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!

Related Stories

Girl Scouts takes a stand with the Black community

Girl Scouts celebrate “Black Girl Magic”

“Black Lives Matter!” Girl Scouts take action

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!

GCNWI Makes History at the National Council Session!

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana CEO Nancy Wright

“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”

                                                                                           Juliette Gordon Low

This year’s National Council Session (NCS) was historic! Originally scheduled as a fun and exciting experience of sisterhood in Orlando, due to the pandemic was flipped to the first all-virtual National Session. National delegates from across the country gathered virtually to present, discuss, revise and vote on proposals that would indelibly affect the National Girl Scout movement.

For our council, this NCS was a momentous success, as two proposals, authored and presented by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), were passed. This was the first time two proposals from the same council have been approved, and we are incredibly proud of everyone who made this happen!

Our girl delegates made amazing strides in leadership (read all about them on our blog), and we also want to acknowledge and thank our council’s adult National Delegates who, over the last three years, poured their hearts into learning all about Girl Scout governance and created proposals that would forward our movement. We dedicate this blog post to them!

Making your proposal come to life at any National Council Session is no small task, and this year, the circumstances were even tougher. For months prior to NCS our delegates poured over every word of the 2 proposals to be able to present them in their best version. Delegates participated in countless small group discussions with other delegates from around the country to answer questions, hear opinions and comments, and gather support.

Our convention team came together, and girls and adults participated in meetings and learning opportunities for all our council’s National Delegates. Through this safe platform of sisterhood, girls new to the role of National Delegate, listened, learned and took the lead to ask questions, share their ideas and offer suggestions. It was wonderful to watch our seasoned adult delegates lend their expertise and guidance to our girls to carry the movement into the future.

The virtual platform proved a challenge for the delegates, but through mutual support and an active WhatsApp chat group, they were able to overcome all obstacles. Over the three days of the convention, our delegates, and thousands of others, including girls, volunteers, staff, and board members, presented, debated, amended, and voted on proposals relevant to Girl Scout members from every state. The work paid off, and GSGCNWI has a lot to celebrate.

2023 is already on the way—and the discussions on what to bring to the table are already underway. While we wait, let’s congratulate everyone involved in the huge success:

Adults (Delegates and Alternates)

Christine Alfred
Levita Anderson
Marty Devereux-Poch
Athena Gallian
Christine Graves
Maureen Jamrock
Kathy Lakowski
Heather Larson
Patricia Lasley
Heather Linehan
Beverly Macrito
Michelle Maracic
Katie McCoy
Dietra McKamey
Noreen Merchant
Amy Morin-Martin
Cathy Neely
Christine Potermin
Selena Randecker
Sylvie Salazar
Kathy Scherer
Karen Schillings
Denise Urban
Davia Wilkerson
Nancy Wright
Melissa Young-Bridgeforth
Jody Collins
Kelly Pavlik
Kelly Philbin
Tresa Radermacher
Rachel Rodriguez
Karla Weiss

Girls (Delegates and Alternates)


Save the Date for the next National Council Session!

Girl Scouts are welcome to attend the next National Council Session in July 2023 on their own, as a troop, or you can apply to be a delegate.

Applications will open in 2022 for the 2023 National Council Session. Adults and Girls that are 14 and up will be able to apply.

Learn more about our Democratic Process and other opportunities on our website.

Learn More About Democracy

Girl Scout Delegates Take the Lead at the 2020 NCS

Virtual Camp Liberty program empowers girls to speak up

Read about this creative way to earn the new democracy badges

NEW Civic Engagement Badges for K-12 Girls

View all GCNWI Programs for Girls and Adults

Member Monday: Camp Liberty Empowers Girls to Speak Up!

Girl Scouts are civically engaged, passionate about social justice, and eager to use their voices for the greater good. Girl Scouts who are not old enough to vote are not discouraged: in fact, they make calls to the community, and the country, to vote and play a part in our nation’s democratic processes.

The new Civics badges from GSUSA provide Girl Scouts an opportunity to become familiar with the United States federal, state, and local political processes, and this year, Girl Scouts from GCNWI have taken the badges on in creative ways. Just last month Girl Scouts from Service Unit 406 participated in a Democracy Badge Series online, where girls logged on to talk to local mayors and judges from their area.

Girl Scout Service Unit managers 409 also took on the challenge of shifting programs from in-person to virtual, and this year, piloted Camp Liberty, a program dedicated to educating girls about civic engagement and suffrage. Read on to hear from managers Chris Graves and Claire Mosshamer about Camp Liberty!

The State of the Girl’s Nation

Camp Liberty was inspired by necessity and ingenuity on the part of Chris and Claire. When plans for Camporee, an annual outdoor event where older girls mentor younger girls through their first camping experience had to restructure because of COVID-19 restrictions, leaders and girls were yearning for ways to stay connected and engaged.

This sparked the Service Unit managers to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances, creating a hybrid event of virtual and in-person activities designed to help girls earn the Democracy badges. The girl-led Camporee program, shifted to become “Camp Liberty.”

To Chris and Claire, the idea was a no-brainer: “It fits right in with the 100-year anniversary of the suffrage movement,” Chris explained, and educating girls on the upcoming November presidential election is especially important. She continued, “It really teaches the right type of civics that we want kids to know.”

Claire added, “We were bent on the girls not losing out on things because of the [current socially-distanced] situation. We really tried to think of different ways to deliver content to them.” Their plan is to help Girl Scouts and volunteers remain engaged in the program is whatever what they can: “Girl Scouting is really important now to get them to expand beyond their homes. It’s important for us to try and provide as many opportunities for connection as possible.”

The work of the girls and volunteers culminated in a series of in-person and virtual events, including webinars on the subjects of local suffrage movements in Oak Park and River Forest, discussions with Oak Park Village Clerk Vicki Scaman and President of the Park District of Oak Park Sandy Lenz, and an open forum with Cook County Probate Court Judge Aicha MacCarthy and local lawyer Donna Ioppolo.

The girls also modeled their own suffrage march and scavenger hunt, where smaller groups of girls hiked Camp Greene Wood and learned facts about the diverse women responsible for the passage of the 19th amendment and simulated an election among the participants.

Girls who participated (nearly 200 girls from the Service Unit!) earned their Democracy badges, as well as this year’s commemorative Suffrage Centennial Patch, both available for all ages of Girl Scouts. “We’re trying to get the girls to understand how our government works,” Chris said, “so maybe they’ll be inspired to maybe run for office, or at the very least, pay attention and be involved. We want our girls to reach high, and the only way we can do that is to try to show them what the possibilities are.”

Thank you to Chris and Claire for inspiring our Girl Scouts to dream big and participate in the future of this nation’s history!

Get out the Vote!

Our girls are using their voices to urge everyone to get to the polls tomorrow! Girl Scouts from Troop 45521 earned their Suffrage Centennial Patch by organizing their very own voting demonstration, marching their community to get the message out. Read more about the girls and their celebration of the right to vote!

Check out this PSA from Troop 75450:

Earn the Democracy Badges

Civic engagement is just one way Girl Scouts advocate for positive change and make the world a better place. And though some girls may be too young to cast a ballot, they can still mobilize their communities to take action. 

Girls of all ages can earn the Democracy badges to learn more about the democratic process: learn more on our blog!

Earn the Suffrage Centennial Patch!

Discover the history of women’s voting rights and civic engagement through the Girl Scout Suffrage Centennial patch. You’ll wear the patch proudly after learning about the gender barriers that have been broken and the women who broke them.

Learn more about the Suffrage Centennial Patch!

Girl Scout Delegates Take the Lead!

The Girl Scouts of the USA 55th National Council Session (NCS) was unlike any before: nearly 1,200 voting delegates, along with girls, volunteers, staff, and board members from across the country, gathered virtually to celebrate Girl Scouts and consider six proposals affecting the Girl Scout Movement.

Twelve fantastic Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) played an important role in the weekend and NCS proceedings: Leah, Alonda, Caroline, Dex, Alany, Emily, Ariana, Kate, Erin, Dakota, Carlie, and Laura. Two of the girls’ mentors, Alaina Greene and Karen Schillings, provided the opportunity for the girls to take the lead and make real change in Girl Scout legislation. Read on to hear from Alaina Greene, a GCNWI staff member, who helped the girls take the lead and start their own girl-led forum!

Girls are Shaping the Future

Guest-post by Alaina Greene, Troop Support Specialist at GCNWI, member of the National Convention team, and mentor to the GSGCNWI girl delegates.

I am still processing the amazing weekend I just experienced with our delegation, as we attended the 55th National Council Session. It was a groundbreaking, challenging, fun, and Movement-shaping weekend that I am sure you’re excited about—but I am here to tell you about the work of our council’s amazing girl delegates leading up to that weekend.

The GCNWI girl delegates applied to the three-year position last winter, before we knew we would have to pivot to a virtual platform. By the time our nine girl delegates and three alternates were elected in the spring, we were deep into social distancing, and our Orlando trip was no longer possible.

Even with the rapidly changing circumstances, the girls were excited to participate in decisions that would shape the future of the nation’s Girl Scouts. “I enjoyed all of the fun experiences with the badges, but I wanted to see how I could get involved beyond traditional Girl Scouting,” Kate explained in conversation about her NCS experience.

Dakota wanted her opinions to be heard and actually make a change: “I wanted to show the other girls in my troop that if you want to do something big, all you have to do is try.”

“At first,” Alonda revealed, “I didn’t understand any of it. I know now that the things we do and say shape the future for girls.”

The girl delegates’ mentor Karen Schillings—who also serves as a Council Historian, Chair of Adult Recognitions, AND a troop leader—finds this to be the most valuable part of chaperoning the girls through the NCS process: “I want to hear the girl’s point of view.”

And these girls took on the responsibility with great enthusiasm: “They seem to sense that their role as a delegate is historical and will have an impact, not just for today, but for the future of the movement,” Karen reported.

So we persisted, and remained engaged not only in numerous Zoom calls with each other, but countless forums, caucuses, and trainings hosted by GSUSA. They were tasked with learning about their role as a national delegate, including a deep understanding of the six proposals that were up for consideration at NCS, and parliamentary procedures.

Even with the unconventional virtual structure, the girls rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations.

Shifting Gears

As we inched closer and closer to NCS, our girl delegates started to express that the national forums they were participating in weren’t exactly what they wanted. They didn’t want forums moderated by adults—they wanted a forum where they could talk to other girl delegates without having an adult direct the conversation. From this sprang the idea of a girl-led delegate forum, hosted by our GCNWI girl delegates.

In under a month, our girl delegates brainstormed, planned, and re-planned a forum led solely by girls. Four GCNWI girls hosted, and delegates from across the country were invited to attend. Delegates from at least 11 councils joined the forum to share their opinions.

Did everything go smoothly? No. In fact, our girls had to shift quickly, and our facilitator, Leah, had to get creative with her tactics. Conversations struggled at the top, but soon, more and more attendees were unmuting. Delegates were sharing their ideas, but also voicing when they were uncertain, something we all know can be intimidating to say to a group.

“As a host for the girl delegate call,” Leah said, “even if things went differently than I had prepared for, I had to go with the flow. I’m proud that I was able to help give those girls a meaningful experience.”

“One thing I’ve noticed,” Karen explained, “is that girls are capable of significant accomplishments if we just give them the support and confidence they need to lead. When we, as adults, show that we believe in them, they ultimately believe in themselves.”

I am so proud of the work our girl delegates put into this, both behind the scenes leading up to the day, and during the forum. The teamwork, leadership, and innovation they demonstrated allowed them to create the safe space for the dialogue they hoped for.

Attendees of the forum commented that they were so happy to have the opportunity to attend and connect with other girl delegates. At the end of the Forum, they all said, “See you next weekend at NCS!”

In the past year a lot of our plans have changed, and many of us have been forced to shift. What has not changed is the determination and spirit of our girls. They continue to blaze new trails and inspire.

“It’s important for girls to take leadership positions so they can make a change in their lives, instead of letting someone else do it,” Dakota said.

“Girls have a specific point of view that adults don’t—it’s important for girls to be able to share that point of view,” Leah explained, and Alonda added, “I feel like there’s not enough recognition for young girl’s and women’s leadership.”

Carlie also agreed: “Girls are often told it’s bad to be loud, and Girl Scouts teaches us that our strength is our voice, our actions, us. Creating spaces for girls to learn voting, business, public speaking, and diplomatic skills is crucial to creating a world that is meant for us, too.”

Kate concluded, “I’m excited to be a part of something that will impact not only my community, but girls throughout the United States.”

Save the Date for the next National Council Session!

Girl Scouts are welcome to attend the next National Council Session in July 2023 on their own, as a troop, or you can apply to be a delegate.

Applications will open in 2022 for the 2023 National Council Session. Adults and Girls that are 14 and up will be able to apply.

Learn more about our Democratic Process and other opportunities on our website.

Thank you to the Girl Delegates and Alternate Girl Delegates:


And thanks to Karen Schillings and Alaina Greene for their mentorship!

Look out next week for a blog post all about the adult Delegates whose achievements have been three years in the making.

Learn More About Democracy

NEW Civic Engagement Badges for K-12 Girls

Read about this creative way to earn the new democracy badges

View all GCNWI Programs for Girls and Adults

Member Monday: Sparking Interest in STEM!

Women hold less than 28% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) jobs in the United States, but make up more than 47% of the U.S. workforce. We look to girls and women, then, to become part of the 1 million new STEM professionals needed in the workforce by 2025.

Girl Scouts is an integral part of this mission and has pledged to add 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline in the next five years. At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, we are committed to motivating a new generation of young women and girls to explore future careers in STEM.

West Monroe Partners is one of the visionary companies we have partnered with to spark an interest in STEM for girls in our council, culminating in two Spark Day programs earlier this month!

Continue reading to meet Carrie Camino, Director of Operations Excellence and co-chair of the West Monroe-GCNWI partnership, and learn all about the Spark Day initiative.

Girls of Tomorrow

For the first-ever virtual Spark Day with GCNWI, Girl Scouts had the opportunity to “visit” West Monroe Partners and get an inside look at what business and technology consulting is really all about. The girls had opportunities to speak with many people in a variety of fields, from green energy and water management, cybersecurity, software development, supply chain manufacturing, and more.

They engaged in hands-on activities developed by a team of 30 professionals at West Monroe, including deconstructing the manufacturing of a pencil, and simulating a Great Cookie Hack on the Digital Cookie platform, all to get insight on what day-to-day operations look like at West Monroe Partners.

The program was a huge success, and many girls left with a renewed interest in a future career in STEM. For Carrie Camino, Joel Brock, and Jodi Bednar, the co-chairs in our West Monroe collaboration, enriching the lives of girls with the STEM perspective is essential to building the next generation of leaders.

“My personal passion is to help girls of tomorrow think about what the future could look like.”

“My personal passion,” Carrie explained, “is to help girls of tomorrow think about what the future could look like.” West Monroe Partners is a firm focused on diversity of thought and experience, “and women and girls come at problems with a very different perspective,” one that is incredibly important to the consulting process and an economic imperative to the firm.

Carrie, a Girl Scout alum and parent herself, believes that the Girl Scout program can be a major stepping-stone to an interest in STEM. “Girl Scouts provides a structure of activities and opportunities to experience things you might not be afforded in any other environment.”

Her advice for Girl Scouts looking to make the most out of the experience? “Say yes to as many opportunities as you can.” And to young women interested in pursuing a career in STEM, Carrie says, “There is so much in the environment telling you what you can or shouldn’t do. Don’t listen. You can do or be whatever you want to be.”

Thank you to Carrie Camino for sharing with us, to partnership chairs Joel Brock and Jodi Bednar and to everyone that lent their expertise and creativity to bring the activities to life, and to West Monroe Partners for collaborating with us for this fantastic Spark Day initiative! Without them, Spark Day would not have been possible.

Curiosity Never Stops!

The new frontier of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is already here, and girls are taking the lead. The STEM Career Exploration badges for Girl Scouts in grades 2-8, funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, are perfect for girls interested in breaking the mold in the world of STEM. Read our blog to learn about these badges!

Looking for STEM programming? Find some on our registration website!

Become Inspired by our National Gold Award Girl Scout

National Gold Award Girl Scout Therese combined her passion for STEM and social justice into a Gold Award project that won her national recognition. Watch the video above to learn more about her story!

November Programs for Girls and Adults

This month, we’re taking action, standing tall, and giving back to our communities. Join a Take Action workshop, a financial literacy webinar with Morgan Stanley, and other special interest groups! We’re also having some late fall fun together– don’t miss the chance to smash some pumpkins at our in-person Pumpkin Smash and Fall Fest!

Read on to learn more about this month’s in-person and virtual programs with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI)!

Virtual Programs for All Ages (K-12 and Adults)

In November, girls of all ages will:

Pumpkin Smash and Fall Fest

It is pumpkin-smashing season! Join us for our third annual in-person Pumpkin Smash event from Nov. 6-8 at Camp Greene Wood and unite with others in the effort to help divert compostable material from landfills. Bring over your old pumpkins and SMASH them with us. If you don’t want to stay to smash your pumpkin, you can just drop it off, but please still register so we know you’re coming!

Want to do more? Attend our Fall Fest on Sunday, Nov. 8 either before or after smashing your pumpkin! We’re making fall-themed crafts, adventuring through the forest, going on spooky hikes, and more, so don’t miss out.

Democracy Badge Webinars

Have you ever been curious about how our government functions, and how we elect officials? Now is a great time to learn! Together, we’ll learn the branches of government and find out what keeps our towns and states running! You’ll even learn the ins and outs of voting and governing, all while earning part of the Democracy badge for your level.

Register for our Democracy Badge Starters on Nov. 4 for all ages.

Related: Read about how volunteers Service Unit 406 engaged girls with civic leaders to earn the new democracy badges!

Take Action Workshops

Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors looking to earn a Highest Award or complete a Journey are welcome to our Take Action workshops this Nov. 4! We’ll cover the differences between community service and taking-action, and how to best plan a take-action project. Come ready to brainstorm!

Register for the Take Action workshops today!

Financial Literacy with Morgan Stanley

Juniors and Cadettes are invited to join our financial literacy badge starter workshops with Morgan Stanley on Nov. 18. Together, we’ll work on activities, learn financial literacy basics, and have time for participating adults to talk to a Morgan Stanley representative and ask questions, and get started on the Business Owner and Financing My Future badges!

Don’t miss out on these fun badge starters! Register today.

Special Interest Groups

We now offer special interest groups for Girl Scouts looking to get a little more out of a special interest of theirs; these groups include a book club for Cadettes, a virtual hangout space for older Girl Scouts, an all-ages Astronomy Club, and Career Conversations for older Girl Scouts.

Day of the Dead Virtual Altar

In Latin America, the dead are remembered – and celebrated – in a unique way every year. Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on November 2, All Souls’ Day, with colorful, joyous altars filled with mementos and photos of their beloved dead.

This year, GCNWI is creating a Day of the Dead Virtual Altar where you may place a remembrance of someone in your life who has died. To participate, simply submit your digital photos, mementos, and keepsakes to our website, and we’ll share those with everyone on a “virtual altar” to be released during Day of the Dead!

Programs for Adults and Volunteers

November is Coming!

Looking for programs for a specific age-group? Follow these links to find them:

Dreaming of Future Travels? Plan with GCNWI!

Even though travel might not be at the top of your list right now, dreaming and planning ahead should be! There are multiple fun ways that you can travel as a Girl Scout, including traveling with your troop, going on a Destination, or joining a council-sponsored trip.

Look ahead at our council-sponsored offerings!

These trips are planned for 2021 and 2022, and are subject to change in consideration of COVID-19 precautionary measures. Please review and stay updated with our COVID-19 guidelines.

Get Ready for Fun in 2021!

Adventure in Colorado

Summer is a great time for exploring the great outdoors! Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, offers many fun activities including canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, archery, ropes courses, zip lining, climbing wall, and much more. Group activities include a day at Rocky Mountain National Park, whitewater rafting and team-bonding experiences.

To join, submit a $400 trip deposit by Dec. 3!

Camping in the U.K.

Apply for the chance to camp with 6,000 of your closest Scouting and Guiding friends on the lawn of Windsor Castle at the WINGS 2021 Jamboree. The group will spend 3 days in Liverpool before the Jamboree, and stay the night at Pax Lodge, the WAGGGS World Centre in London, afterwards. There are 8 girl spots to fill. 

Applications are due Dec. 3, 2020!

Is travel in 2022 calling your name?

Intro to Travel: Montreal

Calling all Cadettes! Girl Scouts of GCNWI will be inviting 12 girls and 2 adults to join us on a Canadian adventure! Next up in our Intro to Travel series for Cadettes, we’re headed to Montreal, Canada, the home of poutine, many churches, and steamed bagels. On this introduction to travel, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to plan a travel adventure, including budgeting, itinerary planning, and how to find accommodation. 

Girl applications due Dec. 3, 2020.

Hiking the Swiss Alps

Take the Swiss Hiking Challenge with your fellow Girl Scouts! This once-in-a-lifetime experience will be full of adventure, challenge, nature, new friends, and LOTS of fun! The trip will include a visit to Our Chalet, a WAGGGS World Centre, where you’ll hike some of the most popular trails in the area, rock climb, learn about the Swiss culture, and make new friends from around the world. GSGCNWI is looking for six girls to serve on a Girl Planning Committee to help plan a Switzerland adventure before our time at Our Chalet.

Applications to join the trip and the trip planning committee are due Dec. 3, 2020.


Destinations are trips for individual Girl Scouts from across the nation. Decide if it’s Morocco, Madison, or New Mexico you want to travel to, then fill out the application!

All 2021 Destinations applications are due Jan. 15, 2021.

Travel Scholarships are available to girls who have been accepted to a GSUSA Destination. 

Troop Travel

Are the girls in your troop planning their own adventure? GSGCNWI has brand new training available on our Learning Portal for troop trip coordinators, including preparing for your first trip, overnights, and extended trips. Check out the training!

Check out our Travel webpage for more info. Have questions? Reach out to Ashley Christensen at

Member Monday: Latinx Heritage Month!

Read this post in English!

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Latinx, un mes dedicado a celebrar los logros excepcionales y la rica cultura de todas las personas Latinas en los Estados Unidos! En Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), celebramos las vibrantes contribuciones de Latinos que dan vida a nuestra hermosa nación. Nos dedicamos a celebrar a las niñas de todas las partes ya sea que seas afrolatina o tengas raíces indígenas, celebremos la diversidad y la cultura hispana hoy y todos los días. ¡Siéntete orgullosa, habla fuerte y enséñanos tu cultura a continuación!

¡Sigue adelante para participar en la fiesta de este mes!

¡Exploradoras Hoy, Científicas Mañana!

¡Es una fiesta y usted y su niña están invitados! Girl Scouts y Johnson & Johnson los invita a celebrar a nuestras niñas y sus futuros brillantes. Este evento interactivo y GRATUITO le enseñara a las niñas lo que significa ser una científica mientras despierta su interés en la ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería, y matemáticas (STEM, por sus siglas en inglés).

Bailaremos con actores de Broadway, tendremos muchos invitados especiales, premios, y mucho más, ¡así que no se lo pierda! Durante esta sesión interactiva, usted y su niña jugarán juegos que le enseñarán el método científico de observación y deducción y cómo funciona en su propia vida. ¡Es diversión, pero con un propósito!

Su niña no tiene que estar registrada como Girl Scout para participar (¡aunque estamos seguros de que querrá convertirse en una cuando haya terminado con este evento!)

¡No hay fiesta como la de las Girl Scouts! Regístrese hoy e invite a una amiga también. ¡Hágalo por ella!

Aprenda sobre la magia de STEM en este video sobre Girl Scout Veronica:

¡Celebraciones del Día de Muertos!

En América Latina, los muertos son recordados y celebrados de una manera única cada año. El Día de Los Muertos se celebra el 1 a 2 de noviembre, con altares coloridos y alegres llenos de recuerdos y fotos de sus amados muertos.

¡Aprenda más sobre el Día de Muertos y compra nuestra caja de celebración cultural para obtener todo lo que necesita para celebrar en casa! Dentro de la caja, recibirá instrucciones sobre cómo configurar un Altar para un ser querido fallecido, decoraciones para fiestas, suministros e instrucciones para manualidades, recetas para delicias deliciosas y un parche divertido.

¡Compra la caja de celebración hoy para comenzar! A partir del 2 de noviembre, tuitea #GCNWIDayofDead para compartir una foto tuya con las cosas que creaste en tu caja.

Este año, GCNWI está creando un Altar virtual del Día de los Muertos donde puede colocar un recuerdo de alguien en su vida que ha muerto. Para participar, simplemente envíe sus fotos digitales, recuerdos y recuerdos a nuestro sitio web, ¡y los compartiremos con todos en un “altar virtual” que se publicará durante el Día de los Muertos!

¡También esté atento a un Programa de Parches extra especial que viene de GCNWI sobre las vacaciones especiales!

¡Conozca a alumnas latinas sin límite!

Todas las niñas merecen verse reflejadas en los líderes y los creadores de historia de nuestro mundo. Girl Scouts of USA lanzó recientemente una publicación de blog (en inglés) sobre algunas de nuestras alumnas de Girl Scouts latinas pioneras y revolucionarias, incluidas la activista Dolores Huerta y la jueza de la Corte Suprema Sonia Sotomayor.

Lee su blog para aprender más,

¡Si Se Puede!

¡No hay fiesta como una fiesta de las Girl Scouts! No podemos esperar a ver cómo celebras este mes; ¡compártelo con nosotros etiquetándonos en las redes sociales @GirlScoutsGCNWI o compartiendo tu historia en nuestro sitio web!

Conozca más eventos españoles en nuestro sitio web.

Happy Latinx Heritage Month!

Happy Latinx Heritage Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the exceptional accomplishments and rich culture of all Latino people in the United States! At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), we celebrate the vibrant contributions of Latinos who bring our beautiful nation to life. We are dedicated to celebrating girls from all over, whether you are Afro-Latino or have Indigenous roots, let’s celebrate Latinx diversity and culture today and every day. Be proud and speak up!

¡Sigue adelante! Read on to get involved in the fiesta this month!

¡Exploradoras Hoy, Científicas Mañana!

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Girl Scouts of USA and Johnson & Johnson invite girls and their families to celebrate their brilliant futures! This event, on Saturday, Oct. 17, is FREE, in Spanish, and engages girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

We’re going to dance, play, and learn all about the fun of science, and even get to meet Broadway actors and dancers! This is all about fun with a purpose: we’ll be also playing games together that teach your girl the scientific method of observation and deduction, and how it works in her own life.

Register today!

Learn about the magic of STEM in this video about Girl Scout Veronica’s story (video is in Spanish):

Day of the Dead Celebrations!

In Latin America, the dead are remembered – and celebrated – in a unique way every year. Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on November 2, All Souls’ Day, with colorful, joyous altars filled with mementos and photos of their beloved dead.

Learn more about Day of the Dead and order our cultural celebration box to get everything you need to celebrate at home! Inside the box, you’ll receive instructions for how to set up an Altar to a deceased loved one, party decorations, craft supplies and directions, recipes for tasty treats, and a fun patch.

Purchase the celebration box today to get started! Beginning November 2, tweet #GCNWIDayofDead to share a picture of you with the things you created in your box!

This year, GCNWI is creating a Day of the Dead Virtual Altar where you may place a remembrance of someone in your life who has died. To participate, simply submit your digital photos, mementos, and keepsakes to our website, and we’ll share those with everyone on a “virtual altar” to be released during Day of the Dead!

Read the recap of last year’s Day of the Dead event on our blog!

Also look out for an extra special Patch Program coming to you from GCNWI all about the special holiday!

Meet Some No-Limit Latina Alumnae!

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Every girl deserves to see herself reflected in our world’s leaders and history-makers. Girl Scouts of USA recently released an awesome blog post about some of our trailblazing, game-changing Latina Girl Scout alumnae, including activist Dolores Huerta and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor!

Read their blog to learn more!

¡Si Se Puede!

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¡No hay fiesta como una fiesta de las Girl Scouts! We can’t wait to see how you celebrate this month– share with us by tagging us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or sharing your story on our website!

Learn more about Spanish events.