Gold Award Girl Scouts Celebrated at Drive-In Ceremony!

Surrounded by family, friends, and cheers, the members of the 2020 and 2021 classes of Gold Award recipients from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) stepped into the limelight on Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, to receive bountiful accolades for their accomplishments. 

Drive-through, outdoor celebrations at both Camp Greene Wood and the Vernon Hills Gathering Place honored dedicated individual young Girl Scouts from throughout our council who poured their hearts and energy into projects that will leave a positive and lasting impact on others. Each Gold Award Girl Scout received an official certificate, a Gold Award pin, and a binder of congratulatory letters and notes.

Though celebrated in a novel way this year, due to the impact of the pandemic, each Girl Scout had a moment in the spotlight, a moment to take in car horns honking on their behalf and photo booths to forever capture the memory of outstanding accomplishments with those who supported them along the journey of achieving the Gold Award. The Girl Scout Gold Award is a major accomplishment that requires each person pursuing it to identify a community or social issue, implement a detailed project plan, and carry out the implementation of the project showcasing their leadership, public speaking, and project management skills.

Congratulations to the Gold Award Class of 2020 and 2021. We are so proud of your achievements! Keep using your voice and advocating for change.

Learn more about the Gold Award girls from last year on our blog!

Click through to see pictures from the events!

Note: With safe distancing, girls removed their masks for photos outside.

The Gold Award Difference

Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers who take “make the world a better place” to the next level. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—proof that not only can they make a difference, but that they already have.

Seniors and Ambassadors who earn the Gold Award tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. Think of the Gold Award as a key that can open doors to scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, and amazing career opportunities. 

Learn more about earning the Gold Award on our website.

Renew by June 30 and Enjoy Exclusive Membership Perks!

Strength, resilience, togetherness, and the support of the community—that’s what Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is all about. So in this uncertain world, you can count on one thing for sure: today, tomorrow, together, we are on your team.

Renew your membership for 2021-22 today and you’ll receive a FREE “We’ve Got This” patch, plus access to the newest programs for the summer and beyond! 

Learn more on our website.

Volunteer Spotlight: Shamin Ladhani!

Volunteers Shamin Ladhani and Kiran Ali-Suteria

Girl Scout volunteers are a huge part of Girl Scouts’ successes: that’s why we are taking time to spotlight a special volunteer from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI), Shamin Ladhani, and her co-leaders, for the multi-level Girl Scout troops of Jamatkhana Ismaili Center in Glenview, IL! Also known as the Midwest Ismaili Scouts or Service Unit 407, Shamin and the other leaders are amazing volunteers making an impact on our council.

Shamin began her involvement in Girl Scouts six years ago as a leader for her first daughter’s troop. One year later, she was asked to be the Girl Scout Organizer (GSO) for all five faith-based Girl Scout troops in the area. Currently, Shamin works with a Co-Girl Scout Organizer Kiran Ali-Suteria, and over fifteen other leaders, troop volunteers, and five troops that represent seventy-seven Girl Scouts and their families.

Shamin shares the spotlight with all her leaders, and especially Kiran Ali-Suteria, a Girl Scout volunteer for over five years, and Noreen Merchant, a volunteer for the last eleven years. “Kiran is the foundation of our team, who keeps things moving for our Girl Scouts. We truly have skills that complement each other to lead all our troops. Noreen’s leadership style and the work she does every year has shown how reliable and respected she is within the faith-based group. She makes Girl Scouts fun and manageable for everyone.” Besides being a leader, Noreen is a Girl Scout council delegate.

The secret to Shamin’s success is that she models the type of leadership our girls need. “It helps to model the type of leadership you want your Girl Scouts to have by getting involved in the community.” As a psychologist, Shamin also advocates for the mental wellness of her community. She is active in her community and at the national level in other non-profit work to include Girl Scouts in the conversation.

The Jamatkhana Ismaili Center in Glenview, IL, has always sponsored Girl Scouts as a part of their faith-based community. This lead to Girl Scouts in the area becoming a part of what Shamin calls a “mentoring ladder to success,” with many of the girls returning to become leaders themselves and supporting each other, their families, and their leaders through their sustainable models of community service.

Shamin says her leaders “always surprise and impress” her on how well they engage with their Girl Scouts, “especially having to work all virtually this last season.” Shamin says she is “humbled by the work they all do” and is so happy to participate in Girl Scouts.


All of us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana say a big thank you, to Shamin, Kiran, Noreen, and all the Leaders, Girl Scouts, and families of multi-level Girl Scout Troops of Jamat Khana Ismaili Center in Glenview. IL! We appreciate you, your dedication, work, and wonderful contributions!

Lead Girls Through Our Becoming Me Program Series

Inspired by themes from Michelle Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, this new program series will guide girls of all ages to become their best selves. 

Volunteer to guide girls as they explore the truth in their own stories and the power of their voices! You will work with girls during 6-8 fun-filled and inspirational virtual sessions.

Sign-up to get started »

Learn more about volunteering with GSGCNWI today!

Renew by June 30 and Enjoy Exclusive Membership Perks!

When you stick with Girl Scouts, you’re not just giving your girl something to do, you’re giving her someone to be. The bravest, boldest, best version of herself. The version of herself walks with her head a bit higher and acts with confidence.

Renew her membership for 2021-22 today and she’ll receive a FREE “We’ve Got This” patch, plus access to the newest programs for the summer and beyond! 

Learn more on our website.

Girl Scouts Develop Solutions at GSGCNWI’s First-Ever Hackathon

Girl Scouts of all ages met virtually last month to participate in Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s (GSGCNWI) first-ever Hackathon sponsored by Motorola and InventorCloud!

Girl Scouts of all ages rose to the occasion of different STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) challenges, designed to spark their creativity and brilliance. Daisies were tasked with using recycled materials and their ingenuity to create works of art and accessories for their stuffed animals; one girl created a pool and hot tub out of egg cartons and plastic containers, another built a robot costume and a mini swing!

Brownies and Juniors were challenged to create prosthetics for dolphins or ducks, and spent the day sketching, testing, and improving their designs, eventually presenting their final designs and explaining their thought processes, all while engaging with a group of inspiring women in STEAM who provided feedback on each project.

Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors took on a UN Sustainable Development Goal, coming up with an original solution in the areas of Quality Education, Health and Wellbeing, and Gender Equality. Several girls worked on educational solutions to global issues, which included everything from crowdsourcing peer tutors from around the world to support learners during COVID-19 (“Pens to Hearts”) to the “Homework Helper” app.

Other girls focused on mental health and wellbeing: Girl Scout Ariella created a “Happy App,” which encourages users to take breaks during the day to do something that makes them happy, Rachel proposed an app for girls to share stories, struggles, and support through middle school, and Girl Scouts Sarah and Natalie created a snack organizer to make kids aware of healthy snacks in a fun way. And Girl Scout Mac created an app designed to raise awareness and share information about the LGBTQ+ community, so people could find support around gender identity and sexuality. The thought and creativity that went into each solution were truly astounding and uplifting to see!

GSGCNWI would like to give special thanks to Motorola, who supported our Hackathon with funding and volunteers, and InventorCloud, who provided funding and the challenges. 


Girl Scouts is an integral part of the mission to add 2.5 million girls to the STEAM pipeline in the next five years. At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, we are committed to motivating a new generation of young women and girls to explore future careers in STEAM.

Our unique programming in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) helps girls turn their big ideas into real action and make an impact on their community.

Register for a STEAM program today!

Strength, resilience, togetherness, and the support of the community—that’s what Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is all about. So in this uncertain world, you can count on one thing for sure: today, tomorrow, together, we are on your team. Join Girl Scouts or renew your membership today!

Congratulations to the Cookie CEOs of the 2021 Cookie Season!

What an amazing Girl Scout cookie season for all our Girl Scouts and our new Cookie CEOs!

Whether they were running a cookie business for the first time or already seasoned cookie entrepreneurs, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) did an awesome job! During this unprecedented year, GCNWI Girl Scouts worked hard to reach their cookie goals and gave more than ever to our Gift of Caring program.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program supports all girls in achieving their goals, big or small, that they set for themselves and with their troop, from community service projects to program activities. Girl Scouts in our council sold over 2.8 million packages of Girl Scout Cookies. Their efforts proved (like this year’s Cookie Program theme) that no matter what comes their way, “We’ve Got This!”

Meet the CEOs

We are shining a spotlight on the top Cookie CEOs in our council! Each of these Girl Scouts applies the “five Girl Scout skills” for a lifetime of leadership (Goal Setting, Decision Making, People Skills, Money Management and Business Ethics) when it comes to their cookie business. With the support of their parents, their troops, and all the Girl Scout cookie supporters, they each had personal goals, using different strategies to achieve them!

Their efforts not only enhanced skills that will last a lifetime, but helped their troops earn proceeds for activities like camp and GCNWI programs, and to fund community service projects!

And the Cookie CEOs are:

Giada G. – Troop 20073 – 7th grade – 22,006 packages
Bristol S. – Troop 75466 – 3rd grade – 21,557 packages
Giuliana G – Troop 25727 – 3rd grade – 11,000 packages
Anne N. – Troop 60303 – 7th grade – 6,838 packages
Bella C. – Troop 51414 – 8th grade – 6,462 packages

Check out last year’s Cookie CEOs as they share some of their cookie wisdom!

Want to Participate in Next Year’s Cookie Season? Renew or Join Girl Scouts today!

Finding your voice and becoming your best self? That’s what it means to be a Girl Scout! Renew your membership or join Girl Scouts GCNWI!

Join Now for $35 and She’ll be Set until 2022!

At Girl Scouts, she’ll practice making the world a better place by doing community service projects, coding, exploring the outdoors, and so much more. And when you sign up with her now, you’ll be covered for the rest of this membership year AND the next, plus she’ll get a free Kellogg’s Wellbeing Box! 

Guest Girl Blog: Girl Scout Robotics Team Changes the Game with Fitness Innovation!

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), powered by Motorola Solutions Foundation, have sponsored LEGO Robotics teams to compete in competitions since 2008!

One of those teams, the Gnarly Llamas of Wonder (G.L.O.W.), decided to take their robotics knowledge and turn it into an application with a real purpose: providing fitness opportunities and long-term lifestyle benefits for teens (or incarcerated youth) in juvenile detention centers.

GCNWI Girl Scouts Sonora, June, Emie, Kate, and Luci, are one of three FIRST Lego League teams in Illinois to win the Global Innovation Award!

Hear from the girls in their own words on how their project is helping to change the game and power the future.

Written by Girl Scouts Sonora, June, Emie, Kate and Luci 

We became a Girl Scouts sponsored rookie team in 2019, and we are now an enthusiastic robot-loving herd! G.L.O.W. is a Girl Scout sponsored team in the FIRST Lego League (FLL). This year’s FLL theme is Game Changer.  Since we were from multiple schools, we decided to strengthen our bonds by doing team-building activities and creating our mission modules together. 

As the season progressed, we interviewed experts to help solve the problem we identified: youth in juvenile detention facilities are not getting their daily 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as recommended by the CDC. Our solution is a portable pod that projects beams of light to create a fun and engaging workout for the juvenile detainees while collecting data via a wearable device.

While working on this project, something that motivated us was thinking of the actual kids in these facilities that we would impact. Hearing about the lifestyle of kids in juvenile detention facilities and learning about the negative impacts of being inactive definitely drives us to make a difference. Knowing that our idea could really improve the lives of incarcerated kids motivates us to keep going, and it’s really fun to work as a team and create something beneficial and impactful to others! We really want to change the lives of these youth and help them.

Having our solution be part of a competition also provided motivation to continue working on this project because we had a rubric to work off of and judges to give us feedback. We also tested and researched to improve our robot design, attachments, and programming. 

At the Qualifiers, we won the Rising Star Award and moved on to States, and now, we are one of the three FIRST Lego League teams in Illinois to win the Global Innovation Project! We are the Gnarly Llamas of Wonder and are proud of all the growing we have done.


Girl Scouting has many important values. It teaches us how to work with other girls our age, and to build a respectful community. It also teaches us how to do many different things, and exposes us to different cultures. And finally, it emphasizes giving back and making an impact all while having FUN.

We wish people knew that being a Girl Scout is more than just selling cookies and singing songs. We learn life skills all in a supportive and encouraging environment. Girl Scouts are capable and awesome.

Thank you so much to these awesome Girl Scouts for sharing their story with us!

Learn More about Robotics! 

Girl Scouts offers programs and badges designed to learn more about robotics! Plus, our unique programming in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) helps girls turn their big ideas into real action and make an impact on their community.

You can attend a Design Your Own Robot Badge workshop to learn about what robots do and how they help people, then design your own!

Get involved in LEGO Robotics

As a part of a FIRST LEGO Robotics team within Girl Scouts GCNWI, teams will:

  • Design, build, test, and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS ® technology;
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts;
  • Research challenges facing today’s scientists;
  • Learn critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills;
  • Participate in team meetings, tournaments, and celebrations.

If you are interested in participating and joining a formed team, please contact Corinna Christman.

Attend the NEW and Improved Camp CEO 2021!

Now entering our fifteenth year, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) is excited to bring you a new and improved version of Camp CEO as part of our Zoom into Summer Camp series. We are calling on all high school Girl Scouts interested in developing their leadership skills while learning from women in various high-level careers!

This year, Camp CEO will run July 26-30 and will be a hybrid program, with some days happening in person (location TBA) and some days happening in a virtual capacity. See tentative schedule below!

What to Expect

Throughout the week of Camp CEO, we will focus on the themes of networking, communication skills, self-discovery, and personal insight. We will do this through workshops (in person and virtual) that are hands on and driven by girl and mentor conversations and voices, not lectures.

The highlight of Camp CEO is the opportunity for Girl Scouts to be paired one on one with a mentor who they will work with throughout the week of camp and beyond! The Girl Scout and mentor will be paired after the first day of camp on Monday, July 26. The expectation is that Girl Scout and mentor touch base at least once per day on prompts that will be provided to you.

Through attending Camp CEO, it is our hope that girls in any stage of high school learn the following skills that they will take with them well beyond high school:

  • Personal development (self-awareness, self-discovery)
  • Skill development (public speaking, conflict resolution, effective communication, problem solving, etc.)
  • Exposure to female mentors
  • Collaboration skills (team and group work)
  • Opportunities to build lasting mentor relationships

Eligibility

To participate in Camp CEO 2021, the following criteria must be met:

  • Girl Scouts must register for the program and THEN complete the intake form they will be emailed. Intake forms are due by Friday, June 11. Failure to complete intake form will make the Girl Scout not eligible to participate. In this case, a refund will be issued.
  • Girl Scout must be entering grades 9-12 in Fall 2021.
  • Girl Scout and their assigned mentor must check in with each other at least once per day via email, phone, or virtual platform. Prompting questions will be provided.
  • Girl Scouts must be able to attend all parts of Camp CEO including in person days and virtual workshops. See tentative schedule below for more information.
  • Girl Scouts must complete a health history form prior to Camp CEO. The form will be emailed once the intake form is complete.

Camp CEO 2021 Schedule (tentative)

  • Monday, July 26 – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (in person)
  • Tuesday, July 27 – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (virtual)
  • Wednesday, July 28 – 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (virtual)
  • Thursday, July 29 – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (in person)
  • Friday, July 30 – 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (in person)

Meet some of our mentors for Camp CEO 2021!

GCNWI Board President Sidney Dillard, (Partner & Head of Corporate Investment Banking, Loop Capital Market
Former GCNWI Board President Kathy Scherer, Managing Partner, Business Tax Services, Deloitte Tax LLP
Mary Bakken, EVP & COO, Silver Cross Hospital
Christine Concari, General Manager Customer Service, Celevland-Cliffs Inc
Julie Marcello, Managing Director, Marsh
Carol Murphy, Managing Director, AON Risk Solutions
Monica Weed, Former Executive VP & General Counsel, Navigant
Katy Lynch, Co-Founder & CMO, Codeverse
Jennifer Montague, VP, Communications and External Affairs, NIPSCO
Cynthia Hunt, Career Advisor, WHEN Way of Life
Tracy Ardis, VP of Human Resources, Silver Cross Hospital
Annie Logue, Freelance Writer, Teacher and Consultant

and more!

Register for the Camp CEO program to receive your intake form.

Renew Your Membership to Participate in Camp CEO

Strength, resilience, togetherness, and the support of community—that’s what Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is all about. So in this uncertain world, you can count on one thing for sure: today, tomorrow, together, we are on your team. Join Girl Scouts or renew your membership today!

Featured

Join us for Becoming Me, a Program Inspired by Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Explore the truth of your story and the power of your voice while hanging out with friends at our Becoming Me program series! You’ll earn three badges, unlock a patch, and take part in a national service project as part of this unique experience inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers.

The Becoming Me program will walk Girl Scouts through earning three badges at each grade level specially curated from the National Program Portfolio in partnership with Penguin Random House and Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s Becoming Young Readers Edition. The corresponding Becoming Me program series and exclusive journal activities will offer a unique opportunity for Girl Scouts young and old to have a shared dialogue based on their own experiences.

All programs are part of a three-badge series. If you want to complete all three badges that are a part of the series, you must sign up for all three. You will not be automatically registered when you register for one.

Becoming Me Programs for Daisies

Daisy Good Neighbor | Oct. 5 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Groups of people are called communities. You’re part of lots of communities! Your Daisy troop is one and so is your class at school. You can help your communities by being a good neighbor. Find out how in this badge workshop for Kindergarten and 1st grade Daisies. Families are invited to join this workshop to help girls discover and learn about their communities.

Daisy Outdoor Art Maker | Oct. 12 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Daisies, join us for this virtual program to earn your Daisy Outdoor Art Maker badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Daisy Buddy Camper | Oct. 29 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Daisies, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Daisy Buddy Camper badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Becoming Me Programs for Brownies

Brownie Making Friends | Oct. 2 from 9-11 a.m. or 1-3 p.m. | In-Person
Girl Scouts in grades 2-3 are invited to Camp Greene Wood on October 2 for the Making Friends badge workshop. Friends are another kind of family. They’re the people you have fun with and who help you when you need it. Make new friends and keep the old at this badge workshop!
Sign up for the morning program »
Sign up for the afternoon program »

Brownie Philanthropist Badge | Oct. 6 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Brownies, join us for this virtual program to earn your Philanthropist badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Brownie Outdoor Adventurer | Oct. 29 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Brownies, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Brownie Outdoor Adventurer badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Becoming Me Programs for Juniors

Junior Democracy | Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Juniors, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Democracy for Juniors badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Junior Scribe | Oct. 13 and 20 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Words are powerful tools. Great writing can make people feel encouraged, entertained, or excited. It can create fantasy worlds or preserve events from history. And just writing down your feelings actually makes you feel better! This is a two-part program for Girl Scouts who should plan to attend both dates. Additional independent time writing may be necessary to complete this badge.

Junior Trail Adventurer | Nov. 3 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Juniors, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Junior Trail Adventurer badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Junior August Book Club Meeting | Aug. 29 from 5-5:45 p.m. | Virtual
Girl Scouts in grades 4 and 5, do you love to read? Join GSGCNWI’s Junior Book Club! Explore the truth in your own story and the power of your voice. The group will be reading and discussing Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers. Please come to the meeting having read most or all of the book.

Becoming Me Programs for Cadettes

Finding Common Ground | Sep. 30 and Oct. 7 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Cadettes, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Finding Common Ground badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Cadette Science of Happiness | Oct. 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and 6 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Hybrid
Cadettes, join us on Thursday, October 4 and Saturday, October 6 for this two session hybrid program to earn your Science of Happiness badge, part of the Becoming Me series! We will explore ways to be happy, do a happiness experiment, and create happiness action plans.

Cadette Eco Trekker | Nov. 12 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Cadettes, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Eco Trekker badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Cadette August Book Club Meeting | Aug. 28 6-7 p.m. | Virtual
Girl Scouts in grades 6, 7, and 8, do you love to read? Join GSGCNWI’s Cadette Book Club! Explore the truth in your own story and the power of your voice. The group will be reading and discussing Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers. Please come to the meeting having read most or all of the book.

Becoming Me Programs for Seniors

Senior Collage Artist | Oct. 5 and Nov. 9 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Get ready to see the creative possibility in everyday objects: this badge workshop is an opportunity to make art as unique as you are! Girl Scouts in grades 9 and 10 are invited to this 2-part program. Girls should plan to attend both dates. Additional independent time will be necessary to finish all steps of the badge. The November 9 program will be our virtual showcase of our collages.

Senior Behind the Ballot Badge | Oct. 26 & Nov. 2 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Seniors, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Behind the Ballot badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Senior Women’s Health | Oct. 12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and 16 from 4-6 p.m. | Hybrid
Seniors, join us on Tuesday, October 12 and 16 for this two session hybrid program to earn your Women’s Health badge, part of the Becoming Me series! We will explore ways to be physically and mentally healthy, and delve into a women’s health topic.

Becoming Me Programs for Ambassadors

Ambassador Coaching | Oct. 1 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. or 2-4 p.m. | In-Person
What does it take to motivate a team to accomplish their goals and dreams? The best coaches put their answers into action at every practice. In this badge, find your answers and share them! At this program, you’ll work to understand the important role coaches have in athletics and share your love of a sport. In this program we’ll design a coaching design and put our plan into action. Through the Coaching badge, Ambassadors take the lead as they inspire and empower others. In order to complete the Coaching badge requirements, girls will need to find a group to coach after the program; advice will be given at the program for how to find a group.
Sign up for the morning program »
Sign up for the afternoon program »

Ambassador Public Policy Badge | Oct. 14 and 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Ambassadors, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Public Policy badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Ambassador Eco Advocate | Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and 9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Hybrid
Ambassadors, join us on Thursday, October 7 and Saturday, October 9 for this two session hybrid program to earn your Eco Advocate badge, part of the Becoming Me series! We will learn what eco advocates do, and work to advocate for our chosen causes.

Be a Part of Becoming Me When You Renew Your Membership or Register to Be a Girl Scout

Strength, resilience, togetherness, and the support of community—that’s what Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is all about. So in this uncertain world, you can count on one thing for sure: today, tomorrow, together, we are on your team. Join Girl Scouts or renew your membership today!

PLUS we have the badges, fun patches and requirements available for purchase!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jill Verde and Tisha Eisenmenger!

All of our volunteers deserve a spotlight because they make sure our Girl Scouts thrive! This week we are recognizing two special volunteers from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana from Troop 45856; Jill Verde and Tisha Eisenmenger!

Tisha began her involvement with Girl Scouts five years ago as a Troop Support volunteer for her daughter’s troop: “I was a Girl Scout for three years when I was a child, and I have so many fun memories of those times. When my daughter joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy, Jill and I decided to take the leap and form our own troop that would focus on the girl’s interests and desire to help the community. Three years later, we have worked with an amazing group of girls and families who have already done so much. These girls are going to change the world!”

Jill has eight years of experience as a Girl Scout leader, and as a team, Tisha and Jill have a passion for helping their girls share their ideas. Just this past year, their troop invited the community to explore their very own fairy garden in the Chipmunk Woods for their service project “Fairies of Volo Bog.”

Their “Fairies of Volo Bog” project is among Tisha’s favorite memories as a Girl Scout leader: “The girls learned all about the Volo Bog and created an amazing project that has raised money and awareness of the importance of the bog has to our community. The troop has been asked to reinstall the project in August and have it as a yearly recurring display.”

Tisha and Jill are excellent facilitators of their girls’ love for community service, and they are currently participating in a painting service project for a non-profit children’s theater program in Crystal Lake. “We love to volunteer and help the community in any way we can.”

Their advice to other Girl Scout volunteers and leaders: “Get your families and friends to volunteer. It makes a difference when you let others help you.”

“We couldn’t do what we do without our Girl Scouts, their families, and our two amazing assistant leaders Sara Melzer and Aimee Briggs.”


All of us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana say a big thank you, to Jill and Tisha! We appreciate you, your dedication, work, and wonderful contributions!

Want to Learn More About Volunteering? Join us for a Virtual Open House!

Whether you can commit a few hours, a few weeks, or a few months, volunteering with GSGCNWI is both flexible and rewarding.

You are invited to join the Associate Board on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00 pm for a virtual volunteer open house where we will showcase three different ways to support young women, including opportunities around the “Expert Connection” program, the “Becoming Me” program, and the Associate Board.

Register for this free event!

Lead Girls Through Our Becoming Me Program Series

Inspired by themes from Michelle Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, this new program series will guide girls of all ages to become their best selves. 

Volunteer to guide girls as they explore the truth in their own stories and the power of their voices! You will work with girls during 6-8 fun-filled and inspirational virtual sessions.

Sign-up to get started »

Learn more about volunteering with GSGCNWI today!

Michelle Obama Connects with Two GCNWI Girl Scouts in the Zoom of a Lifetime!

“I remember feeling nervous at first, then feeling like I could do anything,” Girl Scout Brownie Mali B. recalls after interviewing with Former First Lady Michelle Obama during the exclusive Girl Scout “Becoming Me” event held last Thursday.

The virtual event yielded over 2,000 GCNWI Girl Scouts as over 15,000 girls council-wide connected via Zoom to embark on the journey to becoming the best version of themselves, a concept taken from Mrs. Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers.

Mali got to share the spotlight with another council sister, Girl Scout Cadette Zoe H.

“As an African American, it was even more special to see someone who looks like me and all her of her accomplishments,” Zoe says. “Even at my age, she experienced some of the same things that I am going through now and how she continues to serve her community and not be afraid to dream big.”

Check out Zoe and Mali’s interview with Michelle Obama on ABC 7!

The Becoming Me event even prompted Girl Scouts across the council to gather their closest family to participate in this inspirational event:

Mrs. Obama shared her stories of triumph, citing the different journeys she took to get to where she is today. The Becoming Me event inspired Girl Scouts across the country to not be afraid to make mistakes and to use their voice to unlock the power of their unique story.

“When she reminded me that she used to be an eight year old just like me, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone and like I can grow up and become the successful baker I want to be,” Mali said.

“I learned the importance of using my voice and serving as a role model to my peers,” Zoe concluded.

Miss out on the event last week? Check out some highlights below!

Find the Becoming Me program series patches and badge on our shop site!

Join Us for the Becoming Me Program Series

The road to becoming your best self continues with a 6-8 week program series facilitated by Girl Scout GCNWI volunteers and troop leaders, coming this fall 2021 and open for registration on Tuesday, May 18!

Girls who join Girl Scouts or renew their membership for the new 2021-2022 membership year will be able to partake in the program based on the book’s themes, receive exclusive patches and participate in a national service project.

The program has been carefully crafted as a curated unit to help girls explore questions about personal strength and celebrate their own unique voice. A version of the series will be developed for each Girl Scout level, plus multilevel troops.

Register for a Becoming Me program today!

“The Becoming Me program is for every girl, whether you have been in Girl Scouts for years or just getting started. It is a great program that teaches girls to use their own voice, become their best selves, and inspire others to do the same”

– GSGCNWI Cadette, Zoe H.

Become a facilitator for the Becoming Me Program Series

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

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

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

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

Girl Rep McKenzie inducted into Top Teens of America! 

This week we’re giving a special shout-out to Girl Scout Cadette McKenzie, Girl Representative to the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) Board and recent inductee into Top Teens of America Will County Black Diamond! The purpose of Top Teens of America is to “teach teens leadership skills, help develop caring characteristics, and to advance teens in life.”  

Read on to meet Girl Rep McKenzie and her vision of the future for girls! 

McKenzie’s Girl Scout story started at church. “This girl in front of me [in the pews] was in Girl Scouts, so I asked my mom about it. I haven’t stopped ever since.” 

McKenzie has participated in many Girl Scout events and activities over the years, including Summer Camp Revamp, STEMapalooza, and Project Law Track, all of which provided her “exposure to different career tracks, cultural awareness, and plain old fun.”  

These experiences lead McKenzie to become involved with the Girl Reps to the GCNWI Board. As a Girl Rep, McKenzie works with a group of Girl Scouts around the council, attends board meetings, and represents the Girl Scout movement as a spokesperson. 

“My term is almost up and the experience has impacted me in many ways. I’ve met new people, gained leadership experience and board meeting etiquette, and so much more!” McKenzie continued, “I’ve always wanted to be a leader. It’s been terrific to help Girl Scouts even if it’s been one term.” 

Now, as a member of the Top Teens of America-Will County Black Diamond Chapter, McKenzie will continue her growth as a leader for her community. She wants to continue to break the stereotype that Girl Scouts are “only suburban white girls,” and sees even more diversity and inclusion in the future for girls.  

For McKenzie, the value of Girl Scouts is in the experiences the program provides, stating, “You get to experience all of these things with girls who come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, places, and work on one common goal. Or support each other on our different journeys.”

“We do more than just sell cookies. We do great things and help the community, society, and the world become a better place, one girl at a time.”  

Don’t miss out on your chance to lend your voice to change! 

Calling older girls! Now’s your chance to lend your Girl Scout expertise and energy to our Board of Directors by applying to be a Girl Representative to the Board (Girl Rep). 
 
Applications open through May 31.