Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouts Selling Cookies at the Cookie Kickoff Rally

Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouts Selling Cookies at the Cookie Kickoff Rally

What better way to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies than with your Sister Girl Scouts? Join Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Wolves on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois for a fun, family-friendly day of cookies, contests and much more at the annual Cookie Kickoff Rally.

Your ticket includes admission to the rally, Chicago Wolves game, a rally patch for Girl Scouts and a commemorative t-shirt. You’ll also get the chance to flex your cookie boss skills at interactive sessions, such as our cookie recipe contest, business plan competition and Bling Your Booth contest. Plus, you’ll be able to win a special Girl Scout patch by visiting certain booths and participating in various activities to complete your Cookie Rally Passport.

But wait … there’s more! As a Cookie Kickoff Rally attendee, you’ll also get to meet Skates, the Chicago Wolves mascot, and have the opportunity to skate on the ice. After the Wolves game, break out your favorite dancing moves with your Sister Girl Scouts at the after-party, featuring a live DJ.

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Come with your troop, your family or friends and help us welcome the new Girl Scout S’mores Cookie! The S’mores-inspired crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling is sure to be a hit among hungry cookie customers.

For more information about the Cookie Kickoff Rally and to purchase your tickets, click here. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Girl Scouts Celebrate National S’mores Day with New Cookie

Girl Scouts Celebrate National S’mores Day with New Cookie

In celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies, we’re excited to announce a commemorative Girl Scout S’mores™ cookie today, National S’mores Day.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana will offer a s’mores-inspired crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling. The last new Girl Scout Cookies®, including the gluten-free Toffee-tastic, were introduced in 2015.

“Some of my favorite Girl Scout memories took place outdoors, roasting S’mores at summer camp,” said Nancy Wright, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and a former Girl Scout. “This new cookie brings an exciting and delicious way for our customers to help our girls learn five important life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.”

This s’mores-inspired cookie made with specialty ingredients was created with emerging consumer trends in mind. It contains no artificial flavors or colors, high fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. This newly introduced cookie is the first of its kind for Girl Scouts. Cookies sold by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana are $5 per box.

Every penny of net proceeds earned from the sale of Girl Scout Cookies is reinvested into exceptional programming and activities for girls. At the troop level, girls manage the decision-making process for how to spend their troop cookie money and often reinvest it in their neighborhoods through service projects and learning experiences, including travel. Customers who purchase Girl Scout Cookies are not only getting a delicious treat—they are also investing in their communities and girls.

The tradition of making and enjoying s’mores in the outdoors was popularized by Girl Scouts as early as the 1920s. The organization was one of the first to publish the iconic recipe under the name “Some More” in a 1925 issue of Girl Scout Leader magazine and, then, as “somemores” in an official 1927 Girl Scout publication. The popular s’mores recipe is just one component of Girl Scouts’ longstanding commitment to the outdoors, a cornerstone of the organization that plays a vital role in girls’ leadership development.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) More Than S’mores report, there is a clear connection between outdoor experiences and girls’ understanding of their leadership potential. Girls who spend time outdoors through Girl Scouts eclipse their peers in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers, all of which are traits needed for twenty-first-century leadership. When consumers purchase a box of Girl Scout S’mores cookies or any other variety of Girl Scout Cookies, they are investing in a girl’s future and can feel good that their Girl Scout Cookie purchase powers amazing experiences for girls.

To learn more about Girl Scout Cookies, visit girlscoutcookies.org.

Chicago Girl Scout Sells 13K Boxes of Cookies

Chicago Girl Scout Sells 13K Boxes of Cookies

What does it take to be a Cookie Boss?

For Giada Gambatese, the top cookie seller for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), it takes perseverance, a bit of tech savviness and some serious networking skills.

In her third year of selling Girl Scout Cookies, the 8-year-old Girl Scout Brownie who lives in Chicago, sold more than 13,000 boxes of cookies. About 12,000 of those boxes were donated to the council’s Gift of Caring program, which sends Girl Scout Cookies to military personnel.

Contributing to Gift of Caring was especially important to Giada, whose grandfather served in the Marines.

“It’s important because we care about soldiers,” she said.

When Giada, whose favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Thin Mints, found out she was the council’s top seller, she was ecstatic. She originally wanted to sell enough cookies to earn a laptop, but once she surpassed that goal, she decided to go for the top prize: a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“I want to ride all the rides and meet Merida from Brave because she looks like me,” Giada, a member of Troop 20073, explained.

In order to achieve her sales goal, Giada made videos and sent them to prospective customers. When she grows up, she wants to become a professional YouTuber.

“My father is part of the President’s Club, so we targeted his business connections and they were very generous,” said Giada’s mom, Gianna Franzia.

As the Girl Scout who sold the most cookies in GSGCNWI, Giada is also a member of the elite Cookie CEO group, which consists of the top five sellers in the council. Cookie CEOs enjoy a busy day at the GSGCNWI’s Chicago office meeting with the council CEO, Nancy Wright; holding an all-staff conference call, lunch and much more.

“It’s like being a celebrity,” Giada’s dad, Michael Gambatese, said. “It’s very, very cool.”

As a gesture of goodwill, Giada also sent customized thank-you cards to all of her customers.

“We want to teach her to show appreciation for every customer,” her dad said. “It sets you apart.”

Nearly 40,000 Girl Scouts sold 4.6 million packages of cookies in greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana during the 2016 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Next year marks the centennial celebration of Girl Scout Cookies.

Girl Scouts Donate Nearly 200K Boxes of Cookies to Military Personnel

Girl Scouts Donate Nearly 200K Boxes of Cookies to Military Personnel

Giving back to the community is in every Girl Scout’s DNA, which is why Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s Gift of Caring program is such a success. This year, more than 14,600 girls donated one or more boxes of the iconic Girl Scout Cookies for a total of 199,780 packages of Gift of Caring boxes sold, exceeding the goal of 160,000 boxes.

“Gift of Caring donations provide twice the benefits with one simple purchase,” said Carl Canale, director of product program for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

“Girls learn life skills, local Girl Scout troops find their activities, community organizations benefit from the program, and the women and men serving in the armed forces get a great tasting reminder of home,” said Susan Rakis, who is also a director of product program for GSGCNWI.

Last year, nearly 153,700 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies were donated to military personnel through the council’s Gift of Caring program, which sends cookies to organizations that bring comfort to women and men serving in the armed forces. Some of those organizations include the Illinois National Guard, Manteno Veterans’ Home and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

“We get thank-you cards and letters and everything from these guys who receive Girl Scout Cookies,” said Linda Krone, a member of Johnson-Phelps VFW Post #5220 in Oak Lawn, Illinois. “The program works out really well and we get a lot of help from the girls.”

The program is especially important to Giada Gambatese, an 8-year-old Girl Scout Brownie who is GSGCNWI’s top cookie seller with more than 13,000 boxes sold, 12,000 of which benefited Gift of Caring.

“It’s important because we care about soldiers,” Giada, whose grandfather was in the Marines, explained.

Nina Grotto, a 17-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador, is also passionate Gift of Caring.

“My father and both of my grandfathers are veterans, so it was really important to me to participate in Gift of Caring on a personal level,” Nina said.

Nearly 40,000 Girl Scouts sold 4.6 million packages of cookies in greater Chicago and northwest Indiana during the 2016 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Next year marks the centennial celebration of the Girl Scout Cookie.

Girl Scouts Take Over Downtown Chicago During Loop Site Day

Girl Scouts Take Over Downtown Chicago During Loop Site Day

If your commute was a little sweeter this week, you can thank a Girl Scout.

On Wednesday, March 23, Girl Scouts took over downtown Chicago for the first of four Loop Site Days this spring. During Loop Site Days, girls sell Girl Scout Cookies in the lobbies of downtown businesses.

Ryeleigh M., 6, and Fabiola V., 5, both Girl Scout Daisies from Troop 55190 in Algonquin, Illinois were excited for their first Loop Site Day.

“We’re saving our cookie money to go to Build-a-Bear,” Ryeleigh said.

“And buying crafts for children at the Ronald McDonald’s House,” added Fabiola.

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Ryeleigh (left) and Fabiola (right) created signs to promote their cookie business.

Meanwhile, Caity S., 10, Zoe V. , 9, and Stephanie B., 10, Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 40306 from Mundelein, Illinois plan to use their cookie money to go camping at Camp Juniper Knoll in East Troy, Wisconsin.

“It feels so grownup to sell cookies and it’s just so amazing that adults are trusting us to do this,” shared Zoe.

Stephanie agreed.

“It’s great because we’re cookie bosses and we can decide what to do with the money and where we want to go on trips,” she said.

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(From left to right): Zoe, Caity and Stephanie from Troop 40306

 

In addition to meeting new people and learning new business skills, Cara C. an 11-year-old Girl Scout Junior in Troop 41101 from Lake Villa, Illinois enjoys helping people while selling Girl Scout Cookies.

“During our site sales at grocery stores, we offer to help people take their groceries to their car,” she said. “It feels good to give back.”

Missed the first round of Loop Site sales? Be sure to get your fix at downtown Chicago businesses on March 31, April 7 and April 19!

Girl Scout Donates Cookies to Homeless Kids

Girl Scout Donates Cookies to Homeless Kids

After learning about homeless children living at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, Zara, a 6-year-old Girl Scout Daisy in Troop 20438, decided to donate nearly 60 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to help cheer them up.

“It’s important to give back because they don’t have many treats and I thought they’d be happy to have treats,” Zara said.

She even enlisted the help of her classmates to create handmade cards to accompany the cookie boxes.

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Zara, who sold 2,500 boxes last year, is hoping to sell 5,000 boxes this year so she can go to Disney World. So far, she’s sold 3,500 boxes and has donated nearly 400 of those to Gift of Caring, which sends Girl Scout Cookies to women and men in the military.

“This was all her idea,” her mom, Melissa Smejkal, said. “I’m really proud of her for being so caring and sharing with others.”

Do you have a Girl Scout Cookie story you’d like to share? Tell us on social media or email gsmarketing@girlscoutsgcnwi.org!

 

Girl Scout Cookie Fun with Grandbaby Cakes

Girl Scout Cookie Fun with Grandbaby Cakes

Girl Scout Cookies are great. Girl Scout Cookies combined with your favorite dessert are even better!

We recently teamed up with Chicago-based food blogger and cookbook author Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes for a tasty twist on traditional Thin Mints and Trefoils. Joining her in the kitchen are Girl Scouts Kaylyn and Kristen for a fun and easy recipe for cookie fans of all ages.

Check out the video below to catch all the fun and learn how Girl Scout Cookies benefit girls and the community.

For the full recipe, visit grandbaby-cakes.com. To find the cookie booth nearest you, click here or download the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app. Submit your own cookie creation as part of the National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest, sponsored by Taste of Home. But hurry, the deadline is March 25!

Special thank you to Little Sarah Productions and The Social Table!

Girl Scouts Help Chef Cesar Create Thin Mint-Inspired Gelato

Girl Scouts Help Chef Cesar Create Thin Mint-Inspired Gelato

Looking for a fun twist on traditional Thin Mints?

Check out this gelato recipe from Chef Cesar Gutierrez of Pinstripes featuring the classic Girl Scout Cookies.

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Picture courtesy of Pinstripes

Ingredients:
1 quart whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 pinch Kosher salt
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup egg yolks
2 1/2 cups Thin Mint cookies, crushed in medium sized pieces

Directions:
In a sauce pan, combine milk, heavy cream, malted milk power and kosher salt. Bring to a boil. In a separate container, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. Pour small amounts of the cream into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Repeat this process until all the cream is in the yolk mixture. Cool the mixture to 40 degrees before adding to the gelato machine or ice cream maker/machine. Pour in the mixture in the gelato machine and churn to desired consistency. Transfer gelato to a large bowl and mix in the Thin Mint cookie pieces with a spatula. Once the gelato is made, scoop contents into an air tight container and put in the freezer to continue to set.

Click HERE to watch Nina Grotto, a Girl Scout Ambassador and Cookie CEO, and Kyra Bennett, a Girl Scout, help Chef Cesar recreate the Thin Mint-inspired gelato on WGN. The gelato is also available at select Pinstripes locations for a limited time only.

 

Girl Scouts Perform Cookie-Inspired Parody

Girl Scouts Perform Cookie-Inspired Parody

From blinging booths to crafting costumes, there’s no shortage of fun ideas when it comes to selling Girl Scouts Cookies.

Recently, Troop 21397 kicked the creativity up a notch when they performed a cookie-inspired parody set to the tune of Elle King’s hit song, “Ex’s & Oh’s,” on air with WGN Morning News producer Jeff Hoover in Chicago.

“We wanted the first part to be about what we do as a troop,” said Noelia DiMario, the 10-year-old Junior Girl Scout who wrote the parody. “And the refrain was listing all the cookies.”

Noelia’s no stranger to penning her parodies, often creating “silly songs” with her father. When she grows up, she wants to be a songwriter, fashion designer, interior designer, sleepaway camp owner, restaurant owner, ice cream parlor owner and, of course, a Girl Scout troop leader.

“Girl Scouts has taught me that girls can do anything,” she said.

To see Noelia and her Sister Girl Scouts in action, click HERE. Warning, you won’t be able to get their song out of your head!