Tribute to Achievement: Story Teller Spotlight

The Moment It Matters is that one defining moment that changes everything: a conversation with a mentor that opens your eyes to a new opportunity. A last-minute decision to run for student council. It is the moment you realized who you are, what you want to do in life, and how you are changing the world for the better.

Join us on March 11 for Tribute to Achievement: The Moment it Matters, our live virtual fundraiser, to hear from Girl Scouts and honorees about the transformative moments in their lives – and the breakthroughs, failures, and changes they have faced that forever clear the way for more women and girls to follow.

Read on to meet some of the fantastic girls, volunteers, and supporters we are spotlighting at this year’s event!

Meet Therese Malinowski, National Gold Award Girl Scout and Alum

One of our hosts for the evening and a 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, is Therese Malinowski, honored for her groundbreaking work in STEM and sexual violence prevention with the creation of the world’s first comprehensive campus sexual assault database called “Project Dandelion.” She is currently continuing her project and working to grow the database to a national level. Therese has been a Girl Scout from kindergarten to adulthood, and currently attends Purdue University studying aerospace engineering.

Read Therese’s story on our blog.

Meet Natalie Wynn, Girl Scout Volunteer

We will also be hearing from Natalie Wynn, a first-year leader of a multi-level Girl Scout troop located in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, as she tells her story of breaking into the role of troop leader. Though she is new to the organization, Natalie is already a dedicated champion of her girls, and started a brand-new troop last fall in the hopes of connecting girls in her area: “I was never a Girl Scout myself growing up, but I learned it’s never too late to be a Girl Scout.”

Meet Anusha Ebrahim, Girl Scout Alum, and Monica Weed, Girl Scout Board Member

Anusha is a current senior student at Northwestern University studying Latin Classics, and hopeful medical student. An alum of GCNWI’s premier leadership experience, Camp CEO, Anusha will share her transformational moment with her Camp CEO mentor, Girl Scout alum, and GCNWI Board member Monica Weed, when they “by happenstance” ran into each other at Camp CEO and had a conversation that changed the course of Anusha’s life. “It’s not so often young girls get to meet incredible CEOs doing amazing things with their careers and have that moment where they can be encouraged and inspired,” Anusha shared.

Monica reflected on the value of Girl Scouting in her life: “Girl Scouts took me to places, gave me opportunities, and taught me lessons that I would not otherwise have experienced. Girl Scouts made me a stronger, more self reliant, curious, confident, daring, and empathetic person, than I believe I would have become.”

Hear all of these stories and more at Tribute to Achievement: The Moment It Matters!

Join us on March 11!

Thanks to our Sponsors

Sponsors as of March 4, 2021

Empowered to Move Forward- Get Ready to Celebrate Girl Scout Week, all MONTH Long!

Each year Girl Scouts across the country come together to celebrate Girl Scout Week, which is observed the week around March 12- the “Girl Scout Birthday”- and is filled with many traditions.

This year we’re breaking the mold and celebrating the ENTIRE MONTH! Frankly, after the year we’ve all had, seven days isn’t enough for us to say thank you to you all for keeping the Girl Scout heartbeat strong.

  • Register for a program, get a FREE Kellogg’s Wellbeing Kit
  • Girl Scout Week- With Girl Scout Sunday, Sabbath, Jummah, Girl Scout Birthday and more!
  • #GIRLFest- virtual program for all ages!
  • The first ever Girl Scout Picture Day!
  • Meet our CEO and Board President!

Read on for an overview of everything happening this month!

Spring and Summer Programs are Open Now!

To kickoff Girl Scout Month, current GCNWI members can get a FREE Wellbeing Kit when you register for a GCNWI program! We are so excited to share with all the amazing programs we have in store, including new opportunities in outdoor programming, STEAM, leadership, social-emotional learning and more!

Learn more on our blog.

Girl Scout Week (March 7-13)

Get empowered and celebrate this week by participating in the daily activities below!

Sunday, March 7: Girl Scout Empowerment Sunday

  • Wear your Girl Scout uniform to worship. Talk with your Girl Scout sisters and family to connect with a local place of worship and learn about how Girl Scouts can be represented on Girl Scout Sunday. 
  • To help you engage your community of worship during Girl Scout Week, downloadable assets for bulletins and inserts are available here!
  • Get your ‘My Promise, My Faith’ Award. Work with your family and faith leaders to gain the pin to celebrate the connection between the Girl Scout Promise and Law and your faith.
  • Buy the Girl Scout Sunday patch

Monday, March 8: International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day we’re empowering girls to speak up! We’re teaming up with The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to encourage girls to know their rights and challenge those who abuse them.

Tuesday March 9: Empowered to Live Well

  • For girls: We’ve teamed up with Kellogg’s to help keep our girls’ mind clear, sharp and stress-free. Learn more about our Kelloggs wellbeing kit and become eligible to get one free when you sign up for a program!
  • Watch our series of Mindful Monday videos on YouTube to learn how you can practice mindfulness and positive mental health.
  • For Adults: Girl Scout Leader Chat: Funding the Fun

Wednesday, March 10: Empowered to Do Good with UNICEF and Get Outdoors!

  • Give back while taking part in fun activities at your next virtual meeting or family gathering with UNICEF Kid Power!
  • Sign up for UNICEF Kid Power for free and gain access to over 150 videos of fun activities like dance routines, workouts, yoga and more!
  • By participating with this program, your troop can unlock virtual coins to support food banks and will help to support other socially responsible initiatives.
  • Bundle up and get outdoors to go for a walk or get started on the Backyard Challenge: Spring Edition 

Thursday, March 11: Empowered to Spread the Word

  • Think about a time when you felt really empowered after attending a Girl Scout event or experience.
  • Recall that story with a friend who is not a Girl Scout and invite them to try Girl Scouts for free!
  • Invite friends to celebrate Girl Scout birthday with you tomorrow and learn more about how Juliette Gordon Low became empowered to make a difference for all girls!

Friday, March 12: Girl Scout Birthday and Girl Scout Jummah

Girl Scout Jummah

Observe Jummah and get your Girl Scout Jummah Patch!

Saturday, March 13: Attend #GirlFest and Girl Scout Sabbath

This virtual event will highlight subject-area pathways including STEAM, cultural awareness, outdoors, and active citizenship. Each pathway will feature one hour of programming with multiple fun, girl-led, grade-level- appropriate, and interactive sessions in each pathway, as well as multiple “Mindful Minute” commercial breaks – a chance to close your eyes, breathe, and relax!

Want to have even more fun? Add on our #GIRLfest Event Kit at checkout. This kit will include a patch, t-shirt, and other fun things to help you participate in each pathway.

Register for #GIRLFest for Daisies, Brownies and Juniors Register for #GIRLFest for Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors

Girl Scout Sabbath

After attending #GIRLFest, take a moment to rest and reflect on all your work with Girl Scouts. Let those moments inspire you to create new and innovative ways to empower others on what it means to be a Girl Scout. 

Get your Girl Scout Sabbath Fun Patch in our Shop 

Girl Scout Picture Days

Grab your favorite Girl Scout gear and get ready for Girl Scout picture day March 12 and 13! Take a picture wearing your Girl Scout gear and send it to us via social media or the submit your story link using the hashtag #girlscoutpictureday to win cool prizes!

Jazz up your photos and use our virtual photo booth that will available on both days. Be sure to check our social media pages for more photo booth information.

Meet the GCNWI CEO and Board President

Celebrate our first ever Girl Scout Month with a virtual meet and greet with the Girl Scout GCNWI CEO, Nancy Wright, and outgoing Board President, Kathy Scherer on March 23 at 6p.m! Grab a snack, your favorite warm drink, and favorite stuffed animal or pet and settle in for a fun evening.

All girls in attendance will receive a free “I Met the CEO” patch and “Future Board Member” patch that will be mailed to your home after the program.

Register for Meet the GCNWI CEO and Board President

Our Girl Scout forecast is looking bright! We look forward to celebrating the month of March with you and hope you are too!

Catch Up With Us!

Meet the Moment at Tribute to Achievement

As the world continues to change, one thing remains certain: Girl Scouts has never been more relevant—or important—than it is today. We’re experiencing a global moment when leadership, compassion, and resilience are needed more than ever. Building those qualities in girls is what Girl Scouts does best.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s annual Tribute to Achievement dinner brings together corporate and civic leaders, and Girl Scout champions, to raise funds for this critical work. For the first time ever, Tribute to Achievement is going virtual – and you’re invited!

Please join us at 6:00 pm on March 11, 2021 to hear from today’s Girl Scouts, honorees, and special guests about the powerful, defining moments that changed their life’s trajectory – The Moment It Matters. This year, we are thrilled to recognize three honorees who move the needle, create change, and live moments that matter: Carrie Hightman, the Polk Bros. Foundation (accepted by Gillian Darlow), and Sidley Austin, LLP (accepted by Hille Sheppard).

Register today and read on to learn more about this year’s esteemed honorees!

Meet the Honorees

Luminary Award

Carrie Hightman, recently retired Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer of NiSource Inc. and former Chief Executive Officer & President of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Massachusetts’ largest gas utility, will be receiving the Luminary Award.

Carrie Hightman: “Throughout our long-term partnership with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, NiSource Inc. and our Indiana-based utility NIPSCO, have supported the organization’s core mission. Importantly, we have sponsored ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,’ and this year will be our tenth year of doing this program. We are so proud to have created and nurtured this opportunity.”

The Girl Scout Own’s Award

The Girl Scout’s Own Award honors Polk Bros. Foundation, which is dedicated to addressing the complex roots and devastating effects of inequity on Chicagoans by building strong communities and families, increasing access to quality education and the arts, improving health, and strengthening organizations and the sectors in which they work.

Gillian Darlow, CEO of Polk Bros. Foundation, will be accepting the award. Ms. Darlow is also a founder and co-leader of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a collaboration of more than 50 funders that has committed $90 million to anti-violence efforts in Chicago.  She holds board roles with the Chicago Public Education Fund, Civic Consulting Alliance, among others.

Gillian Darlow: “Like so many of my friends today, I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. The Foundation has proudly supported Girl Scouts for 30 years, ensuring opportunities are provided equitably to girls throughout the region. It is our honor to support the vital work Girl Scouts is doing to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, girls who make the world a better place.”

Corporate Award

Receiving the Corporate Award is Sidley Austin, accepted by Hille Sheppard, a member of the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, who co-leads Sidley’s global securities and shareholder litigation practice. Ms. Sheppard was named by Law360 as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law and named by BTI Consulting at a 2020 Client Service All-Star. Ms. Sheppard is also the only woman in Illinois to be ranked by Chambers for securities litigation, in 2019 and 2020.

“Sidley has been proud to provide legal representation to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana for nearly three decades. Girl Scouts offers girls opportunities and experiences they otherwise might not have had, and instills confidence and achievement in them, setting them up for success and providing them with a lot of fun.”

Don’t Miss Out

Join us on March 11 to celebrate these incredible honorees, along with girls and women who are leading with purpose and passion.

Register to secure your spot!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

You’re Invited To #GIRLFest!

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s Girl Experience Teams bring you #GIRLFest 2021!

This virtual event on Saturday, Mar. 13, will highlight subject-area pathways, with each pathway featuring one hour of programming with multiple fun, girl-led, and interactive sessions, as well as multiple “Mindful Minute” commercial breaks – a chance to close your eyes, breathe, and relax!

Learn more about the world around you – whether that’s through science, other cultures, civic engagement, or spending time in nature – while also celebrating how great it is to be a girl and a Girl Scout!

Younger Girl Scouts (Daisies through Juniors) and older Girl Scouts (Cadettes through Ambassadors) will have the opportunity to dive into several different activities, including a brainstorming and informative session on Take Action projects, a celebration of Girl Scout Birthday (Mar. 12), and much more. Explore the world, the outdoors, the voting process: whatever strikes your fancy!

Maybe you’ve heard about #GIRLFest, but you aren’t sure what the day will look like. During the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to explore up to 12 different sessions within 4 different tracks, depending on your interests! Each session will be 15 minutes long, with a Mindful Minute commercial break in between. Girls can participate in just a few of the sessions or all 12!

Here is what each track will look like:

Younger Girls

STEAM1-2 p.m.This includes an interview with an astronaut, live animals with the Indiana Dunes State Park, and making a sugar scrub.
Cultural Awareness2:15-3:15 p.m.This track includes how to travel as a Girl Scout, a ballet session with a member of the Joffrey Ballet, and a Global Girl Scouting session focused on Ecuador.
Active Citizenship3:30-4:30 p.m.In this track, you will learn about taking action, the women’s right to vote, and celebrate the Girl Scout birthday!
Outdoor Exploration3:45-4:45 p.m.Girls will learn about prepping for an adventure, outdoor survival and shelter building, and patterns in nature.

Older Girls

Outdoor Exploration1-2 p.m.Girls will learn about prepping for an adventure, outdoor survival and shelter building, and patterns in nature.
STEAM2:15-3:15 p.m.In this track, girls can talk to a female astronaut, create green memes, and make an edible face mask.
Cultural Awareness3:30-4:30 p.m.These sessions will include Global Girl Scouting: India, ballet with the Joffrey Ballet, and How to Travel as a Girl Scout.
Active Citizenship4:45-5:45Girls will learn about transit around the world, take action projects, and celebrate the Girl Scout birthday.

We are so excited to introduce our program partners, who are excited to provide awesome experiences for #GIRLFest participants!

The Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet will be leading a ballet lesson in both the younger and older girl #GIRLFest Cultural Awareness pathway. Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses an inclusive perspective on dance through its Company Artists, extensive repertoire, Academy, and Community Engagement programs. Considered one of the premier companies performing today, the Joffrey plays a vital role in the dance community as the largest dance company and dance education provider in Chicago and the greater Midwest region.

Indiana Dunes State Park

The Indiana Dunes State Park will join us with some live animals native to the dunes! Indiana Dunes is in Porter County, and includes more than three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. In the early 1900s scientists, recreationists and nature enthusiasts, recognizing the value and potential of the Indiana dunes area, fought to have the region preserved. As a result, in 1925, the state park was established.

AstraFemina and Beth Moses

Beth Moses is an American astronaut, aerospace engineer, and Chief Astronaut Instructor at Virgin Galactic, a public spaceflight corporation which is developing suborbital space tourism. Ms. Moses leads Virgin Galactic’s cabin testing and will train all SpaceShipTwo cabin astronauts. She will join us for #GIRLFest with a panel discussion involving the girls.

Remember, we will take time for a mindful minute between each session! This day will be jampacked with opportunities and ways to learn about the world around you. Join us!

Make sure to grab a #GIRLFest Event Kit so you can have everything you need to make the most of every session!

#GetReady for #GIRLFest!

Buy the patch today!

Older Girl Registration

Younger Girl Registration

Girls Explore Careers at Spark Day with LGIM America!

People skills, creativity, and analytical thinking: these are three skills Girl Scouts have in spades. In the world of investment management and financial services, those three qualities come in handy. Cadettes and Juniors from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) had the awesome opportunity to develop these skills and connect with LGIM America (Legal and General Investment Management of America) to explore the world of the client services industry.

Girls curious about computers, working with people, and managing money virtually gathered on Jan. 14 to get an extra-special look directly into the world of financial services! The girls got a taste of many different career fields through a Q&A with members of every department. Participants also got to play the market like LGIM America professionals and test out their skills to see who could make the most revenue in the virtual world.

Here’s what some of these LGIM America Professionals had to say about the day:

“Participating in the Girl Scouts Career Day was an incredibly rewarding experience. The girls were all friendly, bright, and engaging. It was great seeing the gears turn in their heads as some made investment decisions. All of the girls are setting themselves up for success!” – Jillian Johnson

“It was great having the Girl Scouts at LGIMA. It was exciting to explore the world of asset management with them.” – Alejandro Sepulveda

“We were thrilled to host the Girl Scouts and happy to see how engaged they were with the stock-picking game. We hope they had fun and learned something new!” – Emma Cameron

Thank you so much to LGIM America for partnering with us to provide this very special program for our girls!

Interested in more STEAM opportunities?

Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors are invited to join us on Feb. 15 to meet with the employees of Exelon to learn about renewable energy, play games, and take a crack at building windmills!

This is a great opportunity to learn all about the many careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) and engage in a hands-on challenge!

Register here to join us!

Join us for World Thinking Day 2021!

Observed by 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 150 countries, World Thinking Day is a wonderful Girl Scout tradition that celebrates what it means to be a peacebuilder, an important component of our global movement. We invite girls of all ages to World Thinking Day 2021, a week-long celebration of global girl power this Feb. 16 to 21!

From peacebuilder panels to virtual world travel, GCNWI has a week full of exciting programs for all girls looking to expand their horizons! Pick and choose or join us for the whole week of fun and earn your World Thinking Day Award!

The Whole Week of Fun!

Attend all of the World Thinking Day events in February by registering for the whole week of programming! Includes access to the Meet a Peacebuilder program on Feb. 16, the World Thinking Day award programs and presentations by the Global Girl Scouting Group on Feb. 20, the family trivia game on Feb. 20, and the Country Open House on Feb. 21.

Register here!

Meet a Peacebuilder Panel

Join us on Feb. 16 as we kick off World Thinking Day week with conversations with a few active peacebuilders, including Jennifer from The Peace School and returning Peace Corps volunteers. Hear their stories and get the chance to ask them questions about their careers in activism! Participating in this program will help girls of all ages to complete step 4 of the World Thinking Day Award.

Register here.

The Main Event

Learn more about World Thinking Day!

During the World Thinking Day Main Even on Feb. 20, girls will work on some of their World Thinking Day award requirements and hear from our Global Girl Scouting group about different countries!

Make sure to meet the Global Girl Scouting group on our blog!

Go Head-to-Head at Family Trivia Night

Test your Girl Scout and World Thinking Day knowledge at this family trivia game night on Feb. 20! Grab your buzzer and your family with the most Girl Scout know-how because we’ll be quizzing you on the history of Girl Scouts, GS traditions, World Thinking Day, the World Centres, and WAGGGS (the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). Do you have what it takes?

Travel the World at the Country Open House

Let’s travel the world – virtually! Learn about various countries around the world from your fellow Girl Scouts at the Country Open House on Feb. 21. All audience members will receive a recipe book with recipes from the countries presented!

Additionally, GSGCNWI is looking for 18 individual Girl Scouts or troops that are interested in researching a World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) country to present to other Girl Scouts. You’ll research, put together a virtual and/or table display, and present it to a Girl Scout audience! This event is free!

World Thinking Day: Home Edition

Celebrate World Thinking Day at home and learn about a WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) country by ordering the World Thinking Day Cultural Celebrations Box! There will be five country boxes – and the country you get will be a mystery until the box arrives at your home! In each box, you’ll get a snack item, fun patch, recipe, language cards, a craft, and more!

Reserve your Celebrations Box here.

Explore the World through Literature!

Volunteers: take a literary trip around the world with us! Join us on Monday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. for a riveting discussion about books from around the world!! Register here!

More Resources

Snag Your World Thinking Day Award

Girls who earn the World Thinking Day 2021 Award by attending these events can show off their commitment to peacebuilding with the official award! Celebrate World Thinking Day every day and buy your award today!

2021 World Thinking Day award activities:

Activity Guide for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors [PDF]
Activity Guide for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors [PDF]

And make sure to read up on other civic engagement stories on our blog!

Tips For Engaging Girls Virtually!

Girl Scout troop leaders, think back to your childhood. What do you remember the most? If you are a Girl Scout alum, what do you remember about Girl Scouts?

We bet it’s not the grades you got on tests, awards you received, badges you earned in Girl Scouts, or what your Girl Scout troop accomplished. Most of us remember places we traveled, the things we experienced, the friends we had, and the way we felt during those times – the moments we felt most engaged in whatever we were doing and having fun!

Your girls will remember how their Girl Scout sisters and leader made them feel safe and included during this time of isolation. While you may feel the pressure lately, please know that now is not the time to be a perfect leader. Give yourself some grace, you don’t have to have it all figured out! Empower yourself to let the girls lead this virtual experience with you.

Here are 7 tips for keeping girls engaged virtually:

Keep the Sisterhood Strong

Building in social time is important to keep your girls engaged virtually. Let the girls have conversations and be silly together. This strengthens the bonds among the girls when they can’t be together in person!

Tip: Designate the first 10 minutes of your meeting to allow girls time to share what they’ve been up to and how they are feeling. Build in time to give the spotlight to the girls, whether it’s a sketch, striking a pose, leading jumping jacks, yoga poses, or reciting the Girl Scout Promise.

Make it Girl-Led

Giving girls choices virtually can seem tricky at first but is made easy with virtual meeting tools like polls, virtual reactions, or raising your hand. What girl-led looks like at each Girl Scout level is a little different:

  • Daisies – Provide girls with “this or that” choices like which activity they’d like to do first
  • Brownies – Girls vote between a short list of badges or activities using the poll feature in Zoom
  • Juniors – Ask a girl to facilitate a game or activity within the meeting or have a girl ask questions to lead a troop discussion
  • Cadettes – Girls decide what they want to do during their meetings – whether that’s deciding which badge to earn, which guest speakers to invite, or the schedule of the meeting.
  • Seniors and Ambassadors – Girls should work together to run the virtual meetings – planning, researching, and facilitating

Change Up Your Meeting

Taking advantage of learning tools online and different visual stimulation for your meetings will help keep the girls’ attention and interest. Switch things up between leader presentations, videos, quiz games, girl-led discussions, or even virtual field trips. Check out our Girl Scouts from Home page for ideas and inspiration!

Tip: Have you tried an unplugged activity during your meeting? Give the girls 15 minutes to complete an activity on their own away from the computer. Set a timer for them to come back and share what they did!

Play a Game

A game is a great way to keep virtual engagement high while letting the girls interact with each other! You can even tie your game to your badge or Journey work (such as themed charades)!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Try out these digital icebreaker games
  • Create a game like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune using an online tool
  • Lead a scavenger hunt for items girls can find in their home
  • Start or close a meeting with Show-and-Tell

Make Appropriate Meeting Adaptions

It’s no surprise that a Daisy’s attention span is much shorter than a Cadette’s. In order to keep girls engaged at every level, you should make age appropriate meeting adaptations. GSUSA has recommendations for the length of virtual meetings– make sure to read up.

Shared Ground Rules

Make girls part of the troop decision making right from the beginning. Have the girls help establish rules that everyone can agree to, like when to keep cameras and microphones on or off, raising hands when girls want to speak – or a fun rule like at the end of every meeting we do show-n-tell!

Tip: Share your screen with girls as you type out the list of virtual troop rules and store them in a folder with other troop documents online

Be Flexible

Sometimes meetings will run short depending on the girl’s attention span that day or the girls may be really excited about the topic you’ll run 20 minutes over the planned meeting time! It’s perfectly okay and a result of having a truly girl-led troop! Following the girls’ lead on what they are interested in might mean taking a break from your planned activities to explore a new topic. Have fun and learn along with them!

More questions about setting up your virtual meeting?

Visit the Learning Portal for all the related resources and the Girl Scouts from Home webpage for new ideas.

Zoom licenses are now available for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana troops and volunteers who want to meet and participate in council programs virtually! Your girls can stay connected, continue building their skills, and have a blast no matter where they are.

Also make sure to check out our Zoom resources for volunteers on our webpage.

All GCNWI programs for January through March are now LIVE!

Get excited and start registering today.

Mark your calendars because registration for Camp and and Outdoor Programs opens on Feb. 1!

Meet the Global Girl Scouts from GCNWI!

Did you know that Girl Scouts surpassed the geographical confines of our council AND even the United States? There are Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries! All of these girls (and you, too!) are a part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, commonly referred to as WAGGGS.

Eight Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GGCNWI) – now called the Global Girl Scouting group – heard about WAGGGS and couldn’t wait to learn more about international Girl Scouting. They started to explore: what are Girl Guides/Scouts like in other countries? What is the day in the life of a girl in another place? What do they eat, how do they dress, and what is their home like?

We talked to five of the Global Girl Scouts about their process, what they’ve learned about the world, and what they love about Girl Scouts. Read on to meet the girls!

Global Adventures from Home

The girls first chose Iceland as their country of focus and made a list of all the things they wanted to learn about the country: the Girl Guides who live there, the famous food, geography, holidays, their stance on sustainable energy, and more. To prepare, the girls all researched on their own time, finding out interesting facts (Kathryn told us Iceland’s electricity is nearly completely powered by nature) and awesome photos. They compiled it all into a beautiful presentation and showed their work to nearly 100 Girl Scouts at the end of October. Mali tried her hand at fluffy Icelandic air cookies and shared the recipe with attendees (pictured above!).

The girls didn’t stop there! In November, the Global Girls presented their findings about France, and are about to present on Nigeria on Dec. 20! Girl Scouts of all ages are invited, so don’t miss out! The girls have learned so much and are excited to share their knowledge: Maysa will be explaining the history of Nigerian hairstyles and fashion trends along with her other presenters. Sofia was especially impressed by Nigerian cuisine: “I’ve learned how seriously underrated it is.” Speaking of cuisine, check out Sofia’s French yogurt cake tutorial below!

The girls are also working on a program about China in January, AND are hosting programs for World Thinking Day in February, and are presenting at our first ever #GIRLFest on Mar. 13!

“I think my favorite part of doing all of this is that I love traveling, learning about countries, and I love, love, love trying new foods,” Sofia told us, and Maysa likes getting an insight on how other countries work: “There is so much that we can learn from other people. It’s eye-opening and reminds you how big the world is, and how there’s so much creativity, tradition, food, and culture.” Kathryn agreed, saying, “I think it’s really important to learn about other cultures because it brings people together.”

These Girl Scouts are learning skills for life that can learn beyond school. For Peyton, Girl Scouts gives her an opportunity to share knowledge: “What I love about Girl Scouts is that we can do things that really mean a lot to us. Girl Scouts can make teaching and learning exciting and fun in a new way.”

“The best part of Girl Scouts is that every time I earn a badge, I’m a step closer to making the world a better place,” Mali explained, and we certainly agree.

If you are interested in learning more about other places around the world and presenting to other Girl Scouts, check out our World Thinking Day Country Open House on Feb. 21 or email Ashley Christensen to join future cultural awareness girl-led programming.

Register for Upcoming Programs!

All GCNWI programs for January through March are now LIVE!

Get excited and start registering today.

Mark your calendars because registration for Camp and and Outdoor Programs opens on Feb. 1!

Cultivating Coiled Creativity: Why Girl Scouts is THE Place to Be for Black Girls who Rock!

Girl Scouts has been changing the game since its inception in 1912, when founder, Juliette Gordon Low, established an organization that would service ALL girls. Five years later, pioneers like Maggie L. Walker and Josephine Groves Holloway led the efforts to make Southern states include African-American Girl Scouts, with the first all African American Girl Scout Troop forming in 1917. And just last August, Judith Batty became the first Black CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Our mission has always been to build the courage, confidence, and character of girls, and three Community Organizers from our staff gathered together to uplift and encourage young Black girls in a space often viewed as a pain point and a source of joy in the African American community. Read on to hear their story!

Juliette Gordon Low (left), Josephine Groves Holloway (center), Maggie L. Walker (top right), Judith Batty (bottom left)

The Best Day Ever

From headscarves and wraps to natural afros, curls, and locks, hair in the Black community has been a sacred direct connection to the ancestors who used their hair to showcase creativity, link together family lineage, and as a tool used as means for survival. The Pigtails, Puffs, and Ponytails event, spearheaded by Community Organizers Laureen Head, Shana Jenkins, and Kisa Fitzgerald, was created to highlight the evolution of what is viewed as “natural beauty,” and to instill the courage in girls to live out loud!

Shana explained that hair braiding practices in the African American community originated in Africa, and is passed down through generations of family members. “Hair-braiding is an intimate, nurturing, and peaceful form of communication,” Laureen adds. “It’s almost a rite of passage to learn how to braid hair, so the event was a really great way to connect with our community,” Kisa continues.

The first installment of this virtual hair-love event took place on Thursday, Nov. 19, and all guests received a hair-braiding kit and other goodies in the mail. What ensued was an unforgettable evening for everyone gathered: families from 37 communities and 7 states engaged in discussions about African American history and culture, favorite hairstyles, the significance of the Afro in the 1960s and 70s, ending with a hair-braiding tutorial. As one girl said in the comments of the Zoom call, it was the “best day ever” (written with over 50 R’s!).

“[This event] allows the girls to have fun with something that is not always understood but is a part of who they are. We want girls to learn to be comfortable and confident with one of the very things about themselves that makes them unique and allows them to stand out from everyone else,” says Shana. Kisa continues: “Hair, and the way you wear your hair, is a reflection of your personal style and self-expression in the African American community. We connect with each other through our hair. I hope that girls are able to learn more about Girl Scouts while connecting and embracing their hair history.”

“Many people in our community don’t know the [Girl Scout] program, don’t know we build leaders. So we are showing girls that the [Girl Scout] program is valuable,” adds Laureen. Kisa remarks: “I think [this event], along with Girl Scouts really, amplifies the message that you are important and accepted as you are.”

Look out for the next installment of the Pigtails, Puffs, and Ponytails virtual event in January! We can’t wait to see you!

Thank you to Laureen, Kisa, and Shana for speaking to us about this awesome event!

Learn more about what Girl Scouts do at our free Ice Cream Science event!

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December Programs for Girls and Adults

It’s a Winter Wonderland this December with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), and you’re invited! We might all be staying at home, but that’s no reason we can’t have a good time together. Whether it’s celebrating Holidays Around the World, learning about the universe at our Space Science webinars, or participating in some special surprises throughout the month, we’re sure to have a wonderful winter together!

Virtual Programs for All Ages (K-12)

Winter Holidays Around the World

How do girls in other countries celebrate the winter holidays? Join us on Dec. 12 for an afternoon FULL of virtual holiday cheer to learn! We’ll make crafts from holiday celebrations and send recipe suggestions for delicious cultural treats.

Girl Scouts of all levels, and their family members, are welcome to cozy up around the fire (and computer!) with hot chocolate in hand to experience winter holidays around the world.

Register here!

Learn how you can Go Gold!

Sign up for this Gold Award training webinar and receive a recording that you can view anytime! This recording will give you the tools you need to put your Gold Award Project Proposal together and prepare for your interview.

Register here! Recordings will be released on Dec. 7, 14, and 21.

Space Science Webinars

Get ready to investigate and explore the universe with your Girl Scout sisters! Brownies through Cadettes can get started on their Space Science badges with these badge starter webinars on Dec. 9. We will explore everything from invisible light to how light impacts our environment, the planets, the moon, the stars, our solar system, and more!

Register here.

Programs for Adults and Volunteers

Get ready for the holidays with GS gifts!

Stop by our new Gift Guide to start making your wish list!

Don’t miss our Facebook Live on Nov. 24 at 1 p.m.! Join us for a sneak peek of our Black Friday deals!

Happy Holidays from GCNWI!

Looking for age-specific programs? Follow the links below!