The Girl Scouts GCNWI Great Family Camp-In!

May 23-24, 2020 | All Ages

Registration | Photo Contest | Schedule | Materials Needed | Camping Essentials | Camp-In Premiers

Near or far, camp where you are!

We’re excited to present the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Great Family Camp-In, May 23-24, 2020!

This program is free for all ages, and open to everyone interested in learning more about camping from the comfort of your own home—you don’t have to be a Girl Scout to attend. You’ll get to meet people from across the council, and learn some awesome camping skills!

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


Check back for YouTube Premiere links so you can watch along with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the Campfire Sing-Along! Plus you can participate on your own through our activity packet!

What to Expect

Participants in the GCNWI Great Family Camp-In can take part in a variety of activities that you can choose to do on your own or with the other campers throughout the day.

Virtual programming will consist of a combination of live programs, pre-recorded videos and interactive webinars, with breaks between scheduled activities so that you can participate with us and have time to get outside!

The camp-in is presented by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Outdoor Program Team including Hannah “Nacho” Bovard, Lauren “Sprout” Somogyi, Kara “Caribou” Kastenholz, Katie “Katmandu” Young, Margaret “Strike” Gawlik, and Sam “Freddie” Lucheck.  

Enter Our Photo Contest

Experience the fun of camp from your own home!

We know that you are all excited to camp just as much as we are and we want you to show it! When you enter our photo contest you will have a chance to win (find out)!

Contest Rules

  1. After you set up your awesome campsite, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both, take a picture of it!
  2. Submit your photo through THIS FORM! OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff!
  3. Here’s the cool part, YOU get to choose our winners! After you submit your photo, pictures of the photo contest finalist will be made available to be voted Saturday evening (5/23) through Sunday (5/24) morning at 9:30 a.m.

Photo contest winners will be announced during the Great Family Camp-In: Show and Share on Sunday (5/24) at 10 a.m.

We would love to see all of the other pictures you take throughout this event as well. Share with us by tagging @girlscoutsgcnwi on ALL social platforms and using the hashtag #GCNWICAMPIN.

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

Camp-In Schedule

TimeActivityVirtual Location
10 a.m.-7 p.m.Campsite Photo Contest!
Set-up your campsite, whether it’s outdoors with a tent, or indoors with a fort! You could be chosen to receive camp-in fun patches for the whole family! Plus you’ll be featured on our social media and blog.
Submit your photo through THIS FORM! OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff Chosen photo will be announced during Sunday’s Show and Share webinar.
10-10:30 a.m.Kick-off & Opening Ceremony
Start your camp day off right with an opening ceremony, snapshot of the day’s schedule, camp agreement, and FAQ! Meet your Outdoor Program Team hosts and get ready for some camp magic.
YouTube Live Premiere
11-11:45 a.m.Art Projects
Choose between “Salt Dough & Impression Necklace” or “Sit-Upon”
12-2 p.m.Lunch and Suggested Camp Activities
Check out the activity packet (coming soon) for camp recipes and suggested activities.
On Your Own
2-2:45 p.m.Outdoor Skills
Choose between “Knot Tying Extravaganza” or “Letterboxing Adventure”
3-3:45 p.m.:Camp Fun
Choose between “At-Home Circus Acts” or “Camp Games”
4-4:30 p.m.Wrap Up & Closing CeremonyYouTube Live Premiere
4:30-7 p.m.Dinner and Suggested Camp ActivitiesOn Your Own
7-8 p.m.Campfire Sing-along
Our camp-in would not be complete without a campfire and songs! The first forty minutes will be full of high energy songs before slowing down the pace to sing some favorites. Comfy clothes and homemade s’mores are encouraged! 
YouTube Live Premiere
May 24
10-10:45 a.m.Show and Share
Share about your night of camping in go with other participants as we reflect, wrap-up the camp fun, and reveal the photo contest winners!

Please note, to receive access to webinar links you will need to first register. Webinar links will be emailed to those who register the morning of May 23. Soon the YouTube Premiere links will be available for all to watch along.

The Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet

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

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

Gather Your Materials!

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

Art Project Option 1: Salt Dough and Clay Impressions

Let’s get crafty! Join Outdoor Program Team members, Kat and Sprout in making salt dough out of a few ingredients commonly found in your kitchen. Then transform your salt dough or preferred clay material into a one-of-a-kind nature necklace!

Make sure you can see your screen and have a large, clear space to work in that is covered in newspaper or can be easily wiped down.

Salt Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

Impression Necklace Materials

  • 2-4 objects found in nature (like an acorn or pebble)
  • Toothpick/Pencil
  • String/Yarn/Twine
  • Scissors

Art Project Option 2: Sit-Upon

Prepare for your next outdoor adventure by making a traditional Girl Scout sit-upon. Join Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Strike, to make one that works for you! 

A sit-upon is a great tool to take outdoors with you when you are going for a picnic, singing around a campfire, or to have with you at your campsite. After this session you will have something comfortable and dry to sit on so that you can fully enjoy your time outside.

  • Two 20″x20″ squares of waterproof material twice (either vinyl tablecloth, shower curtain, or a  reusable grocery bag)
  • Padding (options include 15-20 plastic grocery bags, pillow fluff, foam square, or a 1-2″ stack newspapers)
  • Scissors
  • Closure options: yarn or string and hole punch OR just duct tape
  • Marker
  • Ruler (optional)

Outdoor Skills Option 1: Knot Tying Extravaganza

Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Freddie will teach you knot tying basics, making a simple friendship bracelet and then walk through how to do some more advanced knots.

People often say knots are difficult, let’s bust that myth together in this interactive step-by-step tutorial. Whether you want to learn how to use knots in making jewelry, setting up camp, or going rock climbing we have you covered in this knot tying adventure for all ages!


  • A piece of rope/thick string about 30″ long
  • A couple colors of yarn or embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Outdoor Skills Option 2: Letterboxing Adventure Materials

Are you interested in treasure hunts and puzzles? Challenge yourself and your family by learning the international scavenger hunt of letterboxing with Outdoor Program Team members, Caribou and Strike.

You will practice coding clues, learn how to collect stamps, make your own stamp and log book, and even get tips on how to set up your own at-home letterboxing course. 


  • Stamp (or make your own out of a recycled bottle cap or lid, Craft foam sheets, & Glue​ or tape)
  • 4-6 Small notebooks (or make your own out of 5-10 sheets of paper, a hole-punch, and yarn)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Paper (for the clues, colored paper preferred)
  • Scissors
  • Markers/crayons
  • Ink pad (or washable markers)​
  • Wipes/Paper towels​
  • 3-5 small plastic containers with lids (ex. food storage containers)

Camp Fun Option 1: Camp Games

Ready, Set, Go! Camp games from home! In this interactive session, we will participate in active and silly camp game favorites led by Outdoor Program Team members, Sprout and Caribou. We’ll cover some go to games like “4 Corners”, “Moo”, “Ship to Shore”, and more! If you know you love these games or want to learn, this is your chance to give it a try! 


  • Just yourself and some space to move!

Camp Fun Option 2: At-Home Circus Acts

WOW your friends and family with a new skill, straight from the greatest place on earth, your home! Outdoor Program Team members, Kat and Freddie will teach you some beginner circus tricks.

Learn techniques for juggling and how balance & spin household objects. Circus skills are a great way to keep your body moving and your mind active, all while having a great time! 


  • Water bottle
  • Space to move around
  • 3 bandannas (or similar substitute)
  • Old toothbrush
  • Plastic grocery bag
  • Small cushion (that you can hold up with one hand)
  • 3 beanbags (you can make your own out of 3 long socks, 1.5 cups of lentil, dried beans, or birdseed), 1/4 cup measuring cup, & 3 rubber bands)

Before You Camp, Prepare with These Camping Essentials

Learn tips and tricks to use a pop-up tent, set up a campsite, and get comfortable for an outdoor adventure in your backyard or out on trail, or even in your living room!

Excited to participate in the Great Family Camp-In, but don’t have a tent? No problem! Shelter building is an important outdoor survival skill, and we’ll teach you how you can build your own indoor campsite with sheets, blankets, pillows, and furniture!

Get Your Camp Swag!

Middle and High-School Girl Scouts Can Join The Fun!

Older Girl Scouts, Program Aides (PA), and Counselors in Training (CIT): We hope this first camp-in weekend will be the first of many future virtual camp-themed programs. If you want to keep your outdoor skills fresh and provide programming to other Girl Scouts, we encourage you to participate in the Great Family Camp-In weekend.

By joining in, you will get inspired to think about the ways that you can help us share camp magic throughout the summer. If you are interested in being involved and helping lead future programs, let us know! Send us an email with the subject line: “I can help with outdoor virtual programs!”

Camp-In Premiers

Be sure to check out our LIVE camp-in videos starting at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.!

Catch you at Camp!

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

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

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