Looking back at Summer Camp 2021!

Looking back at Summer Camp 2021!

It was such a joy to be at camp this summer, in a year where Girl Scouts needed the fresh air and connection the most!

Summer camp 2021 with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) was a blast because nothing could stop our Girl Scout friends from having the best summer ever! Our staff shared some of their stories from spending the summer with the campers at several locations across our council: gather around the campfire and read on to reminisce.

Written by GSGCNWI Staff Members

Le’Claire Park Summer

“During the summer, Community Engagement partnered with the Chicago Park District for a 6-week summer camp program. The Park’s focus area for this week was about kindness and Hippie Day. The girls started with art and crafts; they all got a chance to create world peace signs. After that, we decided to focus on the Science of Happiness badge, which highlights the scientific method behind happiness. We asked the girls questions, like what makes you happy? What are you grateful for? How could you make others happy? 

Then we played a game called ‘Don’t make me laugh’; each girl got a Laffy Taffy candy and we had them stand up and say the joke on the wrapper out loud, it helps with their public speaking and gets them out of their comfort zone. Lastly, we closed with self-portraits. We wanted the young ladies to understand that it’s important to love yourself and most importantly to figure out what makes you happy in that process. We had lots of fun! 

About a week later, one of our summer camp girls Kay-C came up to me and said, ‘Miss Diamond, I had my mom go to the store to buy me Laffy Taffy candies, so I could tell her the jokes on the back of them to make her happy.’ I was so excited to hear this because that’s exactly what we wanted the girls to gain from that session. We wanted them to learn self-regulation, so they can go home and use those skills, not only for themselves but others they love as well.

With the past year that all of us have had, it’s important that we all must try to intentionally make ourselves smile but others as well, when we can. Girl Scouts does an awesome job with giving girls those hands-on skills and now we can make a difference in their emotional learning as well.”

Diamond Franklin, Director of Service Partnerships

Flying High

“The Albert C. Hanna High Adventure course is a place where girls find their courage, by taking part in ‘challenge by choice’ — girls go as far as they want to go, and while they are encouraged to stretch outside of their comfort zone, we understand that for some, even a small step can be a huge deal. That was the case with Paige. She was a little nervous about the high ropes tower, and for her, every step up the ladder to enter the course was a BIG DEAL. Slowly she made it to the top of the ladder, then to the first platform at 25 feet up in the air. Each step up, she visibly challenged herself beyond her comfort zone and found her courage. She even took a step out onto a cable, and then decided that was her challenge for the day. On her way down, to the cheers and applause of her fellow campers, she was very emotional. When asked at the bottom (after catching her breath) if she was proud of herself, she had a little smile and said, ‘Yes.’

Early this summer, a tornado touched down in Woodridge/Naperville close to Camp Greene Wood. While the camp was not impacted, the decision was made to cancel camp for the day to allow emergency services open roads to assist in cleanup efforts. One Brownie, seeing what had happened, decided she wanted to help. She (with mom and camp director Sprout’s help) organized a canned food drive during day camp check-in that Thursday, leading her other fellow campers in helping make a difference for families in need in the camp community. 

That same week in resident camp world, it was a very stormy week, leading to a lot of activities girls were looking forward to getting rescheduled. One girl at the end of the week shared that while they hadn’t gotten to do everything they wanted to do, in the order they wanted to do it, she didn’t really mind because of the friendships she had made with the other girls in her group throughout the week.”

Katie Young, Director of Outdoor Programs

Biking for Days

“I spent 6 days over 2 weeks leading middle school girls in the resident camp biking unit. Middle school girls get a bad rap — these girls could not have been more supportive and respectful of each other! They were master negotiators, easily navigating the difficult conversations about who should ride in what order and why. Adults could learn from them — they clearly knew each other well enough in a short amount of time to discuss the riding order with respect for each individual girl’s abilities and desires.

These girls were resilient, too. We weathered a flat tire, riding past many dead animals and a girl who on the last day realized she’d been riding in a difficult low gear all week! Not to mention that only two of these girls had EVER ridden their bike on a real road or highway.

They loved to talk — and were not shy about it. Conversations surrounded books they loved to read (they begged for more library time on each of our trips that included a library destination), who took what meds for which conditions, menstrual cramps and sexual identity. I saw high fives between girls who shared learning disabilities and anxiety issues.

These girls still need supervision and guidance but truly, we adults can learn a lot from them about respect, support and caring for one another.”

Julie Gilmartin, Director of Volunteer Services

All Kinds of Girls

“Camp was very introspective for me as a newer employee to GSGCNWI. It really helped to personify a lot of the key phases we use when talking about Girl Scouts, like ‘make new friends’ and ‘a place for every girl.’ And I did meet a variety of girls: girly-girls, sporty girls, girls that were into sci-fi fantasy and anime, girls that loved bugs and nature, shy girls, and girls with personalities perfect for reality TV. 

The main thing that stuck out for me during camp was the formation of the ‘buddy line.’ Anytime we had to move from one location to the next, girls had to find a buddy that they could partner with while they walked in line to the next activity. The counselors were often strategic with how the buddy line was formed, encouraging girls to partner with someone they haven’t partnered with before, or find a partner who you have something in common with. The random selection prevented cliques from forming and indeed helped girls ‘make new friends.'”

Sherrie Green, Marketing Manager

Camp Adventures!

Make New Friends, Keep the Old

For more than 100 years, Girl Scout camp has brought girls outdoor adventures full of learning, challenges, a whole lot of friendship, and tons of fun. This happens through a community—each girl who comes to camp is welcomed into a group of girls who together can discover together.

When you are ready to meet in-person with your troop, Girl Scout camps will be open! You can reserve outdoor shelters, lodges, and other campsites on our new registration and reservation site. 

Locations open for use*: 

  • Camp Butternut Springs (Valparaiso, IN) 
  • Camp Greene Wood (Woodridge, IL) 
  • Camp Juniper Knoll (East Troy, WI)
  • Camp Palos (Palos Park, IL) 

*Some sites may not be available in the winter months. 

Not sure where you want to go? Check out an overview of our camps & locations!

Learn more about our outdoor programs and camp experiences.

Tips and Tricks for Planning a Local Trip!

Tips and Tricks for Planning a Local Trip!

Written by Global Action Volunteer Team Member Maureen Ewing and Senior Manager of Travel Programs, Ashley Christensen

As you start to plan what your troop will be doing this Girl Scout year, have you considered planning a trip? The trip doesn’t have to be big or long or even very far away – just enough for girls to practice planning, making girl-led decisions, and working together as a team.  

A great place to plan a starter trip is at one of our council properties! When you are ready to meet in-person with your troop, Girl Scout camps will be open! You can reserve outdoor shelters, lodges, and other campsites on our new registration and reservation site. 

Locations open for use*: 

  • Camp Butternut Springs (Valparaiso, IN) 
  • Camp Greene Wood (Woodridge, IL) 
  • Camp Juniper Knoll (East Troy, WI)
  • Camp Palos (Palos Park, IL) 

*Some sites may not be available in the winter months. 

Not sure where you want to go? Check out an overview of our camps & locations!

Want to take your girls on a local trip but not sure where to start? Try one of these local sights in the Chicagoland area!

  • Enjoy a night or weekend in downtown Chicago. Stay at HI Chicago, right downtown, and reserve a dorm room just for your girls. Explore our wonderful city from museums to outdoor parks to public art.  
  • Take a hike at Starved Rock State Park. The park boasts beautiful trails, picturesque waterfalls, and a great view of the Illinois river. The fall is beautiful at Starved Rock! There is a lodge at Starved Rock and local campgrounds if you want to stay the night. 
  • Visit a pumpkin patch and plan a pumpkin carving party! There are many pumpkin patches around Chicagoland where girls can choose their own pumpkins and enjoy outdoor activities. 
  • Road trip it and learn some history! Cities like Springfield, ILGalena, ILMadison, WI, and Milwaukee, WI all have much to offer just a few hours away! 

Keep your girls excited about travel, reminding them what lies just outside their doorstep. From planning where to go, how to get there, and what their budget is, girls learn leadership skills as they become travelers.

Check out more resources on our council’s travel webpage.

The Global Action Volunteer Team produced a series of videos showing off their neighborhoods! Watch the series on our YouTube, then check out these neighborhoods with your troop or family.

Make sure to follow our COVID-19 guidelines while traveling.

Help make travel adventures like these possible for more Girl Scouts through the GCNWI Travel Scholarship! Scholarship funds provide girls facing financial hardship with the resources to plan and pursue travel, from council-sponsored day trips to international journeys through the Destinations program. Together, we can help Girl Scouts become more knowledgeable, compassionate citizens of the world through global programming and travel opportunities.

Apply to be a National Delegate for the National Council Session!

Apply to be a National Delegate for the National Council Session!

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) is seeking applications for National Council Delegates for the National Council Session/56th Convention, July 2023 (Dates TBD), in Orlando, Florida!

This is a very exciting opportunity for Girl Scouts and volunteers to share their voices and make change in our national community. National Delegates play a vital role in providing strategic direction to the Girl Scout Movement, and last year, two proposals authored and presented by GSGCNWI were passed, so your input is especially important. No experience is necessary!

To be a National Delegate for GCNWI, you must:

  • Be available to attend the National Council Session/56th National Convention in Orlando, Florida, July 2023* (at no expense to the Delegate)
  • Be a citizen of the United States (this is based on our Congressional Charter, not GSUSA policy)
  • Be a registered member of the Girl Scout Movement
  • Be 14 years of age or older at the time of election (GSGCNWI Annual Meeting April 7, 2022)
  • Be committed to participating in National Delegate training and preparation sessions offered by the council
  • Be committed to a three (3) year tenure as a National Council Delegate (April 7, 2022 – April 2025)
  • Be committed to participating in National Council Session follow-up activities sponsored by the council
  • Be committed to participating in GSGCNWI Delegate Meetings, including Delegate Quarterly Meetings and the GSGCNWI Annual Meeting while a National Delegate

*Exact dates of the National Council Session will be announced soon. Historically, it takes place over three days.

Applications are being accepted through November 3, 2021!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to be a National Delegate?

Any registered member of GSGCNWI (youth or adult) who is 14 years of age or older by time of election (April 7, 2022).

What is the application process?

National Delegate Applications will be open online between September 1 and November 3 2021. National Delegate Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be asked to attend a virtual interview in November or December. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application in early 2022.

Do I need any previous experience to be a National Delegate?

No previous experience is required. Training will be provided to all National Delegates on Robert’s Rules of order, parliamentary procedures and items of business prior to the National Council Session.

What is the time commitment?

National Delegates and Alternates serve a 3-year term, from April 2022-April 2025 and must be able to attend the National Council Session (NCS) in Orlando, Florida, July 2023 (Exact dates TBD). Typically, the National Council Session takes place over 3 days. Prior to NCS, National Delegates and Alternates will be expected to attend training and webinars offered by GSGCNWI and GSUSA to prepare for NCS. They will also be asked to read and review materials on their own to be informed on important topics related to NCS.

In addition to NCS related meetings, National Delegates are asked to attend and vote at the GSGCNWI Annual Meeting and Delegate Quarterly Meetings. Many of these meetings happen virtually via Zoom or other webinar/conference call methods. National Delegates and Alternates should expect robust engagement in the 6 months leading up to the National Council Session, with occasional engagement outside of that time frame.

I am graduating high school between April 2022- April 2025. Can I still apply?

Yes! If you are graduating during the 3-year term, you are still welcome to apply! We just ask that all Delegates keep an active registration with our council.

Is there a cost to being a National Delegate?

GSGCNWI will cover many of the costs associated with travel and attendance of the 56th National Council Session. There may be additional minimal costs for Delegates. For example, Girl Scout Uniform is typically worn at certain National Council Session meetings, which is the responsibility of the National Delegate (Financial Aid is available to assist with certain uniform needs).

What is an Alternate National Delegate?

Each council is allotted a certain number of Delegates based on their membership numbers the year before NCS. GSGCNWI always selects multiple Alternate Delegates in case a National Delegate is no longer able to serve in their role. Alternates will be called up to replace National Delegates as needed and are an important part of our democratic process and making sure the voice of GSGCNWI is heard.

Due to changes in when the National Delegate Application process happens, councils will be electing their delegates before they know the exact number of delegates they are allotted. For this reason, GSGCNWI will be bringing on additional Alternates with the hope that they will be able to move up to National Delegate once the allotment is received. Alternates will participate in training and meetings to be informed on the process and prepared to step into the role should they be pulled up. Alternates are not allowed to vote on council or national issues until they are pulled up and they do not attend the National Council Session unless they are pulled up as National Delegates. In the case an Alternate is not pulled up, they may attend the National Council Session at their own expense.

Alternates are welcome to attend local governance meetings, such as the Annual Meeting and Delegate Quarterly Meeting.

Questions or further information needed? Please email Alaina Greene, Delegate Liaison, at nationaldelegate@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Meet the Girl Scout Delegates from last year, and read about the monumental 55th Session.

Looking back at the Smart Cookies Badge Bash

Looking back at the Smart Cookies Badge Bash

Last Thursday, Sept. 23, community members, leaders in Girl Scouting, and supporters gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to celebrate and garner excitement for the Girl Scout mission at our annual fall fundraiser, Smart Cookies Badge Bash, hosted by our Associate Board!

Attendees got a first-hand look at what Girl Scouts really do through interactive booths led by staff and alums from our council. These former Girl Scouts taught booth participants about fundamental Girl Scout experiences, from testing their speed at tying a bowline knot to putting their crafting skills to the test by designing a face mask. At a STEM-based booth sponsored by InventorCloud, attendees also got a chance to make their own Newton Disc to learn about color-light interactions.

All of these booths showcased exactly why investing in Girl Scouts matters: we provide Girl Scouts with experiences that help them find their voice, their interests and passions, and make an impact. Girl Scouts empowers young people who can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class.

Thanks to your support, we raised $67,000 and counting!

Check out all of the photos from the event here.

Your donation is an investment in girls, setting the stage for moments that will transform their lives.

Help ensure that ANY girl, ALL girls, can participate in Girl Scouts, right now, when they need it most.

Let’s celebrate Girl Scouts Change the World Month!

Let’s celebrate Girl Scouts Change the World Month!

Starting October 1, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSCNWI) are celebrating International Day of the Girl (October 11) and all the amazing ways girls have and WILL change the world! Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to join national and local virtual events where they can become inspired to make global and personal change, from Take Action workshops to Gold Award celebrations and more.

Read on to get the full scoop.

Girl Scouts Change the World

Tune in Saturday, October 9, for a FREE virtual celebration to discover how you and your friends can make the world a better place for girls everywhere. You’ll meet some of the 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts and see how you (yes, YOU) have what it takes to become a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Girl Scout.

If you’ve already earned your Gold Award, you can look forward to a special breakout session honoring all you’ve achieved. It’s a day of inspiration, sisterhood, and global action. You won’t want to miss it!

Earn your Global Action Awards and order your badges from our shop site.

International Day of the Girl Celebrations

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

Brownies and Juniors will explore how to reduce their impact on the environment through the food they eat, while Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors will explore what it takes to have a zero waste lifestyle (that’s NO plastic!) and fast fashion!

Highest Awards and Take Action Workshops

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

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

Looking for even more to do?

Check out our Highest Awards webpage for ideas, inspiration, and next steps for earning a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award!

You can also complete the SuperGold Patch Program for more information on Girl Scout Highest Awards!

This year, in collaboration with UNICEF’s IDG 2021 Theme “Digital Generation, Our Generation,” you are invited to a girl-led virtual roundtable on International Day of the Girl (October 11) to listen to a diversity of girls to hear what they need and highlight sustainable and innovative solutions to issues that they face.

Join us for Becoming Me Workshops!

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

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

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

Meet Shaela, National Gold Award Scholarship Recipient!

We are thrilled to announce that Girl Scout Shaela is the Gold Award Girl Scout from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) to be awarded a national scholarship from Girl Scouts of the USA for extraordinary action in addressing the issue of food insecurity. Shaela’s work in building a relationship with Help for Hope, a local food and supply pantry in Coal City, has earned her national recognition, and we are so proud.

Read our blog to hear about Shaela’s initiative, in her own words.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month | Celebrando Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month | Celebrando Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Today and every day we celebrate the rich diversity of the Latinx community and its contributions to our beautiful nation. During Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15 and continues until October 15, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have some awesome ways to celebrate and show your pride!

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana! Hoy y todos los días celebramos la rica diversidad de la comunidad Latinx y sus contribuciones a esta hermosa nación. ¡Durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, que comienza el 15 de septiembre y continúa hasta el 15 de octubre, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago y Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) y Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) tienen algunas formas increíbles de celebrar y mostrar tu orgullo!

Patches and Fun Activities | Parches y Actividades Divertidas

Explore art, community traditions, and discover Latinx history by earning the Yo Soy Una Girl Scout fun patch!
Find the requirements online and then buy the patch in our shop.

¡Explora arte, tradiciónes de la comunidad, y descubre historia Latina completando las actividades para el parche de Yo Soy Una Girl Scout! Encuentre los requisitos en línea y compre el parche.

Using the clues in this neighborhood walk Patch Program, get to know Pilsen, a neighborhood rich in Mexican culture, including its great art, music, food, and people.

Buy the patch!

En este programa de parches de caminata por el barrio, conozca Pilsen, un vecindario rico en cultura mexicana, que incluye su excelente arte, música, comida y gente.

¡Compre el parche!

Also make sure to check out our new and improved version of Girl Scout Loteria, available for download!

¡Puedes usar nuestra nueva y mejorada versión de Girl Scout Loteria, disponible para descargar!

Programs and Events | Programas y Eventos

Sept. 24: Virtual Latin Dance Night | Clase Virtual de Baile Latino

Are you ready to get your feet moving and your hips shaking? Kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month with this virtual Latin dance class, including samba, salsa, and a traditional Mexican dance. This family-friendly program will sample a variety of dance moves and music. Register here!

You can earn the Brownie Dancer badge, a Dancing fun patch, and get some cute charms, too!

¿Estás lista para mover tus pies y tus caderas? Comience el Mes de la Herencia Hispana con esta clase virtual de baile latino, que incluye samba, salsa y un baile tradicional mexicano. Este programa familiar mostrará una variedad de movimientos de baile y música. ¡Regístrate aqui!

¡Puedes ganar la insignia de Brownie Dancer, un parche de baile y también algunos lindos amuletos!

Oct. 10: Global Girl Scouts: Hispanic Heritage Month | Girl Scouts Globales: Mes de la Herencia Hispana

The Global Girl Scouts are back! The Global Girl Scouts is a group of Girl Scouts who plan, research, and present on countries and communities around the world for other Girl Scouts to participate and learn from. This time, they’ll be presenting on the various countries throughout Central and South America in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month! You’ll hear interesting facts and do fun activities on Belize, Peru, Argentina, and more. Register here!

¡Las Girl Scouts Globales están de vuelta! Girl Scouts Globales es un grupo de Girl Scouts que planifica, investiga y presenta sobre varios países y comunidades de todo el mundo para que otras Girl Scouts participen y aprendan. ¡Esta vez, presentarán sobre varios países de América Central y del Sur en honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana! Escucharás datos interesantes y realizarás actividades divertidas en Belice, Perú, Argentina y más. ¡Regístrate aquí!

Oct. 16: Trunk or Treat and Day of the Dead Celebration | Trunk or Treat y Celebración del Día de los Muertos

Celebrate Day of the Dead at our second annual Trunk or Treat on October 16 at Camp Greene Wood! Day of the Dead is a two-day dedication to family, friends, and loved ones that have passed. Altars are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of the departed, and favorite foods and drinks of those honored. There will also be several trunks for trick-or-treating, calavera decorating, marigold flower making activities, and much more for Day of the Dead, as well as a Halloween craft. 

¡Celebre el Día de los Muertos en nuestra segunda colección de golosinas annual el 16 de octubre en Camp Greene Wood! El Día de los Muertos es una dedicación de 2 días a familiares, amigos y seres queridos que han fallecido. Los altares están decorados con cempasuchiles brillantes, fotos, de los difuntos y las comidas y bebidas favoritas de los homenajeados. Habrá varios baúles para pedir dulces, decoración de calaveras, actividades para hacer flores de caléndula y mucho más para el Día de los Muertos, e una manualidad de Halloween. 

Day of the Dead Cultural Celebration @ Home Kit | Caja para Celebrar Día de los Muertos en casa

Day of the Dead is a multi-day holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and help support their spiritual journey. Learn more about this Mexican holiday by ordering this cultural celebration box to get everything you need to celebrate Day of the Dead 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. 

El Día de los Muertos es un día feriado que se enfoca en reuniones de familiares y amigos para orar y recordar a los amigos y familiares que han muerto y ayudar a apoyar su viaje espiritual. ¡Aprenda más sobre esta festividad Mexicana ordenando esta caja de celebración cultural para obtener todo lo que necesita para celebrar el Día de Muertos en casa! Dentro de la caja, recibirá instrucciones sobre cómo instalar un altar para un ser querido fallecido, decoraciones para fiestas, suministros e instrucciones para manualidades, recetas para postres deliciosos y un parche divertido. 

Nov. 13: Dual Language Democracy Badge Workshop | Programa de Parche de Democracia Bilingüe

Brownies, Juniors, and families, join us at the Joliet Gathering Place as we dive into the Democracy badges and learn about voting, the path to citizenship for immigrants, and how important voting rights are in the United States. Brownies and Juniors will work towards their age level Democracy badge. This program will be dual language in English and Spanish.

Girl Scouts de nivel Brownies y Juniors con sus familias se unen a nosotros a la Joliet Gathering Place mientras nos sumergimos en las insignias de Democracia y aprendemos sobre la votación, el camino hacia la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes y la importancia de los derechos al voto en los Estados Unidos. Girl Scouts de nivel Brownies y Juniors trabajarán para conseguir su insignia de Democracia acuerdo de nivel de edad. Este programa será bilingüe en inglés y español.

Dec. 11: Las Posadas and Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration | Celebración de las Posadas y el Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors, 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. Join us on December 11 to learn more about both Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Las Posadas, holidays that are celebrated in Mexico. This virtual program includes singing songs, making a traditional buñuelo, and so much more.

Las Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, y Juniors, y sus familiares, pueden acurrucarse alrededor de una fogata (¡y la computadora!) Con chocolate caliente en la mano y celebrar los dias festivos de alrededor del mundo. Únase a nosotras el 11 de diciembre para aprender más sobre el Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y Las Posadas, fiestas que se celebran en México. Este programa incluye cantar canciones, cocinar buñuelos y mucho más.

Visit our website to find all of our upcoming programs in Spanish!

¡Visite nuestro sitio web para encontrar todos nuestros próximos programas en español!

More to do | Mas para hacer

At Girl Scouts, girls will learn new skills and develop value and self-confidence. We invite you to be part of the Girl Scout Exploradoras! Your girl will participate with other girls her age as they explore and discover new interests in a fun way.

En Girl Scouts, las niñas aprenderán nuevas habilidades y desarrollarán valor y confianza en sí misma. ¡Los invitamos a formar parte de las Girl Scout Exploradoras! Su niña participará junto a otras niñas de su edad mientras exploran y descubren sus intereses de manera divertida.

In 2017, GSGCNWI hosted a Destination to Our Cabaña in Cuernavaca, Mexico (read about their trip on our blog!). And now we’re excited to go back in 2023! If you are interested in learning more about this trip, contact Ashley at achristensen@girlscoutsgcnwi.org

En 2017, GSGCNWI organizó un Viaje a Nuestra Cabaña en Cuernavaca, México (¡lea sobre su viaje en nuestro blog!). ¡Y ahora estamos emocionados de volver en 2023! Si está interesado en aprender más sobre este viaje, comuníquese con Ashley en achristensen@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Don’t forget!

Our Welcome Girl Scout Daisy Kits are available in Spanish and English!

¡Nuestros kits de bienvenida de Girl Scout Daisy están disponibles en español e inglés!

Show off your Latina Girl Scout pride and share your story with us! Tell us how you are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, share some throwback photos, or tell us your Latina pride story! Submit on our website.

¡Muestre su orgullo de Girl Scout Latina y comparta su historia con nosotros! ¡Cuéntenos cómo está celebrando el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, comparta algunas fotos o cuéntenos su historia de orgullo latino! Envíe en nuestro sitio web.

Press Play on Fall Programs!

Press Play on Fall Programs!

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

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

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

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

Custom Programs for Girl Scouts!

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

Join us for Becoming Me Workshops!

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

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

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

Celebrate International Day of the Girl!

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

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

Highest Award trainings are here!

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

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

Join us for a Pumpkin Smash!

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

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

Register here!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

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

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

Volunteer programs are back!

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

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

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

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

Your time to shine? Now!

Time to Renew, Girl Scout!

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

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

Press play with Girl Scouts and watch her confidence soar. 

Camp CEO brings Girl Scouts and professional mentors together!

Camp CEO brings Girl Scouts and professional mentors together!

Girl Scouts and community leaders gathered at Camp Greene Wood for the fifteenth year of our premiere leadership program Camp CEO! Influential women making waves in their own careers met with high school Girl Scouts for a hybrid in-person and virtual week full of networking, leadership challenges, inspiring dialogue, and some fun in the sun.

At Camp CEO, Girl Scouts focus on self-awareness and self-discovery, learning public speaking, effective communication and collaboration skills, all while getting exposure to professional women in their community. Camp CEO mentor and SVP and Chief Customer Officer for NiSource Jennifer Montague shared: “During the week several senior executives shared our journeys with the girls and focused on exercises and topics ranging from leadership, teamwork, personal branding, listening with intention, networking and interviewing. Great fun!”

Girl Scout Courtney reflected on the experience: “The leadership challenge was amazing! It was so fun to be with girls I didn’t know that well, and by the end, we were the best trio ever.”

The Girl Scouts took away plenty from the experience; Courtney shared, “I learned that networking is a really great skill to have. Also hearing from a lot of the mentors that you should follow your heart [was] really inspiring.” Girl Scout Sydney added, “I always thought [networking] was something fancy when in reality it is just talking and meeting new people.”

Girl Scout Corrine continued, “I think Camp CEO provided me with many life skills. I learned that being a leader doesn’t mean being the loudest in the room; you need to be an understanding and adaptable leader that can help your whole team succeed.”

CEO/Founder of Driver’s Seat Tiana Clark shared, “I had a great time at Girl Scout’s Camp CEO. At Camp CEO, mentors like myself spent time with Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana teens engaging in discussion and activities around leadership, branding, networking, navigating challenging situations and everything in between! I had a blast!”

Managing Director and Head of Office for Marsh Julie Marcello added, “Loved being part of Camp CEO and joining all these great mentors and mentees. Full steam ahead for all these amazing high school Girl Scouts!”

Thank You!

We want to thank all of the incredible women involved in making Camp CEO a success, from our sponsors and community partners, to the mentors, to the staff, to the Girl Scouts themselves!

Open the door to amazing opportunities!

It’s not too late to join or renew your membership with Girl Scouts! Join today and get access to amazing leadership experiences like Camp CEO and so much more.

Introducing 28 new Girl Scout badges for all ages!

Introducing 28 new Girl Scout badges for all ages!

We are so excited to introduce 28 new badges for Girl Scouts of all ages!

Become a digital activist; make your own Cookie Business plan; explore the natural world through the lens of math; it’s time to take on something new! With these 28 new badges in Math in Nature, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Leadership, and new Global Action Awards, Girl Scouts will have the chance to break new ground in whatever they’re passionate about, whether it’s reinventing the way they sell cookies or finding out that STEM is for them.

See the new badges below and use the Badge Explorer to start your badge-earning journey!

Purchase badges and badge guides on our shop!

The Brand New Badges

New for Girl Scouts of All Ages

All Girl Scouts in grades K-12 can now earn Cookie Business and Digital Leadership badges!

13 Cookie Business Badges

Girl Scout Daisies to Ambassadors will be challenged to think beyond the cookie booth and become Cookie Goal Setters, Bosses, and Influencers! Digital sales and marketing will be just part of this curriculum where Girl Scouts will learn how to make the most of the Cookie Season and the Digital Cookie® platform!

6 Digital Leadership Badges

Sponsored by Instagram

Girl Scouts of all ages looking to explore the power of social media should look no further than the Digital Leadership badges! Learn to be safe online and manage screen time, how to create social impact and become a digital activist, and connect with your local and global community!

2 Global Action Awards Badges

There are two new major awards for Girl Scouts of all ages: World Thinking Day Award and Global Action Award. Girl Scouts will be able to start creating global impact today with these two new awards–one for each Girl Scout level.

New for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors

Girl Scouts in grades K-5 can now earn brand-new Math in Nature badges!

9 Math in Nature Badges

Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

Get outdoors and explore the worlds of mathematics and nature, at once! These badges help Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (K-5) live in the intersection of science and math, discovering the Fibonacci sequence, finding patterns in the planet, and much more.

Get Started Today!

These badges are ready to go, and through Girl Scouts at Home, GSUSA has free self-guided activities available online now!

You can also access a suite of Girl Scout programming online through the Volunteer Toolkit, including troop meeting plans, tips for volunteers, and other resources to help Girl Scouts earn badges and awards! There are also 28 training videos for volunteers: search gsLearn for “Badges” to watch all the mini-courses!

Explore all of the amazing badge opportunities online using the Award and Badge Explorer!

Purchase badges and badge guides on our shop!

Renew to Press Play

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

Press play with Girl Scouts: renew your membership today!

Join us for our Smart Cookies Badge Bash!

Join us for our Smart Cookies Badge Bash!

Join Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) at our premier fall fundraising event,  Smart Cookies Badge Bash, this September 23 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago! Hosted by our Associate Board, this event will give our supporters and community the chance to experience the fun and meaning of Girl Scouting firsthand, by meeting and learning from our Girl Scouts themselves.

At this signature cocktail reception event, we are showcasing the unique experiences Girl Scouting provides at 6-8 booths headed by Girl Scout alumns from our council! Attendees will participate in hands-on activities and learn more about what Girl Scouting is like by visiting booths such as Cadette Space, Science of Happiness, and the Coding Basics booth.

We are excited to feature the Newton Busters, the FIRST LEGO League World Championships competitors, who will be present at the Smart Cookies Badge Bash with their own booth! This is an incredible team of robot designing Girl Scouts in 7th to 12th grade who utilize several programs to showcase their technical design and team performance at local, state, and national competitions. They aim to raise awareness that women represent 25% of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce, and to raise the participation of girls in STEM activities through community outreach programs. Don’t miss out on a chance to see how these robots are made and get an opportunity to drive one!

Don’t miss out!

Bring your “troop” of friends and test your skills in earning badges and patches, led by today’s Girl Scouts, while enjoying bites, beverages, music, and much more.

Buy your ticket today!

Interested in sponsoring Smart Cookies? Check out the sponsorship benefits package!

This event is for our adult supporters and community; the badges earned will be just for fun!