Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

aka Girl Scouts Western PA, Girl Scouts WPA, GSWPA   |   Pittsburgh, PA   |


Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Patricia Burkart

Main address

503 Martindale Street Suite 500

Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Girl Scouts - Trillium Council, Keystone Tall Tree Girl Scout Council, Beaver Lawrence Girl Scout Councils, Talus Rock Girl Scout Council, Penn Lakes Girl Scout Council, Beaver Castle



NTEE code info

Girl Scouts (O42)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that help girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Research shows that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment. Girl Scouts is a place where she’ll practice different skills, explore her potential, take on leadership positions—and even feel allowed to fail, dust herself off, get up, and try again. Girl Scouts is proven to help girls thrive in five key ways as they: 1. Develop a strong sense of self. 2. Seek challenges and learn from setbacks. 3.Display positive values. 4.Form and maintain healthy relationships. 5. Identify and solve problems in the community. The inclusive, all-female environment of a Girl Scout troop creates a safe space where girls can try new things, develop a range of skills, take on leadership roles, and just be themselves.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Outdoor Program

Girl Scouts has a long and storied history of getting every girl outdoors. In fact, many Girl Scouts tell us that camping trips are one of the best things about their Girl Scout experience. It’s true: connecting with the great outdoors in a girl-led setting is a big benefit of belonging to Girl Scouts.

Studies show that girls today are not spending nearly enough time outdoors. Technology and structured activities leave less time for girls to get outside and enjoy nature. But as a Girl Scout, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to create her own outdoor adventures and develop a lifelong appreciation for nature and the out-of-doors—whether with her troop, at camp, or with friends and family.

And that’s great news—because when Girl Scouts get outside, they:

1. Discover that they can better solve problems and overcome challenges.
2. Develop leadership skills, build social bonds, and are happier overall.
3. Become team players and care more about protecting our environment.

When girls spend quality time outdoors and increase their exposure to nature, they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

Population(s) Served

Girl Scout badges, beginning with Civic Engagement and expanding to Healthy Living, Communication Skills, Practical Skills, and Global Citizenship, form the foundation of activities that help girls grow as Girl Scouts.

Whether it’s by exercising and staying healthy, developing strong relationships with family and peers, advocating on behalf of others, protecting our environment, or exploring careers that can truly change the world for the better, girls gain the life skills and the inspiration to accept challenges, overcome obstacles, and take the lead.

Life Skills Journeys
As a Girl Scout, she’ll team up with other girls to identify a problem she wants to do something about, come up with a creative solution that will make a difference, and create a team plan to make that solution a reality. Then she’ll put her plan into action, talk about what she learned, and celebrate her achievements. That’s a Girl Scout Journey, and here are just a few of the areas she’ll explore:

Civic Engagement: With a focus on preparing girls to be active and informed members of their communities, Girl Scouts offers Citizen badges for all grade levels (including Daisies!), along with the Silver Torch and Gold Torch awards for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.

Community Service: Whether it’s through planting a garden, painting a mural, or launching a letter-writing campaign, the It’s Your World—Change It! Journey inspires Girl Scouts at every grade level to take on unique leadership and advocacy challenges and discover what it means to be a leader who makes a difference in the world.

Healthy Relationships: At every stage, from Daisy to Ambassador, Girl Scouts form stronger connections with family, friends, and their communities. Younger Girl Scouts (grades K–5) make new friends as they strive to be considerate, caring, and kind. In middle school, girls learn how to cope with bullying and relational aggression. And as a Senior or Ambassador, she’ll hone her people skills with her peers and her community, as she makes the world a better place.

Financial Literacy: Grounded in real-life situations, Financial Literacy badges give girls a deeper understanding of financial issues, providing them with insight, skills, and practical knowledge in areas such as budgeting, philanthropy, making smart buying decisions, financial planning, and more.

Population(s) Served

Over the past 50 years, women in the United States have made great strides in education and entry into the work force in this country. However, despite these advances, women continue to be underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Women’s representation is low at all levels of the STEM career “pipeline,” from interest and intent to majoring in a STEM field in college to having a career in a STEM field in adulthood. For minority girls, the numbers of those represented is even lower.

Girls Scouts USA recently completed a study that aimed to explore how girls can better become engaged in STEM through examination of what girls themselves say are their interests and perceptions about these important fields. Through this study, Girl Scouts USA found some significant racial/ethnic group differences in data. Specifically, that African American girls say they have just as much interest in STEM as Cauca¬sian girls, but they have had less exposure to STEM, less adult support for pursuing STEM fields, lower academic achievement, and greater awareness of gender barriers in STEM professions. However, their confidence and ability to overcome obstacles are high, pointing to the strong role of individual characteristics in STEM interest and perceived ability in these subjects. Based on these findings, it is clear that there is a unique opportunity that exists for Girl Scouts to provide girls engaging experiences in the areas of STEM.

In order to address this need, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is working to promote STEM concepts through inventive, girl-led scientific discovery, efficiency and exposure coupled with real-world actives that allows girls to apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between themselves, their community, and the world.

Population(s) Served

Through Girl Scouts, girls learn to think like entrepreneurs as they participate in activities that spark curiosity, confidence, and innovation.

Research shows that girls are actively interested in becoming entrepreneurs, developing financially stable futures, and using their skills to make a big impact on the world.

But there are stumbling blocks on a girl’s path to entrepreneurship, including fear of failure, concerns about bringing her big idea to life, and the perception that men are more likely to be entrepreneurs than women. While entrepreneurship may not be right for every girl, every girl will benefit, and maybe even discover a future career path, by learning to think like an entrepreneur. By providing a foundation to learn important business skills, Girl Scouts is the perfect place to support young girls in exploring entrepreneurship as they progress through Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program, the foundation of entrepreneurial experience in Girl Scouts, is an important (and exciting!) part of the overall Girl Scout experience—tons of learning for her and beyond-delicious cookies for our awesome cookie customers! It’s a win-win.

Whether girls go door to door, set up booths at libraries and shopping centers, or sell cookies online with Digital Cookie®, they’re also preparing for a bright future as a female business leader or entrepreneur. The Girl Scout Cookie Program lets girls show the world their business savvy as key members of the world’s largest girl-led entrepreneurial program.

Every year Girl Scouts all over the country use their cookie earnings to do amazing things in their communities and beyond. From helping animal shelters and feeding the homeless to raising awareness about bullying, making public areas more accessible to people with disabilities, and tons more, Girl Scouts can and will do anything they put their hearts and minds to.

As cookie entrepreneurs, girls gain essential skills and work as a team to accomplish common goals and solve problems, while building the confidence they need to shine as girls, as young women, and as future leaders. And did we mention fun? They have lots of that along the way, too.

And now with Digital Cookie, girls can do and learn even more—and have more fun than ever before—all while giving cookie customers more ways to support them and their goals.

Remember: smart cookies don’t just improve their own lives—they have the vision to change the world.

Badge Spotlight
Cookie Business: Meet My Customers
Girls talk to customers, develop a sales pitch, count change, and role-play for better customer relations to gain skills that go far beyond the annual cookie sale.

Cookie Business: Marketing
Creating a brand identity, sizing up the competition, and crafting a compelling message helps girls make smarter, more socially responsible buying decisions.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation 2009


Asset Builder 2009

Healthy Youth Development Initiative of Erie County

Gold Award for S'more Magazine; Honorable Mention for GSWPA Web site 2009

MarCom Awards

Affiliations & memberships

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 2008

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth who demonstrate leadership skills (e.g., organizing others, taking initiative, team-building)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Life Skills

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Number of students with good social and leadership skills and self-discipline

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Life Skills

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal and mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

We prepare girls to succeed in a variety of fields, including those where there is market demand and a gender gap in representation, all while having fun and learning how they can better the world around them.

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania serves nearly 20,000 girls in grades K-12 across 27 counties through the invaluable dedication of thousands of volunteers, rock-star parents, and our generous charitable partners.

Our programmatic approach is guided by research-backed methods about the way girls learn best. Girl Scouts programming is girl-led, collaborative, and encourages "learning by doing". This hands-on approach to enrichment focuses on fun and engaging experiences that support girls' formal education. By focusing on four key pillars of STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship, we encourage Girl Scouts to explore a variety of subjects and consider a diversity of academic and career paths.

Today's girls represent humanity's largest untapped talent pool. Too many urgent challenges to unmet because too few girls become leaders. Yet only one girl in five believes that she has what it takes to lead the way for others.

With over 100 years of experience, The Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania program is innovative, inclusive, and girl-centered – with regional community, volunteer, donor, and family support and recognition of its leadership significance to girls and their future. Over the years, the Girl Scout program has adapted in many ways to meet the needs, interests and schedules of girls and volunteers. Girl Scouting is helping girls meet the challenges that face them today: developing healthy relationships, exploring new areas like robotics and biotechnology, and gaining new skills and experiences. Girl Scouting gives girls unique experiences —unavailable to them anywhere else. By providing these experiences, Girl Scouting can not only positively impact the life of the participating girls but can ultimately impact the communities where they live.

Preliminary data from our 2015-2016 program years shows that our council program's are working to meet their intended outcomes.
As a direct result of this programming, we anticipate that girls will be more likely to do better in school. Girls will gain confidence in their academic abilities, increase their enjoyment of learning, lead healthier lives, and feel more empowered to set academic and career goals. Girls will understand themselves and their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world. Based on evaluations, GSWPA can report that:

• 80% of participating girls report an increase in their confidence to try new things;
• 75% of participating girls report that they recognize bullying and have the tools to combat it;
• 65% of participating girls report an increase in the willingness to contribute in their schools;
• 55% of participating girls report an increase in understanding how to resolve conflicts constructively.


Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

Board of directors
as of 7/19/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Dot Brookes

Axiall Corporation (ret.)

Term: 2020 - 2023

Dot Brookes

Axiall Corporation (ret.)

Christina Brussalis

The Hill Group

Jon Colburn

La Roche College (ret.)

Lindsay Crouse

University of Pittsburgh

Linda DeJulio

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc.

Kathi Finch

Finch Communication Solutions LLC

Nicole King Yohe

EQT Corporation

Camille Kovach

Westinghouse Electric Co.

Julie Kresge

Erie Day School

Lois Kuttesch

Franklin University

Monica Lamar

Pittsburgh Public Schools

Michelle Maccagnan

Resources Global Professionals

Cynthia Pezze


Jennifer Price

Law Office Of Jennifer O. Price

Claudia Reed

US Treasury (ret.)

Richard Siergiej


Andrea Stapleford

Stapleford and Byham, LLC

Rebecca Stiger

PPG Industries

Becky Styles

Lockheed Martin (ret.)

Mary Lou Vargo

NOVA Chemicals, Inc.

Vaugh Cook

Ernst & Young LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes