The Evolution of the Simple Meals Badge

The number of badges offered over the last 110+ years of Girl Scouting is truly amazing. You can find everything from architecture to zoology, but only one badge has survived for 110+ years: the Cook Badge (now known as the Simple Meals Badge).

Several other badges have had a long tenure. The First Aid Badge and the Citizenship Badge started in 1938, and both continue to this day. The Cyclist/Bicycling Badge and the Swimming Badge started in 1912, but the Cyclist/Bicycling Badge ended in 1980 and the Swimming Badge in 2010. The Birds Badge has been around off and on during our 110+ years. Close to the length of the Cook Badge, the Art Badge has also been around for the past 110+ years, but it has had many different focuses, including painting and clothing design, to name a few.

The first Cook Badge in How Girls Can Help Their Country said that Girl Scouts must know how to:

  • wash up
  • wait on a table
  • light a fire
  • lay the dishes correctly for a table for four
  • clean and dress a fowl
  • clean a fish
  • make a cook-place in the open
  • make tea, coffee, or cocoa
  • state the approximate cost of each dish  
  • cook two kinds of meat
  • boil or roast potatoes and another vegetable
  • boil rice  
  • make two salads 
  • preserve of berries or fruit, or can them

The requirements in the 1920, 1929, and 1933 versions of the Girl Scout handbook are essentially the same. They add knowing how to cook eggs and operate a gas stove (if available). 

With the end of the depression in view and the war in Europe threatening to involve us, the Intermediate level for the Cook Badge was started in 1938. The Intermediate level of Girl Scouts is what we now refer to as our Junior and Cadette Girl Scout levels. Back then, the Intermediate level was for Girl Scouts in grades fourth through eighth grade. The Senior level was for Girl Scouts in ninth through twelfth grade. 

The 1941 handbook had the revisions for the Intermediate level and showed the new badge. A Girl Scout had to complete ten of the fourteen requirements and five of the chosen activities required cooking. The requirements also changed with the focus on planning menus and nutrition.  

The 1950 handbook listed twenty activities, with a Girl Scout having to complete ten to earn her Intermediate Cook Badge. Eleven out of the twenty activities required cooking.

In 1963, Juniors were now an official Girl Scout level, and the handbook had ten requirements to earn the badge. A Junior Girl Scout had to complete all ten to earn the badge, but only three required cooking.  

The 1990 Junior handbook renamed the badge “Exploring Healthy Eating” and showed the badge with a red border as part of the Worlds to Explore Girl Scout Badge Program. It had nine activities, with six, including two mandatory cooking activities, required to earn the badge.  

The 2001 Junior handbook renamed the badge to “Let’s Get Cooking” and returned to a green border. This badge had ten activities, and a Junior Girl Scout must complete six activities to earn the badge. Five of these activities required cooking, so cooking has made a comeback compared to the last version, where only two activities required cooking!  

In 2011, the Junior badge was renamed to “Simple Meals” and pictures a steaming pot on the badge with a purple border. All five steps must be completed, but there are three choices for each step; only one of the choices for each step must be completed to earn the badge—four of the five steps require cooking. 

The Simple Meals Badge has changed over the years to reflect what our society at the time thought Girl Scouts should know. Today, very few of us have to dress our own chickens or turkeys, and our recipes are more likely to come from an internet search than a magazine, but we still want Girl Scouts to be able to cook for themselves.

To earn your Simple Meals Badge, check out the activity book and badge available for purchase here.

It’s time to get back to Girl Scouting with new Winter Programs!

It’s time to get back to Girl Scouting with new Winter Programs!

We’re so excited to launch our programs for winter because we have in-person and virtual opportunities for Girl Scouts to press play and get back in the swing of things. Get ready to start the New Year off with new programs!

Registration for programs from now through April are now OPEN! Ready to join us?

Programs are available for Girl Scouts of all ages and give them the opportunity to reconnect with nature, their Girl Scout friends, and self-discovery in general! Make sure to look through our events calendar above or through our ActiveNet registration portal to see all of our available programs!

Custom Programs for Girl Scouts!

Our custom programs are still available to sign-up for, which includes a fun list of offerings and brand new dates for the upcoming months! Make sure to visit our website to learn more about scheduling an in-person or virtual custom program.

Join us for Team STEAM programs!

Are you a STEAM enthusiast? Then join Team STEAM, where you can connect with other girls who love STEAM and women in STEM careers. Once you complete your first STEM badge as a troop, individual, or council, you can sign up to join the team! You will receive some Team STEAM swag and information about our meetings every other month to connect to other STEAM enthusiasts and hear from women who work in STEM careers.

There are opportunities for all ages of Girl Scouts to become an astronomer, LEGO robotics expert, engineer, and more: explore our website to register!

All Girl Scouts are invited to celebrate our Virtual Cookie Badge Bash on January 8 by joining us for two very special workshops catered to earning NEW cookie badges!

Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors will learn about the cookies, how to set goals, come up with a sales pitch, and learn how to build your team, while Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors will expand upon their knowledge of the cookie businesses, learn marketing tips, and work on building their own customer base!

Reminder: Cookies are “crumbing” December 15!

Become a Digital Leader!

The digital world is run by technology. If you want to change the real or digital world, technology can connect you to people, information, and causes in an instant. It provides tools to help you inform, organize, and mobilize others.

We have a set of programs that will expand upon girls’ knowledge of the digital world and how the internet works, while learning valuable life skills, internet safety, and more!

Camp Registration Opens March 1!

For more than 100 years, Girl Scout camp has brought girls outdoor adventures full of learning, challenges, a whole lot of friendship, and tons of fun. This happens through a community—each girl who comes to camp is welcomed into a group of girls who together can:

  • Discover their ability to better solve problems and overcome challenges.
  • Develop leadership skills, build social bonds, and become team players.
  • Increase their level of overall happiness and gratitude, and care for the environment.

Registration opens March 1, but in the meantime, we have a TON of outdoor winter programs to get you in the camp spirit!

Volunteer programs are back!

As always, we have plenty of opportunities for v[AC1] olunteers, so be sure to browse those as well! These include resources for the cookie season, our Adult Enrichment series, CPR and First Aid, and more!

Your time to shine? Now!

Time to Renew, Girl Scout!

Connecting. Testing her strength. Making a difference. Renew today to make sure your Girl Scout continues to shine her brightest.

She’s ready to explore, learn, and create. She’s ready to come back.

Press play with Girl Scouts and watch her confidence soar.

Barilla and INVENTORCLOUD sponsor International Day of the Girl program!

Barilla and INVENTORCLOUD sponsor International Day of the Girl program!

In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl “to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.” Girl Scouts of the USA adopted International Day of the Girl (IDG) as a global action day and for the past four years, we at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) have proudly hosted programming for our area Girl Scouts to honor this day by working together to envision a better world for girls.

These programs have also helped Girl Scouts work toward their Global Action Award, which each year tackles one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, with the support of Barilla and INVENTORCLOUD, Girl Scouts tackled Climate Action, working together to create solutions that save our environment.  

In October, Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors learned what farmers—and they!—can do to help slow climate change. The Cook County Farm Bureau shared how farmers help to grow all of the ingredients in Girl Scouts’ newest cookie, Adventurefuls. It was a delicious way to learn about climate action! 

Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors joined INVENTORCLOUD for a program about fast fashion and low waste lifestyles. We had two experts in these fields share with Girl Scouts how they, too, can affect climate change—with the clothing they wear and the items they buy.  

The older Girl Scouts then used INVENTORCLOUD’s online platform to work through the creative design process to come up digital ideas for sharing climate action with their peers. Girl Scout Grace shared her idea to create a website for people to check if the clothing brands they wear participate in fast fashion, and Ellie thought up an app to address air pollution, where users can see if their activities have any pollutant output.

If you want to earn your Global Action Award on Climate Action, check out our council’s own Patch Programs, and when you’re ready to purchase the award, you can find them on our shop site!  

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) recognizes the unique, enduring, and sacred relationship that exists between land and Native American and Indigenous people; we recognize that we are on the land of Peoria, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Potawatomi, Sauk, and other nations and tribes, and honor their history and people. We recognize and honor our Native American and Indigenous Girl Scouts, volunteers, family, and community.

November, Native American Heritage Month, is dedicated to celebrating the rich culture and enduring traditions of Native American and Indigenous communities. Consider spending this month researching and honoring Native American and Indigenous communities throughout our nation and where you now call home. You can start by adding a land acknowledgement like the one above to start your Girl Scout meetings alongside the Pledge and Promise!

Hear from Girl Scouts of USA interim CEO, Judith Batty, on the significance of this month:

The celebration goes beyond just November: we invite you to take this opportunity to learn more about the cultures of the Indian Nations in your state and across the country by earning the Native American Heritage “I am a Girl Scout!” Fun Patch. We’ve got plenty of activities to choose from, so you can make new discoveries and have tons of fun learning.

As always, we encourage you to share your story!

If you are a Native American or Indigenous identifying-Girl Scout or volunteer, or know someone who is, please submit your story on our website for a chance to be featured on our blog and social media. And share with us what you learn throughout the month, too!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month | Celebrando Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month | Celebrando Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Today and every day we celebrate the rich diversity of the Latinx community and its contributions to our beautiful nation. During Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15 and continues until October 15, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have some awesome ways to celebrate and show your pride!

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana! Hoy y todos los días celebramos la rica diversidad de la comunidad Latinx y sus contribuciones a esta hermosa nación. ¡Durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, que comienza el 15 de septiembre y continúa hasta el 15 de octubre, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago y Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) y Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) tienen algunas formas increíbles de celebrar y mostrar tu orgullo!

Patches and Fun Activities | Parches y Actividades Divertidas

Explore art, community traditions, and discover Latinx history by earning the Yo Soy Una Girl Scout fun patch!
Find the requirements online and then buy the patch in our shop.

¡Explora arte, tradiciónes de la comunidad, y descubre historia Latina completando las actividades para el parche de Yo Soy Una Girl Scout! Encuentre los requisitos en línea y compre el parche.

Using the clues in this neighborhood walk Patch Program, get to know Pilsen, a neighborhood rich in Mexican culture, including its great art, music, food, and people.

Buy the patch!

En este programa de parches de caminata por el barrio, conozca Pilsen, un vecindario rico en cultura mexicana, que incluye su excelente arte, música, comida y gente.

¡Compre el parche!

Also make sure to check out our new and improved version of Girl Scout Loteria, available for download!

¡Puedes usar nuestra nueva y mejorada versión de Girl Scout Loteria, disponible para descargar!

Programs and Events | Programas y Eventos

Sept. 24: Virtual Latin Dance Night | Clase Virtual de Baile Latino

Are you ready to get your feet moving and your hips shaking? Kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month with this virtual Latin dance class, including samba, salsa, and a traditional Mexican dance. This family-friendly program will sample a variety of dance moves and music. Register here!

You can earn the Brownie Dancer badge, a Dancing fun patch, and get some cute charms, too!

¿Estás lista para mover tus pies y tus caderas? Comience el Mes de la Herencia Hispana con esta clase virtual de baile latino, que incluye samba, salsa y un baile tradicional mexicano. Este programa familiar mostrará una variedad de movimientos de baile y música. ¡Regístrate aqui!

¡Puedes ganar la insignia de Brownie Dancer, un parche de baile y también algunos lindos amuletos!

Oct. 10: Global Girl Scouts: Hispanic Heritage Month | Girl Scouts Globales: Mes de la Herencia Hispana

The Global Girl Scouts are back! The Global Girl Scouts is a group of Girl Scouts who plan, research, and present on countries and communities around the world for other Girl Scouts to participate and learn from. This time, they’ll be presenting on the various countries throughout Central and South America in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month! You’ll hear interesting facts and do fun activities on Belize, Peru, Argentina, and more. Register here!

¡Las Girl Scouts Globales están de vuelta! Girl Scouts Globales es un grupo de Girl Scouts que planifica, investiga y presenta sobre varios países y comunidades de todo el mundo para que otras Girl Scouts participen y aprendan. ¡Esta vez, presentarán sobre varios países de América Central y del Sur en honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana! Escucharás datos interesantes y realizarás actividades divertidas en Belice, Perú, Argentina y más. ¡Regístrate aquí!

Oct. 16: Trunk or Treat and Day of the Dead Celebration | Trunk or Treat y Celebración del Día de los Muertos

Celebrate Day of the Dead at our second annual Trunk or Treat on October 16 at Camp Greene Wood! Day of the Dead is a two-day dedication to family, friends, and loved ones that have passed. Altars are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of the departed, and favorite foods and drinks of those honored. There will also be several trunks for trick-or-treating, calavera decorating, marigold flower making activities, and much more for Day of the Dead, as well as a Halloween craft. 

¡Celebre el Día de los Muertos en nuestra segunda colección de golosinas annual el 16 de octubre en Camp Greene Wood! El Día de los Muertos es una dedicación de 2 días a familiares, amigos y seres queridos que han fallecido. Los altares están decorados con cempasuchiles brillantes, fotos, de los difuntos y las comidas y bebidas favoritas de los homenajeados. Habrá varios baúles para pedir dulces, decoración de calaveras, actividades para hacer flores de caléndula y mucho más para el Día de los Muertos, e una manualidad de Halloween. 

Day of the Dead Cultural Celebration @ Home Kit | Caja para Celebrar Día de los Muertos en casa

Day of the Dead is a multi-day holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and help support their spiritual journey. Learn more about this Mexican holiday by ordering this cultural celebration box to get everything you need to celebrate Day of the Dead at home! Inside the box, you’ll receive instructions for how to set up an altar to a deceased loved one, party decorations, craft supplies and directions, recipes for tasty treats, and a fun patch. 

El Día de los Muertos es un día feriado que se enfoca en reuniones de familiares y amigos para orar y recordar a los amigos y familiares que han muerto y ayudar a apoyar su viaje espiritual. ¡Aprenda más sobre esta festividad Mexicana ordenando esta caja de celebración cultural para obtener todo lo que necesita para celebrar el Día de Muertos en casa! Dentro de la caja, recibirá instrucciones sobre cómo instalar un altar para un ser querido fallecido, decoraciones para fiestas, suministros e instrucciones para manualidades, recetas para postres deliciosos y un parche divertido. 

Nov. 13: Dual Language Democracy Badge Workshop | Programa de Parche de Democracia Bilingüe

Brownies, Juniors, and families, join us at the Joliet Gathering Place as we dive into the Democracy badges and learn about voting, the path to citizenship for immigrants, and how important voting rights are in the United States. Brownies and Juniors will work towards their age level Democracy badge. This program will be dual language in English and Spanish.

Girl Scouts de nivel Brownies y Juniors con sus familias se unen a nosotros a la Joliet Gathering Place mientras nos sumergimos en las insignias de Democracia y aprendemos sobre la votación, el camino hacia la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes y la importancia de los derechos al voto en los Estados Unidos. Girl Scouts de nivel Brownies y Juniors trabajarán para conseguir su insignia de Democracia acuerdo de nivel de edad. Este programa será bilingüe en inglés y español.

Dec. 11: Las Posadas and Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration | Celebración de las Posadas y el Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors, and their family members are welcome to cozy up around the fire (and computer!) with hot chocolate in hand to experience winter holidays around the world. Join us on December 11 to learn more about both Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Las Posadas, holidays that are celebrated in Mexico. This virtual program includes singing songs, making a traditional buñuelo, and so much more.

Las Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, y Juniors, y sus familiares, pueden acurrucarse alrededor de una fogata (¡y la computadora!) Con chocolate caliente en la mano y celebrar los dias festivos de alrededor del mundo. Únase a nosotras el 11 de diciembre para aprender más sobre el Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y Las Posadas, fiestas que se celebran en México. Este programa incluye cantar canciones, cocinar buñuelos y mucho más.

Visit our website to find all of our upcoming programs in Spanish!

¡Visite nuestro sitio web para encontrar todos nuestros próximos programas en español!

More to do | Mas para hacer

At Girl Scouts, girls will learn new skills and develop value and self-confidence. We invite you to be part of the Girl Scout Exploradoras! Your girl will participate with other girls her age as they explore and discover new interests in a fun way.

En Girl Scouts, las niñas aprenderán nuevas habilidades y desarrollarán valor y confianza en sí misma. ¡Los invitamos a formar parte de las Girl Scout Exploradoras! Su niña participará junto a otras niñas de su edad mientras exploran y descubren sus intereses de manera divertida.

In 2017, GSGCNWI hosted a Destination to Our Cabaña in Cuernavaca, Mexico (read about their trip on our blog!). And now we’re excited to go back in 2023! If you are interested in learning more about this trip, contact Ashley at

En 2017, GSGCNWI organizó un Viaje a Nuestra Cabaña en Cuernavaca, México (¡lea sobre su viaje en nuestro blog!). ¡Y ahora estamos emocionados de volver en 2023! Si está interesado en aprender más sobre este viaje, comuníquese con Ashley en

Don’t forget!

Our Welcome Girl Scout Daisy Kits are available in Spanish and English!

¡Nuestros kits de bienvenida de Girl Scout Daisy están disponibles en español e inglés!

Show off your Latina Girl Scout pride and share your story with us! Tell us how you are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, share some throwback photos, or tell us your Latina pride story! Submit on our website.

¡Muestre su orgullo de Girl Scout Latina y comparta su historia con nosotros! ¡Cuéntenos cómo está celebrando el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, comparta algunas fotos o cuéntenos su historia de orgullo latino! Envíe en nuestro sitio web.

Press Play on Fall Programs!

Press Play on Fall Programs!

It’s time to get back to Girl Scouting with new programs that just launched!

We’re so excited to launch our programs for Fall, because we have in-person and virtual opportunities for Girl Scouts to press play and get back in the swing of things. Get ready to start the Girl Scout year off right, from Becoming Me workshops to celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month and so much more!

Registration for programs from now through December are now OPEN! Ready to join us?

Programs are available for Girl Scouts of all ages and give them the opportunity to reconnect with nature, their Girl Scout friends, and self-discovery in general! Make sure to look through our events calendar above or through our ActiveNet registration portal to see all of our available programs!

Custom Programs for Girl Scouts!

Our custom programs are also launching today, which includes a brand-new list of offerings and dates for the upcoming months! Make sure to visit our website to learn more about scheduling an in-person or virtual custom program.

Join us for Becoming Me Workshops!

Inspired by former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, our Becoming Me workshops help you explore the truth of your own story, use the power of your voice, and introduce you to unique experiences!

There are opportunities for all ages of Girl Scouts to become a trail adventurer, go behind the ballot, make new friends, and more: explore our website to register!

Order your Becoming Me patch, badges and FREE requirements from our shop site.

Celebrate International Day of the Girl!

Girl Scout Brownies through Ambassadors are invited to celebrate International Day of the Girl on October 17 by joining us for two very special workshops sponsored by Barilla and INVENTORCLOUD!

Brownies and Juniors will explore how to reduce their impact on the environment, while Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors will explore sustainable farming and fast fashion!

Highest Award trainings are here!

Every Girl Scout goes above and beyond to make a difference in her community and the greater world. And the skills and experiences she gains along the way set her up for special recognition through the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards.

We have training for Girl Scouts who want to earn their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Awards! We also have a special Take Action Workshop on October 13 for Girl Scouts who want to learn more about service projects and are thinking of earning a Highest Award.

Join us for a Pumpkin Smash!

It’s pumpkin smashing season! Join us for our third annual Pumpkin Smash event (various times between November 5-7) and unite with others in the effort to help divert compostable material from landfills. Bring your old pumpkins to compost…and SMASH!

Want to do more? Attend our fun Fall Fest either before or after you smash your pumpkin! Participate in various activities that include making fall themed crafts, adventuring through the forest, either on a spooky or glow hike, playing games, and enjoying a pre-packaged snack around the campfire’s glow.

Register here!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

During Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15 and continues until October 15, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have some awesome ways to celebrate and show your pride!

Look out for a bilingual blog post soon, where you’ll get the full scoop on everything we have planned to celebrate!

Volunteer programs are back!

As always, we have plenty of opportunities for volunteers, so be sure to browse those as well!

The Leader Enrichment Activity Program is a valuable experience for all Girl Scout volunteers: take it from one volunteer, Robin! “LEAP is a fun weekend with old friends and learning new ideas, programs, crafts, and information at one of our favorite GCNWI camps! Give it a try, I am sure you’ll love it!”

Don’t miss out on this year’s Leader Enrichment Activity Program on October 22 at Camp Butternut Springs! Register and learn more!

Are you a troop leader, troop support volunteer, service unit team member, product program volunteer, or another Girl Scout volunteer? Come to Camp Greene Wood on November 14 for some one-on-one time with your Girl Scout!

Your time to shine? Now!

Time to Renew, Girl Scout!

Connecting. Testing her strength. Making a difference. Renew today to make sure your Girl Scout continues to shine her brightest.

She’s ready to explore, learn, and create. She’s ready to come back.

Press play with Girl Scouts and watch her confidence soar. 

Introducing 28 new Girl Scout badges for all ages!

Introducing 28 new Girl Scout badges for all ages!

We are so excited to introduce 28 new badges for Girl Scouts of all ages!

Become a digital activist; make your own Cookie Business plan; explore the natural world through the lens of math; it’s time to take on something new! With these 28 new badges in Math in Nature, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Leadership, and new Global Action Awards, Girl Scouts will have the chance to break new ground in whatever they’re passionate about, whether it’s reinventing the way they sell cookies or finding out that STEM is for them.

See the new badges below and use the Badge Explorer to start your badge-earning journey!

Purchase badges and badge guides on our shop!

The Brand New Badges

New for Girl Scouts of All Ages

All Girl Scouts in grades K-12 can now earn Cookie Business and Digital Leadership badges!

13 Cookie Business Badges

Girl Scout Daisies to Ambassadors will be challenged to think beyond the cookie booth and become Cookie Goal Setters, Bosses, and Influencers! Digital sales and marketing will be just part of this curriculum where Girl Scouts will learn how to make the most of the Cookie Season and the Digital Cookie® platform!

6 Digital Leadership Badges

Sponsored by Instagram

Girl Scouts of all ages looking to explore the power of social media should look no further than the Digital Leadership badges! Learn to be safe online and manage screen time, how to create social impact and become a digital activist, and connect with your local and global community!

2 Global Action Awards Badges

There are two new major awards for Girl Scouts of all ages: World Thinking Day Award and Global Action Award. Girl Scouts will be able to start creating global impact today with these two new awards–one for each Girl Scout level.

New for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors

Girl Scouts in grades K-5 can now earn brand-new Math in Nature badges!

9 Math in Nature Badges

Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

Get outdoors and explore the worlds of mathematics and nature, at once! These badges help Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (K-5) live in the intersection of science and math, discovering the Fibonacci sequence, finding patterns in the planet, and much more.

Get Started Today!

These badges are ready to go, and through Girl Scouts at Home, GSUSA has free self-guided activities available online now!

You can also access a suite of Girl Scout programming online through the Volunteer Toolkit, including troop meeting plans, tips for volunteers, and other resources to help Girl Scouts earn badges and awards! There are also 28 training videos for volunteers: search gsLearn for “Badges” to watch all the mini-courses!

Explore all of the amazing badge opportunities online using the Award and Badge Explorer!

Purchase badges and badge guides on our shop!

Renew to Press Play

Connecting. Testing your strength. Making a difference. Renew today to make sure you continue to shine your brightest.

Press play with Girl Scouts: renew your membership today!

Join us for Becoming Me, a program inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama

Save on Membership | Volunteer Opportunities | Early Bird Renewal

Girl Scouts is launching a new “Becoming Me” program series in collaboration with former First Lady Michelle Obama and Penguin Random House!

Inspired by themes from Mrs. Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, Girl Scouts’ new Becoming Me program aims to help girls become their best selves. Check out our story on or learn more at

Virtual Event with Girl Scouts and Mrs. Obama

You’re invited to join us on May 6 for a conversation between Girl Scouts and Mrs. Obama during which she will explore the themes in Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers and how they relate to Girl Scouts’ and young people’s experiences today. This event is open to members who join or renew by April 30.

Becoming Me Program Series

After the virtual event, we will release a six- to eight-week program series for girls in grades K-12 to earn badges that will help them explore personal strength, celebrate their own unique voice and they’ll take part in a national service project. A version of the series will be developed for each Girl Scout level, plus multilevel troops.

The Becoming Me program will be available at no additional cost to any interested Girl Scout member enrolled for the 2021–22 membership year.

Save 30% on Girl Scout Membership!

For a limited time, Girl Scouts is offering a special membership deal for new and lapsed* members!

If you’ve been thinking about joining or rejoining Girl Scouts, NOW is the time to do it. Through July 31 you can pay just $35 to join Girl Scouts for this membership year AND the next—a savings of $15!

How does that work?

  • The current Girl Scout membership year runs October 1-Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Annual membership dues are $25 regardless of the time of year you join.
  • Right now you can pay just $10 more to extend your membership through Sept. 30, 2022, saving you 30% of the full price!

Join or rejoin today and choose the “Extended Year” membership option to take advantage of this special rate!

*About Extended Year Membership

Girl Scout membership fees are typically $25/year, and the membership year runs October 1 – September 30 annually.

From April 1 – July 31, 2021, new and lapsed** members can pay a prorated membership rate when becoming a member through Extended Year membership. You’ll pay only $35 to finish out the current membership year AND all of the next one (normally $50 total). This prorated, 18-month membership term runs April 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022.

**This is a special, one-time offer to 2020 members who paused their membership due to the pandemic. Choose “Extended Year” when you rejoin today!

How Girl Scouts Benefits Girls and Families

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Studies show that Girl Scouts improves girls’ confidence and makes them better prepared for life’s challenges That’s because Girl Scouts is dedicated to helping girls follow their hearts while they discover new interests, strengths, and abilities. Together with their families, Girl Scouts supports girls’ dreams, growth, and success. Contact us if you have any questions about joining!

Volunteer Opportunities

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.

Early Bird Renewal Incentive

Get excited for the membership year ahead! As an early renewal incentive, girls and adults who renew their Girl Scout membership by April 30, 2021, will be able to attend a member-exclusive virtual event with Mrs. Obama on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The Becoming Me program series will be available after May 6.

STEM Badges for Girls in Grades 2-8!

The new frontier of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is already here, and girls are taking the lead. With 24 new badges in areas like automotive engineering and entrepreneurship, Girl Scouts are more ready than ever to take on the world and shake up the status quo.

The STEM Career Exploration badges for Girl Scouts in grades 2-8, funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, are perfect for girls interested in breaking the mold in the world of STEM. Read on to learn more about these badges!

Explore Careers in STEM!

With the STEM Career Exploration badges, Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors (grades 2-5) will dig into their own interests and consider how these can became a career in the future. They’ll take a look at different fields in STEM, exploring careers in each field, and learning how STEM can make the world a better place. They’ll also brainstorm ways to build their own career paths!

Cadette girls will take this knowledge to the next level and explore how they want to make a difference in the world or their community, learn more about the various career opportunities in STEM industries, and build their own path to success, deciding how they can develop a future career in STEM. The girls will then make a plan and share their goals with others who can motivate and sustain their ambitions!

Find the badges on our online shop!

Learn from a National Gold Award Girl Scout!

Let National Gold Award Girl Scout Therese inspire you to pursue your biggest STEM dreams! Her passion for data sharing and social justice makes her an exceptional young leader to follow.

Learn about Therese and her Gold Award initiative on our blog.

Get Started!

You can find requirements and instructions for earning these new badges in the Volunteer Toolkit. Visit our Girl Scout shop to purchase the new badges and packets.

We’re in the swing of fall now! Learn more about the rest of this month’s programs on our blog!

Learn about every badge Girl Scouts can earn with the Girl Scouts Award and Badge Explorer!

To share your badge-earning stories, fill out this form and you might be featured on our social media or in a publication!

Not a Girl Scout yet? No problem! Troops are forming now—join Girl Scouts today.

Member Monday: Use Your Voice!

Girl Scout Rachel and Cook County Circuit Court Judge Patricia M. Fallon during a Zoom conversation with girls from Service Unit 406

When Girl Scouts of USA released their 24 new badges, including badges on Democracy and civic engagement, Service Unit 406 Managers Carrie Parsons and Selena Randecker saw the opportunity to respond to 2020’s unexpected turns. The new Democracy badges require girls to engage directly with their local political representatives to learn more about the democratic process, and this year, civic engagement is more important than ever.

Thus, Carrie and Selena’s “brain-child” was born, a series of programming for over 80 troops to meet over Zoom with four major mayors in their area, as well as Judge Patricia Fallon, and two lawyers. The meetings, led by the girls, consisted of question and answer sessions with the representatives, and they were a huge hit, drawing over 100 girls for some meetings. Girls took charge and asked their mayors questions on everything from election processes to favorite ice cream flavors.

“The girls are paying attention and want answers,” Service Unit Manager Selena said. “They really wanted to know the details” of the political process, and this level of engagement speaks volumes to her. “It’s amazing what ideas the girls have, and what they can do.” For girls who are too young to vote, but want to take political action and use their voice, Service Unit Manager Carrie says “You can still make a difference, and don’t ever think you can’t. Your ideas matter.”

“One person and one voice can make a difference.”

Judge Patricia Fallon, currently running for Circuit Court Judge, 12th Judicial Subcircuit, was excited to engage with a group of politically-minded Girl Scouts for one of the Q&A sessions. Being service-minded her entire career, she has always admired the Girl Scouts organization and thought their questions were thoughtful, intriguing, and pointed to a strong intuitive understanding of law.

Speaking to the importance of young women’s engagement “I think it’s crucial for all young people to know how their government works, and carry a mindset of service and citizenship” because “they do have the power to effect positive change.” You may not appreciate the difference you can make– Judge Fallon asserts “one person or one small group can make such a tremendous difference.”

Girl Scout Ameenah, a Girl Delegate for their service unit and moderator for the meeting with Hoffman Estates mayor William D. McLeod, agrees that civic engagement is essential: “We should care about what’s happening,” she explains, “because this is our world, the world we’re going to inherit one day.” Girl Scout Rachel, who moderated the Q&A with Judge Fallon, succinctly quoted Girl Scout alumna Tyra Banks: “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the outcome.”

After hearing from these inspiring women and girls, it’s clear what we all need to do: stand up and speak out! Thank you to everyone who shared their story with us!

Earn the Democracy Badges!

Civic engagement is just one way Girl Scouts advocate for positive change and make the world a better place. And though some girls may be too young to cast a ballot, they can still mobilize their communities to take action. Funded by the Citi Foundation, the new Democracy badges for all ages of Girl Scouts will help politically-minded girls be more prepared than ever to vote, act, and blaze trails.

Buy the Democracy Badges in our store!

More Opportunities

Girl Scouts of the USA recently launched a national civic service project to engage troops in the democratic process in this monumental election year and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Learn more about Promote the Vote and how you can equip your troop for civic action.

Girls of all ages interested in continuing their political education should also check out the Girl Scout Suffrage Centennial patch, which gives girls and troops a chance to explore the important history of the fight for gender and racial justice and voting rights in the United States.

Share Your Story!

For a chance to have your story heard by people all over our council, submit on our website! We love to feature what our Girl Scouts, members and volunteers are doing!

Girl Scouts may interact with women and men in elected positions as they earn components of their non-partisan civics and democracy badges. Girl Scouting does not endorse any specific candidate or issue.