Volunteer Spotlight: Cyndee Timmerman!

Volunteer Spotlight: Cyndee Timmerman!

All of our volunteers deserve a spotlight because they make sure our Girl Scouts thrive! This week we are recognizing an extra-special volunteer from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI), Cyndee Timmerman!

Read on to learn more about Cyndee’s work for our council, in her own words.

Making Precious Memories

I was a Girl Scout when I was in elementary school and I absolutely loved it. I remember singing songs and being silly with my friends, going to a sleepover in our town’s Girl Scout Little House. I remember selling cookies door to door and trying to meet my 100-box goal that seemed almost impossible at the time. All the girls in our troop that sold 100 boxes got to go on a trip to an amusement park that year.  That was a big deal for me because I lived in a very small town in Kansas, hours away from any amusement park. I ended up meeting my goal and getting to go on the trip, and it was the first time I ever had the chance to ride on a big roller coaster. I was terrified, but my best friend was also on the trip and she told me not to be scared. I listened to her and ended up loving it.

I wanted my daughter to have the same experiences I had when she started school. Since there weren’t any Daisy troops at her school, I created one and became the leader. We started out with 12 girls in our troop during her kindergarten year and this past year, my third year as a leader, we became a multi-level troop with 26 girls.

At the very first service unit meeting that I attended, I met our Service Unit Manager and told her I would be happy to help her if she ever needed anything. She soon took me up on my offer and asked me to be the Fall Product coordinator for our entire service unit. Although I had never sold Fall Product before, I willingly took on the role. I have also helped our service unit with cookie sales the past two years, and will be a co-manager of our service unit this year in preparation to become the Service Unit Manager next year!

Although I have a busy life outside of Girl Scouts, I love everything about Girl Scouts and find it worth my time to volunteer. 

I want to give girls the opportunity to try new things and have experiences that they might not have otherwise. Since we live in Chicago, I really want my daughter to be able to experience nature like I did growing up in Kansas. I want her to experience camping, canoeing, and all the other million fun things that there is to do in nature.

I remember a moment from a Girl Scout training session that I attended, where a leader shared that her goal was to get girls out of the zip code that they live in. That is also my goal as a leader. As a child, I never had the chance to travel internationally, but I hope to be able to give the girls in my troop that chance as a young adult one day.

I have so many great memories as a Girl Scout leader that is hard to narrow it down to just one! From the very first troop meeting, where we taught the girls what it meant to give someone a compliment and we had them practice by going around the circle and giving each other a compliment, to the time we read a book about Juliette Gordon Low and learned how brave she was to start an organization like this for girls during a time that it was unacceptable for them to play outside and do fun things in nature. 

We have visited so many cool places and done so many fun things in just three years even though half of that time was during a pandemic, that I can’t imagine all of the fun experiences we still have to come! We have gone hiking several times, toured a vet’s office, a fire department, and a police department, made gingerbread houses with residents at a nursing home, went to a hockey game, went to a musical, created and maintained a sensory garden for our school, went indoor climbing together, made pet beds for a pet shelter, donated food to a food pantry, experienced a cat café, cuddled with bunnies, and rode horses.

For one of our service projects this year, the girls voted on making blessing bags for those without homes. I had the older girls in our troop plan this project and shop for the items needed for the bags.  They did an incredible job leading this project and helping the younger girls assemble the bags.

Although sometimes it feels like I’ve bit off more than I can chew, I always end up being able to juggle it all and happy that I did when it’s over.  A grandmother recently pointed out to me that my children will not always be this age and I won’t regret spending this valuable time with them creating memories.  Do you want your children to remember sitting at home watching tv with you or would you rather them remember going camping and canoeing with you?


Thank you to Cyndee for your years of service and contributions!

Whether you have kids, grandkids, or no kids of your own, you can have a front-row seat to the fun and community, too. Press play and volunteer with Girl Scouts. You’ve got what it takes to change girls’ lives!

Your time to shine? Now!

Her next adventure to take, new territory to explore, or barrier to break, is all waiting her in the new Girl Scout year! We have carefully curated experiences to help girls think creatively and discover their interests, passions and ambitions without limitations.

On-time renewal ends today, Sept. 30! Press play on the new membership year and allow Girl Scouts to continue being that guiding light down her path to self-discovery.

The History of Girl Scout Calendars

The History of Girl Scout Calendars

Time for a Girl Scout History Lesson from the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Historians! 📚💚

Girl Scouts aren’t just known for cookies; calendars were also a hit, and are a great example of the resilience and quick-thinking that Girl Scouts have shown for over a century!

Calendar sales began as an alternative to cookies during World War II when sugar and other ingredients were hard to come by due to wartime rationing. The Girl Scout National Equipment Service produced the first calendar for the year 1944 and it sold for 25¢.

Many councils also produced their own calendars. DuPage County Council Senior and Cadette Girl Scouts first produced a local calendar in 1972 and sold it for 35¢.

Ruth Caragher, formerly a Girl Scout with Ship 167 in Downers Grove, recalls working on the 1991 calendar, “The best thing I remember about the experience was that the girls really did all the work. We had a weekly schedule and weekly goals. We had gobs of photos of girls doing stuff that leaders and others had taken and given to us to go through and consider for possible inclusion.

“We learned what makes a good photo for inclusion in the ‘collage’ style pages. We tried to have themes for each page, things like Cadette Senior Jamboree and camping, winter activities, regular troop meetings and girls in uniform and American flags, parades, ceremonies, etc.”

“In the end we each got a full case of printed calendars. Our ‘WORK’ was now in our laps and we had to go and SELL THEM! It was good though because I was proud of my work on the project. I wish I could do it again with the friends I made in Girl Scouts.”

Preserving Girl Scout History

Honoring the history of Girl Scouting in our local communities is a wonderful way to explore the evolution of one of the country’s oldest organizations dedicated to girls and women. You can read all about the GCNWI Girl Scout Historians on our blog, or visit our website for more information on how to get involved.

Become a part of our story!

Her next adventure to take, new territory to explore, or barrier to break, is all waiting her in the new Girl Scout year! We have carefully curated experiences to help girls think creatively and discover their interests, passions and ambitions without limitations.

Get ready to “press play” on virtual and in-person opportunities we have coming this fall and renew your membership!

Press Play on Fall Programs!

Press Play on Fall Programs!

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

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

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

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

Custom Programs for Girl Scouts!

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

Join us for Becoming Me Workshops!

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

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

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

Celebrate International Day of the Girl!

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

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

Highest Award trainings are here!

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

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

Join us for a Pumpkin Smash!

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

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

Register here!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

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

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

Volunteer programs are back!

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

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

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

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

Your time to shine? Now!

Time to Renew, Girl Scout!

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

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

Press play with Girl Scouts and watch her confidence soar. 

Camp CEO brings Girl Scouts and professional mentors together!

Camp CEO brings Girl Scouts and professional mentors together!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You!

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

Open the door to amazing opportunities!

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

Meet the Global Action Volunteer Team (Again!)

Meet the Global Action Volunteer Team (Again!)

Our Girl Scout volunteers are just like our Girl Scouts: fearless and determined! If you haven’t heard of the Global Action Volunteer Team (GAVT), it’s time to get to know them! This month’s Volunteer Spotlight goes to a special group of volunteers from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) who are passionate about travel, cultural awareness, and sharing their knowledge with the Girl Scouts.

The Global Action Volunteer Team began in 2012 in conjunction with the GSUSA Global Girl Scouting initiative, and is lead by Maureen Ewing and council staff liaison Ashley Christensen. Current team members include Camille Gonzalez Jensen, Davia Wilkerson, Denise Urban, Fawna Black-Cicotte, JodiLyn Simmons-Machota, Karen Zeller, Kimberly DeWitt, Shari Schmidt, and Taylor Tengelsen, with new members Yaqoota Aziz and Geraldine Adams joining in 2021.

All the members LOVE to travel! The GAVT uses their experiences to engage and inspire girls to want to learn more about the world around them. They aspire to increase awareness of Global Girl Scouting amongst girls, parents, volunteers, and staff. The team wants to help other Girl Scout volunteers, especially leaders, understand the importance of and feel comfortable with travel and its progression throughout the Girl Scout program.

Maureen said, “Travel fosters confidence, compassion, curiosity, leadership, and independence. [Through travel,] girls learn to be citizens of the world and commit to making the world peaceful and equitable for all.”

Shari also believes that traveling with Girl Scouts helps girls in many ways: “Travel is an education that cannot be replicated with a video game or in a book or in a classroom. The best part of travelling is that the lessons are embedded. You don’t have to have a formal plan, even wandering from one place to another creates lifelong learnings that create the foundations for new adventures.”

One of the team’s greatest accomplishments is starting the brand-new GCNWI Travel Scholarship. More information on how girls can apply for this scholarship will be provided later this year!

The GSGCNWI GAVT believes that those who expand their worldview through global programming and travel opportunities will become more knowledgeable, compassionate citizens of the world. The team hopes that every Girl Scout has the opportunity to become a responsible and effective global leader. They want Girl Scouts to understand the world in a more open-minded, empathetic way. By seeing, and hopefully understanding other cultures, Girl Scouts can grow into conscientious citizens of the world.

If you want to learn more about traveling as a Girl Scout or about the Global Action Volunteer Team and how to join, check out our council’s travel webpage. If you are interested in giving a gift to the Travel Scholarship, you can do so on our website!

All of us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana say a big thank you, to the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Global Action Volunteer Team (GAVT). We appreciate you, your dedication, work, and wonderful contributions to Girl Scouts!


The GAVT has their own blog series so you can get to know them a little better (and hear some awesome travel stories and tips, too!).

Who We Are Part 1 Who We Are Part 2  | Why You Should Try Backpacking | Dreaming of Future Travels? Plan with GCNWI | Adventure to the World Centres: Our Chalet Switzerland! | Adventure to the World Centres: Our Cabaña Mexico! | Adventure to the World Centres: Pax Lodge London!  Adventure to the World Centres: Sangam India!  |  Guide to Safety While Traveling | Research travel as a Gen Z | Debunking the Myth: You CAN Save for Travel | How to Pack for a Big Trip


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

We want to know about your favorite town or neighborhood with your very own video! You can even bring Flat Juliette with you on your tour. Once you’ve made a video, share them on our website

Download Flat Juliette »
Download Flat Juliette Junior »


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.

Member Spotlight: Melissa Young-Bridgeforth!

Member Spotlight: Melissa Young-Bridgeforth!

This week we are spotlighting the amazing work of Girl Scout volunteer Melissa Young-Bridgeforth, who has been a part of the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) community for more than 20 years as a member, a national and council delegate, Democratic Process Task Group chair, a troop leader, service unit manager, and MORE! Melissa’s service has gone above and beyond (and she is a recipient of the Thanks Badge for her volunteer work!), so this week, we are turning the tables and thanking her.

Read on to hear from Melissa about her Girl Scout legacy and relationship with GCNWI.

Volunteer Exemplifies What It Means to Be a Girl Scout

Melissa has been involved with Girl Scouts at almost every level of service. She first volunteered as a troop leader for her daughters, then as a service unit manager, and after voicing her concerns about Girl Scouts in the West Side of Chicago, she became a Council Delegate, “and somewhere in between there became a trainer.” After 10 years as a Council Delegate, Melissa has served as a National Delegate, and also serves as Delegate Chair. “Sprinkled throughout there, I still co-chair for the product programs (volunteer committees supporting both the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Product Program) and still train if I’m needed.”

“When I started out as a service unit manager, I wasn’t liking how things were being communicated. Somebody [at the council] told me I needed to step up, so I kept stepping up. As my service started to grow, I became a mentor by default, because you have to recruit people if you have no one there to help tell them how to do things!”

Melissa leads by example, and people respect that. Her advice to younger or new volunteers: “Voice your opinion and make sure it’s heard and understood, period. That confidence and rapport with everyone around you will build. I think new leaders need to have that confidence; if you have it in your personal life or your workplace, bring it to Girl Scouts, also.”

As far as the future of Girl Scouts is concerned, Melissa has plenty of hope. “If enough of us are making this day better than the next, the world will become better… We are making baby steps, and baby steps are good because we still have glass ceilings everywhere. Each generation we’re building girls who are more robust, more willing to get up and start talking to people.”

“My personal perk from being a Girl Scout is that it helps me, we, find the skills we already have, period. The best part is being put in situations that constantly challenge me to refine my skills, especially the ones I think are my weakest link.”


Thank you so much to Melissa for sharing her story with us!

Lead Girls Through Our Becoming Me Program Series

Inspired by themes from Michelle Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, this new program series will guide girls of all ages to become their best selves. 

Volunteer to guide girls as they explore the truth in their own stories and the power of their voices! You will work with girls during 6-8 fun-filled and inspirational virtual sessions.

Sign-up to get started »

Learn more about volunteering with GSGCNWI today!

Renew by June 30 and Enjoy Exclusive Membership Perks!

When you stick with Girl Scouts, you’re not just giving your girl something to do, you’re giving her someone to be. The bravest, boldest, best version of herself. The version of herself walks with her head a bit higher and acts with confidence.

Renew her membership for 2021-22 today and she’ll receive a FREE “We’ve Got This” patch, plus access to the newest programs for the summer and beyond! 

Learn more on our website.

Volunteer Spotlight: Shamin Ladhani!

Volunteer Spotlight: Shamin Ladhani!

Girl Scout volunteers are a huge part of Girl Scouts’ successes: that’s why we are taking time to spotlight a special volunteer from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI), Shamin Ladhani, and her co-leaders, for the multi-level Girl Scout troops of Jamatkhana Ismaili Center in Glenview, IL! Also known as the Midwest Ismaili Scouts or Service Unit 407, Shamin and the other leaders are amazing volunteers making an impact on our council.

Shamin began her involvement in Girl Scouts six years ago as a leader for her first daughter’s troop. One year later, she was asked to be the Girl Scout Organizer (GSO) for all five faith-based Girl Scout troops in the area. Currently, Shamin works with a Co-Girl Scout Organizer Kiran Ali-Suteria, and over fifteen other leaders, troop volunteers, and five troops that represent seventy-seven Girl Scouts and their families.

Shamin shares the spotlight with all her leaders, and especially Kiran Ali-Suteria, a Girl Scout volunteer for over five years, and Noreen Merchant, a volunteer for the last eleven years. “Kiran is the foundation of our team, who keeps things moving for our Girl Scouts. We truly have skills that complement each other to lead all our troops. Noreen’s leadership style and the work she does every year has shown how reliable and respected she is within the faith-based group. She makes Girl Scouts fun and manageable for everyone.” Besides being a leader, Noreen is a Girl Scout council delegate.

The secret to Shamin’s success is that she models the type of leadership our girls need. “It helps to model the type of leadership you want your Girl Scouts to have by getting involved in the community.” As a psychologist, Shamin also advocates for the mental wellness of her community. She is active in her community and at the national level in other non-profit work to include Girl Scouts in the conversation.

The Jamatkhana Ismaili Center in Glenview, IL, has always sponsored Girl Scouts as a part of their faith-based community. This lead to Girl Scouts in the area becoming a part of what Shamin calls a “mentoring ladder to success,” with many of the girls returning to become leaders themselves and supporting each other, their families, and their leaders through their sustainable models of community service.

Shamin says her leaders “always surprise and impress” her on how well they engage with their Girl Scouts, “especially having to work all virtually this last season.” Shamin says she is “humbled by the work they all do” and is so happy to participate in Girl Scouts.


All of us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana say a big thank you, to Shamin, Kiran, Noreen, and all the Leaders, Girl Scouts, and families of multi-level Girl Scout Troops of Jamat Khana Ismaili Center in Glenview. IL! We appreciate you, your dedication, work, and wonderful contributions!

Lead Girls Through Our Becoming Me Program Series

Inspired by themes from Michelle Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, this new program series will guide girls of all ages to become their best selves. 

Volunteer to guide girls as they explore the truth in their own stories and the power of their voices! You will work with girls during 6-8 fun-filled and inspirational virtual sessions.

Sign-up to get started »

Learn more about volunteering with GSGCNWI today!

Renew by June 30 and Enjoy Exclusive Membership Perks!

When you stick with Girl Scouts, you’re not just giving your girl something to do, you’re giving her someone to be. The bravest, boldest, best version of herself. The version of herself walks with her head a bit higher and acts with confidence.

Renew her membership for 2021-22 today and she’ll receive a FREE “We’ve Got This” patch, plus access to the newest programs for the summer and beyond! 

Learn more on our website.

Join us for Becoming Me, a Program Inspired by Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Join us for Becoming Me, a Program Inspired by Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Explore the truth of your story and the power of your voice while hanging out with friends at our Becoming Me program series! You’ll earn three badges, unlock a patch, and take part in a national service project as part of this unique experience inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers.

The Becoming Me program will walk Girl Scouts through earning three badges at each grade level specially curated from the National Program Portfolio in partnership with Penguin Random House and Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s Becoming Young Readers Edition. The corresponding Becoming Me program series and exclusive journal activities will offer a unique opportunity for Girl Scouts young and old to have a shared dialogue based on their own experiences.

All programs are part of a three-badge series. If you want to complete all three badges that are a part of the series, you must sign up for all three. You will not be automatically registered when you register for one.

Becoming Me Programs for Daisies

Daisy Good Neighbor | Oct. 5 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Groups of people are called communities. You’re part of lots of communities! Your Daisy troop is one and so is your class at school. You can help your communities by being a good neighbor. Find out how in this badge workshop for Kindergarten and 1st grade Daisies. Families are invited to join this workshop to help girls discover and learn about their communities.

Daisy Outdoor Art Maker | Oct. 12 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Daisies, join us for this virtual program to earn your Daisy Outdoor Art Maker badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Daisy Buddy Camper | Oct. 29 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Daisies, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Daisy Buddy Camper badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Becoming Me Programs for Brownies

Brownie Making Friends | Oct. 2 from 9-11 a.m. or 1-3 p.m. | In-Person
Girl Scouts in grades 2-3 are invited to Camp Greene Wood on October 2 for the Making Friends badge workshop. Friends are another kind of family. They’re the people you have fun with and who help you when you need it. Make new friends and keep the old at this badge workshop!
Sign up for the morning program »
Sign up for the afternoon program »

Brownie Philanthropist Badge | Oct. 6 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Brownies, join us for this virtual program to earn your Philanthropist badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Brownie Outdoor Adventurer | Oct. 29 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Brownies, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Brownie Outdoor Adventurer badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Becoming Me Programs for Juniors

Junior Democracy | Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Juniors, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Democracy for Juniors badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Junior Scribe | Oct. 13 and 20 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Words are powerful tools. Great writing can make people feel encouraged, entertained, or excited. It can create fantasy worlds or preserve events from history. And just writing down your feelings actually makes you feel better! This is a two-part program for Girl Scouts who should plan to attend both dates. Additional independent time writing may be necessary to complete this badge.

Junior Trail Adventurer | Nov. 3 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Juniors, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Junior Trail Adventurer badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Junior August Book Club Meeting | Aug. 29 from 5-5:45 p.m. | Virtual
Girl Scouts in grades 4 and 5, do you love to read? Join GSGCNWI’s Junior Book Club! Explore the truth in your own story and the power of your voice. The group will be reading and discussing Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers. Please come to the meeting having read most or all of the book.

Becoming Me Programs for Cadettes

Finding Common Ground | Sep. 30 and Oct. 7 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Virtual
Cadettes, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Finding Common Ground badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Cadette Science of Happiness | Oct. 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and 6 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Hybrid
Cadettes, join us on Thursday, October 4 and Saturday, October 6 for this two session hybrid program to earn your Science of Happiness badge, part of the Becoming Me series! We will explore ways to be happy, do a happiness experiment, and create happiness action plans.

Cadette Eco Trekker | Nov. 12 from 4:30-7 p.m. | In-Person
Cadettes, join us for this in-person program at Camp Palos to earn your Eco Trekker badge, part of the Becoming Me series!

Cadette August Book Club Meeting | Aug. 28 6-7 p.m. | Virtual
Girl Scouts in grades 6, 7, and 8, do you love to read? Join GSGCNWI’s Cadette Book Club! Explore the truth in your own story and the power of your voice. The group will be reading and discussing Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers. Please come to the meeting having read most or all of the book.

Becoming Me Programs for Seniors

Senior Collage Artist | Oct. 5 and Nov. 9 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Get ready to see the creative possibility in everyday objects: this badge workshop is an opportunity to make art as unique as you are! Girl Scouts in grades 9 and 10 are invited to this 2-part program. Girls should plan to attend both dates. Additional independent time will be necessary to finish all steps of the badge. The November 9 program will be our virtual showcase of our collages.

Senior Behind the Ballot Badge | Oct. 26 & Nov. 2 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Seniors, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Behind the Ballot badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Senior Women’s Health | Oct. 12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and 16 from 4-6 p.m. | Hybrid
Seniors, join us on Tuesday, October 12 and 16 for this two session hybrid program to earn your Women’s Health badge, part of the Becoming Me series! We will explore ways to be physically and mentally healthy, and delve into a women’s health topic.

Becoming Me Programs for Ambassadors

Ambassador Coaching | Oct. 1 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. or 2-4 p.m. | In-Person
What does it take to motivate a team to accomplish their goals and dreams? The best coaches put their answers into action at every practice. In this badge, find your answers and share them! At this program, you’ll work to understand the important role coaches have in athletics and share your love of a sport. In this program we’ll design a coaching design and put our plan into action. Through the Coaching badge, Ambassadors take the lead as they inspire and empower others. In order to complete the Coaching badge requirements, girls will need to find a group to coach after the program; advice will be given at the program for how to find a group.
Sign up for the morning program »
Sign up for the afternoon program »

Ambassador Public Policy Badge | Oct. 14 and 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual
Ambassadors, join us for this two session virtual program to earn your Public Policy badge, part of the Becoming Me series! Girl Scouts should plan to attend both dates.

Ambassador Eco Advocate | Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and 9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Hybrid
Ambassadors, join us on Thursday, October 7 and Saturday, October 9 for this two session hybrid program to earn your Eco Advocate badge, part of the Becoming Me series! We will learn what eco advocates do, and work to advocate for our chosen causes.

Be a Part of Becoming Me When You Renew Your Membership or Register to Be a Girl Scout

Strength, resilience, togetherness, and the support of community—that’s what Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is all about. So in this uncertain world, you can count on one thing for sure: today, tomorrow, together, we are on your team. Join Girl Scouts or renew your membership today!

PLUS we have the badges, fun patches and requirements available for purchase!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jill Verde and Tisha Eisenmenger!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jill Verde and Tisha Eisenmenger!

All of our volunteers deserve a spotlight because they make sure our Girl Scouts thrive! This week we are recognizing two special volunteers from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana from Troop 45856; Jill Verde and Tisha Eisenmenger!

Tisha began her involvement with Girl Scouts five years ago as a Troop Support volunteer for her daughter’s troop: “I was a Girl Scout for three years when I was a child, and I have so many fun memories of those times. When my daughter joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy, Jill and I decided to take the leap and form our own troop that would focus on the girl’s interests and desire to help the community. Three years later, we have worked with an amazing group of girls and families who have already done so much. These girls are going to change the world!”

Jill has eight years of experience as a Girl Scout leader, and as a team, Tisha and Jill have a passion for helping their girls share their ideas. Just this past year, their troop invited the community to explore their very own fairy garden in the Chipmunk Woods for their service project “Fairies of Volo Bog.”

Their “Fairies of Volo Bog” project is among Tisha’s favorite memories as a Girl Scout leader: “The girls learned all about the Volo Bog and created an amazing project that has raised money and awareness of the importance of the bog has to our community. The troop has been asked to reinstall the project in August and have it as a yearly recurring display.”

Tisha and Jill are excellent facilitators of their girls’ love for community service, and they are currently participating in a painting service project for a non-profit children’s theater program in Crystal Lake. “We love to volunteer and help the community in any way we can.”

Their advice to other Girl Scout volunteers and leaders: “Get your families and friends to volunteer. It makes a difference when you let others help you.”

“We couldn’t do what we do without our Girl Scouts, their families, and our two amazing assistant leaders Sara Melzer and Aimee Briggs.”


All of us at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana say a big thank you, to Jill and Tisha! We appreciate you, your dedication, work, and wonderful contributions!

Want to Learn More About Volunteering? Join us for a Virtual Open House!

Whether you can commit a few hours, a few weeks, or a few months, volunteering with GSGCNWI is both flexible and rewarding.

You are invited to join the Associate Board on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00 pm for a virtual volunteer open house where we will showcase three different ways to support young women, including opportunities around the “Expert Connection” program, the “Becoming Me” program, and the Associate Board.

Register for this free event!

Lead Girls Through Our Becoming Me Program Series

Inspired by themes from Michelle Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, this new program series will guide girls of all ages to become their best selves. 

Volunteer to guide girls as they explore the truth in their own stories and the power of their voices! You will work with girls during 6-8 fun-filled and inspirational virtual sessions.

Sign-up to get started »

Learn more about volunteering with GSGCNWI today!

Volunteer Appreciation Month In Review!

Volunteer Appreciation Month In Review!

From troop leaders to cookie captains, you are the heart of Girl Scouts, and in this past year, you’ve kept our pulse strong.

This year we’re commemorating National Volunteer Month by sending a shout out to all of our amazing council volunteers! Thank you for lending your energy and talent and for believing in the power of the girl. Thank you for giving girls the space to test their ideas and express their feelings about our ever-changing world.

We see the results. We see the confidence, the “we’ve got this” troop energy that only you can inspire. Because of you we have community. Because of you we have resilience. Because of you we have Girl Scouts. 

Additionally, every year on April 22—Girl Scout Leader’s Day—we give extra kudos to you. Troop leaders: we love you, and we’re forever grateful to you for being the role models girls look up to, especially in challenging times like these. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Judith Batty, Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, couldn’t let Volunteer Appreciation Month go by without giving thanks to our incredible volunteers. Hear how Girl Scout volunteers made a difference in her life, and see why volunteers are the backbone of this organization.

Read on to learn about some of our amazing volunteers and how we’ve been celebrating all April long.

Because Of You

Throughout the month, we featured the inspiring words and stories of volunteers from across our council, like Jakki and Bria:

Starr Power

We also celebrated volunteer Starr on our blog, whose 22-year-long service to Girl Scouts continues to make an impact on our girls! Read more about her and her leadership.

It’s Never Too Late to Be a Girl Scout

You can also listen to troop leader Natalie, who shares her story of her first-year of leading during a pandemic, above, or to Girl Scout alum Anusha and GCNWI Board Member Monica in conversation about their life-changing moment during Camp CEO, below!

More Girl Scout Shout Outs

The celebration does not have to stop when April ends! There are so many ways to thank the volunteers in your life (or give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back): visit our website to learn more.

Make a Difference with GCNWI

It’s not too late to embark on an incredible adventure with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana! If you’re looking for ways to have a powerful, lasting influence on girls in your community, we’d love to chat.

Visit our website to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Join us for Becoming Me with former First Lady Michelle Obama

Girl Scouts is launching a new “Becoming Me” program series in collaboration with former First Lady Michelle Obama and Penguin Random House!

Inspired by themes from Mrs. Obama’s Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers, Girl Scouts’ new Becoming Me program aims to help girls become their best selves. Check out our blog to learn more!

Volunteer to guide girls as they explore the truth in their own stories and the power of their voices! You will work with girls during 6-8 fun-filled and inspirational virtual sessions.

Sign-up to get started »