Give the Gift of Girl Scouts on Giving Tuesday

Give the Gift of Girl Scouts on Giving Tuesday

The time is now. The task is large. The return is worth it. Join the movement today and empower the next generation of women leaders.

A Girl Scout knows how to take action and make the world a better place. She demonstrates everyday leadership every day of the year and #GivingTuesday (Nov. 29) is your opportunity to take action like a Girl Scout on a global day of giving fueled by collaboration. Together we use our power to show the value of every girl.

Invest in girls on #GivingTuesday and spark a movement. We know the work of one girl can rally other girls to join forces. We know that girls, aided by women, boys and men, form an army of believers to break barriers.

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Women leaders in every field, including business, finance, sports, STE[A]M, and community service, are often Girl Scout alumnae. Your donation tells girls that when they succeed, we all succeed. Be a champion for girls and give the gift of Girl Scouting today.

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Double Your Impact!

Make your #GivingTuesday gift by 1 p.m. on Nov. 29 and it will be MATCHED dollar for dollar up to $1,000! Matching gift made possible by a generous longtime volunteer.

Local Girl Scouts Earn Silver Award

Local Girl Scouts Earn Silver Award

After noticing the gardens at a local residential facility were in need of some TLC this summer, Claireabelle Boudart, Emily and Lauren Balla of Arlington Heights, Illinois decided to take matters into their own hands, literally. The 13-year-old Girl Scout Cadettes helped spruce up the gardens at the Clearbrook Center in Rolling Meadows, Illinois as their Girl Scout Silver Award project.

“My uncle lived at Clearbrook for a lot of his life because he had Down syndrome,” Claireabelle said. “I went to visit him and saw the gardens needed a bit of work because everything was dead. So two of my other friends decided to make it our Silver Award project.”

The Silver Award is the highest award a middle school-aged Girl Scout can earn and it gives girls the chance to show that they are leaders who are organized, determined and dedicated to improving their community.

“When we visited the gardens, we saw it wasn’t very pretty,” Lauren said. “So we decided to do this as our Silver Award project because we figured it would put the residents in a better mood if they saw a nice garden and had somewhere to sit in the shade when it’s sunny.”

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With help from the Arlington Heights Garden Club and their mothers, Kathryn Boudart and Kristin Balla, the girls developed a plan to revitalize the gardens at Clearbrook, the largest provider of home-based services for people with disabilities in the state of Illinois.

“The garden clubs helped us dig up the old plants and figure out where to plant the new ones,” Emily said. “They were a really big help. I’m not sure how well we would have been able to complete the project without them.”

Unfortunately, Claireabelle’s uncle, Bill Ignacek, who was a longtime resident at Clearbrook, passed away before the garden renovation was complete.

“My uncle touched a part of my life and I felt like I had to give back,” Claireabelle explained. “He taught me how to behave around other people and how to respect everyone equally, so I wanted to pay it forward. If he was still around, I think he would be very happy with it.”

All of the girls are proud of their work and plan to pursue their Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn.

“We were really surprised and happy and proud of ourselves that we were able to accomplish something like that,” Lauren said. “We learned that when you work hard as a group, you can accomplish a lot.”

Claireabelle agreed.

“I learned a lot from Girl Scouts, like how to give back, how to work with the community and how to work with other people,” Claireabelle said. “I think that giving back to your community is a very important part of your life because it does so much for you if you think about it.”

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Girl Scouts Save the City in Journey World

Girl Scouts Save the City in Journey World

More than 40 local Girl Scouts became super heroes for the day as they fought off evil forces to save Journey World.

A new, immersive program from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), Journey World is a “unique, hands-on learning experience that builds personal and interpersonal skills through the challenge of establishing a city and running your own business, ” according to Victoria Golden, program manager of financial literacy and entrepreneurship for GSGCNWI.

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Girl Scouts shop for spy gear in the Journey World shop

In the Journey World Challenge, participants take on new roles, such as mayor, radio DJ, bank president and much more in an attempt to save the city from impending doom. Once roles have been assigned, participants tackle fun and exciting challenges, such as becoming superheros or saving the city from a zombie apocalypse.

Earlier this month, girls in kindergarten through third grade participated in the Journey World Challenge at GSGCNWI’s Joliet Gathering Place and they were assisted by some special guests: David Velazquez of M&M Bank; Monica Bibian of D’Arcy Automobiles, who is also a DJ for WJOL in Joliet; along with volunteers and staff from the Girl Scout office.

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Girl Scouts present Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk with the key to their Super Hero City

The girls were also treated to a visit by Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and presented him with the key to their Super Hero City. Later in the afternoon, Dr. Theresa Rouse, superintendent of Joliet Public Schools District 86, visited as well.

During the program, the girls learned essential financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills. As the girls were leaving one girl stated, “Wow, it’s not easy running a business” along with another girl sharing, “I can’t wait to be a grown up and start my own business!”

Journey World is also available for school field trips, youth group events, corporate team-building events and adults who just want to have fun. For more information and to register, please visit www.girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Paying it Forward with Girl Scouts 

Paying it Forward with Girl Scouts 

For Nicole Burgess, a 21-year-old college student in Chicago, becoming a Girl Scout volunteer is a full-circle moment. Growing up, Burgess was a member of Shalina Hampton’s troop at the now defunct Nathan R. Goldblatt Elementary School and today she’s preparing to give back to the organization that gave so much to her.

“I love kids and it’s kind of like paying it forward,” said Burgess. “I’ve just always wanted to give back to this great organization. I love volunteering with Girl Scouts. I hope to touch someone’s life like Ms. Hampton touched mine.”

In middle school, Burgess was teased for being one of the top students, but she said Hampton and Girl Scouts made a positive impact on her life.

“I was always a curious person and I was able to experience new things with Girl Scouts,” she said. “What Ms. Hampton did for me and her Girl Scout troop was help us recognize our value. She made me feel important.”

Hampton, who was also Burgess’s science teacher at the time, remembers Burgess as a quiet and shy student.

“But when she got to Girl Scouts, she was not the same,” Hampton recalled. “She took on a leadership role within the troop and she made friends with the other girls.”

Burgess describes volunteering with Hampton as a “full-circle moment.”

“I really love Ms. Hampton, I don’t know how else to explain it,” Burgess said. “It all goes back to her showing us our value and helping us find our voices. As a child, I didn’t really have a voice, but Ms. Hampton helped me discover mine. Being back with her and her troop, it’s amazing.”

And the feeling is mutual.

“I can’t describe how happy I am to have Nicole come back. A lot of leaders don’t realize the impact they have on these girls and that’s what motivates me to continue,” said Hampton, who was a Girl Scout growing up and also helped with her daughter’s troop. “Volunteering with Girl Scouts is about me giving back to the community. It doesn’t matter how big or small your contribution is, you can make a difference. You can encourage a girl to become a leader.”

For anyone curious about volunteering with Girl Scouts, Hampton encourages them to give it a try.

“It takes nothing but time,” she said. “These girls are eager to explore new things, like going camping and doing archery. Girl Scouts really does encourage girls. We embody the mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character. It’s obvious in everything we do.”

Know someone who would make a great volunteer? Invite them to join Girl Scouts today! For more information, click here.

Girl Scout Go-Getters: Empowering Girl Scouts One Step at a Time

Girl Scout Go-Getters: Empowering Girl Scouts One Step at a Time

When you run with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana in the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, you are empowering more than 52,000 girls! We have openings for individuals who are ready to grab their running shoes and fundraise on behalf of our girls.

Each runner is asked to raise a minimum of $1,000 if you register prior to November 29 (after that date, the minimum increases to $1,500). We will be with you every step of the way to help you fundraise and get ready to run the 26.2 miles for Girl Scouts!

When you run with the Girl Scout Go-Getters on Sunday, October 8, 2017, you will receive:

* Free Guaranteed marathon entry and registration (Value of $195 US/$220 International)

* Free virtual and in-person training options with Chicago Endurance Sports

* Official Girl Scout Go-Getters team running shirt

* Customizable fundraising page to help reach your goal

* Access to team events, including a pre-race pasta dinner the night before the race

* Race day party for family and friends

* Fundraising prizes

Are you ready to run?

Contact Anna Seghetti at 312-912-6350 or aseghetti@girlscoutsgcnwi.org for more information or to register. You can also check out our team site at www.girlscoutsgcnwi.org/marathon.

Moving Forward Together

Moving Forward Together

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today we stand united in our passion, our purpose and our Girl Scout mission: to build girls of courage, confidence and character. The need for empowered girls is more important and more pressing than ever before, and we’re in a unique position to lift them up.

Earlier this week, our staff received beautiful flowers, a thoughtful donation and a note of encouragement to continue supporting tomorrow’s global leaders: Girl Scouts, Keep building our girls up. We need them to be strong more now than ever. Love, The Rest of Us!

This is what we call a mission moment — a moment of clarity and motivation to remind us all why we do the work we do. As long as there are Girl Scouts, there is a hopeful future for girls and women. And when girls succeed, we all succeed. For this reason, we’re asking you to join us in carrying the Movement forward to enrich the lives of everyone.

Together we can make a difference. Together we can change the world. So let’s commit to doing just that: one girl, one community at a time. Invest in girls and their future today.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Nancy Wright
CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Local Girl Scout Saves Mother’s Life

Local Girl Scout Saves Mother’s Life

Everyone knows that Girl Scouts are always prepared, and 7-year-old Bryanna Enerson of Morris, Illinois is no exception. When her mother, Angel Enerson, had a medical emergency this summer, the Girl Scout Brownie quickly jumped into action.

“I have AFIb [atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat] and that day, my heart was beating funny,” Angel explained. “I came out of the bathroom and my oldest son asked if I was okay and then I blacked out. Bryanna called 911 and did all the talking.”

Bryanna and her older brother, Austin, learned about 911 in school and Bryanna also learned about first aid in her Girl Scout troop, according to Angel.

During the 911 call, Bryanna can be heard giving the dispatcher her home address, telling her what type of medication her mom uses and staying calm until the paramedics arrived.

“Bryanna doesn’t act like a 7-year-old, she acts a lot older,” Angel said. “She’s just an awesome kid. We’re really proud of her.”

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This summer, Bryanna received a Junior Super Hero award from Morris Police Chief Brent Dite for her bravery and , who honored her during a city council meeting.

“Learning about 911 and first aid is important because you never know what’s going to happen,” explained Angel, who is also the co-leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. “Yes, they’re children, but you never know if they’re going to be the ones who have to call. It’s scary to think about, but we want these kids to be prepared.”

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