• Girl Scouts Learn about Food Insecurities in Lycoming; Volunteers at Local Food Bank

    Girl Scouts Learn about Food Insecuritites in Lycoming; Volunteers at Local Food Bank

    (Williamsport, Pa.)- On November 7, 2017 approximately 40 local Girl Scouts from Service Unit  624 visited the Williamsport Hub of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to learn about how food insecurity impacts their community and ways they could help those in need.

    The Girl Scouts learn that the local food bank provided approximately 4 million pounds of food 

    The Girl Scouts completed three activities at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank including:

    1. Decorated placements for West End Christian Community Center (WECCC) who will distribute the cheerful placements during a free Thanksgiving meal. 

    2. Older Girl Scouts worked with other food bank volunteers to pack over 500 boxes of non-perishable food in under two hours. 

    3. Younger Girl Scouts sorted two, 500-pound crates of apples for local distribution.

    Lastly, all the Girl Scouts took a tour of the warehouse to see how donations and food flows through the warehouse and helps those in need. 


    Inline image 2






  • Girl Scouts focus on teamwork, leadership

    LaPLUME TWP. — Keira Brogan, Catherine Gilhooley and Kaylee Butler held hands as the friends tried to make it across the rope net without letting their feet fall through.

    The Girl Scouts giggled as the net swayed and more girls piled on the exercise at the Keystone College ropes course. As participants in Saturday’s Journey in a Day event, 85 Scouts worked on leadership and teamwork skills.

    The program aims to encourage girls to become leaders who are “kind, courageous go-getters,” said Mary Troy, leader of Troop 50022 in Scranton. “They do things they normally wouldn’t do, with people they’ve never met before.”

    The Scouts, from fourth-graders to juniors in high school, are members of a service unit that extends from Forest City to Moosic.

    After a morning on the ropes course, where the girls tested their abilities to trust one another and problem solve, the Scouts went indoors to complete activities on friendship values, body language, social styles, beauty perception and more.

    Scouts said they were happy to spend the day becoming stronger leaders.

    “In Girl Scouts, you get to explore things you normally wouldn’t get to,” said Paige Morgan, 14.

    Kathryn Wozniak, 13, agreed.

    “We get to meet new people and do a lot,” she said.

  • Women's Fund connects community-minded women with life-changing causes

    Girls are learning how to create video games and virtual pets during an after-school program.

    Colleges are gaining new resources to teach young women how to look for signs of breast cancer.

    Women in rural, low-income households are receiving training that could help them find much-needed jobs.

    All of these things are happening in the midstate in no small part thanks to The Foundation for Enhancing Communities’ Womens’ Fund, an effort supported by a diverse group of women committed to helping their neighbors.

    An anonymous donor created the fund in 2000 through the foundation, a Harrisburg-based nonprofit that supports all kinds of local organizations. In the past 17 years, the Women’s Fund has provided more than $117,000 in grants for 33 organizations that support a varied range of women-focused causes, from breast cancer awareness to literacy training for mothers.

    The effort is financed by local women from all kinds of careers and economic backgrounds, said Janice Black, the foundation’s president and CEO. About 117 of those donors are part of the fund’s Dream Team, a group committed to donating at least $1,000 per person through a one-time lump sum or in monthly installments over the next several years. The fund’s leaders hope to eventually have 1,000 Dream Team members in order to create a permanent $1 million endowment....

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts collect suitcases for foster kids

    SWEET VALLEY, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- Some Girl Scouts in Luzerne County came up with a creative way to give back to children who are less fortunate.

    Three years ago, Brandon's Forever Home partnered with Luzerne County Children and Youth to help stop the practice of giving foster children a garbage bag to use as a suitcase.

    Thanks to people like the Girl Scouts from Sweet Valley, the non-profit organization in Hazleton has been able to give every child a bag for their belongings.

    The thoughtful fifth graders started a donation drive to support the 500 foster children in Luzerne County.

    The Girl Scouts are collecting new or gently used backpacks, tote bags, and suitcases for Brandon's Forever Home until the end of the month.


    Lehman-Jackson Elementary School
    Lake-Noxen Elementary School
    Ross Elementary School
    Luzerne County Community College (Building 9)
    Classic Properties in Kingston
    American Legion in Kingston

    Contact Jolene Wilson at (570) 592-3700 for more information.



  • Mobile STEM lab brings future in focus for girls

    A bright future in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) is closer than ever for girls in central Pennsylvania, thanks to a new mobile stem lab from the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA).

    The mobile lab teaches girls about STEM through hands-on experiments focused on robotics and programming, mechanical engineering, environmental science and even virtual reality. Outfitted with laptop computers, mobile hotspot technology and 3D printers, its cool factor is getting girls excited about STEM right in their own neighborhoods.

    The van, made possible by a grant from PPL Corporation and funding from PPL Electric Utilities, made its official debut at the GSHPA’s inaugural STEM Expo on May 20, 2017, in Hershey, Pa. In its first two months on the road, the van rolled up to more than 20 locations reaching more than 500 girls. The van enables GSHPA to bring vital STEM programming to girls all over their 30-county service territory covering diverse neighborhoods from inner cities to rural locations.

    “Having the ability to offer STEM programming locally has had a huge impact,” said Ellen Kyzer, MPA, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and a former Girl Scout. “We’re bringing technology that girls have not had access to before. The exposure allows them to see the future and see how successful they can be in a STEM field.”

    The goal is to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, where they will li...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts STEM Mobile Unit provides free science, technology and math programs for scouts

    Fox43 with Chris Garrett. YORK COUNTY-- This morning we talked with Lyndsey Mackie, a Spokesperson with the Girl Scouts about the STEM Mobile vehicle. The STEM mobile is a completely FREE science, technology, engineering, mathematics based program. There are currently four different activities available to Girl scouts, virtual reality, robotics and coding, engineering, and environmental impact.

    For more information about the STEM Mobile Unit, visit this site here.

    Watch the Fox43 news segment. 

  • Centre Foundation's Endowment Impact: Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania

  • Girl Scouts announce 23 new STEM badges

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – There are new goals for Girl Scouts: 23 new badges are now available for them to achieve

    The new badges are aimed at getting girls involved in science, technology, engineering and math.

    “At the kindergarten age, to let them see that they can program a robot is a game changer for them,” Girl Scout outreach coordinator Lydsey Mackie said. “They can start to think about how that might impact them in the future.”

    Girl Scouts will learn basic programming and build prototypes. Older girls will learn about artificial intelligence and algorithms.

    “Teaching girls that STEM is an option for them and getting them to think about STEM as early as possible,” Mackie said.

    According to the 2009 Census, women make up 24 percent of workers in the STEM industry.

    Other STEM badges will focus on race car and aviation design. The new badges are available this week.

    The Girl Scouts say next year, they will introduce cyber security badges.

  • Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Honors 51 Top Girl Scouts with Gold Award

    Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Honors 51 Top Girl Scouts with Gold Award

    Highest award recognizes Girl Scouts’ commitment to community improvement

    (Harrisburg, PA) – During a recent packed-house event, hosted by the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center, 51 Girl Scouts representing 30 counties that comprise the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSPHA) Council received the coveted Gold Award. This top honor is designated for Girl Scouts who planned and implemented a project that meets a specific community need. The Gold Award Committee, a 9-person group which mentors and supports each Girl Scout, reviews the project proposals and provides guidance throughout the process.    

    “Earning the Gold Award is not an easy feat,” said Ellen Kyzer, chief executive officer of GSHPA. “Each honoree invested hours of time and energy to identify a community need, plan a sustainable community project and see it through to completion.”  

    Girl Scouts who successfully earned the Gold Award are required to have earned both a Silver Award (Cadettes) and a Bronze Award (Juniors).  Over the period October 2015 through April 2017, nearly 900 Girl Scouts earned their Silver Award and over 400 Girl Scouts earned their Silver Award. 

    The projects range from installing benches in public parks and coordinating a fundraiser walk to increase awareness about diabetes to constructing a sensory garden for people...

    Read Full Article ]
  • With help from PPL, Girl Scouts take STEM programs on the road

    With help from PPL, Girl Scouts take STEM programs on the road
    Grant and donation support creation of a mobile science lab

    A bright future in science, technology, engineering or math will be closer than ever for girls in central Pennsylvania, thanks to donations to Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania by PPL.

    The PPL Foundation recently gave the regional Girl Scouts organization a $60,000 grant to purchase a large cargo van that will be outfitted as a mobile laboratory, with laptop computers, mobile hotspot technology, 3D printers and other equipment. PPL Electric Utilities donated another $5,000 to support operation and maintenance of the mobile lab for the year.

    The STEM lab will take activities and programming offered at the Girl Scouts’ centers and camps and bring it to girls in rural areas, who may lack financial resources or transportation to attend events in larger communities. The goal is to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, where they will likely earn a higher income and use their expertise, courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place.

    The Girl Scouts hope the lab will help them reach twice as many girls with exciting science and technology programs, ranging from human biology to writing code for video games. The van is expected to be ready in  late spring and make its official debut at Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s inaugural STEM Expo on May 20, 2017 at the Hershey...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scouts Kicks Off Centennial with Debut of New Girl Scout S’mores™ Cookies


    Girl Scouts Kicks Off Centennial with Debut of New Girl Scout S’mores™ Cookies

    January 3, 2017—[HARRISBURG, PA] Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) announced today the movement-wide celebration of the 100th season of Girl Scouts selling cookies. A century ago, girls started participating in what would evolve into the largest entrepreneurial training program for girls in the world: the Girl Scout Cookie Program®, through which girls learn the essential skills they need to become effective leaders, manage finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence in handling money. To commemorate this banner year for the organization, the highly-anticipated Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies are now available, joining classics like Thin Mints and Trefoils.

    The sale of cookies by Girl Scouts had humble beginnings, born as a way for troops to finance activities. The first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts occurred in 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a ser...

    Read Full Article ]
  • CEI is Coming Soon! Here's What to Expect.

    Dear Girl Scout Member(s),

    You have asked for exceptional experiences, convenience, and support. We’ve been listening. For over a year, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) has been preparing to change our online operating systems to address your needs in order to serve our Girl Scouts, volunteers, and parents better. We are very excited about the benefits of our new system which has incredible features like our Volunteer Toolkit, easy renewal, and troop management features.

    This transition will begin on November 15th. While our staff has been working hard to prepare for the new system, some tasks may take a little longer than usual. We hope that you’ll understand. In some situations, we may need to make changes to troop rosters behind the scenes that won’t be reflected in Troop Management. These will be corrected in the new system, additionally, between December 1st and January 1st, you may experience registration delays or slower than normal response times while our team learns the new system.

    Mid-December 2016 you’ll receive an email with your new GSHPA login to access our new system.


    Some of the ways our new system will benefit you will include:

      An easy to use Volunteer Toolkit that allows leaders to plan troop meetings online. Simplified troop and family renewal process. Convenient communication between volunteers and...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts Learn About Veterans Day

    Daisy Troop 4016, Brownie Troop 40157, and Junior Troop 40158 held their bi-monthly meeting at Covenant United Methodist Church on Oct. 4, with guest speakers Sgt. Terry Banfill and his wife Carmen talking about Veterans Day and the American Flag. The program included the National Anthem, a prayer of reverence by Dana Hefferon for veterans past, present and those serving in harm’s way. Sgt. Banfill gave the group a test and asked them to draw their rendition of our flag. The Banfills explained that our flag is the emblem of the greatest nation on earth, and the inspiration for which American patriots gave their lives and fortunes. They also told the girls they should show respect and honor. The evening ended with a flag folding ceremony. The girls were told what each of the folds represent and practiced several times folding the flag. The Banfills donated an American Flag to the troop leaders Dana Hefferon, Amanda Coleman and Michele Long. The girls are holding a “Flag of Honor” that contains all the names of the people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

  • MHS Girl Scouts Earn Badges During Camping Trip

    Milton Hershey School members of Girl Scout Troop 11602 and students from student home Nanticoke recently put their ourdoor skills to the test while camping at Gifford Pinchot State Park

  • Jim Thorpe Girl Scouts help with rescued horses

    A group of Jim Thorpe area Girl Scouts recently got hands-on experience helping rescued horses.

  • Volunteer Kickoff Recap

    Over 300 Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania volunteers gathered at Susquehanna University of Saturday, Sept. 17th to celebrate the kickoff of a new Girl Scout year. The crowd of volunteers and staff got energized about this year’s theme The Power of One, exciting new programs, new resources and technology, and updates on volunteer support.

    Girls Go STEM

    Volunteers got to make ooey-gooey slime, practice their engineering skills, and so much more! If you missed out and can’t wait to launch into STEM, check out the Girls Go STEM resource book. 

    Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)

    Volunteer Kickoff attendees got a very special sneak peek showing of our brand new Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) which will be available council-wide mid-December 2016. This 24/7 online resource will help troops get organized for the year, communicate with ease, boost up meetings with detailed planning, and renew with one-click! Check out the videos now!

    Updates in Volunteer Support

    Our Volunteer Support Team had a lot of great news to share about changes in support to provide you and your Girl Scouts with the...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scouts Start Learning Garden at School

    NEWFOUNDLAND, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- While many students took a break from school to enjoy their summer vacation, some children in the Poconos were hard at work.    

    More than a dozen Junior Girl Scouts brought their community together by building a Learning Garden at Wallenpaupack South Elementary School.

    The 25' x 100' patch of lawn is now filled with plants, bird houses, benches, wind chimes, and even a weather station.

    Principal Mark Kirsten said the $12,000 initiative was backed by parents, teachers, school board members, and area businesses.

    The school is donating the vegetables grown in the Learning Garden to local food pantries.  The girls earned a Bronze Award for their community service project.



    New Variety Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts Selling Cookies and Organization’s Historical Tie to the Campfire Treat

    August 10, 2016 (Harrisburg, Pa.) –Today, National S’mores Day, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced, in celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, the organization will introduce two commemorative Girl Scout S’mores™ cookies. Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) will add one of the new cookies to its January 2017 lineup, where it will join classics like Thin Mints®, Samoas, and Trefoils®.

    Girl Scouts of GSHPA will offer a s’mores-inspired crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling. The last new Girl Scout Cookies®, including the gluten-free Toffee-tastic, were introduced in 2015.

    ”We are so excited for our cookie craving customers to try our new Girl Scout S’mores™ cookie in 2017,” said Ellen Kyzer, MPA, GSHPA’s President and CEO. “S’mores play a delicious part of our Girl Scout history and our Girl Scouts’ futures. This cookie brings a new and tasty way for the community to support girls and the fun adventures that grow their everyday leadership skills through Girl Scouts.”

    This s’mores-inspired cookie made with specialty ingredients was created with emerging consumer trends in mind. It contains no artificial fla...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Happy Parent's Day! Here is Something to Brag About

    Happy Parent's Day! Here is another fantastic reason to brag about your Girl Scouts. Join us in congratulating and recognizing our 500 Club Girl Scouts! These #cookiebosses utlized some fantastic biz skills to sell 500+ packages of Girl Scout Cookies! 

  • Girl Scouts and a Litter of Puppies Connect to Improve Community

    Cadette Girl Scout Troop 11967, Camp Hill, is spending the dog days of summer by whelping a litter of puppies for the Susquehanna Service Dogs, an organization that trains and provides service and hearing dogs to assist children and adults to become more independent.

    Troop 11967 is completing their Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, by organizing and implementing a community service project to make their community a better place.

    Whelping Caretaker volunteers are responsible for the care and wellbeing of a litter of puppies in their own homes. The Girl Scout troop will take care of the puppies for roughly eight weeks during the whelping stages.

    This project is not just about playing with puppies. “A girl cannot goof around with these puppies,” said Jocelyn from Troop 11967. “The puppies are not ours and we have a job to do.”

    The Girl Scouts will be responsible for taking care of the young puppies, cleaning them, maintaining their whelping box, and socializing the puppies prior to sending them to other Susquehanna Service Dog volunteers called Puppy Raisers.

    The Girl Scouts will be developing key leadership skills like teamwork and responsibility as they complete their project, an estimated 50 hours per Girl Scout. Even though Troop’s litter was only born on July 12th, the troop is already working with SSD to get trained and prepared, collecting supplies like new...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Matthews teaches value of diversity to kids for Gold Award project

    In wake of unprecedented violence with underlying racial tensions in Baltimore during the spring of 2015, Jennifer Matthews saw a need to act.

    Armed only with a belief that embracing diversity is a concept to be instilled at a young age, Matthews, a 2016 Penn Manor graduate, organized a weeklong program at her church called Discovering Diversity Through Faith.


    "In each of my 13 years as a Scout, I was taught how crucial it is to respect others," Matthews said. "There's too much hate and judgment in this world. When you stop worrying so much about what other people are doing, and focus on yourself, you live a much happier life."

    With that in mind, she planned the five-day workshop for more than 100 elementary school-age students. The program explored various cultures and used a multidisciplinary approach: Participants engaged in games, crafts, and storytime to learn about the world around them.


    Not only did the participants learn, so did Matthews and the volunteers.

    "Every badge I have earned has taught me something I will use at some point in life," she says. "With Girl Scouts, I have gained skills in leadership, public speaking and money management. These are all useful skills for college this fall and the workforce later in life."

    Matthews will attend Millersville University in the fall to study biology.

  • Sterner constructs life-size lesson plan

    Tactile-kinesthetic learning receives recognition as one of the most effective ways to teach young children.

    Lauren Sterner, a recent Manheim Township graduate who aspires to become an architect, sought to harness just that when she built a toy dollhouse for children at the Milagro House, a residential education center for homeless women and their children.

    The dollhouse helps children learn how to respond to various situations such as emergencies, as well as important life skills.

    It stands to reason that Sterner would seek to equip others to learn life skills; she credits Girl Scouts with teaching her many skills.

    "As someone who always gets hurt on camping trips, I learned to always make sure to have a first aid kit," she quips, adding, "On a serious note, I learned that I am never alone. I have all my friends and family around me."

    Sterner will attend Philadelphia University to study architecture. Her physical departure from the area certainly does not portend separation.

    "I am very thankful to my Girl Scout leaders and to my fellow Girl Scouts whom I have spent many years with," she says. "They all encouraged me along the way. "

  • Art inspires Saurbaugh to complete Gold Award along with graduation project

    Every Tuesday after school for two years, Abigail Saurbaugh hosted an art therapy club at Manheim Township High School for students, teachers and staff members.

    Although a term paper during her freshman year may have sparked the idea, art's influence in Saurbaugh's life has been palpable since birth, as both of her parents are artists.

    "I have always had that artsy influence," Saurbaugh says. "In freshman year, I was writing a term paper, and I got really interested in (art therapy), so that gave me the idea to create an art therapy club."

    Having run the club for two years, there have been about 12 participants for each session. Now that she is graduating, her younger sister plans to take over the operation.

    For Saurbaugh, the ability to empower others was inspired by the empowerment she got from being in Girl Scouts.

    "When you get to the older Girl Scout levels, it's very girl-run and the leaders step back and are kind of there to oversee things," she says. "You get that freedom once you're older ... (when) you can really get the full grasp of being a Girl Scout and being a leader in your community, and that's a really empowering feeling."

    She will attend Millersville University in the fall to study art education.

    "All the leadership skills and self-confidence skills, I will definitely carry (them) with me into art teaching and any other adult experiences."

  • A certifiable humanitarian: Lowery helps homeless at Milagro House

    Every recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award spends a large amount of time and energy on her project, but few obtain additional certifications.

    Meet Aislynn Lowery, a rising senior at Hempfield High School, who took a Red Cross course to become certified in CPR and first aid before undertaking her project at Milagro House, a residential education center for homeless women and their children.

    Lowery assembled first aid kits and created informational sheets to help residents be prepared for emergencies. Although she has no plans to enter the medical field, Lowery believes first aid is a skill everyone should have.

    "I think it's just the coolest thing to be able to say I got the highest award a Girl Scout can earn," she says. "It was so cool to use all the skills I learned to give back in one project."

    Aside from the fun she has had on various trips, Lowery believes the true reward of her Gold Award is the ability to empathize and lend a hand.

    "It's taught me a lot about caring for others and seeing other people's situations and what you can do to help. I think that will stay with me throughout my adult life."


  • Irwin draws on own experiences to craft a respite for kids

    Faith Irwin lives with a chronic illness that has caused her spend time at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Ronald McDonald House.

    During those hospital visits, Irwin, a recent graduate of Lancaster County Christian School, found crafts to be a great distraction. So when the 13-year veteran of Girl Scouts needed a project for her Gold Award, she saw a natural opportunity.

    "I love doing crafts, so it was something that I feel can bring joy into any child's day," Irwin says. "Crafts are something that's very much a child's thing, so when they're making big decisions and dealing with scary realities, it's great to let kids color."

    To make that a reality, Irwin organized a craft drive that ultimately garnered more than 13,000 items to use for a Children's Craft Day she planned at both duPont Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. After the collection, she assembled more than 100 craft bags.

    Aside from the obvious rewards of seeing smiles on kids' faces, Irwin says she experienced something much deeper because of her project.

    "The biggest thing I've learned is how much the community will step up and help if someone will step out and lead them," she says. "Do something the community can help with, and Girl Scouts is a great way to get involved."

    Irwin will take classes at Millersville University and work. She aims to continue to employ the lessons she has learned in Girl Scouts....

    Read Full News ]
  • Family tragedy sparks heartfelt remembrance for Butz

    In 2007, Abigail Butz was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a life-threatening immunodeficiency, and died at 10 months.

    Her sister, Allyson, a recent Cocalico graduate, knew exactly whom to work with for her Gold Award project: the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, which cared for Abigail during her short life.

    "It is a way for me to give back to the hospital for what they had given to my family," Butz says.

    Her project entailed creating care packages for families and patients undergoing treatment at the hospital. The packages included a homemade pillowcase, gift card, cookies and an inspirational message. She solicited donations for the fabric and gift cards, and led a team of volunteers to make the pillowcases. Fifty packages were donated.

    "Over the years, we have maintained a relationship with those who have helped us at the hospital, and that has motivated me to give back in her memory," she says.

    Butz will attend Lebanon Valley College in the fall. She has not yet decided on a major, but says that her participation in Girl Scouts has unleashed a passion for helping others.

  • Bentz learns resilience, adaptation during internationally inspired project

    Just days before Hannah Bentz's project was scheduled to occur, an earthquake ravaged Nepal.

    Bentz, a recent Manheim Township graduate, had planned to focus on empowering Nepali youth refugees to dream of a brighter future after high school, but because of the earthquake, most of the refugee families from her church — the primary intended audience — were frantically trying to get in touch with loved ones halfway around the world.

    "I was left frantically trying to advertise to my school and church community in order to gain a larger amount of attendees," Bentz explains. "I was successful in boosting attendance, but the earthquake in Nepal put a bit of a wrench in my plans for the sessions."

    This adaptive spirit is one of many skills Bentz credits to her participation in Girl Scouts. She believes she has been successful leading projects both large and small in scale at school, including the financial committee for Mini-THON.

    "These skills have not only impacted my service awards, where I had to lead a team of volunteers by myself, and my Girl Scout life, when I had to sell cookies and complete badges, (but) it also impacted my daily life," she says. "My confidence has gotten stronger because of the leadership skills I now can utilize."

    Bentz will attend Shippensburg University to study accounting in the fall. There, she will seek to employ not only soft skills like leadership and perseverance, bu...

    Read Full News ]
  • More than 100 girls benefit from Adams' PROM-ject

    As Tiffany Adams pondered what would make a good project for her Gold Award, her mind was drawn to the night of which most high school girls dream: Prom.

    Adams, a recent Elizabethtown Area High School graduate, decided that she would organize a prom dress drive with the hopes of collecting and donating 50 dresses.

    Ultimately, she exceeded that goal and collected approximately 130 dresses that were donated to "The Cave" at IU13. They were then distributed to lower-income students who might not have otherwise been able to afford to attend prom.

    "For my project, it was (about) giving back because you always want to feel good on your prom day," Adams explains.

    For Adams, receiving the Gold Award completes the trifecta; she also earned the Silver and Bronze Awards, the highest honors that can be earned by middle school and upper elementary school students, respectively. She has participated in Girl Scouts for nearly 15 years.

    "It's a pretty big deal. My mom received her Gold Award when she was younger," she says. "I also received my Bronze and Silver Awards, so it was big for me to do all three, because not every girl gets to do that."

    Adams will attend Kutztown University in the fall to study art education and minor in German.

    "Being in Girl Scouts, you not only gain friends, you gain sisters. I definitely gained a big role of leadership because I was always the oldest, so it tau...

    Read Full News ]
  • Local Teens are as Good as Gold in the Girl Scouts

    Allyson Butz wanted to give back to the children’s hospital that helped her family when her sister suffered a terminal illness.

    Faith Irwin wanted to show her gratitude to the hospital that helped her manage a chronic illness of her own.

    Abigail Saurbaugh wanted to channel her passion for art and share it with others.

    Butz, of Cocalico High School, Irwin, of Lancaster County Christian School, and Saurbaugh, of Manheim Township High School — all 18 years old — are three of nine local recipients of this year’s Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

    On par with the Boy Scouting’s Eagle Award, the Gold Award has had various names over the past 100 years — Golden Eaglet, Curved Bar, First Class — but this top honor marks its centennial this year. Over 1 million girls have received the award since 1916.

    “This year’s Girl Scouts have truly developed strong leadership skills to not just better their communities this year, but create a sustainable project that will continue to benefit those in need for years to come,” said Allie Einsiedel, communications manager for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

    Their projects

    The culminating component of earning the award is completion of a project that addresses an issue in the local or global community.

    Many recipients report spending more than 100 hours on their projects over a span of one to two years. The Girl Scout council and a committee of volunteers...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 Year of the Gold Award

    For 100 years, the Girl Scouts have recognized its members for identifying issues in their community and taking action to make it better.

    The Girl Scouts Gold Award began in 1916. At the time it was called the Golden Eagle of Merit. Later the name changed to Golden Eaglet, First Class, Curved Bar, First Class and in 1980 – Gold Award.

    The Gold Award is the highest award that Girl Scouts can earn.

    Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania will gather on June 18 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey to honor the Scouts who have earned the 2016 Gold Award with projects completed between April 16 of last year and April 15 of this year.

    According to Allison Einsiedel, communications manager for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, those who receive the Gold Award have selected a community problem that can be local or global, investigated that problem, invited others to support them, created and presented a plan to address the problem, carried out the plan and then uses their experience to educate and inspire others.

    In its 100-year history, 1 million girls have earned the Gold Award.

    The Scouts receiving the Gold Award on June 18 are:


    Celia Caldwell, East Berlin

    Elizabeth Coover, New Oxford


    Karalyn Sitch, Weatherly


    Saige Cestone, State College

    Erin May...

    Read Full News ]
  • Brownies present Police Survival Kits

    Brownie Troop 80710 from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hanover, part of the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, went to the Penn Township Police station in York County on May 9 to deliver a Police Survival Kit to each of the 22 officers at the station.

    The items of the kit included: 

    Lifesavers: for the many times you’ve been one
    Starbursts: for that burst of energy you’ll need
    Hershey Kisses: because you deserve them all
    Gum: to help your unit stick together
    100 Grand Bar: because you’re not in it for the money
    Peppermint Patty
    : to help you keep your cool
    Smarties: to give you wisdom for those split second decisions
    Snickers: to help you keep your sense of humor
    An American Flag: because you keep America safe
    St. Michael Holy Card: to remind you that the patron saint of police officers is watching over you
    A Thank You Note: Because we are so grateful

    The Brownies in the troop personally wrote a Thank You Letter to each police officer for their service. The troop arrived at the police station after hours and there was suppose to be an officer to greet them, however they were out on a call so they were not able to receive the gifts. An officer called Brownie Leader Lori Keith&n...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girls Come together to break down bullying and build up confidence

    BROOKLYN TWP. — Girl Scouts grabbed a wooden board and wrote a hurtful word or name they had been called by a bully.

    Stupid. Ugly. Freak.

    One by one, the girls broke those boards in half Saturday during a camp meant to break through bullying and build up self-esteem.

    This weekend, 50 girls in grades six through eight came together to make friends, increase confidence and empower one another at Camp Archbald in Susquehanna County.

    “We want to empower the girls to stand up to bullying,” said Kelsey Evans, program director for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

    With the gained confidence, the girls will hopefully empower others too, she said.

    Girl Scout Cadettes from across the council’s 30 counties attended the aMAZE program, offered every spring at Camp Archbald. The overnight workshop usually fills up in the first 15 minutes that spots are made available, Ms. Evans said.

    In the anti-bullying session Saturday, the girls had honest, emotional conversations about bullying, including how they handle it and how they can make it stop.

    “A lot of women and girls feel uncomfortable. It’s a scary world,” said Sam Wolfe, 13, of Millville, Columbia County. “I want to leave with new friends and new experiences.”

    At a climbing tower and low-ropes challenge, the girls worked in teams. At the tower, the girls created goals for themselves for how high they could climb. When the girls surpass their goals, they gain confid...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts Give Back in Big Way

    POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- A local girl scout troop saw a need in their neighborhood, so they decided to do something about it.

    The 9 and 10-year-old girls are re-painting hundreds of fire hydrants to help out the firefighters in Pottsville.

    The girl scout troop leader said she taught the girls how to write a grant.  Lowe's donated $500 and the scouts collected another $200 on their own.

    She said the scouts are learning how to have a positive impact on their community.  Click here to learn more about the project.

  • Local Girl Scout chronicles the history of women World War II pilots

    By: Frank Ready; Centre Daily Times

    No one can accuse Saige Cestone of flying too close to the sun — she has, however, picked up a thing or two about aviation.

    A junior at State College Area High School, Cestone was recently bestowed the Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the aptly named Gold Award, in recognition of the ambitious multimedia presentation she assembled about Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II.

    A collection of sound bites and video interviews with WASP veterans, the resulting effort is an impressive entry into the annals of military history.

    Cestone’s affinity for her subject matter is evident in every moment of her nearly 14-minute presentation.

    “They’re really amazing women and have so many great stories,” Cestone said.

    Beyond the project’s historical import, Cestone also had to satisfy the requirements for Gold Award status.

    To qualify, her project had to help the community or environment, take 100 hours or more to complete and, perhaps most daunting, have a sustaining impact.

    In other words, this was a presentation that was built to last.

    “That’s the biggest thing, is making sure that your project outlives your start up,” Cestone said.

    With the help of The National WASP World War II Museum in Sweetwater, Texas, and some independent research, Cestone was able to make contact with three female pilots who were willing to have their stories recorded for posterity.


    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts Earn Animal Badges

    A few four-legged friends had a chance to help more than 40 local Girl Scouts earn their next badge.

    Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts from 10 troops met therapy and service dogs as part of a badge workshop held Sunday at Our Lady of Hope Marymount Center.

    With the help of King’s College student Lexie George, the scouts learned the difference between therapy dogs and service dogs, how to identify and help lost dogs, and the basics of how to groom and care for dogs,

    George, 19, hosted the workshop for her Business Ethics class — and to indulge her love of animals and community service.

    “Being a former Girl Scout, I’ve always been into service,” she said.

    Senior Girl Scouts who attended the workshop completed the requirements for the Voice for Animals badge and Cadettes earned the Animal Helper badge. Kathleen Lockman, Community Lead for Penn’s Woods Community 331 in the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Council said Sunday’s event was the second badge workshop she has hosted.

    “This is an event where the leaders can enjoy it with the girls,” she said.

    The scouts had a chance to meet therapy dogs and even meet Paralympian Stephanie Jallen, who surprised the scouts with her service dog, Parker.

    George said she reached out to Lockman, who gave a choice of badges for her workshop. She chose the animal badges, she said, because she has always supported animal causes. She once raised more than $6,000 and donated 600 items...

    Read Full News ]
  • Benefits of the Outdoor Experience

    Jill Horner speaks with Ellen M. Kyzer, MPA, CEO, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania ( about the benefits of outdoor experiences for girls and some of the summer camp experiences available to Girl Scouts. Follow on

  • Girl Scouts Announce Brand New Cookie

    Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) welcomes an unexpected new cookie to the traditional lineup that focuses more on sweat than sweet. GSHPA invites everyone in the community to try Tough Cookie, the organization’s first 5K and 10K trail run on Saturday, April 30 at Camp Small Valley in Halifax. Proceeds from the Tough Cookie Trail Runs will help support the maintenance of GSHPA’s seven camp properties.

    “Thousands of Girl Scouts discover a love for the outdoors, develop problem solving skills, and find new adventures at our Girl Scout camps,” said Ellen Kyzer, GSHPA’s CEO. “Every person should have the chance to experience Girl Scout camp because it’s a place that brings out inner courage and confidence. We challenge the community to join our Girl Scouts and find their courage and confidence during the Tough Cookie Trail Run.”

    Runners will encounter sweat, mud, obstacles and fun along the trail. Tough Cookie 5K ($25 per person) is open to anyone 9-years-old and up and will begin at 8 a.m. and the 10K ($40) is open to anyone 12-years-old and up and will begin at 2 p.m. Each runner will receive a t-shirt and a water bottle for participating.

    Following the Girl Scout Cookie Program (Feb. 26th-March 27th), Tough Cookie is the perfect way for Girl Scout Cookie lovers to work off the extra Thin Mint indulgences and tackle exciting obstacles along the way.

    “Tough Cookie runners can expect to find a lot of m...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scout cookie booths return, along with a contest to win a year's supply of cookies

    Craving Thin Mints? Girl Scout cookie booths will start popping up throughout Lancaster County and beyond Thursday.

    Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania also will celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend with a Cookie Cram Contest Saturday, in which you can win a year’s supply of cookies. Money raised will fund Scouting activities, like community service projects, troop trips and summer camps.

    “The Girl Scout Cookie Program is about more than cookies,” said Ellen M. Kyzer, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of Pennsylvania. “It teaches girls basic business skills and instills a lifelong sense of civic responsibility that creates leaders. At GSHPA we have so many amazing girls doing positive things with their cookie earnings, such as creating care packages for children hospital patients and partnering with their local parks to organize planting days.”

    Locally, girl scouts throughout Lancaster County sold about 190,000 boxes of cookies last year, according to the local council.

    Olivia Nilsen of West Donegal Township sold 719 boxes, making her last year’s top cookie saleswoman in the county.

    Nilsen is a fourth-grader at Elizabethtown Bear Creek School. She celebrates her 10th birthday Friday.

    This will be Olivia’s third year selling cookies, including her favorites, Samoas. Her first year as a Brownie she sold 300 boxes. Last year, she so...

    Read Full News ]
  • Cookie Cram on ABC27

    'How many Girl Scout Cookies can fit into this car trunk?’ is the question that Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) and car dealerships across the the council are asking customers during the first ever Cookie Cram Contest on Saturday, Feb. 27th. The customer who has the closest guess will take home a year supply of a variety of Girl Scout Cookies.*

    Cookie Cram is just one way to celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (Feb. 26-28th) and the kick-off of Girl Scout in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s Girl Scout Cookie Booths. Stop by one the partcipating dealerships to take a peek and make your best guess for a chance to take home a delicious treat! 

    Join us on Sat., Feb. 27th at any of the following locations and times:

    • Lancaster Toyota (5270 Manheim Pike in East Petersburg) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    • Sutliff Buick GMC Cadillac (169 W. Aaron Drive in State College) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    • Maguire’s Ford Lincoln (91 100 N. Thistledown Dr. in Palmyra) between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

    • Toyota of Scranton (3400 North Main Ave in Scranton)  between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    • Jennings Chevrolet Buick GMC (916 Norland Ave. in Chambersburg) between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

    Have a question? Email for more information. 

    *The person with the closest guess without going...

    Read Full News ]
  • How many Girl Scout cookies fit in truck bed?

    ‘How many Girl Scout Cookies can fit into this truck bed?’ is the question that Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and Maguire’s Ford Lincoln is asking customers during the first ever Cookie Cram Contest on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The customer who has the closest guess will take home a year supply of a variety of Girl Scout cookies.

    Cookie Cram is just one way to celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (Feb. 26-28) and the kick-off of Girl Scout in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s Girl Scout Cookie Booths.

    “We are so excited and proud to partner with the Girl Scouts. They are truly a great organization and we look forward to a really fun day,” said Rob Rohrer, President of Magurie’s Ford Lincoln, in a news release.

    The community can stop by Maguire’s Ford Lincoln, 100 N. Thistledown Drive, South Londonderry Township, (along Route 322 west of Campbelltown) on Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and to get a look at the truck to size up the truck bed of a Ford F150 and the Girl Scout cookie packages in order to make the best guess. The person with the closest guess without going over will win the sweet prize.

    Craving more Girl Scout cookies? Girl Scouts are now selling Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Savannah Smiles, Do-si-Dos, Rah Rah Raisin, and gluten-free Toffee-tastic at their Girl Scout Cookie booths. All Girl Scout Cookies are $4 a box, with the exception of the gluten-free...

    Read Full News ]
  • Foxfire House: Girl Scouts bring 19th-century life into the 21st

    It’s easy to imagine Foxfire House, snugged into a hillside under gently falling snow, as it appeared nearly 200 years ago.

    Deep oxblood-colored woodwork and rugged red sandstone stand out against the Furnace Hills woodlands and a snowy field where the only marks are footprints left by wandering wildlife.

    There are no sounds of cars along Girl Scout Road, or any other 21st-century intrusions in this pocket of West Cocalico Township. But Foxfire House still serves a vital role in teaching new generations about what life was like when its foundation was laid. A rare survivor of this style of Swiss Weinbauern architecture, it owes its purpose — and its preservation — to Girl Scouts.

    Back to life

    By 2005 , when the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places, experts were only able to record fewer than 15 surviving examples of Swiss Weinbauern construction in the region.

    It’s a bank house, built into an uphill slope like the more common bank barns. From the road, at the upper end of the hill, it looks like a small building.

    But around back, where it extends out gable-end first from the hill, its full 2 1/2-story height is visible.

    It’s been through many owners in its history, but it’s when the Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council bought the home in 1969 that it began its transformation.

    “In 1974 the Girl Scouts began restoring it,” says Ginger Shelley, a volunteer with the Girl Scouts who specializes in histor...

    Read Full News ]
  • Bloomsburg University partners with Girl Scouts for STEM Program

    Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts can enjoy over 12 hands-on, STEM activities that range in topics from nursing to reptiles and slime stations to a trip to the engineering room. 



  • Build My Biz Scout Program Teaches Business Skills

    Hundreds of Pennsylvania girl scouts from 30 different counties converged on the Farm Show Complex Saturday to participate in the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) Build My Biz program.

    The program challenged scouts to build, invest in and sell their very own start-up business over a period of four hours. Nearly 350 scouts were in attendance.

    “This is a really popular event,” GSHPA CEO Ellen Kyzer said. “(It) was nearly sold out (Saturday). You can feel all the energy and enthusiasm of the girls that are participating.”

    Each scout troop was presented a “biz kit” containing props and a budget used to simulate a specific type of business. Scouts were then given free range to construct a business based on their own creativity and vision.

    “The girls are building a business based off of the kit they are building,” said Kelsey Evans, GSHPA program manager and Build My Biz creator. “(The kits) could be things from lawn mowing to bead making to cupcake things. (The scouts) are using inquiry based learning to build their businesses, so we don’t give them a plan or basically any type of direction; they just have to build their business based off of what they see.”

    The event was part of GSHPA’s signature financial literacy program, Change It Up, which holds events throughout the year to teach scouts about the process of building and maintaining a business while also giving back to the community.

    “(Build my Biz) is really...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Announces New CEO

    Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), a nonprofit organization supporting 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, is excited to announce its new CEO, Ellen Kyzer of Hummelstown, Pa.

    Ellen Kyzer is a highly energetic and delightful person and I am thrilled that she is leading Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania as our new CEO,” said GSHPA Board Chair, Veronica Longenecker. “Along with her non-profit knowledge and contacts throughout central Pennsylvania, she brings a passion and enthusiasm for building girls of confidence, character and courage through Girl Scouts.  

    Kyzer was selected following a local and national search and assumed the CEO position on Jan. 4th. Even though she is newly appointed to the CEO position, this is not Kyzer’s first experience with the Girl Scouts.

    As a child, Kyzer, was a Girl Scout from Pike County who fondly remembers the impact the organization and the people involved in it had on her. “My time as a Girl Scout gave me exposure to strong women and that is an important part of what we represent as an organization,” said Kyzer. “I’m excited for the opportunity to influence young women and girls. Empowering women leaders starts with mentoring and developing girls as leaders from an early age.”

    Kyzer is beginning her new, GSHPA role at an exciting time of the year with Girl Scouts gett...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scouts Celebrates Holiday by Giving Back to Family of Eight in Need

    Three Girl Scout troops made up of 32 Girl Scouts from Cumberland County did the unimaginable this holiday season they completed their Christmas wish list shopping in under one hour on Tuesday, Dec. 8th at the Capital City Mall in Camp Hill as part of the Mechanicsburg Foundation’s Project Legacy.

    Daisy Troop 10571, Brownie Troop 20710, and Junior Troop 12085 decided to forgo a holiday party this year and instead use their funds to adopt a family of eight to give them a Christmas worth remembering.

    “It is a mom with seven kids who needs it,” said Paiton Espinosa, 11, from Camp Hill. “It feels good to give back because you’re helping people.”

    The 32 Girl Scouts were broken up into eight teams, one for each member of the family in need, given an envelope filled with money, and a wish list. They excitedly smelled all the candles, tried on all the jewelry, and picked out outfits for the family.

    Their own holiday wish list didn’t even cross their minds as they eagerly budgeted out their allotted money and grabbed their shopping bags from the check-out counters. “Sharing is caring,” said Natalie Hoffman, 9, from Mechanicsburg as she hauls away her holiday finds for a teenage boy.

    Their sharing didn’t stop at the mall though. On Tuesday, Nov. 27th at Cumberland Valley High School the girls were busy in the Consumer Family Science Department whipping up a holiday feast for the family.

    The girls made two pans of lasagna, two pans...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scouts Hosts Citizen of the Year Award; Learns the Power of Voting

    Junior Girl Scout Troop 30984 (Grades 4-5) from Port Carbon might be ten years away from casting their first election ballots, but that hasn’t stopped them from learning the importance of voting, which they showcased at their inaugural Citizen of the Year spaghetti dinner held on Sunday, Dec. 6th at the MarLin Fire Company.

    While over 20 citizens were nominated by Girl Scouts for the honor, Mrs. Susan Ebling, a third grade teacher from John S. Clark Elementary School in Pottsville took home the title of Citizen of the Year.

    The Girl Scout troop was in the process of earning their Citizen Badge and was encouraged to think of the qualities that make a good citizen and nominate a person in their community that exemplifies those qualities.

    The Girl Scouts then nominated a citizen and wrote an essay about why their nominee should be named Citizen of the Year. Candidates ranged in occupations from teachers to policemen and nurses to grandparents.

    “I nominated Mrs. Ebling for many reasons. The two main reasons are Mrs. Ebling always makes school fun and when we took the PSSA's Mrs. Ebling would play a song based on the PSSA's,” explained Abbey Garrity, 10, from Pottsivlle. “The PSSA's are a big test and the song was for the class to get excited and not be nervous.”

    The Girl Scouts then presented their nomination to the troop and narrowed down to three candidates. A ballot was made and a vote was cast for Citizen of the Year. What seem...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Cadette Troop 20145 Hosts Brownie Badge Day for Silver Award

    By Mia Arcieri, Cadette from Troop 20145

    On Saturday November 7th, Cadette troop 20145 is one step closer to earning their Girl Scout Silver Award after they hosted a Brownie Badge Day.  The troop helped more than 45 Brownies from York and Lancaster counties to earn two Legacy badges, the Bugs badge and the Fair Play badge. The Cadettes arrived at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in York at 7:00 a.m. to start setting up the fellowship hall for the event, which started at 9:30 a.m.  The event kicked off with a flag ceremony conducted by the Cadettes. 

    Each individual Cadette was responsible for a step from either the Bugs badge or the Fair Play badge.  Brownies were divided into groups of five, and rotated through the badge stations throughout the day.  Some Fair Play activities included teaching the girls to play field hockey, and learning to keep score of a basketball toss game.  During the Bugs activities, Brownies created a ladybug craft and studied insect specimens provided by York’s Nixon Park.  The Brownies learned all about the subjects thoroughly and seemed very interested. 

    After a brown-bag lunch and an afternoon of rotations, the girls celebrated Juliette Low’s 155th birthday with cake and ice cream.   The day wrapped up with a closing flag ceremony and good byes. 

    In addition, Brownies were asked to bring new socks for a sock drive for the York Rescue Miss...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scouts' journey ends, but their memories endure

    By Cathy Molitoris LNP Correspondent 

    Goal setting is a big part of the Girl Scout program, and members of a Columbia troop recently achieved a goal that was three years in the making.

    Troop members in August spent 13 days in London, where they experienced the Girl Scout program overseas, learned about British culture and created memories.

    “I wanted to take this trip because I wanted to show the girls that you can do anything you put your mind to,” says Jessica Brandt, a co-leader of Senior and Ambassador Troop 70608.

    Brandt, who took a similar trip as a high school student, knew that traveling abroad could make a strong impact on the girls.

    “When I graduated from high school, I became my mom’s assistant leader with a Daisy troop (made up of kindergartners),” Brandt says. “These girls were in that first troop, and I preached to them that they needed to stick with Girl Scouts because you get to do so many fun things that you normally wouldn’t get to do, like taking big trips.”

    When the opportunity to travel to London was presented, Brandt knew she couldn’t pass it up.

    “This was my opportunity to prove to these girls that we could do it,” she says.

    In the three years prior to the trip, the girls sold Girl Scout cookies, nuts, candy, magazines and more.

    “We sold subs, had a bake stand and had a craft vendor fair,” says Heather Manley, who co-led the troop on the trip.

    Important part

    The t...

    Read Full News ]
  • Pennsylvania Girl Scout Travels to Rural India to Provide First Aid Lessons to Over 1,000 Students

    September 25, 2015 (Hummelstown, Pa.) –Ambassador Girl Scout Shreya Thakur, 17, from Hummelstown, Pa. didn’t let over 6,000 miles or a language barrier stop her drive to provide rural students in Bihar, India essential lifesaving skills. She saw it as a challenge, which inevitably earned her the most prestigious and highest award in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award, through Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA).  

    “Although I knew that it would be hard to create a Gold Award Project so far away from home with unfamiliar people speaking an unfamiliar language, I knew that nothing was impossible if I believed that what I was doing was beneficial and important to people,” said Shreya.

    And it is important to the people of rural Bihar, India, where hospitals are far away and hard to access while injuries happen frequently. “If someone falls unconscious or severely injures him/herself, it takes approximately 28 minutes, if not more, due to traffic and availability, for an ambulance to arrive. In that much time, a severely injured or unconscious person can possibly die.”

    Bihar holds a special place in Shreya’s heart because it is the village where her mother grew up. Enlisting the help from her grandparents, who live in Bihar, Shreya pulled together a list of eight middle and high schools where she could teach essential First Aid lessons to the students. With locations established all she had to do was translate her Cardio Pulmonary Re...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Unity Binds Girl Scouts Together

    Unity is an idea that is widespread in Girl Scouts from sporting badges, sashes and Girl Scout green; holding hands in a Friendship Circle; and promising to always being there for one another. And GSHPA made just that promise to its volunteers by announcing UNITY, the word of the year, during the 2015 Volunteer KickOff, held on Sept. 12th in Harrisburg.


    Every attendee was asked to think of word that would inspire them throughout the Girl Scout year. “As a membership team, our word is unity,” said Suzanne Moore, Girl Scout in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s (GSHPA) Chief Operations Officer (COO) as she opened the event. “We will never be successful in growing membership, creating exciting programs, or building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place unless the relationship between every volunteer and our staff is stronger.”


    And with that the strength training began. Hundreds of Girl Scout volunteers and staff came together to prepare for a strong start to a new Girl Scout year. Staff shared exciting programs and volunteers explored new-happenings like outdoor programs, Change It Up! Year 2, camp properties, and strategic sharing.  


    Discussion and networking stirred up brainstorming ideas as volunteers and staff got energized to serve over 20,000 Girl Scouts across the council over the next year. And in true Girl Scout fashion, silliness ensued as volunteers...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Elysburg girl wins Scouting's Gold Award

    ELYSBURG - Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) announced Jessica Henrichs from Troop 60399 in Elysburg has earned the Girl Scouts' highest honor, the Gold Award. The Southern Columbia Area High School junior completed her Gold Award project titled "Help for Grieving Children."

    Henrichs developed coping programs for Camp Courage, a camp that helps grieving children ages 8 to 18. During this weekend camp, she led activities that allowed the campers to express their emotions. One activity, "Dissolving Paper," involved each camper writing down a fear or regret about the loss of their loved one on a special type of dissolving paper.

    "Each camper could decide to hold onto it or place it into a bowl of water. If they placed it in the water, it "magically" disappeared, symbolizing the letting go of fear and regret," said Henrichs. At the end of the weekend, she provided each camper with a turtle, which symbolizes the campers' protection, courage and strength as they continue through their stages of grief.

    The Gold Award challenges Girl Scouts from ninth to 12th grades to change the world, no matter how big or small their impact might be.

    "Through the Gold Award, girls get passionate about a cause, collaborate with fellow community members, and take on a challenge," says Kelsey Evans, GSHPA's program manager. "We're excited to see how the Gold Award experience has inspired recipients to...

    Read Full News ]
  • More Than Cookies: York County Girl Scouts Recruiting

    Eleven years ago, Gillian DeWit put on her Girl Scout Daisy uniform for the first time. The small light-blue tunic would eventually be adorned with leadership leaves and petals, showing her understanding of the Girl Scout Law.

    Gillian, now a junior at Kennard-Dale High School, is still a Girl Scout today but now dons a khaki vest, the uniform of an Ambassador, the highest tier of Girl Scout membership.

    "I started when I was 5 or 6 and never missed a year," she said. "The program itself is just very good. You find a lot of friends through Girl Scouts; the friends I made when I was 5 I'm still friends with today."

    Joining: Girl Scouts is open to any girl from kindergarten through grade 12, and anyone over the age of 18 can become a Girl Scout volunteer. There will be several opportunities across York County to sign up through the end of September.

    Gillian encouraged anyone thinking about joining to "go for it."

    "Not only will you make friends that will last 11, 12-plus years, it will teach you how to get out of your comfort zone," she said. "I'm definitely ahead of the curve in public speaking and leading groups and giving in work that is above average ... that kind of stuff comes from Girl Scouts."

    In addition to all that Scouting has taught her, she also has turned to her fellow Scouts for guidance, she said.

    "You never feel alone, even if you're in a small troop,...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts Not Just for Young Girls; Adult Volunteers Celebrate Success

    September 14, 2015 (Harrisburg, Pa.) – Hundreds of Girl Scout in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s (GSHPA) members joined together to celebrate girl power, but not one girl was in attendance.  It was the nonprofit’s team of passionate adult volunteers who gathered together to gear up for another year of Girl Scouting during the annual Volunteer KickOff, Sept. 12th at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Grantville.

    “When people think Girl Scouts, they probably see a little girl sporting a green vest selling cookies or out in their community completing service projects,” said Susan Kreidler, GSHPA’s Acting CEO. “What people might not see are the thousands of adult volunteer members who empower our Girl Scouts and make our mission possible.”

    GSHPA has over 20,000 Girl Scouts who range in ages from 5-17 years old. These 20,000 girls cannot experience the positive impact of Girl Scouts without adult volunteers. GSHPA is a 99% volunteer-run nonprofit organization. The annual Volunteer KickOff is a day where women and men can celebrate their impact on Girl Scouts’ lives, get a sneak peek into the upcoming programs, and get access to resources before the start of the new year (Oct. 1).

    Whether they are Girl Scout Troop Leader or a short-term service opportunities, Girl Scout volunteers find themselves benefitting from the same fun and educational experiences that the girls they are helping do. Girl Scout of the Unite...

    Read Full Article ]
  • Girl Scout Rolls Out 'Pack to School' Service Project

    NEWVILLE—A local high school student demonstrated her support for the community last week by providing school supplies to students in Big Spring School District.

    Brooke Kiner, 17, of Newville, and a member of the Newville Girl Scouts Troop 10516, finished up her Pack to School project Tuesday by handing out more than 130 backpacks to students in her school district who were in need of school supplies.

    Kiner, a senior at Big Springs High School and a part-time HACC student, conducted her project in hopes of gaining the Girl Scouts’ top honor: the Gold Award.

    Already a recipient of the bronze and silver award, Kiner is expected to receive the Gold Award sometime during the spring for her work with the Pack to School project.

    Conducting the project was a time-consuming ordeal, filled with extensive planning and pre-approval requirements from the Girl Scouts Council, but Kiner found time between her course work and the Girl Scouts to successfully complete the project and help those in need.

    Now on her last year in high school, Kiner is nearly finished with her general education courses at HACC, and plans to pursue a nursing degree in college.

    With that in mind, The Sentinel was able to catch up with Kiner for its weekly feature, “5 Questions,” to discuss her Pack to School project and the effect the Girl Scouts has had on her life.

    Q: In the grand scheme of things, what is the overall result you hope will come of your Pack to...

    Read Full News ]
  • Vitrano Earns Gold Award

    Kaitlyn Vitrano recently earned her Gold Award, the highest honor given to Girl Scouts. Vitrano, a former member of Girl Scout Troop 70356, is the daughter of James and Rona Vitrano of Lancaster.

    Her project was called "The Inter-Generational Experience." She worked with adviser Elaine Campbell, activities director at Willow Valley's Meadow Ridge community. Vitrano organized a variety of events, including a picnic, during which she led a discussion with Willow Valley residents about their experiences in Girl Scouts. She also organized Christmas caroling with the residents and girls from various levels of Scouting, taught crafts and made snacks, and led talks on a variety of marine biology topics. Additionally, Vitrano interviewed many residents about their lives and created a slideshow presentation showcasing their similarities and differences.

    Vitrano was a Girl Scout for 13 years. She is a recent graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School. She attends Susquehanna University, where she is studying biology, with a minor in Asian studies.

  • Chambersburg teen earns Girl Scouts' highest honor

    CHAMBERSBURG >> A Chambersburg teen has earned the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

    Suzanne Crider was recently named the recipient of the Gold Award, for her water-safety project, "Use Your Noodle; Save A Life," according to a news release from Chambersburg Area School District.

    Centered around teaching young children skills they can use to save someone from drowning, the Chambersburg Area Senior High School junior recently presented the project to 250 kindergartners and first-graders at Ben Chambers Elementary.

    Crider explained the many things she had to do to get the award. "The award requires you to recognize a need in the community and create a plan to address that need that continues on. The first real challenge was to earn the funding I needed to go through with this project."

    Crider obtained most of the funding by selling Girl Scout cookies.

    Since becoming a Daisy Scout in kindergarten, she sells an average of 800 boxes of cookies a year. Crider's mother, also named Suzanne, has been her Girl Scout leader since she started and together they have been sending cookies overseas to deployed soldiers for 11 years.

    Prior to earning the Gold Award, Crider had to complete the prerequisites required to meet the Girl Scout Journey and Girl Scout Silver Award.

    "Both of these prerequisites are time consuming and really make you think. The Journey Award took me about eight weeks to comple...

    [ Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts Shed Light on Unrealistic Beauty Standards

    (via York Dispatch)

    Four York County Girl Scouts have felt the sting of exposure to altered photos in the media, having unrealistic expectations of their bodies because of what they'd seen portrayed on TV and in magazines.

    So to encourage other young girls to celebrate their bodies rather than compare them to impossible standards, the girls from Troop 20033 made it the focus of a project.

    The Scouts — Gillian DeWit, 16, and Madison Reinsel, Maria Hilbert and Sarah Philbin, all 15 — were honored recently with the Senior Visionary Award for that project, which shed light on how the media affects girls' body images.

    'The Perception': The award is available to ninth- and 10th-graders whose projects present real-life opportunities to make a positive difference in other girls' lives.

    Girl Scouts are asked to consider the world's imperfections and their effects on girls around the world, and to envision an ideal world that respects their needs, values and interests as females.

    The project requires Scouts to develop an artistic representation of their ideal world, for which Troop 20033 made a 16-minute film, "The Perception."

    They conducted research for the short film by interviewing students from Stevenson University and other Scouts about their perceptions of the relationship between body image and the media.

    The Scouts' research found that young adults are aware of how much photos in the media are altered,...

    Read Full News ]
  • Centre County Girl Scout Saves Grandmother’s Life

    (via WJACTV)

    A Centre County Girl Scout was awarded one of the highest scouting honors Tuesday. Robin Sharp, 15, of Centre County received the Medal of Honor, which is only presented to Girl Scouts who have saved or attempted to save a life.

    Sharp and her grandmother went for a bike ride on a trial in Scotia. Sharp's grandmother crashed suffering, suffering a severe concussion, broken elbow, and fractured ribs.  Sharp administered first aid, called 911 and directed emergency personnel to where they were located. 

    "I am very, very proud to be her grandmother, and I am proud that she has all this knowledge and is able to put it to use. When the chips were down and grandmom was laying there, she didn't get upset, she just followed through and took over," said Barrie Kitner, Robin's grandmother.

    Sharp's family said they are so proud and are grateful for the skills she learned in scouting.

  • Be a Girl Scout Ranger

    (via Girl Scout Blog)

    Girl Scouts is excited to announce a partnership with the National Park Service to launch the Girl Scout Ranger Program, a joint venture connecting girls with National Park Service sites throughout the United States, including monuments, seashores, and urban sites.

    Through the program, girls can participate in a variety of organized educational or outdoor service projects. Additionally, Girl Scouts may design their own project that aligns with their Girl Scout Journey experience, various badge activities, or a Take Action (“highest award”) project. Girls who successfully complete projects will be awarded certificates from the National Park Service and Girl Scout patches.

    “Providing girls with access to the outdoors is one of the cornerstones of the Girl Scout mission,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of GSUSA. “Through terrific partnerships and programs like the Girl Scout Ranger Program, we offer girls a chance to engage in outdoor activities that encourage a healthy, active lifestyle and a respect for the environment. We are proud to be teaming up with the National Park Service to help more Girl Scouts in more places experience everything the outdoors has to offer.”

    Girls and troops who wish to participate in the Girl Scout Ranger Program can visit the National Park Service website to locate a park (“Find Your Park”) near their home. There, they can a...

    Read Full News ]
  • Girl Scouts get lesson in safety

    Girl Scouts of Northeastern Pennsylvania were able to add a new badge to their vests this weekend while also gaining real world knowledge of first aid.

    Approximately 80 Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts from the region gathered at Wilkes University on Sunday afternoon to speak with different medical professionals about their jobs and the importance of knowing basic first aid.

    The Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and Wilkes University’s pharmacy fraternity, Lambda Kappa Sigma, teamed up to create an event for local girl scouts to not only earn a badge, but also to develop skills they can use in case of an emergency.

    Lambda Kappa Sigma created this event to celebrate Hygeia Day, a holiday in the fraternity which calls attention to the profession of pharmacy and to help advance the knowledge of the health science.

    Courtney Calamia, the president elect of Lambda Kappa Sigma and Amanda Gerberich, the chaplain of Lambda Kappa Sigma, were both involved in the creation of the chapter’s first collaboration with the Girl Scouts.

    Calamia said the idea came from another chapter of the fraternity, but they changed up parts of it and added their own ideas.

    “One idea was the meet a pharmacist station,” Gerberich said. “They learned about medication safety, like an EpiPen and an inhaler for emergency situations to get the girls familiar with them, just in case.”

    Six stations were in rotation in the Henry Student Center; a bandage wrapp...

    Read Full News ]