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!

What’s Happening this Fall at Girl Scouts GCNWI!

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.

Most importantly, you are not in this alone! Know that we at GSGCNWI are here for you, whether you’re a new member or a seasoned pro. And don’t forget to renew by August 31 so your troop can be entered to win!

Upcoming Programs

Stay in touch this fall, because we have extra-special virtual AND in-person programming planned for troops, families, and girls! Registration for October programs will open on Tuesday, Sept. 15!

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.

Get ready for our larger programs we’re hosting this fall, including the Parking Lot Art Showcase on Oct. 3, a Trunk and Treat on Oct. 17, and a Girl Scout Photo Scavenger Hunt during October.

And of course, we have programs just for fun! Find out more on our Programs site and stay updated with our Virtual Events Calendar!

Girl Scouts ❤️ State Parks!

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!

Register for GCNWI events on our programs site and find national programs on the GSUSA website!

Troop Support and More

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!

We have plenty of resources to help support and increase family engagement, including our Family Connections guide, Keep Girl Scouts Going guide, and Family Meeting Templates, as well as our Leader 411 email series. Plus, look out for more information about Fall Product and more in the coming weeks!

Our Troop Advisor roles and peer-to-peer network have expanded to provide you more support than ever, on and offscreen. Find additional online resources and training in the GSGCNWI Learning Portal. Meeting plans have been updated and continue to be added through September!

Fall Product Program is Coming!

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!

Our 24 brand-new badges now have downloadable badge requirements available on the shop site! Badge activity kits are also coming soon.

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.

Admission is free! Register today.

Support the mission today by purchasing a Smart Cookies Enhancement Package. Raffle and auction items coming soon!

Renew by August 31 and Your Troop Could Win!

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.

Learn more and renew on our website!

Girls, renew your membership today!

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Movie Magic!

Public Service Announcement from Girl Scout Susan

Another spectacular week of Summer Camp Revamp has passed, and this week, we’re inviting you to an exclusive Girl Scout movie premiere! All Movie Magic week long, the Summer Camp Revamp girls rolled up their sleeves and got creative, brainstorming, planning, story-boarding, and then executing their ideas!

The real power of movie magic is the ability to take your dreams to the screen— let’s walk the “red carpet,” break out the popcorn, and take a look at some of the girls’ creations! Also hear about an amazing Girl Scout Silver Award project in this week’s Girl Scout Member Moment!

Story-boards and Spinning Tops

Any good movie requires brainstorming and planning, and the girls got right to it this week by creating their very own story-boards, which are essential to the movie-making process. The girls envisioned their stories and then drew out the scene, etched out the dialogue, and started thinking about costume, character acting, and everything that goes into a film.

Girl Scout Grace showing off her DIY optical illusions

Many films, especially in the early stages of movie history, relied on eye-tricks or optical illusions to trick movie-watchers into seeing things that weren’t really there! The Girl Scouts practiced this time-old film making technique by making their own animations— in this video, Girl Scout Grace shows off her homemade penny spinner, thaumatrope (an optical toy made out of paper) and a flipbook!

Rolling out the Red Carpet

Every single Girl Scout in Summer Camp Revamp turned their film ideas into realities, with stop-motion animation, claymation, and other amazing techniques to bring stories to life. Every movie they shared with us was amazing! Check out these three Girl Scout movies to get a sneak peek:

Film by Girl Scout Jacqueline
“What’s in my Dance Bag” by Girl Scout Daniela
Claymation film from Girl Scout Lila

Great job to every single movie maker this week! Your work was fantastic and so fun to watch!

Girl Scout Member Moment

Girl Scout Troop 30029

This week’s Girl Scout Member Moment comes to us from Gary and Merrillville, Indiana, where Girl Scout Troop 30029 completed their Silver Award with an amazing service project for their community. Their original plan to host a Prom for the residents of Spring Mills Assisted Living Facility was put on hold a few months ago, but that didn’t stop these go-getter Cadettes from brainstorming their next big idea!

The girls, for the project they called “Caring for the Young at Heart,” came together for three weeks and sewed over 100 masks for the residents at their local assisted living facility. The girls had never used sewing machines, but after one day of practice and researching patterns, they caught on quickly, and the results were very rewarding!

The girls wanted to give back to older people in their community in particular because they seek to bridge the age gap between them. The girls’ yearly tradition of hanging wreaths at the facility over the holidays is a favorite of the residents, and the girls felt they wanted to continue caring for them as best they could. This was a fantastic way to do that!

Congratulations to Troop 30029 for earning their Silver Award, and thank you to troop leader Venita for sharing their story with us!

Share your Story!

Whether you’re celebrating earning a Highest Award, gearing up for the next year of Girl Scouting, or simply enjoying the cooling weather, share what you’re up to with us in the comments below, tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI, or share your story with us on our website.

Our Girl Scouts from Home page is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages, and lets girls be Girl Scouts from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Join Girl Scouts, and get ready to shine like never before! Discover a world of opportunities waiting for you: register or renew your membership today.

Save the Date for Smart Cookies: Stand for More!

Join us for a virtual celebration of resilience and ambition on September 24, 2020, Smart Cookies: Stand for More!

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. 

Join us in the celebration: register today! Admission is free and open to all members and donors of GCNWI!

Purchase an Enhancement Package!

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.

Purchase an Enhancement Package today!

Donate Today!

Your donation is an investment in the lives of girls, empowering them to be resilient leaders who make the world a better place.

Give girls the tools they need to thrive by making a donation!

Take a look back at Smart Cookies 2019: Savoring Science!

Event Recap »
Event Photo Gallery »

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Mastering Mystery!

Girl Scouts Sydney and Siena completing their at-home obstacle course

The summer is flying by—we can barely believe it! Summer Camp Revamp is almost over, but the girls are taking advantage of every second.

During Mastering Mystery week, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) have been taking fingerprints, collecting clues, and solving some perplexing Girl Scout mysteries!

“Thumb through” their case files below, and hear a special Member Moment from a Girl Scout Brownie with a passion for community service!

The Girl Scout Investigations Unit

Did you know fruit has its own set of genetic information just like us? To kick off the week of mysterious activities, the girls did a fascinating science experiment extracting the DNA from BANANAS! Girl Scout Charlotte looks like she got a very close look– so cool! Looks like something we’ll have to try at home ourselves.

To keep themselves organized and “in the know,” the girls created their very own DIY detective badges and notebooks. Throughout the week, the girls were tasked with solving a mystery, so as they investigated suspects, collected fingerprints, and wrote their suspicions, this notebook was sure to come in handy!

Everyone has different fingerprints with different patterns, and we leave them on everything, even when we can’t see them. Later, to build on their detective and sleuthing skills, the girls learned how to read and correctly match fingerprints. These forensic science skills were super useful when it came to narrowing down the suspects in the mystery of who stole the S’more supplies…

To really make sure they were ready for anything, the Girl Scout Investigations Unit did some physical training too! Each girl created their own at-home “Mission Possible” obstacle course to strengthen their agility, strength, and sneakiness. Looks like the girls were more than ready for the challenge!

Thank you to every girl who shared their pictures with us this week! We’re so glad you enjoyed yourselves (and we hoped you solved the mystery!).

Girl Scout Member Moment

Girl Scout Brownie Melody B., from Troop 25507 in Chicago, IL, recently got a major shout out by CBS Evening News for her amazing community service in the past few months, and we got to speak to her about her project and what it means to be a Girl Scout during times of crisis!

Melody, in partnership with Dimo’s Pizza in Wicker Park, has been donating much-needed face shields to healthcare providers, teachers, grocery store employees, and private practices all over the Chicago area. When she learned that her hand-sewn facemasks weren’t effective enough for doctors fighting COVID-19, she reached out to Dimo’s, who recently started their own face shield initative. Soon enough, she was distributing their masks all over, even to her own pediatrician!

Melody herself was inspired to do this project by the Girl Scout Promise and Law: “I’m a Girl Scout,” she stated strongly. “We have to be helpful, caring and considerate.” Girl Scouts “teaches young girls to become leaders,” and she says she learned from Girl Scouts what is good for her and how to best help others. Her dedication to the community is clear—she told us she sees herself as a protector for her community, “keeping them safe.”

Great job, Melody, and thank you so much for talking to us!

Share your Story!

We can see you’ve been busy celebrating bridging, starting up socially distanced in-person meetings, and getting ready for the year ahead! We’re so excited to continue providing awesome experiences to help you feel connected, empowered, and ready for anything!

Share what you’re up to with us in the comments below or tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI! OR, share your story with us on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Adventure Awaits!

Girl Scout from Troop 60775

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.

These girls are ready to take on anything, from the backyard to around the world! Read on to learn what the Summer Camp Revamp girls got up to last week (and a special Girl Scout Member Moment with some great advice for in-person troop meetings!).

Adventure is Out There!

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!

Thanks to Missie and the girls for sharing their story with us! For more information and guidance, check out our updated guidelines for in-person troop meetings, cookie booths, and retail shops.

Join us for Glowing and Growing Week!

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!

Register for Glowing and Growing week by August 3.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

Share your Story!

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.

Looking for more to do at home? Visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Special Edition!

Girl Scouts at Chicago Park District’s Eckhart Park

In this special edition of Summer Camp Revamp Rewind, we are sharing with you how one troop of 18 Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) are making the most of their social-distanced day camp!

GSGCNWI, in partnership with the Chicago Park District’s Eckhart Park, is excited to provide opportunities for girls in our community to stay connected virtually. The girls masked up and gathered to do all six weeks of the virtual Summer Camp Revamp, cultivating their own “new normal.”

The past two weeks have been busy for these girls as they get used to camp again—and they’re certainly enjoying themselves! Let’s get to know some of these super Girl Scouts a little better!

Meet the Girl Scouts!

Last week was GIRLapalooza, a week all about celebration and joy (read about it on our blog!) so what better way to close out the week than by completing the SuperHERo activity?  

The girls, in their discussion groups, both talked about identifying their personal strengths. Some girls spoke about how hard it can be to talk about themselves, noting they often pay too much attention to the things they struggle with rather than what they’re already good at.

When it comes to sports, school, family, and friends, the girls all identified what their strengths are and where they could improve—and that’s important! After all, true self-confidence is not about thinking you’re good at everything, but having the ability to celebrate what you are good at and work on what you could do better.  

What’s YOUR Super Power?

Girl Scout Rickayla told the group that her superhero powers come from “playing sports and talking to friends.” One of the things she likes the most about herself is that she is kind, and we can tell! 

Girl Scout Ania is great at plenty of things: she plays basketball, football, and floor hockey, AND likes hip-hop dance, gymnastics, painting, and doing hair. Ania believes the source of her superpowers is her athletic abilities, “because of the amount of strength you get from playing.” 

Taelor has a different perspective—she says her superpowers come from her heart and from her spirituality. She uses this superpower by donating resources to people without homes, and says, along with sports, dancing, and math, and she’s good at “showing love!”  

Girl Scout Laylani knows her skills well: she says she’s good at math, floor hockey, coloring, writing, cooking, and keeping her things organized. She likes to create art and help others, and believes creating art can become her superpower because whenever she “draws or creates anything, it comes to life!”

Find your Super Strength

These girls know themselves well, and we are excited to see where their superpowers take them in the future! Interested in finding your own inner super strengths? Download the SuperHERo activity!

Thank you to all the girls who shared with us, and we can’t wait to see what else you get up to during Summer Camp Revamp!

Join us for Movie Magic Week!

Join us for Movie Magic week from August 3 -7!

Dive into the world of movie magic and become your very own director, producer, screenwriter, or set designer. Discover the tricks of the trade of filmmaking in order to make a cinematic masterpiece of your own!

Register for Movie Magic week by July 27.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

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. 

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: STEAM, Dreams, & Ice Cream!

The first week of Summer Camp Revamp kicked off last Monday, July 6, to everyone’s excitement! Girls from across Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) got together to explore STEAM, Dreams, and Ice Cream, all from home, and from the looks of it, our girls were really in their element.

Read on to learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and what the Girl Scouts got up to last week!

Sweet Salad Science

The Summer Camp Revamp girls started the week with a webinar all about the Lifecycle of a Salad! They tracked the various cycles of vegetables, from harvest to food scraps, and discovered how plants and worms receive nutrients from the earth. They also had a little dinner party for themselves AND some worms by making delicious salads and composting the scraps! Check out Girl Scout Scarlett’s yummy-looking salad (and Sami’s empty bowl!).

I Scream for STEAM!

Day 2 of STEAM, Dreams and Ice Cream week was all about harnessing science to make yummy foods! The girls also used the power of chemical reactions to make delicious treats, like ice cream, edible marshmallow putty, and more. Making ice cream by hand is a workout, but the results looked delicious!

The girls followed up those experiments by exploring weather systems and different creative art projects–– Scarlett made a rainbow in a jar, and they also experimented with lightning!

In Their Element

Girls continued participating in awesome STEAM activities like making slime, cooking homemade pasta, experimenting with soda and Mentos, and more! The girls loved working with these fun programs that got the outdoors and their brains working to come up with new scientific discoveries to make at home!

Girl Scout Member Moment!

While we keep up with Summer Camp Revamp, our Member Monday blog series is paused, but this week, we are featuring Girl Scout Brownie Troop 55567, who bridged up to Brownies this spring! Check out their amazing virtual Bridging Ceremony above! Congratulations to these girls for making their way up the Girl Scout ladder.

Join us for Mastering Mystery Week!

Interested in joining the Summer Camp Revamp fun? Join us for Mastering Mystery Week from July 27- 31! Follow the clues to solve a Girl Scout mystery! Use all your senses as we work together to crack codes, take fingerprints, and explore our surroundings.

Register for Mastering Mystery Week by Jul. 20.

Learn more about Summer Camp Revamp and how you can become a part of the fun!

Share your Summer Camp Story!

Whether it’s this year’s Summer Camp Revamp or a visit to Camp Juniper Knoll many years ago, tell us all about your Girl Scout camp memories on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or on our website.

Looking for more to do at home? Make sure to visit our Girl Scouts from Home page, which is full of resources and activities for girls of all ages.

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 »