Join us for Becoming Me, a program inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama

Girl Scouts is launching a new “Becoming Me” program series in collaboration with former First Lady Michelle Obama and Penguin Random House!

Inspired by themes from Mrs. Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, Girl Scouts’ new Becoming Me program aims to help girls become their best selves. Check out our story on Parents.com or learn more at girlscouts.org/becomingme.

Virtual Event with Girl Scouts and Mrs. Obama

You’re invited to join us on May 6 for a conversation between Girl Scouts and Mrs. Obama during which she will explore the themes in Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers and how they relate to Girl Scouts’ and young people’s experiences today. This event is open to members who join or renew by April 30.

Becoming Me Program Series

After the virtual event, we will release a six- to eight-week program series for girls in grades K-12 to earn badges that will help them explore personal strength, celebrate their own unique voice and they’ll take part in a national service project. A version of the series will be developed for each Girl Scout level, plus multilevel troops.

The Becoming Me program will be available at no additional cost to any interested Girl Scout member enrolled for the 2021–22 membership year.

Save 30% on Girl Scout Membership!

For a limited time, Girl Scouts is offering a special membership deal for new and lapsed* members!

If you’ve been thinking about joining or rejoining Girl Scouts, NOW is the time to do it. Through July 31 you can pay just $35 to join Girl Scouts for this membership year AND the next—a savings of $15!

How does that work?

  • The current Girl Scout membership year runs October 1-Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Annual membership dues are $25 regardless of the time of year you join.
  • Right now you can pay just $10 more to extend your membership through Sept. 30, 2022, saving you 30% of the full price!

Join or rejoin today and choose the “Extended Year” membership option to take advantage of this special rate!

*About Extended Year Membership

Girl Scout membership fees are typically $25/year, and the membership year runs October 1 – September 30 annually.

From April 1 – July 31, 2021, new and lapsed** members can pay a prorated membership rate when becoming a member through Extended Year membership. You’ll pay only $35 to finish out the current membership year AND all of the next one (normally $50 total). This prorated, 18-month membership term runs April 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022.

**This is a special, one-time offer to 2020 members who paused their membership due to the pandemic. Choose “Extended Year” when you rejoin today!

How Girl Scouts Benefits Girls and Families

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Studies show that Girl Scouts improves girls’ confidence and makes them better prepared for life’s challenges That’s because Girl Scouts is dedicated to helping girls follow their hearts while they discover new interests, strengths, and abilities. Together with their families, Girl Scouts supports girls’ dreams, growth, and success. Contact us if you have any questions about joining!

Volunteer Opportunities

Becoming Me is not just a program for girls, but a new opportunity for adults to lean in and support girls’ journeys to finding their path and reaching their full potential.

We are seeking volunteers to facilitate the Becoming Me program series and create a safe community space for girls to explore their own stories.

Volunteers can commit to just the 6-8 week virtual program series, can lead the series multiple times, or continue with a group of girls beyond the initial program to continue to explore all that Girl Scouts has to offer!

  • You can choose the dates and times that work for you.
  • Girl Scouts staff will provide training, a facilitator guide, and a Zoom license.
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana will connect you with girls who wish to participate.

Early Bird Renewal Incentive

Get excited for the membership year ahead! As an early renewal incentive, girls and adults who renew their Girl Scout membership by April 30, 2021, will be able to attend a member-exclusive virtual event with Mrs. Obama on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The Becoming Me program series will be available after May 6.

Take Earth Day to the Next Level with GSGCNWI!

Instead of just one day during the month of April, we are spending the entire month celebrating! 

Today, millions of people around the world celebrate Earth Day by taking action, advocating, and learning how to help the Earth! We invite you to join in with the millions of other people and join in on the celebration–– and we have plenty for you to do. 

Catch up on some activities we had to celebrate the day’s 50th Anniversary last year (and some new activities too): 

  1. Play Earth Day Bingo 
  1. Watch our Earth Week 2020 Video Series 
  1. Check out these patches and challenges: 
  1. Earn your Green for Good mini patches by completing the activities listed below (or come up with your own activities that fit the themes!): 
  • Power Button – Turn off your lights; unplug your appliances when you go to bed  
  • Recycle – Recycle cardboard, glass and paper; try to buy less plastic; learn to compost  
  • Butterfly – Make a pollinator habitat; raise monarch butterflies 
  • Paw Print – Visit an animal shelter; leave no trace when you go on a hike; pick up trash  
  • Water Drop – Don’t leave your water running; pick up trash around the river  
  • Tree – Plant a tree; identify different types of trees in your neighborhood or community  
  • Bread Tab – Recycle your plastic waste; reuse plastic items and turn them into something new  
  • Bee – Make a bee habitat; go to a farmer’s market to support local farmers  
  • Sun – Hang your clothes in the sun to dry; buy a solar powered item; identify solar powered buildings or structures in your neighborhood  

Then, make sure to get the corresponding mini patch (found on our shop site)

  1. Register for these eco-themed programs: 
  • Junior Girl Scouts are invited to jump start their Simple Meals badge and join Bethany of Ms. Bethany’s School of Cooking for a virtual pizza party on April 23! 

Climate change is the single most serious threat facing our planet today. This is why we all have a part to play, and as Girl Scouts, we make a promise to protect the environment. Let’s make good on that promise in 2021! 

If you participate in any of these programs or activities, you can earn your Green for Good Patch! Purchase the patch on our shop site!  

For additional resources on planet protecting and eco-advocacy, visit our website. 

Meet the GSGCNWI Council Historians: Part Two!

Girl Scouts gathered for a tea party in early March 2020

Last week we met the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council Historians, a group of dedicated volunteers who work to collect, preserve, and share the history and legacy of Girl Scouts across the nation and in our area. These historians are essential to keeping the heartbeat of our movement strong, and we have more stories to share!

Read on to learn about some of the amazing, prestigious, unique items in the historian’s collection.

The Golden Eaglet

The GSGCNWI historical archive holds thousands of items spread across our council, and includes pins and insignias, guide books and records, photographs and videos, uniforms, cookie items, and much, much more. Some of these items are especially prestigious or unique, like cloche hats for leaders from the 1920s, the “enormous” wicker backpacks girls used for overnight camping, and the very first meeting minutes from the Girl Scout council in Gary, Indiana, in 1938. The original Girl Scout handbook is currently on display at the Chicago Gathering Place, and is signed by Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low herself (read our blog to learn more about what we have on display).

Among the favorite items of the historians is a quilt made as a fundraiser for Camp Manistee, a resident camp in the 1950s, which, for ten cents, girls could embroider their own square to be included. Also on the favorites list were the range of unique cookie jars from the various bakers of Girl Scout cookies in the past, evidence of the many different products sold during cookie and Fall Product seasons.

The oldest items in the archive are certainly precious, and include Brownie uniforms from 1918, khaki uniform items from 1915, and of course, the signed Girl Scout handbook. And the most unique items can even be found online: lucky for us, many of the original Girl Scout catalogs are digitized, so you can see for yourself all of the cute merch girls used to rock throughout the years, like purses, charms, and more. Probably the most interesting item the historians noted was a wool Girl Scout bathing suit— might have been fashionable, but certainly sounds uncomfortable!

And the most valuable, prestigious items are a couple of 14k gold membership pins and two original Golden Eaglet pins, the highest rank of Girl Scouting from 1919 to 1939. You can learn more about the Golden Eaglet by watching the short movie below!

The work the historians does goes beyond just archiving, and before the pandemic, they hosted many programs for Girl Scouts in our council over the years, ranging from “What’s WAGGGS” informational sessions, to historical tea parties and Girl Scout movie nights, to fashion shows where girls modeled vintage uniforms. Their work is essential to our council and we are so excited for what they come up with next!

Thank you to all of the GSGCNWI Council Historians:

Levita Anderson, Christine Caragher, Christine Cline, Rosemarie Courtney, Jane Doyle, Phyllis Drewno, Heidi Gannon, Janice Gerovac, Elise Gould, Nancy Hackett, Heather Linehan, Carol Macola, Mia Mehta, Catherine Mori, Kelly Pavlik, Veronica Pradelski, Margaret Rogers, Karen Schillings and Vikki Zack.

Are you interested in helping the historians?

If you’d like to learn more about the archive, how to become a part of the team, or something else about the GSGCNWI historians, email Rosemarie Courtney.

Keep Up With GSGCNWI

Adventure to the World Centres: Sangam India!

From your own backyard to the great outdoors to international cities, traveling as a Girl Scout unlocks a world full of possibilities. When Girl Scouts travel, they embark on the journey of a lifetime with their Girl Scout sisters, taking home precious memories, breathtaking photos, and the confidence it takes to start their own globetrotting adventures.

Visiting Sangam, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ World Centre in Pune, India, has been a life-changing experience for many of our Girl Scouts. While we patiently wait for international travel, let’s get to know Indian culture a little better at home.

  1. Use a map of India (or the Internet) and locate the following places:
    • Pune (the location of Sangam)
    • What are the largest cities on the map?
    • How many countries border India?
  2. Find an Indian restaurant near you and learn about what they serve.
    • What types of dishes are on the menu?
    • Do they use ingredients you’ve never heard of? If so, look them up!
    • There are many types of regional Indian foods: find out which variety they serve. What makes this type different?
    • If possible, order some food and try out their different dishes! What’s your favorite?
    • OR find some recipes online and try your hand at making some of the dishes!
  3. Learn “Come into Sangam,” Sangam’s official song! You can download the words, learn it, and sing it on their website! You can also find other Sangam favorites on this site!
  4. Have you ever read any books set in India or watched any films or tv shows? Call your local library or search online for some. Here are some suggestions:
    • Film: Bride and Prejudice, Period: End of Sentence, Lion, Gandhi, and many other Bollywood films!
    • Book: Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh
  5. Learn all about the Sari and create one out of items in your house!
  6. What do you know about one of India’s most famous buildings, The Taj Mahal, and its history and its secrets?
    • Check out the videos on the UNESCO site
    • Learn about marble inlay art that decorates the Taj Mahal
    • Try to build your own version of the Taj Mahal!
      • Make your own model of the Taj Mahal buildings, using white paper and coloring them to reflect the marble inlay!
      • Do you have lots of Legos in your house? See if you can make a LEGO version, and this video is a fun one to watch to guide you!
  7. Learn about one of India’s big festivals, such as Diwali or Holi.
  8. Check out Sangam on their information page on wagggs.org, YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Take a virtual tour of Sangam and then start daydreaming!

While we wait for safer travels, there’s no reason a girl can’t dream! Get inspired by our travel blog posts!

Also make sure to check out the Travel playlist on our YouTube, which includes videos about Sangam, Our Chalet in Switzerland, and more!

Meet the GSGCNWI Council Historians

If you’ve ever visited the Chicago Gathering Place, you’ll remember the cases that line the hallways, filled with guide books, uniforms, badges, and pins from the past 109 years of Girl Scouting. These artifacts remind our members, visitors, and staff that our history is as important as our future—and who better understands that than our Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) Council Historians?

Their mission statement, “to acquire, organize, and preserve artifacts related to the Girl Scout Movement, to make the collection available to our membership, researchers, and the general public, and to promote an enduring understanding of the rich history of Girl Scouts,” has held true even among the difficulties of the pandemic. In continuation of our celebration of Girl Scout Day (March 12), we are featuring these incredible archivists, who work tirelessly to preserve our council’s legacy.

Read on to meet some of the GSGCNWI Council Historians!

Honoring the Trailblazers

These historians have seen firsthand the changes Girl Scouts has undergone over the years, and part of their job is to, as Jane Doyle explained, “take what happened in the past and connect it to what we do today.” Veronica Pradelski continued: “A minute ago is history. History is every day. We have to preserve everything.” One of the historian’s most important missions is to pay homage to the risk-taking women who paved the way for present-day girls. Even camping was once taboo for girls and women to do—and as Karen Schillings puts it, “it’s a big thing for girls to appreciate all that had to be done to get to this point.”

The historians have a variety of training and educational background that lends to their project: from historic costume and textile restoration, to preservation of paper and text, to recordkeeping and photographic archival (and more). They represent the seven distinct legacy councils that merged in 2008 to become GCNWI, (Illinois Crossroads, Prairie Winds, Chicago, South Cook, Calumet, Trailways, and Drifting Dunes), as well as councils that merged into those seven entities over time.

Because of the diversity of historic items amassed over the years, the historians are now able to boast a large, fascinating collection of artifacts from all legacy councils that existed within the current geographic footprint. “We are where we are today because of those legacy councils,” Karen continues, each of them holding a rich local history carefully preserved by our historians.

Motivated by their passion for history and their love of Girl Scouting, these historians are doing the essential work of saving stories that might otherwise be lost. “Girl Scouting is the best thing going for girls and young women,” Jane Doyle said, reflecting on her motivations, “so being able to tell the Girl Scout story is what keeps me in this group.”

“My leader told me to give back to Girl Scouting what I got out of it,” Rosemarie Courtney shared. “So I never quit.”

Thank you to all of the GSGCNWI Council Historians:

Levita Anderson, Christine Caragher, Christine Cline, Rosemarie Courtney, Jane Doyle, Phyllis Drewno, Heidi Gannon, Janice Gerovac, Elise Gould, Nancy Hackett, Heather Linehan, Carol Macola, Mia Mehta, Catherine Mori, Kelly Pavlik, Veronica Pradelski, Margaret Rogers, Karen Schillings and Vikki Zack.

Are you interested in helping the historians?

If you’d like to learn more about the archive, how to become a part of the team, or something else about the GSGCNWI historians, email Rosemarie Courtney.

Check out some of these special items from the Chicago Gathering Place!

Read more about these artifacts on our blog.

Look out next week for more Girl Scout history talk with the GSGCNWI historians!

Catch Up with the GSGCNWI Blog

Adventure to the World Centres: Our Chalet Switzerland!

Traveling with Girl Scouts prepares girls to take on the world around them, whether it’s a mountain to scale or a new metropolis to explore. When Girl Scouts travel, they learn practical skills for the wildest of adventures, skills they carry for their rest of their lives abroad or otherwise. Exploring your own neighborhood; going on overnight camping trips; flying to one of the four World Centres; when you travel with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, you’re expanding your horizons.

If you’re considering the beautiful snowy alps of Switzerland someday, on a council or troop trip to Our Chalet, or you just want to have a cultural experience without going too far from home, here are a few ideas to get you dreaming about Switzerland travel.

  1. Our Chalet is located in Adelboden, Switzerland, a Swiss Alpine village in the Bernese Oberland region. It’s known for the ski resort of Adelboden-Lenk, host of the FIS Ski World Cup. The central village church dates from the 15th century. Outside of town, at Engstligen Falls, several Alpine streams join together to become the Engstligen River. Farther north, the river forms the deep, narrow Choleren Gorge, which is accessible via bridges and walkways. To explore more about Our Chalet in Switzerland, check out the WAGGGS website.
  2. Load up your bikes or plan a walking day to explore Swiss architecture, food, and more in New Glarus, Wisconsin (about two hours from Chicago). Read more about this Swiss-influenced city!
  3. A short trip to Rockford, Illinois (just an hour and a half away from Chicago), you will find the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens. Take the guided tour to learn more about the family and their love of Swiss architecture!
  4. Are you a “foodie?” Try the most iconic dish in Switzerland: Raclette! It is different from fondue, and the Swiss with be impressed you know the difference!
  5. You will probably see and hear the alpine horn when you are in Switzerland. Watch this video and enjoy the music of the mountains.

We hope you get to explore Switzerland soon, but go ahead and explore what you can in the Chicagoland area!

Join WAGGGS and some incredible speakers, including The Honorable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, as they come together to discuss appearance-based discrimination, low body confidence and self-esteem.

Join the event live on YouTube on March 18!

While we wait for safer travels, there’s no reason a girl can’t dream! Get inspired by our travel blog posts!

We Met The Moment Together at Tribute to Achievement

Every moment is an experience that can inspire, change, and ignite us. Last week, our Girl Scout community sparked those moments for girls at the first-ever virtual Tribute to Achievement. 

For over 30 years, the Tribute to Achievement annual fundraiser has been instrumental in providing financial support to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI)—and though we didn’t meet in person this time, the evening was still a monumental success.  

During this year’s program, we focused on Moments that Matter: those moments in life, big or small, that forever change your future, your life, or the lives of those around you. And you, our supporters, made the Moment Matter like never before.  

Featuring stories told by girls, volunteers, and staff, as well as inspiring remarks from our three honorees and visions of what’s to come from our CEO and board members, we got an insight into the past, present, and future of GSGCNWI—and we couldn’t be more excited. 

Thanks to your generous donations, our council has raised more than $517,000 and counting. And if you missed out, not to worry—watch the recording of the entire event above! 

Read on to learn more about the evening and how you can support our council. 

Sharing Moments That Matter 

Click to listen to Connie’s story!

We were inspired by the powerful moments that mattered for our girls and volunteers – and that taught us so much about what Girl Scouts really means to our communities. Hosts Sherina Edwards and Therese Malinowski introduced us to several members who shared their personal turning points: we heard from alum Therese on her powerful National Gold Award initiative Project Dandelion, from troop leader Natalie Wynn on her first year as a champion for girls, and from Camp CEO mentor and Board member Monica Weed and alum Anusha Ebrahim on the power of a happenstance moment.  

Also joining us for the evening was Connie Lindsey, long-time Girl Scout supporter, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust, and Past President of the Girl Scouts of the USA National Board of Directors, who shared her defining moment that changed the trajectory of her life. 

It was the moment Connie’s Girl Scout troop leader told her: “You matter— you are not what is the matter,” that everything changed. “I was seen, I was heard, and I was important. That informed my leadership and commitment to service for the rest of my life.”  

Reflections on 2020 & Looking Ahead  

Click to listen to CEO Nancy Wright and Board President Kathy Scherer!

“2020 challenged us and it changed us,” shared CEO of GSGCNWI Nancy Wright while reflecting on the last year with Board President Kathy Scherer. And even through a year of unprecedented moments, the power of Girl Scouts kept our heartbeat as a community strong. Kathy Scherer affirmed: “Girl Scouts never give up. We personify resilience.” 

The pandemic may have interrupted life as we knew it, but Girl Scouts persisted, transitioning to at-home camping experiences, quickly coordinating emergency service projects for their communities, and diving head-first into the waters of virtual programs. “Every one of those experiences taught us how much Girl Scouts really means to girls and our communities,” Nancy continued. “It’s a lifeline. A safe space. A welcome respite when life gets overwhelming.” 

While we don’t know what the future has in store, we will boldly move forward as THE place to champion the needs of our girls and their families in every way we can.  

Celebrating Our Honorees 

Together, we celebrated three incredible honorees who have championed moments of innovation, transformation, and change for girls. Receiving the Luminary Award was Carrie Hightman, longtime GSGCNWI supporter and recently retired Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer of NiSource. Polk Bros. Foundation was honored with the Girl Scouts Own Award, accepted on behalf of the organization by CEO Gillain Darlow, and the Corporate Award was given to Sidley Austin and accepted by Hille Sheppard, member of the GSGCNWI Board of Directors and co-leader of Sidley’s litigation practice. 

We are so grateful to our honorees who are tremendous partners in and champions for our movement. 

The Moment Still Matters 

ALL supporters of GSGCNWI now have the chance to triple their impact by making a tax-deductible contribution, thanks to the $75,000 Board Match announced the evening of the event!  

Give before March 31 to have your gift tripled dollar-for-dollar. 

Thanks to Our Supporters 

Girl Scouts Become Energized by Exelon Spark Day!

On a snowy President’s Day, thirty-one Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors joined Exelon employees to learn about several types of renewable energy and the incredible career opportunities in the field. Girls built windmills, watched videos of different career stories, learned how nuclear energy works, and spoke with a panel of four professionals, including engineers, a communications director, and an intern. 

The girls enjoyed watching informational videos and learning about various career paths in renewable energy. Several girls noted that they learned about careers they did not know existed before. “It was very informative and interesting,” one girl said.  “I actually learned something new,” said another. 

As many companies work towards investing in renewable energy and lowering their carbon emissions, this program was incredibly relevant to the direction energy is taking. Girls were able to engage with women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) in the career panel and hear their inspiring stories. 

One panelist graduated from the same high school that a few girls are currently attending, so they connected over education as well.  One girl even reached out for a further conversation with the panelist!

Thank you to Exelon and employees for planning such a fun event and taking time to open girls’ eyes to new career possibilities! Make sure to learn more about the Exelon STEM Leadership Academy.

Spring and Summer Programs Are Now Open!

As part of Kellogg’s commitment to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 and inspire healthier eating habits in children, the company is partnering with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) to create 5,000 specialty Wellbeing Boxes, filled with fun activities and information focused on educating and nurturing your physical, emotional, and societal wellbeing. 

You can get a FREE Wellbeing Box when you register for a GCNWI program!

Learn more on our blog.

Catch up with GCNWI!

In Her Own Words: Girl Scout Anne’s Service Story

Written by Cookie CEO Anne

You have heard a lot of wonderful stories over the years about how our Girl Scouts make the world a better place through their commitment to service, and even in these unprecedented times, we were able to continue to share these stories with you all. And who better to hear the stories from than from the girls themselves?

Read on for a first-person account from Girl Scout Anne, Cookie CEO who has donated her Disney trip for multiple years and will continue to do so for years to come!

In Her Own Words: A Gift of Joy

When I was in fourth grade, I was listening to a lesson about virtue at school, when I got an idea to be extra kind and generous. I wanted to do something big that would really put a smile on a kid’s face. It was Girl Scout cookie season when this happened, and I thought that maybe I could sell 5,000 boxes of cookies and then give the trip I earned to a kid in need. I thought giving a Disney trip would be good because I went to Disney when I was in second grade, and it was the best trip I was ever on. I had so much fun, and I rode all the rides, and I got to try all kinds of good food. I wanted to give my trip to another kid who might not have a chance to take a trip like this. I also wanted to give them a chance to have fun and not think about doctors.

When I told my parents, my mom thought it would be impossible to sell 5,000 cookies because I usually sold 500. My Nana thought it was a good idea but I didn’t think she was into it. After a few days, my mom called the council to see if it was even possible for a trip to be given away. We had to wait a couple of weeks before we got our answer. We could give the trip to another kid, but not another organization like Make a Wish.

I spent the next few months reading and watching YouTube videos on how to sell more cookies. I started to think about where I could have booths and which organizations I would like to collect donations from. I made arrangements to have booths at my favorite restaurants and I decided I would help local veterans and the Ronald McDonald House.

Veterans are important to me because I have had many relatives who served, and my favorite cousin is in the Army Reserves. I am thankful for what our soldiers do to protect us and I am grateful for what our veterans have done in the past. I have volunteered at the Manteno Veterans Home and I am a member of the Monee Auxiliary Post 1200. In the Auxiliary, I get to help plan events and treats for the vets. I am going to be their Junior Historian for the next year, taking pictures and documenting our meetings when we are in person. I am also going to collect cookies for the Fisher House at Hines and local homebound vets. This year I will use my cookie money to sponsor two service dogs through PAWWS.

I like the Ronald McDonald House because they help families who have kids in the hospital. The Ronald McDonald House is like a second home for many families. When I was small, I was attacked by a dog and had to have emergency surgery, and I stayed at Comer’s in Chicago. I saw lots of kids with cancer and their families too. I did not like being in the hospital and I wanted to go home. Luckily, I did not have to stay in the hospital long. I knew some of those kids were going to be there a long time. I hope they made it home.

When I sold my 5,000 boxes, I felt like, “WOAH.” I could not believe it. Then I started to think about how I would surprise my friend, Lavontae, with the Disney trip. I have known him for a few years. Lavontae is always going to the doctors because he is living with chronic health issues. He is always fun, funny, and he is always hugging everyone. He is always happy and he LOVES to play video games.

My brother’s friend’s mother is the manager at the Chicago Ridge Disney Store. When she found out what I was doing, she offered to help host a reveal party for Lavontae. Her staff created a custom video which was played on their big screen. When Lavontae found out he was going to Disney, he was shocked and then happy. His Papa was excited too. I was excited and happy and grateful. I felt grateful for everyone who helped me and all the kindness I saw over the months.

Lavontae and Anne after gifting him the Disney Trip. Read about this amazing experience on our blog!

Reach Your Goals with the Girl Scout Cookie Program

The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls succeed today and prepare for future success. With every box she sells, she builds on 5 essential leadership skills she can use for a lifetime.

Every Girl Scout benefits from the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Whether it’s a trip to a breathtaking place they’ve never been, an opportunity to attend Girl Scout camp and revel in the power of the great outdoors, or the chance to try something new, every experience helps them do amazing things for herself and for her community. It’s never too late to join the program. Start today!

Adventure to the World Centres: Our Cabaña Mexico!

While the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Centres are closed, you can still take a trip there from your own backyard! Try your hand at a new recipe, drive by a nearby place of worship, or learn a new dance move all while learning about where the World Centres are located in this blog series.

Our Cabaña is located in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Get to know Mexican culture by doing some of these.

  1. Order in from a traditional Mexican restaurant in your neighborhood. Try a dish you’ve never had before – whether that’s tacos, horchata, or beef tongue stew!
  2. Hop in your car or on the train to Pilsen, a neighborhood in Chicago well known for its Mexican heritage. GSGCNWI even has a Neighborhood Walk you can take and a patch you can purchase for visiting Pilsen.
  3. Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2. It’s a time to honor deceased loved ones through altars and offerings. Learn more about this holiday with our Day of the Dead patch program (purchase your patch here). Hint: You don’t have to wait until November to celebrate!
  4. Time to learn a little Spanish, Mexico’s national language. Here are a few phrases you should know:
    • Hola = Hola
    • Adios = Goodbye
    • Uno Dos Tres = One Two Three
    • Gracias = Thank you
    • ¿Cómo estás? = How are you?
  5. Churros are a famous – and very delicious – Mexican dessert. Find a recipe online and make them at home.
  6. Do you love to dance? Vamos a bailar (that’s “Let’s dance” in Spanish)! There are several traditional Mexican dances; read about and watch videos of the various dances. Get those dancing shoes on, amigos!
  7. If you’d rather make the music than dance to it, make a maraca. All you need is a plastic spoon, plastic Easter egg, some dry rice or beans, and either masking or painters’ tape. Add some rice or beans to the Easter egg, place it on the spoon, and tape the two together. You can decorate the outside to look like a beautifully colored instrument. Turn on some mariachi music and shake away!
  8. Check out Our Cabaña on their website, Facebook, or Instagram. A girl can dream about where she wants to travel, can’t she?

There is only one more day to register for #GIRLFest! Don’t miss out on the fun with your Girl Scout sisters!

Learn all about the event and how you can join in on the fun!