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.

Volunteers get together for annual Leader Enrichment Activity Program!

Volunteers get together for annual Leader Enrichment Activity Program!

Most years, the fall season means L.E.A.P. (Leader Enrichment Activity Program) for many Girl Scout volunteers, an event that carried over to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) from the former Girl Scouts of Chicago council. L.E.A.P. is coordinated by a group of dedicated volunteers to offer peer-to-peer networking, enrichment activities and fun. This year, L.E.A.P.—“Tricks and Treats with Daisy”—took place at Camp Butternut Springs from October 22– 24. Approximately 90 Girl Scout adults attended L.E.A.P. this year, and about half the volunteers had never attended L.E.A.P. before, so it was truly a “make new friends” event!

Annie Gilmartin, GCNWI Program manager from the zip-lining team, shared, “This year, at LEAP, I had the opportunity to facilitate the zip line course for our adult volunteers. We spent two sessions getting to know these volunteers and their thoughts on heights, zip-lines, and climbing high towers. It was wonderful to see that the majority of leaders who chose to attend this session were nervous, just like girls are! The main consensus between leaders who were zip-lining were that they were challenging themselves to do the zip-line so they could tell the girls how exciting it was. Even though many leaders were a bit scared, they all encouraged each other, just as I saw Girl Scouts do all summer at Butternut Springs. It was wonderful to see leaders encouraging one another and challenging themselves all to be able to share the experience with their Girl Scouts.”

Volunteer and L.E.A.P. attendee Noha ElSharkawy-Aref shared, “My experience attending L.E.A.P. for the first time was incredible! To be honest, it was my first time to ever camp in the woods. I have only ever stayed in family accommodations or hotels before this experience, and I have to say that I went in with a lot of fears and apprehensions. I had so much fun bonding with my co-leaders from my troop as well as other leaders from other troops throughout the Chicago and Indiana region. We talked through common scenarios and challenges and shared so much advice and experiences with one another during meal times and transitions. I learned so much from my peers and I left so inspired and motivated. I definitely think it should be a requirement for any leader who wants to take their girls camping to attend this event or something similar!”

Thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s program a great success!

The deadline to apply to be a National Council Delegate for the National Council Session has been extended to Nov. 21!

Apply to be a part of the 56th National Convention in July 2023 (dates TBD), an opportunity for Girl Scouts and volunteers to play a vital role in providing strategic direction to the Girl Scout Movement.

Learn more about the role on our blog.

Remembering a trip to Camp Rockwood

Remembering a trip to Camp Rockwood

Girl Scouts and travel adventures just go together—from the field trips they take as Brownies to the global exploration they go on as teens. Traveling as a Girl Scout has been a tradition for many years; we have a special look into a trip Girl Scouts from our council area took in 1965, thanks to our Girl Scouts GCNWI Historians! Read on.

On August 7, 1965, twenty-three girls and four leaders from Des Plaines Troop 64 and Wheeling Troop 609 boarded a bus for a 10-day trip to Washington, D.C.  According to a letter sent to parents outlining the details of the trip, the total cost per girl was $65.00, which would be $565 today, with a food budget set at $1.24 per day ($11 today).

Girls left in their “full Girl Scout Uniform—including hat, black or brown flats or heels, hose (no anklets) white g1oves, and the two-piece Senior Green uniform.” And then changed into their traveling clothes: “Girl Scout green Bermudas, white Girl Scout blouse, white knee-high hose, white tennis shoes and red flashes.”

In their one duffel and one carry-on tote, the girls needed to pack “towels, wash cloth, soap, toothbrush, tooth paste, head scarf, sewing kit, rain coat, plastic boots or something for [their] feet if it rains, flash light, jack knife, pencils, pen, drinking cup (have it handy on the bus), stationery, stamps, plastic bags for clothing and laundry, Scout uniform,” and much more.

While in the D.C. area, the girls and their leaders stayed at Rockwood National Girl Scout Program Center, located about 15 miles from the capitol in Bethesda, Maryland. The sixty-eight acre site was donated to the Girl Scouts in 1936 by Mrs. Carolyn G. Caughey, who had a vacation home there. The site included a mansion, tennis courts, a swimming pool and cottages—two of which had electricity, modern kitchens and bathrooms.

The camp opened in 1937 and was first operated by the local District of Columbia-Montgomery County Council, which started improvements and renovations to the site, but supply shortages during World War II halted the work until 1949 when the national organization assumed responsibility for the property.

By 1979, the area surrounding the camp was quickly becoming residential and the property was sold. Part of the former Rockwood property is now a facility of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and continues to be used by Girl Scouts and the public.

Around the World and Around the Corner

These Girl Scouts visited the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama: where will you go? 🌎

When you travel with Girl Scouts, near or far, you’re doing more than making memories — you’re also exploring your passions and making global connections! Learn more about traveling with Girl Scouts GCNWI.

Help make travel adventures like these possible for more Girl Scouts through the GCNWI Travel Scholarship! Scholarship funds provide girls facing financial hardship with the resources to plan and pursue travel, from council-sponsored day trips to international journeys through the Destinations program. Together, we can help Girl Scouts become more knowledgeable, compassionate citizens of the world through global programming and travel opportunities.

Looking back at Summer Camp 2021!

Looking back at Summer Camp 2021!

It was such a joy to be at camp this summer, in a year where Girl Scouts needed the fresh air and connection the most!

Summer camp 2021 with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) was a blast because nothing could stop our Girl Scout friends from having the best summer ever! Our staff shared some of their stories from spending the summer with the campers at several locations across our council: gather around the campfire and read on to reminisce.

Written by GSGCNWI Staff Members

Le’Claire Park Summer

“During the summer, Community Engagement partnered with the Chicago Park District for a 6-week summer camp program. The Park’s focus area for this week was about kindness and Hippie Day. The girls started with art and crafts; they all got a chance to create world peace signs. After that, we decided to focus on the Science of Happiness badge, which highlights the scientific method behind happiness. We asked the girls questions, like what makes you happy? What are you grateful for? How could you make others happy? 

Then we played a game called ‘Don’t make me laugh’; each girl got a Laffy Taffy candy and we had them stand up and say the joke on the wrapper out loud, it helps with their public speaking and gets them out of their comfort zone. Lastly, we closed with self-portraits. We wanted the young ladies to understand that it’s important to love yourself and most importantly to figure out what makes you happy in that process. We had lots of fun! 

About a week later, one of our summer camp girls Kay-C came up to me and said, ‘Miss Diamond, I had my mom go to the store to buy me Laffy Taffy candies, so I could tell her the jokes on the back of them to make her happy.’ I was so excited to hear this because that’s exactly what we wanted the girls to gain from that session. We wanted them to learn self-regulation, so they can go home and use those skills, not only for themselves but others they love as well.

With the past year that all of us have had, it’s important that we all must try to intentionally make ourselves smile but others as well, when we can. Girl Scouts does an awesome job with giving girls those hands-on skills and now we can make a difference in their emotional learning as well.”

Diamond Franklin, Director of Service Partnerships

Flying High

“The Albert C. Hanna High Adventure course is a place where girls find their courage, by taking part in ‘challenge by choice’ — girls go as far as they want to go, and while they are encouraged to stretch outside of their comfort zone, we understand that for some, even a small step can be a huge deal. That was the case with Paige. She was a little nervous about the high ropes tower, and for her, every step up the ladder to enter the course was a BIG DEAL. Slowly she made it to the top of the ladder, then to the first platform at 25 feet up in the air. Each step up, she visibly challenged herself beyond her comfort zone and found her courage. She even took a step out onto a cable, and then decided that was her challenge for the day. On her way down, to the cheers and applause of her fellow campers, she was very emotional. When asked at the bottom (after catching her breath) if she was proud of herself, she had a little smile and said, ‘Yes.’

Early this summer, a tornado touched down in Woodridge/Naperville close to Camp Greene Wood. While the camp was not impacted, the decision was made to cancel camp for the day to allow emergency services open roads to assist in cleanup efforts. One Brownie, seeing what had happened, decided she wanted to help. She (with mom and camp director Sprout’s help) organized a canned food drive during day camp check-in that Thursday, leading her other fellow campers in helping make a difference for families in need in the camp community. 

That same week in resident camp world, it was a very stormy week, leading to a lot of activities girls were looking forward to getting rescheduled. One girl at the end of the week shared that while they hadn’t gotten to do everything they wanted to do, in the order they wanted to do it, she didn’t really mind because of the friendships she had made with the other girls in her group throughout the week.”

Katie Young, Director of Outdoor Programs

Biking for Days

“I spent 6 days over 2 weeks leading middle school girls in the resident camp biking unit. Middle school girls get a bad rap — these girls could not have been more supportive and respectful of each other! They were master negotiators, easily navigating the difficult conversations about who should ride in what order and why. Adults could learn from them — they clearly knew each other well enough in a short amount of time to discuss the riding order with respect for each individual girl’s abilities and desires.

These girls were resilient, too. We weathered a flat tire, riding past many dead animals and a girl who on the last day realized she’d been riding in a difficult low gear all week! Not to mention that only two of these girls had EVER ridden their bike on a real road or highway.

They loved to talk — and were not shy about it. Conversations surrounded books they loved to read (they begged for more library time on each of our trips that included a library destination), who took what meds for which conditions, menstrual cramps and sexual identity. I saw high fives between girls who shared learning disabilities and anxiety issues.

These girls still need supervision and guidance but truly, we adults can learn a lot from them about respect, support and caring for one another.”

Julie Gilmartin, Director of Volunteer Services

All Kinds of Girls

“Camp was very introspective for me as a newer employee to GSGCNWI. It really helped to personify a lot of the key phases we use when talking about Girl Scouts, like ‘make new friends’ and ‘a place for every girl.’ And I did meet a variety of girls: girly-girls, sporty girls, girls that were into sci-fi fantasy and anime, girls that loved bugs and nature, shy girls, and girls with personalities perfect for reality TV. 

The main thing that stuck out for me during camp was the formation of the ‘buddy line.’ Anytime we had to move from one location to the next, girls had to find a buddy that they could partner with while they walked in line to the next activity. The counselors were often strategic with how the buddy line was formed, encouraging girls to partner with someone they haven’t partnered with before, or find a partner who you have something in common with. The random selection prevented cliques from forming and indeed helped girls ‘make new friends.'”

Sherrie Green, Marketing Manager

Camp Adventures!

Make New Friends, Keep the Old

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 together.

When you are ready to meet in-person with your troop, Girl Scout camps will be open! You can reserve outdoor shelters, lodges, and other campsites on our new registration and reservation site. 

Locations open for use*: 

  • Camp Butternut Springs (Valparaiso, IN) 
  • Camp Greene Wood (Woodridge, IL) 
  • Camp Juniper Knoll (East Troy, WI)
  • Camp Palos (Palos Park, IL) 

*Some sites may not be available in the winter months. 

Not sure where you want to go? Check out an overview of our camps & locations!

Learn more about our outdoor programs and camp experiences.

Camp CEO brings Girl Scouts and professional mentors together!

Camp CEO brings Girl Scouts and professional mentors together!

Girl Scouts and community leaders gathered at Camp Greene Wood for the fifteenth year of our premiere leadership program Camp CEO! Influential women making waves in their own careers met with high school Girl Scouts for a hybrid in-person and virtual week full of networking, leadership challenges, inspiring dialogue, and some fun in the sun.

At Camp CEO, Girl Scouts focus on self-awareness and self-discovery, learning public speaking, effective communication and collaboration skills, all while getting exposure to professional women in their community. Camp CEO mentor and SVP and Chief Customer Officer for NiSource Jennifer Montague shared: “During the week several senior executives shared our journeys with the girls and focused on exercises and topics ranging from leadership, teamwork, personal branding, listening with intention, networking and interviewing. Great fun!”

Girl Scout Courtney reflected on the experience: “The leadership challenge was amazing! It was so fun to be with girls I didn’t know that well, and by the end, we were the best trio ever.”

The Girl Scouts took away plenty from the experience; Courtney shared, “I learned that networking is a really great skill to have. Also hearing from a lot of the mentors that you should follow your heart [was] really inspiring.” Girl Scout Sydney added, “I always thought [networking] was something fancy when in reality it is just talking and meeting new people.”

Girl Scout Corrine continued, “I think Camp CEO provided me with many life skills. I learned that being a leader doesn’t mean being the loudest in the room; you need to be an understanding and adaptable leader that can help your whole team succeed.”

CEO/Founder of Driver’s Seat Tiana Clark shared, “I had a great time at Girl Scout’s Camp CEO. At Camp CEO, mentors like myself spent time with Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana teens engaging in discussion and activities around leadership, branding, networking, navigating challenging situations and everything in between! I had a blast!”

Managing Director and Head of Office for Marsh Julie Marcello added, “Loved being part of Camp CEO and joining all these great mentors and mentees. Full steam ahead for all these amazing high school Girl Scouts!”

Thank You!

We want to thank all of the incredible women involved in making Camp CEO a success, from our sponsors and community partners, to the mentors, to the staff, to the Girl Scouts themselves!

Open the door to amazing opportunities!

It’s not too late to join or renew your membership with Girl Scouts! Join today and get access to amazing leadership experiences like Camp CEO and so much more.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Movie Magic!

Public Service Announcement from Girl Scout Susan

Another spectacular week of Summer Camp Revamp has passed, and this week, we’re inviting you to an exclusive Girl Scout movie premiere! All Movie Magic week long, the Summer Camp Revamp girls rolled up their sleeves and got creative, brainstorming, planning, story-boarding, and then executing their ideas!

The real power of movie magic is the ability to take your dreams to the screen— let’s walk the “red carpet,” break out the popcorn, and take a look at some of the girls’ creations! Also hear about an amazing Girl Scout Silver Award project in this week’s Girl Scout Member Moment!

Story-boards and Spinning Tops

Any good movie requires brainstorming and planning, and the girls got right to it this week by creating their very own story-boards, which are essential to the movie-making process. The girls envisioned their stories and then drew out the scene, etched out the dialogue, and started thinking about costume, character acting, and everything that goes into a film.

Girl Scout Grace showing off her DIY optical illusions

Many films, especially in the early stages of movie history, relied on eye-tricks or optical illusions to trick movie-watchers into seeing things that weren’t really there! The Girl Scouts practiced this time-old film making technique by making their own animations— in this video, Girl Scout Grace shows off her homemade penny spinner, thaumatrope (an optical toy made out of paper) and a flipbook!

Rolling out the Red Carpet

Every single Girl Scout in Summer Camp Revamp turned their film ideas into realities, with stop-motion animation, claymation, and other amazing techniques to bring stories to life. Every movie they shared with us was amazing! Check out these three Girl Scout movies to get a sneak peek:

Film by Girl Scout Jacqueline
“What’s in my Dance Bag” by Girl Scout Daniela
Claymation film from Girl Scout Lila

Great job to every single movie maker this week! Your work was fantastic and so fun to watch!

Girl Scout Member Moment

Girl Scout Troop 30029

This week’s Girl Scout Member Moment comes to us from Gary and Merrillville, Indiana, where Girl Scout Troop 30029 completed their Silver Award with an amazing service project for their community. Their original plan to host a Prom for the residents of Spring Mills Assisted Living Facility was put on hold a few months ago, but that didn’t stop these go-getter Cadettes from brainstorming their next big idea!

The girls, for the project they called “Caring for the Young at Heart,” came together for three weeks and sewed over 100 masks for the residents at their local assisted living facility. The girls had never used sewing machines, but after one day of practice and researching patterns, they caught on quickly, and the results were very rewarding!

The girls wanted to give back to older people in their community in particular because they seek to bridge the age gap between them. The girls’ yearly tradition of hanging wreaths at the facility over the holidays is a favorite of the residents, and the girls felt they wanted to continue caring for them as best they could. This was a fantastic way to do that!

Congratulations to Troop 30029 for earning their Silver Award, and thank you to troop leader Venita for sharing their story with us!

Share your Story!

Whether you’re celebrating earning a Highest Award, gearing up for the next year of Girl Scouting, or simply enjoying the cooling weather, share what you’re up to with us in the comments below, tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI, or share your story with us on our website.

Our Girl Scouts from Home page is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages, and lets girls be Girl Scouts from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Join Girl Scouts, and get ready to shine like never before! Discover a world of opportunities waiting for you: register or renew your membership today.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Mastering Mystery!

Girl Scouts Sydney and Siena completing their at-home obstacle course

The summer is flying by—we can barely believe it! Summer Camp Revamp is almost over, but the girls are taking advantage of every second.

During Mastering Mystery week, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) have been taking fingerprints, collecting clues, and solving some perplexing Girl Scout mysteries!

“Thumb through” their case files below, and hear a special Member Moment from a Girl Scout Brownie with a passion for community service!

The Girl Scout Investigations Unit

Did you know fruit has its own set of genetic information just like us? To kick off the week of mysterious activities, the girls did a fascinating science experiment extracting the DNA from BANANAS! Girl Scout Charlotte looks like she got a very close look– so cool! Looks like something we’ll have to try at home ourselves.

To keep themselves organized and “in the know,” the girls created their very own DIY detective badges and notebooks. Throughout the week, the girls were tasked with solving a mystery, so as they investigated suspects, collected fingerprints, and wrote their suspicions, this notebook was sure to come in handy!

Everyone has different fingerprints with different patterns, and we leave them on everything, even when we can’t see them. Later, to build on their detective and sleuthing skills, the girls learned how to read and correctly match fingerprints. These forensic science skills were super useful when it came to narrowing down the suspects in the mystery of who stole the S’more supplies…

To really make sure they were ready for anything, the Girl Scout Investigations Unit did some physical training too! Each girl created their own at-home “Mission Possible” obstacle course to strengthen their agility, strength, and sneakiness. Looks like the girls were more than ready for the challenge!

Thank you to every girl who shared their pictures with us this week! We’re so glad you enjoyed yourselves (and we hoped you solved the mystery!).

Girl Scout Member Moment

Girl Scout Brownie Melody B., from Troop 25507 in Chicago, IL, recently got a major shout out by CBS Evening News for her amazing community service in the past few months, and we got to speak to her about her project and what it means to be a Girl Scout during times of crisis!

Melody, in partnership with Dimo’s Pizza in Wicker Park, has been donating much-needed face shields to healthcare providers, teachers, grocery store employees, and private practices all over the Chicago area. When she learned that her hand-sewn facemasks weren’t effective enough for doctors fighting COVID-19, she reached out to Dimo’s, who recently started their own face shield initative. Soon enough, she was distributing their masks all over, even to her own pediatrician!

Melody herself was inspired to do this project by the Girl Scout Promise and Law: “I’m a Girl Scout,” she stated strongly. “We have to be helpful, caring and considerate.” Girl Scouts “teaches young girls to become leaders,” and she says she learned from Girl Scouts what is good for her and how to best help others. Her dedication to the community is clear—she told us she sees herself as a protector for her community, “keeping them safe.”

Great job, Melody, and thank you so much for talking to us!

Share your Story!

We can see you’ve been busy celebrating bridging, starting up socially distanced in-person meetings, and getting ready for the year ahead! We’re so excited to continue providing awesome experiences to help you feel connected, empowered, and ready for anything!

Share what you’re up to with us in the comments below or tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI! OR, share your story with us on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Adventure Awaits!

Girl Scout from Troop 60775

Another week of Summer Camp Revamp done, and one full of adventure! For Adventure Awaits week, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) sharpened their survival skills, tinkered with their travel plans, and challenged themselves with cool new activities.

These girls are ready to take on anything, from the backyard to around the world! Read on to learn what the Summer Camp Revamp girls got up to last week (and a special Girl Scout Member Moment with some great advice for in-person troop meetings!).

Adventure is Out There!

The girls started their week out by prepping their minds and bodies for the adventures ahead, and after a refreshing yoga and exercise session, practiced some very essential First Aid skills! Check out these Girl Scout’s DIY bandaging— looks effective!

After a crash-course on survival scenarios and quick-time First Aid, the girls delved into a lesson on plant identification and if you’ve ever been camping or on a hike, you’ll know how important it is to know which plants are which! Girl Scout Kristen, who shared the photos above, did a great job of identifying plants she found at her grandma’s house.

It is important to take notes from our animal companions, and to cement the lessons on survival, the girls tested out different wildlife adaptations that help animals in several distinct environments survive and thrive. To do this, the girls became birds for an afternoon, using different “beaks” to test out which is most effective for eating! Girl Scout Julia shared her pictures of the different “bird foods” she had to “eat” with her “beaks!”

The girls finished out the week by participating in our Summer Great Family Camp-In: check out their camping set ups! We hope you had fun!

Thank you to all the girls who shared stories and photos with us this week. It’s clear that Girl Scouts don’t get ready— they stay ready!

Girl Scout Member Moment

For this week’s Girl Scout Member Moment, we’re sharing a story from Girl Scout Junior Troop 60775 from Flossmoor, IL, who are forging ahead and trying out in-person troop meetings since we all sheltered-in-place back in March. Their troop leader, Missie, was kind enough to share her experience and advice for troop leaders and Girl Scouts who may be considering meeting in-person this fall.

The girls have been meeting virtually since March, and this quickly became their “new normal,” everyone in the troop eventually getting used to being on screen. This transition was difficult for them, so the opportunity to meet again in-person was very exciting! The girls met up at their school’s community garden to complete the Gardener Badge, and, even though the meeting looked different than any before, they had a great time!

Missie shared with us some very helpful advice for anyone considering meeting up in-person in the future:

  • Only meet in outdoor spaces, and focus on activities that take girls outside, like geocaching or hiking. She says these girls are dedicated— as long as there’s no lightning and thunder, they’ll show up!
  • Space out the girls on sit-upons, and make sure everyone wears a mask and has hand sanitizer handy.
  • Consider providing the girls with activity kits to make sure no supplies are shared between them.
  • Stay updated with your local government’s guidance, check the CDC for pertinent information, and always reiterate safety.
  • If you or the girls aren’t ready to meet, there is nothing wrong with that! Keep reaching out to the girls so they know you are present and available. Gauge their comfort levels!

Thanks to Missie and the girls for sharing their story with us! For more information and guidance, check out our updated guidelines for in-person troop meetings, cookie booths, and retail shops.

Join us for Glowing and Growing Week!

Don’t miss out on the last week of Summer Camp Revamp: Glowing and Growing week from August 10-14!

Grow your mind (and maybe even your own garden) for our final week of Summer Camp Revamp! Will it be yoga? Meditation? A gratitude journal? Or maybe some gardening that will help you relax during this glowing week! Come along and find out!

Register for Glowing and Growing week by August 3.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

Share your Story!

Whether you’re meeting in-person to go on a nature walk, or continuing completing badges over Zoom, we want to know! Tell us all about what Girl Scouting looks like to you on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Special Edition!

Girl Scouts at Chicago Park District’s Eckhart Park

In this special edition of Summer Camp Revamp Rewind, we are sharing with you how one troop of 18 Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) are making the most of their social-distanced day camp!

GSGCNWI, in partnership with the Chicago Park District’s Eckhart Park, is excited to provide opportunities for girls in our community to stay connected virtually. The girls masked up and gathered to do all six weeks of the virtual Summer Camp Revamp, cultivating their own “new normal.”

The past two weeks have been busy for these girls as they get used to camp again—and they’re certainly enjoying themselves! Let’s get to know some of these super Girl Scouts a little better!

Meet the Girl Scouts!

Last week was GIRLapalooza, a week all about celebration and joy (read about it on our blog!) so what better way to close out the week than by completing the SuperHERo activity?  

The girls, in their discussion groups, both talked about identifying their personal strengths. Some girls spoke about how hard it can be to talk about themselves, noting they often pay too much attention to the things they struggle with rather than what they’re already good at.

When it comes to sports, school, family, and friends, the girls all identified what their strengths are and where they could improve—and that’s important! After all, true self-confidence is not about thinking you’re good at everything, but having the ability to celebrate what you are good at and work on what you could do better.  

What’s YOUR Super Power?

Girl Scout Rickayla told the group that her superhero powers come from “playing sports and talking to friends.” One of the things she likes the most about herself is that she is kind, and we can tell! 

Girl Scout Ania is great at plenty of things: she plays basketball, football, and floor hockey, AND likes hip-hop dance, gymnastics, painting, and doing hair. Ania believes the source of her superpowers is her athletic abilities, “because of the amount of strength you get from playing.” 

Taelor has a different perspective—she says her superpowers come from her heart and from her spirituality. She uses this superpower by donating resources to people without homes, and says, along with sports, dancing, and math, and she’s good at “showing love!”  

Girl Scout Laylani knows her skills well: she says she’s good at math, floor hockey, coloring, writing, cooking, and keeping her things organized. She likes to create art and help others, and believes creating art can become her superpower because whenever she “draws or creates anything, it comes to life!”

Find your Super Strength

These girls know themselves well, and we are excited to see where their superpowers take them in the future! Interested in finding your own inner super strengths? Download the SuperHERo activity!

Thank you to all the girls who shared with us, and we can’t wait to see what else you get up to during Summer Camp Revamp!

Join us for Movie Magic Week!

Join us for Movie Magic week from August 3 -7!

Dive into the world of movie magic and become your very own director, producer, screenwriter, or set designer. Discover the tricks of the trade of filmmaking in order to make a cinematic masterpiece of your own!

Register for Movie Magic week by July 27.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

The Summer Great Family Camp-In!

July 25 – 26, 2020 | All Ages

Register | Photo Contest | Schedule | Activity Packet | Supplies Needed | Lead-In Videos | Camp Swag

It’s time for the Summer Great Family Camp-In! Join girls and families across Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (and the nation!) for another awesome at-home camp in, free to everyone and open to all! 

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

Register if you want to attend one activity or activities all day long! On Friday, July 24, you will receive a link to the Summer Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet and information on how to join in on the interactive Zoom webinars. 

What to Expect

The Summer Great Family Camp-In Sneak Peek!

This weekend-long event is a combination of live programs, pre-recorded videos, interactive webinars, and breaks between scheduled activities so that you can participate with us and have time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air! 

We encourage you to participate in any number of activities throughout the day or even join us for the full camp day! Choose the activities you want to participate in, including art projects, outdoor skills, games, camp cooking, and more!  

Don’t forget to set up your campsite outside with a tent or inside with a fort and get ready for some camp magic. 

Enter our Photo Contest!

We are hosting a second Camp-In Photo Contest! Submit a photo of your at-home campsite and you may win a Great Family Camp-in patch for everyone in the photo AND be featured on the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) Facebook page and blog! 

Contest Rules

  1. After you set up your awesome campsite, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both, take a picture of it! 
  1. Submit your photo through this form OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff between Friday (7/24) at 6 p.m. and Saturday (7/25) at 6 p.m. 
  1. Here’s the cool part: YOU get to choose our winners! After you submit your photo, the Outdoor Program team will select the top 14 indoor finalists and 14 outdoor finalists. The photo contest finalist voted on starting Saturday evening (7/25) through Sunday (7/26) morning at 10:00 a.m. 

Photo contest winners will be announced during the Great Family Camp-In: Show and Share on Sunday (7/26) at 11 a.m! 

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

Camp-In Schedule

TimeActivityVirtual Location
Friday, July 24  
6 p.m.Campsite Photo Contest Submissions Open!  
Set-up your campsite, whether it’s outdoors with a tent, or indoors with a fort! You could be choose to receive camp-in fun patches for the whole family! Plus, be featured on our blog and social media! 
Submit your photo through this form OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff! The chosen photo will be announced during Sunday’s Show and Share webinar. 
Saturday, July 25  
10-10:20 a.m.Kick-off & Opening CeremonyYouTube Live Premiere
11 a.m.-12 p.m.Art Projects
Choose between “Nature Origami: and “Recycled Crafts”
Webinars
12-1:30 p.m.Lunch & Suggested Camp Activities
Check out the activity packet for camp recipes and suggested activities.
On Your Own
1:30-2:30 p.m.Outdoor Skills
Choose between “Animal Tracks” or “Map Reading”
Webinars
3-4 p.m.Camp Fun
Choose between “Camp Games” or “Camp Rhythms”
Webinars
4-4:20 p.m.Wrap Up & Closing CeremonyYouTube Live Premiere
4:30-7 p.m.Dinner and Suggested Camp ActivitiesOn Your Own
6 p.m.Campsite Photo Contest Submissions ClosedSubmit your photo through this form OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff! The chosen photo will be announced during Sunday’s Show and Share webinar. 
7-8:15 p.m.Campfire Sing-along
Our camp-in would not be complete without a campfire and songs! The first forty minutes will be full of high energy songs before slowing down the pace to sing some favorites. Comfy clothes and s’mores are encouraged!
YouTube Live Premiere
Sunday, July 26  
11-11:45 a.m.Show and Share
Share about your night of camping by reflecting with other participants to wrap-up the camp fun and reveal the photo contest winners!
Webinar

Please note: to receive access to webinar links you will need to first register. Webinar links will be emailed to those who register the morning of July 24. Soon the YouTube Premiere links will be available for all to watch along. 

Summer Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet

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

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

Gather Your Materials!

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

Art Project Option 1: Nature Origami

Let’s get crafty! Join Outdoor Program Team members, Caribou and Sprout, to create some nature themed origami. Use a variety of folds to transform your paper into plants and animals. Bring your imagination to watch your paper come to life in a fun way! 

  • 6-8 sheets of computer paper 
  • scissors 
  • ruler 
  • pencil 
  • coloring utensils 

Art Project Option 2: Recycled Crafts

Time to get crafty and reuse recyclables to help save the planet! We will be making animals out of the recyclables you find at home. After this session you will have a completed art project and ideas for many more! Join Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Strike, to make one that works for you! 

  • empty egg carton or empty toilet paper/paper towel rolls 
  • scissors 
  • markers 
  • permanent marker 
  • construction paper 
  • newspaper or tablecloth 
  • googly eyes, pipe cleaners, sequins or other decoration items (optional) 

Outdoor Skills Option 1: Animal Tracks

Step into the world of backyard animal tracks! You will learn about where to look for animal tracks in your neighborhood and how to identify common tracks that you might find. Join Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Freddie for this packed session. We will make a field guide to animal tracks, play a matching game and even make our own animal tracks!  

  • 3 pieces of plain paper  
  • coloring utensils (markers, crayons, or colored pencil)  
  • black or dark brown marker   
  • scissors  
  • ruler  
  • 2 new sponges (thin with no scrubber side preferred)  
  • 1-2 colors of washable paint  
  • paper plate or paint tray  
  • newspaper or tablecloth 

Outdoor Skills Option 2: Map Reading

Ready to go out on a new adventure? Map reading is a core camping skill to help you navigate a new place, trail, or city. Learn all about how to read and use a map with Outdoor Program Team members, Strike and Kat. You will learn about reading a map key, explore the basics of topography, and make a map of your own! 

  • paper 
  • pencil 
  • coloring utensils 
  • molding clay
  • example map (any map you have access to: a state atlas, neighborhood map, theme park map, or printed google map) 

Camp Fun Option 1: Camp Games

Ready, Set, Go! Camp games from home! In this interactive session, we will participate in some fun and silly camp game favorites led by Outdoor Program Team members, Sprout and Caribou. We’ll cover some go to games like “freeze dance”, bring back favorites like “ship to shore”, and even try some new games like “farm master.” If you know you love these games or want to learn, this is your chance to give it a try! 

  • water bottle 
  • pencil 
  • paper 

Camp Fun Option 2: Camp Rhythms

Let’s make some noise, camp style! Play some favorite camp games, like pattern changer and 7’s, focused on making fun sounds. Then join in for a Girl Scout tradition as we work together to create a Lemmi stick routine. Outdoor Program Team members, Kat and Freddie, will help you have a resounding time! 

  • 2 Lemmi/Lummi sticks (or 2 sticks or dowel rods each about 7″ long) 
  • water bottle 

Show & Share

How did your night of camping in go? Let us know! Join in with other participants of the Girl Scouts GCNWI Great Family Camp-In as we reflect on Saturday’s activities, wrap up the camp fun, and reveal the photo contest winners! Listen to others share fun and a-ha moments about their night and even share yourself! 

  • 3 pieces of paper 
  • writing utensil (dark marker preferred) 
  • completed camp-in projects 
  • props needed to show off your new skills 

Check Out These Lead-In Videos

Get Your Camp Swag!

Can’t wait to see you there!

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

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