Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up for Girl Scout Summer Camp

Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up for Girl Scout Summer Camp

It’s time to start dreaming of sunny skies, dips in the lake, and s’mores on an open fire!

At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana camps, we provide exceptional experiences for girls to develop and grow a love for the great outdoors.

From day camp to resident camp and weekend getaways to family events and teen leadership opportunities, we have options for everyone. Need more convincing?

At Girl Scout Summer Camp, girls will…

1. Develop leadership skills alongside fellow campers and staff, like hearing the importance of having initiative.

2. Discover a sense of self by participating in activities that will build her confidence to make positive choices and stand up for her individual values and needs.

3. Gain independence through caring for herself and her belongings, and taking responsibility for her actions with the encouragement of our dedicated and compassionate camp staff.


4. Overcome obstacles by challenging herself to attempt and learn new things with the goal of building character and generating a personal sense of accomplishment.

5. Become part of a Girl Scout camp community by learning to recognize opportunities to help others and be comfortable asking for help when it may be needed, and in doing so, discovering that camp is a fun place to spend the summer and a home away from home.

6. Rediscover the impact of personal connection by introducing herself to and bonding with fellow campers who share her passions and interests to build lasting camp memories and lifelong friendships.

7. Cultivate life skills for the future by being exposed to a diverse mix of people, programs and environments that strengthen natural curiosity, improve creativity and foster essential social skills.


8. Practice by doing in a safe environment with enthusiastic and talented staff who encourage trial and error as an opportunity to grow, and using hands-on learning as the model for success in an active outdoor setting.

9. Relax and “unplug” from the constant hum of technology to reconnect with nature and escape the constant pressures and distractions of everyday life in order to fill the summer days with experiences that will allows her to better engage in the real world.

10. Have fun while experiencing living outdoors, making new friends, singing at the top of her lungs, expressing her creativity through art, developing the courage to explore the world, and discovering more about herself (so that she can share it with you)!

Ready to sign up for Girl Scout Summer Camp? Registration starts at midnight on Feb. 1, 2017!

From a Girl Scout to Troop Leader: Lessons I’ve Learned

From a Girl Scout to Troop Leader: Lessons I’ve Learned

Sitting in my Daisy troop circle, with my fingers anxiously twitching, I couldn’t wait for my turn to dip my egg in the bowl of colored water. Little did I know, that this would become the first memory I would hold of a fifteen-year Girl Scout journey.

Growing up, Girl Scouts provided me with a way to get together with my friends and participate in creative crafts and activities. The girls in my troop and I would hold sleepovers, learn dances like the Flamenco for World Thinking Day, and partake in service events like the annual Step Up for Kids Walk held in downtown Chicago. However, the older I got, the more I learned that while Girl Scouts was a program for me to make friends, it was much more a program for me to discover myself.

Areesha in troop

At the age of 14, I completed my Silver Award project — Kits for Kids — where my team and I created and hosted a fundraiser, whose earnings allowed us to assemble and supply entertainment kits for the bedridden children of a local hospital. This opportunity showed me firsthand that I could make a direct impact — that I could and should go out and seek out issues I cared about and work to address them.

The project developed my passion for community service and, the more I reflect on it, the more I realize the number of skills that simple project helped me developed. Earning my Silver Award taught me to communicate effectively, work within a team, conduct research and outreach, and most importantly to act upon my passion to serve.

I was fortunate enough to not only be able to conduct projects, but to also attend programs, such as the 2011 National Scouts Jamboree, and the STEM overnight camp, both of which continued to foster my growth. The Jamboree was one of the first ways I was able to find myself. Going to a camp in another state with hundreds of other scouts I didn’t know, taught me the importance of taking initiative and forced me out of my shell. I was able to experience new thrills like ziplining, but was also able to become really close to people I had just met.

Areesha at STEM camp
My troop won an invention award at STEM camp!

The STEM overnight camp exposed me to the world of engineering and innovation, and encouraged me to mesh my quantitative and creative abilities to explore and innovate. Being a female, I wasn’t actively exposed to this field regarding innovation and technology. STEM camp made it not only acceptable, but rather commendable to be a girl and to like and excel at STEM subjects.

Near the end of my Girl Scout journey, I began reflecting on what it was ultimately that I gained from these experiences. Girl Scouts exposed me to new opportunities and engaged me in activities ranging in different fields, like STEM, with different people. Being a Girl Scout pushed me to work and communicate in teams; it challenged me with real world problems; it taught me life skills like first aid and self-defense; it encouraged me to chase my dreams and unleash my potential. Girl Scouts provided me with a safe environment to explore various fields and polish up my skill set, which has led me to serve in the versatile roles I do today. My Girl Scouts leaders and my Girl Scouts community provided me with the resources and support to empower me to become the confident and determined female I am.

However, the discovery did not stop with my experience or who I was, but rather expanded to my future abilities. Girl Scouts made me realize that I have the power and potential to foster change and to empower others.

Currently, I am a freshman at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois studying statistics and economics, with hopes of becoming an actuary in the near future. On campus, I am on a competitive Bollywood dance team, current social chair for our Women in Business organization, the Marketing and Resource Manager for an upcoming summer camp, and am spending time this quarter interning at a local start-up.

Female empowerment has now become a passion for me. It was through other females’ efforts, that I am able to uphold myself in a confident manner. Hence, the other role that I currently hold is the assistant leader for a Brownie troop of 24 girls. I took on this role because I was inspired to empower young girls. Talking to my Girl Scouts, regardless of how young they are, I can see that they are very talented with so much potential, and I have made it my mission to provide them with the resources, the time, and the motivation to help them grow, so that they can build that confidence and feel empowered enough to chase their dreams, broaden their horizons, and exceed their potential.

Areesha Brownie mural

Just as the mural made by my scouts above says, “Girls Can Change the World,” I hope to be one of those girls — one who inspires other girls to do the same.

A lifelong Girl Scout, Areesha Majeed is a troop leader for a second-grade Brownie troop. She is a freshman at Northwestern University pursuing a double major in economics and statistics with a minor in French. 

What I Learned at Girl Scout Summer Camp

What I Learned at Girl Scout Summer Camp

My name is Charlotte and I have been a Girl Scout for 10 years, from Daisy through to Senior. For the last four years, I’ve gone to Girl Scout summer camp. I’ve been to the Hoist your Sail, On Belay, Engineering Design and Backpacking Adventurer camps. The picture of our Backpacking group was in this year’s camp brochure, how cool is that?

Going to Girl Scout camp is great. There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met. It doesn’t matter if you go to camp by yourself (like I do!) as you always meet up with other girls from previous years camps. Even though we haven’t seen each other for a year we’re still the best of friends. I love camping in the outdoors, learning new skills and sharing those experiences with my new and old friends.

Charlotte Camping Solo

Sailing taught me how to work both on my own and with other crew members. Of course the best part was tipping the sail boat and trying to re-right it! It was so much fun to be on, and in, the water every day. Our group stayed in platform tents by the lake which was great as it was cooler by the water.

Rock climbing taught me that I must be responsible for checking my equipment and that no obstacle is too high or too scary to overcome when you have buddies encouraging you all the way. At Devil’s Lake we stayed in the coolest yurts ever. They had A/C and a TV, too (shhh … don’t tell your moms!). Mind you, it was 103 degrees when we were there, so it was much appreciated.

The Engineering program was one of my favorite camps. We worked in groups and individually to solve all sorts of problems using the items provided as well as improvising along the way. We also got to visit the Yerkes Observatory. I had never done any engineering before, but after this camp I looked into the engineering classes my future high school had to offer. As a freshman, I chose to do a class in engineering design and next year I’m doing civil engineering and architecture. If I hadn’t been on this camp I would never thought about doing engineering at high school.

Finally, the Backpacking camp taught me the value of teamwork: planning and doing our hikes, sharing responsibilities around camp and fine tuning our “leave no trace” skills. I also learned that I really don’t like powdered eggs for breakfast and that life without any electronics is possible and totally enjoyable when you have good company and lovely scenery.

So, what will you do this summer? Watch TV? Play computer games? I challenge you to go try something new!

As for me, I’m off to Girl Scout leadership camp this summer. It’s time to learn some new skills and how to give back to the Girl Scout community.

Have a great summer – see you at camp!

There’s so much to see and do at summer camp! Check out our full list of summer programs at day and resident camps across our council in the 2016 Program Guide and register today.