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Dear Volunteers,

The 6th Annual Meeting of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania - to which you are all invited - is coming up on Saturday, April 27, 2013. We want to fill you in on what will be happening and how to register. This year we will have two distinct events with two separate registrations on the day of the annual meeting.

1. Annual (Business) Meeting: The business meeting will run from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at the WITF studio in Harrisburg, and will be webcast to locations in York, Montoursville, State College and Olyphant at no cost to attendees. Online registration for this event will open on Feb. 12.

This will be a significant annual meeting, as we salute our outgoing officers who have led us through the earliest years of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, uniting us as one and putting us on a firm financial footing. Our delegates and membership will receive a full report on the council's finances, as well as the progress on our business and strategic plans. Delegates will be electing new officers, Board members and Board Development Committee members, as well as voting on revisions to our bylaws.

We are excited to announce that Leslie Stiles, a committed Girl Scout and leader of women in Pennsylvania, will make a keynote speech at this year's meeting. Stiles is board president of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women and from 2003-2011 served as executive director for the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. We have asked her to provide perspective on the status of women and girls in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as to reflect on our Healthy Promise initiative, in light of her life-long activism for women's health.

2. Volunteer Recognitions Luncheon: This year our Volunteer Recognitions Committee has decided to give all awards in person in Harrisburg at a special luncheon devoted entirely to the recognition of our outstanding volunteers. This event will be held at the Holiday Inn next to WITF studio, and will begin at noon at a cost of $15 per person. (It will not be webcast.) Invitations will be mailed to the awardees, their nominators, the Volunteer Recognition Committee and the Board of Directors on Feb. 6. Online registration for this event will open for GSHPA's general membership on Feb. 21.

Finally, we want to remind delegates and the general membership of the spring Regional Governance Meetings coming up in March. Click here for the dates and locations.

Be sure to check-out all of the dates and announcements throughout this newsletter. We are incredibly excited for the Million Mile Walk with Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Mendoza on April 21st in Wilkes-Barre!

Thank you for your investment in our girls.

 Signature - Kate Crowley                    Signature - Jane Ransom

Kate Crowley                                      Jane Ransom


Board Chair                                        President & CEO


Healthy Promise Header
Healthy Promise Event Confirmed for April 21

When you invite famous people to be a part of GSHPA history, sometimes you're at the mercy of their busy schedules...this time we lucked out and  two-time softball Olympian and ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza has confirmed that she will definitely be on-site to kick-off our council wide effort to walk a million miles - and only a week later than we had originally discussed. So start making plans now to bring your troop/service unit and their families to the Healthy Promise Million Mile Walk event rain or shine on Sunday, April 21 from 2 - 4 p.m. at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre for only $10 per person. Now that it's all official, click here to register.


Patriot-News Op-Ed Reminds Community of Girl Scouts' Value

A recent op-ed by Josette Plank, proud mother of a current Cadette Girl Scout and a monthly columnist for The Patriot-News, encouraged readers to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the value and impact that the Girl Scout Leadership Experience has on our girl members. In Plank's op-ed aptly entitled, "Girl Scouts builds courage, confidence and character," she highlights the vast impact that Girl Scouts has on GSHPA's girl members while featuring specific examples of their experiences and opportunities. Click here to read the article.

Going for the Gold Award

Kali Yursha from Dillsburg, PA wanted to earn her Gold Award. To do so, she decided to make a difference in her community by becoming a puppy raiser for the Susquehanna Service Dogs. Now, over a year later, she can proudly say that she has successfully raised SSD Parks, a black lab who is now moving on to advanced training. While Parks continues to be a member of Kali's family, Kali has now taken on a new challenge - training a new dog, SSD Kiwi, a yellow lab puppy. Kali has a Facebook page dedicated to each dog which she keeps updated (from a dog's point of view).

The Gold Award is the highest honor any girl can earn in Girl Scouts. To do so, she must dedicate her time, talents and leadership skills to a project that will have an immediate and lasting impact on her community and the world around her. Furthermore, her project must be something that is sustainable - meaning that its impact will continue even after the girl has earned her Gold Award and may no longer be the driving force behind it. The Gold Award is something that motivated girls work on independently while collaborating with a Project Advisor (a specialist in the project's area of expertise) and a team of their choosing for support and assistance.

Girls, parents and volunteers who are interested in learning more about the Gold Award process and how to get started are encouraged to participate in one of our monthly webinars from 7-8 p.m. on February 27, March 20, April 24, May 22 or June 26. To learn more about the Gold Award process or register for an upcoming webinar, please click here.


2013 Early Bird Re-Registration Campaign Moves Toward Paperless

We do it with Amazon, PetMeds, iTunes just to name a few - we go online, set-up an account and place orders using our credit or debit cards. We even update and/or correct our account information and/or change our address or phone number all without ever speaking with an actual person - so why not to do the same with our Girl Scout annual membership? Coming this April, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania will kick-off an effort to reduce the amount of registration paper shuffling we do and data entry delays/errors by encouraging as many current members as possible to go online to renew their GSUSA* membership for the 2013 - 2014 Girl Scout year. So how can you start to prepare for this time saving opportunity? Check with your membership associate or one of our registrars to make sure that we have your correct email address in our database since your online login will be tied to your email.

*GSUSA recently announced an increase in the nonrefundable membership fee for the 2013-2014 Girl Scout year from the current $12 to $15, 100% of your annual membership fee goes to GSUSA, none of it stays with our local council.

Service Units' Summer Day Camp Promotion Goes Digital 

Dozens of service units offer local day and evening camps every summer, but our past efforts to promote them often got lost in all the news about summer camp. This year, GSHPA's plans to promote local service unit day camps includes a special page on GSHPA's website dedicated to service unit day camps, strategic eblasts and increased local promotion. The deadline to submit your day camp details has been extended to March 1, 2013. Contact your Membership Associate to find out how to get your day camp approved and included within this year's promotional efforts. You'll also receive a copy of the GSHPA Day Camp manual that will help ensure proper staffing and safety requirements are all taken care of before the first day of your camp.
Camping Connection is back in 2013

Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scout troops or an individually registered girl in 7th-12th grades are invited to participate in this year's Camping Connection (formerly Rainbow Connection) weekend at the South Mountain Fairgrounds in Arendtsville, PA in Adams County on June 14-16, 2013. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of volunteers from multiple Service Units in the South Region, older girls can enjoy an unforgettable weekend of workshops, entertainment, swaps and friendship for only $25. Click here for the full registration packet. Registration opens March 1. For more info, send an email to or call Lynn Bixler at 717-630-3150.

Save the Date: Spring Volunteer Training Announced

As you plan your spring and summer camping trips and additional outdoor adventures, keep in mind that GSHPA will be offering four weekends of outdoor-themed volunteer training. Trainings include First Aid/CPR*, Outdoor Skills and Camping 101. These are free weekends that are available on a first come, first serve basis. Most of the trainings take place on Saturday. Look for more info to arrive in your inboxes later this month. In the meantime, save these dates:

April 5-7, 2013 | Camp Echo Trail, Felton, PA (York County)

April 19-21, 2013 | Camp Small Valley, Halifax, PA (Dauphin County)

June 7-9, 2013 | Camp Golden Pond, Petersburg, PA (Huntingdon County)

June 14-16, 2013 | Camp Louise, Shickshinny, PA (Columbia County)

*First Aid/CPR does require a $25 deposit that is refunded after completion of the course.

In This Issue
Healthy Promise Event Save the Date
Patriot-News Op-Ed Piece
Going for the Gold Award
2013 Early Bird Re-Registration
Service Units' Summer Day Camps
Camping Connection
Spring Volunteer Training
World Thinking Day

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World Thinking Day: February 22 

Girl Scouts have celebrated World Thinking Day since 1926, taking time to give thanks for the international friendships they've developed. This year's theme, "Together we can save children's lives," challenges girls and volunteers to take a moment on this day to reflect on and take action on issues affecting children's lives.


Save the Date!
February 8 - National Girl Scout Cookie Day

February 19 - Healthy Cooking with Chef Jenn Series via Live Video Chat - Part 2 for Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors  

February 22 - World Thinking Day  
March 1 - Summer Camp Early Bird Discount Ends

March 2 - Traveling Store at York Office
March 5 - Regional Governance Meeting at Montoursville Office
March 6 - Regional Governance Meeting at Harrisburg Office
March 7 - Regional Governance Meeting at Scranton Office
March 9 - Traveling Store at State College Office
March 11 - Camp Information Night at Scranton Area Service Center

March 12 - Girl Scout Birthday (101 years old)  
March 12 - Regional Governance Meeting in York (Location TBD)
March 13 - Regional Governance Meeting at State College Office
March 13 - Camp Information Night at Harrisburg Area Service Center
March 14 - Regional Governance Meeting via Webinar
March 16 - Traveling Store at Montoursville Office
March 19 - Camp Information Night at Montoursville Area Service Center
March 21 - Camp Information Night at York Area Service Center
March 23 - Traveling Store at Scranton Office
March 25 - Camp Information Night at Harrisburg Area Service Center
April 1 - Camp Information Night at Camp Small Valley, Halifax

April 5 - 7 - Volunteer Training Weekend at Camp Echo Trail 
April 19 - 21 - Volunteer Training Weekend at Camp Small Valley

April 21 - Million Mile Walk Challenge
April 27 - GSHPA Annual Meeting
May 17 - 19 - aMAZE weekend for Cadettes at Camp Small Valley

June 7 - 9 - Volunteer Training Weekend at Camp Golden Pond

June 14 - 16 - Volunteer Training Weekend at Camp Louise 
2012 - 2013 Delegates


Click here for the most up-to-date list of 2012-2013 Service Unit Delegates. 


Service Unit Delegates serve as the voice of their service unit's girl and adult members and can influence council-wide governance decisions by sharing their insights with GSHPA's Board of Directors. Don't see anyone listed for your service unit?  Please contact your Membership Associate to see how you can become a Delegate.


Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania | 350 Hale Avenue | Harrisburg, PA 17104 | | 1.800.692.7816