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!

Gold Award Spotlight: Meet the 2019 Recipients, Part 8!

Over the past few months on the GCNWI blog, we have highlighted Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana who have achieved an incredible accomplishment: earning the Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn.

With over 6,400 service hours all together, these girls have shown what it takes to be a trailblazer, a change-maker, and a Golden Girl Scout. We have come to the end of our blog series, but these girls continue to stand as examples of young women with passion and commitment to making the world a better place.

Continue along to meet the last group of 2019 Gold Award Girl Scouts, view photos from this year’s Gold Award Ceremony in our photo album on Facebook, and learn more about the Gold Award in the informational program booklet on our website.

Part 8: Meet 10 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Natalie S.

For her Gold Award, Natalie helped the Riverside Arts Center organize their art supplies and work. She cleaned three of their large supply closets, and organized their materials for easy access. She also built three moveable cabinets that she donated to provide additional storage space.

Hannah S.

To help students decide what to choose as their major in college, Hannah gathered professionals from Argonne National Laboratory, Midwestern University, Joliet Junior College, CITGO, Northern Illinois University, and more, to educate middle school and high school students on the diverse career opportunities in STEM.

Angela S.

For her Gold Award, Save Our Teeth, Angela made dental health education videos for her local middle school and high school and the Allendale Assocation in order to further encourage hygiene and prevent illness. By working with teachers and health professionals, she instilled proper knowledge and skills into children that will eventually save money, health, and improve self-image.

Kyra S.

Kyra, for her Gold Award project, chose to run a workshop for children grades 1-5. During the workshop, she informed them about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and invited in a nutritionist to speak about how to start these practices at an early age. They then did a 20-minute Zumba session, and ate a healthy lunch!

Natalie U.

Natalie noticed that due to the construction of a new playground, the Spring Valley Nature Center had a plethora of new visitors, but they weren’t exploring the entirety of the center. To encourage them to do so, she made an activity book that guided them around the three ecosystems in Spring Valley. Her goal was to educate kids, and make sure they had fun doing it.

Mary Therese V.

On the campus of Mary’s parish, there are two mobile homes once used as classrooms. The two staircases leading to these mobile homes were in disrepair, and posed different safety issues to the groups that use the space. For her Gold Award, she calculated measurements, raised money, and acquired the supplies to refurbish the staircases.

Simone W.

Simone created The Camping Library for her Gold Award, a place where community members can check out and return camping equipment for free. By eliminating the large upfront costs of tents and camping equipment, she hopes to encourage others to go out and try camping. She also created a website and instructional handbook!

Brighid Kathryn W.

For her Gold Award, Brighid aimed to aid kids in her community that may not receive the same help with reading that she did in her childhood. She orchestrated a fundraising event for a local bookstore to purchase book for Washington Elementary’s library, and made sight word games for parent volunteers to use around the school. She also made reading games for the reading specialist!

Joan W.

Joan worked with girls in grades 3-8 to help instill confidence and a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. To do this, she held a 9-week long running program. She taught the girls how to set, plan, and reach their goals, and offered inspiration and encouragement.

The Golden Word

Now more than ever, it is essential for young women to stand up for their beliefs and make changes in their communities. There are many ways to do this–– and Girls Scouts are choosing to contribute to society through their highest award projects.

Whether its planting sustainable native species in a garden for the Bronze Award, supporting families in financial crisis for the Silver, or inspiring youth to become politically active for the Gold, Girl Scouts time and time again prove they have what it takes to change the world.

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) »
Part Six: Meet the sixth 10 girls (last names M-P) »
Part Seven: Meet the seventh 10 girls (last names P-S) »