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.

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.

Press Play on Fall Programs!

Press Play on Fall Programs!

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

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

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

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

Custom Programs for Girl Scouts!

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

Join us for Becoming Me Workshops!

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

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

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

Celebrate International Day of the Girl!

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

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

Highest Award trainings are here!

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

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

Join us for a Pumpkin Smash!

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

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

Register here!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

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

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

Volunteer programs are back!

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

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

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

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

Your time to shine? Now!

Time to Renew, Girl Scout!

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

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

Press play with Girl Scouts and watch her confidence soar. 

What to Look For this Summer and Fall with GCNWI!

What to Look For this Summer and Fall with GCNWI!

We’re in the full swing of summer now, and already getting excited for the new Girl Scout year!

Before we get to fall, though, there’s still more to do! Read on to learn about what’s coming up this summer and fall with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI).

Get Outdoors This Summer!

Let’s GO! Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to head outdoors. Join the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge—complete the designated number of activities and unlock a cool new patch. Use #gsoutdoors to share your story and to see how other girls are completing this fun outdoor challenge.

Download the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge

Every year, Girl Scouts explore the natural wonders found across our country during the Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend. Save the date for September 11 & 12 to share the love of the outdoors at your local state parks!

Learn more about Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend.

Patch Programs Programs And More!

Girl Scout troops and individual Girl Scouts can earn fun patches our curated council Patch Programs!

There are programs for Girl Scouts of all ages; take a look through our website and explore your options!

We’re offering a variety of virtual and in-person programs for Girl Scouts this summer so you can keep in touch with your troopmates: check out our website to browse all available programs!

There are big things coming next Girl Scout year (like new programs from GCNWI and GSUSA), so make sure to follow our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to stay updated on what we’re getting up to!

Stay Tuned for Fall Product 2021!

The Fall Product Program is coming back this fall! Stay tuned for updates from our Product Program team!

Your time to shine? Now!

Time to Renew, Girl Scout!

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

Press play with Girl Scouts: renew your membership today!

Make a Gift Today

Your gift to GCNWI is an investment in the lives of Girl Scouts, empowering them to be resilient leaders who make the world a better place. Give Girl Scouts the tools they need to thrive by making a gift of your choice on our website.

Catch up with the GCNWI Blog

How GCNWI Celebrated Earth Day, All Month Long!

How GCNWI Celebrated Earth Day, All Month Long!

Every year many people celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by taking impactful action to help to stop climate change. But for us Girl Scouts, we took it to the next level and celebrated all of April! All Girl Scouts are stewards of the environment: it’s in the Girl Scout promise! That’s why Earth Day is so important to us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI): we make a commitment to making the world a better place, one tree at a time.

Keep reading to find out how staff and Girl Scouts from GCNWI made the most of Earth Month!

Planet Protectors in Action

Girl Scouts got together virtually and in-person to celebrate the completion of the It’s Your Planet, Love It Journeys over the weekend. Daisies made seed bombs with native plants, Brownies enjoyed a Cadette troop’s water presentation and worked on the challenge of removing oil from water, Juniors channeled solar energy, and Cadettes constructed windmills (pictured above)!

Thanks to our Save Our Energy patch volunteer, Ivy, who met with each group to talk about how they can save energy at home.  And thanks to Exelon, who provided the funding to fuel these Journeys for the planet earth!

Troop 45420 decided to dedicate their Take Action project to a community cleanup!

Girl Scouts from Troop 46004 spent the whole month learning about Earth Day in multiple ways: virtual meetings about how to protect the planet from home, planting their own seeds to help air purification in their homes, and then, they decided to use some of the money from their cookie sales to plant a tree in their local park!

Planting flowers, pulling weeds, making space to welcome new plants in the fresh air and sun: that’s how Girl Scout Troop 55532 celebrated Earth Day!

Troop 75111 celebrated Earth Day with a guided hike along the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The weather held up perfectly for them to learn the history of Earth Day while being out in nature!

Girl Scout Troop 55355 completed their Bronze Award by installing bee hotels around their neighborhood! These bee hotels will serve as a home for different species of bees, bugs, and butterflies while helping to build the pollinator population.

Staff Day at Englewood Heritage Station

Girl Scouts weren’t the only ones celebrating Earth Day— our staff joined in on the action for a community service day at Englewood Heritage Station. They spent the day beautifying and rejuvenating this space together, and we have Laureen, Jakki, and Latoya, our planning committee, to thank for this awesome day out!

Take Earth Day to the Next Level

Today, millions of people around the world celebrate Earth Day by taking action, advocating, and learning how to help the Earth! We invite you to join in with the millions of other people and join in on the celebration–– and we have plenty for you to do. 

Catch up on some activities we had to celebrate the day’s 50th Anniversary last year (and some new activities too) on our blog.

For additional resources on planet protecting and eco-advocacy, visit our website.

Plant, Protect, and Honor 5 Million Trees by 2026

With support from the Elliott Wildlife Values ProjectAmerican Forests, and SciStarter, GSUSA is launching the Girl Scout Tree Promise, a national protection initiative to plant 5 million trees across the United States by 2026. Fueled by their passion for protecting and preserving our planet, Girl Scouts throughout the country will lead these efforts as well as educate the public about why trees are such an imperative piece of the climate change solution.

Learn more on the GSUSA blog.

Meet our Eco-Advocacy Grant Awardees!

Girl Scouts power the future—and eight Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) are doing just that! Our Becker Eco-Advocacy Grant honorees are Girl Scouts currently working on a service or highest award project exclusively dedicated to serving and preserving the environment and are great examples of what it means to really go green for good.

The Philip J. Becker Eco-Advocacy Endowment Fund honors the memory of Philip J. Becker, a life-long educator who was devoted to inspiring young people to embrace careers in the sciences, especially physics, energy, and astronomy. He felt a deep calling to help his children, grandchildren, and all young people understand the urgency of transitioning to innovative, renewable, and sustainable energy sources. His family, with strong Girl Scout ties, honors his memory and his passion for the environment by funding these grants to inspire girls to take action to make the world a better place.

Meet these girls and read about their efforts toward making the world a better, healthier, and safer place to thrive for us and all creatures!

Powering Pollinators

Sarah, Girl Scout Ambassador, has a long history of community service, completing both her Bronze and Silver Awards during her time as a Girl Scout. Now completing her Gold Award, Sarah was awarded a grant for her continued work in supporting local pollinator populations, and her plans include installing a pollinator garden at her high school.

Her garden bed will include native Illinois plants and flowers to help pollinators increase in number by providing them food and proper resources for continued survival. “There are so many ways that the environment is being degraded,” Sarah shared, “and I feel that by taking this step, I can inspire change in my community, nationally, and globally.”

“I hope to help the community understand why pollinators are so important and inspire others to create their own pollinator gardens. I want to make people aware of exactly how important it is to have an environment that is healthy and sustainable, both now and for future generations.”

Spreading Your Wings

“If we do not take care of the earth, we will all lose,” Girl Scout Cadette Katherine shared. “We need to do all we can to preserve and repair the earth so we can leave it better than when we came. That is the Girl Scout Way.”

To accomplish this, Katherine, together with her troop, is designing, building, and planting a butterfly garden for St. John’s Church and School. This will help increase the butterfly population, improve air quality in the area, and beautify a public space. “Our impact on the environment will be strong by providing a space in the urban landscape for nature to thrive and grow.”

“We all must do a better job of caring for the earth,” Katherine asserted. “If everyone just does a little to make the earth a better place, then perhaps we can slow or reverse global warming,”

Creating Buzz

Girl Scout Ambassador Priyanka has always loved the outdoors since camping as a young Girl Scout. She believes “knowing more about animals and nature, the things that surround us all, is the only way for the world to thrive.”

In partnership with the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, Priyanka is earning her Gold Award by installing bee houses at the Center, and the construction has already begun. She’s responsible for designing and creating these bee houses, as well as creating an educational component for visitors.

“I think that allowing more and more people to learn about the environment, like the pollinators that help grow our food and the plans around us, will ultimately benefit both people and nature,” Priyanka stated. “People may start to make wiser, healthier decisions when it comes to taking care of the environment once they understand the importance of things normally overlooked.”

Our Nocturnal Allies

“I feel strongly that we should do everything we can to help the environment, including protecting animals and preserving their habitats in a way that allows people and animals to live in harmony.” Girl Scout Cadette Meredith is taking on her challenge, and to earn her Silver Award, is constructing bat houses for GCNWI campsites.

“I am making these bat houses so bats don’t try to make their homes in the cabins,” Meredith explained. “With the houses, the bats can make their homes safely away from predators and can play their important role in the ecosystem.”

“I hope to help people enjoy and appreciate being able to share an environment with bats, and I hope to help the bats to be safe and respected by the community.”

Trees for the People

Girl Scout Cadettes Summer, Lindsay, and Celia each have a passion for environmental advocacy, and this passion lead the three to earn their Bronze Award planting trees in parks in and around their area. “Through our research,” Summer explained, “we learned that our area lost two hundred thousand trees a few years ago due to an invasive bug.”

To combat this issue, the girls found a program in their community that will match every tree they plant, and they hope to create more oxygen in the environment, provide more habitats for insects and animals, and reduce home cooling and heating costs.

Lindsay is driven to help the environment “because I feel like I need to do something. I want to do whatever I can to help!” Celia says “it is our duty to help save our planet and reduce our carbon footprint. I believe that if enough people focus on this issue, we can obliterate global warming,”

Take it Outside

Congratulations to these trailblazing Girl Scouts for earning this fantastic grant! We wish you all luck in completing your goals and making the world a greener place.

Share Your Story!

We want to hear all about your eco-advocacy projects, initiatives, and ideas! Share your story with us today for a chance to be featured on our blog and social media.

Get Ready for Girl Scouts ❤️ State Parks Weekend!

If you’ve been itching to get outside and explore the great outdoors, this is your chance: join Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) for the second annual Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend from Sept. 12 to 13!

Open to all girls and families, join us, and thousands of people from across the nation for a weekend full of wildlife discovery, skill-building, and nature exploration through live webinars, in-person events, and independent activities!

Earn a special patch by participating in the events or using the Girl Scouts Love State Parks passport to download, complete, and track activities from home!

Join us for GCNWI Programs!

Live Animals from the Indiana Dunes | Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m. | Zoom

With Lake Michigan at its northern border and a history of glacial advance and melting, the Indiana Dunes has several diverse habitats that provide homes for many different reptiles and amphibians. All ages are invited to join an Indiana State Park Interpretive Naturalist virtually for this live animal program that showcases some reptiles and amphibians that are specially adapted to survive in the Indiana Dunes State Park!

Registration closes Sept. 5.

Scavenger Hunt at the Indiana Dunes | Sept. 12 – 13 | In-Person

From the beach to the dunes, there are clues to be found! All ages of Girl Scouts are welcome to visit the Indiana Dunes State Park any time over the weekend to comb the sand and land for hints.

Anyone who registers will receive the scavenger hunt ahead of time and can visit the park any time during the weekend. Make sure to visit the Nature Center once you have completed the scavenger hunt to receive your award!

Registration closes Sept. 5register and learn more details on our website.

Map Reading | Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. | Zoom

Are you getting ready to head out on an adventure? Maybe planning a stroll in your neighborhood, a nearby community, or even in a State Park? Make sure you’re prepared by freshening up your map reading skills. Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, join us as we take a walk down the path of all things map reading.

For this webinar, you’ll need:

  • 4+ pieces of paper
  • 1 pencil
  • coloring utensils (markers/crayons/colored pencils)
  • 1+ map (any type will do – could be a map of your town, a state park, etc.)
  • Zoom access

Register before Sept. 5 to join!

Animal Tracks | Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. | Zoom

Have you ever walked around your neighborhood or hiked through a State Park and noticed animal tracks on the ground? Have you wondered what kinds of animals might have left these tracks? Join us to explore and learn about the local wildlife that may live in a State Park near you.

You’ll need:

  • 3 pieces of paper
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • coloring utensils (markers, crayons, colored pencils)
  • 1 brown or black marker, crayon, or colored pencil
  • Zoom access
  • Optional Supplies: stapler or hole punch and yarn

Register before Sept. 6 to secure your spot!

Girl Scouts Love State Parks 2019

Last year, 84 Girl Scouts and parents attended the Full Moon Hike at the Indiana State Dunes, and as you can see, it was a blast! They set out to hike to the beach where the telescope was located (for some perfect up-close moon action), but just as they set off, thunder sounded. (Fun fact: July’s full moon is named the Thunder Moon!)

What followed was an evening full of quick adaptions: an impromptu snake program to wait out the thunderstorm, and after driving to the beach, an impromptu night-beach program!

It goes to show that Girl Scouts are flexible and ready for anything, especially when it comes to the outdoors!

Planning a hike or adventure?

Share your Girl Scouts Love State Parks experience and planning with us! Tag us at @girlscoutsgcnwi on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram
and use the hashtags #GSLOVESPARKS!

Go Cross-Country!

Looking for even MORE Girl Scouts Love State Parks activities?

Join GSUSA and councils across the nation at virtual programs all weekend long! State and national parks from all over the country are providing amazing events for Girl Scouts everywhere.

Visit GSUSA’s website for more information on nationwide programming!

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”
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”
3-4 p.m.Camp Fun
Choose between “Camp Games” or “Camp Rhythms”
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!

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

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

Join us for Summer Camp Revamp!

A Virtual Camp Experience

Six Sessions, July 6–August 14 | Grades K–12
$30 per girl/week | Registration is Now Open

Renew your Girl Scout membership before June 30 and save 15% on one week of Summer Camp Revamp!

This summer, the fun of connecting with others, exploring new things, and receiving snail mail combine to create a one-of-a-kind virtual experience for girls! It’s camp, reimagined… it’s Summer Camp Revamp!

How it Works

Summer Camp Revamp offers six themed, virtual camp sessions led by our council teams and older Girl Scouts. Join us for all six, or pick-and-choose the weeks that you like best!

Each week girls will get 10+ hours of fun-filled activities through online meetings, video, and a printable activity packet for on-your-own exploration. 

Register Now for Each Weekly Session

July 6–10: STEAM, Dreams, & Ice Cream 

July 13–17: GIRLapalooza 

July 20–24: Adventure Awaits 

July 27–31: Mastering Mystery 

August 3–7: Movie Magic 

August 10–14: Glowing and Growing 

Save 15% on one week of Summer Camp Revamp when you renew your Girl Scout membership by June 30!

Summer Camp Revamp is Fun for All Ages!

While activities are geared toward girls entering grades 2-8 this fall, girls in grades K-1 are welcome but may need additional parent/guardian assistance. 

Older girls (grades 9-12) are welcome to join-in on weekly activities with younger girls. If you are an older girl or Counselor in Training interested in helping out with Summer Camp Revamp programs, let us know by June 29 »

Camp Supplies Delivered to Your Doorstep

Don’t feel like going to the store? Not a problem!

Each week you can add an optional activity kit that is FULL of things to enhance your experience, plus a few fun surprises! You can also order a general supply pack with materials you’ll use all summer. Learn more »

Shop Summer Camp Revamp

Just in time for Summer Camp Revamp, get your kit that includes everything you need to make your very own tie-dye t-shirt. Plus, order your fun patch! Order Now »