Girl Scouts Provide Weekly Sack Lunches For The Roberti Community House!

Happy International Women’s Day! March 8 is dedicated to uplifting the power of women and girls across the globe, who are challenging gender stereotypes and shattering glass ceilings every day of the year. To all the girls and women in our council, we applaud your dedication, strength, and perseverance this year and every year.

Over the past year, we have seen Girl Scouts step up in major ways to help their communities through the challenges of the pandemic. Girl Scouts as young as Daisies and Brownies are making an impact through service, and Girl Scouts from the Waukegan, IL area are making this impact every single week through their donations to the Roberti Community House.

Since last spring, many children who relied on their schools to receive lunch began to experience food insecurity; through the efforts of several troops in the area, Girl Scouts are now delivering between 200 and 400 sack lunches to the Roberti Community House weekly. Read on to meet one of the organizers of this project, Katherine Najjar, and some of the Girl Scouts who have been involved!

Tackling Food Insecurity, One Week at a Time

Katherine, Girl Scout troop leader and Cookie Manager for her Service Unit, came to the Roberti Community House with extra cookies left over from the season and left with a service opportunity for her and her girls to impact their community. As a result of the pandemic, “the need for food really skyrocketed,” Katherine explained, “and there’s already a lot of food insecurity in Waukegan.”

“What started with the Girl Scout cookies moved to these bags,” she continued, and now the service project, which has Girl Scouts putting together sack lunches for the Roberti Community House food pantry, has several troops in the area involved, collecting at least 200 bags per drop-off.

The impact of their service goes beyond the numbers, with Katherine reflecting, “It’s been really helpful for [the girls] to understand that there are so many people that just want a simple lunch. I think that by seeing the lines outside of the food pantry, they can see that we can really make a difference in our community.”

One of the participating troops, Brownie Troop 47764, collects 50 sack lunches to donate every other month. They affirm the importance of the service they’re doing: “It’s important to help people; everyone deserves something,” Girl Scout Vivian shared.


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.

Celebrate Girl Scout Week With Us!

Each year Girl Scouts across the country come together to celebrate Girl Scout Week, which is observed the week around March 12- the “Girl Scout Birthday”- and is filled with many traditions.

This year we’re breaking the mold and celebrating the ENTIRE MONTH! Frankly, after the year we’ve all had, seven days isn’t enough for us to say thank you to you all for keeping the Girl Scout heartbeat strong.

Read more on our blog.

Read More Girl Stories!

Girl Scouts Imagine A Better World For Girls!

For Girl Scout Week, we’ve decided to celebrate ALL MONTH LONG! Read our blog to learn how you can celebrate beyond Girl Scout Birthday (March 12!)

Girl Scouts have expansive imaginations and they envision a better world for girls– a world where girls can be treated equally, where girls are courageous to do what they want, where girls take risks and break new ground, shattering stereotypes. Through the GIRLtopia Journey, Girl Scout troop 42614 imagined a better world for girls: let’s learn more about their work and how they are joining the fight for social justice, all over Zoom.

Making the Future, One Step at a Time

A GIRLtopia is an ideal world that girls create, a place where everyone is accepting and uplifting, with equality for all ages, genders, and races. The girls, as part of their Journey, wrote poetry, came up with qualities that define visionaries, including open mindedness, power and faith, determination, and respect, and thought deeply about gender based injustice.

The girls had plenty of answers to what they want to see in the world: free healthcare, free feminine products (“because we can’t control that about our bodies, so why should we have to pay for that?”) and no more stereotypes restricting girls. “People should be able to express themselves and not be judged,” Katherine added, and Emilee continued, “Any girl should be able to wear what they want.”

Even very serious subjects were broached, with Danielle explaining, “I want safety, so we don’t need to fear just going outside past nine o’clock.” Natalie: “I think everyone should be paid equally for the same work.”

And these more than just a dream: this is an attainable goal that is coming to fruition as we move into the future.”50.2% of the college-educated workforce are women, and every year the women that receive STEM degrees increases by over 50,000 individuals. Things are finally changing, but we need YOUR Help to keep this energy going,” the girls wrote in their presentation.

“When we were Brownies and Daisies, we didn’t realize how powerful our voices could be. We want you to know you can make a real change in the world at any age.”


With opportunities to become a completely virtual or hybrid troop comes amazing experiences that would not have been otherwise possible. That’s what Girl Scouts provides: chances to change the world, to live through important moments, to change the present AND the future.

You can join a virtual troop right now: learn more.


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 Us!

Tribute to Achievement: Story Teller Spotlight

The Moment It Matters is that one defining moment that changes everything: a conversation with a mentor that opens your eyes to a new opportunity. A last-minute decision to run for student council. It is the moment you realized who you are, what you want to do in life, and how you are changing the world for the better.

Join us on March 11 for Tribute to Achievement: The Moment it Matters, our live virtual fundraiser, to hear from Girl Scouts and honorees about the transformative moments in their lives – and the breakthroughs, failures, and changes they have faced that forever clear the way for more women and girls to follow.

Read on to meet some of the fantastic girls, volunteers, and supporters we are spotlighting at this year’s event!

Meet Therese Malinowski, National Gold Award Girl Scout and Alum

One of our hosts for the evening and a 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, is Therese Malinowski, honored for her groundbreaking work in STEM and sexual violence prevention with the creation of the world’s first comprehensive campus sexual assault database called “Project Dandelion.” She is currently continuing her project and working to grow the database to a national level. Therese has been a Girl Scout from kindergarten to adulthood, and currently attends Purdue University studying aerospace engineering.

Read Therese’s story on our blog.

Meet Natalie Wynn, Girl Scout Volunteer

We will also be hearing from Natalie Wynn, a first-year leader of a multi-level Girl Scout troop located in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, as she tells her story of breaking into the role of troop leader. Though she is new to the organization, Natalie is already a dedicated champion of her girls, and started a brand-new troop last fall in the hopes of connecting girls in her area: “I was never a Girl Scout myself growing up, but I learned it’s never too late to be a Girl Scout.”

Meet Anusha Ebrahim, Girl Scout Alum, and Monica Weed, Girl Scout Board Member

Anusha is a current senior student at Northwestern University studying Latin Classics, and hopeful medical student. An alum of GCNWI’s premier leadership experience, Camp CEO, Anusha will share her transformational moment with her Camp CEO mentor, Girl Scout alum, and GCNWI Board member Monica Weed, when they “by happenstance” ran into each other at Camp CEO and had a conversation that changed the course of Anusha’s life. “It’s not so often young girls get to meet incredible CEOs doing amazing things with their careers and have that moment where they can be encouraged and inspired,” Anusha shared.

Monica reflected on the value of Girl Scouting in her life: “Girl Scouts took me to places, gave me opportunities, and taught me lessons that I would not otherwise have experienced. Girl Scouts made me a stronger, more self reliant, curious, confident, daring, and empathetic person, than I believe I would have become.”

Hear all of these stories and more at Tribute to Achievement: The Moment It Matters!

Join us on March 11!

Thanks to our Sponsors

Sponsors as of March 4, 2021

Empowered to Move Forward- Get Ready to Celebrate Girl Scout Week, all MONTH Long!

Each year Girl Scouts across the country come together to celebrate Girl Scout Week, which is observed the week around March 12- the “Girl Scout Birthday”- and is filled with many traditions.

This year we’re breaking the mold and celebrating the ENTIRE MONTH! Frankly, after the year we’ve all had, seven days isn’t enough for us to say thank you to you all for keeping the Girl Scout heartbeat strong.

  • Register for a program, get a FREE Kellogg’s Wellbeing Kit
  • Girl Scout Week- With Girl Scout Sunday, Sabbath, Jummah, Girl Scout Birthday and more!
  • #GIRLFest- virtual program for all ages!
  • The first ever Girl Scout Picture Day!
  • Meet our CEO and Board President!

Read on for an overview of everything happening this month!

Spring and Summer Programs are Open Now!

To kickoff Girl Scout Month, current GCNWI members can get a FREE Wellbeing Kit when you register for a GCNWI program! We are so excited to share with all the amazing programs we have in store, including new opportunities in outdoor programming, STEAM, leadership, social-emotional learning and more!

Learn more on our blog.

Girl Scout Week (March 7-13)

Get empowered and celebrate this week by participating in the daily activities below!

Sunday, March 7: Girl Scout Empowerment Sunday

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to worship. Talk with your Girl Scout sisters and family to connect with a local place of worship and learn about how Girl Scouts can be represented on Girl Scout Sunday. 
  • To help you engage your community of worship during Girl Scout Week, downloadable assets for bulletins and inserts are available here!
  • Get your ‘My Promise, My Faith’ Award. Work with your family and faith leaders to gain the pin to celebrate the connection between the Girl Scout Promise and Law and your faith.
  • Buy the Girl Scout Sunday patch

Monday, March 8: International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day we’re empowering girls to speak up! We’re teaming up with The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to encourage girls to know their rights and challenge those who abuse them.

Tuesday March 9: Empowered to Live Well

  • For girls: We’ve teamed up with Kellogg’s to help keep our girls’ mind clear, sharp and stress-free. Learn more about our Kelloggs wellbeing kit and become eligible to get one free when you sign up for a program!
  • Watch our series of Mindful Monday videos on YouTube to learn how you can practice mindfulness and positive mental health.
  • For Adults: Girl Scout Leader Chat: Funding the Fun

Wednesday, March 10: Empowered to Do Good with UNICEF and Get Outdoors!

  • Give back while taking part in fun activities at your next virtual meeting or family gathering with UNICEF Kid Power!
  • Sign up for UNICEF Kid Power for free and gain access to over 150 videos of fun activities like dance routines, workouts, yoga and more!
  • By participating with this program, your troop can unlock virtual coins to support food banks and will help to support other socially responsible initiatives.
  • Bundle up and get outdoors to go for a walk or get started on the Backyard Challenge: Spring Edition 

Thursday, March 11: Empowered to Spread the Word

  • Think about a time when you felt really empowered after attending a Girl Scout event or experience.
  • Recall that story with a friend who is not a Girl Scout and invite them to try Girl Scouts for free!
  • Invite friends to celebrate Girl Scout birthday with you tomorrow and learn more about how Juliette Gordon Low became empowered to make a difference for all girls!

Friday, March 12: Girl Scout Birthday and Girl Scout Jummah

Girl Scout Jummah

Observe Jummah and get your Girl Scout Jummah Patch!

Saturday, March 13: Attend #GirlFest and Girl Scout Sabbath

This virtual event will highlight subject-area pathways including STEAM, cultural awareness, outdoors, and active citizenship. Each pathway will feature one hour of programming with multiple fun, girl-led, grade-level- appropriate, and interactive sessions in each pathway, as well as multiple “Mindful Minute” commercial breaks – a chance to close your eyes, breathe, and relax!

Want to have even more fun? Add on our #GIRLfest Event Kit at checkout. This kit will include a patch, t-shirt, and other fun things to help you participate in each pathway.

Register for #GIRLFest for Daisies, Brownies and Juniors Register for #GIRLFest for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors

Girl Scout Sabbath

After attending #GIRLFest, take a moment to rest and reflect on all your work with Girl Scouts. Let those moments inspire you to create new and innovative ways to empower others on what it means to be a Girl Scout. 

Get your Girl Scout Sabbath Fun Patch in our Shop 

Girl Scout Picture Days

Grab your favorite Girl Scout gear and get ready for Girl Scout picture day March 12 and 13! Take a picture wearing your Girl Scout gear and send it to us via social media or the submit your story link using the hashtag #girlscoutpictureday to win cool prizes!

Jazz up your photos and use our virtual photo booth that will available on both days. Be sure to check our social media pages for more photo booth information.

Meet the GCNWI CEO and Board President

Celebrate our first ever Girl Scout Month with a virtual meet and greet with the Girl Scout GCNWI CEO, Nancy Wright, and outgoing Board President, Kathy Scherer on March 23 at 6p.m! Grab a snack, your favorite warm drink, and favorite stuffed animal or pet and settle in for a fun evening.

All girls in attendance will receive a free “I Met the CEO” patch and “Future Board Member” patch that will be mailed to your home after the program.

Register for Meet the GCNWI CEO and Board President

Our Girl Scout forecast is looking bright! We look forward to celebrating the month of March with you and hope you are too!

Catch Up With Us!

Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Jakki Smith!

We are continuing our celebration of the fantastic work our Black Girl Scouts, members, and staff contribute to the movement. This week, we have the pleasure of introducing Jacqueline (Jakki) Smith, a current Regional Membership Manager at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI)!

“My first encounter with Girl Scouts was at my church. Both of my daughters were interested, and I let them do their thing. At the time, the fifth grade Juniors were meeting with the Daisies and Brownies and being basically babysitters. I met young ladies that were going to quit [Girl Scouts] because they said it wasn’t fun for them.”

“At that moment, I said ‘Okay, let me see what I need to do.’ I had no idea what Girl Scouts was, I was never a Girl Scout, but my daughter enjoyed the program. And I became a leader overnight.”

“I know at the time it was optional for girls to have their uniforms, but not for me. I required the girls to wear [them] and we were always on point at council events. They would see all of these African American girls getting off this bus and they’re dressed from the top of their head to their toes. They wore their uniforms with such grace and pride.”

Jakki’s free-spirit allowed her and her Girl Scouts to make the most of the amazing programming opening up for Girl Scouts at the time, like the Studio 2B program, “which was such a trend-setting series for Cadettes. They were talking about the internet, about scholarship money, how to take care of their vehicles, how to budget, just life stuff you need to know.”

And her mentorship had a massive impact on the lives of the girls she led: “Out of the 40 girls [I had], over half of them received the Gold Award. They wanted to go as high as they could and they were very proud to be Girl Scouts. Still to this day, my daughter is thinking about coming back and being a troop leader. It was so rewarding for me to be a part of that foundation of helping girls identify who they are, to build that confidence, to see those skills in the workforce.”

For Jakki, being a role model to young African American girls was invaluable. “It is still a very fulfilling experience. It is rewarding to see the desire, the passion, has transferred to every girl. So to be able to touch my African American daughters and my Brown daughters, and all of the women of color, is powerful. I hope to inspire them to see the beauty of being different, to teach them that their voices are powerful, and we want to hear what they have to say.”

“Girl Scouts has always been a trendsetting organization, and I believe that’s one of the reasons I’m still with them, because we have loosened up and our eyes are open to all of the possibilities. We’re in this space of innovation and creation and it’s blowing everyone’s mind, this momentum and liberty and creativity.”


Thank you so much to Jakki for talking with us, sharing her story, and reinvigorating our mission.

Black History Month is just one month out of the year, but Black excellence and Black girl magic is something to be celebrated, cherished, and protected every single day. We remain committed to sharing and telling the stories of Black girls all year long.

Meet Girl Scout troop 65708, a troop dedicated to “making true-blue friends, saving the planet, standing up against stereotypes, and using their team power for the greater good.”
Meet Girl Scout volunteer Erica Cox from Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and learn all about the Girl Scouts for Black Lives Instagram!
Meet Dr. Renee Matthews, leader in the healthcare industry, social media influencer, and Girl Scout champion.

Black Girl Magic

From taking civic action for social change to expanding access to clean air and water, to championing STEM education for marginalized populations, to addressing food insecurity, there’s no limit to what Girl Scouts can do—because they show us just that.

Read GSUSA’s blog to meet just a few of our Girl Scouts who are impacting their corner of the world in major ways to create a better place for us all.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We are asking for all Girl Scouts—girls, volunteers, alums, supporters, families, staff, and our suppliers and service providers—to commit to taking action to make the world a more equitable place. We have a lot of work to do—join usYou can start by signing the Girl Scout Anti-Racism Pledge.

Visit our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Page for more resources and ways to take action and take a stand.

Join the 21 Week Equity Challenge!

United Way of Grundy County and Will County are proud to join United Way of Illinois, and other local United Ways across the state to embark on the “21 Week Equity Challenge” and invites everyone to take this learning challenge.

This free, online learning program will provide lessons and resources for Illinoisans to learn about racial issues and systemic inequalities, together. The “21 Week Equity Challenge” encourages individuals, families, friends, and co-workers to have racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding of the impact systemic racism and inequality have on our state and in our local communities.

Learn more on their website.

Girls Look into the Future with MetLife!

Our Spark Day programs are special opportunities for Girl Scouts to take a leap and explore the future with professionals at the top of their fields of expertise. From STEAM programming to career development, Girl Scouts learn the essential steps to take their ideas beyond their daydreams.

More than 30 Girl Scouts from Juniors to Cadettes made the most of their President’s Day off and gathered virtually to learn from MetLife employees about career development, careers paths, and get ahead of the game on resume-writing.

Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

The session began with a robust panel discussion by MetLife employees, and provided a space for girls to ask questions about their career paths, schooling, and other areas of interest. After the panel discussion, girls broke into small groups to tackle a wide variety of activities, including resume writing, elevator pitches, mock accident investigations, and finding out their own “personality color!” The girls were also given the resources to continue practicing these activities in their free time.

Two volunteers reflected on the event: “Working with young women who are passionate about learning and had great questions made my entire pandemic year! I truly enjoyed it!”

“This event was truly rewarding! To engage with our future leaders and provide a positive, impactful experience geared at making a difference in their lives makes my heart smile. I am better for having participated in the Spark Day event.”

Thank you to MetLife and their volunteers for running this amazing and creative Spark Day; these girls are now equipped with even more skills they need to achieve their biggest aspirations!


Register for a Girl Scouts Program and Get a FREE Kellogg’s Wellbeing Box!

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 educate and support Girl Scouts with the steps they can take to stay healthy year-round.

GCNWI has partnered with Kellogg’s to create 5,000 specialty Wellbeing Boxes, filled with fun activities and information focused on educating and nurturing your physical, emotional, and societal wellbeing. The boxes include a Kellogg’s MyBowl, stress ball, journal, Kellogg’s snacks, Girl Scouts GCNWI Wellbeing fun patch and more.

Beginning March 1, 2021—which is the launch of Girl Scout month AND spring/summer program registration—current GCNWI members can get a FREE Wellbeing Box when you register for a GCNWI program!

Not yet a Girl Scout? You can get a FREE Kellogg’s Wellbeing Box when you join Girl Scouts today!

Spring and Summer Programs Open Now!

We are so excited to share with all the amazing programs we have in store including new opportunities in outdoor programming, STEAM, leadership, social-emotional learning and more!

Program Spotlights:

Browse all programs and start your wish list now!

What’s In the Box?

In this box, you’ll get everything you need to start your wellness journey, including a fun patch, yummy Kellogg’s snacks, and more! The Kellogg’s Wellbeing Box was designed to teach girls and their families ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, whether it’s by eating a variety of different foods, providing healthy coping mechanisms, or creating fun and enjoyable experiences with the family outdoors. 

In addition to participating in new and fun programs, and earning a fun patch in the process, she will receive:  

  1. Kellogg’s MyBowl®
  2. basil starter grow kit
  3. lavender seeds kit
  4. mini cotton sachet bag
  5. stress ball
  6. journal
  7. Kellogg’s cereal
  8. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treat® crispy marshmallow square
  9. Girl Scouts GCNWI Wellbeing fun patch
Promotion Guidelines and Restrictions

Promotion available March 1, 2021, while supplies last. Exclusions apply. Current member promotion may not be applied to registration for Summer Day Camp, Resident Camp, complimentary programs, custom programs, and programs for adults as well as any programs registered for before Mar. 1, 2021. Quantity limits: one (1) per girl. Parents or troop leaders of Girl Scouts can reserve and pick up the boxes on behalf of their Girl Scouts.

How to Redeem

Current Members

  1. Register for an eligible program on our program site.
  2. Once the transaction is complete, instructions will be included in your email receipt.
  3. Complete the process listed in your receipt, including selecting a pickup location and time for curbside pickup from one of our regional gathering places/retail shops (except for downtown Chicago).
  4. Boxes will be available for pick-up only starting April 1, 2021.

New Members

  1. Join Girl Scouts as a girl member.
  2. Within 2-business days you will receive a welcome email with instructions of how to redeem.

PICKUP DATES

APRIL 2021
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • Thursday, April 1
  • Monday, April 5
  • Tuesday, April 13
  • Wednesday, April 21
  • Thursday, April 29

MAY 2021
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • Monday, May 3
  • Tuesday, May 11
  • Wednesday, May 19
  • Thursday, May 27

PICKUP LOCATIONS

GREENE WOOD SHOP
3155 71st Street, Woodridge, IL 60517

HOMEWOOD SHOP
1005 W.175th Street, Homewood, IL 60430

JOLIET SHOP
1551 Spencer Road, Joliet, IL 60433

MERRILLVILLE SHOP
8699 Broadway Road, Merrillville, IN 46410

VERNON HILLS SHOP
650 N. Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL 60061

The Chicago Shop is closed until further notice.

Join Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is committed to being that welcoming community dedicated to the upliftment and wellbeing of our future girl leaders.  Whether your girl is a dreamer, comedian, explorer, or something uniquely her own, she’s welcome at Girl Scouts. Find what makes her shine with friends and mentors by her side. Helping girls build their courage, confidence, and character since 1912. JOIN TODAY!

Meet the Moment at Tribute to Achievement

As the world continues to change, one thing remains certain: Girl Scouts has never been more relevant—or important—than it is today. We’re experiencing a global moment when leadership, compassion, and resilience are needed more than ever. Building those qualities in girls is what Girl Scouts does best.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s annual Tribute to Achievement dinner brings together corporate and civic leaders, and Girl Scout champions, to raise funds for this critical work. For the first time ever, Tribute to Achievement is going virtual – and you’re invited!

Please join us at 6:00 pm on March 11, 2021 to hear from today’s Girl Scouts, honorees, and special guests about the powerful, defining moments that changed their life’s trajectory – The Moment It Matters. This year, we are thrilled to recognize three honorees who move the needle, create change, and live moments that matter: Carrie Hightman, the Polk Bros. Foundation (accepted by Gillian Darlow), and Sidley Austin, LLP (accepted by Hille Sheppard).

Register today and read on to learn more about this year’s esteemed honorees!

Meet the Honorees

Luminary Award

Carrie Hightman, recently retired Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer of NiSource Inc. and former Chief Executive Officer & President of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Massachusetts’ largest gas utility, will be receiving the Luminary Award.

Carrie Hightman: “Throughout our long-term partnership with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, NiSource Inc. and our Indiana-based utility NIPSCO, have supported the organization’s core mission. Importantly, we have sponsored ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,’ and this year will be our tenth year of doing this program. We are so proud to have created and nurtured this opportunity.”

The Girl Scout Own’s Award

The Girl Scout’s Own Award honors Polk Bros. Foundation, which is dedicated to addressing the complex roots and devastating effects of inequity on Chicagoans by building strong communities and families, increasing access to quality education and the arts, improving health, and strengthening organizations and the sectors in which they work.

Gillian Darlow, CEO of Polk Bros. Foundation, will be accepting the award. Ms. Darlow is also a founder and co-leader of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a collaboration of more than 50 funders that has committed $90 million to anti-violence efforts in Chicago.  She holds board roles with the Chicago Public Education Fund, Civic Consulting Alliance, among others.

Gillian Darlow: “Like so many of my friends today, I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. The Foundation has proudly supported Girl Scouts for 30 years, ensuring opportunities are provided equitably to girls throughout the region. It is our honor to support the vital work Girl Scouts is doing to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, girls who make the world a better place.”

Corporate Award

Receiving the Corporate Award is Sidley Austin, accepted by Hille Sheppard, a member of the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, who co-leads Sidley’s global securities and shareholder litigation practice. Ms. Sheppard was named by Law360 as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law and named by BTI Consulting at a 2020 Client Service All-Star. Ms. Sheppard is also the only woman in Illinois to be ranked by Chambers for securities litigation, in 2019 and 2020.

“Sidley has been proud to provide legal representation to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana for nearly three decades. Girl Scouts offers girls opportunities and experiences they otherwise might not have had, and instills confidence and achievement in them, setting them up for success and providing them with a lot of fun.”

Don’t Miss Out

Join us on March 11 to celebrate these incredible honorees, along with girls and women who are leading with purpose and passion.

Register to secure your spot!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Dr. Renee Matthews!

We continue our celebration of Black excellence in Girl Scouting and beyond by introducing Dr. Renee Matthews, leader in the healthcare industry, social media influencer, and Girl Scout champion. Dr. Matthews has an illustrious career: she’s been featured in Ebony and Essence magazines, was a contributing writer for Good Enough MotherEssence, MadameNoire and Black and Married With Kids, appeared on television shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show, and currently hosts the Ask Dr. Renee show, among so many other things. Dr. Matthews has a deep commitment to Girl Scouting as well, serving previously as a Daisy Girl Scout troop leader, currently as an assistant to the Service Unit Manager of SU 272, and as a mentor at Camp CEO. Read on to learn more about her!

“My mom was a Girl Scout, my grandma was, my aunts were too,” so Girl Scouting for Dr. Matthews was a family tradition. “I have severe asthma, so at the time, I had to take breathing treatments every four hours. The one time I went camping, my dad was recovering from brain surgery. Being the best mom and wife she is, [my mother] was like, ‘This girl has to go on this trip.’ She asked all seven of her sisters and they all said no.” But Dr. Matthews’ mom, knowing how important camping is to a Girl Scout, did not give up. “My mom explained [the situation] to my grandmother, who is from the island of Antigua, and in West Indian culture, they don’t do sleepovers.” Her grandmother went on the trip anyway, and years later, Dr. Matthews is a seasoned Girl Scout camper.

Dr. Matthews’ role as a Girl Scout leader came years later during Black History Month, while visiting a senior residence on the South Side of Chicago as a volunteer with the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League. “One of my friends brought all these young girls,” and after learning that they were Girl Scouts, Dr. Matthews became determined to become a leader. “Sure enough, that following September, I was in.”

Dr. Matthews is a committed advocate for women and girls, serving also as a mentor for the Save a Girl Save a World program, and is particularly concerned with addressing the health concerns of Black women. “My whole mission is to teach girls they can do anything. With a little work comes reward. I think the Girl Scouts really instills in girls that they can do whatever they put their minds to.” Dr. Matthews’ especially uses her non-traditional career as a freelance writer and public speaker as an example that Black women can carve their own paths: “Some of these girls may never meet anyone that has been on TV, or on a plane, or even left the South Side of Chicago. I want to show them, ‘I am a Black girl’, and that’s a big deal.”

Camp CEO Class of 2019

Thank you to Dr. Renee Matthews for sharing her story, and make sure to follow everything she does, from podcasting, blogging, and much more.

Black History Month is just one month out of the year, but Black excellence and Black girl magic is something to be celebrated, cherished, and protected every single day. We remain committed to sharing and telling the stories of Black girls all year long.

Meet Girl Scout troop 65708, a troop dedicated to “making true-blue friends, saving the planet, standing up against stereotypes, and using their team power for the greater good.”
Meet Girl Scout volunteer Erica Cox from Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and learn all about the Girl Scouts for Black Lives Instagram!

Black Girl Magic

From taking civic action for social change to expanding access to clean air and water, to championing STEM education for marginalized populations, to addressing food insecurity, there’s no limit to what Girl Scouts can do—because they show us just that.

Read GSUSA’s blog to meet just a few of our Girl Scouts who are impacting their corner of the world in major ways to create a better place for us all.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We are asking for all Girl Scouts—girls, volunteers, alums, supporters, families, staff, and our suppliers and service providers—to commit to taking action to make the world a more equitable place. We have a lot of work to do—join usYou can start by signing the Girl Scout Anti-Racism Pledge.

Visit our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Page for more resources and ways to take action and take a stand.

Join the 21 Week Equity Challenge!

United Way of Grundy County and Will County are proud to join United Way of Illinois, and other local United Ways across the state to embark on the “21 Week Equity Challenge” and invites everyone to take this learning challenge.

This free, online learning program will provide lessons and resources for Illinoisans to learn about racial issues and systemic inequalities, together. The “21 Week Equity Challenge” encourages individuals, families, friends, and co-workers to have racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding of the impact systemic racism and inequality have on our state and in our local communities.

Learn more on their website.

You’re Invited To #GIRLFest!

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s Girl Experience Teams bring you #GIRLFest 2021!

This virtual event on Saturday, Mar. 13, will highlight subject-area pathways, with each pathway featuring one hour of programming with multiple fun, girl-led, and interactive sessions, as well as multiple “Mindful Minute” commercial breaks – a chance to close your eyes, breathe, and relax!

Learn more about the world around you – whether that’s through science, other cultures, civic engagement, or spending time in nature – while also celebrating how great it is to be a girl and a Girl Scout!

Younger Girl Scouts (Daisies through Juniors) and older Girl Scouts (Cadettes through Ambassadors) will have the opportunity to dive into several different activities, including a brainstorming and informative session on Take Action projects, a celebration of Girl Scout Birthday (Mar. 12), and much more. Explore the world, the outdoors, the voting process: whatever strikes your fancy!

Maybe you’ve heard about #GIRLFest, but you aren’t sure what the day will look like. During the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to explore up to 12 different sessions within 4 different tracks, depending on your interests! Each session will be 15 minutes long, with a Mindful Minute commercial break in between. Girls can participate in just a few of the sessions or all 12!

Here is what each track will look like:

Younger Girls

ActivityTimeDescription
STEAM1-2 p.m.This includes an interview with an astronaut, live animals with the Indiana Dunes State Park, and making a sugar scrub.
Cultural Awareness2:15-3:15 p.m.This track includes how to travel as a Girl Scout, a ballet session with a member of the Joffrey Ballet, and a Global Girl Scouting session focused on Ecuador.
Active Citizenship3:30-4:30 p.m.In this track, you will learn about taking action, the women’s right to vote, and celebrate the Girl Scout birthday!
Outdoor Exploration3:45-4:45 p.m.Girls will learn about prepping for an adventure, outdoor survival and shelter building, and patterns in nature.

Older Girls

ActivityTimeDescription
Outdoor Exploration1-2 p.m.Girls will learn about prepping for an adventure, outdoor survival and shelter building, and patterns in nature.
STEAM2:15-3:15 p.m.In this track, girls can talk to a female astronaut, create green memes, and make an edible face mask.
Cultural Awareness3:30-4:30 p.m.These sessions will include Global Girl Scouting: India, ballet with the Joffrey Ballet, and How to Travel as a Girl Scout.
Active Citizenship4:45-5:45Girls will learn about transit around the world, take action projects, and celebrate the Girl Scout birthday.

We are so excited to introduce our program partners, who are excited to provide awesome experiences for #GIRLFest participants!

The Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet will be leading a ballet lesson in both the younger and older girl #GIRLFest Cultural Awareness pathway. Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses an inclusive perspective on dance through its Company Artists, extensive repertoire, Academy, and Community Engagement programs. Considered one of the premier companies performing today, the Joffrey plays a vital role in the dance community as the largest dance company and dance education provider in Chicago and the greater Midwest region.

Indiana Dunes State Park

The Indiana Dunes State Park will join us with some live animals native to the dunes! Indiana Dunes is in Porter County, and includes more than three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. In the early 1900s scientists, recreationists and nature enthusiasts, recognizing the value and potential of the Indiana dunes area, fought to have the region preserved. As a result, in 1925, the state park was established.

AstraFemina and Beth Moses

Beth Moses is an American astronaut, aerospace engineer, and Chief Astronaut Instructor at Virgin Galactic, a public spaceflight corporation which is developing suborbital space tourism. Ms. Moses leads Virgin Galactic’s cabin testing and will train all SpaceShipTwo cabin astronauts. She will join us for #GIRLFest with a panel discussion involving the girls.

Remember, we will take time for a mindful minute between each session! This day will be jampacked with opportunities and ways to learn about the world around you. Join us!

Make sure to grab a #GIRLFest Event Kit so you can have everything you need to make the most of every session!

#GetReady for #GIRLFest!

Buy the patch today!

Older Girl Registration

Younger Girl Registration