All About Allergies

Mackenzie Borkovich earned her Girl Scout Gold Award for her project, “All About Allergies.” She was celebrated alongside 54 other Girl Scouts at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania’s 2023 Gold Award Ceremony on May 7, 2023. The following is the speech she recited at the ceremony.

It took me eight near-death experiences to become a Gold Award Girl Scout. Funny
enough, they all happened before I even logged my first hour. I’ll explain soon, but first, I wanted to start my speech at the true beginning of my Girl Scout journey. Before I even hit kindergarten, I had my first adventure with Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania at around the age of four.

My older sister, Madison, a past Gold Award closing speaker who is in the audience with us today, was attending one of her first overnight trips. Members of Troop 51086 and their families were invited to Idlewild Amusement Park’s then-annual family Camp-o-Ree. Each family stayed in tents overnight, and the days spent on the grounds were filled with rides on the Wild Mouse and exchanging SWAPS. It was great—until it wasn’t.

I realized there weren’t “real” bathrooms—only outdoor, camp-style dwellings, which I
was not going into. My mother was onto my tricks, constantly asking, “Kenz, are you sure you don’t need to go to the bathroom?” An inquiry to which I kept lying, “No!” However, it wasn’t until Madison burst out of the tent to greet my mother at the entryway, abandoning the cards we were playing with to scream, “MOM! Mackenzie PEED her PANTS!” that the jig was up for good. I tried to lie, but the wet spot on my fruit-patterned shorts was fooling no one. The Girl Scouts, like outdoor plumbing, was not for me, I decided.

Considering I stand before you as a speaker today, unsurprisingly, I was enrolled the next year anyways. In addition to the lessons I learned from my times with the great (and not so great) moments outdoors, Girl Scouts became a family affair—my dad even registered as an official [Girl] Scout online! He commemorated the event by donning a shirt that read, “Man enough to be a Girl Scout.” When we went on a trip to Savannah, Georgia, the birthplace of the organization, we all visited the home of founder Juliette Gordon Lowe, or as the tour guide said, “the original J-Lowe.” He got a kick out of that. The shop also had pins for registered [Girl] Scouts only. He was arguably even more pleased to gleefully tell the cashier, “I am a Girl Scout!” and snatch one.

Camping, oddly enough, became one of the central themes of my experience and also brought me more frights before I started my Gold Award journey. I attended our local summer “Sunset Camp” for years before finally becoming a counselor. The first rule of Sunset Camp is that all the counselors had camp names. My name was Mouse (yes, like the Wild Mouse). As a counselor, the primary rule was that under no circumstances were real names to be revealed. This taught crucial lessons in patience and delayed gratification, and of course, added to the fun of the atmosphere. My mother, the camp photographer, taught a quickly corresponding lesson on how to ruin all of these things by yelling, “Mackenzie! Move over in the photo!” Sigh.

Between the years of archery, songs, ziplines, and s’mores (complete with my sister
ridiculing me each time for eating the pieces all separately, marshmallow golden brown only), I became a “real” Girl Scout and began my journey through . . . well, journeys! The Bronze and Silver Awards were all teamwork, and I was fine with hopping onto other people’s ideas and helping them to get whatever was needed done. Unlike my sister, who does not play well in the sandbox, I thrive through working with others. This is why when I realized I had to complete the Gold Award independently, I promptly announced that I . . . was quitting.

To be completely honest, the journey I was looking at involved coding. I figured I could pawn that off well enough to my sister, majoring in, among other things, information science and technology design and development. I had procrastinated the Gold Award for so long, the nervous feeling I had over a decade ago at Idlewild started to creep back up. First, I would never finish in time. Next, what was I going to do? What was I . . . dying for?

Nuts! Throughout my time in school, there were eight (that we can remember) occasions in which I was almost eliminated from the planet by an afoul almond, potent pistachio, or baneful Brazil nut: most of them involving teachers and, yes, a school NURSE! I decided to take on allergy awareness with my project. After building a network of amateurs and professionals, I did some research and created an article and videos for high school student awareness. Participants are required to read and watch materials including Epi-pen and Auvi-Q demonstrations, as well as take a yearly quiz.

Of course, I told my outdoor origin story to make fun of myself and shed light on where everything started. However, more importantly, I want my tale to leave you all with hope today. No matter how challenging something may be, sometimes, you just need a good team to get through it. Although I often was venomous about constant nagging, it is what I needed to see the forest through the trees. Additionally, you must believe in yourself. And last of all, if your big goals in life don’t scare you just a little bit, then you are probably shooting too small. In your future endeavors, be sure not only to find your campground, but to actually leave the tent when it’s time to go. Thank you.

Gold Award Girl Scouts Honorable Mentions

Included in this year’s Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania Awards of Distinction honorees were two Gold Award Girl Scouts who received the honors of Honorable Mention Girl Scout Humanitarian and Honorable Mention Girl Scout of Distinction.

Gold Award Girl Scout Madelyn Sheffel, a junior who is dual-enrolled at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School and Community College of Beaver County, accepted the award for the 2023 Honorable Mention Girl Scout of Distinction for her project: Stop Cancer: Attention to Prevention Education Program.

As a daughter of two cancer survivors, Madelyn wanted to educate others about
ways to decrease the risk of cancer. As a team leader for Relay for Life, she noticed that the events focused on cancer research and patient support, but there was a lack of information about cancer prevention.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 50% of all cancers could be preventable. Utilizing information and contacts from the American Cancer Society and Allegheny Health Network, Madelyn developed “Stop Cancer: Attention to Prevention,” a program focused on educating the public about lifestyle modifications that can be made today to help decrease the risk of cancer tomorrow. She created a pop-up education center with 12 information stations that is taken to Relay for Life and other community events along with a prevention pledge and social media campaign that increased her outreach nationwide.

Crowned Miss Midstate’s Teen 2023, Madelyn says that her Gold Award became her platform for the Miss Midstate Scholarship Organization.

“I love being able to use the voice I developed in [Girl] Scouting to raise awareness for cancer across the state!” Madelyn said. She will compete for Miss Pennsylvania’s Teen on June 16, 2023.

Gold Award Girl Scout Lillian Spencer, a student at Pittsburgh CAPA, accepted the award for the 2023 Honorable Mention Girl Scout Humanitarian for her project: Mural Madness: How Art Can End the Alienation of Minorities.

Lillian’s project brought diversity education to YMCA summer camps throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. Working with a diversity expert from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, she researched the proper language and methodology to teach empathy and the importance of representation while still acknowledging her own privilege.

She painted three large mural panels with various portraits and brought them to YMCA summer camps where she conducted educational workshops with over 150 students. Alongside several volunteers and camp counselors, the children learned about the importance of including others and embracing their own individuality through art, games, and several storybooks. The mural panels were completed with the children as everyone participated in an open discussion about the issues at large. Lillian believes that by having these conversations early on, we can encourage our future generations to be kinder and more equitable, leading to a better world for all.

We were honored to celebrate these outstanding Gold Award Girl Scouts alongside the other honorees at our Awards of Distinction event. Congratulations on your exceptional achievements, Madelyn and Lillian!

For more information about this year’s event and honorees, please visit

2023 Gold Award Girl Scouts Receive Honors

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania’s annual Awards of Distinction event celebrates women who exemplify excellence in leadership throughout our council’s region, as well as the accomplishments of two Gold Award Girl Scouts who received the honors of Girl Scout Humanitarian and Girl Scout of Distinction.

Gold Award Girl Scout Sophia Gledhill, a graduate of Quaker Valley High School, accepted the award for the 2023 Girl Scout Humanitarian for her project: Eco Brick Initiative.

Sophia created a website and held workshops which provided information concerning the global plastic crisis and a potential solution, the eco brick—a small water bottle filled with non-biodegradable plastic which is used as a building material.

As a student growing up during the height of environmental pollution, Sophia knew that she needed to make a change. Unfortunately, misinformation and general disinterest in the plastic pollution crisis amongst her peers and citizens worldwide has led to the continuation and exacerbation of plastic pollution.

Her workshops taught students at her high school how to create their own eco bricks, as well as how to reduce their personal environmental impact. Sophia created an eco brick bench containing over 6,000 plastic bags at a local basketball court in her community which further continues to educate people on plastic pollution.

Gold Award Girl Scout Noelle Kraeger, a senior at Highlands High School, accepted the award for the 2023 Girl Scout of Distinction for her project: Promoting Healthcare Equality by Overcoming Language Barriers.

While working on one of her Journey projects, Noelle learned of the challenges that
Spanish-speaking families may face when seeking health services for their children due to language barriers and a lack of Spanish-speaking healthcare providers. This, along with her future aspiration to become an educator, was the inspiration for her Gold Award project.

Noelle’s project focused on creating a resource that healthcare workers can utilize to better communicate with Spanish-speaking children and their families. An additional goal was to promote the development of language skills for children prior to starting school. Donations were raised to purchase bilingual books that were given to preschool-aged children during their clinic visits.

We were honored to celebrate these outstanding Gold Award Girl Scouts alongside our 2023 Women of Distinction honorees at our Awards of Distinction event. Congratulations on your incredible achievements, Sophia and Noelle!

For more information about this year’s event and honorees, please visit

2023 Adult Awards

Each year, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania accepts nominations for the exceptional volunteers who serve as the backbone of our organization. The Adult Award Review Committee then has the distinct privilege of reviewing those nominations and assessing each one carefully. The board approves the nominations for the Adult Awards, including the Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge I and II, and the President’s Award. Congratulations to our 2023 Adult Award recipients!

Honor Pin Recipients

The Honor Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which has had a measurable impact on two or more geographic areas of service, allowing the council to reach and surpass its mission-delivery goals.

Shelley BobackService Unit SU4651-Westmont Johnstown in Cambria County

Shelley received this pin for her unwavering dedication to bringing Girl Scouts to every girl. As a troop leader for an impressive five troops—four of which began this year—Shelley is always stepping up to help wherever there’s a need. Her passion for the outdoors is evident in her certification in several outdoor activities, including archery and hatchet throwing. Her expertise has been invaluable in planning and executing outdoor activities for her troops, providing girls with unforgettable experiences and lifelong skills.

Shelley organized a wildly successful Brownie Bash event, open to all girls and attended by several service units as part of the Trefoil Alumnae group. She has also served as a Gold Award mentor, helping girls to achieve their biggest goals and reach their full potential. Her tireless dedication to Girl Scouts both within her own service unit and beyond is remarkable.

Susan Finizio – Service Unit 5703-Mt. Lebanon in Allegheny County

As co-leader of Travel Troop 52619, Susan provides girls with the opportunity to explore the world. Her dedication is truly remarkable as she tirelessly organizes the MagNut and cookie programs for girls in several different service units and plans engaging fundraising activities such as gift-wrapping and Journey days for girls all over our council. With her help, girls in the travel troop are able to raise funds for their exciting travel adventures.

Recently, the travel troop returned from an excursion to Panama, and this summer they are eagerly anticipating their trip to the Galapagos. The troop is already planning their next adventure to Germany in 2024, and Susan is the master organizer, ensuring everything is in perfect order to make these incredible journeys happen.

Michelle Wiesen – Service Unit 3622-Fairview in Erie County

Michelle has made exceptional contributions as a volunteer for the Greater Erie Area Day Camp. Serving eight service units from Erie County and beyond, Michelle has been an essential leader for years, tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure that every participant has what they need. She’s an active member of her service unit as well, consistently working hard to ensure that events and activities run smoothly and exceed expectations.

Michelle’s talent and leadership skills also shine outside of her local community. As part of the steering committee for the adult Great Getaway retreat, she led a workshop on creating beautiful shabby chic sunflowers. The expertise and creativity inspired adult volunteers throughout our council.

Thanks Badge Recipient

The Thanks Badge honors an individual whose ongoing commitment, leadership, and service has have an exceptional, measurable impact on meeting the mission-delivery goals and priorities of the entire council or the entire Girl Scout Movement.

Denise Cerilli-Martz – Service Unit 2664-Central Westmoreland in Westmoreland County

As a troop leader for multi-level Troops 26831 and 27038, and a member of the Gold and Silver Award committees, Denise has gone above and beyond in her dedication to our organization. Her role as a mentor for troops and service units interested in flag ceremonies is invaluable, and we are especially grateful for her recent oversight of the flag ceremony and guard at the funeral of former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of Talus Rock, Frances Hesselbein.

Denise’s commitment to community events and initiatives has undoubtedly strengthened the integrity of Girl Scouting and its members. Her volunteerism sets the standard for excellence in leadership.

President’s Award Recipients

The President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals. 

Service Unit 5104-North Allegheny East of Allegheny County

The North Allegheny East Service Unit fosters the development of girls’ character, confidence, and courage through a variety of troop-led events, including a summer camp-out, fall movie night, powderpuff derby, Thinking Day, and Earth Day events. The service unit actively engages its girls in community outreach, encouraging participation in charitable and service projects, with special emphasis on supporting troops working towards their Bronze Award. They also host a number of bring-a-friend events throughout the year.

Service Unit 2662-St. Mary’s of Elk County

This year, St. Mary’s and Ridgway service units merged with a shared commitment to providing exceptional Girl Scout experiences. They’ve expanded their offerings, organized more activities and events, and developed an effective digital communication plan to keep leaders informed. Impressively, they’ve retained over 65% of their girl members from last year and continue to prioritize recruitment and providing resources for their members to thrive.

Service Unit 2657-Northern Star of McKean County

The Northern Star Service Unit exceeded their recruitment and retention goal by an impressive 9%. Their commitment to effective communication, exciting programming, and community service has created a culture of hands-on learning and leadership development. Girls are empowered to take the lead in planning and executing events and activities, further fostering their growth and development.

Service Unit 2623-Clarion of Clarion County

The Clarion Service Unit is known for hosting outstanding events for their girls as well as for neighboring service units. They also make a positive impact in their community by actively participating in service projects and parades. The service unit has established a fruitful partnership with Clarion University, and they are currently planning a multi-service unit day camp for troops who would like to participate.

Service Unit 5406-Pine Richland of Allegheny County

The Pine Richland Service Unit has cultivated an active and vibrant Girl Scout community by enhancing digital communication, expanding service unit offerings, and engaging more leaders and families. With a strong focus on girls in 7-12 grades, they prioritize community involvement and opportunities for growth in STEM and life skills. The service unit also invested in a Pinewood Derby track, demonstrating their commitment to offering unique and enriching experiences for their girls. Through partnerships with their community, their girls are true leaders, tackling challenges and earning their highest awards while making a positive impact.

Service Unit 2612-Franklin Regional of Westmoreland County

The Franklin Regional Service Unit is dedicated to ensuring every new girl has a troop and supporting troop leaders and volunteers to achieve success. The team has implemented effective recruitment strategies to achieve this goal. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the service unit has successfully revived its events to keep girls engaged.

Service Unit 2651-Bradford of McKean County

The Bradford Service Unit has made significant strides in building a stronger community this year. With a remarkable retention rate of over 70%, they have successfully kept older girl troops engaged. Responding to feedback from their members and in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, they hosted a highly successful STEM event for older girls. The service unit is dedicated to providing exciting opportunities for their older age levels so they remain actively involved in Girl Scouting.

Service Unit 4651-Westmont Johnstown of Cambria County

The Westmont and Johnstown service units merger two years ago proved to be a catalyst for growth, with an impressive 38% increase in membership this year, including the addition of 61 new girls. A new leader support system was established to accommodate the 12 new troops formed in the past two years. To maintain retention, this service unit encourages girls to participate in all aspects of Girl Scouting, including planning events and activities, earning the highest awards, and engaging in community events.

Silver Award Committee

The Silver Award Review Committee guides Cadettes in their pursuit of the Silver Award, a milestone that encourages personal growth and civic engagement. With monthly FAQ sessions, intent form reviews, and final report evaluations, the committee ensures that each project meets national standards. Their dedication and expertise make a significant impact on Cadettes, caregivers, and volunteers council-wide.

Appreciation Pin Recipients

The appreciation pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This service, which has had a measurable impact on one geographic area of service, helps reach and surpass the mission-delivery goals of the area.

Ellie Babcock
Susan Blazosky
Amanda Bradley
Jennifer Dayton
Melanie D’Silva
Julie Ferraro
Tina Giannamore
Jodi Holland
Lorry Janknowski
Jennifer King
Diane Kisner
Serena Klink
Fahima Knestrick
Morgen Miller
Ellen Mosher
Leann Ross
Contenta Schoenman
Stacey Scholl
Lynn Sosovicka Sekeres
Kate Woods

Congratulations to all of our 2023 Adult Award recipients!

Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Ehasz

Although Katie Ehasz’s Girl Scout journey first began in Pittsburgh as a Girl Scout Daisy, her volunteer journey began in Lopatcong, New Jersey, when her oldest of three children turned five. When Katie signed her daughter up for Girl Scouts, she became a co-leader and eventually a troop leader, until her family decided to return to Pittsburgh in 2020. When Katie and her family moved back to Pittsburgh, she quickly found a troop to join.

Because Katie had great memories of her days in Girl Scouts when she was younger—such as her times at Camp Henry Kaufmann and Girl Scout cabin day campouts—she wanted her girls to be a part of it.

“I truly believe in the Girl Scout principles. My oldest has found her best friends through Girl Scouts,” she said. “My youngest was just so excited to be part of Girl Scouts after watching her older sister.”

Katie’s favorite Girl Scout memories include watching her oldest overcome her fear of heights by tackling a climbing wall in New Jersey and more recently, taking her Daisy troop in Pittsburgh back to the cabin where she attended her first day camp in 1987. She values the fact that Girl Scouts provides a safe space for girls to be themselves, make choices, and support each other.

“I think the most valuable things I personally take away from the troops that I have led is watching girls grow, getting to know them, seeing them overcome fears, learning something new, and being kind to one another,” she said. “It really is something spectacular. I love seeing them make choices and knowing that when they do an activity or an event, they are even more excited knowing they played a huge part in that.”

As a volunteer, Katie’s biggest piece of advice is to give yourself grace and don’t second guess yourself. She advises others to take the tools they are given and create their own lesson plans while executing badge requirements. While she incorporates new activities into her troop meetings, she continues to have her girls learn and practice original Girl Scout traditions.

Something Katie wishes everyone knew about being a Girl Scout volunteer is how genuinely rewarding it is.

“To see girls in your troop grow, hear about their accomplishments, learn about them, watch them become friends with fellow [Girl] Scouts, and find their ‘person’ is something so powerful,” she said. “It’s not just about cookies, it’s about becoming a kind person. It’s taking something away from every meeting that they can apply, and making that type of impact on girls is amazing!”

Volunteer Spotlight: Lori Kibler

Lori Kibler’s Girl Scout journey began when she started out as a Brownie Girl Scout. She recalls one of her favorite memories cabin camping with an older troop.

“I have great memories of camping and other activities with my Girl Scout troop,” she said. “I still remember late night singing along to REO Speedwagon tunes with them!”

She reconnected with Girl Scouts when her oldest daughter, who is now in college, joined in kindergarten. She enjoys having the opportunity to help her daughters and their troopmates experience the world and create their own path.

Lori has been a Girl Scout volunteer for 14 years, with her most recent roles being troop leader and service unit manager for the Freeport Highlands Service Unit. She is also certified in archery and small craft safety, leading Girl Scouts through these activities as well.

Some of Lori’s favorite moments as a volunteer are the many May camping trips that have involved embracing the snow or harsh weather, seeing volunteer efforts put into action, and helping girls experience new things in the outdoors—from creek-walking to canoeing to touching a garter snake while on a hike.

Lori says that volunteering is more rewarding than she ever imagined, and her advice to new volunteers is to learn to adapt.

“A great experience for [Girl] Scouts means engaging in all kinds of activities including those you currently know nothing about,” she said. “Be willing to learn and show that you are learning with (and from) your [Girl] Scouts! Whether you are on plan C, or G, or even Q, just keep adjusting and moving the journey forward.”

Lori adds that the Girl Scouting family is large and amazing.

“From girls that I consider daughters—and have also become friends with as they’ve entered adulthood—to parent friends met through [Girl] Scouting, there is a bond here,” she said. “We’ve experienced so much together.”

Gold Award Girl Scout and Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA

In 2022, Girl Scout Alexandra Jones celebrated many accomplishments—graduating Elizabeth Forward High School with High Honors, earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, and being crowned Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2022. Along with these outstanding achievements, she was also the president of both the Student Government Association and Interact Club at her school, a member of the Academic League and National Honor Society, and she played on Elizabeth Forward’s varsity golf and track teams. 

A Girl Scout since 2010 and now a lifetime member, Alexandra says Girl Scouts has greatly contributed to the woman she is today. Through Girl Scouts, she says she has learned strength, independence, how to solve problems, and to think outside the box.

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to join a supporting group at such a young age and learn and grow with others just like me,” she said. “Girl Scouts sets the base for girls to gain and expand on so many valuable life skills. As a Girl Scout, you immediately have something in common with millions of girls all across the world!”

Alexandra earned her Girl Scout Gold Award for her project, “Affirmations with Alli,” which aimed to help teenagers build self-esteem and decrease stress. Through her project, she shared mindfulness techniques, meditation and deep breathing exercises, and positive coping mechanisms. She also designed a website and created an Instagram account to reach even more teens who are struggling.

Alexandra was not only named a Gold Award Girl Scout last year—she was also crowned Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2022 at the Richland Performing Arts Center in Johnstown. In this role, she is able to use her platform to further promote her Gold Award project and utilize her Girl Scout leadership skills.

“Girl Scouts has also allowed me to find my voice and become a leader and role model,” she said. “As Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA, I am extremely passionate about sharing my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, ‘Affirmations with Alli.’ It’s so amazing to me that I was able to turn an idea into an entire initiative and share positivity across the state!”

Open to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in Girl Scouts. Through earning this award, Girl Scouts distinguish themselves as community leaders by following their vision and passion to make their corner of the world a better place.

“My greatest piece of advice to Girl Scouts is to stick with it! When I was a Brownie, I heard about the Gold Award project. At the time, I couldn’t even begin to imagine all I would be able to accomplish with my project,” she said.

“It’s a lot of hard work and dedication, but the ending of creating something with a lasting impact is so rewarding!”

For more information about the Girl Scout Gold Award, please visit

Destinations: Space Academy Guest Blog Post

Cadette Girl Scout Evelyn “Evie” Mathie attended Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama for six days as part of our Destinations program. She was a recipient of D-Pass funding granted to Girl Scouts from our council.

While at camp, not only did I make many new and amazing friends, but I learned so much from them and through Space Academy. Space Academy challenged me to think outside the box. For example, the lunar simulation (in which my partner Sabine and I had positions of scientific experimentation) forced us to contend with building without gravity. The challenges were so different from ones we typically face in day-to-day life that we had to be creative.

Another task involved transforming limited supplies (a wire, a plate, two straws, colored paper, and string) into a random object chosen by our instructors’ dice—in our case, an alien that spins! In conclusion, our simulations reinforced the importance of creative problem-solving.

This destination has most of all changed how I think, how I look at problems, and how I go into new experiences. When I used to approach a problem and it was quite difficult, I would eventually give up. Now, I still try my best, and if I have difficulty and start to get upset, I try to think, “how would an astronaut handle this?”

Overall, I learned and was able to do and participate in so many things that so many people never get to do, like experiencing zero gravity, mock missions, living in similar quarters, and overall, just being able to do the smallest part of what real astronauts may do in training!

Girl Scout Destinations is the ultimate adventure program for girls ages 11 and older. To learn more about Destinations and how you can be eligible for our D-pass funding scholarship, please visit our website

Cookies to Camping (Part 2)

The countdown is on! Girl Scout Cookie Season is only one month away, and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store for our cookie bosses. What goals will you achieve this year? That’s up to you!

Remember Indie Girl Scout sisters Illy and Nina from Bethel Park who had their sights set on camp earlier this year? During the 2022 cookie season, the girls had a goal of selling 3,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to help them both fund an additional week at camp, and together they sold over 5,000 packages!

Illy and Nina were able to fund camps this summer with their Indie Girl Scout Program Rewards. Nina attended four camps and Illy attended three, all at Camp Skymeadow and Camp Conshatawba.

Nina tried rock climbing for the first time and says she learned new knots for tree climbing. She attended camp sessions including Tree Traversal, Trail Blazing, Cadette Crossing, and Ropes and Routes. One of her favorite memories is starting a fire for the Counselors-in-Training (CITs).

“They were having trouble starting a fire with a lighter and she had a flint and steel fire starter in her bag—left in her day bag by mistake from family camp the day before—and she started the fire for them,” the girls’ mom, Constance, said.

Illy attended camp sessions such as Junior Camper, Bookworms, and Flower Power, where she learned new facts about flowers. Her favorite memory is hanging out with her favorite counselor, Cedar.

Both girls are excited to attend more camps next year. With our variety of age-appropriate sessions at our various camps, there’s truly something for everyone!

Take it from Illy and Nina—adventure awaits you at camp!

Interested in camp? We’ve opened registration on select summer camp sessions at 15% off through December 20, 2022. Our entire selection of summer camp sessions will be open for registration on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

Raspberry Rally Contest

110 years ago, Juliette Gordon Low imagined a movement where all girls could come together and embrace their unique strengths and passions. Ensuring that all girls had a place to develop their leadership skills, advocate for themselves and others, and turn their ambitions into reality—these are the ideas Juliette rallied behind, leading her to establish Girl Scouts of the USA.

Rallies are all about generating excitement and support, so share what excites you most about being a Girl Scout! What do you rally behind? What passions have you discovered through Girl Scouts?

Share your story with us for a chance to be one of the first Girl Scouts from our council to try the new Raspberry Rally cookie! Use this form to submit your story and a photo of yourself. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, November 13, 2022.