Thank you to our amazing Girl Scout volunteers!

Thank you to our amazing Girl Scout volunteers!

All of us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) want to say THANK YOU to all our incredible volunteers! We appreciate the time and talents you share with our council, and most importantly, with Girl Scouts themselves.

We want our volunteers to hear how much they are appreciated from the people they impact the most! For our Just Say Thanks initiative, we asked girls, families, and co-leaders to share why they’re grateful for their favorite volunteer—whether that’s their supportive troop leader, the cookie manager who always brings their A-game, or their service unit volunteer who comes through when you need them—and what they said melted our hearts! Here are some recent Thank You’s to our volunteers.

Thank you to Julia Jones!

“Julia organized Service Unit 518 Nogs Hill’s first Service Unit Event of the year at Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, IL. The Food Bank serves our neighbors in 13 counties by providing over 250,000 meals a day. During this time of the year, the Food Bank also distributes Holiday Meal Boxes. Holiday Meal Boxes contains a turkey/ham, potatoes, stuffing and all of the trimmings for a festive and filling meal for 8 individuals.

Although only two troops participated, it was a wonderful turn out. There were 28 Girl Scout members (17 youths and 11 adults) that helped package items for this year’s Holiday Meal Boxes that will be distributed to provide a meal for 8 to those who need it. Together 2,030 satchels of Cocoa (16,240 individual servings) were packed for these Holiday Meal Boxes.” – Beverly Macrito

Thanks to Bunny Brown!

“Bunny Brown, my Mom, who was also my Girl Scout Leader growing up, has conquered her frustration with Zoom and attended every meeting with both of the troops I lead for my girls (Brownie Troop 45993 and Junior Troop 45530). She has attended Blanket of Dreams with us for the last 4 years. We were not going to let a little pandemic get in our way. So we set the date and bought the kits and we even drove the hour and a half to pick up her blankets in order to donate them for her. She continues to show up as a Girl Scout and encourage generations of Girl Scouts with a type of enthusiasm that is inspirational. I love her and her love for Girl Scouts.” – Nicole Grelecki

Thank you to LaTonya Allen!

“LaTonya Allen is no stranger to Girl Scouting. Her journey started as a Girl Scout Junior, under an unforgettable Girl Scout leader. Then, she guided her daughter and granddaughter into Girl Scouting as Daisies. Her daughter has since become a Girl Scout volunteer. And, her granddaughter has taken strong leads in excitement, dedication and product goal achievements.

LaTonya has been dedicated and supportive to the cause each time, wherever it leads. We would like to thank and show this appreciation to her. She is an asset to our sponsorship and any group she participates.” – Jessica McDonald

Thank you to Rebecca Resman and Jena Farnsworth!

Rebecca and Jena co-lead Troop 25774! For Rebecca, GS was a refuge from school life and the hierarchy that often comes from school. Jenna agreed, and because of this, run a community based troop. They often meet with girls coming from six different schools at a time. They hope that the friendships the girls make can last a long time and grow with the girls, even if they change schools or move to another part of the city.

On being a leader, Jena advises, “Don’t over think it. A lot of people don’t do it (become leaders) because it’s another commitment and they feel like they can’t add another thing in. Communicate and find the right partner to do it, a person who cares and wants the same thing for the girls.”

Thank you to ALL of our volunteers!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every volunteer involved with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Your commitment and care for our Girl Scouts keeps the organization going and is what makes it possible for so many girls to achieve their dreams and become compassionate citizens of the world. Thank you.

Read more volunteer stories on our blog.

Just Say Thanks!

Help us recognize outstanding individuals all year round with our new “Just Say Thanks” initiative! You can identify outstanding individuals who should receive an expression of appreciation from the GCNWI CEO, Nancy Wright.

We look forward to hearing from you and your troop to thank your local volunteers.

When you volunteer with Girl Scouts, you change lives. Visit our website to get started.

Tips for planning a long term Girl Scout trip!

Tips for planning a long term Girl Scout trip!

Are you planning a big trip—maybe to one of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Centres or on another adventure? Global Action Volunteer Team member, Karen, is a pro at helping Girl Scouts and volunteers plan trips! Before graduating high school, her troop went all over the world, including the WAGGGS World Centre in Switzerland, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Bay Area in California.

Here, Karen shares her timeline for planning a Girl Scout trip:

18 months out

  • Brainstorm ideas for 3-4 locations that would be age appropriate for your group to travel to. A great place to start is GSUSA’s travel webpage!
  • Let your Girl Scouts’ parents know that you’re beginning to plan a travel adventure and ask them to “save the date!”
  • Depending on the ages of your Girl Scouts, ask them to research potential locations, how to get there, where to stay, what to do etc. This takes some time, but eventually the girls will want to have a vote!

12 months out

  • Leaders will need to make sure they have trainings up to date and their paperwork filled out. GCNWI is here to help with this, and our travel webpage has it all listed!
  • Keep your parents updated with travel plans including how your troop has decided to pay for their trip and any special items they might need for the adventure.
  • Financial Assistance and Travel Scholarships are available! Scholarship funds provide girls with the resources to plan and pursue travel, from council-sponsored day trips to international journeys.
  • Start looking at making your reservations for overnight accommodations and travel. Always ask if discounts are available for Girl Scout troops—you would be surprised by how many do!

6 months out

  • Double check that all of your paperwork has been approved via Girl Scouts. Put together a binder with a day-by-day outline of your trip and Girl Scout paperwork including release/medical forms for your girls. You will need to have this with you everywhere you go!

3 months out

  • Everyone should be very excited! You might want to think about making a troop t-shirt, bandana, headband, bucket hat, etc.—not only a fun souvenir but a great way to visually keep track of them in busy areas.
  • This is also when you want to confirm all your reservations you have made, including hotels, tours, and restaurant reservations.

As a volunteer traveling with Girl Scouts, you will have the greatest adventures of your lifetime. Check out GSUSA’s Travel Resources for even more great info!

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

Around the World and Around the Corner

When you travel with Girl Scouts, near or far, you’re doing more than making memories — you’re also exploring your passions and making global connections! Learn more about traveling with Girl Scouts GCNWI.

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.

It’s time to get back to Girl Scouting with new Winter Programs!

It’s time to get back to Girl Scouting with new Winter Programs!

We’re so excited to launch our programs for winter 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 New Year off with new programs!

Registration for programs from now through April 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 still available to sign-up for, which includes a fun list of offerings and brand new 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 Team STEAM programs!

Are you a STEAM enthusiast? Then join Team STEAM, where you can connect with other girls who love STEAM and women in STEM careers. Once you complete your first STEM badge as a troop, individual, or council, you can sign up to join the team! You will receive some Team STEAM swag and information about our meetings every other month to connect to other STEAM enthusiasts and hear from women who work in STEM careers.

There are opportunities for all ages of Girl Scouts to become an astronomer, LEGO robotics expert, engineer, and more: explore our website to register!

All Girl Scouts are invited to celebrate our Virtual Cookie Badge Bash on January 8 by joining us for two very special workshops catered to earning NEW cookie badges!

Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors will learn about the cookies, how to set goals, come up with a sales pitch, and learn how to build your team, while Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors will expand upon their knowledge of the cookie businesses, learn marketing tips, and work on building their own customer base!

Reminder: Cookies are “crumbing” December 15!

Become a Digital Leader!

The digital world is run by technology. If you want to change the real or digital world, technology can connect you to people, information, and causes in an instant. It provides tools to help you inform, organize, and mobilize others.

We have a set of programs that will expand upon girls’ knowledge of the digital world and how the internet works, while learning valuable life skills, internet safety, and more!

Camp Registration Opens March 1!

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 their ability to better solve problems and overcome challenges.
  • Develop leadership skills, build social bonds, and become team players.
  • Increase their level of overall happiness and gratitude, and care for the environment.

Registration opens March 1, but in the meantime, we have a TON of outdoor winter programs to get you in the camp spirit!

Volunteer programs are back!

As always, we have plenty of opportunities for v[AC1] olunteers, so be sure to browse those as well! These include resources for the cookie season, our Adult Enrichment series, CPR and First Aid, and more!

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.

Volunteers get together for annual Leader Enrichment Activity Program!

Volunteers get together for annual Leader Enrichment Activity Program!

Most years, the fall season means L.E.A.P. (Leader Enrichment Activity Program) for many Girl Scout volunteers, an event that carried over to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) from the former Girl Scouts of Chicago council. L.E.A.P. is coordinated by a group of dedicated volunteers to offer peer-to-peer networking, enrichment activities and fun. This year, L.E.A.P.—“Tricks and Treats with Daisy”—took place at Camp Butternut Springs from October 22– 24. Approximately 90 Girl Scout adults attended L.E.A.P. this year, and about half the volunteers had never attended L.E.A.P. before, so it was truly a “make new friends” event!

Annie Gilmartin, GCNWI Program manager from the zip-lining team, shared, “This year, at LEAP, I had the opportunity to facilitate the zip line course for our adult volunteers. We spent two sessions getting to know these volunteers and their thoughts on heights, zip-lines, and climbing high towers. It was wonderful to see that the majority of leaders who chose to attend this session were nervous, just like girls are! The main consensus between leaders who were zip-lining were that they were challenging themselves to do the zip-line so they could tell the girls how exciting it was. Even though many leaders were a bit scared, they all encouraged each other, just as I saw Girl Scouts do all summer at Butternut Springs. It was wonderful to see leaders encouraging one another and challenging themselves all to be able to share the experience with their Girl Scouts.”

Volunteer and L.E.A.P. attendee Noha ElSharkawy-Aref shared, “My experience attending L.E.A.P. for the first time was incredible! To be honest, it was my first time to ever camp in the woods. I have only ever stayed in family accommodations or hotels before this experience, and I have to say that I went in with a lot of fears and apprehensions. I had so much fun bonding with my co-leaders from my troop as well as other leaders from other troops throughout the Chicago and Indiana region. We talked through common scenarios and challenges and shared so much advice and experiences with one another during meal times and transitions. I learned so much from my peers and I left so inspired and motivated. I definitely think it should be a requirement for any leader who wants to take their girls camping to attend this event or something similar!”

Thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s program a great success!

The deadline to apply to be a National Council Delegate for the National Council Session has been extended to Nov. 21!

Apply to be a part of the 56th National Convention in July 2023 (dates TBD), an opportunity for Girl Scouts and volunteers to play a vital role in providing strategic direction to the Girl Scout Movement.

Learn more about the role on our blog.

What is a Juliette?

What is a Juliette?

Girl Scout Juliettes, or Individually Registered Members, have the power to build their very own Girl Scout experience without a troop! Girl Scouts of all ages, with the support of a mentor, can participate individually, doing all of the things Girl Scouts in troops do, including earning badges, attending council programs, earning highest awards, selling cookies and Fall Product, and more.

Named after Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, being a Juliette is a great option for girls who:

  • want to work on Girl Scout activities on their own time
  • don’t have troops in their grade level at their school or community
  • whose troop has disbanded or doesn’t work with their schedules

Juliettes aren’t alone; instead of a troop leader, Girl Scout Juliettes have mentors, parents or trusted adults who volunteer to guide these Girl Scouts through girl-led experiences. And we have plenty of resources for Juliettes and their mentors, including:

  • The Juliette Guidebook – it includes everything available to Juliettes, who to contact information, a suggested layout of how to plan your Girl Scout year for each Girl Scout level
  • Juliette Mentor Quarterly Chats – live chats with council staff and other Juliette mentors
  • Volunteer Toolkit – planning tools to help plan out your Girl Scout Badgework and activities
  • A private BAND group (online forum) specifically for Juliettes and mentors to share information and network

If you’re looking for a way to stay engaged in Girl Scouts in a different way, Juliettes may be perfect for you!

Visit our website to get started.

Are you a Girl Scout Juliette or mentor with a story to tell?

Share your story with us for a chance to be featured on our blog and social media!

Celebrating our volunteers at the 2021 GCNWI Adult Recognition Ceremony

Celebrating our volunteers at the 2021 GCNWI Adult Recognition Ceremony

To be inspired is great, but to be an inspiration is an honor. – Juliette Gordon Low

To all the mentors, leaders, changemakers, and explorers who volunteer with us: thank you. Thanks to your leadership and know-how, our Girl Scouts at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana have learned to listen to their hearts, think on their feet, and speak up for what they believe in. We know being a Girl Scout volunteer isn’t easy, especially recently, so we can’t thank you enough for your commitment, energy, and support. Guiding Girl Scouts—and yourself—through the past few years is nothing short of amazing.

Last month, we were able to gather in celebration of our volunteers for two Adult Recognition Ceremonies at the Joliet and Vernon Hills Gathering Places, formally recognizing just some of the amazing work GCNWI volunteers do. Adult Recognitions are defined by GSUSA and GCNWI, and awarded based on nominations and letters of endorsements reviewed by a dedicated team of volunteers—the Adult Recognition Committee.

From thanking our National Council Delegates, who influence the strategic direction of the Girl Scout Movement at the national level, to announcing the recipients of our formal recognition awards, these gatherings were wonderful opportunities to say hello and thank you to volunteers who have made an incredible impact in our community.

Honor Pin recipients Scott Bennett, Zahra Lalani and Heather Socie.

Every volunteer honored by an award has a storied connection to our council, whether through their enthusiastic leadership of a Service Unit, their preservation and recounting of our council’s history, their innovative and dynamic approach to Fall Product and Cookie sales, or over their 50+ year service. They include the Honor Pin recipients, Scott Bennett, Cathy Briggs, Robert Gale, Zahra Lalani, Scott Saunders, and Heather Socie. Zahra, as President of the Associate Board, initiated the Board/Associate Board mentorship program, which continues as a great success.

Hall of Fame awardees Gwen Ferguson, Levita Anderson and Lis Christensson

The Hall of Fame inductees this year, Levita Anderson, Lis Christensson, Gwen Ferguson, Heather Linehan, and Tresa Radermacher, have had a long and lasting impact on Girl Scouting in our council and have gone above and beyond their expectations of their positions as volunteers. As Service Unit Manager in the 2020-2021 year of challenges, Levita has used every form of communication to help her leaders: virtual meetings, additional telephone calls, emails galore, and even quick stops at leaders’ homes to deliver materials. She has passed on messages to find out who still had cookies when our cookie sales changed direction, connecting buyers with cookies.

Michelle Ptack, Thanks Badge honoree, shared: “I was honored to receive the Thanks Badge from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana. Even more celebratory was being in a cohort with 4 other volunteers with whom I served on our council’s 2017 National Delegation, Beverly Suen Macrito, Denise Urban, Catherine (Cathy) Ziemkiewicz Neely, and Kathy Scherer. Many thanks to a volunteer even more deserving of recognition than all of us combined…the woman who nominated me, Karen Schillings. Congratulations all around, Girl Scouts!”

Thanks Badge honoree Denise Urban worked tirelessly to help the delegation draft proposals and actively assisted delegation during the National Council Session, culminating in her representation of our council by presenting our proposal to the entire 2020 NCS live. With her help fielding questions as part of the resource room and advocating for the good of all Girl Scouts, two proposals, authored and presented by GSGCNWI were passed, the first time two proposals from the same council have been approved at NCS. We are incredibly proud of everyone who made this happen!

Volunteer Jodilyn Machota shared, “Today I was surrounded by Girl Scouts as I received my 25-year Volunteer pin from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana. Thank you to the women who set me on this path in 4th grade—my mom and gram, Mrs. Kroth, Mrs. Richards, and then Mrs. Betty Koran & Mrs. Joan Marchese who helped me earn my Gold Award & travel the world. They led by example and started me on my journey of service to empower girls by nurturing their courage, confidence, and character. Thank you to my Girl Scout sisters who always have proved to me that family is what you make it and I’m never truly alone. I love you all and hold you close.”

To see the complete list of all our outstanding 2021 volunteers, please find the Adult Recognition booklet on our website. We thank each and every one of you for your service!

The deadline to apply to be a National Council Delegate for the National Council Session has been extended to Nov. 21!

Apply to be a part of the 56th National Convention in July 2023 (dates TBD), an opportunity for Girl Scouts and volunteers to play a vital role in providing strategic direction to the Girl Scout Movement.

Learn more about the role on our blog.

Meet the 2021 Girl Scout Go-Getters Chicago Marathon Team!

Meet the 2021 Girl Scout Go-Getters Chicago Marathon Team!

For four years now, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) has been proud to participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Our Girl Scout Go-Getters, a team of 25 volunteers (19 of which completed the marathon), were ready to grab their running shoes and fundraise on behalf of our Girl Scouts, and this year they were able to raise over $24,000 for our council! Congratulations to them and thank you for your hard work and dedication to powering amazing experiences for Girl Scouts!

For some of the Go-Getters, like Natalie Stopka and Elise Gluck, the best part about running the marathon was “running the real thing” and “finishing,” while others like Joy Kogut, Rachael Ross, and John Chase enjoyed running with friends and family and enjoying the city. Dan Pietroburgo set a personal best and finished in the top 200!

Others thrived off of the “sense of accomplishment” and “encouragement from the crowds” along the way, and Wendy Cartier enjoyed “getting to meet other runners, especially the veterans. I was able to chat with a man who was doing his 30th Chicago marathon who was able to offer up some words of encouragement at the start line.”

For Autumn Oley, “the best part was definitely the cheering. I could not tell you how many times my mood and mindset was restored when I heard so many people cheering for the Girl Scouts. So many girls and parents were cheering for the Girl Scouts, calling me sister, yelling me their troop numbers. It was what I needed to remind me why I was running the marathon.”

Become a Girl Scout Go-Getter!

This is our fifth year hosting a team and we are excited to be growing each year. Don’t wait to apply! Space is limited. 

The Chicago Marathon is one of six Abbott World Marathon Majors, and an experience of a lifetime! Each year, runners from 50 states and more than 100 countries run through 27 Chicago neighborhoods on a flat and fast course that starts and finishes in Grant Park. 

Apply to run the 2022 Chicago Marathon with us » 

After you apply, there will be a phone interview before you are approved and on the team. Applications will close on March 30, 2022 or when the team is filled. 

Fundraising Minimum is $1,250 prior to the lottery on December 9 and $1,750 from December 9 to March 31.  

When you run with the Girl Scout Go-Getters, you will receive: 

  • Guaranteed entry into the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon  
  • Free virtual and in-person training options with Chicago Endurance Sports 
  • Official Girl Scout Go-Getters team running shirt and running belt 
  • Customizable fundraising page to help reach and surpass your goal 
  • Access to all team events (kick-off meeting, pasta party, and other events decided by team) 
  • Free access to Race Day Resort on race day (located next to start line with food, drinks, indoor restrooms) 

If you have any questions or need more information, contact Holly Johnson at hjohnson@girlscoutsgcnwi.org

A Safe Return to Girl Scouts

A Safe Return to Girl Scouts

Our girls need us, now more than ever. Girls younger than ever are facing unprecedented challenges navigating mental, social and emotional wellness and it is affecting how they navigate their daily lives. 

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana recognizes the effects lifestyle changes presented from a pandemic can have on our members. Girls have not been interacting with friends and family in a manner that they are used to. Their social interactions at school or extra-curricular activities had been paused or severely adjusted. Some girls encountered challenges with being in quarantine for extended amounts of time. Other girls had to process and deal with the aftermath of societal responses to racial injustices.

There has never been a more urgent time to help girls connect with others, make friends, and learn techniques that build resiliency in times of great stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. 

Advocating for the health and safety of girls in a physical sense is what we have always done. Extending that care and concern to the emotional and social health and wellness of our members is critical.  As we enter a new membership year, Girl Scouts is committed to building an ecosystem of wellness, health, and social-emotional wellbeing around girls. 

Check out the new trainings on trauma-informed practices.

How Girl Scouts Plan to Support the Ecosystem  

Girl Scouts is dedicating its resources to building resiliency in girls and creating a safe space for them to return to in the following ways:  

Resources for Volunteers  

Our curriculum and training modules help volunteers and families recognize trauma and put into practice ways to resolve conflict and build empathy, mindfulness, and coping skills. Log in to your Girl Scout account, select gsLearn from the menu on the left, and click on “content library” to take the available trainings:

  • Trauma-Informed Practices – Support all girls (and yourself) with best practices in social-emotional learning, developed with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Center for Childhood Resilience.
  • Basics of Inclusion– Inclusion is at the core of who we are—sisters to every Girl Scout!
  • Grade Level Training for Bridging Leaders – Empower yourself with the confidence to lead girls as they bridge into their next program level.

“Girl Scouts is no longer a nice thing to have; it is a necessity,” says Girl Scout GCNWI CEO Nancy Wright.

It is time to do more than worry about girls and their well-being. It is time to act.  If you haven’t already, renew your membership for FY22 and get ready for a fun, yet safe return to Girl Scouting!  

Volunteer Spotlight: Monica Reed!

Volunteer Spotlight: Monica Reed!

“I volunteer for Girl Scouts because the opportunities for girls seem limitless. Girl Scouts empowers girls to explore their interests and dreams.”

Thanks to the mentorship, support, and leadership provided by volunteers, Girl Scouts are getting ready to change the future and make the world a better place! We can’t thank you enough for the work you do to champion our Girl Scouts, which is why we dedicate a spotlight to a volunteer who has made an impact on girls’ lives in Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI). Read on to hear Monica Reed’s story!

“I have been a volunteer since 2004. I started a Pre-K Daisy troop and was the girls’ leader through 12th grade. I’ve been all levels of Girl Scout leader, Membership Coordinator, and Fall Product and Cookie volunteer. I began my current troop as a way for the girls to be involved in Girl Scouts during an unconventional school year. We were 100% online and the girls’ Zoom skills were unparalleled. I often commented that they had better manners than most adults on Zoom calls. We earned all our Daisy petals last year. Now we are working on our badges. We are also sending our Flat Daisies around the globe (this was a great activity so we could travel vicariously with our Flat Daisies)!”

“I fondly remember seeing my daughter singing “ The Camp Greene Wood Song” to a Grant Park crowd during the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts. Overall, seeing the “A-HA moments” when the Girl Scouts try something new is very rewarding. (I learn new things too!).”

Her advice to those interested in volunteering? “Take the opportunities to try something new! Volunteer. Try a new sport. Make new friends. Girl Scouts has all that and more in a fun, friendly environment.

“I can’t say enough about our troop leader, Miss Monica! We have been so privileged to have her as our guide. She goes way above and beyond to bring not just the girls, but the families, together. She puts so much effort in all that she does, and it shows from all the little personal touches she puts on things, and personalized cards and photos. It also amazes me how she has gotten to know each one of the girls and their unique personalities in just a brief amount of time. This is no small feat as most of our time together has been spent on Zoom, due to COVID. That’s another thing, she has always made sure to make everyone feel safe and comfortable during these very uncertain times,” shared Girl Scout parent Sabrina.


Thank you for all you do, Monica!

You have the power to change girls’ lives as a Girl Scout volunteer, helping to craft their experiences from the way they run their cookie business to the way they speak up in meetings. As girls learn, grow, and lead, you’re there through it all—shaping the future right along with us.

Visit www.girlscoutsgcnwi.org/volunteer and become a supporter of Girl Scouts in your area!

Meet our 2021 Becker Eco-Advocacy Grant Recipients!

Meet our 2021 Becker Eco-Advocacy Grant Recipients!

Working to make the world a better place, and protecting our natural world and resources, is part of the Girl Scout DNA and founder Juliette Gordon Low’s legacy. Girl Scouts are an integral part of the mission to serve and preserve our environment, and a few Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) have been recognized for their efforts by receiving the Phillip J. Becker Eco-Advocacy Endowment.

The Philip J. Becker Eco-Advocacy Endowment Fund honors the memory of Philip J. Becker, a life-long educator who was devoted to inspiring young people to embrace careers in the sciences, especially physics, energy, and astronomy. He felt a deep calling to help his children, grandchildren, and all young people understand the urgency of transitioning to innovative, renewable, and sustainable energy sources. His family, with strong Girl Scout ties, honors his memory and his passion for the environment by funding these grants to inspire girls to take action to make the world a better place.

Our Becker Eco-Advocacy Grant recipients are Girl Scouts currently working on a service or highest award project exclusively dedicated to environmental issues. Congratulations to this year’s Becker Eco-Advocacy Award grant recipients, Natalie, Sofia, Ava, Sloane, Rebecca, and Rachel from Troop 70748 and Ariella, Harper, Hailey, Olivia and Abby from Troop 50367! Read about their efforts toward making the world a better, healthier, and safer place for all.

Pollination Station

Natalie, Sofia, Ava, Sloane, Rebecca, and Rachel (Cadette Girl Scouts from Troop 70748) will use their grant funds to plant a pollinator garden and distribute seed packets, to help bees, butterflies, and other pollinators pollinate, and to teach others about the importance of pollination. “This will also help put more oxygen in the air,” Ava explained.

“We hope to encourage more people to start planting from our seed packets, bring people to see our pollinator garden, help pollinators live a better life, and last, grow healthier plants for a healthier environment,” Sloane shared. “We are very excited to be given the chance to share more about the importance of pollinators and help our environment to be a more nature friendly area for pollinators and people to enjoy their surroundings.”

“I love animals and I know bees and other pollinators are important, but their numbers are decreasing. I am also worried about climate change, and the more plants we plant, the better,” Ava also shared. “We need to start thinking about the effects of what we do. The more people that reduce, reuse and recycle the better, [because] we only have one earth. I think Girl Scouts will help in many ways like spreading the word and doing projects that help the earth.”

Cleaning up the Beaches

Ariella, Harper, Hailey, Olivia and Abby (Cadettes Troop 50367) have a history of doing park, beach, and local waterway clean-ups, and want to start encouraging others to join their mission. They will use their funds to set clean up stations at local lakes to facilitate voluntary trash pick-up to keep our beaches clean: “Trash at beaches and rivers and parks can accumulate, harming the animal habitats, hurt wildlife and aquatic life, and interferes with our enjoyment of the nature that surrounds us.”

Their troop leader Keri shared, “This troop has been a set of girls that are passionate about animals and wildlife. They have donated to local shelters and Willowbrook Wildlife Center, and just have a pure love of animals and therefore their environment they live in. For example, as part of [earning] their Silver Award they collected thousands of bottle caps to turn into a bench. The bench they donated to their middle school. This exemplifies the Leave No Trace while enjoying nature’s beauty.”


We are so proud of your accomplishments, Girl Scouts! Thank you for sharing your stories and for making the world a better place.