (born June 27) swimming in their exhibit

ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY (Treats and toys for the animals)

African Savanna:
11:30am Elephant enrichment
Gorilla Overlook:
Noon Gorilla enrichment
The Islands
1:30 p.m. Visayan warty pigs enrichment

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Annual Camp Creepy fall festivals return

Fall is just around the corner, and that means our favorite Halloween happening will be here soon!

Camp Creepy is an annual festival that occurs at three GSWPA camps through the month of October.

Girl Scouts and their families will enjoy Halloween-themed games, crafts, and activity stations created and staffed by sister Girl Scouts. There will also be trick-or-treating, glow-in-the-dark games, a haunted hike, and s'mores and stories over the campfire. Children will receive a Camp Creepy patch, a Halloween bag, a glow necklace, candy, prizes, and crafts they make at the craft area.

The Girl Scout Shop will be open at each event from 5-8 p.m. for you to stock up on gear for the new school year.

Camp Creepy has three haunts this year:
All three camps offer family-friendly frights suitable for children in grades K-12. Come as a troop or with family! Chaperoned siblings are also welcome. Plan to spend at least two to three hours to see everything. Registration is $20 per girl and $4 per adult. A meal of a hot dog, chips, cookie, and drink is included in each ticket price. (Children ages 3 and under are free and do not need to register for the event.)

Volunteers needed

We need your help to make Camp Creepy spook-tacular! We're looking for adult volunteers and Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops to help at our three Camp Creepy events.

Troops in grades 6-12 can plan and host an activity or station, and adults are also needed to help with registration, food, and more. As a "thank you" for all of your help, volunteers will receive a free dinner and free lodging for Saturday evening after the Camp Creepy event.

Interested? Contact us at or 800-248-3355.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Girl Scout perks for upcoming PPG Paints Arena Events

There are great Girl Scout discounts available for upcoming events at the PPG Paints Arena!

Shrine Circus

Saturday, September 15 at 7 p.m.
Don't miss this fun-filled family extravaganza featuring The Amazing Spiderman, spectacular thrill acts, elephants, tigers, camels, and even a singing pig! The special Girl Scout price is $15 and is available to anyone attending with the Girl Scout, including friends and family. There is no minimum number of tickets needed to order or attend, but groups who wish to sit together should place a single order. The seats are in the 100 level. A one-time handling fee will be applied to your grand total—$6 for 1-9 tickets and $10 for 10 or more tickets.

The deadline to receive the discount is September 7. Buy tickets online or by phone at 412-804-7904.

Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes

Friday, October 26 at 7 p.m.
Marvel fans, assemble for this live, action-packed, legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki's hands. All Girl Scouts in attendance will receive a free Marvel Universe LIVE patch. The special Girl Scout price is $15.75 per ticket for groups of 15 or more. Groups of less than 15 will pay normal prices of $25-$80 per ticket. This offer expires on October 19 and is subject to availability, restrictions, and exclusions. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 412-804-7904 or email

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

GSWPA Ambassador from Evans City participates in a West Coast project crew

We are excited to announce that GSWPA Ambassador Lyndsey Butler, 17, has begun her journey as part of the all-Girl Scout crew with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State.

Lyndsey attends Seneca Valley High School, and she is currently in her eleventh year of Girl Scouting.

The project crew traveled to the Olympic National Forest on July 29 and will be staying through August 11. The crew will complete environmental service projects and learn about ecology and preserving habitats. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these Girl Scouts to expand leadership skills and practical knowledge of the environment.

Entering her senior year at Seneca Valley High School, Lyndsey is an active hiker and backpacker. She aspires to hike the Appalachian Trail in its entirety and has hiked trails across the United States. She enjoys all aspects of the outdoors, from the ocean to the mountains. Lyndsey hopes to follow this path throughout her adult life, and is committed to pursuing a career devoted to conservation, research, and study in environmental science or marine science.

"Lyndsey has always had a passion for the outdoors," says Dennis Butler, Lyndsey's father. "From a very early age, she was always fascinated with the natural world around us and spent many hours and days exploring forests and trails around our home."

“I strive to promote conservation and appreciation of nature,” Lyndsey says. “The Girl Scouts have given me many chances to explore and pursue my love of nature.”

Dennis adds, "The Girl Scout organization fit into this evolution from a very young age. Camp Redwing in Renfrew PA, just a mile down the road, presented many amazing adventures and experiences with other Girl Scouts from around the world."

This crew and Lyndsey’s participation have been made possible by a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Girl Scouts invited to special screening of Christopher Robin


Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) members are invited to a free screening of Disney's Christopher Robin at AMC Waterfront in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 31!

Christopher Robin
Tuesday, July 31, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, catch a free screening of Christopher Robin at AMC Waterfront in Pittsburgh. Register for up to 4 free movie passes online. Once you register, you'll be redirected to a page where you can print your passes. A link to print the tickets will also be sent to the email you used to create your account. Please have your pass ready to show at the door.

In this heartwarming live action adventure, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his stuffed animal friends in the Hundred Acre Woods has grown up and lost sight of what’s important in life. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of family life, the value of friendship and to appreciate the simple pleasure in life once again. Christopher Robin will be released in theaters August 3, 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, July 24, 2018

Lake Erie Duathlon 5K descriptions

The Lake Erie Duathlon is a scenic course on beautiful Presque Isle State Park consisting of a 5K run, a 20K bike, followed by another 5K run.

Signs and volunteers will be at every turnaround to help you stay on course.

Each leg of the race begins and ends at Beach 11.

Below are the descriptions of the 5K courses.

If you have any questions, please contact See you at the Du!

First 5K: Perry Monument

Participants will run NW from the starting line on the main Beach 11 parking lot access road to Presque Isle Drive (PID). They will turn left at PID towards the Perry Monument and will run on the multi-purpose path. They will stay on the multi-purpose path all the way to the Perry Monument area. They will run past the first entry way to Perry Monument to the second entrance and then turn left to cross over to the multi-purpose path that runs along the bay shore. They will follow this path that will lead them to the Perry Monument obelisk where they will run counter clockwise around this moated exhibit before exiting that area on the large concrete sidewalk that passes in front of the restrooms in that area. Upon exiting the sidewalk end they will bear left on the roadway (NOT right through the parking lot) that will lead them out to PID where they will turn right and head back over the bridge towards Beach 11. They will turn right on the Beach 11 parking lot access road and proceed to the first paved/tar and chip isle on the left and turn left. Shortly thereafter is the finish line (white paint across isle).

Starting Line: The starting line has moved beginning in 2015 to the main access road that leads back to the pavilion and then on to the Coast Guard Station. The actual starting line is between the third and fourth parking isle from the south end of the parking lot down near the pavilion. A pink starting line is painted across the entrance lane.

Mile 1: Located about 1/10th of a mile before mile marker 2 (see below) and about 20 before a red fire hydrant on the west side of the roadway. The exact spot is marked with one large dot of PINK paint on the white paint line that separates the roadway from the multipurpose path.

Mile 2: Located on the return trip from Perry Monument near the bottom of the bridge “hill”. It is about 25 feet before the end of the bridge guard rail that is right of the multi-purpose path. The exact spot is marked with two large dots of PINK paint on the white paint line that separates the roadway from the multipurpose path.

Mile 3: Located just before (35 ft) the right turn off PID to the Beach 11 parking lot access road. The exact spot is marked with three large dots of PINK paint on the white paint line that separates the roadway from the multipurpose path.

Finish Line to Transition Area: After entering the Beach 11 parking lot access road and proceeding to the first paved/tar and chip isle on the left they turn left into transition area.

Bike course: one counterclockwise loop of Presque Isle State Park.

Next: The Pines 5K

Participants will start the second 5k upon exiting the transition area on the east end of the transition area – white start line on roadway. They will bear left going out of the lot and then turn left on to “Coast Guard Drive” and proceed to PID. They will turn right onto the multi-purpose and proceed to the turnaround point that is located in the Pine Tree Area just beyond the 8.2 painted mile marker on the multi-purpose path. The participants do a 180 turn and retrace their path using the multi-purpose path back to “Coast Guard Drive”. A left turn there and then back to the entrance to the parking lot where they started. Straight ahead to the finish line (pink line) that is adjacent to a wooden fence on the left and about 30 ft before a parking lot road/lane on the left.

Start: Located at the east end of the transition area and doted by a white line across the roadway.

Mile 1: Located in the sunset beach area and only a few feet from the 7.7 painted mile marker on the multi-purpose path. The exact spot is marked with one large dot of PINK paint on the white paint line that separates the roadway from the multipurpose path.

Turnaround Point: Located in the Pine Tree Area between multi=purpose path mile marker 8.2 and 8.3 (closer to 8.2). The exact spot is marked with 10” high “T” painted in pink along the right edge of the multi-purpose path.

Mile 2: Located in the sunset beach area and only about 25 feet from the 7.8 painted mile marker on the multi-purpose path. The exact spot is marked with two large dots of PINK paint on the white paint line that separates the roadway from the multipurpose path.

Mile 3: Located on “Coast Guard Drive” about 80 ft before reaching a dirt access road on the right. The exact spot is marked with three large dots of PINK paint on the right side of the roadway. This is the only mile marker not painted on a white roadway painted line – because there was no white paint lines on this roadway.

Finish line: It is located adjacent to a wooden fence on the left and about 30 ft before a parking lot road/lane on the left. A pink finish line is painted across the left lane.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

GSWPA Girl Scout prepares for trip of a lifetime

Lizzie Foster of Harrisville has been selected to represent Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania on the upcoming Student Conservation all-Girl Scout project crew in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State.

We are excited to announce that GSWPA Ambassador Lizzie Foster, 16, has been selected to participate in the all-Girl Scout crew with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State.

Lizzie attends Slippery Rock Area High School, and she is currently in her thirteenth year of Girl Scouting. Lizzie is a member of GSWPA Troop 20462, which serves the Slippery Rock and Harrisville areas.

“As soon as I heard about the opportunity, I said yes,” said Lizzie. “I knew I wanted to do it right away.”

The project crew will be made up of eight girls who will travel to the Olympic National Forest for two weeks from July 29-August 11, during which they will complete environmental service projects and learn about ecology and preserving habitats. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Girl Scouts from these councils to expand leadership skills and practical knowledge of the environment.

“With my history as a Girl Scout,” said Virginia Foster, Lizzie’s mother and troop leader, “and living so close to resources like Jennings Environmental Education Center, Moraine State Park, and McConnell’s Mill State Park, our troop has worked on many service projects focused on environmental science and conservation.” 

Entering her junior year at Slippery Rock Area High School, Lizzie enjoys backpacking and camping with her Girl Scout troop and her family, which she has been doing since she was a small child. She is passionate about environmental stewardship and conservation and has participated in several local camps and projects that focused on these topics. After graduating high school, Lizzie plans on attending college to earn her Master of Science in parks and resource management.

Both Lizzie and Virginia are getting excited for the trip and working on packing lists and paperwork. GSWPA will stay in touch with Lizzie on her upcoming adventure, so we can continue to support our sister Girl Scout as she takes off on the awesome opportunity!

This crew and Lizzie’s participation have been made possible by a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Get the chocolate! National S'mores Day celebrations happening Aug. 9 & 10

Few sweet treats are as beloved as the campfire staple, the s'more. And no one knows s'mores like Girl Scouts! Not only have these gooey, chocolaty creations been enjoyed at Girl Scout camps for generations, but the first recorded version of the recipe can be found in an official Girl Scouts publication from 1927.

All K-12 girls and their families are invited to these celebrations throughout Western Pennsylvania. At these events, attendees can make tasty s’mores, enjoy fun activities, and learn more about Girl Scouts and our mission of building courage, confidence, and character in girls.

Girls who participate will get a free National S'mores Day patch if they're registered for the 2018-19 Girl Scout year or if they register to join Girl Scouts at the event! Council staff or members of local Service Units will be on hand at the National S’mores Day events to help girls renew or sign up. Those interested in becoming a volunteer are also invited to attend.

Know someone who is interested in joining Girl Scouts? Girls can bring a friend to a National S’mores Day celebration to show her all the fun she can have as a Girl Scout. Your Girl Scout will receive a special Make S’more Friends patch if her friend signs up at the event.

Check out these GSWPA National S'mores Day celebrations that are being held council-wide!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Why Girl Scouts?

Get to know the best leadership experience in the world for girls.
  • Girls-only. Everything we do is girl-led and girl-focused and takes place in the safe space of an all-girl environment.
  • Inclusive. We welcome girls of all backgrounds and interests who want to develop the courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place. 
  • Proven. Our data-backed, time-tested programs are designed to meet the unique needs and specific interests of girls, including the way they learn best.
  • Leadership. We are the organization creating—through our skill-building Girl Scout Leadership Experience—the female leadership pipeline. The go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders of tomorrow. 
  • Safe. Our leaders, camp counselors, and volunteers are all thoroughly vetted and our safety record is impeccable.
  • Successful. Women who were Girl Scouts have more successful careers, higher household and personal income, and are better educated.
  • Adventure. Activities such as hiking, camping, canoeing, and archery offer girls opportunities to have exciting, girl-led outdoor adventures while learning important skills that teach valuable life lessons, like self-reliance, leadership, and perseverance.  
Simply put, Girl Scouts works! For more information, visit

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.


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) 


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?

UPDATE: We are no longer taking applications for a GSWPA Girl Scout crew member. Stay tuned to meet this year's national crew!

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.


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.


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:


  • 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 


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.


  • 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 


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