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.

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#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.

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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 girlscoutsgcnwi.org/campceo. Applications are due May 9.



Girl Scout Donates Cookies to Homeless Kids

Girl Scout Donates Cookies to Homeless Kids

After learning about homeless children living at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, Zara, a 6-year-old Girl Scout Daisy in Troop 20438, decided to donate nearly 60 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to help cheer them up.

“It’s important to give back because they don’t have many treats and I thought they’d be happy to have treats,” Zara said.

She even enlisted the help of her classmates to create handmade cards to accompany the cookie boxes.


Zara, who sold 2,500 boxes last year, is hoping to sell 5,000 boxes this year so she can go to Disney World. So far, she’s sold 3,500 boxes and has donated nearly 400 of those to Gift of Caring, which sends Girl Scout Cookies to women and men in the military.

“This was all her idea,” her mom, Melissa Smejkal, said. “I’m really proud of her for being so caring and sharing with others.”

Do you have a Girl Scout Cookie story you’d like to share? Tell us on social media or email gsmarketing@girlscoutsgcnwi.org!


Join Girl Scouts at Our Caba√Īa in Mexico

Join Girl Scouts at Our Caba√Īa in Mexico

Calling all travel-loving teens!

In 2017, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana will host a Girl Scouts of the United States of America Destination to Mexico.

From the traditional crafts to the tasty cuisine and ancient architecture to the upbeat music and dancing, Mexico’s vibrant culture is rich and exciting.¬†This Destination will begin in Mexico City, the home to Frida Kahlo, Ballet Folklorico, and 2,000-year-old pyramids.



Next, our travels will lead us to Our Caba√Īa in Cuernavaca, which is located in the heart of Mexico. At this World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Centre, our group will meet ¬†Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from the around the world in an adventure of a lifetime. Here, we‚Äôll take part in a community service project, learn about Mexican culture, go white water rafting or waterfall jumping, and travel to nearby historic sites.

And the best part is Girl Scouts from our council will have the chance to plan parts of the trip! If you’re going to be a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador in 2017, you can submit your application and reference form before the April 18, 2016 deadline.


The trip, which will take place between July 20 – 31, 2017, costs approximately $2,500 and includes meals, accommodations, round-trip airfare from Chicago to Mexico City, transportation within Mexico and much more.

For a sneak peek at what you can see and do at Our Caba√Īa, check out our travel vlog below and be sure to apply HERE¬†before April 18, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Christensen, our manager of arts, cultural awareness and travel programs, at achristensen@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 312-912-6322.

Girl Scout Cookie Fun with Grandbaby Cakes

Girl Scout Cookie Fun with Grandbaby Cakes

Girl Scout Cookies are great. Girl Scout Cookies combined with your favorite dessert are even better!

We recently teamed up with Chicago-based food blogger and cookbook author Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes for a tasty twist on traditional Thin Mints and Trefoils. Joining her in the kitchen are Girl Scouts Kaylyn and Kristen for a fun and easy recipe for cookie fans of all ages.

Check out the video below to catch all the fun and learn how Girl Scout Cookies benefit girls and the community.

For the full recipe, visit grandbaby-cakes.com. To find the cookie booth nearest you, click here or download the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app. Submit your own cookie creation as part of the National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest, sponsored by Taste of Home. But hurry, the deadline is March 25!

Special thank you to Little Sarah Productions and The Social Table!

McDonald’s, Girl Scouts Hold Leadership Meetup on International Women’s Day

McDonald’s, Girl Scouts Hold Leadership Meetup on International Women’s Day

What does it take to be a female leader in today’s society?

On Tuesday, March 8, members of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and the local McDonald’s Women Owners/Operators Network gathered to discuss leadership and entrepreneurship on International Women’s Day.

“I think that it’s important to be able to show who you are and really be able to work up and do what you want,” said Brandiline Hoover, a 17-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador who also moderated the panel Q&A.

Christine Lott, a local McDonald’s owner/operator, agreed.

“Young girls need role models and I think that they need to know that there is a place they can aspire to and they can continue to grow and they can be successful,” she said.

Check out the segment from ABC 7 here.

Celebrate National Girl Scout Day with #100DaysOfGold

Celebrate National Girl Scout Day with #100DaysOfGold

Community service is at the cornerstone of what it means to be a Girl Scout, which is why more than 100 girls are gathering in Vernon Hills this weekend to celebrate National Girl Scout Day with the Birthday in a Bag Bash.

This Saturday, March 12, marks the 104th birthday of Girl Scouts and girls from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) are paying it forward by assembling Birthday in a Bag supplies at Gathering Places across the council. The service project invites girls to gather items, such as boxed cake, canned frosting, candles, balloons, streamers and a small toy for children at local food pantries.

“We wanted to be a part of this project to be able to help make a person‚Äôs birthday special,” said adult volunteers Karen Huber and Sue Siegel of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 40651 in Park Ridge.


Through a combined effort, GCNWI Service Unit 405 and five troops at St. Paul of the Cross School in Park Ridge brought in donations to in cake mixes, pans, cans of frosting, plates, napkins, tablecloths, birthday candles, and balloons to fill 50 birthday bags. The bags were then delivered to the parish food pantry and will be shared with the Maine Township Food Pantry and Our Lady of Angels Food Pantry.

“The girls enjoyed being part of this effort,” Huber and Siegel said. “They also had fun deciding which items to put together in the bags, such as yellow cake and pink frosting or chocolate cake with white or chocolate frosting.”

The Birthday in a Bag Bash also kicks off #100DaysOfGold to commemorate the centennial of the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. The council-wide initiative encourages girls to participate in 100 days of doing good in their communities starting on March 12 and going through June 20.

“We’ve already been given so much in our lives, yet there are some who struggle to find basic necessities,” said Marie T., a Girl Scout Cadette with Troop 40651. “It’s our time to pay it forward and give these people what every human deserves.”

Girl Scouts and American Heart Association Team Up for Heart Health

Girl Scouts and American Heart Association Team Up for Heart Health

A healthy heart is critical to a healthy lifestyle, which is why Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana has teamed up with the American Heart Association to promote heart awareness.

“Girl Scouts is committed to providing educational programming about healthy living for girls, including physical health, mental health and emotional health,” said Candice Schmidt, Director of Program for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “We’re grateful to collaborate with the American Heart Association on the importance of heart health.”

According to the American Heart Association, about one of three American kids and teens are overweight or obese. Through the patch program with the American Heart Association, Girl Scouts will learn more about healthy eating habits, how to prepare healthy snacks and how to determine their own family history and risk factors for heart disease.

“We are inspired by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s commitment to the health of young girls and the impact they will make in this program. This partnership will give Girl Scouts the tools and educational resources they need to lead a heart healthy life, as well as spread awareness of our number one and number four killers – heart disease and stroke,” said Anne Schullo Community Engagement Coordinator for the American Heart Association. “We are grateful for the Girl Scouts’ generosity and willingness to work with us to tackle a tangible solution and look forward to an exciting relationship.”

The American Heart Association program includes a program guide, which entails five opportunities, and patch available for $3 per girl. Path opportunities include: Simple Cooking with Heart Kids to make cooking at home less daunting; Life Simple 7 for Kids to learn wellness tips; Celebrate the AHA in Your Own Way all year round; Little Hats, Big Hearts to benefit babies born in February at participating hospitals; and Hands-Only CPR. To receive the program materials and patches, please visit www.gcnwiprograms.org.