Sharing Thanks the Girl Scout Way

Sharing Thanks the Girl Scout Way

At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), we are grateful for you: our members, volunteers, and supporters, who keep the heartbeat of Girl Scouts going.

Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our girls happy, safe, and comforted, especially as we stay apart this holiday season.

Our CEO, Nancy Wright, has a special message for everyone. Watch below:

Girl Scouts GCNWI CEO Nancy Wright

What are you grateful for?

Girl Scout Amy shares what she is grateful for this year

We want to know what you’re thankful for this year. Join us for a community art project and get the spirit of gratitude going.

What helped you get through 2020? Was it your Girl Scout sisters, your troop leader, your friends and family, or maybe your pet? Use our thankful trefoil to tell us!

Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Download the thankful trefoil and print or trace it from your screen!
  2. Fill in the trefoil with words or drawing of something you’re grateful for (like Amy did in the photo above). Be creative!
  3. Then, take a photo of yourself with your creation, and share it with us. Tag us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI and use the hashtag #GirlScoutsGCNWI. Or, upload the pictures to our website.

We can’t wait to see your creations! Happy Thanksgiving from GCNWI!

Read More About Girl Scouts Giving Back

Girl Scouts Give Back for the Holidays

Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press: Area Girl Scout Troops donate to Vernon Area food pantry in time to help families for Thanksgiving: ‘It’s been a tough year’

Service Story Round-Up: Girl Scout Strong from Home

Your Girl Scout Member Account Is Changing

In December, Girl Scouts will debut a refreshed member account management system designed with you in mind. The new environment will provide increased visibility to your Girl Scout member account, make it simpler to manage household (and troop) memberships, and make it easier for you to find more fun for your Girl Scout!

However, to implement these changes, all member systems will be unavailable from November 18 through December 7. This includes:

  • Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)
  • myGS 
  • New membership registration/s and membership renewals 
  • Looker (used by service unit data reporters) 
  • Background check completion and submission for processing 

What does this downtime mean for you?

Read below to see steps you can take to prepare for downtime.

Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)

You will not be able to access anything within your MY GS account (including your family profile, troop profile, and the VTK) from Nov. 18-Dec. 7.

  • Troop leaders/assistant leaders and parents/caregivers of Individually Registered Members (IRMs or Juliettes) should download any VTK meeting plans, rosters, and contact information before Nov. 18 as you will not be able to access the VTK during downtime.
  • Service Unit team members (mentors, program coaches, trainers, etc.) should reschedule all VTK trainings from Nov. 18-Dec. 7. 

myGS (member account)

You will not be able to access anything within your myGS member account from Nov. 18-Dec. 7.

Current members should review their household memberships (in myGS) and complete any necessary renewals by November 18.

  • In the new platform, all parents/caregivers must have a unique email address. In our current system, many parents/caregivers share one email address to access their family’s Girl Scout account. To ensure a smooth transition for your family, please take a moment to review and prepare your household for our fresh new environment by following these three steps:
  1. Log in to MY GS. (Note: In the new system, MY GS will become My Account.)
  2. Review your household’s email address. Are the adults in your household using the same email address? If yes, complete the next step.
  3. Provide a new email address for the secondary parent/caregiver.
  4. This is also good time to confirm the school we have listed for your Girl Scout(s) is correct.  
  • Girl Scout staff members also will be unable to access any member systems during the downtime. This means we will be unable to help you in the VTK, make troop changes, change contact information, complete background checks, add volunteer roles, or perform other similar tasks.
  • All members and volunteers should watch for an email from Girl Scouts in early December announcing the debut of our refreshed member account management system, updated login information, and instructions on how to access their refreshed Girl Scout account (myAccount) .


Looker, the service unit admin team reporting resource, will be unavailable from November 20 through December 7.

  • Volunteers who use Looker should download a copy of the reports used. In some instances, you may be able to use the most recent data available to meet your needs.

Background Check Processing and Screening

Background checks will be unavailable for processing and screening from Nov. 18-Dec. 7. If a volunteer’s background check is incomplete prior to Nov. 18 you will have to hold on volunteer activities until post Go-Live when eligibility status has been confirmed.

  • All volunteers who have received an invitation from the background check vendor to complete (or renew) their background check should submit their background check prior to November 14 to allow time for processing.

As Go-Live approaches we want you – our members and volunteers – to know that we will be here to guide you through the transition from beginning to end!

And, help us spread the word! Please share this information with other Girl Scout members. It’s very important that everyone knows that MY GS, the VTK, and Looker will be unavailable from November 18 through December 7 in order to ensure everyone is prepared.

Thank you for your patience while we work to enhance your Girl Scout member experience. We’re excited to support you through the transition and welcome you to our new member platform!

Contact Customer Care with any questions.

Your Chance to Win a GIANT Sloth!


You heard that right! Now is your chance to win the ultimate prize! If you are obsessed with sloths, and want to win this amazing four foot sloth perfect for any slumber parties, movies nights, or just snuggling and cuddling, read on to learn how you can WIN!

The Contest

WHO: YOU! This girl-led contest is designed to not only be educational but fun as well!

WHAT: Record a short video of yourself sharing your favorite sloth fact. These videos can be as creative as you’d like and should be no longer than 30 seconds to a minute and a half.

WHEN: The contest takes place Oct. 5 – Oct. 21. All videos must be submitted by Oct. 21 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

WHERE: Submit a link to your video using this form! In the form you will need to submit a link to download your video (we cannot accept files, only links to download or watch online). This could be DropBox, Google Drive, Box, or social media post.

Your videos will be voted on by the Product Program and Marketing staff after they are submitted, and the winners will be announced and shared on social media on Oct. 26.

You must be participating in the Fall Product Program to enter.

Earn MORE Cool Sloth Rewards!

When you participate in the Fall Product Program, you can earn more awesome rewards.

Whether that goal is a trip to an exciting new place, a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) project that will change the way you look at the world or earning AWESOME rewards, can make it happen. 

Check you all the fun rewards you can earn in our Rewards Highlight Video or you can find them on the Fall Product Order Form.

Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Girls and Volunteers

Girl Scout Mask with Trefoil

Girl Scouts has never been just about the badges. Or just the troop meetings. It’s always been about the girls. That’s why we are shifting our lens in the year ahead to see things through their eyes.

Girls need Girl Scouts. They need to feel connected, valued, empowered, challenged, and heard. That is what will get us through the coming months. While we certainly do not have a crystal ball, we do have each other. We urge you to say “yes” to renewing for the 2020-21 membership year so we can strive to ensure that no girl feels left out or alone.

Here’s what we are recommending as a reasonable approach to honor our commitment to girls:  

  • Meet in small groups outside (using the guidelines below) into the fall. Then shift into virtual space during the colder months.  
  • Right-size everyone’s expectations. Use your time together to connect, socialize and do something fun together. Laugh, explore something new.  
  • Complement your scaled-back troop meetings by directing girls and families to sign up for any of the council-led virtual programs and outdoor opportunities. Read about upcoming fall programs on our blog!
  • Ask recently graduated Girl Scout alums and experienced volunteers to be guest moderators. Remember, if the girls are laughing and talking, the experience is a success in their eyes!  
  • Not sure how to lead a virtual troop meeting? We can help! Read our blog for advice from a troop leader.
  • Use the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK). More resources have been added to make delivering a virtual badge-earning experience easier. Spend less time planning. 
  • Focus on a year of giving service to others. Plan to use your troop cookie proceeds to fund acts of kindness that benefit those who need food, books, pet supplies, notes of encouragement, and so much more.
  • Be creative, flexible, kind, relaxed, and innovative.   

Revised Guidelines for Small Outdoor Gatherings and Troop Meetings 

  • In-person gathering is entirely voluntary. Masks MUST be worn. 
  • UPDATED: Small groups of 15 or less girls plus 2 unrelated adults (following girl-to-adult ratios in Volunteer Essentials) may gather, providing that all safety precautions are observed, including the mandatory wearing of masks. 
  • Those who elect to attend an in-person meeting must review and sign our statement to be retained by the troop leader. Download the agreement »  
  • Guidelines will apply to all GSGCNWI members, regardless of state residency. 
  • Gatherings may take place only in the outdoors with space for social distancing. We encourage troops to meet outdoors into the fall, and to consider outdoor hikes and other adventures outdoors even in the winter months. 
  • Please review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisory for adults 65 years of age and older and those with underlying medical conditions before voluntarily deciding to participate in any in-person gathering. 

Tips for In-Person Meetings 

Troop leader Missie, of Troop 60775 from Flossmoor, IL, shared some very helpful advice for anyone considering in-person meetings 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!  

Despite the restrictions, Girl Scouts are still having fun, staying connected, and making memories, online and in-person. Now that you can meet in-person with up to 17 people, here are 5 ideas for outdoor activities

  • Masking up and exploring natural areas around you is a perfect way to get moving and get some fresh air with the girls! 
  • Host a socially distanced-movie night by setting up a projector, and have girls bring their own pillows and blankets to sit on and spread out! 
  • Interested in giving back to the community? Consider hosting a mask or food bank drive to provide resources to those who need it! 
  • Once the weather gets colder, the outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop! Winter hikes and other snowy activities are a great plan for girls interested in adventuring through the colder months. 
  • Sidewalk painting, geocaching, bird-watching, badge activities: the list goes on! As long as girls wear masks and distance at least six feet apart, go ahead and get creative with your meetings! 

Now that in-person meetings are starting up, what do you plan to do with your troop? Let us know! Share with us on social media (we’re @GirlScoutsGCNWI on all platforms), on Facebook, or share your story on our website

For more information and guidance, read the complete updated guidelines for in-person troop meetings, cookie booths, and retail shops. 

Stay Safe! 

Should any conditions change, these sets of guidelines will be adjusted to reflect new information or changes noted by federal or state health agencies. All current guidelines will be posted and updated as necessary on our website, and alerts will be sent to member families via email. 

Don’t forget to Renew!


When 90% of the girls in your troop renew by August 31 your troop will automatically receive a free Zoom account and a $20 eGift card for the Girl Scouts GCNWI online shop when the new membership year begins in October!

Learn more and renew on our website!

Girls, renew your membership today!

Summer Camp Revamp Rewind: Glowing and Growing!

Girl Scout Elisa making homemade skincare

Summer Camp Revamp has come to an end, and what an amazing six weeks of fun, learning, growing and glowing it was! From Mastering Mystery to Awaiting Adventure, every Girl Scout who attended our six-week at-home virtual camping experience turned this summer from a bummer to a BLAST!

For the last week of Summer Camp Revamp, Glowing and Growing, the girls refocused their energies and dedicated themselves to relaxation, mindfulness, and grounding. Whether it was spending time nurturing their green thumbs or making their own homemade skin care, the girls quickly became experts in all things self-care!

Read on to learn all about what the Summer Camp Revamp girls got up to last week, and over the past six weeks!

I Am… a Rainbow!

“I Am” Rainbow project by Girl Scout Mya

The girls, after making Gratitude Journals together for the week’s Discover Monday webinar (journals meant for writing down what you’re grateful or thankful for), got to work on their “I Am” Rainbows.

For each color of the rainbow, the girls wrote down different qualities they love about themselves, whether it was their intelligence, positivity, or courage. Then, after sharing with the group, the girls hung up their artwork in places they’ll be able to see every day, to remind them of their amazing qualities!

After going on wildflower scavenger hunts around their neighborhoods, the Summer Camp Revamp girls took action and planted different vegetables and flowers in their own backyards! And after experimenting with real dirt, the girls HAD to try eating…

… some dirt cake, which is delicious, we swear!

The girls then set to a day full of self-pampering, which included making their own spa treatments from scratch, including fizzy bath bombs, soothing face masks, and sparkly sugar scrubs. Girl Scout Lila filmed a tutorial for us: check it out below!

Girl Scout Spa Treatments by Lila

Closing Ceremonies

We want to thank EVERYONE at Summer Camp Revamp who shared stories and pictures and hilarious videos with us, and to everyone who made Summer Camp Revamp possible!

Have you been keeping up with Summer Camp Revamp all summer long? Read up on what the girls got up to in every post of our blog series, Summer Camp Revamp Rewind! Look forward to more Girl Scout stories next week on our Member Monday blog!

Celebrate participating in Summer Camp Revamp by purchasing an awesome, “retro” fun patch and DIY Tie-Dye T-Shirt Kit to make your own customized Summer Camp swag!

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. Learn more on our website!

Share your Story!

Summer isn’t over yet, and we have more in store for Girl Scouts of all ages! Watch for future opportunities like Summer Camp Revamp on our Programs site!

Share your summer story with us on our website, by tagging us on social media (@GirlScoutsGCNWI), or dropping us a line in the comments below!

Power Our Promise: Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders at Camp CEO

We’re excited to launch our new series, Power Our Promise as part of Camp CEO®. This program spotlights our “CEO Mentors” who activate our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place by sharing their time, talent, and treasure with Girl Scouts across the greater Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana area!

Read on to learn more about this year’s Camp CEO® from a mentor, Carrie Camino!

Flexing, Growing, Leading

Since 2007, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana has welcomed high-level professionals and teen girls from across our council geography to Camp CEO®, the premier leadership camp for teen girls.

This week marks the 14th session of Camp CEO®, as girls and mentors gather virtually to engage in valuable mentorship and leadership experiences that last a lifetime. Camp CEO® mentors play an integral part in the program, helping girls take charge of their ambition. Carrie Camino, Director at West Monroe Partners, is one of them.

Carrie Camino, Director at West Monroe Partners

“Camp CEO® creates and develops a talent network ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow,” Carrie said. “Helping others find their true passion, and then pursuing it to their fullest is one of the most valuable activities I can undertake to help support a diverse and robust community that can flex and grow together.”

As a Girl Scout parent, volunteer, donor, and alum herself, Carrie has experienced the power of Girl Scouting in a myriad of ways. “Some of the experiences helped me think differently about what I could do,” Carrie shared. “It helps girls to push themselves a little bit further in a safe space.”

Girls are the Future

At West Monroe Partners, Carrie leads a diverse array of clients on how they can use data to impact people and lead organizations in a different, more meaningful way. Influenced by strong female mentors in her own career journey, Carrie sees Camp CEO® as an impactful way to shape the next generation of courageous leaders. “Several of my mentors have been female, all of them with their own unique experiences and path forward,” Carrie said.

“My learning is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ – rather there is an underlying theme of courage, grace, grit, and curiosity that guided each of them, and now me, towards continuous learning by building relationships and taking on new challenges.”

Those very learnings are what Carrie hopes to share with campers during Zoom workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and virtual campfire chats from home.

“I am passionate about sharing my experiences to help girls gain a new perspective, have a safe place to envision alternate outcomes, and create excitement to take on new challenges that will help them own and direct their personal goals and leadership style,” Carrie said.

“Girl Scouts has a rich history of launching some of the most impactful women of our time,” Carrie reflected. “Girls are our future—creative, resilient, empathetic, optimistic, and driven—what could be more fun than fostering this amazing community?”

Support the Girl Scout Mission!

Interested in learning more about Camp CEO® and how you can be involved? Visit our website!

To join Carrie in powering our promise with your support, click here.

5 Ways Girl Scout Troop Leaders Can Succeed

Focus on What Girls Need Right Now

It is not business as usual at Girl Scouts. And that’s a good thing!

If sheltering in place has taught us anything, it is how to get creative with how we spend our time, our priorities, and how to connect with others in unconventional ways.

The same applies to being a Girl Scout leader.

We know things may look a little different, but here are 5 ways to keep the focus on girls, and what’s most important, when the need to see things differently has never been greater:

1. Shift Your Lens

Adversity has opened up the opportunity for us to take what we know about the traditional way of Girl Scouting and look at it under a new light!

Now is the perfect time to shift the way you view troop meetings and activities and welcome a new perspective that is innovative, flexible, and really responsive to girls’ interests and needs.  

Get outdoors while the weather is good! Just ensure that everyone is wearing masks and following all COVID guidelines. Safety first!

If your troop traditionally meets on a weekly basis, consider providing girls a robust and interactive experience at monthly meetings instead. Do not feel pressured to continue to meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis as you did before. Just help connect girls and their families to some of the many virtual programs and experiences offered by our council and Girl Scouts of the USA. You do not have to do it all yourself.

2. Become a Virtual Girl Scout Troop

Our COVID-19 guidelines will be updated throughout the upcoming year, but instead of waiting for the next set of recommendations, just shift your view of virtual Girl Scouting as an opportunity rather than a substitute. Most of our content works amazingly well online!

There are virtual troops girls can join right now or you can start your own using the Girl Scouts from Home page to plan out your meetings. Your Volunteer Toolkit has virtual meeting plans for all age levels! No need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to providing fun, interactive programming and experiences for your troop.

We frequently update our Girl Scouts from Home page with virtual activities the whole family can enjoy!

Check out what some of our virtual troops have been up to!

3. Continue to Uplift and Motivate Your Girls’ Parents

Girl Scouts is not cancelled. Reassure your parents that as things continue to evolve and change, we will continue to ensure their girl is having fun, connecting with other girls, and building skills

4. Save the Date for the Leadership Expo

We understand your pain points as a troop leader in these times of uncertainty. And we are fully prepared to address those uncertainties and provide resources on how to remain resilient amidst the unknown.

This year’s expo will take place Saturday, September 26, and will celebrate volunteer accomplishments, highlight inspirational stories, and uplift strategies and tactics for the 2020-2021 Girl Scout year. 

Save the date! Additional details and registration information will be announced soon!

5. Stay connected

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is full of resources to help you conquer a new Girl Scout year. In addition to the VTK, we will continue to provide you with the latest updates and insights right here on our blog, website, and social media.

When 90% of your girls renew by August 31, 2020, your troop will receive a FREE Zoom account!

Bonus tip: Breathe

We are here for you. Continue this journey with us as we look at why Girl Scouts exists, especially using a new lens to see that we have always been about supporting girls when they need us most.

Your Troop Can Get a FREE Zoom Account and be Entered to Win!

When 90% of girls in your troop renew by August 31 your troop will receive:

  • A free Zoom account for your troop ($36 value)
  • A $20 gift certificate for the Girl Scouts GCNWI online shop
  • TWO entries into a drawing a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)

When 75% of girls in your troop renew by August 31, your troop will receive one entry into the drawing for a $200 Amazon gift card (10 prizes available)!

Don’t miss out on this limited time offer!

Renew your membership and encourage the girls in your troop renew as well.

Contest rules

Congratulations to our Graduating Girl Scouts!

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and to all Girl Scouts transitioning out of our organization and into the great, big world. We are immensely proud of you and all that you have done during your time as a Girl Scout! We know the years with us have prepared you for a lifetime of leadership, and we cannot wait to see what your next move is.

There are plenty of ways to stay connected with the Girl Scout sisterhood–– read on to learn more and to hear a special congratulations message from our CEO, Nancy Wright.

Congratulations from our CEO

Congratulations Seniors on graduating high school. As you enter this new period of life, whether it is college, careers, and more, I wanted to take the time to sit down and share with you all how proud I am of your accomplishments. As you navigate this new space, take the lessons you learned from Girl Scouts with you to empower you and your future.

Know that your Girl Scout journey doesn’t end here. With a lifetime membership, you can remain a part of an organization dedicated to providing empowerment and strength to girls in your community, by becoming a Lifetime Member, a volunteer, or by extending your funds to GCNWI for next year. Whatever you decide to do, you will always be a part of the Girl Scout sisterhood.

Once again, congratulations graduates. I can’t wait to see what amazing things you will do in the future.

Extend your Girl Scout Funds!

Guess what, graduating Girl Scouts? We’re allowing a one-time extension for 12th graders to use money-earned funds for the next membership year! These funds can go toward your troop, Cookie Dough/Cash, and/or Program Credits, and the deadline to use the funds has been extended from September 30, 2020 to October 31, 2021. Please be aware:

  • All participants must maintain a current membership, either by purchasing a Lifetime Membership with the “young alum” discount or an adult annual membership for the 2020-2021 membership year. Adults working with the young alums must also have an active membership.
  • All activities and use of funds must be directly tied to the mission of Girl Scouts and be permitted Girl Scout activities by your council.
  • All standard safety and risk management procedures should be followed for group activities (including Volunteer Essentials, Safety Activity Checkpoints, and additional council guidelines).

GSUSA is also offering a 3-month extension September 30 to December 31, 2020 for Girl Scouts who are graduating from 12th grade and who seek to earn the Gold Award this year. Funds intended to be used toward Gold Award projects must be raised and used by December 31, 2020

Even if you’re transitioning out of Girl Scouting, there are still ways you can contribute to the Girl Scout mission! Maintain your current membership and you can use your funds before September 30, 2020 to design a Take Action project, purchase a “young alum” Lifetime Membership, donate to an existing council scholarship fund, create a brand new scholarship fund, or donate to your council’s financial aid fund or another Girl Scout fund.

Read the Graduating Seniors Funds Extension Guidelines for more details.

Join us as a Lifetime Member

Welcome to your next phase in life and leadership. Your Girl Scouting mission does not have to stop here–– by becoming a Lifetime Member, you can remain a part of an organization dedicated to providing empowerment and strength to girls in your community.

Graduating girl members can take advantage of the “Young Alum” discount by purchasing a Lifetime Membership or by purchasing an adult annual membership for the 2020-2021 membership year! Join as a lifetime member before July 31, 2020, and receive your choice of a gift—a lifetime membership scarf, a lifetime membership hat, or Girl Scout graduation regalia recognition cords! Or, in lieu of a gift, $10 will be donated to your local council.

Become a Lifetime Member today.

Give Back to Girl Scouts

Not quite ready to let go? No problem! Join us as a volunteer and you’ll become a part of a community dedicated to empowering young girls to be the best they can be! Whether you can dedicate a day, a year, or a lifetime, volunteering with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is a great way to keep up with us.

There are plenty of opportunities, from volunteering with a troop or a service unit, mentoring a girl you know personally, or by volunteering your time at an event, program, or camp!

Learn more about volunteering with GCNWI.

Grab Some Graduation and Lifetime Membership Merch!

Girl Scout Partners and Volunteers Create Virtual Space for Career Exploration

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) acted quickly to pivot from live, in-person programs, and events to an all-virtual platform this spring. Cross-functional teams aligned themed programming using online activity guides, webinars, and Zoom meetings.

Girls and their families jumped into this new programming format to enhance online schooling and to fill the void left without extracurricular activities.

One such program, provided by Girl Scouts GCNWI, used data from polls and surveys to curate a virtual experience that connects middle school and high school girls with professionals. Each Monday, Career Conversations feature 2-3 adults from a specified career field who share their insights and career paths with Girl Scouts and yield questions via Zoom.

Experts consist of Girl Scout volunteers, partners, and members of the Associate Board. Professionals typically volunteer to support badgework with Girl Scout troops in person, however with the current pandemic, the experts share their knowledge and insights virtually—no travel required!

Career Conversations launched with a focus on STEM careers and presenters included forensic fire scientist-Suzy Smith, civil engineer-Elizabeth Ottman, and architect-Jaclyn Marcus.

The second week featured other valuable Girl Scout partners in the fine arts profession. Adam Rudman, co-owner/writer/producer of Spiffy Pictures Inc. shared his career path as a writer for Sesame Street, Tom & Jerry, and other productions and how it led him to co-create, write and produce Nature Cat on WTTW.

Chelsea Hoy, Associate Artistic Director at the Trinity Irish Dance Company, explained to the girls how she uses her passion to empower children through the arts. Since its inception, Trinity Irish Dance Company has celebrated the strength, poise, and resilience of young female artists, consistently presenting males and females on equal footing. Through intentional casting, choreography, and costumes, they utilize their artistic platform to denounce the objectification of women.

Sarah Aronson, writing coach, teacher, and author of scholastic series, The Wish List, completed the panel. When Sarah is not writing or reading, she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, and of course, sparkle power!

Recent Career Conversations have included additional partners and experts including, US Navy Engineer- Erynne Bryd, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner- Laura Nolan, Attorney and Chief of Staff with the Chicago Transit Authority- April Morgan, Retail Buyer for GAP brands- Nancy Brandes, and Project Manager for Stericycle-Devyn Manshot.

Career Conversations are running through June 22 with an upcoming focus on cooking and animal careers. The popular series will resume in mid-July and run on Monday afternoons through mid-August. Specific career topics are being determined and will be posted on our activities schedule soon.

Are you an industry professional looking to speak at a Career Conversation with Girl Scouts? Visit HERE for more details!

Pets and Animals Week with GCNWI!

Exploring Nature | Older Girl Hangout | Career Conversations | Meet the Pets

Animals, whether you have one at home or not, have been constant sources of joy, comfort, and healing for us humans. We can all agree that a little love to and from our furry friends could help a lot right now. This week, we’re featuring programming on all sorts of animals: those you take care of at home, those that live in zoos, and beyond.

Looking for ways to learn more about and help animals? Check out these resources:

  • Daisy Girl Scouts interested in learning what animals need and how to care for them can embark on the Three Cheers for Animals Journey.
  • Girl Scouts in grades 3-6 (second year Brownies, Juniors, first year Cadettes) can embark on an educational adventure with the Puppy Rescue Mystery Book.
  • Cadette Girl Scouts who want to explore how animals help out humans with the Animal Helpers badge.
  • Girl Scout Seniors looking to use their voice to advocate for animal rights can earn the Voice for Animals badge (part of the Mission: Sisterhood Senior Badge Activity Pack).
  • Any Girl Scout who cares for pets can purchase the Pet Care fun patch.
  • If you adopted your pet from a shelter, visited an animal shelter before the shelter-in-place order, or donated resources to a local shelter, purchase the Animal Shelter patch.

There are plenty of videos to take a look at this week–– check out Wildlife SOS and their amazing videos of the elephants and other animals they rescue. Curious about how the animals have been doing at your local zoo? Check out these videos from zoos around the area: the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Brookfield Zoo, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Cosley Zoo.

Interested in learning about local pollinators? Check out this webinar hosted by the University of Illinois Extension to learn all about Illinois pollinators: who they are, how they help us, and how we can help them by building habitats for them:

This Week in Virtual Programming

Explore Nature in your Neighborhood

Tuesday, June 9 – Thursday, June 11 | For Girl Scouts Grades K-5 | Webinars & Video Premiere

Girl Scouts in grades K-5, join us for our three part series, Nature in your Neighborhood. Learn about the animals that might live in or around your neighborhood. This series will cover a variety of topics all about animals! Join us for two webinars that will cover topics including animal tracks, where you will learn how you can identify tracks, and animal homes, where you will have the chance to build your own and go on your own animal exploration hike. You are welcome to join us for all three activities, or just one.

Animal Tracks Webinar

Tuesday, June 9 at 3 p.m. | Girl Scouts (level)

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. We will make a field guide to animal tracks, play a matching game, and even make our own animal tracks.

Materials Needed:

  • 5-10 pieces of plain paper
  • Coloring utensils (markers, crayons, or colored pencil)
  • 1 black or dark brown marker
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Staples or Hole Punch & String/yarn
  • 2 new sponges (thin with no scrubber side preferred)
  • 1-2 colors of washable paint
  • Paper plate or paint tray
  • Newspaper or tablecloth

Animal Exploration Hike Video

Premiering on Wednesday, June 10 at 3 p.m.

Join us for an animal exploration hike in our neighborhood to get inspired for a walk in your community. Learn about some of the animals or animal homes that you may encounter and ways to stay safe while on your hike. Discover what we found on our hike to prepare for your own animal exploration adventure in your neighborhood.

Materials Needed:

  • Yourself
  • Your fab five (water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, rain coat, & flashlight)

Animal Homes Webinar

Thursday, June 11 at 3 p.m.

This webinar is all about animal homes. Learn about why animals build homes and how these home are designed to meet the needs of specific animals. We will take a closer look at Mason bees and learn about why they are important and the design of their animal home. Get your creativity ready as we will go through the steps of how you can make a Mason bee home to put in your backyard, using everyday items.

Materials Needed:

  • Tape/glue
  • String
  • Container (Choose one: tin can, toilet paper tubes, plastic bottle, mason jar)
  • Filler (Choose a combination of: sticks, 15-10 straws, paper, newspaper/magazines, cardboard)

If you participate in the two webinars, watch the Animal Exploration Hike video, and take your own exploration hike, you will have completed a variety of steps to the badges listed below based on your Girl Scout level. If you are interested in these topics, you can complete the rest of the steps and earn the badge to add to your vest.

Register to explore the nature in your neighborhood »

Older Girl Hangout

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

All Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 are invited to our weekly Older Girl Hangout every Thursday at 4 p.m., where you’ll get to connect and make space to talk with your Girl Scout sisterhood. Each week we’re talking about things that matter to us and our communities, and girls always drive the discussion. Join us.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Career Conversations

Monday, June 8 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

Join us for our weekly Career Conversations for girls in grades 6-12! Each week we will host some career-expert panelists to discuss a multitude of career opportunities with our council members. Not only will they share about their experiences, but they will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to hear about all sorts of careers–– this week we’re talking about careers with animals.

Register for Career Conversations »

Meet the GSGCNWI Program Team Pets!

Friday, June 12 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages (Grades K-12) | Webinar

Whether they’re cute and cuddly, or feathery and chirpy, pets can provide a lot of joy in tough times. Join this webinar to meet the pets of the GSGCNWI Program Team! We’ll introduce you to a dog, cat, turtle, and birds and share how we care for these pets. Use this advice to take care of your own pets at home or learn how to choose a pet that’s right for you and your family. Girl Scout Brownies will work toward their Pets Badge, but other Girl Scout levels are welcome to join!

Register to meet the Program Team pets! »

WILD Resources

Check out these awesome wildlife and nature resources from the comfort of your home!

Explore.ORG Live streams

Smithsonian Wildlife Education

Share With Girl Scouts GCNWI

This week, share pictures of your four-legged family members by tagging us on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or by submitting your story on our website! We can’t wait to see all of your adorable critters–– we could really use the cuteness.