Troop 606 – Leave: July 28, 1991, 8:30 a.m. from Mrs. Caragher’s House 

<strong>Troop 606 – Leave: July 28, 1991, 8:30 a.m. from Mrs. Caragher’s House </strong>

By Chris Caragher, Girl Scout Historian

After years of being a Girl Scout troop leader for Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes, I yearned to visit the birthplace of Girl Scouting, Savannah, Georgia. I viewed that as the ultimate pilgrimage to our founder’s home and, by extension, the birthplace of my Downers Grove-based Cadette Troop 606. It was the girls’ last year in this troop as they were faced with the decision to move on to a long-standing Senior Girl Scout troop, a “Mariner troop,” known as Ship 167, or end their active membership as they started high school.  

At our meeting, we decided the trip would be a great idea, and we had enough cookie money in the bank to do it! 

The troop applied for a date, as required by the birthplace, and chose a “high tea” program and house tour. Our reservation was for August 1, 1991. Now, all we had to do was to figure out the transportation costs, logistics, and the care and feeding of each member. Our troop loved camping and had been on short trips to Mackinac Island and Wisconsin and used Camp Greene Wood often, even in the winter, but this was much bigger! So, I called an airline. Tickets to fly would take all our cookie money plus more! We had to figure out another way. 

My co-leader, Ginger, and I wondered if we could drive to Savannah, so we thought we’d check with the parents.  We knew that we had parents who owned vans. We asked, and two dads volunteered, but they would need gas reimbursement  to drive and would go for free. We calculated the miles, cost of gas, food, and activities.  

At that time, the birthplace provided a booklet called Birthplace Bound.It had ads for accommodations, restaurants, local attractions, and some discount admission coupons for Girl Scouts. I called the hotels recommended for Girl Scouts and got a special Girl Scout rate reservation at Budget Inn.  

The trip down to Savannah would take time, so we decided to leave early to do some activities on the way down and some on the way back; it turned into a 10-day trip. It was like a family vacation. We had snacks, drinks, games, camping equipment, luggage, and uniforms in each van.  

The itinerary as told by a Girl Scout:    

7/28 We visited the Kentucky Derby Museum and toured Churchill Downs. Afterward, we drove to Cave City, tent camped and cooked at Mammoth Cave National Park. 

7/29 Mammoth Cave Tour and lunch in their cafeteria, then departed to Indian Springs State Park near Macon, GA, where we visited the Historic District. When we arrived at the campground at 7 p.m., we discovered we had lost our campsite for being late, so we just found a long stretch of grass, set up our tents in a single line, and shared a fire with the friendly campers next door. We made a snack and settled into our tents. After breakfast in the morning, we waded in the creek before we left. 

7/30 We visited the Macon Historic District and a trinket store tourist trap, then drove to Savannah, GA, through a torrential rainstorm and arrived at a flooded Savannah. As troop leader, I was elected to wade through the water to check in to the Budget Inn, 3702 Ogeechee Rd., Savannah. It was an old, one-story motel with outside doors looking nothing like the ad in the Birthplace Bound booklet, but it was clean enough and turned out to be safe. The promised swimming pool was out of order and filled with rainwater, but we went swimming at one of the owner’s other properties. We ate at a real sit-down restaurant and ordered off the menu! Thank goodness! 

7/31 Toured the Savannah Visitor Center, the Savannah Experience, and the Ships at Sea Museum. We walked along the ocean, visited the Andrew Low House and other mansions, learned about the city’s squares, had fun, ate popcorn, shopped for souvenirs, saw a movie about Juliette Low and her childhood, and more. We walked ’til we dropped and ate out, but not at the famous restaurant everyone else was eating at. It was way too long of a wait time for hungry girls! 

8/1 Birthplace Day! – JULIETTE LOW DAY AT HER HOUSE! We had a lovely tour and took pictures. Saw all the rooms, including her bedroom and the old library. We went to the garden and learned all about JGL, her art, her wedding, the history behind the birthplace, and some things about the Civil War. We saw the real oil painting of Juliette Low in her pink party dress hanging in the living room. The docent answered all our questions. Then it was time for our activity program in the basement. We did a project to learn about the Girl Scout history of helping others and interacted with another troop that had signed up to try-on dresses that girls and women might have worn in JGL’s time. We invited the “dress girls” to our tea party.We had fun. Then we went to the gift shop for souvenirs. We all got a Birthplace Pin with a Daisy on it. Our precious spending allowance was also used, so everyone could bring home a keepsake. 

One of our troop’s favorite fun songs was Boom Chica Boom.We came up with new lyrics that didn’t really fit the tune but went like this:  

I said a Boom Chica Boom – a little bit Southern Style: 

“So down to Savannah we went, I said a Boom Chica Boom, 

Little did we know that the Budget Inn, I said a Boom Chica Boom!  

Would be only a little better than a TENT, 

I said a Boom Chica Rocka Chica Rocka Chica Boom!” 

8/2 We started heading home but not stopping the fun. We made our way north to Stone Mountain. This was a place where a large bare rock was carved to show the Confederate Generals. Although we were mostly Northerners, it was interesting to see and part of our country’s history. We stayed in the beautiful campground behind the rock. It was a lovely place. At night, a laser light show reflected off the rock carving and special effects to make it look like the generals were actually riding their horses across. It was kind of like a fireworks show. Very cool. We had a good time, and I shared with the girls that my maternal grandfather, Josepha Bouska, who had been a stone cutter in Chicago, was one of the cutters hired to work on carving the rock.  

I bought a book with a picture of all the stone carvers in a big group. I told the girls I could not figure out which one was my grandfather, but I wanted it anyway. 

8/3 We went home a different way through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. We stayed at the Tanglewood KOA Swannanoa, North Carolina, near Ashville, which had a swimming pool! It had a big hall in a red building with screens all around, but no windows. We visited the National Park Shop and signed up to learn horseback riding. We had hoped to do this activity while planning the trip, so we packed the helmets. We learned how to lead a horse, not be scared of the horse, and we went on a trail ride. Then we brushed the horses and helped put them in the stable. It was great! There were many water activities around the area as well. Although we could not do the tubing activity because no lifeguard was going down the stream with the group. We still interacted with the water at the edges of the stream and got very wet. This area was beautiful to drive through.  

8/4 Driving home through Indiana, it got to be late, so we decided not to camp. We found a nice hotel and a restaurant for a late dinner and collapsed from all the vacation activity.  

8/5 Arrived back home. We called our moms to let them know we were home. We cleaned out the vans and gave them a car wash to thank the drivers. We had a little goodbye ceremony on the front lawn. It was not only the end of the trip but the last thing for our beloved Troop 606, as we disbanded with hugs and tears all around. 

Fall Products and Collectible Tins  

Girl Scouts have been selling calendars in the fall since the 1940’s. The calendars that were sold had themes for the different years and came in wall size and pocket size. As more people move away from the use of paper calendars and use calendars on their phones or tablets the need for paper calendars has decreased. To give girls and their troops another way to earn money Girl Scouts started selling candy and nut items and QSP magazines subscriptions. 

Girl Scouts have used two companies to supply the items for their Fall Product Program sales: Ashdon Farms and Trophy Nut, which is in its 30th year working with Girl Scout councils as a GSUSA approved supplier. 

The sale is held in the fall just in time for the holiday season.  Each year, there is a Girl Scout inspired tin and a winter scene/seasonal tin which many people collect, or gift, these tins are filled with candy or nuts.  The tins make great keepsakes.  The Girl Scout tins are perfect to use for setting up Girl Scout displays in libraries and other events, or as a place to keep your Girl Scout Memorabilia. 

Some examples of GS inspired tins are camping tins, such as a GS wicker backpack tin, a GS camera, 

and a GS metal tote bag for going places.   

In 2017, Ashdon Farms offered a replica tin with 1920’s camping scenes on the tin. There were tins shaped like Girl Scout books, a flowerpot from Ashdon Farms labeled “Helping Girls Grow,” and even tins shaped like Girl Scout uniforms of the past.  

For three consecutive years, there were tins that had different versions of the Girl Scout promise, each one from years when the Girl Scout promise was changed. In 2008, Trophy Nut had a tin labeled “Make New Friends.” 

Tins were also issued for special anniversary years in Girl Scouts.  For the new millennium in 2000 the tin was “Girl Scouts: Where Girls Grow Strong.”  In 2005, Trophy Nut had a tin of Juliette Gordon Lowe’s Birthplace, a National Historic Landmark and the headquarters for Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.  For the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts, Trophy Nut had a green, round tin labeled 1912-2012. 

Collectible Girl Scout tins were also available from some of the Girl Scout Cookie Bakers: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. They were made in anniversary years.  Little Brownie Bakers had a Cookie tin containing an assortment of Girl Scout cookies for the 75th anniversary of Girl Scouts.  In the year 2000, ABC Bakers had a cookie tin for the New Millennium 2000.   

As the fall product season is quickly approaching, keep your eyes out for the Fall Product order forms to see what new tins will be available and place your order.  The candy and nut products make great gifts, and nuts and candies are very delicious. 

An Inside Look at How Council Historians Preserve Our Girl Scout Treasures

Who are the Historians you might ask? The Historian Team at GSGCNWI is made up of 26 volunteers who are interested in the history of Girl Scouts and actively work to preserve and present the story to our community.

History of the movement

Begun by Juliette Gordon Low on March 12,1912, Girl Scouts quickly spread throughout the country. Girl Scouts offered young women the opportunity to learn important life skills, as well as to live by the values of the Promise and Law – unselfishness, patriotism, loyalty and truth. Our current Council was formed in 2008 from seven councils in the Chicago media market following the guidance of Girl Scouts of USA (GSUSA). Those seven councils were the result of over 40 smaller councils that had been established, functioned and eventually combined over the years.

In the early days of the movement, individual towns were set up as councils that governed and guided their girl and adult members. Logistics, better governance and the opportunity to bring a better program to the girls brought these smaller councils together. What it also created was story after story about the local Girl Scout program.

Enter the Council Historian Team.

Historical Treasures

Some members of the team have been actively involved in preserving our memorabilia and stories since the 1980’s. GSUSA encouraged historians to step forward and provided professional level training in the preservation of all aspects of the history of Girl Scouts. Many of our team members have traveled to the Macy Program Center in New York, as well as multi-day programs held before National Council Sessions to learn the proper techniques to accession and store all the bits and pieces of history donated to us by our local community. Members of our team hosted “Learn to Preserve” in 2014 and were privileged to have experts from GSUSA and volunteer historians from throughout the Midwest attend our training.

When the words Girl Scout history come up, most people think of the uniform they wore and the handbook they used. We have all that and so much more. Each item that is donated to us is recorded and then passed along to the team member responsible for accessioning that category of material. We use simple excel spreadsheets to record our work and have over 70 categories of physical items in the council collection. Yes, we have magazines, dolls, camp canteens, mugs, postcards, volunteer gifts, tins, cameras, pens and pencils, membership cards…and the list goes on.

The collection is currently housed in the annex at the Joliet and Vernon Hills Gathering Place (GP). Team members meet on Mondays and Tuesdays each week at one of the GPs to process the literally thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia that have been donated to us over the years.

Over those same years, we have opened the gray archival boxes and shared the collection with our local communities. Sometimes it’s smaller displays at libraries, community meetings and events. We have produced fashion shows of uniforms for Alumnae and Service Unit events, as well as large scale shows at local malls. To celebrate our special anniversaries, we have held programs at Navy Pier (90-year anniversary) and at some of Chicago’s premier museums in 2012 to commemorate the 100 years of Girl Scouting. Currently there are displays in the Gathering Places in Chicago, Joliet and Woodridge. The displays are changed regularly to showcase just some of the treasures from the collection.

The team has offered Victorian themed tea parties throughout the council, taken books and uniforms to troop and Service Unit meetings, and participated in other council events, such as Trunk or Treat. We have put together kits that can be checked out by troops for use at their meetings – ranging from tea parties to history themed book and uniform bins from the 1960s and 1980s.

Take Home a Piece of History

This upcoming September 29 (10am – 4pm), 30 (10am – 6pm) and October 1 (10am – 2pm) will be our first sale of excess historical items from our inventory. We are always grateful for any donations, but we have limited storage space and must be selective about which items we accession. We invite you to the Joliet Gathering Place to shop for books, uniforms, badges and patches, and many of those extras that might be new to you.

Most of us are Lifetime Members of Girl Scouts and have served in many volunteer positions over the years. Our love of Girl Scouts and her history keeps us active in the movement and having fun. If you are interested in learning more about the team or donating some Girl Scout treasures, please contact our Archivist, Rosemarie Courtney at rdcourtney1940@gmail.com.

The History of Bridging in Girl Scouts 

Bridging is the term that Girl Scouts use to identify the work that a girl or troop does to get ready to move to the next level.  This work is not mandatory but is meant to give a girl an idea of what is waiting for her at the next level.  Bridging insignia are worn on the next level uniform, not the level where earned.  For example, the bridge to Juniors is worn on the Cadette uniform, not the Junior uniform. 

The first bridging was started about 1927 when Brownie wings became available. Since Brownies were at one time called Brown Owls, the idea was for them to “fly-up” to Girl Scouts.  The first wings were red, green and white embroidered on brown cloth and were used until 1935.  In 1931 the wings were brown embroidered on gray-green Girl Scout cloth.  With two types of wings, Brownies who had earned the Golden Bar were awarded the brown wings, while Brownies who had earned the higher award of the Golden Hand were awarded the multi-color wings. In 1935, both types of wings were discontinued.  The new wings were bright yellow embroidery on dark green felt that we still have today

In 1977, the Bridge to Juniors patch was introduced.  The original patch was a green arch with Bridge To Juniors embroidered in gold.  The arch was meant to go over the three Brownie B’s that were earned by Brownies at that time.  In 1980, the Bridge to Cadettes patch was introduced.  The patch was a yellow rectangle with a small trefoil embroidered in yellow in the middle. In 1987, both of these patches were changed to coordinate with the new Five Worlds program.  The Bridge to Juniors patch was still an arch but was embroidered in the colors of the five worlds (red, yellow, blue, green, orange).  The Bridge to Cadettes remained a rectangle but was embroidered in the same manner as the Bridge to Juniors. 

In 1987, the Bridge to Seniors patch was introduced.  It was a chevron embroidered with the same rainbow as the Junior and Cadette patches.  The Bridge to Adults was also introduced at this time.  It was a small rectangular pin with the rainbow colors surrounded by a green border. 1993 saw the introduction of the Bridge to Brownies patch for Daisies.  This patch was an arch shaped top over a rectangular bottom. 

With the new program changes in 2008 the girl bridging patches were redesigned. They all are arches but with different multicolored designs. The Bridge to Ambassadors patch was introduced in 2013.  The Bridge to Adults pin was not changed. 

The requirements for earning the bridging patches have changed in number over the years but the intent has remained the same.  Girls are to find out about the level the are going into and meet with the older girls, then they are to share what they learned with younger girls-planning their bridging ceremony at the end of their work. 

Honoring History: Two Families Carry the Girl Scout Torch for Over 50 Years!

As we enter into year 110 of instilling courage, confidence and character in girls, we are always honored to learn how Girl Scouts has made an impact on families and communities throughout the years. Thanks to our council Historians, we are able to share stories of heroism, empowerment, and recollections of heartwarming tales throughout different periods of our Girl Scout history.

Travel back in time and read about two Girl Scout families with over 50 years of Girl Scout experience, submitted by our GCNWI council Historian, Elise:

A True Girl Scout Family

In 1968, the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Cook County, honored two families from Service Unit 611 in Skokie/Lincolnwood. These two families, the Roth and the Petroski family, had one daughter in each level of scouting, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior Girl Scout. Their mothers were leaders of troops as well. It was the first for the council to have two families with such an honor. 

On the right side of the picture is my family. My sister Michele is the Brownie, my sister Sharon is the Junior, my sister Renee is the Cadette, and I am the Senior Girl Scout. My mother was a leader for one of my sisters. We were truly a scout family! One of my many fondest memories of that time was when we all sold Girl Scout cookies. My dad felt he had to buy from all of us and so he bought one case of cookies from each. We had cookies for a whole year! 

On the left side of the picture is the Petroski family. Gayle was the Brownie, Sally was the Junior, Regina was the Cadette and Edal was the senior Scout. Their mother was also a leader for one of the girl’s troops.  

Today, two of us are still involved in scouting. Michele Roth Herman, now works for our council and I am part of the Historian Group.   

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!