5 Ways Girl Scout Troop Leaders Can Succeed

Focus on What Girls Need Right Now

It is not business as usual at Girl Scouts. And that’s a good thing!

If sheltering in place has taught us anything, it is how to get creative with how we spend our time, our priorities, and how to connect with others in unconventional ways.

The same applies to being a Girl Scout leader.

We know things may look a little different, but here are 5 ways to keep the focus on girls, and what’s most important, when the need to see things differently has never been greater:

1. Shift Your Lens

Adversity has opened up the opportunity for us to take what we know about the traditional way of Girl Scouting and look at it under a new light!

Now is the perfect time to shift the way you view troop meetings and activities and welcome a new perspective that is innovative, flexible, and really responsive to girls’ interests and needs.  

Get outdoors while the weather is good! Just ensure that everyone is wearing masks and following all COVID guidelines. Safety first!

If your troop traditionally meets on a weekly basis, consider providing girls a robust and interactive experience at monthly meetings instead. Do not feel pressured to continue to meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis as you did before. Just help connect girls and their families to some of the many virtual programs and experiences offered by our council and Girl Scouts of the USA. You do not have to do it all yourself.

2. Become a Virtual Girl Scout Troop

Our COVID-19 guidelines will be updated throughout the upcoming year, but instead of waiting for the next set of recommendations, just shift your view of virtual Girl Scouting as an opportunity rather than a substitute. Most of our content works amazingly well online!

There are virtual troops girls can join right now or you can start your own using the Girl Scouts from Home page to plan out your meetings. Your Volunteer Toolkit has virtual meeting plans for all age levels! No need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to providing fun, interactive programming and experiences for your troop.

We frequently update our Girl Scouts from Home page with virtual activities the whole family can enjoy!

Check out what some of our virtual troops have been up to!

3. Continue to Uplift and Motivate Your Girls’ Parents

Girl Scouts is not cancelled. Reassure your parents that as things continue to evolve and change, we will continue to ensure their girl is having fun, connecting with other girls, and building skills

4. Save the Date for the Leadership Expo

We understand your pain points as a troop leader in these times of uncertainty. And we are fully prepared to address those uncertainties and provide resources on how to remain resilient amidst the unknown.

This year’s expo will take place Saturday, September 26, and will celebrate volunteer accomplishments, highlight inspirational stories, and uplift strategies and tactics for the 2020-2021 Girl Scout year. 

Save the date! Additional details and registration information will be announced soon!

5. Stay connected

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is full of resources to help you conquer a new Girl Scout year. In addition to the VTK, we will continue to provide you with the latest updates and insights right here on our blog, website, and social media.

When 90% of your girls renew by August 31, 2020, your troop will receive a FREE Zoom account!

Bonus tip: Breathe

We are here for you. Continue this journey with us as we look at why Girl Scouts exists, especially using a new lens to see that we have always been about supporting girls when they need us most.

Your Troop Can Get a FREE Zoom Account and be Entered to Win!

When 90% of girls in your troop renew by August 31 your troop will receive:

  • A free Zoom account for your troop ($36 value)
  • A $20 gift certificate for the Girl Scouts GCNWI online shop
  • TWO entries into a drawing a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)

When 75% of girls in your troop renew by August 31, your troop will receive one entry into the drawing for a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)!

Don’t miss out on this limited time offer!

Renew your membership and encourage the girls in your troop renew as well.

Contest rules

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Movie Magic!

Public Service Announcement from Girl Scout Susan

Another spectacular week of Summer Camp Revamp has passed, and this week, we’re inviting you to an exclusive Girl Scout movie premiere! All Movie Magic week long, the Summer Camp Revamp girls rolled up their sleeves and got creative, brainstorming, planning, story-boarding, and then executing their ideas!

The real power of movie magic is the ability to take your dreams to the screen— let’s walk the “red carpet,” break out the popcorn, and take a look at some of the girls’ creations! Also hear about an amazing Girl Scout Silver Award project in this week’s Girl Scout Member Moment!

Story-boards and Spinning Tops

Any good movie requires brainstorming and planning, and the girls got right to it this week by creating their very own story-boards, which are essential to the movie-making process. The girls envisioned their stories and then drew out the scene, etched out the dialogue, and started thinking about costume, character acting, and everything that goes into a film.

Girl Scout Grace showing off her DIY optical illusions

Many films, especially in the early stages of movie history, relied on eye-tricks or optical illusions to trick movie-watchers into seeing things that weren’t really there! The Girl Scouts practiced this time-old film making technique by making their own animations— in this video, Girl Scout Grace shows off her homemade penny spinner, thaumatrope (an optical toy made out of paper) and a flipbook!

Rolling out the Red Carpet

Every single Girl Scout in Summer Camp Revamp turned their film ideas into realities, with stop-motion animation, claymation, and other amazing techniques to bring stories to life. Every movie they shared with us was amazing! Check out these three Girl Scout movies to get a sneak peek:

Film by Girl Scout Jacqueline
“What’s in my Dance Bag” by Girl Scout Daniela
Claymation film from Girl Scout Lila

Great job to every single movie maker this week! Your work was fantastic and so fun to watch!

Girl Scout Member Moment

Girl Scout Troop 30029

This week’s Girl Scout Member Moment comes to us from Gary and Merrillville, Indiana, where Girl Scout Troop 30029 completed their Silver Award with an amazing service project for their community. Their original plan to host a Prom for the residents of Spring Mills Assisted Living Facility was put on hold a few months ago, but that didn’t stop these go-getter Cadettes from brainstorming their next big idea!

The girls, for the project they called “Caring for the Young at Heart,” came together for three weeks and sewed over 100 masks for the residents at their local assisted living facility. The girls had never used sewing machines, but after one day of practice and researching patterns, they caught on quickly, and the results were very rewarding!

The girls wanted to give back to older people in their community in particular because they seek to bridge the age gap between them. The girls’ yearly tradition of hanging wreaths at the facility over the holidays is a favorite of the residents, and the girls felt they wanted to continue caring for them as best they could. This was a fantastic way to do that!

Congratulations to Troop 30029 for earning their Silver Award, and thank you to troop leader Venita for sharing their story with us!

Share your Story!

Whether you’re celebrating earning a Highest Award, gearing up for the next year of Girl Scouting, or simply enjoying the cooling weather, share what you’re up to with us in the comments below, tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI, or share your story with us on our website.

Our Girl Scouts from Home page is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages, and lets girls be Girl Scouts from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Join Girl Scouts, and get ready to shine like never before! Discover a world of opportunities waiting for you: register or renew your membership today.

Save the Date for Smart Cookies: Stand for More!

Join us for a virtual celebration of resilience and ambition on September 24, 2020, Smart Cookies: Stand for More!

As the world continues to change, Girl Scouts of all ages have demonstrated that helping others has never been more relevant—or important—than it is today. No matter the challenge, Girl Scouts have shown up in unprecedented ways to keep the bonds between sisterhood and charitable work strong.

Smart Cookies: Stand for More offers a virtual 1-hour celebration for the leadership, compassion, and resilience our Girls Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) members and champions have displayed while facing – and transforming – the once-in-a-generation issues that have shaped 2020.  

Smart Cookies is also a community call to action to support today’s girls in standing for themselves, others, and their communities through purpose, service, and civic engagement.

At Smart Cookies, you will hear from some of our 2020 Tribute to Achievement honorees as they engage with our Girl Scouts in “Smart Cookies Conversations.” Kathy Scherer, Managing Partner, Business Tax Services at Deloitte, who was also this year’s Girl Scout’s Own honoree will be featured as well as our Luminary honoree, Lei Zhang Schlitz, Executive Vice President, Automotive OEM of Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Together, we can lift girls’ voices and amplify their actions. Girl Scouts are resilient leaders-– Smart Cookies will showcase how they’ve thrived, and what impact they’ll spark in the months and years ahead. 

Join us in the celebration: register today! Admission is free and open to all members and donors of GCNWI!

Purchase an Enhancement Package!

Show your support for Smart Cookies by purchasing a Smart Cookies Enhancement Package! Starting at $35, support the Girl Scout mission and receive a Stand For More Tote Bag, Stand For More Patch, two boxes of cookies, a GCNWI face mask, and more!

Your Enhancement Package will include exclusive access to our event pre-show, featuring special content from Girl Scouts and guests, along with the opportunity to mingle with other event attendees.

Purchase an Enhancement Package today!

Donate Today!

Your donation is an investment in the lives of girls, empowering them to be resilient leaders who make the world a better place.

Give girls the tools they need to thrive by making a donation!

Take a look back at Smart Cookies 2019: Savoring Science!

Event Recap »
Event Photo Gallery »

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Mastering Mystery!

Girl Scouts Sydney and Siena completing their at-home obstacle course

The summer is flying by—we can barely believe it! Summer Camp Revamp is almost over, but the girls are taking advantage of every second.

During Mastering Mystery week, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) have been taking fingerprints, collecting clues, and solving some perplexing Girl Scout mysteries!

“Thumb through” their case files below, and hear a special Member Moment from a Girl Scout Brownie with a passion for community service!

The Girl Scout Investigations Unit

Did you know fruit has its own set of genetic information just like us? To kick off the week of mysterious activities, the girls did a fascinating science experiment extracting the DNA from BANANAS! Girl Scout Charlotte looks like she got a very close look– so cool! Looks like something we’ll have to try at home ourselves.

To keep themselves organized and “in the know,” the girls created their very own DIY detective badges and notebooks. Throughout the week, the girls were tasked with solving a mystery, so as they investigated suspects, collected fingerprints, and wrote their suspicions, this notebook was sure to come in handy!

Everyone has different fingerprints with different patterns, and we leave them on everything, even when we can’t see them. Later, to build on their detective and sleuthing skills, the girls learned how to read and correctly match fingerprints. These forensic science skills were super useful when it came to narrowing down the suspects in the mystery of who stole the S’more supplies…

To really make sure they were ready for anything, the Girl Scout Investigations Unit did some physical training too! Each girl created their own at-home “Mission Possible” obstacle course to strengthen their agility, strength, and sneakiness. Looks like the girls were more than ready for the challenge!

Thank you to every girl who shared their pictures with us this week! We’re so glad you enjoyed yourselves (and we hoped you solved the mystery!).

Girl Scout Member Moment

Girl Scout Brownie Melody B., from Troop 25507 in Chicago, IL, recently got a major shout out by CBS Evening News for her amazing community service in the past few months, and we got to speak to her about her project and what it means to be a Girl Scout during times of crisis!

Melody, in partnership with Dimo’s Pizza in Wicker Park, has been donating much-needed face shields to healthcare providers, teachers, grocery store employees, and private practices all over the Chicago area. When she learned that her hand-sewn facemasks weren’t effective enough for doctors fighting COVID-19, she reached out to Dimo’s, who recently started their own face shield initative. Soon enough, she was distributing their masks all over, even to her own pediatrician!

Melody herself was inspired to do this project by the Girl Scout Promise and Law: “I’m a Girl Scout,” she stated strongly. “We have to be helpful, caring and considerate.” Girl Scouts “teaches young girls to become leaders,” and she says she learned from Girl Scouts what is good for her and how to best help others. Her dedication to the community is clear—she told us she sees herself as a protector for her community, “keeping them safe.”

Great job, Melody, and thank you so much for talking to us!

Share your Story!

We can see you’ve been busy celebrating bridging, starting up socially distanced in-person meetings, and getting ready for the year ahead! We’re so excited to continue providing awesome experiences to help you feel connected, empowered, and ready for anything!

Share what you’re up to with us in the comments below or tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI! OR, share your story with us on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

Virtual Troops Are Here!

You can be a Girl Scout anywhere, even from home!

We’re working hard to ensure your girl has access to the Girl Scout experience she knows and loves, even in our current reality. And as things continue to evolve and change, we will continue to ensure she is having fun, connecting with other girls, and building skills.

Virtual troops focus on earning badges, fun patches and giving the girls a full troop experience online.

There is a Junior troop as well as two Daisy and two Brownie virtual troops available for your girl to join right now! Check out the meeting schedule below:

  • Daisy Troop #85000 – Tuesdays at 3 p.m. CST
  • Daisy Troop #85001 – Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Brownie Troop #85002 – Wednesdays at 3 p.m. CST
  • Brownie Troop #85003 – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Junior Troop #85004- Wednesdays at 4 p.m. CST

Join now to be part of the fun. In August, all three levels will meet virtually together for a S’mores party! 

Virtual troops will run now through the end of August and are open to all girls, new and already registered.

Check out what our current virtual troops are up to!

If you wish to continue her online experience after August, you can renew her membership and participate in our Girl Scouts from Home activities.

In-person troops are also available under newly updated COVID-19 guidelines. Renew her membership and continue her journey with Girl Scouts!

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Adventure Awaits!

Girl Scout from Troop 60775

Another week of Summer Camp Revamp done, and one full of adventure! For Adventure Awaits week, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) sharpened their survival skills, tinkered with their travel plans, and challenged themselves with cool new activities.

These girls are ready to take on anything, from the backyard to around the world! Read on to learn what the Summer Camp Revamp girls got up to last week (and a special Girl Scout Member Moment with some great advice for in-person troop meetings!).

Adventure is Out There!

The girls started their week out by prepping their minds and bodies for the adventures ahead, and after a refreshing yoga and exercise session, practiced some very essential First Aid skills! Check out these Girl Scout’s DIY bandaging— looks effective!

After a crash-course on survival scenarios and quick-time First Aid, the girls delved into a lesson on plant identification and if you’ve ever been camping or on a hike, you’ll know how important it is to know which plants are which! Girl Scout Kristen, who shared the photos above, did a great job of identifying plants she found at her grandma’s house.

It is important to take notes from our animal companions, and to cement the lessons on survival, the girls tested out different wildlife adaptations that help animals in several distinct environments survive and thrive. To do this, the girls became birds for an afternoon, using different “beaks” to test out which is most effective for eating! Girl Scout Julia shared her pictures of the different “bird foods” she had to “eat” with her “beaks!”

The girls finished out the week by participating in our Summer Great Family Camp-In: check out their camping set ups! We hope you had fun!

Thank you to all the girls who shared stories and photos with us this week. It’s clear that Girl Scouts don’t get ready— they stay ready!

Girl Scout Member Moment

For this week’s Girl Scout Member Moment, we’re sharing a story from Girl Scout Junior Troop 60775 from Flossmoor, IL, who are forging ahead and trying out in-person troop meetings since we all sheltered-in-place back in March. Their troop leader, Missie, was kind enough to share her experience and advice for troop leaders and Girl Scouts who may be considering meeting in-person this fall.

The girls have been meeting virtually since March, and this quickly became their “new normal,” everyone in the troop eventually getting used to being on screen. This transition was difficult for them, so the opportunity to meet again in-person was very exciting! The girls met up at their school’s community garden to complete the Gardener Badge, and, even though the meeting looked different than any before, they had a great time!

Missie shared with us some very helpful advice for anyone considering meeting up in-person in the future:

  • Only meet in outdoor spaces, and focus on activities that take girls outside, like geocaching or hiking. She says these girls are dedicated— as long as there’s no lightning and thunder, they’ll show up!
  • Space out the girls on sit-upons, and make sure everyone wears a mask and has hand sanitizer handy.
  • Consider providing the girls with activity kits to make sure no supplies are shared between them.
  • Stay updated with your local government’s guidance, check the CDC for pertinent information, and always reiterate safety.
  • If you or the girls aren’t ready to meet, there is nothing wrong with that! Keep reaching out to the girls so they know you are present and available. Gauge their comfort levels!

Thanks to Missie and the girls for sharing their story with us! For more information and guidance, check out our updated guidelines for in-person troop meetings, cookie booths, and retail shops.

Join us for Glowing and Growing Week!

Don’t miss out on the last week of Summer Camp Revamp: Glowing and Growing week from August 10-14!

Grow your mind (and maybe even your own garden) for our final week of Summer Camp Revamp! Will it be yoga? Meditation? A gratitude journal? Or maybe some gardening that will help you relax during this glowing week! Come along and find out!

Register for Glowing and Growing week by August 3.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

Share your Story!

Whether you’re meeting in-person to go on a nature walk, or continuing completing badges over Zoom, we want to know! Tell us all about what Girl Scouting looks like to you on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Special Edition!

Girl Scouts at Chicago Park District’s Eckhart Park

In this special edition of Summer Camp Revamp Rewind, we are sharing with you how one troop of 18 Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) are making the most of their social-distanced day camp!

GSGCNWI, in partnership with the Chicago Park District’s Eckhart Park, is excited to provide opportunities for girls in our community to stay connected virtually. The girls masked up and gathered to do all six weeks of the virtual Summer Camp Revamp, cultivating their own “new normal.”

The past two weeks have been busy for these girls as they get used to camp again—and they’re certainly enjoying themselves! Let’s get to know some of these super Girl Scouts a little better!

Meet the Girl Scouts!

Last week was GIRLapalooza, a week all about celebration and joy (read about it on our blog!) so what better way to close out the week than by completing the SuperHERo activity?  

The girls, in their discussion groups, both talked about identifying their personal strengths. Some girls spoke about how hard it can be to talk about themselves, noting they often pay too much attention to the things they struggle with rather than what they’re already good at.

When it comes to sports, school, family, and friends, the girls all identified what their strengths are and where they could improve—and that’s important! After all, true self-confidence is not about thinking you’re good at everything, but having the ability to celebrate what you are good at and work on what you could do better.  

What’s YOUR Super Power?

Girl Scout Rickayla told the group that her superhero powers come from “playing sports and talking to friends.” One of the things she likes the most about herself is that she is kind, and we can tell! 

Girl Scout Ania is great at plenty of things: she plays basketball, football, and floor hockey, AND likes hip-hop dance, gymnastics, painting, and doing hair. Ania believes the source of her superpowers is her athletic abilities, “because of the amount of strength you get from playing.” 

Taelor has a different perspective—she says her superpowers come from her heart and from her spirituality. She uses this superpower by donating resources to people without homes, and says, along with sports, dancing, and math, and she’s good at “showing love!”  

Girl Scout Laylani knows her skills well: she says she’s good at math, floor hockey, coloring, writing, cooking, and keeping her things organized. She likes to create art and help others, and believes creating art can become her superpower because whenever she “draws or creates anything, it comes to life!”

Find your Super Strength

These girls know themselves well, and we are excited to see where their superpowers take them in the future! Interested in finding your own inner super strengths? Download the SuperHERo activity!

Thank you to all the girls who shared with us, and we can’t wait to see what else you get up to during Summer Camp Revamp!

Join us for Movie Magic Week!

Join us for Movie Magic week from August 3 -7!

Dive into the world of movie magic and become your very own director, producer, screenwriter, or set designer. Discover the tricks of the trade of filmmaking in order to make a cinematic masterpiece of your own!

Register for Movie Magic week by July 27.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

Announcing 24 NEW Girl Scout Badges!

BIG NEWS: 24 NEW Girl Scout badges are officially here!

From topics like automotive engineering and STEM careers to civics, education, and entrepreneurship, these badges prioritize preparing the next generation of girls of all ages to face the challenges of the future!

These new exclusive badges designed to help girls practice ambitious leadership in the crucial areas of automotive engineering, STEM career exploration, entrepreneurship, and civics, many of which remain male-dominated. In a year of unprecedented global change, our country’s need for strong, broad-minded, and decisive leadership has never been greater.

Among these new badges is also the second annual Girl Scout Cyber Challenge!

Every Girl Scout knows a badge is more than a badge–– a badge is an opportunity to learn something new, make personal or social change, and spark joy. Read on to learn about our new opportunities and check out these new badges from GSUSA!

The Brand New Badges

New for girls in grades K-12:

All Girl Scouts in grades K–12 will have the opportunity to earn brand-new badges in Entrepreneurship, STEM, Automotive Engineering, Civics, and the Girl Scout Cyber Challenge.

Six Entrepreneurship Badges

Funded by Susan Bulkeley Butler

Girls in grades K-12 have the chance to turn their business or product dreams into amazing realities with six brand-new Entrepreneurship badges! These badges will help Girl Scouts of all ages kick-start their ideas into actions!

Three STEM Career Exploration Games

Funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies

Girls in grades 2-8 interested in exploring STEM careers can now do so with these new badges! Girl Scouts who complete these badges will learn about six different STEM fields and build their own path to a STEM career in the future.

Nine Automotive Engineering Badges

Funded by General Motors

These awesome new Automotive Engineering Badges give girls in grades K-5 the awesome opportunity to learn all about the engineering, design, and manufacturing of vehicles! These badges are perfect for the industrious Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors up for a challenge.

Six New Civics Badges

Funded by Citi Foundation

Brand new for Girl Scouts of all ages, girls now have the chance to earn the Democracy badge, where they’ll gain detailed knowledge of local, state, and federal government and how to make a difference for causes they care about using political advocacy.

Girl Scout Cyber Challenge

Funded by Raytheon Technologies

Beginning this summer, all councils will also have the opportunity to host their own Girl Scout Cyber Challenge sponsored by Raytheon Technologies, enabling middle and high school girls to learn crucial cybersecurity skills as they compete in challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes!

Getting Started!

You can find requirements and instructions for earning these new badges in the Volunteer Toolkit.

Keep your eyes peeled this fall for GSGCNWI programs where girls can earn the new badges!

Visit our Girl Scout shop to purchase the new badges and packets AVAILABLE AUGUST 1!

Learn about every badge Girl Scouts can earn with the Girl Scouts Award and Badge Explorer! See badges!

To share your badge-earning stories, fill out this form and you might be featured on our social media or in a publication!

Not a Girl Scout yet? No problem! Troops are forming now—join Girl Scouts today.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: GIRLapalooza!

Girl Scouts at Eckhart Park participating in Summer Camp Revamp— stay tuned for a blog post all about these girls!

Summer Camp Revamp is in full swing, and it looks like Girl Scouts across Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) are having LOADS OF FUN!

Making tie-dye and DIY chalk, cooking up tasty carnival treats, recreating famous art pieces, and building their own festival booths–– these girls had a week full of well-deserved celebration!

Let’s learn more about what GIRLapalooza week was all about.

Celebrate Good Times

The Summer Camp Revamp girls got creative and made their own festival booths, and these Girl Scouts really went “out of the box!” Girl Scout Olivia created a mini kitten and puppy adoption booth out of a repurposed cardboard box, and her friend made a festival out of Lego toys! Great job, girls!

The girls also had a chance to complete the SuperHERo activity, where they brainstormed, talked about what makes them each a SuperHERo in their own ways, and came up with their own super-characters based on themselves! Girl Scout Sara showed us her very own SuperHERO character, and she looks SUPER.

Download the SuperHERo worksheet to unleash your hidden powers!

The snacks the girls made throughout the week looked incredible, but we’re definitely partial to the way these mango-yogurt popsicles turned out! Looks like a recipe the girls will have to share with us!

Artistic Sensibilities

The revamped recreations of famous art pieces has continued throughout the week, and what these girls turned out is IMPRESSIVE! We are so happy to share just some of the amazing work the GIRLapalooza Girl Scouts have come up with–– take a look:

Girl Scout Elizabeth as Berthe Morisot’s “Woman at Her Toilette” (1880)
Girl Scout Gina as J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” (1943)

Great job to all the girls who shared photos with us this week–– keep sharing with us! Make sure to tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI, share on our Facebook page, or on our website!

Girl Scout Member Moment!

This week’s Member Moment shout-out goes to Girl Scout Troop 55315 for their very generous donation to the West Suburban Humane Society!

“Paws up” to these girls for using their cookie sales for good!

Join us for Movie Magic Week!

Interested in joining us for Summer Camp Revamp? Join us for Movie Magic week from August 3 -7!

Dive into the world of movie magic and become your very own director, producer, screenwriter, or set designer. Discover the tricks of the trade of filmmaking in order to make a cinematic masterpiece of your own!

Register for Movie Magic week by July 27.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

Share your Summer Camp Story!

Tell us all about your Girl Scout summer plans and Summer Camp Revamp creations on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Make sure to visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

The Summer Great Family Camp-In!

July 25 – 26, 2020 | All Ages

Register | Photo Contest | Schedule | Activity Packet | Supplies Needed | Lead-In Videos | Camp Swag

It’s time for the Summer Great Family Camp-In! Join girls and families across Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (and the nation!) for another awesome at-home camp in, free to everyone and open to all! 

Through a series of virtual experiences, we’ll walk you through everything—from setting up your campsite at home (indoors or out) to outdoor skills, art projects, and even a virtual campfire sing-along! 

Register if you want to attend one activity or activities all day long! On Friday, July 24, you will receive a link to the Summer Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet and information on how to join in on the interactive Zoom webinars. 

What to Expect

The Summer Great Family Camp-In Sneak Peek!

This weekend-long event is a combination of live programs, pre-recorded videos, interactive webinars, and breaks between scheduled activities so that you can participate with us and have time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air! 

We encourage you to participate in any number of activities throughout the day or even join us for the full camp day! Choose the activities you want to participate in, including art projects, outdoor skills, games, camp cooking, and more!  

Don’t forget to set up your campsite outside with a tent or inside with a fort and get ready for some camp magic. 

Enter our Photo Contest!

We are hosting a second Camp-In Photo Contest! Submit a photo of your at-home campsite and you may win a Great Family Camp-in patch for everyone in the photo AND be featured on the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) Facebook page and blog! 

Contest Rules

  1. After you set up your awesome campsite, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both, take a picture of it! 
  1. Submit your photo through this form OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff between Friday (7/24) at 6 p.m. and Saturday (7/25) at 6 p.m. 
  1. Here’s the cool part: YOU get to choose our winners! After you submit your photo, the Outdoor Program team will select the top 14 indoor finalists and 14 outdoor finalists. The photo contest finalist voted on starting Saturday evening (7/25) through Sunday (7/26) morning at 10:00 a.m. 

Photo contest winners will be announced during the Great Family Camp-In: Show and Share on Sunday (7/26) at 11 a.m! 

We can’t wait to see pictures of you cooking, doing art projects, learning outdoor skills, and getting outside. Share them and tag us on social media using #GCNWICAMPIN or post them right to our GSGCNWI Great Family Camp-In Facebook event page and Instagram

Camp-In Schedule

TimeActivityVirtual Location
Friday, July 24  
6 p.m.Campsite Photo Contest Submissions Open!  
Set-up your campsite, whether it’s outdoors with a tent, or indoors with a fort! You could be choose to receive camp-in fun patches for the whole family! Plus, be featured on our blog and social media! 
Submit your photo through this form OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff! The chosen photo will be announced during Sunday’s Show and Share webinar. 
Saturday, July 25  
10-10:20 a.m.Kick-off & Opening CeremonyYouTube Live Premiere
11 a.m.-12 p.m.Art Projects
Choose between “Nature Origami: and “Recycled Crafts”
12-1:30 p.m.Lunch & Suggested Camp Activities
Check out the activity packet for camp recipes and suggested activities.
On Your Own
1:30-2:30 p.m.Outdoor Skills
Choose between “Animal Tracks” or “Map Reading”
3-4 p.m.Camp Fun
Choose between “Camp Games” or “Camp Rhythms”
4-4:20 p.m.Wrap Up & Closing CeremonyYouTube Live Premiere
4:30-7 p.m.Dinner and Suggested Camp ActivitiesOn Your Own
6 p.m.Campsite Photo Contest Submissions ClosedSubmit your photo through this form OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff! The chosen photo will be announced during Sunday’s Show and Share webinar. 
7-8:15 p.m.Campfire Sing-along
Our camp-in would not be complete without a campfire and songs! The first forty minutes will be full of high energy songs before slowing down the pace to sing some favorites. Comfy clothes and s’mores are encouraged!
YouTube Live Premiere
Sunday, July 26  
11-11:45 a.m.Show and Share
Share about your night of camping by reflecting with other participants to wrap-up the camp fun and reveal the photo contest winners!

Please note: to receive access to webinar links you will need to first register. Webinar links will be emailed to those who register the morning of July 24. Soon the YouTube Premiere links will be available for all to watch along. 

Summer Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet

Now you can download the Summer Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet, with camp recipes, game ideas, song lyrics, and more camp fun that you can do on your own or coordinate to do with your family, friends, or troop from afar. 

Download a PDF of the Summer Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet!

Gather Your Materials!

Below are lists of the supplies you’ll need for each activity you’ll learn in the virtual experiences.

Art Project Option 1: Nature Origami

Let’s get crafty! Join Outdoor Program Team members, Caribou and Sprout, to create some nature themed origami. Use a variety of folds to transform your paper into plants and animals. Bring your imagination to watch your paper come to life in a fun way! 

  • 6-8 sheets of computer paper 
  • scissors 
  • ruler 
  • pencil 
  • coloring utensils 

Art Project Option 2: Recycled Crafts

Time to get crafty and reuse recyclables to help save the planet! We will be making animals out of the recyclables you find at home. After this session you will have a completed art project and ideas for many more! Join Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Strike, to make one that works for you! 

  • empty egg carton or empty toilet paper/paper towel rolls 
  • scissors 
  • markers 
  • permanent marker 
  • construction paper 
  • newspaper or tablecloth 
  • googly eyes, pipe cleaners, sequins or other decoration items (optional) 

Outdoor Skills Option 1: Animal Tracks

Step into the world of backyard animal tracks! You will learn about where to look for animal tracks in your neighborhood and how to identify common tracks that you might find. Join Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Freddie for this packed session. We will make a field guide to animal tracks, play a matching game and even make our own animal tracks!  

  • 3 pieces of plain paper  
  • coloring utensils (markers, crayons, or colored pencil)  
  • black or dark brown marker   
  • scissors  
  • ruler  
  • 2 new sponges (thin with no scrubber side preferred)  
  • 1-2 colors of washable paint  
  • paper plate or paint tray  
  • newspaper or tablecloth 

Outdoor Skills Option 2: Map Reading

Ready to go out on a new adventure? Map reading is a core camping skill to help you navigate a new place, trail, or city. Learn all about how to read and use a map with Outdoor Program Team members, Strike and Kat. You will learn about reading a map key, explore the basics of topography, and make a map of your own! 

  • paper 
  • pencil 
  • coloring utensils 
  • molding clay
  • example map (any map you have access to: a state atlas, neighborhood map, theme park map, or printed google map) 

Camp Fun Option 1: Camp Games

Ready, Set, Go! Camp games from home! In this interactive session, we will participate in some fun and silly camp game favorites led by Outdoor Program Team members, Sprout and Caribou. We’ll cover some go to games like “freeze dance”, bring back favorites like “ship to shore”, and even try some new games like “farm master.” If you know you love these games or want to learn, this is your chance to give it a try! 

  • water bottle 
  • pencil 
  • paper 

Camp Fun Option 2: Camp Rhythms

Let’s make some noise, camp style! Play some favorite camp games, like pattern changer and 7’s, focused on making fun sounds. Then join in for a Girl Scout tradition as we work together to create a Lemmi stick routine. Outdoor Program Team members, Kat and Freddie, will help you have a resounding time! 

  • 2 Lemmi/Lummi sticks (or 2 sticks or dowel rods each about 7″ long) 
  • water bottle 

Show & Share

How did your night of camping in go? Let us know! Join in with other participants of the Girl Scouts GCNWI Great Family Camp-In as we reflect on Saturday’s activities, wrap up the camp fun, and reveal the photo contest winners! Listen to others share fun and a-ha moments about their night and even share yourself! 

  • 3 pieces of paper 
  • writing utensil (dark marker preferred) 
  • completed camp-in projects 
  • props needed to show off your new skills 

Check Out These Lead-In Videos

Get Your Camp Swag!

Can’t wait to see you there!

We can’t wait to see you all there, whether you plan on attending just one part, or the entire day of events! If you have any questions, contact us at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org

Don’t forget to register and follow our event page on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on how to participate.