Thank you for supporting Resilient, Ready, and Strong Girl Scouts at Tribute to Achievement 

On March 16, 2023, we celebrated our Tribute to Achievement Event at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago by recognizing our awardees who have made the world a better place by advancing opportunities for girls and women. 

There was magic that could be felt around the room the entire night. From the smiles as Girl Scouts sold cookies during dinner (I mean, who could resist? Those Girl Scouts were on a mission!) to heartfelt emotions as awardees and Girl Scouts shared personal stories about what being a Girl Scout means to them.  

Carole Brown’s acceptance speech for the Luminary Award was extremely powerful and touched the hearts of everyone in the room. 

“When I look back on my time as a Girl Scout, I realize that Girl Scouts changed the trajectory of my life. The Girl Scouts gave a little Black girl her voice back. They let a little Black girl be seen for more than the color of her skin,” said Carole. 

Carole’s remarks mirrored Girl Scout Sydney’s story about being resilient and wanting to be seen as smart, creative, and determined despite persistent stereotypes that “girls are for glitter; boys are for science.”  

We also honored Josephine (Jodi) Bahl with the Girl Scout’s Own Award. A former board member and lifetime Girl Scout, Jodi was the perfect recipient of this year’s award. For our Corporate Award, we honored McDermott, Will & Emery, a long-standing supporter of our council and a fantastic partner. The award was accepted by Michael Boykins, Managing Partner of the Chicago office.  

Another highlight of the evening was the video about how girls are learning to be Resilient, Ready, and Strong in the outdoors. You can watch the video below. 

Thanks to your generosity, we raised nearly $540,000 and counting to provide life-changing experiences for girls and help them grow to be Resilient, Ready, and Strong. To relive the magic of the evening, or to share it with others, check out the slideshow here. 

A special thank you to our 2023 Tribute to Achievement Sponsors!  


Girl Scouts Celebrate Friendship Center

Girl Scouts Celebrate Friendship Center

Make new friends and keep the old is not just a classic Girl Scout song, it’s also the idea behind Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s Friendship Center.

Located in Country Club Hills, Illinois, the Friendship Center opened in September 1991 much to the delight of the community, especially then Mayor Dwight D. Welch who thanked Girl Scouts for selecting the city as the site for the program center.

“Girl Scouts are the spirit of America,” he told the Southtown Economist at the groundbreaking in September 1990. “Someday these young ladies will be standing behind the podium.”

According to the same article, the center was designed to “give area Girl Scouts a place to pursue activities and hold programs on topics such as drug prevention, literacy, family crisis matters and disability awareness.”

Mary Rose Main at F.C. Reception
Mary Rose Main, National Executive Director of Girl Scouts of the USA, visits the Friendship Center on April 14, 1992

“In retrospect, we were way ahead of our time,” said Karen Schillings, a GSGCNWI council historian and former board member. “It was the first facility of its kind in the country. I remember the CEO from Girl Scouts of the USA came to visit within six months after it opened because she wanted to see what we had built. It was an awesome time.”

Today, the 32-acre facility boasts walking trails, as well as four individual suites containing kitchenettes, sleeping areas and restroom facilities, in addition to a large assembly hall and attached kitchen for day events.

2015 GirlSpace Holiday Party 082
Girl Scouts dance on stage at the first GirlSpace holiday party in 2016

But after more than 25 years of serving thousands of Girl Scouts and the community, the beloved Friendship Center is in need of some upgrades, including a new security system, roof and windows.

“It really has been the heart of the South Suburbs,” said Schillings. “I know some troops meet there and we host different events for a large number of girls and the staff has meetings there as well. It’s really an important facility not just for Girl Scouts, but for the community around it.”

To learn more and donate to the Friendship Center, click here.