Member Monday Round-Up: Peace Love & Girl Scouts

Photo submitted by Samiha from GCNWI Staff

It’s officially the first week of Summer Camp Revamp, and summertime with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) is in full swing! And it seems like our girls are moving at the speed of light, keeping up with weekly virtual troop meetings, completing badges, Highest Awards, service and good deeds, even organizing their own events! We have to hand it to the Girl Scouts; they really know how to get things done.

We have some awesome Girl Scout stories to share–– read on!

Let’s Hear It for the Girls!

Girl Scout Troop 65646

Girl Scout troops are still celebrating the end of a year full of accomplishments, but they’ve had to get creative! These Daisy, Brownie, and Junior girls stopped by their leader’s “Rainbow Porch” to pick up their badges, cookie prizes, and other goodies, and move up to the next level of Girl Scouting. Congratulations to Troop 65646, and all Girl Scouts from GCNWI, on a great year!

Girl Scouts haven’t let distance stop them from staying connected and earning badges. When troop meetings went virtual, this dedicated handful of girls from Troop 45133 kept meeting, and they earned up to 12 badges in 12 weeks! The most popular badge with this group was the Junior Detective badge, where they extracted DNA from strawberries, dusted for fingerprints, and solved a mystery with bags of physical “evidence.” So cool! They’re looking forward to meeting in person again someday, but they’ll stay connected with their sister Girl Scouts all summer long!

Girl Scout Service Spotlight

Girl Scouts have also continued to provide service and resources to essential workers and people in need–– and one very special Girl Scout, Olivia T. from Chicago, IL, was recently featured on My TODAY Plaza’s Celebrates America series for going above and beyond for her service to the community.

Olivia, during her stay-at-home time, fueled by her passion and inspired by her parents, started her own non-profit to ensure people without masks, especially those without homes, can get them for free. Her determination and kindness for her community had a huge impact–– watch the video above (her story starts at the 1:55 mark) to learn more about her efforts.

Troop 45116 raised money through their cookie booths for donations–– they were poised to donate their cookies to a free community dinner hosted in Park Ridge before everything was rescheduled. Instead, the girls donated 50 boxes of cookies to Lutheran General Hospital, and 30 boxes to the Maine Township Food Pantry, along with thank you notes to the healthcare workers.

The troop was also nearing completion of the aMuse Journey when they had to shift gears to virtual meetings, but the girls stayed on track and finished the Journey, making a video about breaking down negative stereotypes against women in the sports world! The girls are now ready to tackle their Bronze Award next year!

Check out this tweet from the Franklin School Library in Grayslake, IL: it looks like Girl Scout Troop 45315 has something cooking!

Thank you to all the amazing girls who have shared their stories with us–– we are forever impressed and proud of you!

Take the Spotlight!

Tell us all about your plans, ideas, and dreams, whether you’re joining us for Summer Camp Revamp, thinking up a big way to help your community, or coming out with the next great American novel––share your story with us on our website or on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI.

As a girl-led organization, we wholeheartedly support the passion and desire Girl Scouts have for seeking justice and making change. Our Girl Scouts and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access page now has a living list of resources for girls to start on that path.

Looking for something fun to do with your troop or on your own? The Girl Scouts from Home page is full of Badge How-To’s, videos, and more resources you can access from home!

Keep up with our upcoming Virtual Events by checking out our Calendar, which can also be found on the Girl Scouts from Home page!

Continue her Girl Scout journey by renewing today!

Member Monday Round-Up: Stories of Sisterhood

Members of Girl Scouts Troop 40681 help troop leader Deborah Beauford, top, hang a mural created by troop members at the Harrer Park pavilion. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Another Monday, which means another week full of stories from our local Girl Scouts to share! Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) is ready for a season jam-packed with activities–– between Summer Camp Revamp, our virtual programming, and Girl Scouts from Home resources (and whatever else comes up), Girl Scouts are gearing up for a summer full of exploration and growth.

Girl Scouts are also staying dedicated to service and sisterhood, modeling what it really means to be a sister to every Girl Scout and every girl. Read on for some good Girl Scout news!

Girl Scouts Standing For More

Members of Girl Scouts Troop 40681 (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

When it comes to fighting for justice and liberation, Girl Scouts are experts. These Girl Scouts from Troop 40681 are no exception–– for their Silver Award, the girls decided to step up and advocate for the very pressing and long-lasting issue of racism in the United States.

To do this, they took on the task of speaking to community leaders and educating themselves in order to create an “action resource guide,” including steps on how to call for racial justice on the individual level. The girls then hosted a Black Lives Matter demonstration in their community, featuring speakers, performers, and a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd’s life, which was unjustly ended on May 25, 2020.

Girl Scout Kailey, when speaking to the Chicago Tribune, noted: “Black Lives Matter is an issue for everyone,” Lopez said. “It’s not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It’s not a partisan issue. It’s a human issue.”

To listen to the calls of their community and country, to educate themselves, to take action, and to promise to continue the hard work toward racial equity––this is exactly what Girl Scouts promise to do, to make the world a better place.

Sunny Days and STEM

Exploring nature and appreciating the outdoors has never been more valuable––check out Girl Scout Makayla and her dad, Joseph, observing a bird building its nest! There are so many interesting things happening outside all the time in nature, but they can be hard to catch, so awesome job for spotting this beautiful moment!

Looking for something a little more technological? Check out our National Security Patch for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, which was created back in 2016 in partnership with Girl Security, an organization dedicated to providing women with training and placement in the field of national security.

Love STEAM but missing camp? Spots are still open for Summer Camp Revamp’s STEAM, Dreams and Ice Cream week taking place July 6-10. Sign her up for activities that will inspire both her inner chef and scientist!

Girl Scout Service Spotlight: Cards 4 COVID Heroes!

Cards collected by Girl Scouts Mantej S. and Prabhleen K. at at cards4covidheroes.com

Girl Scout service has been happening at lightning speed over the past few months, and not just in our council! Girl Scouts from California, Mantej S. and Prabhleen K., reached out to us about their project, Cards 4 COVID Heroes, where they have been collecting thank-you cards from all over the nation and sending them to hospitals with gift cards. Visit their website to learn more about making or donating cards, or volunteering, and to see pictures of some of the cards they’ve gotten!

Troops are Calling!

Virtual Troop Meetings for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors are open! Any current Girl Scouts interested in joining a virtual troop can join these troops that meet weekly on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. CST!

Dates, times & locations are subject to change based on continued COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions.

Have a question? Don’t be shy! Contact us at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org and ask for Jody Z.

Renew your Girl Scout Membership!

Current circumstances may have you wondering if now is the best time to renew. We believe that there is no better time than now!

Renew by June 30 and your girl will receive:

  • FREE More to Explore membership patch 
  • FREE ticket to our inaugural Sneaker Ball!
  • NEW! 15% off one week of Summer Camp Revamp!

Learn more about renewal!

Share your Summer with Us!

Tell us all about your summer plans, whether you’re joining us for Summer Camp Revamp, continuing to meet virtually with your troop, providing service to your community, or just seeing where the days take you––share your story with us on our website.

As a girl-led organization, we support our Girl Scouts’ passion and desire to make a difference within their own communities. Our Girl Scouts and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access page now has a living list of resources for girls to take action, reflect, and learn.

Looking for something fun to do with your troop or on your own? The Girl Scouts from Home page is full of Badge How-To’s, videos, and more resources you can access from home!

Keep up with our upcoming Virtual Events by checking out our Calendar, which can also be found on the Girl Scouts from Home page!

Congratulations to our Graduating Girl Scouts!

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and to all Girl Scouts transitioning out of our organization and into the great, big world. We are immensely proud of you and all that you have done during your time as a Girl Scout! We know the years with us have prepared you for a lifetime of leadership, and we cannot wait to see what your next move is.

There are plenty of ways to stay connected with the Girl Scout sisterhood–– read on to learn more and to hear a special congratulations message from our CEO, Nancy Wright.

Congratulations from our CEO

Congratulations Seniors on graduating high school. As you enter this new period of life, whether it is college, careers, and more, I wanted to take the time to sit down and share with you all how proud I am of your accomplishments. As you navigate this new space, take the lessons you learned from Girl Scouts with you to empower you and your future.

Know that your Girl Scout journey doesn’t end here. With a lifetime membership, you can remain a part of an organization dedicated to providing empowerment and strength to girls in your community, by becoming a Lifetime Member, a volunteer, or by extending your funds to GCNWI for next year. Whatever you decide to do, you will always be a part of the Girl Scout sisterhood.

Once again, congratulations graduates. I can’t wait to see what amazing things you will do in the future.

Extend your Girl Scout Funds!

Guess what, graduating Girl Scouts? We’re allowing a one-time extension for 12th graders to use money-earned funds for the next membership year! These funds can go toward your troop, Cookie Dough/Cash, and/or Program Credits, and the deadline to use the funds has been extended from September 30, 2020 to October 31, 2021. Please be aware:

  • All participants must maintain a current membership, either by purchasing a Lifetime Membership with the “young alum” discount or an adult annual membership for the 2020-2021 membership year. Adults working with the young alums must also have an active membership.
  • All activities and use of funds must be directly tied to the mission of Girl Scouts and be permitted Girl Scout activities by your council.
  • All standard safety and risk management procedures should be followed for group activities (including Volunteer Essentials, Safety Activity Checkpoints, and additional council guidelines).

GSUSA is also offering a 3-month extension September 30 to December 31, 2020 for Girl Scouts who are graduating from 12th grade and who seek to earn the Gold Award this year. Funds intended to be used toward Gold Award projects must be raised and used by December 31, 2020

Even if you’re transitioning out of Girl Scouting, there are still ways you can contribute to the Girl Scout mission! Maintain your current membership and you can use your funds before September 30, 2020 to design a Take Action project, purchase a “young alum” Lifetime Membership, donate to an existing council scholarship fund, create a brand new scholarship fund, or donate to your council’s financial aid fund or another Girl Scout fund.

Read the Graduating Seniors Funds Extension Guidelines for more details.

Join us as a Lifetime Member

Welcome to your next phase in life and leadership. Your Girl Scouting mission does not have to stop here–– by becoming a Lifetime Member, you can remain a part of an organization dedicated to providing empowerment and strength to girls in your community.

Graduating girl members can take advantage of the “Young Alum” discount by purchasing a Lifetime Membership or by purchasing an adult annual membership for the 2020-2021 membership year! Join as a lifetime member before July 31, 2020, and receive your choice of a gift—a lifetime membership scarf, a lifetime membership hat, or Girl Scout graduation regalia recognition cords! Or, in lieu of a gift, $10 will be donated to your local council.

Become a Lifetime Member today.

Give Back to Girl Scouts

Not quite ready to let go? No problem! Join us as a volunteer and you’ll become a part of a community dedicated to empowering young girls to be the best they can be! Whether you can dedicate a day, a year, or a lifetime, volunteering with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is a great way to keep up with us.

There are plenty of opportunities, from volunteering with a troop or a service unit, mentoring a girl you know personally, or by volunteering your time at an event, program, or camp!

Learn more about volunteering with GCNWI.

Grab Some Graduation and Lifetime Membership Merch!

Member Monday Round-Up: Making Memories

Girl Scouts looks different than ever before, but girls from around the council have taken the changes in stride. Our girls have been staying as busy as ever, keeping up every week with virtual programming through our fun webinars, staying in touch by continuing troop meetings, and getting ready for the next school year. The Girl Scout spirit is alive and well!

This summer, the fun of connecting with others, exploring new things, and receiving snail mail combine to create a one-of-a-kind virtual experience for girls! It’s camp, reimagined… it’s Summer Camp Revamp! Learn more about it on our blog! For now, let’s check up on some Girl Scout stories.

Call and Response

Girl Scouts are the definition of sisterhood–– just take a look at Troop 55693 from Naperville! Their big goals and dreams about cookie seasons, badges they wanted to lead and earn, adventures they wanted to take, may be taking different shapes, but their spirit or dedication has remained the same, and their bond and desire to serve others is only getting stronger. Over the course of sheltering in place, this troop met over Zoom and worked on completing adoption day bags for animal shelters!

The girls have also connected on Zoom and other platforms for virtual playdates, movie nights, and even a camp-out. Pictured above are their smile jars, jars full of positive notes to remind each other that they are important, loved, and sisters! They loved making these jars so much, they made 50 more for the community and donated them to the local food pantry, hospital, and nursing home. Amazing job, girls!

Current Girl Scouts are not the only ones sharing stories with us! We recently shared advice from our older Girl Scouts to our younger ones on our Instagram, and a comment from Jill Morison proved how strong the Girl Scout experience can be even years later: “You may not know it now– but you’re building confidence and bravery. I’m a senior leader of my organization and several of my colleagues are also proud Girl Scouts too.”

Speaking of building confidence and bravery, Girl Scout Ambassadors and Seniors from GCNWI and other councils (even Puerto Rico!) have been meeting every Thursday afternoon to do just that! The girls bonded immediately and have covered all sorts of topics together, shared camping and Girl Scout memories, held a virtual prom, even made their own recipe book! The facilitator of these meetings shared with us a screenshot of a message from their group chat, a very powerful message from one girl in the group that is important for every Girl Scout (and every girl) to hear:

We hope you carry this message with you today and always!

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and to all Girl Scouts transitioning out of the organization! Savor this moment and celebrate your accomplishments.

While we have you, don’t forget you are always welcome back as a volunteer. Girl Scouts also offers a Lifetime Membership for anyone looking to remain committed to the empowerment and of young women and girls, and recent graduates can take advantage of the “young alum” discount!

Also remember we are allowing a one-time extension for 12th graders to use money-earned funds for the next membership year. Read the Graduating Seniors Funds Extension Guidelines for more details.

Sign the Girl Scouts’ Anti-Racism Pledge

Girl Scouts of USA is calling on all of us––girls, volunteers, alums, supporters, families, staff, and our suppliers and service providers––to become an active part of the mission to dismantle systemic racism and anti-Blackness in our country. Sign GSUSA’s Anti-Racism Pledge and visit our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access page to learn more about what GCNWI is doing to combat racism in our own community.

Tell us your Story

Creativity, generosity, and passion are just some of the things you bring to the table in all you do as a Girl Scout! We want to hear your stories of service, joy, and exploration–– tell us below in the comments or share your story with us on our website.

Join us for Summer Camp Revamp!

A Virtual Camp Experience

Six Sessions, July 6–August 14 | Grades K–12
$30 per girl/week | Registration is Now Open

Renew your Girl Scout membership before June 30 and save 15% on one week of Summer Camp Revamp!

This summer, the fun of connecting with others, exploring new things, and receiving snail mail combine to create a one-of-a-kind virtual experience for girls! It’s camp, reimagined… it’s Summer Camp Revamp!

How it Works

Summer Camp Revamp offers six themed, virtual camp sessions led by our council teams and older Girl Scouts. Join us for all six, or pick-and-choose the weeks that you like best!

Each week girls will get 10+ hours of fun-filled activities through online meetings, video, and a printable activity packet for on-your-own exploration. 

Register Now for Each Weekly Session

July 6–10: STEAM, Dreams, & Ice Cream 

July 13–17: GIRLapalooza 

July 20–24: Adventure Awaits 

July 27–31: Mastering Mystery 

August 3–7: Movie Magic 

August 10–14: Glowing and Growing 

Save 15% on one week of Summer Camp Revamp when you renew your Girl Scout membership by June 30!

Summer Camp Revamp is Fun for All Ages!

While activities are geared toward girls entering grades 2-8 this fall, girls in grades K-1 are welcome but may need additional parent/guardian assistance. 

Older girls (grades 9-12) are welcome to join-in on weekly activities with younger girls. If you are an older girl or Counselor in Training interested in helping out with Summer Camp Revamp programs, let us know by June 29 »

Camp Supplies Delivered to Your Doorstep

Don’t feel like going to the store? Not a problem!

Each week you can add an optional activity kit that is FULL of things to enhance your experience, plus a few fun surprises! You can also order a general supply pack with materials you’ll use all summer. Learn more »

Shop Summer Camp Revamp

Just in time for Summer Camp Revamp, get your kit that includes everything you need to make your very own tie-dye t-shirt. Plus, order your fun patch! Order Now »

Member Monday Round-Up: Finding Joy

Drawing by Girl Scout Norah L. from Troop 50288

In uncertain and stressful times, Girl Scouts step up and speak up. Girl Scouts advocate for their communities and work fast to provide resources to those who need it. Girl Scouts are resilient and strong–– but they are also girls, children, who deserve to laugh, be silly, and enjoy the present moment in whatever way they can.

These past few weeks (and months) have been very tough on our girls as they adjust to a whole new world of distancing and difficult conversations, but local Girl Scouts continue to find ways to have fun and stay connected to their friends, like all girls should. Read on to learn about what GCNWI Girl Scouts have been doing to stay positive and find joy!

Cookin’ Up Something Good

Girl Scouts have been turning to cooking and food to come together and provide some comfort, and the results look delicious! Troop 20089 got together over Zoom to make challah together: troop leaders distributed hard to come by yeast and flour, and one of the amazing parents walked them through the process! The girls enjoyed the lessons of cooking, stewardship, and sisterhood, and of course the tasty treat at the end.

We’re keeping it going with fun and practical virtual programs for girls of all ages across the council during a time when girls need it most–– check out Girl Scout Cassandra from Troop 45422 participating in the Cooking Demo with Chef Heath! She even used the recipes from that webinar to make the entire a family a full dinner. As Cassandra’s mom told us, “Quarantine has not only been doable because of Girl Scouts–– it’s been fun and productive.”

Girl Scouts from Troop 75439 celebrated National Donut Day by decorating their own donuts–– sounds fun and delicious! Thank you to their leader for sharing these great pictures!

Some Girl Scouts are taking it a step further and catching their own food: check out this Girl Scout Makayla fishing for bass!

Girl Scout Service Spotlight!

Girl Scouts have not stopped showing their generosity, and this week we’re highlighting Girl Scout Troop 45856 from Lakemoor, IL! These girls have been donating cookies to the essential workers in their community, including postal workers, hospital staff, fire fighters, and pharmacists. Great job, girls, and keep up the great work!

We made the news!

Who caught us on ABC 7 Chicago a few weeks ago? Thanks to Roz Varon from ABC 7 Chicago for featuring our Great Family Camp-In! For those who didn’t attend, watch all the videos on our YouTube! Also make sure to read our wrap-up blog post from the event in case you missed it.

Share your thoughts with us

Creativity, generosity, and passion are just some of the things you bring to the table in all you do as a Girl Scout! We want to hear your stories of service, joy, and exploration–– tell us below in the comments or share your story with us on our website.

As a girl-led organization, we support our Girl Scouts’ passion and desire to make a difference within their own communities. Our Girl Scouts and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access page now has a living list of resources for girls to take action, reflect on current events, and learn.

Girl Scout Partners and Volunteers Create Virtual Space for Career Exploration

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) acted quickly to pivot from live, in-person programs, and events to an all-virtual platform this spring. Cross-functional teams aligned themed programming using online activity guides, webinars, and Zoom meetings.

Girls and their families jumped into this new programming format to enhance online schooling and to fill the void left without extracurricular activities.

One such program, provided by Girl Scouts GCNWI, used data from polls and surveys to curate a virtual experience that connects middle school and high school girls with professionals. Each Monday, Career Conversations feature 2-3 adults from a specified career field who share their insights and career paths with Girl Scouts and yield questions via Zoom.

Experts consist of Girl Scout volunteers, partners, and members of the Associate Board. Professionals typically volunteer to support badgework with Girl Scout troops in person, however with the current pandemic, the experts share their knowledge and insights virtually—no travel required!

Career Conversations launched with a focus on STEM careers and presenters included forensic fire scientist-Suzy Smith, civil engineer-Elizabeth Ottman, and architect-Jaclyn Marcus.

The second week featured other valuable Girl Scout partners in the fine arts profession. Adam Rudman, co-owner/writer/producer of Spiffy Pictures Inc. shared his career path as a writer for Sesame Street, Tom & Jerry, and other productions and how it led him to co-create, write and produce Nature Cat on WTTW.

Chelsea Hoy, Associate Artistic Director at the Trinity Irish Dance Company, explained to the girls how she uses her passion to empower children through the arts. Since its inception, Trinity Irish Dance Company has celebrated the strength, poise, and resilience of young female artists, consistently presenting males and females on equal footing. Through intentional casting, choreography, and costumes, they utilize their artistic platform to denounce the objectification of women.

Sarah Aronson, writing coach, teacher, and author of scholastic series, The Wish List, completed the panel. When Sarah is not writing or reading, she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, and of course, sparkle power!

Recent Career Conversations have included additional partners and experts including, US Navy Engineer- Erynne Bryd, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Laura Nolan, Attorney and Chief of Staff with the Chicago Transit Authority- April Morgan, Retail Buyer for GAP brands- Nancy Brandes, and Project Manager for Stericycle-Devyn Manshot.

Career Conversations are running through June 22 with an upcoming focus on cooking and animal careers. The popular series will resume in mid-July and run on Monday afternoons through mid-August. Specific career topics are being determined and will be posted on our activities schedule soon.

Are you an industry professional looking to speak at a Career Conversation with Girl Scouts? Visit HERE for more details!

Member Monday Round-Up: Spreading Kindness

​It is a challenging, stressful, emotional time for people and girls around the nation and in our own communities. This week, our Member Monday blog post is dedicated to providing  ​a sense of comfort and optimism for our members in light of our continuing conversations about how to provide resources and support for our community and sisterhood.

We will also be providing resources and ways for girls to take action and heal during this time. We stand with girls unequivocally, and protecting and promoting their joy and safety is a vital part of our mission.​Our Girl Scout curriculum inherently focuses on respecting diversity, advocating and taking action on important issues, and how be a good citizen. But we also recognize that we will need to provide more specific resources and activities. We will also be providing resources and ways for girls to take action and heal during this time. We stand with girls unequivocally, and protecting and promoting their joy and safety is a vital part of our mission.

Staying Positive

Girl Scouts from Troop 55191 did a good turn last weekend and delivered more than 1,000 painted inspirational rocks to Alexian Brothers Hospital in Elk Grove Village. The rocks, along with yard signs, handwritten cards, homemade masks, Girl Scout Cookies and hand sanitizer, were all intended to boost the morale of essential workers at the facility. That’s Girl Scouts––making the world a better place, especially in challenging times.

Taking Action

As a girl-led organization, we support our Girl Scouts’ passion and desire to make a difference within their own communities. Our Girl Scouts and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access page now has a living list of resources for girls to take action, reflect on current events, and learn. Here are some of those resources:

Raising Awesome Girls Series by GSUSA

Books:

Find out more about GCNWI’s efforts toward Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access.

Take Care

We know how passionate, intelligent, and dedicated you are to assisting your community. We want to tell the whole world. Share with us resources, actions, healing projects, and other ideas by tagging us @GirlScoutsGCNWI, posting on our Facebook page, or sharing your story on our website.

Pets and Animals Week with GCNWI!

Exploring Nature | Older Girl Hangout | Career Conversations | Meet the Pets

Animals, whether you have one at home or not, have been constant sources of joy, comfort, and healing for us humans. We can all agree that a little love to and from our furry friends could help a lot right now. This week, we’re featuring programming on all sorts of animals: those you take care of at home, those that live in zoos, and beyond.

Looking for ways to learn more about and help animals? Check out these resources:

  • Daisy Girl Scouts interested in learning what animals need and how to care for them can embark on the Three Cheers for Animals Journey.
  • Girl Scouts in grades 3-6 (second year Brownies, Juniors, first year Cadettes) can embark on an educational adventure with the Puppy Rescue Mystery Book.
  • Cadette Girl Scouts who want to explore how animals help out humans with the Animal Helpers badge.
  • Girl Scout Seniors looking to use their voice to advocate for animal rights can earn the Voice for Animals badge (part of the Mission: Sisterhood Senior Badge Activity Pack).
  • Any Girl Scout who cares for pets can purchase the Pet Care fun patch.
  • If you adopted your pet from a shelter, visited an animal shelter before the shelter-in-place order, or donated resources to a local shelter, purchase the Animal Shelter patch.

There are plenty of videos to take a look at this week–– check out Wildlife SOS and their amazing videos of the elephants and other animals they rescue. Curious about how the animals have been doing at your local zoo? Check out these videos from zoos around the area: the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Brookfield Zoo, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Cosley Zoo.

Interested in learning about local pollinators? Check out this webinar hosted by the University of Illinois Extension to learn all about Illinois pollinators: who they are, how they help us, and how we can help them by building habitats for them:


This Week in Virtual Programming

Explore Nature in your Neighborhood

Tuesday, June 9 – Thursday, June 11 | For Girl Scouts Grades K-5 | Webinars & Video Premiere

Girl Scouts in grades K-5, join us for our three part series, Nature in your Neighborhood. Learn about the animals that might live in or around your neighborhood. This series will cover a variety of topics all about animals! Join us for two webinars that will cover topics including animal tracks, where you will learn how you can identify tracks, and animal homes, where you will have the chance to build your own and go on your own animal exploration hike. You are welcome to join us for all three activities, or just one.

Animal Tracks Webinar

Tuesday, June 9 at 3 p.m. | Girl Scouts (level)

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. We will make a field guide to animal tracks, play a matching game, and even make our own animal tracks.

Materials Needed:

  • 5-10 pieces of plain paper
  • Coloring utensils (markers, crayons, or colored pencil)
  • 1 black or dark brown marker
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Staples or Hole Punch & String/yarn
  • 2 new sponges (thin with no scrubber side preferred)
  • 1-2 colors of washable paint
  • Paper plate or paint tray
  • Newspaper or tablecloth

Animal Exploration Hike Video

Premiering on Wednesday, June 10 at 3 p.m.

Join us for an animal exploration hike in our neighborhood to get inspired for a walk in your community. Learn about some of the animals or animal homes that you may encounter and ways to stay safe while on your hike. Discover what we found on our hike to prepare for your own animal exploration adventure in your neighborhood.

Materials Needed:

  • Yourself
  • Your fab five (water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, rain coat, & flashlight)

Animal Homes Webinar

Thursday, June 11 at 3 p.m.

This webinar is all about animal homes. Learn about why animals build homes and how these home are designed to meet the needs of specific animals. We will take a closer look at Mason bees and learn about why they are important and the design of their animal home. Get your creativity ready as we will go through the steps of how you can make a Mason bee home to put in your backyard, using everyday items.

Materials Needed:

  • Tape/glue
  • String
  • Container (Choose one: tin can, toilet paper tubes, plastic bottle, mason jar)
  • Filler (Choose a combination of: sticks, 15-10 straws, paper, newspaper/magazines, cardboard)

If you participate in the two webinars, watch the Animal Exploration Hike video, and take your own exploration hike, you will have completed a variety of steps to the badges listed below based on your Girl Scout level. If you are interested in these topics, you can complete the rest of the steps and earn the badge to add to your vest.

Register to explore the nature in your neighborhood »


Older Girl Hangout

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

All Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 are invited to our weekly Older Girl Hangout every Thursday at 4 p.m., where you’ll get to connect and make space to talk with your Girl Scout sisterhood. Each week we’re talking about things that matter to us and our communities, and girls always drive the discussion. Join us.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Career Conversations

Monday, June 8 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

Join us for our weekly Career Conversations for girls in grades 6-12! Each week we will host some career-expert panelists to discuss a multitude of career opportunities with our council members. Not only will they share about their experiences, but they will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to hear about all sorts of careers–– this week we’re talking about careers with animals.

Register for Career Conversations »

Meet the GSGCNWI Program Team Pets!

Friday, June 12 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages (Grades K-12) | Webinar

Whether they’re cute and cuddly, or feathery and chirpy, pets can provide a lot of joy in tough times. Join this webinar to meet the pets of the GSGCNWI Program Team! We’ll introduce you to a dog, cat, turtle, and birds and share how we care for these pets. Use this advice to take care of your own pets at home or learn how to choose a pet that’s right for you and your family. Girl Scout Brownies will work toward their Pets Badge, but other Girl Scout levels are welcome to join!

Register to meet the Program Team pets! »


WILD Resources

Check out these awesome wildlife and nature resources from the comfort of your home!

Explore.ORG Live streams

Smithsonian Wildlife Education

Share With Girl Scouts GCNWI

This week, share pictures of your four-legged family members by tagging us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or by submitting your story on our website! We can’t wait to see all of your adorable critters–– we could really use the cuteness.

It’s a Time for Action: We Stand with our Black Community

By Nancy Wright, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Like many of you, our hearts hurt as we mourn the Black lives lost at the hand of racism. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other victims known and unknown, and to the Black community across the United States.

In our place of grief, we turn to the words of Nelson Mandela. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart that its opposite.”

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana stands with our Black families and allies of every race and ethnicity as we lift our voices and demand the end of racism against Black families.

Girl Scouts must be part of that change. Girls deserve that.

Our mission challenges us “to make the world a better place.” And we pledge to “help people at all times.” Those words carry great weight and responsibility and inspire us with strength as we denounce institutional racism, violence, injustice, and inequity.

No girl, or any young person, should grow up in a world defined by racial inequities and trauma. No Black person should fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.

But words alone cannot take away the pain of institutional racism felt by generations of Black families who have navigated a world informed by white privilege. Words cannot erase society’s collective failure to truly value every human being. We must act. That’s our promise to you.

If you are looking for resources to talk to your children about racism, we recommend Girl Scouts’ blog and Raising Awesome Girls platform, which have resources including, Why Tolerance Isn’t Working and How to Talk to Your Girl About Scary News. In addition, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched Talking About Race, an online portal providing tools and resources on the topics of race, racial identity, and how they influence every aspect of society.

Like you, we don’t have all the answers. But we are committed to navigating this path with you as an ally and advocate for the Black members of our community. For more than 100 years, we have stood for making the world a better place, and we encourage you to speak out, as Girl Scouts do, for what is right.

We will listen, learn, and leverage our resources to be anti-racist and inspire our girls to help make our world a better place, a more equitable, just world. That’s our promise to you.

Find additional resources on our website