Author and publisher Phyl Campbell brings an inclusive vision to life

A York County creative mind shows how writing can be used to uplift others.

By Catherine Amoriello

At Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), we encourage girls to pursue their passions, whatever they may be. While Girl Scouts focuses a lot on outdoors, life skills, entrepreneurship and STEM, creativity and the arts go hand in hand with these programming tracks. Demonstrating the success that can be found in creative arts, as well as the impact creative skills can have on the community, is Phyl Campbell, a York County-based author, editor and publisher.

Phyl Campbell, founder of Phyl Campbell Press.

Campbell owns her own publishing company, Phyl Campbell Press, and serves as chair of the Splash! Book Carnival event. The carnival provides local authors opportunity to share aquatic-themed works with proceeds benefitting Autism at Face Value (AFV), a comic book publishing company that promotes neurodiversity acceptance by using comic books to demystify Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Looking to provide a more engaging vendor event for authors, Campbell teamed up with AFV co-founders Angela and Dave Kot to bring the carnival to life.

“We already had authors who were local [and] ‘othered,’ whether by autism or something else, and were writing with aquatic themes. And we knew we had artists with talents to share. All we had to do was provide an event where they could all shine,” Campbell said.

AFV’s mission hits close to home for Campbell as she herself has autism. After navigating her own self-development, she hopes through her work she can help others, regardless of if they have a disability or not.

“I used to worry that when people knew I was autistic, they would use it against me. Angela especially has helped me affirm and embrace my autism, and use my autism and need to self-advocate as a way to help advocate for all. Even people that aren’t autistic often need some form of accommodation,” Campbell said.

While Splash! Book Carnival had been Campbell’s brainchild for years, she recognizes the event would not have come to fruition without the support of others. She said after sharing her vision with the Kots, they didn’t hesitate to join her and back her idea. This partnership, in addition to others involved with AFV, has provided Campbell a support system that makes following her passion that much more enjoyable.

“Being part of AFV has given me a group of people with whom to share my ideas, hopes, frustrations and successes. It is really good to work together toward a goal [and] be doing something for others in a larger avenue of service,” Campbell said.

Phyl Campbell reads a book to children at Sonnewald Natural Foods event.

Following a pay it forward concept, Campbell supports aspiring authors by coaching girls and women throughout their writing process. She balances transparency with not overwhelming her mentees with too much information, saying meeting people where they are and trying to help them grow is very important.

For girls and young people who are interested in a career in writing or publishing, Campbell said it’s never too early or late to start. She said business smarts are key to successfully marketing yourself and your work, and much can be learned from self-published individuals. But her main piece of advice is applicable to anyone, no matter their interests or passions.

“Be bold and fearless in your pursuit. If you can tell a story that captures people’s attentions, you can leverage that to any aim you have. When you’re the writer, you control the narrative. That’s a very powerful position to be in.”

For older girls looking to explore their writing talents, check out the Cadette Screen Writer and Comic Artist badges, the Junior Scribe badge and the Senior Novelist badge.

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.

Take your outdoor interests to the next level; join a Girl Scout Trailblazer Troop

By Catherine Amoriello

Is your favorite part about Girl Scouting the outdoor adventures? Could you spend all day swimming, hiking, camping or learning about the outdoor world around you? Are you an enthusiastic outdoorswoman looking to level up your skills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to join a Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) Trailblazer Troop!

Girl Scouts from Troop 81597 in Fulton County earn their Trailblazer pin while working on their hiking badge at Blue Knob State Park. The girls climbed 2,000 feet to earn the badge and learned about wilderness first aid, stewardship and hiking skills.

Trailblazer Troops are special interest troops focused on the great outdoors. The troops zero in on five outdoor core competencies which include adventure sports, stewardship, hiking, camping and survivorship. For each competency, girls will strive to learn more about the activity, apply what they learn through participating in the activity, and share the activity in a way that engages others. Girls can focus on one concentration area or all five of them. The choice is theirs!

Trailblazer Troops are just like any other Girl Scout Troop. They still do badge work, complete Journeys, earn Higher Awards and go on trips – they just complete all of these tasks through an outdoors lens. While Trailblazer Troops are only available to girls in eighth through twelfth grade, there are no other requirements or prerequisites to join a troop. Trailblazer Troops are open to girls of all ability levels who are willing to complete the curriculum to earn their Trailblazer pin. But Sarah Baldwin, GSHPA Outdoor Program Manager, provides a dose of reality of what it means to be a Trailblazer.

Girl Scouts work on their survivorship skills by learning how to build a shelter with materials only found in nature.

“I think when people think of girls going outdoors, they don’t think of the skills. They think of girls going camping for a quick overnight or Girl Scout camp. It’s not getting dirty or roughing it in the woods, but it is. Especially with Trailblazers,” Baldwin said.

Like a traditional Girl Scout troop, Trailblazers have troop leaders to lead them through one adventure to the next. Any current troop leader can complete trainings to become a Trailblazer Troop Leader, and GSHPA welcomes new volunteers to sign on as leaders as well. Under the guidance of their troop leader, girls will have the opportunity to focus on outdoors skills such as diverse hiking and camping styles, orienteering, conservation practices, outdoor preparedness and safety, survival techniques and more.

Joining a Trailblazer Troop will not only improve girls’ outdoor competence, but will prove valuable in a multitude of career paths down the road. From environmental educator, to park ranger, to environmental advocacy lawyer, Trailblazer Troops open the door for girls to turn their passion for the outdoors into a lifestyle.

Girl Scouts prepare for their hiking expedition on the Appalachian Trail.

“There’s plenty of girls and women who hike the Appalachian Trail every year. The goal is to give girls confidence to do something similar,” Baldwin said.

For girls and troop leaders interested in learning more about Trailblazer Troops, be on the lookout for informational events this fall and winter. GSHPA will also be hosting a Trailblazer informational session at this year’s Virtual Volunteer Conference on Nov. 5.

Ready to get started now? Find a Trailblazer Troop to join near you by visiting GSHPA’s Trailblazer webpage and completing the Trailblazer Troop interest form.

Face a new outdoor challenge, get dirty, and embrace the wild – are YOU ready to be a Trailblazer?

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.

GSHPA board and committee member Stacey O’Neal Irwin shares importance of communication skills, personal impact of Girl Scouts

By Catherine Amoriello

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is honored to have so many volunteers supporting Girl Scouts’ mission in our local communities. And we not only have external volunteers working hard to build girls of courage, confidence and character, but we also find support internally from our many board and committee members.

GSHPA invites its members to learn more about the philanthropic professionals who help guide our organization and why they dedicate their time to serving Girl Scouts. This week, we’re recognizing Stacey O’Neal Irwin, GSHPA Board Member-At-Large, Volunteer Strategy Committee Chair, and former Board Development Committee member. Read on to learn more about this passionate volunteer!

Stacey O’Neal Irwin is a GSHPA Board Member-At-Large, the Volunteer Strategy Committee Chair, and a former Board Development Committee member.
What advice would you give to girls interested in a career in communication education?

I have learned over the course of my career that communication is a very versatile and useful topic to study. Learning about public speaking, group, interpersonal and non-verbal communication, leadership communication and media content creation are skills you can use for many kinds of careers. Studying communication also helps you become a better writer. Many companies and careers are looking for strong oral and written communication skills.

What can we do to have more girls/women in communication education?

Being a good communicator starts when you are young. Getting involved in clubs and activities like Girl Scouts helps young girls learn to use their voice in positive ways and allows them to practice verbally sharing their perspective in large and small groups. This also helps girls learn to become advocates for the ideals they believe in and the ideas they have. Fostering the idea that people want to listen to what girls have to say is important, because it leads to women who are strong communicators. Encouraging girls and young women to share their voice means we need to develop good listening skills so they feel heard. This builds confidence.

Why is being involved in Girl Scouts important to you?

I will always be grateful to my mother for being my Brownie troop leader. As I grew in Girl Scouting, I visited a TV studio with my troop and decided I wanted to study media and communication. I learned leadership and camping skills that helped me gain courage and confidence. I traveled and met Girl Guides from other countries. And I sold lots of cookies to pay my way. I became a leader of my daughter’s troop and watched girls earn their Gold Award like I did. I am grateful for the experiences I had and the volunteers who helped me along the way. I want to give back to the organization that helped me become who I am today and to give other girls those opportunities.

What advice do you have for girls who want to get involved with their communities?

I think it’s great to really think about the kinds of things you’re interested in. Brainstorm and write them down. Then think about community groups or non-profit organizations that have those same interests. Go to their events and volunteer. Then let others know of your interests so they can get you connected. Gather a few friends and start a club to help others in your community where you see a need. Or take a class to learn a new skill others might need, then volunteer using that new skill.

Of the four components of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (STEM, Life Skills, Outdoors and Entrepreneurship), which one resonates with you the most, or you find most valuable to girls’ success?

I like all four components and the way they intertwine to give a solid, unique foundation for programming experiences for girls and young women. I can share that I learned a lot of life skills from outdoor experiences. I gained confidence collaborating and planning trips, learning how to organize and budget my time and money, and learning water safety and first aid skills. I memorized the tour guide script and created my costume to be a tour guide at Foxfire House at Camp Furnace Hills. I gained confidence traveling, trail riding on horseback, kayaking, camping, hiking, and exploring in a safe environment at Girl Scout camp. I learned entrepreneurship skills selling cookies and fundraising. And certainly, STEM and the arts were intertwined in all of that. It combines for a unique leadership experience unlike any other.

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.

Mission Moment Recap – July

Girl Scouts in Centre, Cumberland, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lycoming, Monroe and York counties give back to community and participate in learning experiences.

*All Mission Moment information is submitted by volunteers/members. Should you have any questions regarding a submission, please email camoriello@gshpa.org.

By Catherine Amoriello

We love getting to see all of the great things our Girl Scouts are doing in their local communities! In July, our girls were busy making an impact by assembling birthday bag kits, learning how to care for horses, improving the safety features of a camp and so much more.

A York County troop improves a play space for children in their community.

Girl Scouts from Troop 20278 in York County created a play space in an underused parking lot for their Silver Award project. The girls created a project plan which they presented to and received approval from the church board. The troop then revamped the space by adding hopscotch, a four square court, a basketball key, a sensory walk, coloring space and outdoor toys.

Cumberland County girls honor Flag Day with a flag retirement ceremony.

Girl Scouts from Troop 10662 in Cumberland County held a flag retirement ceremony for the veterans of Marine Corps League of New Cumberland in honor of Flag Day. The girls led the Pledge of Allegiance, shared what the flag means to them and retired 27 flags.

Troop earns their Bronze Award by making birthday bag kits for a local food bank.

Girl Scouts from Troop 70255 in Lancaster County earned their Bronze Award by creating birthday bag kits for a local food bank. The group donated a total of 20 kits along with 10 additional bags of collected donations for the food bank. The troop also hosted a Juliette Gordon Low birthday party for Brownie and Daisy Girl Scouts where they taught the younger girls the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Service Unit brightens annual picnic at senior community with chalk art.

Girl Scouts from Service Unit 416 in Centre County “chalked the walk” to welcome families and friends to the annual summer picnic at Juniper Village senior living community. The girls drew pictures and wrote welcome messages for the residents and their loved ones.

Lycoming County Girl Scouts get an equestrian education.

Girl Scouts from Troop 61238 in Lycoming County visited the Stoney Creek Chincoteagues farm in Hughesville, Pa., to learn about horses and their care, and ride some of the horses. The stable is known for its Chincoteague Ponies that are cared for and rehabilitated at the farm. The girls loved getting to learn more about the unique breed.

Seniors demonstrate their travel skills with a trip to New York City.

Senior Girl Scouts from Troop 70569 in Lancaster County planned, budgeted for, and organized an end of year trip to various sites in New York City. The troop visited locations such as Girl Scout Central, the Cathedral of St. John the Devine, Hamilton Grange National Memorial, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, and Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The group also participated in a free flamenco dance lesson at Lincoln Center and learned how to read the train schedules and navigate the subway.

Lackawanna County troop gives back through several community service projects.

Girl Scouts from Troop 50070 in Lackawanna County learned how to make quilts at the Factoryville Methodist Church, helped at the United Neighborhood Center food pantry, and donated hygiene kits for the homeless to the Community Intervention Center. Their community service efforts helped the troop earn their Bronze Award.

Juniors take a road trip to improve safety features at a local camp.

Junior Girl Scouts from Troop 52296 in Monroe County identified a need for painted safety lines to raise awareness of elevated areas at a local camp. The girls used their Cookie Season funds to purchase paint and supplies and made a two-hour trip to the camp to get the job done.

Do you have a Girl Scout Mission Moment to share? Submit it now so we can showcase your passion and hard work in next month’s recap! Visit our Mission Moment Recap webpage on the GSHPA Blog to see more Mission Moments from previous months.

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.

GSHPA committee member Susan Smith talks importance of embracing the world around us, learning life skills

By Catherine Amoriello

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is honored to have so many volunteers supporting Girl Scouts’ mission in our local communities. And we not only have external volunteers working hard to build girls of courage, confidence and character, but we also find support internally from our many board and committee members.

GSHPA invites its members to learn more about the philanthropic professionals who help guide our organization and why they dedicate their time to serving Girl Scouts. This week, we’re recognizing Susan Smith, GSHPA Board Development Committee member. Read on to learn more about this passionate volunteer!

Susan Smith is a GSHPA Board Development Committee member.
What advice would you give to girls interested in a career in grant writing?

Being a grant writer is so much more than just writing. It’s being a part of creating something new or growing something already existing. It is the opportunity to tell a story and show impact. It is building new relationships as you interact with people from diverse backgrounds. If you are pursuing a career in grant writing, be prepared to approach projects from different angles. You also need to be open-minded, a team player, and adaptable. And resilience is also important – the grant world is highly competitive with many great causes and limited funding. Do not let a decline knock you down. Instead use it as a learning experience to help you develop stronger proposals in the future as you forge ahead in your mission.

What can we do to have more girls/women in grant writing?

Securing funding through grants is vital in so many industries and it is especially crucial to the survival of non-profits. This results in a high demand for individuals with grant writing skills. Volunteering and being actively engaged in the community helps girls gain a broader perception of the world and how it works, including the importance of financial stability for organizations trying to make a difference, and the impact on others if they are forced to close their doors due to a lack of funding. In addition to writing and grammar skills, research, marketing, financials, business acuity and relationship skills are also important.

Why is being involved in Girl Scouts important to you?

I strongly believe in and support the Girl Scout mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. I value the fact the organization seeks to empower all girls to lead their best lives regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic status or any other group affiliation. Girl Scouts helps girls realize their potential as they embark down the path to pursing their self-defined goals and living a meaningful life, however they may define it. Over forty years later, I still recall lessons I learned when I was a Girl Scout, and how those lessons helped to influence different aspects of my life and continue to do so to this day.

What advice do you have for girls who want to get involved with their communities?

Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Community engagement not only makes an impact on those around you, but it also impacts you directly as you develop new skills, meet new people, and learn more about the world around you. It helps you gain insight into challenges faced by others, while simultaneously helping you come to understand, and respect, different perspectives and ways of life, which is especially important in today’s world. Community involvement is a great way to help you discover your passions and is a great tool to help you gain experience and explore career opportunities.

Of the four components of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (STEM, Life Skills, Outdoors and Entrepreneurship), which one resonates with you the most, or you find most valuable to girls’ success?

STEM opens the door to a plethora of rewarding careers; outdoors leads to healthy living and preserving our planet, and entrepreneurship skills help you take control of your destiny. But as I reflect back on my life, life skills have always been at the forefront, both personally and professionally. I have had the opportunity to live, work, and travel all over the world. Wherever I went, I found life skills to be universal. Tapping into them helped me face obstacles head on and overcome challenges of each new place – whether it was adapting to a different culture, learning a new language, making friends, or simply getting lost when driving somewhere new. Life skills helped me to persevere.

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.

Board and committee member Anthony Billet shares importance of nurturing artistic talent, developing next generation of female leaders

By Catherine Amoriello

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is honored to have so many volunteers supporting Girl Scouts’ mission in our local communities. And we not only have external volunteers working hard to build girls of courage, confidence and character, but we also find support internally from our many board and committee members.

GSHPA invites its members to learn more about the philanthropic professionals who help guide our organization and why they dedicate their time to serving Girl Scouts. This week, we’re recognizing Anthony Billet, GSHPA Board Member-At-Large, Fund Development Committee Chair, Women of Distinction Committee member, and former Strategic Planning Committee member. Read on to learn more about this passionate volunteer!

Anthony Billet is a GSHPA Board Member-At-Large, Fund Development Committee Chair, Women of Distinction Committee member, and former Strategic Planning Committee member.
What advice would you give to girls interested in a career in visual marketing?

Be passionate! My best advice to anyone going into any career is to love what you do. Passion and confidence will take you to great lengths.

What can we do to have more girls/women in visual marketing?

It starts with funding art programs in our schools and nonprofits. Art, along with music, are some of the first programs to get cut within under-funded districts. The earlier we can identify artistic ability and nurture it, the better chances individuals will have pursuing their innate artistic passion.

Why is being involved in Girl Scouts important to you?

I have been very fortunate to be involved with Girl Scouts. I see the passion everyone involved brings to the organization. From staff, to board members, to volunteers, and of course the Girl Scouts themselves. Having a small part in developing tomorrow’s women leaders in a world that needs them now more than ever is extremely rewarding.

What advice do you have for girls who want to get involved with their communities?

Find a mission you are passionate about! Find something that you want to make a difference in. There are so many meaningful initiatives to get involved with, and they will welcome you with open arms.

Of the four components of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (STEM, Life Skills, Outdoors and Entrepreneurship), which one resonates with you the most, or you find most valuable to girls’ success?

I feel like STEM is maybe the most underserved component. I think there are years of systemic reasoning for that. It has been my mission during my time as a board member to try and advocate for more opportunities and acceptance of women in those industries.

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.

GSHPA Treasurer and Executive Committee member Bridget Casher talks importance of mentorship, passion for volunteering

By Catherine Amoriello

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is honored to have so many volunteers supporting Girl Scouts’ mission in our local communities. And we not only have external volunteers working hard to build girls of courage, confidence and character, but we also find support internally from our many board and committee members.

GSHPA invites its members to learn more about the philanthropic professionals who help guide our organization and why they dedicate their time to serving Girl Scouts. This week, we’re recognizing Bridget Q. Casher, GSHPA Treasurer, Executive Committee member and ex-officio member of the Finance and Audit Committee. Read on to learn more about this passionate volunteer!

Bridget Casher is the GSHPA Treasurer, an Executive Committee member, and an ex-officio member of the Finance and Audit Committee.
What advice would you give to girls interested in a career in investment consulting?

The best advice I can provide is advice I once received which helped shape my career and still something I lean on today: Seek out, work alongside, and keep in touch with a strong mentor. My two mentors helped me navigate my industry, pushed me to be my best self, and provided honest, yet fair, feedback. My career has been rewarding, challenging, and successful thanks to strong mentors who helped me develop a career path within the investment industry.

What can we do to have more girls/women in investment consulting?

We can help share our experiences and help mentor a girl/woman earlier. I personally get out to volunteer in my child’s elementary school to explain my career and introduce financial topics. The more we expose girls to the importance of this industry and saving/investing, the better for everyone.

Why is being involved in Girl Scouts important to you?

I believe we need to support, encourage, and build the next generation to be great. My passion to coach and volunteer developed right out of college. Girl Scouts was an opportunity to be involved locally, support our community, and help build the Girl Scouts organization into a long lasting program for many more generations.

What advice do you have for girls who want to get involved with their communities?

Giving back is a passion and a true calling. Before just jumping into something, test the waters with an organization, it’s important to get involved with a program that means something to you or aligns with your value system. It will help feed your soul and make it easier to show up each time with a smile on your face if you like what you’re doing. All of our communities need extra help right now. Step up and be the reason your community needs one less volunteer!

Of the four components of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (STEM, Life Skills, Outdoors and Entrepreneurship), which one resonates with you the most, or you find most valuable to girls’ success?

For me, the Outdoors is my most important component and helps me be a strong leader every day. It allows me to develop leadership skills and disconnect from technology to unwind. This in turn allows me to dial into my other skills – mathematics, creativity, being an entrepreneur, and positively working with others. I find such freedom in the outdoors. It’s amazing if you take a hike you must be focused to stay on the right trail yet be willing to try new adventures. Hiking also teaches us about being prepared to weather any storm. Working in the investment industry is a lot like a good or bad hike (ups/downs) will happen. You must be prepared for the unexpected. You really gain a sense of independence, learn to create your own path, bring a group together to lead a new adventure, and learn to deal with the unexpected. These are all important skills in business that translate in everyday life.

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.

Perry Media Group’s Marcia Perry Dix shows girls, women what’s possible with perseverance

A marketing and public relations company founder in Dauphin County proves unshakeable in her entrepreneurial pursuits.

By Catherine Amoriello

Throughout her 28-year entrepreneurship journey, Marcia Perry Dix has been told “no” a lot. But she didn’t let the naysayers keep her from her dream of establishing Perry Media Group (PMG) and building her marketing, public relations and advertising empire.

Marcia Perry Dix, founder and CEO of Perry Media Group (PMG).

Dix founded her company in 2014 and has served as principal for eight years. She oversees strategic marketing direction for every client, relationship and project that comes through PMG’s doors, and she considers maintaining her personal brand an additional work responsibility.

“I’m representing myself, my family, girls, black women and women of color. You have to uphold a positive image for your community,” Dix said.

Dix is hyper focused on serving the community through her company, seeking to create a positive impact and uplift others. She describes her work as projects with a purpose – from tobacco-use, to opioid awareness, to diabetes prevention, Dix said PMG is an ad agency that brings hard conversations to the community to help better the lives of its inhabitants.

“We work on campaigns that are culturally competent and help the community be better residents of PA. Everyone’s battling something,” Dix said.

Dix’s love of helping others is clear in the work PMG produces, the companies she works with and the people she invites on staff. Dix purposefully supports minority and women-owned businesses, and she established the Mom Squad at PMG as a support system for working moms at her company who sought an opportunity to experience entrepreneurship as individuals, not as a corporation.

In addition to the support she provides through the Mom Squad, Dix has mentored many young women throughout her career. She believes it is her responsibility to pass on what she’s learned to others so they can continue the work.

“I give them my time, my love and my support and it has been amazing to see some of the people I’ve mentored throughout my career grow and do amazing things with their lives,” Dix said.

“We believe in our dream so much that nothing can shake us.”

Marcia perry dix, founder and CEO of Perry Media group (PMG)

Dix preaches consistency and storytelling are key to being a successful entrepreneur/business woman, and that you must find ways to reinvent or upgrade your product or service to keep it fresh. She also identified good listening skills, communication skills, grace under pressure, and kindness and a warm tone as traits that have helped her find success in the field. But most importantly, she said aspiring entrepreneurs have to be OK with starting on the bottom and learning the ropes to work their way up.

“I moved to Hershey 17 years ago. I went to every event. I shook as many hands as I possibly could. I got on as many boards as I could. I did a lot of work in the community at no charge,” Dix said of the hustling she had to do to get where she is now.

So yes, Dix got told “no” a lot more than she was told yes while pursuing her dream of owning her own business. But with determination, perseverance, hard work and patience, Dix proved the grind is worth it to finally hear that one “yes.”

“You have to be all in. I believe in myself so much, I believe in what I’m saying. Every no I get, I’m closer to the yes. When I win, everyone will win.”

For girls interested in learning more about entrepreneurship or business, there are multiple badge opportunities to explore! Check out a few of the options available below.

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.

Camp-inspired breakfast sandwiches and life-long memories

By Cathy Hirko

By day, York County resident Victoria Connor is helping support legal professionals and connecting countless families and individuals with lawyers to help address their legal concerns.

Connor has been the CEO of both the York County Bar Association and the York County Bar Foundation for more than 10 years. Prior to that, she spent 11 years with the American Red Cross as director of communications and public support. She has been bestowed with many leadership honors, including the Circle of Excellence Award from the Central Penn Business Journal and the York ATHENA Leadership Award. In May, she will be recognized as the 2022 Spring Honoree for Martin Library Honors in York County.

But this column isn’t about that.

It’s about fond Girl Scout memories of camp, creative outdoor breakfasts and a fun nickname.

Connor herself was not a Girl Scout. She thanks her daughter Brittany for her Girl Scout experiences.

Victoria Connor, left, with her daughter Brittany.

“I became involved when my daughter joined Brownies and then the troop later needed a leader,” she said.

The camp memories with Brittany, now 33, are still a highlight when they look back to their Girl Scout days. They attended both Camp Echo Trail and Camp Furnace Hills in Lancaster County.

“She still talks about the singing steps and horseback riding,” Connor said.

Connor’s favorite memory as a mom/volunteer happened when she attended a weekend-long “learn how to camp” troop leader training with her co-leader. On that trip she remembered there being torrential downpours and those sharing a tent with Connor “laughed until our sides hurt.”

“It was a wonderful bonding experience, not to mention educational with all the tips, tricks, hacks and recipes we learned,” she said.

Among those skills Connor acquired were how to make a hand-washing station out of a recycled bleach bottle and the famous Egg McMuffin copycat sandwich by placing the ingredients in recycled tuna cans over a campfire.

Those tips now serve Connor well when she is with her girlfriends venturing out on their annual camping and tubing trips.

“We have been going for 30 years and the McMuffins…are a staple,” she said.

Connor proudly boasts that her friends have since given her the “Vicguyver” moniker, which stuck and it’s now her Twitter handle.

“They gave me the nickname as a result of all the ingenious Girl Scout camping inventions I put into practice on our trips,” she said.

To learn more about Girl Scout in the Heart of Pennsylvania camping opportunities, visit our website.

Cathy Hirko is the Marketing and Communications Director for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at chirko@gshpa.org.

Mission Moment Recap – June

Girl Scouts in Centre, Columbia, Dauphin, Lancaster, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Perry and Wyoming counties give back and participate in Girl Scout events in their communities.

*All Mission Moment information is submitted by volunteers/members. Should you have any questions regarding a submission, please email camoriello@gshpa.org.

By Catherine Amoriello

We love getting to see all of the great things our Girl Scouts are doing in their local communities! In June, our girls were busy making an impact by donating snacks to elementary school students, beautifying senior living homes, sharing their Girl Scout pride at events and so much more.

Service Unit represents Girl Scouts at Memorial Day parade.

Girl Scouts from Service Unit 175 in Dauphin County participated in the Hummelstown Memorial Day parade. The girls did a great job representing Girl Scouts for the two-mile long walk.

Girl Scouts donate tasty snacks to students taking state exams.

Girl Scouts from Service Unit 301 in Columbia County helped sort and deliver Girl Scout Cookies to students taking state tests at a local elementary school. The donation was well received!

Daises visit Girl Scout Camp for the first time.

Daisy Girl Scouts from Troop 10730 in Dauphin County traveled to Camp Happy Valley for their annual camping trip. The camping theme was fairies which saw the girls create wands, flower headpieces and their very own fairies. The troop also had a campfire and made s’mores. It was the first time many of the girls attended camp.

Cadettes beautify senior home for Silver Award Project.

Cadette Girl Scouts from Troop 50015 in Wyoming County designed, built and installed two large raised garden tables at a local senior home for their Silver Award Project. The girls also cleaned up a large courtyard area that had overgrown due to staff shortages at the facility.

Troop takes a page out of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ for their end of year party.

Girl Scouts from Troop 61238 in Lycoming County held their end of year celebration Alice in Wonderland-style with a Happy Un-Birthday tea party. The girls reflected on their year and made goals for the next Girl Scout year.

Perry County Girl Scouts prepare to embark on new Girl Scout journeys.

Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts from Troops 10495, 10479 and 10481 in Perry County held their bridging ceremony. Six Daisies, eight Brownies and four Juniors bridged to the next Girl Scout level and two Cadettes were initiated through an investiture ceremony.

Troop celebrates milestones and achievements at bridging and badge ceremony.

Girl Scouts from Troop 52282 in Monroe County held their bridging and badge ceremony at Ice Lake Park in Cresco. The troop leaders, parents/caregivers and girls were excited to celebrate all the achievements the girls accomplished throughout the past year. The troop began with just five girls in 2020 and has grown to a group of 18.

Girl Scouts use media design tools to bring awareness to environmental issues.

Girl Scouts from Troop 70525 in Lancaster County created digital posters as part of their Media Journey Take Action Project.

Girl Scouts enjoy a night of fun and baseball at Girl Scout Night.

Girl Scouts from the Friendly Valley Service Unit in Lancaster County attended Girl Scout Night at the Lancaster Barnstormers. Girl Scout volunteer Carol Caddick and former Girl Scout Delaney Castagna from the Gold Award Class of 2021 participated in the first pitch. Girls from Troop 70105 presented the flag and Troops 70122 and 71308 led the crowd in a dance party during the seventh inning stretch.

Daisies and Brownies celebrate the end of their Girl Scout year with vesting and capping ceremony.

Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts from Troop 60271 in Lycoming County were celebrated at an end-of-year vesting and capping ceremony. The girls received their age-level vest and vintage cap, a bouquet of flowers representing the Girl Scout Promise and Law and a certificate. The troop is led by Ambassador Girl Scout and S’mores Executive Club member Sarah K., and Senior Girl Scout and S’mores Executive Club member Brylea S. served as MC for the ceremony.

Cadette finds her passion after joining Girl Scouts.

Cadette Girl Scout Sophia from Troop 33206 in Luzerne County found her calling in woodworking through joining Girl Scouts. After some initial hesitation to join, Sophia learned to enjoy Girl Scouting and found her passion after working on a woodworking badge with her troop. Her experience inspired her to enroll in the carpentry program at Wilkes-Barre Area Career & Technical Center when she entered high school.

Adult members are honored at a volunteer appreciation pinning ceremony.

Volunteers Barb John, Connie Gehman, Debbie Shue, Faith Irwin, Flora Poulos and Katie Knaub in Lancaster County were awarded the Volunteer of Appreciation Award pin. The award recognizes a registered adult Girl Scout member’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. GSHPA Volunteer Strategy Committee Chair Stacey Irwin awarded the members their pins.

Girls earn Silver Award by creating calming space for health care staff.

Girl Scouts from Troop 40034 in Centre County earned their Silver Award by establishing a “Less-Stress Space” at Mount Nittany Medical Center for the staff to enjoy and relax in during their breaks. The girls created a mobile stress-relief cart and decorated the space with plants and local art work to create a calming area.

Do you have a Girl Scout Mission Moment to share? Submit it now so we can showcase your passion and hard work in next month’s recap! Visit our Mission Moment Recap webpage on the GSHPA Blog to see more Mission Moments from previous months.

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.