New this year! Nature-based Day Camp for Girls

For the first time ever we are offering nature-based day camps at our Vernon Hills Gathering Place, and the Girl Scouts GCNWI Friendship Center in Country Club Hills, IL!

Day camp spots are still open for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (girls entering grades 1 – 5 this fall)! Leadership opportunities are available for older Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (entering grades 8 – 12 this fall).

Here is some of what girls can look forward to at day camp:

  • Learn about animals and nature
  • Make new friends
  • Outdoor STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)
  • Learning (or practicing) how to cook outdoors
  • Juniors and above can stay overnight on Thursday
  • Fun, themed days
  • Plus, girls who attend the Vernon Hills Day Camp will get to go on an off-site field trip

And guess what! You don’t already have to be a Girl Scout to attend, so bring a buddy along!

Check out the Day Camp Overview to see if these programs are right for you. Keep reading to learn more about day camp for each age group.

Browse the Camp Guide »

Register for Summer Day Camp»

Daisy Adventurers Day Camp

For girls entering grade 1 in fall 2019

Ready for a summer of smiles and new friends? Come to camp where you’ll create nature art, play games, and laugh until you can’t laugh anymore!
Daisies will work toward the Buddy Camper badge. Register now!

July 8 – 12Friendship Center$15095101
Aug. 5 – 9Friendship Center$15095201
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills$165
Includes an offsite adventure

Brownie Adventurers Day Camp

For girls entering grades 2 – 3 in fall 2019

Create unforgettable moments as you learn about animals, discover new worlds, and create art so realistic it could come alive. Brownies will work toward the Cabin Camper badge. Register now!

July 8 – 12Friendship Center$15095102
Aug. 5 – 9Friendship Center$15095202
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills$165
Includes an offsite adventure

Junior Adventurers Day Camp

For girls entering grades 4 – 5 in fall 2019

Put your camping skills to the test! Go on hikes, tie knots, and cook over a fire. Join us for nighttime fun with a Thursday overnight experience. Juniors will work toward the Camper badge. Register now!

July 8 – 12Friendship Center$15095103
Aug. 5 – 9Friendship Center$15095203
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills $165
Includes an offsite adventure


Open to older Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (girls entering grades 8 – 12 in fall 2019)

Put your leadership skills to the test! Work with younger Girl Scouts as they experience everything day camp has to offer. Play games, practice camping skills, and even help lead a campfire one night. Includes a Thursday overnight experience. Register now!

Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills $2596105

Now Hiring!

Are you looking for a summer job that will leave you with a sense of empowerment, a positive outlook on life, and skills that will benefit you for years to come?  Apply for a summer camp position with GCNWI! 

Build skills in leadership, time management, communication, decision making, and problem solving, while having the time of your life at summer camp (must be 18+)!

Browse All Open Positions

Refer a Summer Camp Employee

If you refer a summer camp employee and they are hired, you’ll be eligible for a FREE archery or campfire and song program! Just have the applicant list you as a referral when they apply!

Only one adult and one child may attend the free program. Archery is for girls in grades 4+.

Summer Resident Camp Registration is Now Open!

Summer Resident Camp Registration is Now Open!

Now is the time to register for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Summer Resident Camp!

Check out the Resident Camp Overview to see if these programs are right for you.

Our resident camps are offered at Camp Butternut Springs (Valparaiso, IN), Camp Juniper Knoll (East Troy, WI), and Camp Pokanoka (Ottawa, IL).

Register for Summer Resident Camp!

Here are some tips:

  • Some programs can fill quickly, so you’ll want to register early.
  • Be prepared with the program codes of your top choices. Not sure which programs you want yet? Read through our camp guide.
  • Curious about where campers sleep? The lodging type is listed with each resident camp program listing in our camp guide. Learn more about the different types of lodging at our camps!

Browse the Camp Guide »

Jump to Summer Camp Programs for… 

Daisies (entering grade 1 this fall) »

Brownies (entering grades 2-3 this fall) »

Juniors (entering grades 4 – 5 this fall) »

Cadettes (entering grades 6 – 8 this fall) »

Seniors (entering grades 9 – 10 this fall) »

Ambassadors (entering grades 11 – 12 this fall) »

Summer Day Camp Registration is Now Open!

After a bitterly cold week, it is the perfect time to dream of summer camp! Today is the day to register for GCNWI Summer Day Camp! 

Check out the Day Camp Overview to see if these programs are right for you.

Girl Scouts GCNWI day camps are located at Camp Greene Wood in Woodridge, IL, and Camp Palos in Palos Park, IL. New in 2019, nature-based day camp is available at Friendship Center in Country Club Hills, IL, and Vernon Hills Gathering Place.

Register for Summer Day Camp

Here are some tips!

  • Some programs can fill quickly, so you’ll want to register early.
  • Be prepared with the program codes of your top choices. Not sure which programs you want yet? Read through our camp guide.
  • Know what your transportation choice will be. You’ll need to indicate your choice when you register. View your transportation options.

Summer camp is s’more than a moment and this year is going to be better than ever! 

Don’t forget the add-ons!

You’ll need to register for before-camp and after-camp programs separately!

Browse the Camp Guide »

Jump to Summer Camp Programs for… 

Daisies (entering grade 1 this fall) »

Brownies (entering grades 2-3 this fall) »

Juniors (entering grades 4 – 5 this fall) »

Cadettes (entering grades 6 – 8 this fall) »

Seniors (entering grades 9 – 10 this fall) »

Ambassadors (entering grades 11 – 12 this fall) »

PS – Don’t forget: Resident Camp Registration Opens Next Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 5 a.m.

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!

Girl Scouts Journey to the Moon at Space Camp

Girl Scouts Journey to the Moon at Space Camp

Ever dream of blasting off into outer space? There’s a camp for that.

This summer, two Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana enjoyed a six-day Space Academy experience at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. While there, they joined other Girl Scouts in learning how to command a space shuttle and training to solve space mission challenges.

“My Destination experience inspired me to see the world differently, like how cool it is that we can travel out into space or walk on the moon,” said Maya Chandarana, a 12-year-old Girl Scout Cadette from Lockport, Illinois.

Maya buckles off for a simulated spaceflight mission.

The Girl Scouts also learned firsthand the importance of communication and teamwork as they experienced simulated spaceflight missions and trained on astronaut simulators, including the Multi-Axis Trainer and 1/6th Gravity Chair.

“It always seemed like only men were astronauts, but after seeing a woman speaker that was a Girl Scout, I knew I could do anything,” Maya said.

Kyra DeNormandie, also a 12-year-old Girl Scout Cadette from Lockport, agreed.

Kyra smiles for the camera in her astronaut uniform.

“My destination experience also inspired me that we girls can do anything we set our minds to,” she said. “Space Academy inspired me to set my sights higher than just Earth or to the moon. It also inspired me to incorporate my other interests, to launch me into history books.”

As a result of Space Camp, Kyra now has aspirations of not only being one of the first women on Mars, but perhaps the first to perform a musical on The Red Planet.

“I can do experiments on how gravity and movement affect our voices and bodies,” she explained. “Maybe I will revolutionize the way we understand The Red Planet and ourslves because of Space Academy.”

Both girls were excited to make new friends as well.

“It was also really cool to see so many girls from all over the world together,” said Maya.

“My destination experience let me connect with Sister Girl Scouts from around the globe. This alone made me see that Girl Scouts reaches people from all over the world and brings us together,” Kyra reflected. “I am so happy to be a part of that. While I know I may never see any of those girls again, I will never forget their faces and all of the memories we made together.”

Kyra tries on an astronaut spacesuit.

According to Girl Scouts of the USA, more than 35,000 trainees complete Space Academy every year and go on to become scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers and even astronauts.

To learn more about space camp, click here. For more information about other Girl Scout Destinations, including  Our Cabaña in Cuernavaca, Mexico next year, click here.

Do you have a good idea for our blog? We’d love to hear from you! Submit your stories here for a chance to be featured.


Girl Scout Adventures in Colorado

Girl Scout Adventures in Colorado

Fourteen of our Girl Scouts had the chance to visit Colorado this summer as part of our council’s travel experiences and explore the great outdoors! Learn more about their adventures from the girls themselves in the journal entries they sent home every night:

Day 1

Hello from Snow Mountain Ranch! We started off the day with our flight to Denver. Our pilot was hilarious and we enjoyed the free snacks. Once in Denver, we boarded our very own bus. Our bus driver was named Buffalo Bill and he had a very nice cowboy hat (by the way, it took Bill three years to become an official cowboy!). We drove through the mountains and our ears were popping as we slowly climbed the mountains. We even saw some buffalo and some snowy white caps!

Later, we checked into our rooms and ate dinner RIGHT AWAY (because we were starving). We then walked back to our rooms and enjoyed some free time. To finish off the night, we had a brief orientation meeting to plan our schedules for the week. We were overjoyed to hear that there ARE in fact llamas on property!

Day 2

Today was our first official day of doing activities. All of the girls doing the one-hour horseback riding had to get up early to eat breakfast at the mess hall. They served French toast sticks and salami along with fruits, yogurt, granola and cereals, etc. We were all assigned to different horses and some were not as cooperative as others! Don’t worry, we were all wearing helmets.

All of the girls that were also doing archery then took a rented car to the other side of camp, to be on time. For the session, we all got to shoot the arrows at targets in the hay stacks. After a tired morning, we all walked back to get lunch. The meal (tuna noodle casserole) was delicious!

The adventurous people of the group dared to then go to the high-ropes course. We had to use teamwork to make the dream work on the “Giants’ Ladder.” After working from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., many girls got tired and went back to their rooms before going to the cafeteria for dinner. We all had a little bit of time to roller skate and play dodge ball in the Kiva (activity area) before going to a meeting about tomorrow’s fun. Many went on a last-minute hike to see the sunset for beautiful pictures.

Day 3

Today, all of us had a lot of fun whitewater rafting. We made A LOT of fun memories that will last a lifetime. To start out our day, most of the girls went on a morning sunrise hike and got a lot of pictures. We quickly went back to our rooms to get ready for whitewater rafting. We had a quick breakfast before we loaded the buses to leave. We had a fun bus ride filled with laughter and song singing.

When we got the facility, we got fitted from our PFDs (personal flotation devices) and helmets, then we grabbed our paddles and took a few cute pictures. We hopped on the bus to get to the bank where we were loaded on to our rafts to begin our day of mad adventuring.

At the beginning, we did a lot of sightseeing, and one of the most beautiful things that we saw was a bald eagle. After about five minutes on the river, we hit our first batch of rapids. It was scary at first, but after a few good splashes, we realized how much fun we were going to have. We went through a few more rapids before we reached a small rock that we could jump off of. Most of the girls went without hesitation and were for sure shocked by the cold.

After jumping, we got back in to the raft and headed to the second section of rapids on our trip. On the second section, we got our first taste of what the Colorado River can dish out. It was a major adrenaline rush! After this, we stopped for a very hardy lunch and then cruised down the river. We got to jump out of the raft a couple times.

After dinner, some of the girls went on a beautiful hike where we got to see the sunset. We are excited to see what else Colorado has to offer!

Day 4

Today, we had a splendid time with our activities. When we woke up, we met up with beautiful horses that would take us to our delicious meal of pancakes, sausage and eggs. The cowboys were very kind and treated us to their stories of their many travels brought by their talent of horse wrangling (with the help of Mrs. Garlough’s ongoing questions).

Later, we hiked over to the Rowley Homestead, where we whittled away at our award-winning hiking sticks. It was hard work whittling and sanding them, but they will definitely come in handy on our many hikes. We then ate lunch and hurried over to the summer tubing hill, where a steep bumpy hill and a lot of fun awaited us. All of us really enjoyed the experience, and the mist that was sprayed at us as we rode down was very refreshing, since it was such a hot day.

Next, we split up and had a while to relax and enjoy the afternoon. Some of the campers rented bikes and rode on some of the beautiful trails hugging the mountains. There were highs and lows, but overall it was an activity not to be missed! Other campers just relaxed in their rooms, went to the craft cabin, or enjoyed a refreshing swim in the pool. After that, we all met up for a cookout, and enjoyed the many different options that met each lifestyle.

Then we played on the playground until a sandstorm rolled in, but this was not exactly a bad thing, since it led us to a special needs talent show. It brought tears to many of our eyes. Their courage showed us how foolish we are to worry about what other people think of our talents. When it ended some of us went over to the roller rink and got an awesome view of a double rainbow — it went right over our cabin, what a coincidence! Finally, after a long day, we all headed back to our cabin to rest up for another full day tomorrow.

Day 5

Today we had a busy, but exciting day. We woke up to a breakfast of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, and French toast. Some of us went on a very early morning hike. Some took later hikes, but both were spectacular. There was also a few on a horseback ride. Six people, including Mrs. Baudhuin and Ashley, went on a beautiful scenic waterfall hike. We took tons of photos, and ended up exploring a cave. The horseback ride was two hours long and was very exciting.

Afterward, we headed over to lunch, which included Rice Krispy Treats. Then we went canoeing on a beautiful lake. We played fun games, such as retrieving tennis balls from the lake. There was lots of teamwork involved to win the competition! We also had fun playing with the minnows, but we didn’t catch any, although we tried hard. We splashed each other a ton, but luckily no canoes were tipped over. But one person did intentionally fall in! We headed back for a few hours of free time — some swimming, some drawing.

Whatever it was, our time was not wasted! However, we noticed some dark clouds overhead. It started raining, so we weren’t able to go zip lining. Dinner was delicious including a wide variety of desserts to choose from, including coconut crème pie, ice cream, and carrot cake. Despite the rain, we had plenty of excitement. We decided to lounge inside and play a game of spoons. Don’t worry, no serious injuries, but it was quite vicious! We sang songs, had laughs, and ended up playing even more games. As we get ready to go to bed, we can all agree it was a very adventurous day. We are now looking forward to more fun and amazement tomorrow!

Day 6

We had an exciting day today! We started our day off with getting on the bus to go to Rocky Mountain National Park. Once we got there we went to the Holzwarth Homestead. Our group took a tour of the homestead where we learned about the settlers that lived there. One of the groups worked on their tree badge and learned about the different trees in the area. At the end of our time at the homestead, we tried to lasso a wooden horse. All of us then got on the bus to go get lunch.

After lunch, we headed to the Continental Divide for a photo opp. Then our group went to the Alpine Visitor’s Center to go on a hike. The hike was to the highest point you could hike to. The elevation was 12,005 feet! While we were at the visitor’s center I (Molly) earned my junior ranger badge. On our way to Grand Lake we saw three moose and an elk.

Back in the town, we shopped for souvenirs. While we were there most of us got Dairy King. A little after we got back some of us went on hikes. One of the hikes was a waterfall hike. Once the girls made it to the waterfall, they took a picture in the waterfall. The water was really cold. While some girls were on the waterfall hike, a few other girls went on another hike nine mile mountain (it’s actually two miles). IMG_6839

Day 7 – Last Day

Hi there from our last day at Snow Mountain Ranch! We started off our day with a trip to the climbing wall. Several people got to hit the buzzer at the top of the wall. We think that the wall was at least 30 feet tall, but it certainly felt taller once you started to climb up it. We had very sore fingers by the end of our climbing trip. Then a small group of us went down to the craft cabin and participated in a glass fusion class.

After creating our works of art, we ran over to get photos done by our good friend Dill, a seasoned professional. After capturing our beautiful faces on to a digital screen we went on a trip down a 55-foot-high zip line! It was a thousand feet across. After this, our group split into doing a couple of activities. One was a three-mile hike up to a waterfall. We got a bit wet, but it was worth it in the end.

The others in our group went on a steak dinner horseback ride. The ride to our dinner spot was about an hour and a half long, and some of our horses were a bit temperamental. The steak was amazing and we had potatoes and beans as a side dish. We all also got to avoid the rain, which was nice! After our very busy day we ended it with a group campfire. Our trained CIT2s helped build it and the girls led camp songs throughout, ending it with their favorite song “On My Honor.” We’re going to miss our adventures in the Colorado Mountains, but we are excited to see our families and tell them all about our trip.

Do you want to travel with Girl Scouts? For more information on our council’s travel programs, click here or email Ashley Christensen at


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.

Find Out What These Girl Scouts Love Most About Summer Camp

Find Out What These Girl Scouts Love Most About Summer Camp

Campfires, crafts and canoes are certainly part of the Girl Scout camp experience, but girls today have more options than ever before.

Take, for example, the Engineering Design Challenge resident camp at Camp Juniper Knoll in East Troy, Wisconsin.

“It’s definitely my favorite camp,” shares Elizabeth L., a 13-year-old Girl Scout Cadette. “The challenge changes every year. The first year was a mission to Mars and last year we made LEGO robotics.”

She loves the camp so much, she’s recruited several friends to join her in the two-week long session. During the camp, participants work in teams to solve challenges using the Engineering Design Process.

“We’re all girls and we get to talk about the same thing,” says Elizabeth. “We’re at engineering camp so we all have the same nerdy interests. And our counselors are nerds just like us.”

Elizabeth and Maggie heading off to camp

And it won’t be long before Elizabeth joins the rank of camp counselors. This summer, she’s also attending the counselor-in-training day camp at Camp Greene Wood in Woodridge, Illinois.

“I’ve wanted to sign up for it ever since I started camp three years ago,” she said. “I can’t wait to spend time with the younger girls and lead them in songs.”

Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for camp has certainly rubbed off on her younger sister, Maggie L., a 9-year-old Girl Scout Junior. She’s excited to go horseback riding at Camp Juniper Knoll and attend Make It, Take It, a creative craft day camp at Camp Greene Wood.

“I like going to camp because we get to sing fun songs, the counselors are really nice and we get to do a lot of really fun activities,” she said. “I’m really, really excited to go horseback riding because I’ve never been on a horse before. But my favorite part about camp is getting to meet new people and try new things.”

Want your girl to enjoy an exceptional experience at camp? Check out our full list of summer programs in our 2016 Camp Program Guide and register today!

Experience Leadership at Camp CEO

Experience Leadership at Camp CEO

What does it take to be a leader in today’s world? What is it really like being a woman in a management position?

You can find out the answers to these questions and more at the 10th annual Camp CEO, a fun-filled, five-day overnight camp hosted by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

An experience like none other, Camp CEO brings together a select group of teen girls to engage in outdoor leadership activities with some of Chicagoland’s most prominent female business leaders.

Camp CEO 2
#Selfie time at Camp CEO

“Camp CEO had managed to bring a diverse crowd of women and girls together to learn from each other, ultimately so that we could utilize our acquired skills in the real world,” said Eva Lewis, a 17-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador, who participated in last year’s session (pictured above, right). “We were bettering ourselves to make the road to become a successful woman easier. Not only were we investing in our futures, but by doing this we were investing inthe futures of those who will come after us.”

From campfire conversations to archery practice, Camp CEO is an exceptional experience combining the adventure of overnight camp with the personal growth and business savvy of leadership seminars.

Camp CEO.jpg
Archery at Camp CEO

“Camp CEO taught me to be ambitious, courageous and passionate – and it all started at a game of kickball with my Camp CEO mentor,” said Kavya Anjur, a Girl Scout and Camp CEO alumna. “After following her advice, I networked with a local lab and got a summer internships, which helped me win a national science contest. I recommend Camp CEO to every high schooler out there – you’ll learn the skills necessary to be successful in this day and age.”

Camp CEO takes place Aug. 7 -12, 2016 at Camp Butternut Springs in Valparaiso, Indiana. Tuition is $150 for Girl Scouts and $180 for non- Girl Scouts and include accommodations, meals and more. Financial aid available.

For more information and to apply, visit Applications are due May 9.