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  • 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...



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  • Benefits of the Outdoor Experience


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

  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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 general@gshpa.org for more information. 

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



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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,...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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  • 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,...



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  • 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...



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  • 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...



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