S’mores Executive Club members lead Fall Fundraiser, Girl Scout Cookie efforts

By Catherine Amoriello

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is excited to recognize and celebrate its 2022-2023 S’mores Executive Club (SEC) members! Our S’mores Executives hit it out of the park during the Fall Fundraiser and Girl Scout Cookie programs in 2021-2022 and have earned themselves some awesome exclusive gifts and rewards. Get to know these savvy entrepreneurs in the photo galleries below!

Ambassador S’mores Executives

Ambassador S’mores Executives Not Pictured:

  • Mikayla M. from Troop 70220

Senior S’mores Executives

Senior S’mores Executives Not Pictured:

  • Rebecka D. from Troop 30406
  • Rebekah W. from Troop 20404
  • Sritanvi K. from Troop 11436

Cadette S’mores Executives

Cadette S’mores Executives Not Pictured:

  • Alina S. from Troop 50252
  • Aviana G. from Troop 20078
  • Emily K. from Troop 52141
  • Roxie M. from Troop 71518
  • Jean M. from Troop 60073

Junior S’mores Executives

Junior S’mores Executives Not Pictured:

  • Abigail H. from Troop 80181
  • Anna M. from Troop 32725
  • Charley C. from Troop 20387
  • Kayleigh W. from Troop 20376
  • Kileigh K. from Troop 70430
  • Nicole M. from Troop 80160

Brownie S’mores Executives

Brownie S’mores Executives Not Pictured:

  • Geneva-Nichole Z. from Troop 61117
  • Lena K. from Troop 20672
  • Rylie C. from Troop 70050
  • Shilo F. from Troop 50843

Daisy S’mores Executives

Daisy S’mores Executives Not Pictured:

  • Aria D. from Troop 50603
  • Aubree K. from Troop 31167
  • Brenna I. from Troop 11111
  • Clara M. from Troop 32105
  • Elena G.-V. from Troop 20365
  • Kendra B. from Troop 10495
  • Lyndsay M. from Troop 33203

Congratulations SEC members for your hard work and dedication this year! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish next through Girl Scouts.

Want to learn more about the S’mores Executive Club? Visit GSHPA’s Cookie Sellers webpage.

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

A look back: Our 2022 Girl Scout Cookie Season

By Catherine Amoriello

Girls, volunteers and parents/caregivers of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) – WE DID IT! We made it through yet another successful Girl Scout Cookie Season. And not only did our girls persevere through challenges thrown their way, but they increased their total number of packages sold from last year!

In March, GSHPA asked girls to share their cookie booth adventures with us on social media and girls delivered! What better way to end the sweetest time of the year than through a recap of all the amazing cookie booths our girls led this season?

Cadette Troop 20322

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Juliette SU 715

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 10645

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 10734

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 11410

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 11411

Troop 20030

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 20393

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 21229

Troop 22125

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 32105

Troop 32109

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 32725

Troop 32727

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 33013

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 33203

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 50603

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 50829

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 51005

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 51441

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 52144

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 52286

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 52299

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 60041

Troop 60413

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 70110

Troop 70430

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 70479

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 71348

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 80065

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 80088

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troop 80338

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troops 32525 and 33203

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troops 40377, 40374 and 40375

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Troops 70417 and 70050

Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Donate Girl Scout Cookies to Operation Gratitude and make a military member’s day

By Catherine Amoriello

Operation Gratitude President and CEO General James Johnson
Retired Maj. Gen. of the U.S. Air Force James Johnson, Operation Gratitude President and CEO

As Cookie Season nears its end, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) would like to remind all you cookie lovers that not only are you able to buy cookies to enjoy yourself, but you have the unique opportunity to buy cookies to give back to others through GSHPA’s Gift of Caring donation program in partnership with Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude is a nonprofit that provides care packages to deployed troops, recruit graduates, veterans, military families, first responders and health care heroes. By donating to Operation Gratitude, Americans are able to express their appreciation to all who serve and protect our nation.

Operation Gratitude anticipates sending out 30,000 care packages by the end of May. Through donations received through GSHPA’s Gift of Caring program, each package will include two boxes of tasty Girl Scout Cookies along with other donated goods such as snacks, hygiene products, handmade items and a paracord bracelet. Retired Maj. Gen. of the U.S. Air Force James Johnson, Operation Gratitude President and CEO, said the cookies provide a special taste of home for package recipients.

“When people talk about this feel of home – Girl Scout Cookies are definitely the type of thing that transmits that. I think we all have an experience with Girl Scout Cookies,” Johnson said.

GSHPA has partnered with Operation Gratitude for its Gift of Caring program for the past two years. The partnership was born of GSHPA’s own connection to the military through Janet Donovan, GSHPA President and CEO, who served as a U.S. Navy Two Star Rear Adm. and holds more than 30 years of military experience. Between Donovan’s military history and Operation Gratitude’s mission to provide quality products that bring joy to its recipients, it was the perfect blend of common interests.

In 2021, GSHPA donated 46,000 boxes of cookies to Operation Gratitude. This year, the organization has a goal of donating 50,000 boxes of cookies. In an effort to reach this goal and spread awareness for the Gift of Caring program, Jess Delp, GSHPA Director of Product Program and Retail; Nancy Levy, Operation Gratitude Director of Donor Relations; and Johnson have all agreed to get a Girl Scout Cookie pie in the face if GSHPA hits its target for donations!

“Normally this wouldn’t be my thing. I’m actually excited that this may generate donations. I think it will be fun for the Girl Scouts,” Johnson said at the prospect of being pied in the face.

The idea for the cookie pie in the face incentive came from none other than a group of Girl Scouts during the Operation Gratitude phonathon event. They decided one lucky Girl Scout will have the pieing honors, selected through a random drawing of all girls who participated in the Cookie Program this year.

As of April 11, more than 32,000 boxes of cookies have been donated to the Gift of Caring program. With less than one week of Cookie Season left, GSHPA encourages customers to use the Girl Scout Cookie Finder to donate cookies online through a troop near them. For those who need help donating through the Cookie Finder, check out the slideshow below to see how you can donate in just five simple steps! You can also reach out to the GSHPA Member Services team at 800-692-7816 or at MemberServices@gshpa.org for assistance.

Donate today and help GSHPA meet its donation goal before Cookie Season ends!

How to Donate Girl Scout Cookies to Operation Gratitude in 5 Easy Steps

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Hanover-based orthodontic practice gives back through Girl Scout Cookies

EDITOR’S NOTE (March 29, 2022) David Ross Orthodontics pledges to purchase two cases of Girl Scout Cookies per troop, not per girl.

By Catherine Amoriello

Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics
Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is more than halfway through its Girl Scout Cookie Season and our girls are going stronger than ever! While Girl Scouts work hard to sell their cookies and hone their entrepreneurship skills, it’s important to remember that Cookie Season would not be possible without the support of many individuals. From our bakers, to our volunteers, to our cookie-loving customers, we appreciate all who support our Girl Scouts in reaching their cookie goals. One such supporter of the Girl Scout Cookie Program is Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics out of Hanover, Pa., and Lutherville-Timonium, Md.

This year will be the fourth year the practice is pledging to purchase two cases of Girl Scout Cookies per girl. As an orthodontic practice that serves a mostly younger demographic, supporting girls aligns with Ross’ philanthropic goals.

“The core of our practice is children. Anything that comes into our focal point of supporting kids, supporting programs that support children or supporting schools has always been the main focus of David Ross Orthodontics,” Ross said.

Dr. David Ross of David Ross Orthodontics with young Girl Scout and Girl Scout Cookies.
A Girl Scout shows her appreciation for David Ross Orthodontics’ support of her cookie endeavors.

Ross began the practice’s cookie initiative as a way to eliminate the challenge girls face of having to go door-to-door, or wait for customers to come to them to buy cookies. The initiative not only provides direct support to Girl Scouts and their troops, but gives back to individuals making a difference in the community as well. All cookies purchased by Ross are donated to first responders in Hanover, including police officers, firefighters, nurses and other community heroes.

“We support them [Girl Scouts] and take the cookies to support others in a pay it forward concept, which is how we run our business,” Ross said. “We have always done this, but the pandemic adds to the ‘thank you’ for all the hard work they do. Giving back to them has been so great and something that we want to do.”

In 2021, the practice purchased and donated more than 35 cases, or about 420 boxes, of Girl Scout Cookies. The practice does not have a limit to how many girls it will support through buying cases of cookies, and it welcomes any girl from any troop to get involved by emailing marketing@davidrossortho.com or calling/texting their office in Hanover at 717-637-4131.

And in case you were wondering, yes, Ross not only donates cookies but enjoys them himself as well! The orthodontist’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie is Thin Mints (but they have to be frozen).

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at camoriello@gshpa.org.

Pennsylvania governor celebrates 110th birthday of Girl Scouts with GSHPA

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf receives Girl Scout Cookies from Janet Donovan, President and CEO of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie is the Thin Mint. At right is Janet Donovan, President and CEO of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

Representatives from Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) were welcomed to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office on March 9 to mark a milestone in the Girl Scouts’ history: the 110th birthday celebration.

March 12 marks the day that Founder Juliette Gordon Lowe organized the first Girl Scout Troop in Savannah, Georgia. Lowe was ahead of her time as she helped organize enrichment programs, service projects and outdoor activities. Since the time of the first meeting with 18 girls present, Girl Scouts has grown to over 3.7 million members.

Janet Donovan, GSHPA President and CEO, was joined by Hershey-area Girl Scouts and sisters Alexis and Scarlett, a sixth-grade Cadette and a Daisy in first grade, respectively; and Raina, a third-grader and Brownie from Middletown.

GSHPA presented Gov. Wolf with his favorite Girl Scout Cookie, Thin Mints, as well as the newest Girl Scout Cookie, Adventurefuls (full transparency: the governor did pay for the cookies). Gov. Wolf also signed the GSHPA Happy Birthday poster and stood for various photos with the visiting Girl Scouts.

We thank the governor and his team for their hospitality this past week.

Below are some highlights from the visit.

Tips and tricks for your Girl Scout Cookie Booth

By: Colleen Buck

Girl Scout Cookie Booth season is just around the corner! Booths are a great way to increase troop sales while having a fun time. To have a successful booth, it is important to make sure you have everything you will need the day of, including smiles and excited girls! While we have had to adjust the way we hold cookie booths in the past two seasons, it’s important to be prepared to set the troop up for success. Read on for some tried-and-true ways to help your troop have a successful cookie booth season!

Teach girls cookie booth etiquette.

Service with a smile: Don’t forget to thank your customers!

This is a very important first step for cookie booths! Girls and troops are representing Girl Scouts to both their customers as well as the location that has allowed a booth to be set up. It is important to remind girls that stores and other locations may have certain rules in place, so knowing those rules ahead of time will be helpful. Actions like running around the entrance or inside of a store may result in that location not allowing us to return in the future.

No matter what age girls are at the booth, it is also important to remember to smile and say, “Thank you!” Showing customers our Girl Scout spirit will not only encourage them to return as customers in the future, but might even help to increase sales at the booth. Making sure each girl knows the cost of each cookie, what each cookie tastes like, knowing which cookies fit certain dietary concerns and how the troop will use the money earned can help boost sales as well.

Dress for success!

Look good, feel good: wear your Girl Scout uniform with pride!

Whenever we are representing Girl Scouts we want to dress for the part! Uniforms are the perfect way to not only represent Girl Scouts as an organization, but to catch the eye of potential customers. With that said, here in Pennsylvania we all know the weather in March and April can have a mind of its own! Be sure to check the weather forecast the night before a booth, and notify families that dressing in layers is always best. Even if the start of a cookie booth is warm and sunny, the end of a shift may not be.

Dress and prepare for comfort as well. Having one or two camp chairs for girls to take short breaks in can be helpful. Standing for hours on end is difficult, so taking measures to ensure comfort is important and will help the girls recharge throughout their shifts. Similarly, having things like carpet squares to stand on, or hand warmers for pockets can provide comfort and allow for a more successful booth shift.

Create an eye-catching booth.

Advertise with flair: make your booth stand out with bright colors and signs!

Bring the customers to you by decorating the booth with vibrant colors, signs, cookie themed décor and more! This is the perfect time to let the troop’s creativity shine. Little Brownie Baker has some great ideas for booth crafts and decorations that can really help jazz up the presentation and draw in customers. Having fun with the booth and using decorations, signs and even costumes will also create a fun energy that will allow the girls to have fun and the customers to have some fun as well!

Don’t forget, cookie cases and individual cookie boxes make for some great materials to use while crafting. A cookie box pennant to hang above or on the table takes care of advertising what is being sold and checks the boxes for fun and vibrant! For even more awesome cookie booth crafts, Pinterest is also a great resource!

Have fun!

When it comes to running a cookie booth, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Customers will naturally be drawn in to a booth where girls are energetic, smiling, conversational and happy to be there. Be prepared, create a visual booth that draws people in and remember that Cookie Season helps provide our girls with amazing skills and opportunities for the future!

Pressing forward: Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania mitigating supply chain challenges

By Janet Donovan

It’s COOKIE SEASON in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania – our third during this COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. When COVID-19 struck in 2020, our girls provided Girl Scout Cookies to their customers through creative and innovative ways, despite the lock downs. Our business community shared in helping those efforts. They learned about how to take their cookie business digital and how to create opportunities for contactless delivery. The second year, in 2021, they built on those skills, and many troops focused on Gifts of Caring to support our first responders and deployed military. This year, Girl Scouts, along with the rest of the nation, are learning about supply chain.

Recent national media attention about the Girl Scouts highlighted some of the production challenges that councils are experiencing regarding our Cookie Program. Although Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), hasn’t been immune to supply chain and labor issues, we are working diligently with our girls, our volunteers and our customers to ensure positive outcomes for our membership and for those we serve.

This is also an important time to remember that not every Girl Scout council is affected in the same way. Cookie Program seasons, consumer preferences and production schedules all factor into the mix.

GSHPA was informed by our baker, Little Brownie Bakers, earlier this year that they were experiencing production delays that may impact the availability of some types of cookies. Specifically, we have reduced S’mores and Adventurefuls cookies from our online order system due to demand.

To learn more about our digital order options from Girl Scouts you can visit our GSHPA site. Additionally, in-person cookie booth sales will begin in March.

Our Girl Scouts can and will rise to meet any challenge. We don’t have to look that far back in our past to see how our girls have proven time and again their resiliency when faced with adversity and challenges.

Let us also look beyond the Cookie Program, because our council – our volunteers, our members and our staff – never stopped providing key programming, interpersonal connections and outdoor experiences when most in-person contact was limited during the pandemic. Those connections provided countless positive outcomes for our girls during a very unsettling time.

Fast forward to present day and our girls are only just getting started with their 2022 Cookie goals, which we are already exceeding over last year. We are doing everything possible to ensure every Girl Scout can bring our beloved Girl Scout Cookies to their customers. Supporting our entrepreneurship efforts can be as easy as picking up some of your old favorites or trying something new this year. All proceeds from cookie sales remain local, with troops or our council, and girls will need community support and patience as they work to conquer this next challenge to their cookie businesses.  Thank you for supporting our youngest entrepreneurs on their pandemic business journey!

It’s important to note that we are grateful to have a strong and resilient GSHPA community to thank for our support as we move forward. Your support allows us to enjoy future success.

Janet Donovan is the President and CEO of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

Get Creative! Girl Scouts shine as entrepreneurs

By Cathy Hirko

This time of year my social media feeds have been BLOWING UP with all things Girl Scouts. From customers looking to buy Girl Scout Cookies to members sharing their favorite Girl Scouts memories, the digital world is pulsing with Girl Scout life.

Our Girl Scout Entrepreneurs are also using online platforms to market their cookies and demonstrate the fun of our Cookie Program.

Take this gem of a video:

It 100 percent will make you smile. The music, the fun, the creativity — the cookie shopping!

It all resonates with anyone who is passionate about what they do. And as the days grow more hectic and busy, we need to remember to breathe, and remember that having fun should always be a part of our day.

If you know of a Girl Scout, or Girl Scouts who you think we should highlight on the blog, please reach out. We would love to share their story or stories, and their videos!

That’s it for this post. Short and sweet.

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend. Soon, you will be enjoying Girl Scout Cookies!

What a Yummy Adventure!

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, its members, family and friends attended a number of Open House celebrations in September that highlighted Girl Scouts’ newest member of the Cookie family: Adventurefuls!

The brownie and salted-caramel Girl Scout Cookie was the star of the show for parties that we held in York, Scranton and Hershey. Attendees were able to sample the Cookie and try Cookie-inspired recipes.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the parties:

Didn’t get a chance to attend? We have another party coming up in Gettysburg on Nov. 7. Hope to see you there!

GSHPA’s Cookie Story Finds Success

Janet Donovan
President and CEO
Girls Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania

A recent Associated Press story regarding unsold Girl Scout Cookies on a national level highlighted the challenges that many Girl Scout Councils faced as we emerge from a nationwide pandemic. This was not the story for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

Like many nonprofits and businesses, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) was not immune to the trials COVID-19 forced upon our organization.

But we met those challenges and in many ways exceeded our goals. Our Girl Scouts thought like entrepreneurs. We found creative and innovative ways to reach our membership, our volunteers and to continue to implement our important girl-led programs. Those connections were especially crucial to many girls in our membership during this time of unprecedented isolation.

GSHPA, which represents 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, worked hard to seek out that success during this past cookie-selling season, which officially ended in April.

We are proud of our efforts!

In fact, our local inventory controls, unlike the overall theme of the AP story, were actually tighter this year than in years past.   

We did have fewer Girl Scouts participating in the program this year, but our program leadership, which collaborated with every department in our organization (as well as neighboring Girl Scout Councils), projected, budgeted and adapted appropriately.

We found new and exciting ways for our Girl Scouts to sell safely both online and in-person, which included holding traditional cookie booths.

Here are some key highlights:

·         In our S’mores Executive Club, which is an exclusive club that spotlights our brightest entrepreneurs who go above and beyond our product program efforts, the number of girls reaching that benchmark in 2019 was 94. In 2021, that number was 138, an increase of 46 percent.

·         In that same time period, our Girl Scouts increased their average number of cookie packages sold from 178 to 231.

·         When COVID hit in 2020, Girl Scouts sold about 300,000 packages that year in direct sales. This year, and under most of the same conditions, our planning paid off. Our Girl Scouts sold more than 580,000 packages.

In fact, when our council began our booth sales for 2021, we couldn’t meet the initial demand.

“Although our booth opportunities were down 50 percent this year (locations where businesses allow us to sell directly) our girls created safe and innovative ways to continue to reach their goals. During the first two weeks of our direct sales in March, we connected with a sister Girl Scout Council to purchase cookies from them so as to meet the demand of our local entrepreneurs,” said Jess Delp, GSHPA Director of Product Program and Retail.

We are also very proud of the overwhelming success of our 2021 Gift of Caring program. This council-wide service project gives our GSHPA community the chance to donate cookies to military troops overseas and other nonprofit partners.

This year, Operation Gratitude was the recipient of our Gift of Caring initiative, and we easily surpassed our goal of donating 30,000 boxes to troops. Donations were up by 60 percent! Those donations are a testament to the giving nature of our local Pennsylvania communities.

It’s important to note that all proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie Program remain local and help to fund all of our programs: our camps, outdoor programs, STEAM, leadership training and more.

We know that we will continue to face many challenges as we tackle the rest of 2021 and plan for 2022. But the lessons learned during these past 15 months have certainly shown us that we can adapt and find success in the most trying time period in recent history.

We are grateful to note that we have a strong and resilient GSHPA community to thank for our support as we move forward and we thank the central Pennsylvania community. Your support allowed us to experience the success that we enjoyed.

How you can help

GSHPA has received questions regarding how to reduce the excess cookie inventory of our sister Girl Scout Councils. We appreciate your outpouring of support!

To help, please visit digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/girlscouts2021 where you can donate cookies to first responders, food banks, and other worthy causes. In addition to helping other Girl Scout Councils with their cookie inventory, part of your donation will support local GSHPA Girl Scout Troops as well.

Thank you!