Smart Cookies: Stand for More, our premiere virtual fundraising event, is coming quickly! We invite volunteers, members, family, and friends to join us for an evening of celebration and inspiration on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. The evening’s program will feature our 2020 Tribute to Achievement honorees in “Smart Cookies Conversations” with our Girl Scouts, and we’ll call on you, our Girl Scout champions, to support the mission throughout the evening through donations and a silent auction!
Our silent auction is officially live, and throughout the next week, awesome items will continue to be added. Every item sold is a direct investment in the lives and empowerment of girls in our council and provides them the opportunities to grow into resilient women. Read on to learn about some of our items up for auction!
Silent Auction Items
Bidders will have a chance to win very special Girl Scout opportunities—don’t miss out on the chance to win a week at a summer resident camp next year! AND, make sure to place your bet on an afternoon at the Albert C. Hanna High Ropes Course at Camp Butternut Springs for a group of ten.
Among the other incredible offers are some priceless memorabilia packs from the Chicago Blackhawks, including a jersey autographed by Brent Seabrook, photos autographed by Dylan Strome and David Kampf, and a hockey stick and puck signed by the 2019-20 Blackhawks team and Olli Maata!
From in-person outdoor programs, virtual workshops and badge starters, or leadership development for adults and volunteers, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) have a fall season full of incredible opportunities for all girls, troops, and volunteers, to get the Girl Scout year started!
Look out for more programs coming out as the weeks go by!
Daisy Girl Programs
This Fall, Daisy Girl Scouts (K-1) will have service opportunities with our weekly Service Sunday program, try out day camping at our in-person Outdoor Extravaganza, get started on earning badges with our Badge Starter videos, and much more.
Brownie Girl Scouts (2-3) are also welcome to join our in-person Outdoor Extravaganza, as well as celebrate International Day of the Girl, explore careers in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and continue earning badges like the Inventor badge and My Best Self!
For Junior Girl Scouts (4-5), we’re hosting a Take Action workshop webinar, learning about future entrepreneurship opportunities, visit MetLife for our Virtual Spark Day, along with many other opportunities for Girl Scout fun!
Cadette Girl Scouts (6-8) can look forward to continued Book Club meetings, get civically engaged with our Democracy Badge Starter, join us for our in-person New Heights: High Adventure Day at Camp Butternut Springs, and more!
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 take it all in stride.
Resilience, ambition, and activism: those three essential qualities link all Girl Scouts, volunteers, and members, and are what drive us to continue championing the power of the girl. Girl Scouts, this year especially, have shown how vital it is to stand up and act for the good of the nation and the community.
On Sept. 24, we invite all to celebrate this and much more at our first ever premiere virtual fundraising event, Smart Cookies: Stand for More, featuring stories of the unstoppable drive, compassion, and flexibility of our girl and adult members.
We are calling on you and everyone in our community to stand behind our girls as they stand up for themselves, others, and their communities through their continued service and civic engagement.
Continue reading to learn about the program for the evening!
What to Expect
At Smart Cookies, you will hear from some of our very special 2020 Tribute to Achievement honorees in conversation with Girl Scouts from our council in “Smart Cookies Conversations.”
We will feature Kathy Scherer, Managing Partner of Business Tax Services at Deloitte, who is also this year’s Girl Scout’s Own honoree; Lei Zhang Schlitz, Executive Vice President of Automotive OEM at Illinois Tool Works Inc., our Luminary honoree; and Sandra Cordova Micek, CEO of WTTW and recipient of the Community Partnership Award.
Additionally, you’ll hear from many of our council’s own trailblazing Girl Scouts and hear from them what it truly means to Stand for More and live the Girl Scout Promise, as well as how best to fulfill their needs and wishes for Girl Scouting in the next year and beyond.
You will also have many opportunities to show your support by donating to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) throughout the evening or by participating in our Silent Auction (items to be previewed soon!).
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and use the hashtags #GSLOVESPARKS!
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.
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) is gearing up for another amazing membership year!
So much has changed, and so much is changing, but the fun Girl Scout programming you know and love is here to stay. We have so much to look forward to for girls, troops, volunteers, and families, from new Badge Activity Kits, more virtual and in-person programming, and plenty of opportunities to build skills and make memories, wherever you are.
We’re connecting Girl Scouts throughout our council and beyond with our special interest groups, like our Older Girl Hangouts, Astronomy Club (registration coming soon), and Cadette and Junior Book Clubs!
Girl Scouts will also continue to explore our community through service, take a trip to another country through virtual travel, and change the world through a series of Journey workshops.
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!
Troop leaders, you have stepped up in a major way this year, and we are stepping up, too. We’re hosting monthly Girl Scout Leader Chats to assist you in making peer to peer connections surrounding topics that are important to you, and helping new troop leaders with start-up planning and support, including meeting plans, icebreakers, games, and more!
Our Fall Product Program is about to start! From Oct. 1 to 21, don’t miss out on your chance to participate and earn awesome rewards AND a personalized patch with YOUR name and avatar on it!
Watch your inbox for more information to be released soon!
Visit the GSGCNWI Online Shop!
Head’s up: curbside pick-up will be available in mid-September at all shop locations except our Chicago Gathering Place! In the meantime, make sure to pop on over to our online shop, where we’ve got brand-new Girl Scout badge requirements, merchandise, and more!
New customized troop t-shirts and sweatshirts are available, as well as pre-assembled uniforms including the flag, council ID, troop crest and numbers! And don’t forget to celebrate your troop leader or someone special with our new Happy Birthday and Leader Thank You gift sets.
Celebrate your Resilience and Ambition
Join us on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m., for Smart Cookies: Stand for More to celebrate the resilience, flexibility, and strength of Girl Scouts and our supporters.
Hosted by the Girl Scouts GCNWI Associate Board, this will be a virtual celebration, and call to action for all of us to stand up and support this and the next generation of change-making girls.
Continue blazing trails with us! Troops who have 90% of their girls renewed by August 31 are eligible to receive a free Zoom account and more goodies, including a $200 Amazon gift card. Eligibility is automatic once 90% of the girls are renewed, and is available for all troops who renewed before August 31.
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!
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.
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:
Great job to every single movie maker this week! Your work was fantastic and so fun to watch!
Girl Scout Member Moment
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!
As the world continues to change, Girl Scouts of all ages have demonstrated that helping others has never been more relevant—or important—than it is today. No matter the challenge, Girl Scouts have shown up in unprecedented ways to keep the bonds between sisterhood and charitable work strong.
Smart Cookies: Stand for More offers a virtual 1-hour celebration for the leadership, compassion, and resilience our Girls Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) members and champions have displayed while facing – and transforming – the once-in-a-generation issues that have shaped 2020.
Smart Cookies is also a community call to action to support today’s girls in standing for themselves, others, and their communities through purpose, service, and civic engagement.
At Smart Cookies, you will hear from some of our 2020 Tribute to Achievement honorees as they engage with our Girl Scouts in “Smart Cookies Conversations.” Kathy Scherer, Managing Partner, Business Tax Services at Deloitte, who was also this year’s Girl Scout’s Own honoree will be featured as well as our Luminary honoree, Lei Zhang Schlitz, Executive Vice President, Automotive OEM of Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Together, we can lift girls’ voices and amplify their actions. Girl Scouts are resilient leaders-– Smart Cookies will showcase how they’ve thrived, and what impact they’ll spark in the months and years ahead.
Show your support for Smart Cookies by purchasing a Smart Cookies Enhancement Package! Starting at $35, support the Girl Scout mission and receive a Stand For More Tote Bag, Stand For More Patch, two boxes of cookies, a GCNWI face mask, and more!
Your Enhancement Package will include exclusive access to our event pre-show, featuring special content from Girl Scouts and guests, along with the opportunity to mingle with other event attendees.
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!
Another week of Summer Camp Revamp done, and one full of adventure! For Adventure Awaits week, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) sharpened their survival skills, tinkered with their travel plans, and challenged themselves with cool new activities.
The girls started their week out by prepping their minds and bodies for the adventures ahead, and after a refreshing yoga and exercise session, practiced some very essential First Aid skills! Check out these Girl Scout’s DIY bandaging— looks effective!
After a crash-course on survival scenarios and quick-time First Aid, the girls delved into a lesson on plant identification and if you’ve ever been camping or on a hike, you’ll know how important it is to know which plants are which! Girl Scout Kristen, who shared the photos above, did a great job of identifying plants she found at her grandma’s house.
It is important to take notes from our animal companions, and to cement the lessons on survival, the girls tested out different wildlife adaptations that help animals in several distinct environments survive and thrive. To do this, the girls became birds for an afternoon, using different “beaks” to test out which is most effective for eating! Girl Scout Julia shared her pictures of the different “bird foods” she had to “eat” with her “beaks!”
The girls finished out the week by participating in our Summer Great Family Camp-In: check out their camping set ups! We hope you had fun!
Thank you to all the girls who shared stories and photos with us this week. It’s clear that Girl Scouts don’t get ready— they stay ready!
Girl Scout Member Moment
For this week’s Girl Scout Member Moment, we’re sharing a story from Girl Scout Junior Troop 60775 from Flossmoor, IL, who are forging ahead and trying out in-person troop meetings since we all sheltered-in-place back in March. Their troop leader, Missie, was kind enough to share her experience and advice for troop leaders and Girl Scouts who may be considering meeting in-person this fall.
The girls have been meeting virtually since March, and this quickly became their “new normal,” everyone in the troop eventually getting used to being on screen. This transition was difficult for them, so the opportunity to meet again in-person was very exciting! The girls met up at their school’s community garden to complete the Gardener Badge, and, even though the meeting looked different than any before, they had a great time!
Missie shared with us some very helpful advice for anyone considering meeting up in-person in the future:
Only meet in outdoor spaces, and focus on activities that take girls outside, like geocaching or hiking. She says these girls are dedicated— as long as there’s no lightning and thunder, they’ll show up!
Space out the girls on sit-upons, and make sure everyone wears a mask and has hand sanitizer handy.
Consider providing the girls with activity kits to make sure no supplies are shared between them.
Stay updated with your local government’s guidance, check the CDC for pertinent information, and always reiterate safety.
If you or the girls aren’t ready to meet, there is nothing wrong with that! Keep reaching out to the girls so they know you are present and available. Gauge their comfort levels!
Don’t miss out on the last week of Summer Camp Revamp: Glowing and Growing week from August 10-14!
Grow your mind (and maybe even your own garden) for our final week of Summer Camp Revamp! Will it be yoga? Meditation? A gratitude journal? Or maybe some gardening that will help you relax during this glowing week! Come along and find out!
Whether you’re meeting in-person to go on a nature walk, or continuing completing badges over Zoom, we want to know! Tell us all about what Girl Scouting looks like to you on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or on our website.