Girls Like Bugs, Too! Spark Day at Rose Pest Solutions

Girls Like Bugs, Too! Spark Day at Rose Pest Solutions

Earlier this month, Rose Pest Solutions welcomed Brownie and Junior level Girl Scouts to indulge in their fascination with bugs and nature with a fun filled career exploration event at their headquarters.

Rose Pest Solutions provided girls with lots of great history about their company and its mission- to preserve and protect the environment with chemical free solutions- and gave them a tour of their home office. Of course, our inquisitive Girl Scouts had questions for the staff who made themselves available, including an operator who showed them the call system, talked about some of the craziest calls she’s received, and a technician who demonstrated his equipment and talked about the kind of calls he goes out on.

Then it was time to meet the bugs!

Girls got a chance to touch and hold live Madagascar cockroaches and examine specimens under microscopes! While working towards their STEM badges, the Brownies and Juniors also had the opportunity to look inside a real wasp’s nest and learn about the important role honeybees and other pollinators play in keeping our fruits and vegetables growing plentiful.

Other engaging, interactive activities included providing stations where girls could dress up like beekeepers, do bug/butterfly/ladybug/bumblebee themed crafts, and even included a pollinator station where girls could make gifts to bring home to the special person in their life.  

Check out some highlights below!

Girl Scout Spark days were designed to provide girls the opportunity to visit several different companies to learn about STEM careers. From engineering to distribution to animal care, there are many exciting careers to explore! Our girls have connected with industry professionals at such Spark Day events as Scout Out Engineering at Groupon, NIPSCO Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Animal Aptitude at the Shedd Aquarium, and Spark Day at IKEA.

Want to facilitate a career exploration event with Girl Scouts? Join the Expert Connections!»

“They changed my life.” The Heartfelt Story of Troop 56505

“They changed my life.” The Heartfelt Story of Troop 56505

“This was the best decision of my life. The thought was to introduce them to new things and change their lives, but it turned out, they changed my life,” troop leader Darnetta Jones said on her decision to become a Girl Scout volunteer.

Darnetta’s journey with Girl Scout’s began when she was younger, in which those positive encounters with meeting new friends and enjoying the outdoors led her to want to create those experiences with her own daughter. Darnetta started off as a Daisy troop leader for the DuPage AME Church Girl Scouts with 5-8 girls before blossoming into a troop of 16 Cadettes.

Sister-Sister Connection

People in the community began to take notice to how active the girls in Darnetta’s troop were. A mother approached her with four kindergarten-aged girls who were eager to be a part of her troop. Though Darnetta had Cadette’s, she saw a need, and like a true Girl Scout, stepped up and took action! Darnetta agreed to start the Daisy troop while she trained and searched for a leader and co-leader.

“I paired Daisies with older girls… I told the older girls they have little sisters and I want them to help monitor them. They were so excited!” Darnetta said on her strategy to blend the girls so she could continue providing and exposing girls to Girl Scout experiences. “I keep saying I’m going to turn them over to another leader, but quite honestly, I’m finding it very difficult to let go. They are the most beautiful little girls I have ever met.”

Since January 2022, the blended Girl Scout family has participated in various community events, earned patches/petals, organized Girl Scout cookies and passed out to families, and plotted seeds for a garden they plan to grow this summer where they can learn about healthy living, eating and exercise.

Darnetta also has done as exemplary job in introducing the younger girls to fun outdoor experiences by taking them on a ski trip to Lake Geneva to sled and ice skate, and Timber Ridge Lodge for swimming and relaxing in the lazy river. Check out some of their adventures below:

Up for the Challenge

Darnetta is ready to flex her resiliency with a new territory, as she welcomed a girl with a physical disability to her new Daisy troop.

“I feel like she is a blessing because this allows me the opportunity to be more creative, more inclusive, and ultimately more knowledgeable about disabilities,” Darnetta said.  “This new member challenged me to take a closer look at the Girl Scout Promise/Law in order to teach the other girls in the troop: To help people at all times, to be friendly and helpful, to be considerate and caring, to be responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others.”

Thank you, Darnetta, for championing for our girls and providing them with the experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!

A Girl Scout Treasure: The Herstory of Heidi Gannon

A Girl Scout Treasure: The Herstory of Heidi Gannon
GSGCNWI Council Historian Heidi Gannon proudly displaying two of her uniforms; on the left, an Intermediate uniform from the 1940’s and, on the right, an adult uniform from the 1990’s.

The Council Historians for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana are constantly seeking out and preserving the treasures of the Girl Scout movement.  However, “treasures” come in many forms, so it’s no wonder that Heidi Gannon, a Council Historian, is also considered to be one of the council’s most cherished treasures.

As a volunteer for over 50 years, Heidi has worked tirelessly to support Girl Scouting in as many ways as possible. As we continue to celebrate our volunteers all April long, let’s take a look back at the herstory of a Girl Scout leader and real life “treasure.”

On My Honor

Heidi started in Girl Scouts in 1947 at the age of 11, becoming an Intermediate Girl Scout on the Southside of Chicago, and later moving up to Senior Girl Scouts. She earned her First Class Award and continued as a girl member throughout her high school years. Heidi has fond memories of her girl years, especially of camping, troop trips, selling Girl Scout cookies, and various troop activities.  The camping trip that stands out in her mind was to Sweet Woods in Glenwood and that it was freezing cold!  Going to Springfield with her troop was another significant and memorable experience, which was a real bonding time for her troop. Heidi also recollects being the top cookie seller for her troop one cookie season. However, she does admit that her Dad helped her by taking the order form to work with him.  And the troop activity which Heidi will never forget was a Halloween scavenger hunt in the neighborhood because of all the crazy items the girls had to find.

To Help People at all Times

In 1967, Heidi started her journey as a volunteer when she became a leader for her daughter’s troop.  At that time, she was part of the Dolton Association in what was then the service unit in South Cook County Council (SCC).  She remained in her position of troop leader from 1967 to 1979, staying with her girls through Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors.  However, when her girls aged out, Heidi never stopped volunteering.  She had already stepped up to be Association Chair (service unit manager) for the Dolton Association during the 1970’s and was a member of the Service Team from 1979 to1992, taking on such roles as Association Secretary, Association Organizer/Consultant, and Association Sunday Service Chair.  She also served as Dolton Association’s Delegate to the Council.

Heidi’s volunteer service did not end at the association’s borders; she took on many roles that were council-wide positions.  Heidi was a Council Trainer and even chaired the Council Training Committee. Heidi was then asked to serve on the SCC Board of Directors, which she did for several terms during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  As a member of the Board, she was assigned a variety of positions, such as Nominating Committee Chair, Adult Selections Committee Chair, Council Self-Evaluation Task Group Member, and Council Pluralism Task Group Member.  Heidi was also on the Board of Directors when it was decided to build the Friendship Center and funds were being raised for the project, something in which she continues to take pride in.

Heidi Gannon (right) with fellow historian Veronica Pradelski at a Promise Circle 100th Anniversary Display of Girl Scout history.

To Make the World a Better Place

Heidi has always served where needed, so when South Cook County Council started a Heritage Committee in 2007, Heidi was quick to come on board.  Her knowledge of the history of SCC made her an excellent volunteer for this committee.  After the merge of the seven metro councils, Heidi continued to serve in the capacity of Council Historian, faithfully executing all her duties.  She has been an invaluable member to the group of historians preserving South Cook County’s Girl Scout history, always willing to assist in any capacity that she can. Whether she is helping to identify people and/or places in old photos or creating a display for an event or for the cases at 20 S. Clark, Heidi eagerly offers her assistance. 

Because of her dedication to the movement, Heidi has received many Adult Recognition awards, including the Thanks Badge in 1979, Thanks Badge II in 1992, and induction into the GSGCNWI Hall of Fame in 2019. Heidi also received a 50 years of service pin in 2018.

A Sister to Every Girl Scout

Heidi stayed in Girl Scouts because she felt the program was good for the girls, and she continued to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Girl Scout adults.  Memorable experiences with her Girl Scout sisters include the 1993 Convention in Minneapolis and the GSGCNWI Historians’ visit to Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland.   The 1993 Convention was a great bonding experience for all of the delegation from the South Cook County Council.  Heidi thoroughly enjoyed the “road trip” with many of the volunteers riding in a van that was driven by fellow volunteer Deb Dilley.

Heidi feels that visiting Our Chalet was a wonderful way for her to form an even deeper relationship with her sister Council Historians. In September of 2018, a small group of council historians spent a week in the Alps at this WAGGGS World Center.  Heidi will always remember what a special time this was for all who were there.

Although volunteering for Girl Scouts has been a focus for Heidi, her heart for services reaches many areas. She also volunteered as her son’s Den Mother for Boy Scouts. She is very active in her church, volunteering in the Infant Program and leading her Bible Study Fellowship group for over 20 years.  Heidi has also served as a census taker.

Heidi Gannon has certainly led an exemplary life of service to Girl Scouts and to her community.  She is definitely a “treasure” to all those who know her.

Happy National Volunteer Week from GCNWI!

Thank You for Powering Community at Tribute to Achievement

On March 29, 2022, the power of community enveloped us as we celebrated our Tribute to Achievement Event at the Four Seasons Chicago Hotel. 

It felt amazing to be together, and not just in spirit. We celebrated, reconnected, laughed, and felt energized by the heartbeat of our mission. We were honored to recognize our awardees who have made the world a better place by advancing opportunities for girls and women. 

Learn more about our three extraordinary honorees who are perfect examples of what makes a community powerful – civic engagement, empathy, determination, selflessness, and leadership.  

Another highlight of the evening was seeing the stories of girls, parents, and troop leaders come to life in this short video.

Thanks to the support of everyone who attended or donated to the event, more than $675,000 was raised to advance our mission and build more girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. 

To relive the magic of the evening, or to share it with others, check out the recording above and see the slideshow below!

A Special Thank You to our 2022 Tribute to Achievement Sponsors! 

Powering Community at Tribute to Achievement

People power communities. Every person who steps up to engage, listen, and act with compassion and purpose contributes to the health and wellness of a community. Especially girls.

Girls see a world of possibilities. They demand equity, offer compassion and kindness, and jump into action to resolve social issues whenever and wherever they see a need. But right now, girls also need support as they navigate peer pressure, unrealistic expectations, racial inequity, gender bias, and other threats to their social/emotional and mental health. To thrive, girls need advocates who rally around them, encourage them, and invest in them. They need you.

Please join us on March 29 to support the critical work of Girl Scouts and sustain access to leadership and formative experiences for every girl in our community.

We are honored to recognize our awardees who have made the world a better place by advancing opportunities for girls and women.

Meet the Honorees:

Luminary Award

Jessica Sarowitz will be receiving the prestigious Luminary Award. Jessica is the Managing Partner of 4S Bay Partners LLC, a family office management company that oversees several private businesses, real estate, and investments in diverse industries such as domestic and international payroll, UK payroll, film-making and commercial & residential real estate holdings.

Jessica is also the Managing Family Director of her family’s charitable foundation, the Julian Grace Foundation, which funds various philanthropic ventures through an entrepreneurial and social impact lens. These ventures have included orphanages and clinics in Central America, innovative education programs for foster kids, state-of-the art urban centers for arts and technology education, vocational training, environmental causes, the preservation of indigenous cultures and many other educational and social justice programs.

Jessica is passionate about correcting the source of a problem in authentic partnership with communities in need, as well as providing people a steppingstone to transformative opportunities and experiences. Jessica is also an avid tennis player and believes that a healthy lifestyle can fuel the mind and body to positive outcomes.

The Girl Scout’s Own Award

The Girl Scout’s Own Award honors our very own GSGCNWI Board Member, Sherina Maye Edwards. Sherina is the President and Chief Executive Officer of INTREN and joined the company in 2020 having originally served as a member of the Board of Directors.

Sherina has led INTREN to a significant increase in operational efficiency, cost reductions, and safety excellence, resulting in record-breaking financial results. Sherina has held a broad range of leadership roles that provide the breadth of experience and understanding required to lead innovative change.

In addition to her extensive involvement with various civic organizations, Sherina is founder of the Women’s Energy Summit and the Women’s Energy Network of Chicago. She is nationally recognized for championing diversity and inclusion within the utility and energy sector and her leadership led to the creation of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council and the ICC’s Office of Diversity and Community Affairs.

“I could not be more proud to serve the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana as a board director and as a friend,” says Sherina. “The mission of this phenomenal organization aligns with everything I believe in – nurturing and cultivating leadership amongst young women and training them up to be our future leaders with the ultimate courage, confidence and character.”

Corporate Award

Receiving the Corporate Award is Bank of America, a long-standing partner of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Accepting the award will be Cindy Murray, Managing Director of Global Operations. Bank of America has been a valued collaborator with Girl Scouts GCNWI over many years and we are thrilled to honor this relationship.

Cindy is the executive for Unemployment Operations within Global Compliance and Operational Risk (GCOR). Prior to joining GCOR, Cindy was the head of Loan, Lease and Trade Operations. This team has responsibility for the global end-to-end implementation, servicing, and operations for credit offerings to business banking, commercial and corporate clients, leasing products, trade finance solutions, and traded loan products. Cindy was instrumental in leading the efforts to develop and implement automation solutions and technology enhancements to improve the overall client experience.

On receiving the Corporate Award, Rita Cook, President Bank of America Chicago said, “It’s a tremendous privilege to accept the Corporate Award from the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, which recognizes Bank of America’s longstanding partnership with this esteemed organization. For nearly two decades, we’ve proudly supported Girl Scouts programming that puts young girls on a path to positive futures and helps them become agents of change in our communities. There’s no greater honor than supporting our next generation of young women.”

Don’t Miss Out

Join us on March 29 to celebrate these incredible honorees, along with girls and women who are leading with purpose and passion.

Thank you to our sponsors

Sponsors as of March 2, 2022

A Sister to EVERY Girl Scout: The Influence of African American Leadership and Girl Scouts

February commemorates the month of African American culture, accomplishments, and historical contributions to society. It is a time to celebrate and uplift Black voices and champion their stories of triumph throughout American history.

Girl Scouts honors Black History Month by sharing with you four trailblazers who helped shape the Girl Scout Movement. The contributions of these women allowed young African American girls to increase their visibility and leadership skills on both a local and national level.

Dr. Gloria Dean Randle Scott: President of the Negro Girl Scout Senior Planning Board (1950’s) who—despite segregation—was able to gain the leadership skills needed to be the first national president of Girl Scouts of USA. The Girl Scout Trefoil was redesigned during the last year of her presidency to highlight and add visibility to the diversity of the organization.

Josephine Groves Holloway: Josephine Groves Holloway was a champion of diversity and was instrumental in founding the first all-Black Girl Scout troop in Nashville, helping to desegregate troops in Tennessee. Josephine was also the first African American Girl Scout staff member, serving as a field advisor, district director, and camp director.

Bazoline Usher: A distinguished educator whose ambition and tenacity led to the opening of seven new elementary schools to spearhead Black education in Atlanta. Bazoline then recruited 30 black teachers, mothers, and female volunteers to create the first African American Girl Scout troops in Atlanta in 1943.

Taryn-Marie Jenkins: A National Gold Award Girl Scout who, to earn the highest award in Girl Scouting, made it possible for foster kids to have what they need to attend college with her Jumping the Hurdles – Foster Care to College project. She connected students to college professionals and provided resources and helpful tips to help students manage the transition from high school and the foster home to college. Taryn-Marie’s project was able to sponsor 12 students with supplies and dorm room necessities.

Girl Scouts celebrates these women and Black History within our organization as we continue to pioneer inclusivity, and pledge to continue the fight against racial injustices.

Check out more stories of how Black Girl Magic continues to make an influence in Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts turned “Mad Scientist” gets Introduced to Careers in Engineering with NiSource

Girl Scouts turned “Mad Scientist” gets Introduced to Careers in Engineering with NiSource

Part of what makes the Girl Scout leadership program so unique is our connection to real-life industry experts who spark girls’ interest in career fields they may not have been exposed to otherwise.  

Our STEAM program is no different, as our expert connections provide engaging experiences that allow girls to see themselves leading in spaces that are traditionally dominated by their male counterparts.  

GCNWI Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts, both of which begin to explore science and perform energy audits with other girls at their grade level, had an opportunity to put their knowledge to the test with an introduction into the field of engineering with utility and sustainability company, NiSource.

The “Mad Scientist” themed event encouraged girls to dress like scientists and perform at-home science experiments, participate in hands-on engineering activities and featured a career discussion led by women in leadership at NiSource. 

Girl Scout participating in hands-on activity with NiSource

“My daughter (and her neighbor friend) enjoyed the activities and especially enjoyed the lava lamp experiment,” one mom spoke about her daughter’s experience.  

“My daughter had a blast! Slime and lava lamp were her favorites!” exclaimed another mom.  
This “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” event was a part of the Girl Scout “Spark Day” initiative, a career exploration program designed to peak interest in various fields from STEM to distribution to animal care.  

Check out more Spark Day stories on our blog! 

About NiSource  

NiSource Inc. Serves over 3.5 million customers and operates as one of the largest utility companies in the nation. The company provides natural gas and electric services to its customers and is committed providing sustainable business solutions. 

Interested in learning more about STEM? Register for an upcoming program for any Girl Scout level! 

The Girl Scout Cookie: An Origin Story

The Girl Scout Cookie: An Origin Story

Take a look at the origin story of the the Girl Scout Cookie Program—from what started as a small localized fundraiser in the early 1900’s to a culturally iconic institution of American culture today.

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts and our supporters have helped ensure the success of the iconic annual cookie sale and fundraiser—and Girl Scouts who have participated in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, developed valuable life skills, and made their communities a better place every step of the way. Want to read more about our Girl Scout Cookie history? Continue reading from contributor and historian Karen Schillings

By Karen Schillings

The 2021-2022 Girl Scout Cookie Program is currently in full swing. Our faithful customers across the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council (GSGCNWI) are anxiously awaiting these annual sweet treats. However, did you ever think about how this yearly tradition got started? Well, as one of the Council historians who oversees the GSGCNWI cookie collection, I’ll do my best to give you an overview of how a local troop fund raiser ended up becoming an $800 million per year nationwide girl-led business.

It all started in 1917 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The cookies were personally baked by the Mistletoe Troop and sold in their school cafeteria as a service project. The profits were used to send gifts to doughboys fighting in World War I. A statue of a Girl Scout stands at the entrance to the Three Rivers Museum in Muskogee to commemorate this historical event.

Statue of a Girl Scout selling cookies at the Three Rivers Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

As Girl Scout troops across the country contemplated ways to raise funds, the bake sale concept became more prevalent. In July, 1922, The American Girl magazine published a recipe that was being used by troops in Chicago—a simple sugar cookie. The troops sold their cookies for $.25 to $.30 per dozen. Later that decade, the bake sale model was turned into a door-to-door campaign with the girls packaging the cookies in wax paper bags.

So, how did the Girl Scout cookie sale go from the girls’ kitchens to having commercial bakers?  It all started in 1934, when the Greater Philadelphia Council contacted the Keebler–Weyl Company, requesting their assistance. The company agreed to bake and package vanilla Girl Scout Cookies in the trefoil shape. Thus, the first council-wide sale of commercially baked cookies was initiated. Other nearby councils were impressed with the success of the Greater Philadelphia council and requested to be included in the bakery orders. Hence, Keebler-Weyl was the first commercial company to bake the cookies and became the official baker of Girl Scout Cookies.

First Lady Mrs. Calvin Coolidge (left) eating a homemade Girl Scout cookie in 1923.

Because the cookie sale was becoming so profitable for Girl Scouts, it went national in 1936. Girl Scouts of USA (GSUSA) began licensing commercial bakers in all parts of the country to make sure that Girl Scout cookies could be found in every corner of the U.S. And by the way, those trefoil shortbread cookies           developed by Keebler-Weyl are still sold by Girl Scouts. However, now they are under the Little Brownie Bakers moniker, which is a division of Keebler.

By 1937 more than 125 Girl Scout councils were holding cookie sales. The licensing of bakers continued to grow, and at one time there were 29 bakers. Burry became the largest supplier in the nation during the 1960’s. In 1980 it became Burry-Lu and was later purchased by ABC Bakers of Richmond, Virginia in 1989.  Today, there are only two official licensed bakeries, Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers. Both companies make the five standard cookies offered yearly, although each company has its own names for these cookies. The exception is the classic Thin Mints, the name used by both companies for this cookie.

1956 Burry Girl Scout Cookies, the popular Sandwich Cremes.

Little Brownie Bakers calls their cookies Trefoils, Samoas, Tagalongs, and Do-si-does.

Whereas ABC Bakers uses the names Shortbread, Carmel Delights, Peanut Butter Patties, and Peanut Butter Sandwich.

Both companies are also making the new cookie, Adventurefuls, for the 2021-22 cookie season.

As you can see, the Girl Scout cookie program has come a long way from the its start over 100 years ago, and during that time, it has become one of our organization’s (and nation’s) most treasured traditions.

When you buy Girl Scout cookies, you aren’t just enjoying a delicious treat, you’re helping Girl Scouts gain the skills and confidence to change the world—one box of cookies at a time.

From hiking in the woods to community service, your cookie purchase helps Girl Scouts learn, grow, and thrive through adventure. Now that’s a powerful cookie! Ready to taste the adventure? 

Want to be a part of this awesome program and build upon five life skills like goal setting, decision making and money-management? Join Girl Scouts today!

Girl Scout Alum Mickey visits Juniper Knoll after 77 Years!

Girl Scout Alum Mickey visits Juniper Knoll after 77 Years!

We’re excited to share a touching story about our Girl Scout council’s history!

Our staff receive many phone calls and email messages from former Girl Scouts, often people looking to donate items to our historical collection. A recent phone call came from Girl Scout alum Mickey, who had song lyrics from the 1940’s in Chicago. When called, Mickey shared her great love for her time spent at Camp Juniper Knoll, still one of our beloved camp properties. She described her dream of revisiting the camp and at the age of 95, her wish came true. Mickey came back to Camp Juniper Knoll on October 15, 77 years after her last summer camping experience.

Mickey was born in Germany in 1926 and immigrated to the United States in 1938 with her family. By the summer of 1939, she was a camper at Juniper Knoll in Frontier unit. She went back to Juniper Knoll for the next six years; first as a regular camper for two years, then two years as an unofficial go-between camper and pre-counselor and kitchen helper. Finally, her last two years at camp were as an unpaid volunteer counselor.

She always camped in Frontier! On her recent visit, the first stop was Frontier, of course. Mickey commented on the tents now having Velcro fastenings, instead of canvas ties. She also saw that the units now had running water, flushing toilets, and electricity for lights, big changes since she was there.

While Mickey was actually a Mariner Girl Scout in the Rogers Park area, her troop did very little that excited her. She participated so that she could go to camp every summer. Her best memories of her youth were being able to escape from the city to the country, to participate in everything camp had to offer. Canoe trips, hikes, dramatics, woodworking—whatever activities were planned, she was involved. She even loved the storms at camp. When the campers went hiking along the sides of the highways, Mickey made a point of stepping in the melted tar on the roadway and then stepping on the gravel to make her shoes crunch and grip as she hiked.

Mickey kept one of the half-sized scrapbooks and filled it with many photographs. The photographs recorded what she and her camp friends did. Years ago, she donated that memory book to Chicago but this October, one of our historians was able to pulle Mickey’s scrapbook from our archives so she could view it on her visit. She looked over each page, recounting each activity and reminiscing about each camp friend. Naturally, all the names written in the book were camp names! Mickey lit up as she reflected on the wonderful times she had at Camp Juniper Knoll as a Girl Scout.

After the summer of 1944, Mickey graduated out of Girl Scouts and camp, heading to Northwestern University and eventually earning degree in education and science. She married, had children (all boys), but never gave up her dream of returning to see Juniper Knoll.

The trip around camp was exciting for all of us as Mickey talked about what things were like when she was a camper. Frontier, Clippership, Shongela, and Greenwood are still units that she knew, but the Yurts were quite different than anything she had experienced. Low Lodge still has its fireplace, and is a place to gather, even though it is no longer a dining hall. The small cabins, however, still seem the same, in spite of added electricity. Mickey’s visit was a highlight for all of us who participated—and, as a thank you note from Mickey’s sons stated, “our mom was so excited she couldn’t sleep for days before the visit.” 

Thank you so much to all our Girl Scout alum! We love hearing your treasured memories.

Girl Scout Senior Madison Uses Cookies for Community Service!

Girl Scout Senior Madison Uses Cookies for Community Service!

Girl Scouts can do incredible things, especially when they have the drive to do good and make the world a better place with ingenious and creative solutions. Girl Scout Senior Madison is one of these awesome Girl Scouts! Madison shared her story of developing the ThinMints4ThickSocks initiative, aimed at providing support and comfort to community members struggling with homelessness.

Read on to learn more about Madison’s story and her community service efforts, in her own words, and learn how Girl Scout Cookies do good for communities and more!

My Girl Scout origin story started when I was in pre-K. I frequently saw my sister, who is 8 years older than me, leave to go to Girl Scouts. I wanted to be a Girl Scout so desperately, I would often sit in the same room to watch their meeting.

Eventually, I was able to [be] a Daisy and it was the best day ever. I got to do cookie sales, meet new friends, do community service, and spend time with my peers at Girl Scouts. I’m continuing my Girl Scout journey in my freshman year of high school. Girl Scouts has been an enriching experience, providing me with an opportunity to fulfill my full potential in life.

According to several news articles and reports, socks aren’t frequently donated to homeless shelters and are often in high demand. ThinMints4Thicksocks is an initiative that I created to provide socks to the homeless by allowing the public to donate a new pack of tube socks in exchange for a box of Girl Scout Cookies. Rather than buying a box for five dollars, people bought a box by donating a pack of new socks. We then donated all the socks we collected and gave them to homeless shelters.

I created this project because the pandemic presented a challenge for the 2021 cookie season. Because I couldn’t conduct business as usual, I decided to think outside of the box and create a way to combine this cookie season with a charitable drive, assisting people impacted by the pandemic and driven to homelessness.

ThinMints4Thicksocks directly provided socks to the homeless, which aren’t in adequate supply in some homeless shelters locally and across the nation. I was motivated to pursue this project because I realized the positive benefit it would have in the community in helping disadvantaged people, like the residents of Chicago’s UCAN facility, which is social service agency serving over 10,000 individuals annually through compassionate healing, education, and empowerment. 

By raising awareness of the shortage of socks, I believe ThinMints4ThickSocks will continue even after I’ve finished working on the project, by inspiring others to continue donating socks, and other much needed items, (like thermal underclothes, toiletry items, etc.). My plan was to plant a seed and my hope is that it will provide an abundant crop of caring.

I wish others knew about how Girl Scouts is preparing me, and other girls, to assume leadership roles in our future endeavors. Girl Scouting gives me a sense of responsibility and community. Girl Scouts is not just about selling cookies, or community service projects. Many of my closest friends are Girl Scouts. We’ve maintained our friendships through mutual respect, trust, and honesty, which are all promoted in Girl Scouting.

Thank you to Madison!

Learn About Cookies

Welcome to the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world. The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps your girl 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.

Participating in the cookie program powers Girl Scouts’ adventures throughout the year as they learn key business skills to excel in future careers and in life. By participating in different sales methods, girls gain more skills, including: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. 

Stay up-to-date with 2022’s Cookie Program when you register to be a Girl Scout! Join today!

Want to order cookies? Try our new Adventureful cookie! (For a limited time only!)