GSHPA has a full calendar for you this month! We have two amazing programs for girls and volunteers highlighted in this post and you can visit our online calendar for more programs offered all month.
Troop Adventure Days
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania is proud to offer not one, but two Troop Adventure Days for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors! Hosted on two of our beautiful camp properties, Camp Small Valley in Dauphin County and Camp Happy Valley in Adams County.
October’s Troop Adventure Days will feature a variety of fun outdoor activities: Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to learn about the science behind trees and forests on a STEM nature hike, create nature-themed wind chimes at an outdoor crafts station, practice their skills at the archery range, and much more! Visit our Event Calendar to register.
Troops have the opportunity to stay the night at camp the evening before and or after the TAD event through the property reservation. Camp Small Valley and Camp Happy Valley both have a wonderful variety of rental options. If you are interested please contact GSHPA Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New GS Year- New GS Badge
This fall GSHPA Program Team is going to hosting programs that allow girls to experience the NEW Digital Leadership badge sponsored by Instagram. The badge allows girls to explore what digital leadership is, how to become one, and safety first thinking skills for the internet. Girls will be part of challenges that practice being online in a safe, positive way that focuses on wellbeing and time spent.
Every day people around the world are using the internet and technology to complete simple to complex things. The list is always growing of new ways for each girl. Our team built games and brand new activities to explore technology components that girls will be using. Many of our Girl Souts are already tech savvy and this badge will help them focus their activity and learn about their digital footprint and being a leader online.
This October we start with Daisy, Brownie, Juniors, and Cadettes. Each level meeting a different evening session during the month. Visit our Event Calendar to register.
So Much More
We have many more programs in October that range from outdoor adventures to STEAM with the Program Team. Please take a look at our council calendar to find the program that is right for you.
If there are older girls that want to be involved in the activities we are hosting- please reach out to Dana Taylor at email@example.com and we can connect you to ways you can volunteer!
A couple weeks ago the team here at Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania found out that one of our own has been named to the 2021 Class of Forty Under 40 from the Central Penn Business Journal.
Jess Delp, our Director of Product Program and Retail, now stands with some of the brightest rising stars in our midstate community.
While we all happily congratulate Jess, we thought it was a perfect time to have Jess share a bit about herself, the award and all the goodness surrounding this honor.
GSHPA: Congrats on being named to CPBJ’s Forty Under 40. You are now among a class of high-profile leaders in the Harrisburg business community. Tell us a little bit about your last couple years with GSHPA. What are some of your proudest moments? What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
DELP: Working for GSHPA has introduced me to some of the most incredible volunteers and girls. I am constantly inspired by all they do. During 2020 it was incredible to watch our Girl Scouts adapt to the ever-changing world to continue to build their cookie businesses, meet their goals and make the world a better place- all while staying safe!
GSHPA: Spill the beans on how you manage your workload with GSHPA. How do you stay on top of your projects and the new projects bubbling to the top every day?
DELP: I am full of energy so I am constantly working, connecting and creating. While completing one project I am already thinking of three other things I want to do. I am passionate about my work and that makes every day fun!
GSHPA: If you had a chance to share one need that GSHPA needs to fill, what would it be and how can your fellow Forty Under 40 class help out?
DELP: It is important to me that our community know how relevant and important Girl Scouts is. We love our history and traditions, but we also embrace the new world and work tirelessly to support our members and to make the world a better place. Having other community stakeholders speaking on our behalf and invested in our work is imperative.
GSHPA: I know the GSHPA team is very lucky to have you as a leader on our team and you inspire many. Want to give any shoutouts to those folks who inspire you, both in and outside the organization?
DELP: Lauren Linhard (Brittany Insider), Meghan Kahler (Northwestern Mutual) and Jen Hicks (Central Bark) are amazing entrepreneurs in the York community who I have the pleasure of working with and being friends with. JT Hand is the CEO of York Water Company and I love his work ethic and passion for the community. I also very much respect Jon Taffer. His business acumen is unmatched and he recognizes that the people are the most important piece of any business.
Cathy Hirko is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennyslvania. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Fall Fundraiser is a great way to kick off the Girl Scout year, and this year we get to do so with our Emperor Penguin mascot, Pearl! In honor of Pearl the penguin, we have two fun crafts for you to make at home to get excited about Fall Fundraiser.
Milk Jug Igloo
Our first craft will be a home for our penguin friends. For this craft you will need the following items:
A milk jug or water jug that has been washed and dried
A toilet paper tube
School glue (or hot glue with adult help)
The first step for this project is to take your milk jug and scissors, and cut the jug in half, just below the handle. You may need an adult’s help, as the edge of the milk jug once cut can be a little sharp.
Once your jug is cut in half, use your scissors to cut a little doorway. Your toilet paper tube will fit into this space, so you can use that to measure how big your door should be.
Next, you can slide the toilet paper tube into the doorway you cut. Leave about half of the tube sticking out from the jug. Using your glue, put a line of glue where the doorway and the tube connect, so that it stays in place. Let that dry before moving on.
Once your glue is dry and the tube is stuck in the doorway, it is now time to start adding our snow! Using your glue, you can either put a drop of glue onto each cotton ball as you go, or put a line of glue onto the milk jug, sticking the cotton balls on before doing another line. The goal is to cover the entire igloo in cotton balls, even the tube for the doorway!
Once you have all of your cotton balls glued on, let your igloo sit for a few hours to make sure the glue is completely dry before moving your project. While it drying, you could find other materials around your house to recycle and create penguin friends to live in your igloo!
This project is a great way to keep a penguin friend with you all the time! You will need the following materials:
Orange and white paper
Black paper, cut into a 6” by 6” square
For this project we will be folding our black paper, similarly to origami. Please watch the video for instructions on how to fold your paper.
Once the glue on your penguin is dry, you are all set to use it to mark the pages of whatever you are currently reading! Don’t forget that Fall Fundraiser begins on September 23rd. To participate talk with your Troop Leader on how to get started!
Traditions are a huge part of Girl Scouts! They can be found in the uniforms we wear, the songs we sing and even the food we eat! Now every Girl Scout will have their own personal twist on all these classic dishes and they might even have other food traditions of their own, but check out some of our favorites!
Jungle Breakfast – one of my personal favorite Girl Scout traditions!
You will need:
Small Boxes of Cereal
Packs of Muffins or Donuts
Small Bottles of Juice
While the girls are sleeping the adults will gather the supplies and begin tying them into the trees! We recommend setting up early in the morning to avoid attracting critters, but you can do all the prep work the night before. When the girls wake up they will have to “hunt” for their own breakfast in the trees! They have a blast! Just be sure to collect any leftovers, string, etc. before moving on to your next activity.
Ants on a Log – quick and fun snack for all ages!
You will need:
Peanut Butter (alternate nut butter or nut free butter can be used)
Raisins, Berries or Chocolate Chips
Simply start by washing and cutting your celery into logs about 6 inches long! Once ready fill your celery will your preferred nut or nut free better then top with your “ants” and enjoy!
Foil Packs – sweet or savory and easy to make over a fire, on the grill or in the oven!
Savory: Chicken & Vegetables
You will need:
Heavy Duty Foil
Your Favorite Vegetables (recommended: onions, zucchini, potatoes and bell peppers)
Seasoning Salt and/or Spices
Salt and Pepper
Start by cutting your chicken and vegetables into bite sized pieces. Once ready lay out your foil (shiny side down) then add your chicken and vegetables. Add enough oil to coat and sprinkle with your preferred spices then toss gently to coat. Simply fold your foil to create a package – be sure to tightly seal all those edges to nothing leaks out. Then add to your fire, grill or oven and heat until chicken is cooked through! Tip: if you need to put names on your foil packs use yellow mustard, it won’t burn off!
Sweet: Cinnamon Apples
You will need:
½ tsp. Cinnamon
1 ½ Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter
Toppings: Raisins, Chopped Nuts, etc. (Optional)
Heavy Duty Foil
These apples are an easy fall treat for all ages! Start by rolling out your foil then top with sliced apples. Once ready add the cinnamon and brown sugar then toss to coat the apples. We recommend chopping up the butter into little cubs to sprinkle throughout the apples. Add toppings if desires and seal up the foil pack tightly! Heat until apples are warm and soft.
Be sure to share your favorite Girl Scout foods with us in the comments!
Every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. girls from around the country gather to experience STEAM adventures with GSHPA’s program team. Thanks to technology and the ability to meet virtually Girl Scouts and friends are able come together to learn about each other and with each other as they discover the world around them.
Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes the opportunity to get back together with your Girl Scout friends and earn some new badges! Below we have some of our favorite badges that you can earn this fall with your troop or on your own!
Financial Literacy Badges
With Fall Fundraiser starting soon, we will be learning all about how to be entrepreneurs. These badges are a great way to supplement what we learn through product sales by expanding what it means to have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Brownie Philanthropist Badge – When it comes to running a business, it is important to know how to be financially savvy and good with people. Part of being a business owner though is giving back to your community as well, and this badge starts to build the foundation of giving back.
Junior Business Owner Badge – What type of business would you want to own? With this badge you can explore business ideas and develop a basic business plan!
Cadette Marketing Badge – Our Fall Fundraiser and Cookie programs teach us about advertising and marketing to our customers through emails, door to door sales, virtual sales and more. Take what you have learned from these programs and learn how to expand your marketing strategies with this badge.
Senior Customer Loyalty Badge – Explore how to best invest in your customers and provide quality experiences for your loyal customer base with this badge.
As the weather moves from summer to fall temperatures, we have the perfect opportunity to get outdoors! The Trail Adventure badges for each level are a great way to get outdoors and learn about planning an outdoor adventure. These badges can be done at every level, and provide girls the opportunity to have a girl led experience.
As we begin the 2022 Girl Scout year on October 1, there are new girls bridging up to levels that can earn the Higher Awards. Girls who are Junior level can earn their Bronze Award, Cadettes can earn their Silver Award, and Seniors and Ambassadors can be working towards earning their Gold Award. These are the highest awards that a Girl Scout can earn, and are amazing opportunities for girls to learn more about their community, what they need, and develop a sustainable way to help their community.
As leaders start to plan the year with their girls, don’t forget that there are planning resources available to help! Our Award and Badge Explorer shows all of the badges available to girls to earn, and gives an overview of the steps required to earn each badge, as well as a link to purchase the badge. Another fantastic resource is the Volunteer Toolkit. Our Volunteer Toolkit User Guide helps leaders to navigate and learn all that the toolkit has to offer. From meeting resources and material lists to lesson plan outlines and meeting timelines, the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) has it all!
Let us know in the comments what badges you are excited to work on this year!
Fall is here, the weather is cooling, the leaves are starting to change and Girl Scout are heading back to school. This means girls, parents and volunteers are starting to get crazy busy with their hectic schedules. But have no fear, whether you are a brand new troop leader or a seasoned volunteer there are online and offline resources that will help you have conversations with your parents and volunteers and plan for the year, girl led of course. Here are some easy and great ideas to help make your meeting planning smooth sailing.
Find your Troop’s Vision
Talk with your troop members, adults and girls, to discuss what their vision for the upcoming year is going to be. What are your goals, what are they excited about, what are they dreading? Girl Scouts of all ages are able to come up with some SMART goals for the troop for the year to help them grow in their experiences. Don’t fall into the temptation to plan it all yourself, I know sometimes it feels easier, but Girl Scouts is girl-led. Having the girls participate in the planning will help the girls engage and be invested in the yearly agenda.
Flexibility is Key
That agenda you spend all the time and energy creating, it is a changing document. You can spend as much time planning for the unexpected as you want and there will be something that pops up unexpectedly. It is important to stay flexible and let the girls that it is ok to have changes to original plans, use it as a teaching opportunity. For example, your troop has planned a hike that might need to be cancelled or moved because of the weather, a guest speaker had to cancel last minute leaving a gap in your nightly plans. Check in with the troop throughout the year to make sure you are staying on track for your vision and see if any changes need to be made.
Think about how much time you are going to need to spend on planning, do you just need one meeting for the younger girls or a few meeting for the older girls to take the lead. Keep the planning specific with a timeline so you can stay focused and keep the process moving forward. You don’t want to spend all your year planning and not actually get to the fun stuff.
Depending on the attention span and interest of your troop, you can plan a couple meetings at a time or take on months or the entire year. This is brainstorming so make sure to write down all the ideas from each member even if they are crazy and seem to be too big or out there. These ideas can lead to something that would work for your group.
Ideas to keep track of your brainstorming session:
Write it down! Use poster board, butcher paper, whiteboard or you could use a Google doc if you are a more tech troop.
Have each girl brainstorm individually before coming back as a group to talk about it. Some girls have a hard time sharing their thoughts in large groups so this will allow everyone to have input.
Make it a game: give the girls 5 minutes to write down as many ideas for each topic you need to plan. Examples, snacks, service projects, badges, journeys, fun trips, places to visit, etc.
Start Big, Add Details
Take a look at the list that you created and decide as a group what you are going to do. For younger girls you may need to take the lead as the adult and with the older girls let them give it a try and be there to help as needed. To narrow things down, talk as a group to come up with the favorites. This can be done through voting, discussion, ranking, and more, it is important that everyone feels they are being included and their voice is being heard.
Once you have narrowed down the list to the top interested of the troop you can start filling in the details. This is where your network will come in handy to use your connections within and without Girl Scouts. This can include your Service Unit, Troop Leaders, parents, your council, social media or community groups.
Online resources are a great place to go for you and your girls to research your plans. Search engines, Pinterest, and blogs are great places to find if someone else has tried your idea, and you can build off what they had done.
What to do next
Remember you don’t have to do it all yourself, have the girls, parents, and other volunteers help! Use your resources wisely, this includes people too! Make a plan, be flexible, and use what you have to make your upcoming year full of fun success!
Abstract art can come naturally to those girls who love experimentation and creative expression. As adults we spend so much time telling kids to color in the lines and use the right colors, abstract art allows girls to jump at the change to express themselves any way they want.
Why Abstract Art?
Abstract art is more about the shapes and colors and the feelings it expresses, not about staying in the lines. Abstract art encourages discussion about color, shares, lines, feelings and thoughts, all concepts children are learning. This is something everyone can do.
What if I’m not an expert?
Start by explaining what abstract art is NOT, so examples of realistic or naturalist art. These pieces look like replicas of what the subjects are, the subject is easily recognized in the art. Examples can be paintings of fruit, a house or other objects the girls can identify.
Now show the girls several abstract works of art, one at a time, ask the girls if they can identify what the subject of the art is. This will take longer to get responses do to the obscurity of the art. Ask the girls what colors and shapes do they see? Ask them what emotions they feel while looking at each art piece and what they are thinking about when they look at it.
How do I get started?
Materials you need:
Tips and Tricks:
Prepare your self-portrait ahead of time add color and make it crazy.
Don’t show them examples of your self-portrait until after they draw theirs. Children tend to make their work look just like the examples they see, we want them to let go of the control.
Here are some discussion questions to get the girls thinking:
What are some colors that represent feelings?
How about shapes, what shape can represent happiness, sadness?
There is not right answer and will differ from girl to girl, abstract is all about what you want things to represent.
This activity can be adapted to fulfill the following badge steps.
Brownie: Painting Step 3 – Paint a mood
Junior: Drawing Step 1 – Experiment with different materials
Senior: Collage Artist Step 3 – Create with color
Define abstract art in terms the girls will understand based on their levels. Simply, abstraction in art is a non-lifelike portrayal of real world objects, people and scenes that are usually hard for other peope to recognize. Abstract art portrays what an artist feels and thinks, rather that what they see. An abstract artist will use colors and shapes to express their emotions and ideas.
We don’t always know what people are thinking and feeling and we don’t always know what abstract art portrays. You could always ask the artist, it is about the conversation.
Materials: Paper, ruler, pencil, black marker/crayon, coloring materials
STEP ONE: Make diagonal folds on your paper, you do not want even folds that create squares. You want it random, make about 5-6 folds, then use a ruler or strait edge to trace the folds with your black marker or crayon.
STEP TWO: Explain to the girls that they are going to fill the page with their self-portrait, use the whole canvas. Oh and they are going to be doing this with their eyes closed! Tell them not to worry you will be giving them directions on what to draw and it is abstract art so it is ok if it doesn’t look just like them.
STEP THREE: Grab your canvas, your pencil and close your eyes. Remind the girls though out the process to keep their eyes closed, they will want to peek.
Start with a nice large oval for your face, remember fill your canvas, no small faces in the middle.
Now add your hair, and a neck you don’t want to be a floating head. Now add your eyes, lashes and brows. Remember eyes closed!
Now we don’t want to forget your ears, make sure to add one to each side.
How about your mouth, are you going to be smiling? Showing teeth?
And don’t forget your nose!
Now add any accessories you want, jewelry, glasses, hair bows, etc.
STEP FIVE: Have the girls open their eyes, ask if their art looks like them. When they answer no, let them know that is good, it isn’t meant to, this is abstract art.
STEP SIX: Trace the lines of your face with the black marker/crayon. Your face will be split into many shapes from the fold lines creating all new shapes.
STEP SEVEN: Use your coloring materials to finish your portrait. Think about what colors you will use and how. Complementary colors, contrasting colors, all one color but different shades, only a few colors or all the colors in the box. Think about how the colors make you feel and how they will make others feel when they see your portrait.
After completing the self-portraits, ask the girls:
How did you feel about drawing with your eyes closed?
What do you like about abstract art?
What don’t you like about abstract art?
An Abstract Snack: Animal Portraits
Materials Needed: toast, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, cream cheese, banana, strawberries, apples, berries, any topping you want to create with.
Feeling insecure once in a while is normal. But it should not be your norm. Appreciating the body you have and refocusing toward positivity are steps you can take toward valuing yourself as a complex individual.
What if I asked you to name three things that you would change about your body? How quickly would you answer? And if I asked you to name three things you love about your body? Would you answer as quickly?
If you struggle with the positive answers, you are not alone. American women have a much higher rate of distorted feelings about themselves than women from other countries and cultures. In fact, in a survey by Body Image International, females in the U.S> had lower opinions about every body part they asked about. And these same feelings extend from women to teens to adolescents – most of us struggle with our body image at different points in our lives.
What is body image?
How do you see yourself and feel about your body when you look in the mirror? Your thoughts, perceptions and attitudes about your physical appearance are your “body image.” But your body image is more than how you feel about physical appearance, attractiveness and beauty. How you perceive your body is your mental representation of yourself. This “picture” can govern everything from your life plan to the plans you make each day.
While it may seem that we are making progress, our culture needs to continue to reshape what we see (think television and magazines) so that the majority of the models and actors represent the same diversity of bodies (among other attributes) that we have in real life. As long as the “ideal” or “preferred” is portrayed as “thin” or some other unrealistic size or shape for most of us, we will continue to have unrealistic expectations about our own bodies.
How does social media impact body image?
There are some social media “influencers” who use the platform to promote body positivity and self-acceptance. Ashley Graham, Serena Williams, and Demi Lovato are just a few female celebrities who have taken a stand by posting un-retouched photos of themselves or challenging negative comments made to their social media accounts about their bodies. As of yet, however, these actions are not counteracting the impacts of social media on most of us.
In fact, a study done by Rachel Cohen, PhD Candidate, UTS Graduate School of Health, in 2018 found “engaging in photo activities, (e.g. viewing friends’ photos or updating your own profile picture) on Facebook, was associated with concerns including greater “thin-ideal” internalization, self-objectification and body dissatisfaction.” The study also found that following appearance-focused accounts on Instagram, (i.e. health and fitness or celebrities like the Kardashians), was related to some negative body image outcomes and disordered eating.
So, if social media is showing more kinds of bodies, from thin to curvy to full-size, why do we still have a negative image of our own bodies? As adolescents, we experience the height of self-consciousness and the need for peer validation. It’s normal in our growth and development. But with the Internet as a new “peer,” the next question to ask is, “Is what I’m seeing real?” Air brushing, glittering light, posing, and filters are a few techniques that distort images and make what you see on social media quite different from reality.
What can I do to have a more positive body image?
Accept your body
Don’t body-share yourself. When you make harsh comments about your own body, it hurts your self-esteem. That’s true whether you say it out loud or think it to yourself. It hurts just as much as if someone else said it. Be kind. Respect yourself, even if you have things to work on.
Build a better habit. Do you have a habit of putting your body down? To break that bad habit, build a good one in its place. Tell yourself what you like instead of what you don’t. Keep doing it until it is a habit.
Like your body
Find things to like about your looks. Do you like the way your hands move or what they create? What about your eyes or your smile? Tell yourself what you like and why. If you aren’t sure, what do your friends tell you they like about you? Accept those things. Let yourself feel good. There is a lot to like about you.
Focus on what your body can DO. Celebrate all the things that your body does for you from breathing to dancing. Your body is amazing. Think about all that it enables you to do. Be grateful.
Take care of your body
Eat healthy foods. Learn what foods are good for you, and how much is the right amount. Eating right is about building strong bones, growing and having energy. Being good to your body can help you feel good about yourself.
Move every day. Your body takes care of you. Take care of it and have fun. What do you like to do to get moving? From walking, swimming, biking, hiking and so much more, movement is a gift. Moving also lifts our mood. It can also disrupt negative thoughts and help us refocus.
How can adults help?
Adults can acknowledge their own insecurities and struggles. In one study, 90% of teens who reported being unhappy with their body shape said their own mother had an “insecure body image.” How adults talk about ourselves, how we look, our relationship with food, diet culture and our bodies, as well as how we speak about other women in the news and on social media can have a huge impact on how young people perceive themselves.
Adults should talk about social media. Having a conversation around social media and how it makes adolescents feel can have a big impact. Open, honest, frank discussions about social media and the potential impact it can have can help uncover any feelings of negativity (or positivity) it may be having on the well-being of young people.
Adults can encourage role models of all shapes and sizes. Many of the images we see in magazines and across various media platforms can give us a skewed view of what we should aspire to look like. By highlighting different types of beauty, adults can help young people learn to recognize and overcome insecurities.
When should I talk with an adult?
Talk with a trusted adult after you have read this post. Tell them you have negative feelings about your body and any concerns you may have. Getting a different perspective and being reminded of how much you have to offer can help you feel confident and improve your self-esteem.
When we have negative thoughts and feelings about our bodies, these feelings may overflow into other areas of life. If you think you may be depressed, tell someone right away. Other things to watch out for:
Constant comparison of your body with others
Feelings of guilt or shame about food
A fixation on losing weight or about specific parts of your body
Use of diet pills, diuretics, or laxatives
Periods of fasting, or extremely limited food intake
Changes in mood (irritability)
If you experience any of these, tell a parent, doctor, or therapist what you are going through. Ask for help. Body image and self-esteem can get better with help and care.
Start on the path to positive body image
Getting to a positive body image is a journey that can take different lengths of time. Reading this article can be a first step from negative thoughts about your body toward positive body image. Now you have an introduction to healthier ways of looking at your body. If you think you need help to continue making changes, ask an adult. The more you practice positive thought patterns, the closer you will be to loving the body you have and appreciating who you are as a whole.