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