Thank you Volunteers!

Happy National Volunteer Month! Here at GSHPA, it’s the volunteers that make everything we do possible. We have over 2,900 volunteers that dedicate countless hours to making sure every girl has opportunities of a lifetime. To all of our volunteers, we thank you!

This past year, especially, we’ve leaned on you more than ever. A global pandemic isn’t something that we ever imagined happening, but with all of the extra support of our volunteers, we were able to persevere! Our volunteers stepped up when we needed it most, for that we are very grateful.

We closed our camp gates, office doors, canceled our in-person cookie booths, stopped meeting in person, and went 100 percent virtual. This was something new to all of us, and we had to learn how to navigate a digital world together. The transition wasn’t perfect. In fact, we’re still working on some things, but you and your support and participation were with us every step of the way.

“Despite a pandemic, despite the downturn in the economy, despite all the obstacles ever imagined, Girl Scout Volunteers were still serving and volunteering for the girls,” said Chief Operating Officer Deb Bogdanski. “It is such a testament to the dedication and focus of our volunteers – thank you for everything that each and every volunteer contributes!”

Your efforts do not go unnoticed. We see you encouraging your Daisy troop to be their best selves. We see you putting in extra hours of your personal time to ensure that each girl in your Girl Scout troop is selling cookies to meet their goals. We see you inspiring the next generation of leaders, engineers, artists, teachers and beyond!

This National Volunteer Month (and every day), we want you to know just how vital you are to the success of the best girl leadership development program in the world – a place where every G.I.R.L. can unleash her full potential and make amazing things happen on her terms, largely because of you!

Thank you from our GSHPA leadership team!

Janet Donovan, President and CEO

Deb Bogdanski, COO

Krystell Fox, CFO

Nancy Venner, Chief of Strategy and Public Policy

STEAM Snack: Model Cars

Hello! Welcome back to our monthly post that will focus on STEAM activities and snacks you can do at home with your family or with your troops. 

Ah, it’s finally spring! With the warmer weather approaching, many of us use this time to get some Spring Cleaning started. Why not put all those things in your junk drawer and recycling bins to good use by creating model cars! This STEAM activity brings together the engineering and art by allowing girls to explore their creativity and build something out of objects they have at home. By using everyday “junk” they will expand their minds and repurpose it into something new.  

Why mechanical engineering? 

When you hear the word engineering, you usually think about buildings and bridges. Learning about the different branches or types of engineering is not only interesting, but it can be fun and useful for you and your troop.  

In its most basic definition, mechanical engineering is the design and building of machines. A mechanical engineer is someone who solves problems with creative solutions, usually through designing and building different types of machinery.  Engineers use their imaginations to invent new things and come up with new and better designs. This is a great opportunity to help young girls learn problem-solving skills that help make the world a better place.  

Mechanical engineers are involved in many fields of work, including:

Aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, construction, energy, manufacturing, medicine, railway engineering, and sports!  

Mechanical engineers use the design process to work through their solutions and designs. These are skills the girls can adapt to any situation: 

  1. Define the need 
  1. Brainstorm 
  1. Design 
  1. Build 
  1. Test & evaluate 
  1. Redesign 
  1. Share solutions  

Remember: Steps 4-6 can be repeated in a cycle over and over again until a final design has been found/created.  

What if I’m not an expert? 

We are not all mechanical engineers, and it is ok to feel like we don’t know enough to lead the girls in engineering activities. But remember you do know enough! Focus on the steps of the design process, let the girls lead their projects, see where it goes.  You will get different designs as the girls use their imagination to solve the challenge.   

If you are feeling that you want more expert knowledge, reach out to your troop parents, friends, relatives or other GSHPA troop leaders on the GSHPA Facebook page to see if there is an engineer you can invite to come talk to your girls.   

How do I get started? 

To get familiar with mechanical engineering, watch this video from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. It’s a great video to share with your girls to learn about mechanical engineering, understanding how to involve your interests when considering a future career, and learning that mechanical engineering is way more than what you might’ve thought. Video: What is a Mechanical Engineer? –An Introduction  

Before gathering supplies for you to do the activity, remember, it is always easier to guide girls through the process when you have done it yourself.  Start at the beginning and work through each step, make notes (mental or written) on how each step works for you and any modifications you might make for your girls.  When you are done you now have a prototype to share with the girls! 

The Badges 

  • Daisy Mechanical Engineering Model Car: Steps 1 & 3 
  • Brownie Mechanical Engineering Race Car: Steps 2, 4, & 5 
  • D/B/J/C/S/A Think Like an Engineer Journey: Step 1 
  • Find out how engineers use design thinking to solve problems. 

The Activity 


Look in your junk drawer, recycling bin, and around the house for materials to create a model car.  

General supplies: paper, pencil, tape, glue/hot glue, and scissors. 

Things that might be handy for designing/redesigning: rubber bands, push pins/tacks,  

Here are some suggestions for specific model car parts: 

  • Body of car: water bottle, toilet paper/paper towel tube, juice box, disposable cup, takeout container, ice cream container, milk carton, cardboard box, tissue box, cans (soda, canned food) 
  • Axles: straws, BBQ skewers, chopsticks, toothpicks, pencils, pens  
  • Wheels: bottle caps, candy mints with a hole in the middle, CDs, cardboard circles, buttons, beads  
  • Connecter for attaching wheels to axle: dry sponge, foam, clay, marshmallow cut in half 

Introduction to the girls 

Start the activity by talking to the girls about what a mechanical engineer is and introduce the design process.  This would be a good opportunity to share the “What is a Mechanical Engineer?” video with the group.  

If you have a large group or think your girls would enjoy working in pairs have them pair up at this point. Explain that they will be following the design process for each step of this activity. 

Define the need 

To build a model car out of materials found around the home, build a car that will move when pushed or using air as an energy source. 

Brainstorm & Design 

Give each girl a piece of paper and pencil and set the timer to at least 5 minutes (10 minutes if you think your girls need more time) to brainstorm their ideas. Girls should use the full five minutes to draw their ideas and write down any thoughts. If they think they’re done, ask them to get more specific or draw their design from different angles/points of view. What kind of car do they want to create? What is their power source? What materials are they going to use? 


Have girls grab their materials and build their cars! Encourage them to try out different materials and take a moment to think how it will work in their designs. Remind them that it’s okay if it doesn’t work how they imagined – mechanical engineers encounter problems like this every day in their jobs. Problems are a way to find the solution.  

Test & Evaluate 

Remind the girls that as they are testing to ask themselves questions like: How it is working? How does it look? Is there something I can do to make it perform better? What other material would work since this one doesn’t? Can I adjust something before taking away that material? Will changing one thing affect another?  


Girls take those questions they asked themselves and redesign their cars. Some may need small changes and others may need to start over. Remind them: if your car doesn’t work the way you want it to, that’s not a failure, that’s an opportunity to make it better. Take a few minutes to think about what went wrong and how you can change it. Once it is redesigned, test and evaluate again. 

Share Solutions 

Once everyone has designed, built, and tested their cars it’s time to share! Have each girl showcase her car and share what she did to create it, test it, and improve it.  

As a group, ask the girls questions like: 

  • What made your car go faster? 
  • What would have slowed the cars down? 
  • What failures did you face? What did you do to work through it? 
  • How did you improve your designs?  
  • If you had more time, what would you do? 

Time for a Snack 

Great job! Keep the mechanical engineering theme going by creating and eating your own apple and grape race cars!  


  • Apple  
  • Grapes 
  • Toothpick  
  • Knife to cut fruit  


  • Grab your apple and cut two full cheeks – cut the two sides of the apple, leaving the middle. Slice out the center into thirds, creating a wedge.  
  • Cut grapes in half. 
  • Push 2 toothpicks into each apple wedge to represent the car axles. Put the grape halves on each side to represent wheels. 
  • Enjoy!  


Written by: Colleen Park

Autism Awareness Month

The public has come to know April as Autism Awareness month and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. This is a time when the world recognizes and celebrates the rights of individuals with autism.

With the support of the Autism community, this year, a change has taken place. Autism Awareness month has shifted to Autism Acceptance month. The many autism community advocates and organizations across the United States, which provide resources to families and have been advocating for acceptance, hope this shift in name will make a bigger impact in the eyes of the public. This is a huge deal to the 1 in every 54 Americans currently living with autism. 

Most of us have heard of Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), however very few fully understand everything that goes along with that diagnosis. Even being a mom to a son with autism, I am by no means an expert on this topic. There is a saying in the autism community, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

The reason this saying resonates, is because autism is a spectrum disorder. For instance, my son does fairly well in school academically and is able to communicate verbally, however he struggles to regulate his emotions and interpret social cues. For him, those struggles lead to behavior issues and trouble interacting with others. While some can communicate verbally, some children with autism may also have intellectual disabilities, developmental speech delays, or the inability to express their needs, which could require more support in school and at home. Sometimes these differences cause children on the spectrum to feel isolated and disconnected.  

Troop Leaders can help girls with autism spectrum disorder by providing an accepting and safe environment to learn & practice important social and life skills. Girl Scouts is for everyone and all girls can benefit from the sisterhood. If you have the opportunity to include girls with ASD, I have included some suggestions to make the transition easier for everyone involved. 

One Troop Leader in Atlanta suggests, just as you would do with any other troop, don’t be afraid to tell parents that you need help – they’ll pitch in, especially when they see the effort you’re making to include their girls. This is a great way to ensure troop success. For instance, when parents or caregivers are participating at the meetings, they will know if their daughter had a bad day or if she has fears or issues about certain things and will be there to provide extra support, allowing the Troop Leader to assist the other girls in the troop. 

Another suggestion is to have a discussion with the girls not on the spectrum about being differently abled, as this will help create the accepting and safe environment for the girl(s) on the spectrum. It can be as simple as letting them know someone with autism is joining their troop and asking them if they know what autism is or if they know someone who has autism. Also, knowing in advance some characteristics of autism, such as, doesn’t talk much, is scared of sudden loud sounds, or doesn’t look people in the eyes when speaking, can help to lessen overwhelming amount of questions at the first meeting.  

A few things to keep in mind when including girls with ASD: 

– Establish a routine. Children with autism are especially responsive when there is a clear structure and routine. 

– Use many visuals. Using visual charts, checklists, illustrations, and videos can all help with expectation and communication.  

– Support during transition. Changing routines or even unstructured time, such as moving from one space or activity to another can be tough for kids with ASD. 

Below I have listed the website and article used for this blog, as well as, additional websites troop leaders can find more information about autism:   

Autism Society – 

GSUSA Blog Post – 


The Tommy Foundation – 

Written by Debbie Ramsey-Golden

Going for Gold

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Seniors and Ambassadors work towards earning their Gold Award by taking on issues they feel passionate about and making a difference in their community. Not only is earning the Gold Award an amazing achievement on its own, but it can also open up doors for those who earn it, through scholarships, college and career opportunities, and more. The Gold Award year runs a little differently than our typical Girl Scout year, and our most recent Gold Award earners are in the class of 2021. The most recent Gold Award year ran from April 2020 to April 2021, and we are so excited to celebrate with the class of 2021 virtually this May.  

We have had so many amazing Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award in our council. This year alone we have 58 Gold Award Girl Scouts throughout GSHPA! In reflection, and as a fun way to share some Gold Award experiences, I connected with a few council staff members to ask them about their Gold Award projects. Caroline Jaeger, our Product Program Outreach Specialist, earned her Gold Award in 2013, and Gina Naticchi, Volunteer Support Coordinator in the Scranton area earned hers in 2003, and both were kind enough to tell me about their experiences! 

1.    Can you tell us a little bit about your Gold Award project? 

Caroline: My Gold Award project was titled Laxin’ Legacy. I played lacrosse from a very young age and knew I’d be going on to play in college when I was thinking about what my project would be. I knew I wanted to combine my passions and decided to have lacrosse be incorporated into my Gold Award. I arranged a mentorship program between the high school girls lacrosse team and the local rec team. Once per week during the spring season, myself and a group of high school girls from the lacrosse team would go over to the rec team’s practice to coach/run their practice. During this time we would do two things: 1) teach an advanced lacrosse skill to help them for when they reached high school tryouts, and 2) sit down and have a conversation about what to expect when you get to high school – not just athletically, but socially and academically – and answer their questions to prepare them for a successful and easy transition to high school. At the end of the season, I gave them a manual of everything we coached them on, and the high school team continued to run this program after I graduated. 

Gina:  I put on a huge flag retirement ceremony in my town. There had never been a flag retirement held in my town before and I felt that with all the buildings that had flags outside, it was a great idea to hold one so businesses had a way to properly dispose of old flags.  I ended up contacting and collecting old flags from businesses and set up collection boxes all around town for people to drop off old flags.  I then planned an entire ceremony that involved several local organizations, including Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops, fire departments, American Legions, VFW’s and local politicians.    

2.    What is something you learned from your project that has stuck with you into adulthood? 

Caroline: When you combine your passions in life with whatever you are working on or working toward, you will have success and you will enjoy the journey. This was true when combining my love of lacrosse with my Girl Scout Gold Award, and it is true now with having a career in an organization that I am passionate about. 

Gina: One thing I learned is how quickly the community was willingly to help me. I specifically remember I was hoping to get a local priest or pastor to do a small prayer at the start of the flag retirement ceremony.  I called a local church that I wasn’t a member of, to see if they would be willing to do the prayer at the ceremony, and the church immediately said yes.  At the time, I figured since I had no connections and wasn’t a member of the local church, they would say no.  The fact that the church went out of their way to help me, really showed how my town was willing to help each other out when asked. It’s such a small detail, but clearly it means something to me when I remember it from almost 20 years later.  

3.    What skills did you learn from earning your Gold Award that help you today? 

Caroline: There were so many skills that I learned and grew during my Gold Award that help me today, and most of them are centered around leadership. Some of these skills include planning, public speaking, and time-management. The skill of leading my peers was a significant one. At the high school age it is easy to be a follower or just hide in the crowd. Doing my project forced me to rally my peers – my teammates – to help me out and get them just as excited about this impactful project as I was.  

Gina: Leadership, communication, and organizational skills. It doesn’t sound like it would be a lot of effort, but putting on a successful flag retirement ceremony took a lot of time and work.  At the time, I had only been to a few flag retirement ceremonies, and I would go, help put old flags in a fire and would leave. Because I wanted my project to involve the entire community I spent a lot of time reaching out to businesses about collecting flags. I also spent a lot of time planning the actual ceremony itself because I wanted to make sure that I involved local organizations as speakers. Even something as simple as finding a location was difficult because I had to make sure the area was large enough for the ceremony but I also needed to make sure that the fire dept had easy access in case something happened.  

4.    In your opinion, why should girls want to earn their Gold Award? 

Caroline: Girls should be driven to earn their Gold Award because it gives them an opportunity to make an impact on this world in a way that they decide, and it sets them up with a foundation for success at such a pivotal time in their life. 

Gina: Girls should want to earn their Gold Award because it’s the highest achievement you can earn in Girl Scouts. I love knowing that I started Girl Scouts when I was in Kindergarten and continued it through High School and was able to earn the highest award. Very few girls earn their Gold Award and I love being part of the elite club of Gold Award recipients. It also feels so good knowing I did a successful project that helped my community.  Participating in product program, going camping and earning badges is a huge part of Girl Scouts, but helping the community was always my favorite part.     

Earning a Gold Award takes a lot of time, hard work and passion. I think the best way to see that passion first hand is to take the time to talk to a Gold Award Girl Scout near you! You can also view our Class of 2020 and learn about their projects at the bottom of our Gold Award website page. Keep an eye out for the Class of 2021 coming soon! Have you earned your Gold Award? Let us know in the comments! 

Written by Colleen Sypien with writing assistance by Rebekah Stefl

Seven Ways to Spend Earth Day

Spring is finally here!  No more days of bundling up in half of your wardrobe just to walk outside.  We can see the ground, the flowers, the birds, and not under a foot of snow.  Now, how to celebrate the warmer weather?  With some Earth Day activities of course!  Earth Day is officially Thursday, April 22, but why not celebrate all of April?  Check out some of our favorite Earth Day activities and let us know what your favorites are in the comments! 

Nature Photography 

Grab your camera or phone and head outside to take some pictures of what the Earth has to offer.  Explore your backyard, neighborhood, local park or hiking trail and grab a shot of the beauty Mother Nature has for you.  

Cloud Watching/Star Gazing 

Find a blanket and pillows to spread out in your yard and see what shapes and animals you can find in the clouds.  Wait a few more hours and try it again with the stars, look for the Little Dipper, Orion and all the other constellations up in the sky.  

Egg Shell Planting 

Do you have any hard boiled eggs from Easter hanging around? Take the shells and plant them.  Fill the shell with some potting soil and a seed, and once the seed sprouts, plant the whole thing in the ground.  

Outdoor I Spy 

I don’t know about you but I Spy is a favorite game of my kids while on long or short car rides.  The great outdoors has so many things for the eyes to spy, you can sit in your back yard or go for a family hike and take a closer look at what surrounds you in nature.  

Recycled Art 

Take a look in your recycling bin and find some art supplies! Be inspired by the Earth and all that you can find in nature to create something to celebrate Earth day, Share your piece with family and friends to help inspire them.  

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt 

We are all about scavenger hunts, and now here is one for exploring outdoors on Earth Day. Here is a list we put together to hunt for, you can collect them in a bucket or even better take a picture and cross it off the list.  (Remember Principle 4 of Leave No Trace, leave what you find.) 

  •  Rock 
  •  Stick 
  •  Leaf 
  •  Grass 
  •  Litter 
  •  Flower 
  •  Spider Web 
  •  Dirt 
  •  Ant 
  •  Feather 
  •  Bark 
  •  Bug 
  •  Slug 
  •  Water 
  •  Worm 
  •  Cloud 

Earth Day Cookies 

We found this great post on how to make Earth Day Cookies!  Simple and tasty what could be better!? 

Written by Liz Bleacher

Famous Girl Scouts

There are so many amazing Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in the world, and reading about what they have accomplished and done for the world is so uplifting. Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite famous Girl Scouts! 

Sally Ride 

Sally grew up as a Girl Scout, and became the first woman to fly in space in 1983. She’s been an advocate for science education, particularly for girls, and was a professor of physics at the University of California. She also co-founded Camp CEO, a Girl Scouts mentorship program! 

Queen Latifah 

Latifah was a nickname growing up, and it means delicate and sensitive in Arabic. Despite a nickname that may have made people think she was meek and mild, her career and success has been anything but! She debuted her first album when she was just 19, and her successes are incredibly empowering to read about. She is also the narrator of the documentary about famous Girl Scouts in “Lifetime of Leadership”. 

Katie Couric 

Katie worked with a Girl Scout troop in Arlington, Virginia for many years, and has been a dedicated Girl Scout ever since. She is an accomplished journalist, and has helped work with Girl Scouts to raise awareness of the leadership gap between men and women.  

Gloria Steinem 

You may recognize Gloria’s name as an author and journalist, but she has also been an entrepreneur and activist throughout her life. She has helped to launch the Women’s Action Alliance, the Women’s Media Center, and Voters for Choice. Her grandmother was even a chairwoman of the National Woman Suffrage Association! 

Taylor Swift 

Taylor grew up right here in Pennsylvania in Berks County! She started singing at a young age and has gone on to have huge success, even recently been named artist of the decade at the American Music Awards. Despite her successes, she still remembers her Girl Scout roots, and has even given free concert tickets to troops in the past.  

Condoleezza Rice 

As a political scientist and diplomat, Condoleezza has blazed new paths for African American women and women as a whole. She became the first woman and first African American provost at Stanford University, was the national security advisor and secretary of state during George W. Bush’s presidency, and became one of the first female members of Augusta National Golf Club in 2012, a club that had excluded women for 80 years! Her incredible leadership journey began when she was just a girl in Girl Scouts.  

Is your favorite famous Girl Scout part of my list? Leave a comment below if you have other famous Girl Scouts we should read about! 

Written by Colleen Sypien

Happy National Siblings Day!

In honor of National Siblings Day we asked GSHPA staff to share their stories! Be sure to share your favorite sibling stories in the comments!  

What is a favorite memory with you and your sibling(s)?  

“The time we spent growing up together with my older sibs were the best days.  Laughing in the summer in our backyard pool with friends, or wintertime ice skating at a local pond were times I’ll never forget and experiences we love to talk about when we get together.” – Tom Long (Major Gifts Officer)  

Becoming an aunt with my older brother and watching my youngest brother become a US Marine. – Caitlyn Ridge (Fund Development Data Specialist)  

“Going to Lake Wallenpaupack every summer!” – Rebecca Spencer (Volunteer Support Coordinator)  

“Going to Hilton Head Island every summer!” –  Erika Carpin (Troop/Group Banking Specialist)  

“Easter basket hunts at our grandparents!” – Adia Walker (Regional Director)  

“I have three younger brothers. All four of us were born within five years. We are lucky to all be friends and enjoy each other’s company. Camping is our favorite way to all get together!” – Jenny Boyles (Member Registration Specialist)  

“My brother was younger and we fought all the time.  However, once I got my license, my parents didn’t allow me to drive with friends.  I decided my brother was good for something and he could be my sidekick.  He was willing to tolerate it because he got to go places.  One favorite memory was going to the drive in.  We’d take all the cushions off the couch, throw them in the back of the truck, and go watch the latest release.”  – Lutricia Eberly (Director of Outdoor and Program Experiences)  

“My favorite memory with my siblings was waking each other up really early on Christmas morning to go see what Santa brought. I’ll always be thankful for those magical memories!” – Kelly Simonelli (Marketing Communications Coordinator)  

“I am the baby of nine siblings. I have five brothers and three sisters. Christmas morning was the best. We all waited at the top the stairs until Mom and Dad gave the OK for us to come down and open presents. It was mad dash to our basement/rec room. Fun chaos.” – Cathy Hirko (Director of Marketing and Communications)  

“Going on adventures.  My brother and I used to run around the neighborhood and make up different adventures we were on.  One time we went to the coal mines and got lost.  That one was scary.  But other than that one, our adventures were always fun.” – Angela Jefferies (Director of Human Resources)  

“It’s rare as we get older that we can get together often, especially being spread out across PA. Last year I got married and was able to hang out with them for a full weekend! We caught up on what was going on in our lives, enjoyed the quaintness of my at-home wedding reception, laughed, and played games! We’ve become closer as adults which has been a huge help as I navigate my way through “adulting”! We were even able to plan a week-long trip to Eagle’s Mere, a lake we visited every summer as kids, for this summer.” – Olivia Novak (Volunteer Support Coordinator)  

“Five of my siblings are from my father to a previous marriage so they are much older than me and didn’t live in the same country as I did. My fondest memory with them was always having them come to visit when I was little and staying for several weeks with us because they traveled from so far away. My other sister from my mom was put up for adoption before I was born. My mom spoke of her to me from a very young age so the best memory I have was meeting her mother’s day weekend the year before my mother passed away. She was pregnant with her first child and it was so special to not only celebrate her first mother’s day with her, but to be able to see the joy on my mom’s face to have both her girls with her on mother’s day when we didn’t know how many more she would get to celebrate.” – Sheri Kline (Volunteer Support Coordinator)  

“The memory of how I used to despise my sister. When I was younger we were mortal enemies. We are 13 months apart so she would steal my clothes, my friends, and hobbies. After growing up and realizing that she is my built in best friend, we can finish each other thoughts, know what we are thinking with a look, and laugh at the silliest things for hours. I could not live without her and we talk every day. I still can’t believe I used to despise her but I guess that is a part of growing up! I wish I would have realized she was my built in best friend sooner for then we could have had so many more memories.” – Jordan Lowe (Member Services Specialist)  

“My brother and I are both big sports fans, so we always make time to go to Hershey Bears games and Harrisburg Senators games!” – Brynne Hall (Volunteer Support Coordinator)  

“My sister is 5 years younger than me. We fought all the time as kids. For my birthday when I was about 8 years old I got a sparkling pink magic wand. It was long, made of plastic, and had a star at the top. It even lit up! One day our mom heard me yelling outside and looked out the window to find my toddler sister beating me up with my magic wand. I am sure I said something to instigate it. Our mom ran outside to stop it, but also laughed about my little sister’s behavior, especially the image of the sparkling wand being used as a weapon. My sister and I share this story ALL THE TIME. We are so close now that we are older and love to reminisce about the ‘good old days’.” –  Jess Delp (Director of Product Program and Retail) 

“My brother is the reason I only ever wanted 1 child; we fought a lot as kids.  We get a long much better now as adults.  But one of my favorite memories was almost every Christmas morning, we would get up early and just talk.  For hours.  It was like a flag of truce was up for that time and we talked about everything and anything.  I really liked that.” – Diane Bateman (Member Services Specialist)  

“Over the last year we have stayed very connected through Facetime and have done weekly ‘Masterminds’ conversations where we talk about books we’re reading, listen to philosophy podcasts and then discuss the topics, and just have deep-thinking conversations. It’s been a really fun way to stay connected with my siblings even though we live all over the country. It will be a very special memory for life! – Caroline Jaegar (Product Program Specialist)  

When we were between the ages of 4 and 10 – my three sisters and I waiting for my Dad to return from work to to take us every Friday for our weekend movie treats, and sitting all together watching a movie, munching on the treats and enjoying each other’s company!  – Raksha Authar  (Executive Assistant to the President and CEO)

We can’t wait to hear your favorite sibling stories!

Post by the GSHPA Staff

Fun Patches to Earn this Spring

Fun patches are a great way to celebrate the adventures and activities girls participate in, outside of badge work. While badges help girls explore their interests and learn new skills by completing specific steps to earn the badge, fun patches are just that, for fun! Patches are always displayed on the back of girls’ uniforms, and a great way for girls to remember the fun things they did with their troop. There are fun patches out there for anything you could imagine, from outdoor experiences, to STEAM activities and events, and even virtual activities.  There is something for everyone! 

With so much of this past year being spent more virtually than before, it has allowed us to learn and do things that we may never have experienced otherwise. For example, touring museums across the world from the comfort of our own couch, how cool is that? Fun patches are similar. Troops now have access to the world at their fingertips, and girls can display their adventures on their uniforms as a reminder of the exciting experiences they’ve had in Girl Scouts. 

I connected with Senior Girl Scout Leah Hilton from troop 70569 to hear more about her favorite fun patch. “My favorite fun patch that I have earned is the Girl Scouts Love State Parks patch. I love exploring the outdoors with my Girl Scout friends, so this patch was perfect for me. To earn this patch, I went to Ricketts Glen State Park. We met a State Park Ranger who told us about the park history, the local geography, and how they test the water quality in the park.  She then led the group on a really cool hike where we got to see a lot of amazing waterfalls.  She also gave us a book that showed ways to identify the different trees in the park, and then we practiced identifying trees. I can now identify white pines by the number of pine needles in a cluster, birch by its peeling bark, and black oak trees by the leaf growth pattern.   

This fun patch helped grow my love for the outdoors, and I have since visited other state parks.  Each time I visit a state park I look to see if they sell any patches that I can add to my collection! 

Here are a few ideas for fun patches you can do with your girls this spring: 

Road Trip Patch 

–          Plan a virtual road trip together 

–          National Parks Virtual Tours 

Game Night Patch 

–          Virtual Game Ideas 

–          How To Plan a Virtual Game Night 

Earth Day Patch 

–          Celebrating Earth Day With Your Troop 

–          Oil Spill Activity 

Yoga Pose Patch 

–          Girl Scouts Love Yoga 

–          Yoga At Home with GS Spirit of Nebraska 

Backyard Camping Patch 

–          Family Backyard Camping Ideas 

–          Camp like a Girl Scout at Home! 

–          Outdoor Experience – Girl Scouts at Home 

Posted by Colleen Sypien