“Batter Up!” It’s Cooking Week with GCNWI!

Girl Scouts, it’s time to get cooking for Cooking Week! Join us for virtual programs that include a brunch or dinner events that will inspire some delicious and nutritious dishes. This week of programming will feature amazing cuisine and ingredients from around the world, as well as give you tools to practice cooking a new meal or two, and become an expert in culinary skills! For some ideas to get started, check out these resources:

Also be sure to check out these videos for even more ideas:

Girl Scout Juniors earning the Staying Fit badge can complete steps 2 and 4 by watching this video all about nutrition!

Learn how to set up an tropical-themed cookout by watching this video from our community partner, The Chameleon Academy of Communication and Civility!

Also make sure to check out this video from Executive Pastry Chef at the Hilton Northbrook, Chef Marilyn McNabb, where she teaches how to make Pancit, noodles from the Phillipines!

Want to challenge yourself with this amazing and decadent French dessert? Check out this awesome video made by Girl Scouts GCNWI volunteer Dawn and share your Macaron creations with us! What’s your favorite flavor?!


This Week in Virtual Programming

Tuesday, June 2 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

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

Register for Career Conversations »

Cooking with Chef Heath

Wednesday, June 3 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages (Grades K-12) | Webinar

All ages of Girl Scouts are invited to join us as Chef Heath from Kellogg presents three different dishes from around the world: Chicken and Waffles, Tostadas, and Kufta!
If you are a Junior or Cadette, you will be well on your way to earning your Simple Meals or New Cuisines badge, and whatever age you are, you will add some new fun recipes to your repertoire!

Register for the Cooking Demo with Chef Heath »

Fun with Your Food!

Wednesday, June 3 at 5 p.m. | For Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (Grades K-5) | Webinar

We’ve ALL been there! When an adult tells us that it’s not mannerly to play with our food, despite it being a lot of fun. Well, what if we told you that this is your opportunity to do exactly that!? This awesome program encourages you to familiarize yourself with basic cooking skills AND let’s you—you guessed it—play with your food!

You’ll have time to get your food and supplies ready beforehand, then join in for this fun and interactive event by creating 6 nature inspired snacks! We’ll also take some time to let your imagination run wild to create some designs of your own. You can ALSO check out the video below that includes hand-washing and knife-skills PLUS a secret ingredient for the Dish It Out program.

Make sure to register so you don’t miss out on this chance to have tons of fun with your food! Share your recipes with us by tagging @girlscoutsgcnwi on all platforms and use the hashtag #GCNWICOOKINGWEEK

Register to have Fun with your Food »

Dish it Out!

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

All ages of Girl Scouts, get ready to Dish it Out with your family during this great family cook-off! Each family will make a meal together to earn points using a list of ingredients we’ll be sending out, and the meals will be shared with everyone during the live webinar! Extra bonus points will be awarded for using secret ingredients announced during the Mindful Monday video, Knife Safety webinar and video, and the Older Girl Hangout!

Register to Dish It Out »

Coffee and Conversation

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

High School girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other Girl Scouts your age to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Let’s Get Brunching!

Friday, June 5 at 11 a.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages (K-12) | Webinar

Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to join us and the Cook County Farm Bureau for brunch as we make French toast, try different flavors, and discover where ingredients come from! We will learn what vanilla looks like in its original form, and how far cinnamon travels to appear on our tables. This delicious and informational webinar will put girls on track to earn the Junior Simple Meals badge and the Cadette New Cuisines badge. Daisies and Brownies should have assistance from an adult if they participate.

Register for brunch »

Share With Girl Scouts GCNWI

This week, share your recipes and food-snaps with us on social media by tagging us @GirlScoutsGCNWI and using the #GCNWICookingWeek or by submitting your story on our website! We can’t wait to see what you make!

#DearLittleSister

Everyone needs a little encouragement, now and then. Including Girl Scouts.

One thing is certain. When you belong to Girl Scouts, you belong to a close-knit community of people who care about inspiring each other to help others, lead with their best attributes, and are resilient, even in tough times.

As we continue to transform how we provide our experiences in these challenging times, the key thing to remember is “you are not alone.” We are all wading through uncharted waters, together. Though things may look different, our focus on sisterhood, leadership and service remains the same.

Don’t just take our word for it! We asked some of our teen Girl Scouts to share their advice and insights to keep our younger members feeling positive and optimistic. Her next adventure is full of new possibilities, new experiences, new badges and journeys, new skills to learn, and new trails to blaze! No matter what tomorrow may hold, she can always count on her Girl Scout sisters to be there every step of the way.

“Dream big! The great thing about being a part of a service-driven community is that you always have the people and the resources you need to help you expand your ideas. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious!  Projects that may be incredibly difficult to pursue independently can be a lot easier with a team by your side. I know people traditionally associate Girl Scouts with camping and cookie sales, and those activities are a blast, but GS is also a community of people that can help you pursue your dreams and expand your reach! So, stick with it!”

Audrey C. -Girl Scout Ambassador

“Always stick with it. Even if your motivation is low and you’ve got other activities as well, stay with Girl Scouts! I’m about to graduate high school and my greatest pride is my Gold Award and my other Girl Scout accomplishments. It will all pay off in the end!”

Marley M. -Girl Scout Ambassador

“In middle school, I dropped out of Girl Scouts because most of my friends weren’t doing it anymore. Ironically, my friend groups ended up shifting during eighth grade, and suddenly all my friends were in Girl Scouts. I ended up rejoining, and I’m very glad that I did. From the whole experience, I learned that friends shouldn’t dictate the things you do or the choices you make. Do what you love, and you will make friends along the way, more easily than you might expect.”

Tess O. -Girl Scout Senior

“Girl Scouts is a lot of fun.  As you get older, people will tell you the Girl Scouts is only for little kids, but it is not. You learn so much from Girl Scouts. There are so many opportunities for older Girl Scouts to make a difference in their communities. Keep moving forward!”

Molly M. -Girl Scout Ambassador

Whenever you are ready to continue the journey, we are here for you!

Wrap-Up: The Great Family Camp-In

Check out one of our photo contest winners indoor camp-site! Way to go Lilly!

Thank you to everyone that joined us this weekend for the first ever Great Family Camp-In! We had campers and families join us from all over the council throughout Illinois and Indiana as well as across the country including California, Nevada, Texas, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Washington DC, and more!

We hope you had a great time joining in for all of the different parts of the event with us. Whether you camped indoors or outdoors, and despite the ever-changing weather, we hope you enjoyed some fun camp activities!

Watch the Great Family Camp-In videos on our YouTube Channel!

Photo Contest Winners!

The competition was fierce and we can’t thank all the participant enough for sharing all of your awesome camp-in photos. We had about 170 submissions! It was incredibly hard for us to narrow down to some finalists to be voted on by all of you to determine the winners! With over 534 votes we found our winners! Check out the photo gallery below.

Continue Camping At Home

Continue with the summer fun by downloading the Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet with camp recipes, game ideas, song lyrics, and more camp fun that you can do on your own or coordinate to do with your family, friends, or Girl Scout troop from afar. 

Download a PDF of the Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet!

Share Camp With Everyone!

We want to see how you are “camping” this summer. Keep sharing with us by tagging @girlscoutsgcnwi on all social media platforms and using the hashtag #GCNWICAMPIN.

And don’t forget that you can order your Great Family Camp-In swag for attending the event. Order your t-shirt or patch here

Girl Scouts Honoring Veterans

Girl Scouts Honoring Veterans

Throughout history, Girl Scouts across the nation have honored both the active members of our military and veterans who have sacrificed to protect our freedom. This Memorial Day is no different. Even though we are observing this day from home, Girl Scouts continue to show appreciation for our veterans. 

This week’s Member Monday falls on Memorial Day, which marks the beginning of Service Week across our council. We’re taking this opportunity to highlight Girl Scouts who have earned the Girl Scouts GCNWI Honoring our Veterans patch

A Girl Scout alum—who just happens to be army veteran and United States Senator Tammy Duckworth—teamed up with us to develop a special patch program so girls can connect with and honor veterans in their communities. By completing a service project, visiting a veteran, or telling a veteran’s story, girls can earn the Girl Scouts GCNWI Honoring our Veterans patch

Since the launch of the patch program last Veterans Day, so many Girl Scouts have shared their experiences working with veterans with us. 

The stories below are from some of the council’s service-minded Girl Scouts who dedicated time to veterans in their communities previously, before we sheltered in place to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Serving Those who Served

Girl Scouts from three different troops from Glenview, IL, organized a Cards for Veterans Service Project for veterans at the Hines VA Hospital. The girls ended up exceeding their initial goal, collecting over 140 cards that were delivered to the hospital on Veterans Day 2019. The girls hope to inspire more people in their community to share their messages of appreciation, not only around Veterans Day, but throughout the year. 

Girl Scout Troop 75142, in celebration of Veterans Day, hosted an event filled with music, food, games, fellowship, and a performance by the Loyola University Rambler Battalion Color Guard, all in honor of the sacrifices women United States service members have made to defend our country. Later, the girls organized a donation drive to benefit the Women’s Residential Program at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. 

Service is an essential part of the Girl Scout DNA, and Gold Award Girl Scout and Senator Duckworth knows this well. When she thinks of Girl Scouts, she thinks of “hard work… a commitment to making the community, and the country around you, a better place.”

Watch Senator Duckworth speak on the importance of service in Girl Scouting:

Visiting a Veteran

Some Girl Scouts took a more personal approach to the patch program, like Sophia, who chose to interview her stepfather. During this conversation, Sophia gained insight into someone important in her life and a deeper understanding about how to better support veterans. She learned that being home can sometimes feel harder than being away, and that a supportive friend group is essential. 

Last October, Girl Scout Anne decided to volunteer at the Manteno Veteran’s Home, where she met Jimmie, a veteran with a love for Bob Hope. Anne learned about his time in Korea and how he got to see his favorite comedian, Hope, who dedicated himself to providing laughter to active service members. Anne loved earning this patch so much she joined an Auxiliary Post with the American Legion in her community to continue helping veterans. 

A group of Girl Scouts from Chicago also kept their project close to home, connecting with their own troop leader and the father of one of the girls, both veterans. The girls listened closely to their stories, learning about the different branches of the armed forces, how to become a veteran, and the treatment of women in the army. They also learned that, like in the Girl Scouts, everyone in the military has a part to play and must “be prepared” at all times. 

Honoring our Veterans from Home

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to honor and support veterans from home. The Village of Lake Bluff will be hosting a virtual Memorial Day observance ceremony, available for online viewing on Monday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m. Filmed in front of the Veteran’s Memorial at the Village Green, the ceremony will be shared online through the Facebook pages of the Village of Lake Bluff, LakeBluffStrong, and the Lake Bluff History Museum.

Girl Scouts interested in completing the Honoring our Veterans Patch Program should complete at least two of the criteria from the list below and share their story in order to earn the patch. 

Complete a Service Project Benefitting Veterans 

You may complete two service projects to earn the patch. Below are some ideas: 

  • Send cards of appreciation 
  • Donate Girl Scout Cookies to a veteran home or program 
  • Coordinate and lead a virtual activity with a veteran 
  • Work with a local veteran or senior center to coordinate the delivery of hygiene supplies, clothes, and other needed items. 

Visit with a Veteran: While meeting in person may not be currently safe, coordinating online meetings with veterans you know or in a program can fulfill the requirement. 

Tell a Veteran’s Story: Interview a veteran virtually and tell their story through writing, video, or another way! Use digital resources and get creative with how you tell and share their story. 

Download the patch program guidelines [PDF] » 
Share your story to earn the free patch » 

Doing Good Turns: Service Week with GCNWI

Throughout history, Girl Scouts have stood together and joined forces, and now it’s your turn! Join us for a full week of service, giving back, and “thank you” to those we count on most! How will you “Do a Good Turn Daily” this week? Here are some ideas to inspire you to take action this week:

The Girl Scout Councils across Illinois are excited to partner with COLW (Conference of Women Legislators of the Illinois General Assembly) to offer a virtual meeting with female legislators! This event is open to all girls in 5th grade and above in Illinois on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.  If you are interested, please e-mail elockwood@girlscouts-gsci.org to receive the meeting information. Girls Scouts, come prepared with one question for the legislators!

Girl Scout Service Shout-Out

Girl Scout Margaux P. from Troop 65142

Junior troop 65142 from Tinley Park, Winding Creek Service Unit, capped off their Agent of Change Journey by reaching out to their community. The troop, along with the help of their community, created paper flowers to be delivered to area nursing homes. They were able to deliver a total of 1,1113 flowers! And, thanks to a last minute virtual cookie booth, each home received Girl Scout cookies for the healthcare workers! Even shelter-in-place can never stops the goodness of Girl Scouts!

Great job to Arabella, Aidan, Fiona, Autumn, Jada, Maggie, Maddy, Ava, and Jocelyn, for showing us what Service Week (and Girl Scouting) is all about!

This week in Virtual Programming

Tuesday, May 26 at 3 p.m. | For Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies (Grades K-3) | Webinar

Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies, join us for Voter Girl, a webinar hosted by the League of Women Voters of Naperville! This virtual workshop will teach girls the ins and outs of voting with some fun activities, and also puts girls on track to earn the Daisy Be a Good Neighbor and Brownie Celebrating Community Badges.

Register to become a Voter Girl »

Dreaming of the Future

Tuesday, May 26 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

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

Register for the Career Conversation »

Camp Chat: Service Opportunities

Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12), Troop Leaders, and Adult Volunteers | Webinar

Between potential service projects and work days, there are opportunities for troops, groups, and anyone interested to make our camps AWESOME! Many opportunities involve going out to camps! While we can’t all be at camps now, we will be reopening in the future while following best practices and procedures from the CDC, state, and local governments. Older girls, troop leaders, and adult volunteers are invited to join this webinar to get updates from council staff Jazz and Kat and ask your questions about how you and your troop can help at camp in the future.

Register to chat about camp »

Tee up for C.I.Tea Time

Wednesday, May 27 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

Are you a summer 2020 Counselor in Training (C.I.T.)? Join us for an hour of socializing and brainstorming with other C.I.T.s as we discuss how you can continue your journey this summer to one day become a camp counselor. Bring your own ideas or come ready to hear different ways you can participate in virtual programming all summer long as a counselor-in-training!

Register for C.I.Tea Time »

Connect with the Girl Scout Sisterhood

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

Older girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other older Girl Scouts to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Shop Social Together!

Thursday, May 28 at 5:30 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages, Families, Leaders, and Service Unit Managers| Facebook Live

Get ready for GCNWI’s SHOP SOCIAL on Facebook Live! Find your comfy PJs, grab some snacks and shop with your Girl Scout Council shop – all from your couch! Our online shop is still open and we want to share all of our new products, your favorites, uniform essentials and fun items for every girl. Throughout the night we will have a Girl Scout trivia contest for FREE prizes!

Watch live on Facebook this Thursday »

She the People

Friday, May 29 at 3 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors, join us for Voter Girl, a webinar hosted by the League of Women Voters of Naperville on Friday, May 29 at 3 p.m.! This virtual workshop will include hands-on activities and guest speakers who specialize in local civics. This workshop also puts girls on track to earn the Senior Behind the Ballot and Ambassador Public Policy badges!

Register for the webinar »

Don’t miss the Village of Lake Bluff’s virtual Memorial Day observance ceremony, available for online viewing on Monday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m.! Filmed in front of the Veteran’s Memorial at the Village Green, the ceremony will be shared online through the Facebook pages of the Village of Lake Bluff, LakeBluffStrong, and the Lake Bluff History Museum.

This week, share your service stories with us on social media by tagging us @GirlScoutsGCNWI or by submitting your story on our website. If you or your troop plans on celebrating Memorial Day by completing the Honoring our Veterans Patch Program, make sure to share your story on our separate form!

Member Monday Round-Up: Staying Strong!

Girl Scout Ja’Mirra from Troop 26060

Another week, another collection of AMAZING stories from our local Girl Scouts! Girl Scouts have kept their spirits up and kept the Girl Scout way alive by participating in virtual troop meetings, planning and completing highest awards, doing “good turns” daily, and most importantly, having fun!

As we come out of Green for Good Week and gear up for Family Week and the Girl Scouts GCNWI Great Family Camp-In from May 23-24, we want to continue to take time out of the week to appreciate and celebrate our Girl Scout Family. Read on to find out what these Girl Scout sisters have been up to lately!

Baking the World a Better Place

Girl Scout Daisy Morgan from Troop 75639 is really baking a name for herself. She started her own YouTube channel Morgan Makes and Bakes, and last week shared a video of herself making an incredible-looking Girl Scout Cookie Cake! We can’t wait to use some of our cookies to make it!

Girl Scout Troops are chugging along, and Troop 10063, a multi-level troop ranging from Daisies to Seniors, has been hosting regular meetings using Facebook Live! They’ve hosted cooking demonstrations, a paint-along, Mother’s Day crafts, and workshops on Girl Scout basics! They’ve even taken two virtual field trips, one to their leader’s place of work at a local distribution office and warehouse, and another to a county forest preserve for a nature trail hike. Sounds like a whole lot of Girl Scout fun!

The creative juices have really been flowing for some Girl Scouts–– just look at the girls from Troop 60538! These girls got together to create their very own news show where they share feel-good stories, and this fulfilled part of their Media Girl Journey! If you need a chuckle, check out their Quarantine Quarrels:

Girl Scout Service Spotlight!

Girl Scouts have continued to do “good turns” daily, either by donating cookies, organizing donation drives, or simply spreading some much-needed cheer. Troop 76120 donated their leftover cookies to healthcare workers at Northwestern Hospital, and the entire Service Unit 718 in Frankfort, IL sent thank-you cards! Although we can’t see the smiles on their faces, we’re sure the cookies brought them plenty of joy!

With the help of their “big sister” Girl Scout Jazleen, Daisy Troop 75552 donated over 50 boxes of cookies and plenty of beautiful thank-you notes to Oak Lawn Advocate Medical Center! What a great way to put Girl Scout sisterhood into action!

This AWESOME family of Girl Scouts from Troops 21180 and 20897 donated their last boxes of cookies to the University of Chicago! Every donated box came with a handmade special thank you card from the girls. We know that the staff was incredibly appreciative of this generosity!

Girl Scouts have gotten really creative when it comes to helping out their communities, and Girl Scout Sommer from Troop 60261 is no exception! Since hand sanitizer has been in short supply, Sommer began to use her own allowance to buy ingredients to make some herself–– since then, she’s been donating these bottles to police officers, city workers, nursing home volunteers, senior citizens, friends, and families! She was even featured in the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, and for good reason. Incredible work, Sommer!

This troop of local Girl Scouts also donated cookies, and created these special notes! Thanks for sharing, girls!

Are you looking for a service opportunity to partake in with your troop? Emma Davenport, the Illinois State Lead for #MasksNow, shared with us a very special opportunity for any interested Girl Scouts:

Silver Award Shout Out!

Our last groups of featured Girl Scouts get very special shout-outs for recently working on or completing their Silver Awards!

Troop 70950’s Silver Award project focused on spreading kindness throughout their community, and they certainly accomplished that goal! The girls volunteered with RichEnDeed, a local non-profit that allows community members to donate gently used clothing and household items which others can shop for free at their store.

For the first annual Holiday Shop with RichEnDeed, they collected and sorted donations for the store, and these girls even went the extra mile to purchase, assemble, and donate a brand-new donation shed so donations can be dropped outside the store! Congratulations to these super-generous Girl Scouts for this amazing accomplishment!

Girl Scouts Evie and Madalyn from Troop 51974 also deserve a shout-out for their awesome work on their Silver Award, an idea they came up with together last summer after Madalyn got back from camp. Because their favorite place to earn badges is at camp, Evie and Madalyn wanted to find a way to help other girls do the same. Thus, the Badge Packs were born, consisting of all the supplies needed to complete certain badges, including the instructions, activities, and whatever else someone may need!

Their plan is to send a variety of Badge Packs for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors to Camps Greenewood, Butternut Springs, Juniper Knoll, and River Trails! Evie and Madalyn chose diverse options such as the Junior Detective Badge and the Brownie Making Friends Badge because they wanted to provide a range of options for girls at camp who may already be earning other badges. They’re very excited, and hope to deliver their finished product to camps by the end of 2020! Great job, girls, and thank you so much for sharing!

Girl Scout Cookies Are (Still) Here!

Hello from one of the contributing writers of this blog, Susana Cardenas-Soto! I am breaking the fourth wall very briefly to share my own story from this past week because I BOUGHT GIRL SCOUT COOKIES and you can too!

I connected with Girl Scout Troop 23143 for some much needed treats, and they have plenty more cookies to sell! Purchase Girl Scout Cookies for yourself, or as gifts for essential workers, medical staff, and others–– just fill out this form and you’ll be connected with a local troop and coordinate a safe, contactless transfer of delicious treats! What could be better?

These Girl Scouts are super impressive, and they aren’t the only ones! Catch up on all of our Member Monday and Service Spotlight blog posts to get some more good Girl Scout vibes:

Please keep sharing your stories with us!

Looking for a Patch Program to do with your troop? The Girl Scouts from Home page is full of Badge How-To’s you can complete from home!

Keep up with our upcoming Virtual Events by checking out our Calendar, which can also be found on the Girl Scouts from Home page!

Get Together for Family Week!

This week is all about spending time with your family, from the family you can’t see very often to the family you live with. We’re featuring games you can play, recipes you can try, and fun activities to keep you connected to those you love most!

There are plenty of resources and activities available for every level of Girl Scout to bring the family in on the fun!

This week in Virtual Programming

Monday, May 18 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

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

Register for the Career Conversation »

Get Fit and Have Fun as a Family!

Tuesday, May 19 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages and Family Members (Grades K-12) | Webinar

Try something new and stay fit form the comfort of your own home! Grab any family member and join us as we will be challenging you both to move in fun, new ways! Not only is this a great program to work on some physical activity, it will also challenge your mind to strategize and work through these physical challenges!

OPEN TO ALL AGES; however, Girl Scout Brownies will work toward their Fair Play badge and Girl Scout Juniors will have the opportunity to work toward their Staying Fit badge.

Register for Fit Fun »

Reach for the Stars!

Tuesday, May 19 at 5 p.m. | For Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (Grades K-5) | Webinar

PLEASE NOTE: Time has changed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for this week’s meeting.

Space-Explorer Girl Scouts, the stars have aligned for you! Join us for our monthly virtual Astronomy Club Meeting! During these meetings, Girl Scouts will work on Space-themed badges, learn about different parts of the solar system and beyond, and receive updates on night sky events.

Register to join Astronomy Club »

Test your Girl Scout Knowledge

Wednesday, May 20 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages and Family Members (Grades K-12) | Webinar

All ages of Girl Scouts and family members are invited to join Girl Scouts GCNWI and Girl Space team for Family Trivia! We’re going to test your brains on pop culture and Girl Scouts facts–– we can’t wait to see what you know!

Register to play Family Trivia »

Introducing the Virtual Book Club for Cadettes!

Wednesday, May 20 at 4:30 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes (Grades 6-8) | Webinar

Cadettes, do you love to read? Join our first ever Virtual Book Club! For the first meeting, we’ll be reading I Can Make this Promise by Christine Day. Please come to the first meeting having read the book or at least started it!

Register to join the Virtual Book Club »

Connect with the Girl Scout Sisterhood

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

Older girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other older Girl Scouts to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Stay Safe with the American Red Cross

Friday, May 22 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors (Grades 2-5) | Webinar

Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors are invited to join The Pillowcase Project webinar with the American Red Cross! Learn about the best ways to stay safe during emergencies and use coping skills during stressful situations through a series of hands-on activities!

Register to join the Pillow Case Project »

Get Ready for the Great Family Camp-In!

Saturday, May 23-24, beginning at 10 a.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages, Family Members, and Non-Girl Scouts (Grades K-12) | Webinar and Facebook Live

Near or far, camp where you are! While we can’t be together this summer for camp, we CAN bring the camping to you! We’re excited to present the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Great Family Camp-In, May 23-24, 2020!

This program is free and open to everyone interested in learning more about camping from the comfort of your own home—you don’t have to be a Girl Scout to attend. We’ll walk you through setting up your campsite at home—whether it’s a tent outside or fort inside—and get ready for some camp-in magic.

Join us for an awesome weekend full of virtual camp fun, including a Campsite Photo Contest, Art Projects, Outdoor Skills workshops, and more!

Register for the Camp-In »
Check out our blog for more information »

We want to see the beautiful bright faces of you and your family–– send over pictures, videos, and stories of your week together on social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI or by submitting your story on our website!

The Girl Scouts GCNWI Great Family Camp-In!

May 23-24, 2020 | All Ages

Registration | Photo Contest | Schedule | Materials Needed | Camping Essentials | Camp-In Premiers

Near or far, camp where you are!

We’re excited to present the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Great Family Camp-In, May 23-24, 2020!

This program is free for all ages, and open to everyone interested in learning more about camping from the comfort of your own home—you don’t have to be a Girl Scout to attend. You’ll get to meet people from across the council, and learn some awesome camping skills!

Through a series of virtual experiences we’ll walk you through everything—from setting up your campsite at home (indoors or out) to outdoor skills, art projects, and even a virtual campfire sing-along!

THIS EVENT IS NOW FULL

Check back for YouTube Premiere links so you can watch along with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the Campfire Sing-Along! Plus you can participate on your own through our activity packet!

What to Expect

Participants in the GCNWI Great Family Camp-In can take part in a variety of activities that you can choose to do on your own or with the other campers throughout the day.

Virtual programming will consist of a combination of live programs, pre-recorded videos and interactive webinars, with breaks between scheduled activities so that you can participate with us and have time to get outside!

The camp-in is presented by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Outdoor Program Team including Hannah “Nacho” Bovard, Lauren “Sprout” Somogyi, Kara “Caribou” Kastenholz, Katie “Katmandu” Young, Margaret “Strike” Gawlik, and Sam “Freddie” Lucheck.  

Enter Our Photo Contest

Experience the fun of camp from your own home!

We know that you are all excited to camp just as much as we are and we want you to show it! When you enter our photo contest you will have a chance to win (find out)!

Contest Rules

  1. After you set up your awesome campsite, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both, take a picture of it!
  2. Submit your photo through THIS FORM! OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff!
  3. Here’s the cool part, YOU get to choose our winners! After you submit your photo, pictures of the photo contest finalist will be made available to be voted Saturday evening (5/23) through Sunday (5/24) morning at 9:30 a.m.

Photo contest winners will be announced during the Great Family Camp-In: Show and Share on Sunday (5/24) at 10 a.m.

We would love to see all of the other pictures you take throughout this event as well. Share with us by tagging @girlscoutsgcnwi on ALL social platforms and using the hashtag #GCNWICAMPIN.

We can’t wait to see pictures of you cooking, doing art projects, learning outdoor skills, and getting outside. Share them and tag us on social media using #gcnwicampin or post them right to our GSGCNWI Great Family Camp-In Facebook event page and Instagram!


Camp-In Schedule

TimeActivityVirtual Location
SATURDAY, May 23
10 a.m.-7 p.m.Campsite Photo Contest!
Set-up your campsite, whether it’s outdoors with a tent, or indoors with a fort! You could be chosen to receive camp-in fun patches for the whole family! Plus you’ll be featured on our social media and blog.
Submit your photo through THIS FORM! OR send them to our Outdoor Program Staff Chosen photo will be announced during Sunday’s Show and Share webinar.
10-10:30 a.m.Kick-off & Opening Ceremony
Start your camp day off right with an opening ceremony, snapshot of the day’s schedule, camp agreement, and FAQ! Meet your Outdoor Program Team hosts and get ready for some camp magic.
YouTube Live Premiere
11-11:45 a.m.Art Projects
Choose between “Salt Dough & Impression Necklace” or “Sit-Upon”
Webinars
12-2 p.m.Lunch and Suggested Camp Activities
Check out the activity packet (coming soon) for camp recipes and suggested activities.
On Your Own
2-2:45 p.m.Outdoor Skills
Choose between “Knot Tying Extravaganza” or “Letterboxing Adventure”
Webinars
3-3:45 p.m.:Camp Fun
Choose between “At-Home Circus Acts” or “Camp Games”
Webinars
4-4:30 p.m.Wrap Up & Closing CeremonyYouTube Live Premiere
4:30-7 p.m.Dinner and Suggested Camp ActivitiesOn Your Own
7-8 p.m.Campfire Sing-along
Our camp-in would not be complete without a campfire and songs! The first forty minutes will be full of high energy songs before slowing down the pace to sing some favorites. Comfy clothes and homemade s’mores are encouraged! 
YouTube Live Premiere
SUNDAY,
May 24
10-10:45 a.m.Show and Share
Share about your night of camping in go with other participants as we reflect, wrap-up the camp fun, and reveal the photo contest winners!
Webinar

Please note, to receive access to webinar links you will need to first register. Webinar links will be emailed to those who register the morning of May 23. Soon the YouTube Premiere links will be available for all to watch along.

The Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet

Now you can download the Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet with camp recipes, game ideas, song lyrics, and more camp fun that you can do on your own or coordinate to do with your family, friends, or Girl Scout troop from afar. 

Download a PDF of the Great Family Camp-In Activity Packet!

Gather Your Materials!

Below are lists of the supplies you’ll need for each activity you’ll learn in the virtual experiences.

Art Project Option 1: Salt Dough and Clay Impressions

Let’s get crafty! Join Outdoor Program Team members, Kat and Sprout in making salt dough out of a few ingredients commonly found in your kitchen. Then transform your salt dough or preferred clay material into a one-of-a-kind nature necklace!

Make sure you can see your screen and have a large, clear space to work in that is covered in newspaper or can be easily wiped down.

Salt Dough Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

Impression Necklace Materials

  • 2-4 objects found in nature (like an acorn or pebble)
  • Toothpick/Pencil
  • String/Yarn/Twine
  • Scissors

Art Project Option 2: Sit-Upon

Prepare for your next outdoor adventure by making a traditional Girl Scout sit-upon. Join Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Strike, to make one that works for you! 

A sit-upon is a great tool to take outdoors with you when you are going for a picnic, singing around a campfire, or to have with you at your campsite. After this session you will have something comfortable and dry to sit on so that you can fully enjoy your time outside.

  • Two 20″x20″ squares of waterproof material twice (either vinyl tablecloth, shower curtain, or a  reusable grocery bag)
  • Padding (options include 15-20 plastic grocery bags, pillow fluff, foam square, or a 1-2″ stack newspapers)
  • Scissors
  • Closure options: yarn or string and hole punch OR just duct tape
  • Marker
  • Ruler (optional)

Outdoor Skills Option 1: Knot Tying Extravaganza

Outdoor Program Team members, Nacho and Freddie will teach you knot tying basics, making a simple friendship bracelet and then walk through how to do some more advanced knots.

People often say knots are difficult, let’s bust that myth together in this interactive step-by-step tutorial. Whether you want to learn how to use knots in making jewelry, setting up camp, or going rock climbing we have you covered in this knot tying adventure for all ages!

Materials

  • A piece of rope/thick string about 30″ long
  • A couple colors of yarn or embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Outdoor Skills Option 2: Letterboxing Adventure Materials

Are you interested in treasure hunts and puzzles? Challenge yourself and your family by learning the international scavenger hunt of letterboxing with Outdoor Program Team members, Caribou and Strike.

You will practice coding clues, learn how to collect stamps, make your own stamp and log book, and even get tips on how to set up your own at-home letterboxing course. 

Materials

  • Stamp (or make your own out of a recycled bottle cap or lid, Craft foam sheets, & Glue​ or tape)
  • 4-6 Small notebooks (or make your own out of 5-10 sheets of paper, a hole-punch, and yarn)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Paper (for the clues, colored paper preferred)
  • Scissors
  • Markers/crayons
  • Ink pad (or washable markers)​
  • Wipes/Paper towels​
  • 3-5 small plastic containers with lids (ex. food storage containers)

Camp Fun Option 1: Camp Games

Ready, Set, Go! Camp games from home! In this interactive session, we will participate in active and silly camp game favorites led by Outdoor Program Team members, Sprout and Caribou. We’ll cover some go to games like “4 Corners”, “Moo”, “Ship to Shore”, and more! If you know you love these games or want to learn, this is your chance to give it a try! 

Materials

  • Just yourself and some space to move!

Camp Fun Option 2: At-Home Circus Acts

WOW your friends and family with a new skill, straight from the greatest place on earth, your home! Outdoor Program Team members, Kat and Freddie will teach you some beginner circus tricks.

Learn techniques for juggling and how balance & spin household objects. Circus skills are a great way to keep your body moving and your mind active, all while having a great time! 

Materials

  • Water bottle
  • Space to move around
  • 3 bandannas (or similar substitute)
  • Old toothbrush
  • Plastic grocery bag
  • Small cushion (that you can hold up with one hand)
  • 3 beanbags (you can make your own out of 3 long socks, 1.5 cups of lentil, dried beans, or birdseed), 1/4 cup measuring cup, & 3 rubber bands)

Before You Camp, Prepare with These Camping Essentials

Learn tips and tricks to use a pop-up tent, set up a campsite, and get comfortable for an outdoor adventure in your backyard or out on trail, or even in your living room!

Excited to participate in the Great Family Camp-In, but don’t have a tent? No problem! Shelter building is an important outdoor survival skill, and we’ll teach you how you can build your own indoor campsite with sheets, blankets, pillows, and furniture!


Get Your Camp Swag!

Middle and High-School Girl Scouts Can Join The Fun!

Older Girl Scouts, Program Aides (PA), and Counselors in Training (CIT): We hope this first camp-in weekend will be the first of many future virtual camp-themed programs. If you want to keep your outdoor skills fresh and provide programming to other Girl Scouts, we encourage you to participate in the Great Family Camp-In weekend.

By joining in, you will get inspired to think about the ways that you can help us share camp magic throughout the summer. If you are interested in being involved and helping lead future programs, let us know! Send us an email with the subject line: “I can help with outdoor virtual programs!”


Camp-In Premiers

Be sure to check out our LIVE camp-in videos starting at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.!


Catch you at Camp!

We can’t wait to see you all there, whether you plan on attending just one part, or the entire day of events! If you have any questions contact us at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Don’t forget to register and follow our event page for the most up-to-date information on how to participate.

Member Monday Round-Up: Happier Together!

Girl Scout Hayley O.

Wow–– what a week it was Springing Forward with GCNWI! We tuned in for our very first Career Conversation (you can still join in next Monday, May 18), designed incredible Balloon Cars at the Mechanical Engineering workshop, built comforting Happy Boxes together (you can learn how to build one of your own by watching our tutorial), and learned all about composting with earthworms!

This is in addition to the continued service enacted by many of our own GCNWI Girl Scouts to support community organizations and essentials workers with cookies and other resources. Let’s learn about some of our awesome local Girl Scouts (and check out a very special shout-out from Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot):

Launching into Springtime!

Our Girl Scouts have been having such a blast with our Virtual Programs and Events, and it shows–– just look at this future Girl Scout who joined us for a Virtual Girl Scout Daisy Launch! Looks like her rocket turned out great!

This Brownie troop has been getting ready for Green for Good week by upcycling and working on their Wonders of Water Journey–– so cool and a great way to get girls thinking about the environment. Thanks to leader and member of the Associate Board Misse Daniel for sharing!

Girl Scout Peyton has been keeping busy by participating in multiple virtual events, her favorite being the Girl Power Half Hour hosted by Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes! She attended a World Traveler session, where she made a sign in Japanese to say “hello” and embrace diversity. She also made “fairy bread,” a favorite treat in Australia. Sweet!

Last week, we also celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, and Girl Scout Troop 41762 shared an awesome thank-you to their teachers:

If you’re in need of some story-time, make sure to watch Girl Scout Kaylee read Splat the Cat! Great job, Kaylee!

Close at Heart

Girl Scouts have also weathered the storm and continued meeting regularly with their troops through virtual meetings, and they look like so much fun! This Brownie troop from St. Theresa School shared with us their beautiful unicorn paintings, and we’re wondering if they’re taking commissions!

Girl Scouts are making history–– literally! As a part of Chicago Museum’s “In This Together” project which records stories from the COVID-19 pandemic, leader Kris Nesbitt shared her experience leading a Brownie Girl Scout troop during this time. Read her whole story below:

Girl Scout Service Spotlight!

Junior Troop 70147

We remain SO impressed with our local Girl Scouts that have, over the past SIX weeks, donated hundreds of cookies, hours of time, and plenty of resources to their communities. We’ve gotten a lot of attention, even from Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot (keep reading to see the shout-out!).

Junior Troop 70147 (pictured above) made a big donation to the Frankfort Township Food Pantry, and Daisy Troop 55786 sold over 300 cases of cookies for our Gift of Caring program and donated them to My Joyful Heart! Just like that, the 1,000+ kids in the program may be tasting their first Girl Scout cookies ever. Great job, girls!

Girl Scouts are not the only ones who are doing some good: long-time Camp Greene Wood nurse, Tammy “Kandi” Lis, was saluted by the Chicago Blackhawks on National Nurse Day for her work sewing and delivering over 500 scrub-caps to her coworkers treating COVID-19 patients. We are super excited about this because she is an AWESOME human!

Our Girl Scouts are truly remarkable, and one of them has gotten the attention of Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot:

Hayley’s efforts are incredible, and we are so thankful to Mayor Lightfoot for featuring her! Find out more about Hayley’s project and how you can contribute to the cause.

After reading all of these stories from our local Girl Scouts, we hope you’re feeling renewed and inspired for the coming year! It is clear that even in challenging times, Girl Scouts shine brighter beyond imagination.

Share your stories with us, whether they’re about your service project or just having some fun.

In search of more Patch Programs to complete with your troop? The Girl Scouts from Home page is full of Badge How-To’s you can complete from home!

Stay updated with our upcoming Virtual Events by checking out our Calendar, which can be found on the Girl Scouts from Home page!

Go Green for Good from Home!

From worms to bees to saving energy, learn how you can help the environment from home!

Although we cannot celebrate Green for Good in person just yet, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate virtually and go Green for Good at home! In honor of Green for Good week, check out these patches and challenges:

Don’t forget to check out these amazing virtual tours from some of our Green for Good partners: take a tour of the Indiana Dunes State Park, meet the Shedd Aquarium penguins, and check-in with the Brookfield Zoo animals!

During this week, a few of our partners will help us learn about pollinators and vermiculture, and discover ways we can create habitats in our own homes to support plants and the environment. We will also make sustainable changes in our homes, communities, and the world as we gear up for next year’s event!

Tell us about any service projects, pledges, or events you take part at any point this year (not just Green For Good week!) and get a Go Green for Good fun patch! Learn more about Green for Good on our website.

This week in Virtual Programming

Monday, May 11 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

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

Register for the Career Conversation »

Plan your next Outdoor Adventures!

Wednesday, May 13 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages (Grades K-12) | Webinar

All ages of Girl Scouts are invited to join us for a panel discussion about adventures in the outdoors! Our panelists have all sorts of different careers and backgrounds, but they all share a love for the outdoors. There will also be an opportunity at the end for you to ask your own questions!

Register for the panel discussion »

Build Your Own Pollinator Habitat

Thursday, May 14 at 3 p.m. | For Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes (Grades K-8) | Webinar

Learn about Illinois pollinators: who they are, how they help us, and how we can help them! Join the University of Illinois Extension as we will build pollinator habitats so your local pollinators can find a home with you.We will also get the inside scoop on the life of bees from Leonard at the Montrose Metra Community Garden!

Register to learn all about pollination »

Older Girl Get-Together

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

Older girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other older Girl Scouts to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Be Well and Do Good

Friday, May 15 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 4-12) | Webinar

Join GSGCNWI for Be Well and Do Good: The Silver Lining to COVID-19, as we explore how our lives and habits have changed for the better – and how we’re helping planet Earth – in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Even though our daily lives are different than normal, there has been a positive impact on the environment! Girl Scouts in grades 4-12 are welcome to join us the discussion!

Register for this webinar »

We’re excited to see how you celebrate Green for Good Week with us, so please share with us on our website or our our social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI!