Choose Your Own Adventure 2019 and 2020!

A Choose Your Own Adventure trip (CYOA) allows Girl Scouts the chance to plan a trip from start to finish, including

  • Choosing where they want to travel;
  • Planning an itinerary;
  • Mapping skills;
  • Transportation—how to get there and how to get around;
  • and Budgeting.

GCNWI has offered a Choose Your Own Adventure trip for the past three years, and we’ve gone to such fun places like Indianapolis, IN, Milwaukee, WI and Madison, WI! This year, we stayed close to home because of a snow-storm, but the girls turned the trip around! Read their story!

Girls that went on these trips met on a Friday night at Camp Greene Wood and were given options on where to travel. They picked the destination that night and were off on the road the next morning! From playing laser tag to visiting museums, jelly bean factories, and historic homes, a lot of fun was had by all! Not only did the Girl Scouts choose the group’s activities, they decided on accommodations (a hostel in Indianapolis), restaurants, and even how to get around town.

Coming Up This Year!

GCNWI will be hosting two CYOA trips this year: Choose Your Own Adventure: Chicago Style, and Choose Your Own Adventure: Midwest Style!

Chicago Style

For the Chicago trip, Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts will meet and stay the night at Hostelling International-Chicago and have the choice of where in the city they want to go. Will they choose to visit the Bean, walk around the Art Institute, or take a city tour? Maybe they’ll visit cultural neighborhoods like Chinatown or Pilsen! Whatever they choose to do, the girls are sure to have a great time!

Register for the November 10-11, 2019 trip here!

Midwest Style

For the Midwest trip, Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts will have four options within the Midwest from which to choose, including Milwaukee, WI; Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH; or Starved Rock, IL! The group will decide their adventure location Friday night at Camp Greene Wood and then head out Saturday morning.

Register for the January 17-20, 2020 trip here!

Making It Happen

Can’t make one of these council-sponsored trips? Your troop can plan their own! GCNWI created a CYOA resource guide with the steps you can take, trip planning resources, itinerary templates, and info on how to create a budget. Check out that resource here!

Want more info about how to plan your own trip, or how to join one of ours? Email Ashley at
Check out our travel page, too!

Gold Award Spotlight: Meet the 2019 Recipients, Part 6!

Girl Scouts can do incredible things–– 80 young women from the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana area proved that.

Individually, the girls tackled issues they couldn’t ignore. Together, they make quite an impressive group of changemakers.

With over 6,400 service hours combined, these Girl Scouts earned their Gold Awards, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, and exemplified the passion and determination required to make a difference.

Continue along to meet some of these Girl Scouts, and view photos from this year’s Gold Award Ceremony in our photo album on Facebook!
To learn more about Gold Award projects, check out the informational program booklet on our website.

Meet the Next 10 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Continue to follow along to meet more Gold Award girls throughout this blog series!

Grace M.

For her Gold Award, Grace fundraised money for an organization called Selah Freedom to assist their efforts in liberating women from sex trafficking. By selling baked goods and jewerly, Grace raised enough to gift the women in the residential program a couch and blanket. While working on her project, she was able to raise awareness on teenage sex trafficking.

Grace M.

Grace wanted to bring the service opportunity to volunteer for the organization Operation Support our Troops. Her Gold Award project was aimed at bringing awareness to the needs of military troops in her community. In order to build awareness, she showcased O.S.O.T. literature and hosted a food drive at her church to collect items for the organization.

Jane Caroline M.

With the help of her school’s thespian society, Jane Caroline started “Posen Performers,” a free two-week theater camp for kids in her community. She wanted to bring these kids the chance to build confidence, practice teamwork, and have fun, all while experiencing the theater. She created schedules, advertised and produced the show, and directed the kids and staff!

Sherry M.

After learning that hospitals in her community lacked funding to provide books for chronically ill children, Sherry knew she had to help. She raised money, collected board books for the developmental clinic at Lurie Children’s Hospital, sewed book bags with other Girl Scouts, and designed a brochure about child language development with pediatric specialists.

Sophie Cole M.

Sophie Cole focused her efforts on preserving the Monarch butterfly population. For her Gold Award, she passed on sustainable solutions to the issue by teaching seminars to elementary students, harveting and planting seeds, and distributing mudballs (or seed bombs) to help plants regrow, germinate, and multiply.

Tiffany M.

After meeting with staff at AMITA Hospital in Bolingbook, Tiffany decided to dedicate her Gold Award to comforting families during their time in the hospital. She designed and published an activity book for the patients staying in the emergency room for long or short term periods, and she hopes the project will be sustained for years to come.

Kari Alexandra M.

It is estimated that 85% of textiles in the United States end up in landfills. For her Gold Award, Kari Alexandra decided to tackle this by collecting over 1,500 textiles at a recyling drive at her high school. She then donated the textiles to SWALCO, an organization that recycles fabric into usable new products.

Ana Nikol P.

Ana Nikol wanted to offer a sense of warmth to the bodies and souls of the homeless people in her community, and wanted to raise awareness on how prevalent the issue is. She distributed 85 homemade tie-blankets to the homeless population, and made sure they would be continue to be made and distributed annually.

Sabrina P.

For her Gold Award, Sabrina built an outdoor classroom and garden at one of her district’s elementary schools. She curated a lesson plan for the students about the plants in the garden and how to help the environment. The classroom can be continued to be used on nice days to get a refresher from an indoor education.

Christine P.

Christine saw the need to increase awareness in her community about chronic illness, and to support local youth who are struggling with it. For her Gold Award, Christine created a website and blog, flyers, and a brochure for children recently diagnosed with juvenile arthritis that she distributed to local schools and pediatric offices.

The Golden Age

Bronze. Silver. Gold. These represent the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn.

When girls put their minds to it, they can achieve incredible things. Each of these awards give Girl Scouts the chance to make positive changes: whether its planting a vegetable garden for the Bronze award, creating care packages for cancer survivors for the Silver, or building an iPhone app for the Gold, they’ll change their corner of the world—and beyond. The possibilities are endless.

Learn more about earning the Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards.

Don’t miss out on meeting the previously featured Gold Award Girls Scouts!
Part One: Meet the first 10 girls (last names A-B) »
Part Two: Meet the second 10 girls (last names B-D) »
Part Three: Meet the third 10 girls (last names F-H) »
Part Four: Meet the fourth 10 girls (last names H-K) »
Part Five: Meet the fifth 10 girls (last names K-L) »

Choose Your Own Adventure 2019: A Winter Recap!

An unknown adventure awaited eight Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors on winter 2019’s Choose Your Own Adventure trip! 

What is Choose Your Own Adventure?

Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) is a girl-led trip, planned and executed by Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts. The girls can plan to venture to places like o Milwaukee, WI; Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH; or Starved Rock, IL! Or if they’d like they can keep it close to home with a Chicago adventure!

Whatever a group chooses to do, this is their own girl-led adventure where they will practice budgeting, planning and personalizing their own 3-day trip!

In January 2019, girls had multiple options of travel destinations to choose from for their voyage, but their plans were thwarted by a snowstorm. Together at Camp Greene Wood, the girls met for a night of bonding, planning, and budgeting for their Midwest 3-day trip. Then, they hit the road for their girl-led adventure!

Read on to hear a first-hand account of from our Girl Scouts regarding their Illinois journey.

Girl Scouts Make Do

By Kelsey, Megan, and Anya

We had a couple of options of places to travel to on the trip; however, the weather foiled our plans, so we decided to stay in Naperville. On Friday night, we stayed over at camp, bonded, planned our activities together and decided what we wanted to do over the weekend.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, we started our adventure by going snow tubing at the Blackwell Forest Preserve. It was very cold, but we had a lot of fun! After we went tubing, we went back to camp to pick-up our belongings and finalize our plans. We went to downtown Naperville and enjoyed lunch at Everdine’s Grilled Cheese. Afterwards, we explored downtown and had fun shopping and eating cookie dough. At night, we went to the Chicago Premium Outlets to shop and eat dinner.

We had so much fun on our first day of travel on the 2019 Girl Scouts Choose Your Own Adventure Trip! And while it wasn’t the initial trip we had in mind, we made the most of our time and had a blast exploring parts of the Chicago-land area we hadn’t been to!

Lasers and Laughs

By Lucy, Ava, and Adelina

Our second day was eventful! We did so many exciting activities. After breakfast, the group challenged each other to a couple rounds of laser tag. We played arcade games in between rounds and met other players!

After having a blast at laser tag, we ate a delicious lunch at Gemato’s Wood Pit BBQ. At first, we planned to swim at the Vaughan Aquatic Center in the afternoon, but after thinking it through as a group, we decided to go bowling instead. The bowling alley was packed with tons of people, but we had so much more fun than we expected! For dinner after bowling, we headed back to the hotel and ordered food for a fun “dinner-in-bed.”

Our last activity of the day was a super fun escape room. Half of our group did an Indiana Jones themed room, which gave them quite a scare! The other half of the group did a Sherlock Holmes themed room, and they escaped with 32 seconds remaining! After the escape rooms, we treated ourselves to some sweets at Baskin Robbins. To end our fun-filled day, we drove back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

American Ninja Girl Scout

By Calla and Rain

We had a lovely third day together. After waking up and starting our day, we headed downstairs for breakfast. Then, we headed to a place called Urban Air, where we jumped on trampolines, and made our way through a ropes course and an obstacle course that reminded us of American Ninja Warrior.

Later, we had lunch at Portillo’s together. After we finished lunch, we went to a movie theater and watched the new movie called A Dog’s Way Home. Finally, we made our way back to camp, where we parted ways and said goodbyes, then headed home with our parents and guardians.

Aspire to Adventure!

The world is your playground; where will you explore today? Where will you dream of conquering tomorrow?

Girl Scouts offers many travel opportunities to help girls to aspire to adventure. Whether it’s overnight camping trips, international voyages, or troop stay-cations, Girl Scouts are expanding their horizons.

Stay tuned to find out more about future Choose Your Own Adventure trips, and find out how you can explore the world with Girl Scouts!

Ready to Choose Your Own Adventure? You can sign-up for CYOA: Midwest and CYOA: Chicago Style! There is also a CYOA Resource Guide you can also include if you want, so troops can plan their own CYOA trip!