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.

Meet Therese: National Gold Award Girl Scout!

Therese, National Gold Award Girl Scout

Imagine this: A girl identifies a need in her community, whether it’s local, state, national, or global. She creatively identifies a way to fulfill that need. She rounds up a team of experts, community members, and helpful volunteers to turn her vision into a reality. When she leaves, her efforts do not. Her work is sustainable and does more than good; it makes the world a better, safer, happier place to live in. She is a Gold Award Girl Scout.

Therese, a Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana alum, was recently named a National Gold Award Girl Scout. She is a young woman who understands how to serve her community with her passion, know-how, and innovative spirit. She understands the power of a team and knows the value of hard work and resilience. It is her dedication to community engagement, and the continued act of service she spearheaded to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, and led Therese to be nationally recognized by Girl Scouts of USA for her impressive work.

We had the special opportunity to sit down with Therese for an in-depth conversation about her Gold Award initiative, Project Dandelion, and the power of the Girl Scout in the mission toward equality and anti-violence. Please join us in congratulating and “getting to know” one of this year’s ten National Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Therese, 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout

Therese is a bright young woman, hopeful aerospace engineer, and current first-year student at Purdue University, but she has been a part of the Girl Scout sisterhood since she started as a Daisy. Her Gold Award journey began early. Her troop was invited to a local Gold Award celebration as they earned their Silver Award.

“Looking at all the girls’ projects, I thought it was an amazing opportunity for girls to make a difference in their communities,” Therese explained. “I realized the Gold Award isn’t just about getting an award, but an opportunity to make the world a better place, and yourself a person who can go into the world and continue to make positive change.

Therese’s drive to change society is global, but the root of her Gold Award initiative, Project Dandelion, is personal to her. The trauma of knowing a survivor of sexual violence at a young age made a lasting impression on Therese, and set her up to become passionate about justice for other survivors. After watching the documentary, The Hunting Ground, which details the nationwide sexual violence crisis at colleges and universities, something didn’t sit right with Therese.

“At the time, my friends and I were getting ready to pick our future colleges. We were passionate to find a school that was safe, and after researching the subject, found most of the information to be buried in hundred-page documents.” She saw a need: for order, for ease, for access to information, for herself and her peers to feel secure choosing their prospective schools.

Her vision culminated in the first resource of its kind, a database organizing information, resources, and statistics concerning sexual violence at colleges and universities in Illinois. Currently, the project encompasses every college in Illinois and is being continued in the future by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

“If I was a high school student, I would absolutely want this resource. Because I knew I wanted it, and because other people wanted and needed it, I realized there were many people that could benefit. I didn’t want to keep the idea to myself. I felt like I had the capacity to make a lot of change.”

She did not keep the idea to herself, and with the help of a team of 25 high school students and several other professionals in the field of sexual violence prevention, researched, organized, and published mass amounts of data, now available for the public to easily look through and comprehend.

“I’m glad I got to earn my Gold Award doing something I care so much about,” Therese shared. “Hearing the stories of people with personal relationships to the issue of sexual violence, and hearing their enthusiasm for change, kept me going.”

For Therese, the importance of community engagement and social activism cannot be stressed enough. “Everyone has the capacity to make change,” she said, and to make the world a more accepting and positive place to live, all members of a society should strive to make their communities successful by expressing their beliefs. “Everyone should be an advocate for what they believe in, for the good of themselves and the rest of the world.”

Social equity and justice are especially important to Therese, and these beliefs are a core part of her drive to serve her community and set her on the path to earn her Gold Award. Now, as a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Therese sees a major opportunity to encourage young girls to follow the path of advocacy. “In the past, women and girls were told their voices don’t matter or aren’t as valuable, but every woman, and girl, has a unique perspective on the world.”

In order to create a safer, more accepting future for girls, Therese said, “it’s important for them to speak out and make a change,” and Girl Scouts can be an integral part of that. “Girl Scouts continuously provides programs for girls to experience leadership positions in their own communities and raises girls to believe they can make a difference. The skills you gain from Girl Scouts make you a better leader, a better doer, a better everything.”

Therese’s true secret to success lied in her ability to find empowerment in making mistakes. “In order for anything to succeed in a way that is meaningfully lasting, it has to fail first. Every time I heard the word no was a chance to grow.”

To Girl Scouts currently seeking a highest award, Therese’s advice is simple: do not be daunted by a task too big, or insecure about a task supposedly too small. “Any change is change, and that will make the whole world different.” Make a plan, stay focused on each step as it comes, and “follow yourself. You can do it because you can. There is literally nothing stopping you, and you will move mountains.

Want to learn more about Therese and her project? Read the article in the Chicago Tribune.

Girls Change The World

Every year, Girl Scouts of the USA selects ten exceptionally inspiring Gold Award Girl Scouts, nominated by local councils, as National Gold Award Girl Scouts. Therese is just one of these amazing young women– meet all of this year’s National Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Join us in congratulating Therese and the other National Gold Award Girl Scouts at an International Day of the Girl celebration on Saturday, Oct. 10, where she and the other impressive young women will share their stories and motivations for making waves throughout the nation.

Register today to join the celebration!

The Mark of the Truly Remarkable

Bronze. Silver. Gold. Three opportunities to make change, use your voice, and advocate for issues you care about. Three opportunities to impact the world through community service, civic engagement, and creative invention.

Are you ready to change the world? Learn more about earning a Highest Award at GCNWI.

Interested in meeting the other members of the GCNWI Gold Award Class of 2020? Read up on our blog series!

Member Monday: It’s Finally Fall!

Caydence, Elianah, and Ariann at Indiana Dunes State Park for GS Love State Parks Weekend

Fall programs are finally here, and as the weather gets cooler and the leaves turn brown, our Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) are getting ready for a Girl Scout year like no other!

Keep reading to learn about what our local Girl Scouts got up to in the early days of autumn, from outdoor adventuring to Bronze Award ambitions!

A Little Extra Kindness

We’re shouting out Girl Scout Troop 45292 for their awesome Bronze Award project! The girls worked really hard together to install a Kindness Rocks garden at their school and it looks fantastic. Great job, girls, and we can’t wait to see what else you do this year!

In other news, Girl Scouts Mia and K have some decked-out Girl Scout vests: check them out below!

Girl Scouts Love State Parks!

Girl Scout Love State Parks weekend was a smashing success, and so many girls took time out to visit our local State Parks, making memories that will last a lifetime! The girls went on challenging hikes, went exploring around the park for the Scavenger Hunt at Indiana Dunes State Park, and got some much needed outdoor time. Thanks to these families for sharing their awesome pictures!

Fall Programs are Here!

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

Learn more about programs this Fall on our blog.

Renew Today!

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Back-to-troop season means all new everything! New fall programs and experiences. New badges and journeys to explore. And a fresh mentality and outlook on the Girl Scout experience to help make it all in stride.

When 90% of the girls in your troop renew by September 30 your troop will automatically receive a free Zoom account when the new membership year begins in October. Renew your Girl Scout membership today to continue growing with us.

Member Monday: Girl Scout Magic

The Girl Scout year is finally (almost!) here— registration for Fall programs opens Sept. 15, the Fall Product Program begins on Oct. 1, and Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) are ready to go! Congratulations to Iliana, Amalia, and Aliyah (pictured above) for bridging into Girl Scout Juniors last week!

This week’s Member Monday is all about the members, from girls to volunteers to Girl Scout champions, that help our organization thrive and make magic. Read on to meet some more of our awesome, inspiring members!

Registration for Fall Programs Opens TOMORROW!

Registration for October programs will open on tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 15! In the meantime, check out the program calendar on our September programs blog and snag your spot in our awesome webinars for the remainder of the month.

Troops Are Back To It!

Girl Scouts are getting back to meeting in-person, and Daisy Troop 56024 got together for an outdoors, masked-up ice-cream making meeting! They said it was definitely different, but “absolutely daisy-tastic!” Great job, girls!

Other Girl Scouts, like the girls from Troop 45575, are continuing to meet online through Zoom, and we’d like to shout out their leader Amy H. for her incredible enthusiasm and creative ideas. The request she put out to her Facebook friends was simple: “Do you have an interesting profession, skill, or talent? Can you show it off to a group of Girl Scouts in a Zoom meeting as a special guest?”

8 hours later, her page was bursting with volunteers, including a radiologist, an international kettlebell competitor, a mindfulness coach, a professional musician, a stage combat actress, a NASA epidemiologist, a florist, a neuroscientist, and many more interesting people, from Florida to New York to Texas to Los Angeles. The girls are thrilled, and look forward to seeing a new face and hearing from accomplished women every meeting. Amy was once nervous, but now she is more ready than ever for the Girl Scout year! Awesome ideas, Amy!

Join Girl Scout Troop 20000 for Girls in Medical Care

Girl Scout Troop 20000 is a brand-new troop launched just for girls impacted by illness or disability to enjoy virtual troop meetings, pre-recorded meetings, badge workshops, virtual events, and independent badgework. Girls in this troop will be paired with a mentor to assist them through their work!

For more information, contact Irene Crea or visit our website to join.

From Here to There!

Check out this throwback Girl Scout photo from new member of our Associate Board, Alexandria S.! “My experiences as a Girl Scout undoubtedly shaped me into the woman I am today,” she says, “I am honored to reconnect with the organization and to have the opportunity to ensure girls have the resources and exposure they need to achieve their dreams.” We’re so excited to have you, and congratulations!

Did you know we’re hosting our first ever Go-Getters Virtual Race to coincide with the virtual Bank of America Chicago Marathon? Girl Scout champion Michele is participating, and she shared with us how far she ran (and she’s just getting started!).

Interested in joining the race? Register and 100% of the proceeds you raise will go directly to girls and families in our council through financial assistance for membership, troop activities, and virtual programs. You can run anywhere, choose your distance, and set your pace!

Learn more on our website.

Renew Today to Participate in an Awesome Girl Scout Year!

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Don’t miss out on all this Girl Scout year has to offer, including Fall Product, amazing virtual and in-person experiences, and much more!

Renew your membership today and continue your Girl Scout journey with us!

Member Monday: Back to Business!

Girl Scout Madeline from Troop 85001

The new Girl Scout year is upon us, and though it will be unlike any before, we are ready to get “back to business!” There is a lot in store: read on to learn all about our Girl Scouts and what we have planned this month.

For Girl Scout Daisy Madeline, being a Girl Scout has meant a summer full of exploring. Madeline is excited about basically everything: cooking, planting milkweed in her backyard, earning “every badge possible,” and eventually becoming a troop leader. She even made a recipe of her own: roll-up S’Mores (a crescent roll sprinkled with cinnamon, rolled up with chocolate and marshmallows, baked and topped with sprinkled graham crackers) which is absolutely inspired.

Madeline’s parents are also grateful for Girl Scouting amid social distancing since the activities have fed into her growing curiosity and have kept her both happy and occupied. “She’s ready to go,” her father Paul told us, “and it’s amazing how much she looks forward to and enjoys it.”

It’s true that experiences like these for young girls are especially important now as girls face a confusing world—according to the Girl Scout Voices Count survey conducted by GSUSA, Girl Scouts provides a safe haven for girls in a tumultuous world and helps girls thrive even in challenging times.

Our Girls are Gold!

Gold Award Girl Scout Bria with her Congratulations Box!

As we continue honoring our Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Gold Award Girl Scouts, we’d like to feature a comment we received on social media this week, celebrating one Gold Award Girl Scout, Bria:

“Congratulations Gold Award Girl Scouts! Bria, proud leader does not even touch my emotions right now! It has been an honor and privilege to have been your leader along your Girl Scout journey! I am blessed to have watched you grow into the amazing young leader that you are today. Continue to use your voice and lead the change our world needs! I believe in you, I am so proud of you, and I will always be your biggest cheerleader!” – Troop Leader Donna McWilliams

We second that! Congratulations to all GCNWI Gold Award Girl Scouts this year, and make sure to read all about them on our Gold Award Spotlight blog series.

Cadette Book Worms!

Girl Scouts Addison and Sophia from Troop 75111

Girl Scouts Addison and Sophia from Troop 75111 have been loving participating in the Cadette Book Club this summer, and they can’t wait for the next meeting at the end of the month (register here by Sept. 24 to join!). Looks like they already started the book, Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams!

Interested in reading and discussing culturally diverse books with other Girl Scouts? Join us for a meeting this fall!

Registration for Fall Programs Opens Soon!

Registration for October programs will open on Tuesday, Sept. 15! In the meantime, check out the program calendar on our September programs blog and register quickly to snag your spot in our awesome webinars all month long!

Continue Your Girl Scout Journey!

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Don’t miss out on all this Girl Scout year has to offer, including Fall Product, amazing virtual and in-person experiences, and much more!

Renew your membership today and continue your Girl Scout journey with us!

Member Monday: The Power of the Girl!

In times of uncertainty, girls need systems of support to remind them that they are, indeed, powerful! Girl Scout Senior Nooriyah knows this well: she spoke about the necessity of caring Girl Scout leaders who give girls the platform they need to succeed. To lead and prepare young women for the future, she says, “We have to get back to Girl Scouts.”

Watch the video above to hear everything Nooriyah has to say about the importance of leaders to girls!

This Member Monday, we are reminding everyone of how incredible and inspiring our girls and the people who support them are. Read on to learn about some amazing, game-changing Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI).

Girl Scouts Care!

Thirteen-year-old Kasey Brislane is credited with helping save her former neighbor, Susi Schubert who slipped on ice and became trapped underneath a parked car this past winter. Brislane has hypersensitive hearing as a symptom of autism and was the only one who heard Schubert's cries for help on a freezing night in January.
Girl Scout Kasey with neighbor Susi (Brian OMahoney / Pioneer Press)

It is in the Girl Scout DNA to be ready for anything and always think of others first: Girl Scout Kasey, from Harwood Heights, IL, is a fantastic example. It was Kasey’s hypersensitive hearing, trust in her gut instinct, and Girl Scout know-how that allowed her to save the life of her neighbor Susi last January, and for her incredible act of compassion, Kasey has earned the Girl Scout Medal of Honor, an award presented to a Girl Scout who exemplified presence of mind and true Girl Scout spirit in an emergency.

We sincerely congratulate Kasey for earning this prestigious award. Read more about Kasey’s story in the Chicago Tribune.

This week, we also got a special shout-out from Loretto Hospital in Chicago, IL, for a recent Gift of Caring donation of 36 cases of Girl Scout cookies for their staff members. We hope the cookies brought some smiles to the faces of those very essential workers!

Girl Scouts Just Wanna Have Fun!

Girl Scout Madeline with her mom’s Brownie sash

This certainly has been an uncertain and challenging time for all of us, but Girl Scouts have weathered the storm quite impressively by making their own fun, even girls who just joined us.

Girl Scout Daisy Madeline, after not being able to meet in person for her first year of Girl Scouting, was thrilled to participate in virtual meetings, and has grown to love the virtual experience! Even if things look different, Madeline is finding joy everywhere she looks, and it’s a good thing we have a lot planned this year!

Read our blog to learn all about what’s going on at Girl Scouts GCNWI this Fall.

Speaking of finding joy, we’re still loving the submissions girls and families sent from our Summer Camp Revamp Program! For Movie Magic Week, Girl Scouts Lilia, Dahlia, Cora, and Elsa got together to make their own movie about haunted dolls. Check out their extra spooky and silly movie above! Thanks for sharing, girls!

Girl Scouts also continue to bridge up levels, and we’d like to congratulate all Girl Scouts who moved up this year, including:

Girl Scout Junior Madeline! Check out her at-home bridge—she’s so proud of it she still hasn’t taken it down!

Girl Scout Olivia, also now a Junior! She participated in a masked-up bridging ceremony with her leaders, a great way to stay safe and celebrate!

And to Girl Scout Brownie Ellie, who rocked an awesome outfit AND bridged on horseback! Scroll through the images to see pictures of her mom at her pinning ceremony: we love seeing generations of Girl Scouts!

Last Chance to Renew and Win!

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Renew by tomorrow to automatically receive a free Zoom account and $20 eGift card for the Girl Scouts GCNWI online shop for the new membership year!

Learn more and renew on our website!

Girls, renew your membership today!

Share your Story!

Now that in-person, masked-up meetings are starting up, what do you plan to do with your troop? Continued service opportunities to assist your community? Fun at-home virtual programming? Let us know! Your stories are inspiring and we want the whole council to know!

Share with us on social media (we’re @GirlScoutsGCNWI on all platforms), on Facebook, or share your story on our website

Managing a Multi-Level Girl Scout Troop Virtually: Tips from a Troop Leader

Shift the Lens on Girl Scout Volunteering: Part 2

This photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The possibilities are endless with the way girls and their leaders are staying connected through Girl Scouts. Maintaining routines is important to a girl’s development, and this troop leader has shifted the lens on the way she engages with her girls, proving a pandemic doesn’t have to stop them from receiving a true Girl Scout experience!

Superstar volunteer Annette manages a diverse, multi-level troop of girls ranging from Brownies to Cadettes (grades 2-8). Her troop meets weekly to focus on badge work and their Silver and Bronze Awards.

“I chose not to stop because the girls need us. They are here for a reason. They need Girl Scouts not only socially, but emotionally. I didn’t want to give up on them,” Annette recalls on her reason to make the shift from in-person to virtual volunteering.

Since sheltering in place, Annette and her troop have focused on simply having fun and doing things to take their minds off what was going on around them. They did fun badge activities, played trivia games, and even dedicated some meetings to just have girl talk.

It’s that simple.

Annette shares her tips on how to manage a virtual troop:

Try to make things as simple as possible for your families

“When my troop did badge work, I would send a care package to each girl with all of the materials needed to complete the requirement. Even if a girl couldn’t participate in that particular meeting, she could still do it on her own and show me the proof to receive her badge.”

Have the girls lead meetings

“In our troop, if a girl knows how to complete a journey or badge, she will teach it to the rest of the girls so that everybody has the new skill.”

Try not to stress

“It’s OK not to have an agenda or to wing it. Sometimes you’ll have an activity planned and the girls just want to chat and vent and see their friends. The girls will not be mad if you mess up or have a bad week.”

Stay connected

“Check out what GSUSA, and other councils are doing to engage their girls. There are a ton of resources out there!”

Make it fun!

“Always remember, the girls having fun is just as important as them doing badge work,” says Annette.

Don’t give up on your girls! Renew your troop today.

One Week Left! Renew Your Troop by August 31 for a Chance to Win!

Only one week left to take advantage of our new promotion to help you get ready for a knockout new year!

Renew at least 90% of the girls in your troop by August 31 and your troop will receive:

  • A free Zoom account for your troop
  • A $20 gift certificate for the Girl Scouts GCNWI online shop
  • TWO entries into a drawing for a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)!

Renew at least 75% of your troop by August 31 and your troop will be entered into a drawing to receive a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)!

It’s easy to renew your whole Girl Scout troop at one time, and a great way to use troop funds—by powering another year of amazing experiences! Follow these step-by-step instructions to renew your troop.

Related links

We’ve got more than a few things to look forward to as we enter the new year.

New virtual meeting plans are uploaded to the Volunteer Toolkit and resources added to the Learning Portal

Read our newly expanded guideline for in-person meetings.

AND we’re working hard on programs for the fall, both virtual AND outdoor! Continue to check our website page for updates.

Member Monday Catch Up!

Girl Scout Anne posing with local firefighters (from the Chicago Tribune)

Welcome back to Member Monday, our weekly blog post where we feature the projects, service, and work of our amazing local Girl Scouts! It’s true: Girl Scouts lead the way when it comes to community service, creativity, and problem-solving, and Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) are no exception!

Continue reading to learn all about the different ways GCNWI girls have stepped up for their communities this summer.

Girl Scouts Get Stuff Done!

Girl Scout Anne posing with local firefighters (from the Chicago Tribune)

Girl Scouts are impressive young leaders with keen eyes for ways to help others, and Girl Scout Anne from Monee, IL, is a great example! She recently got a big shout-out from the Chicago Tribune for her many different service projects, including her donation drive of almost 2,000 Girl Scout cookies to first responders in her community.

Read the article to learn more about Anne and her efforts to support local first responders and essential workers!

Another group of kind and considerate Girl Scouts from our council recently shared their service project from all the way back in January (pre-social-distancing), where they made no-sew blankets for the Dupage County Animal Care and Control center! Great job to troop 55775!

The recent reopening of the USO lounge at O’Hare Airport lead these Girl Scouts to donate 253 boxes of Girl Scout cookies! The girls made sure each box came with a supportive message for active duty and retired military service members, a great way to spread kindness (and delicious treats).

Looking for some fitness motivation? Girl Scout Makayla recently completed the Get Moving Journey, and shared her final video project– check it out above!

Lastly, we’d like to shout-out the Girl Scouts from Service Unit 596, who completed 16 snuffle mats for enrichment for the cats and dogs at Hinsdale Humane Society!

As you can tell, GCNWI Girl Scouts have certainly kept the at-home fun going throughout the summer, and we have been LOVING seeing all of your stories and projects! Keep sharing with us: tag us on social media (@GirlScoutsGCNWI) or submit on our website.

Renew Your Troop by August 31 for a Chance to Win!

Let’s get ready for an unforgettable Girl Scout year! Renew at least 90% of the girls in your troop by August 31 and your troop will receive:

  • A free Zoom account for your troop
  • A $20 gift certificate for the Girl Scouts GCNWI online shop
  • TWO entries into a drawing for a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)!

Renew your troop today.

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.