Thursday, March 29, 2018

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

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

Dear GSWPA Volunteer,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Thank you for a wonderful 2018 Cookie Program!

The power of the Girl Scout cookie provides endless opportunities for girls, and our council couldn't be more grateful for the efforts and contributions of everyone during the 2018 Cookie Program.

As a direct result of the hard work of our awesome girls, the coordination of our volunteers, the commitment of parents, and the dedication of staff, it was truly an Altogether Awesome success!

Whether you loaded and hauled cases of cookies, braved the cold at cookie booths, helped your Girl Scout take orders and make deliveries, or provided support in many other possible ways, THANK YOU!

At the end of its fourth year, we're seeing great results on the Digital Cookie platform:
  • About 4,000 girls participated in Digital Cookie. 
  • More than 45,000 boxes were sold through the new Girl Delivery option. Wow!
  • Customers had more than 31,000 boxes shipped directly to them.

Donations to Operation: Sweet Appreciation (OSA) Continue

Donations to Operation: Sweet Appreciation are up nearly 3,000 boxes from last year. Currently, over 48,000 boxes (11,000 from Digital Cookie) have been donated to OSA, our Gift of Caring to U.S. active duty and veteran service organizations.

This initiative continues through Memorial Day, May 28. Even though cookie season is over, donations for Operation: Sweet Appreciation will be accepted online at Donations can be credited to a specific girl or troop, so encourage family and friends to donate by sharing the video below!

While OSA sales won't count toward recognitions, it's a great way to help your Girl Scouts meet their goals while giving back to our U.S. military active duty and veteran service member organizations.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Camp S'more Flashlight Feature: New This Year

Girl Scouts moves at the speed of girls, and it's no different at GSWPA camps! While all of our camp sessions provide the traditional favorites like hiking, swimming, and arts, there are several new activities and specialty programs available to girls this summer.

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

Scuba - Camp Skymeadow
Take the first steps towards exploring the depths of the ocean! In this introduction to snorkeling and scuba, you'll learn the basics, play frisbee underwater, and complete a try dive in the camp pool!
Girls Grades: 6-10
Dates: July 15-20, Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $425 per person

Once Upon a Camping Trip - Camp Hawthorne Ridge
Ever wonder how a princess would camp? Find out with a little glitz and glamour! This session is balanced with the Girl Scout camping skills that will make her a strong princess and learning about other princessly duties—like designing her tiara and throwing a tea party for the queen.
Girls Grades: 1-3
Dates: July 25-27, Wed.-Fri. (2 nights)
Cost: $175 per person

Tech & Engineering Wiz - Camp Conshatawba
Technology at camp? That's right! It's a week of robotics, engineering, and programming, and it's going to be STEM-tastic!
Girls Grades: 6-8
Dates: July 1-6, Sun.-Fri. (5 nights)
Cost: $350 per person

New and returning sessions can be found in 2018 Camp S’more magazine. Check it out!

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!