The new registration system for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is almost ready to make its debut and we are so excited!
We are taking our time to smooth out as many of those first-year pain points as possible. That means instructions on how to access the system will now be shared on Thursday, Jan. 30, instead of today as originally planned.
We are grateful for your continued patience with this process. After all, it has been 18 years since we launched a new system! Yikes! Where did the time go? However, we think the wait will be worth it!
Please watch your inbox and this blog post for live updates on Thursday morning. You’ll receive an email that contains the access link and specific instructions for how to login to your account and start building your summer camp wish list.
Please note that adding a program to your wish list will NOT guarantee admission, however, it will make it easier for you to find what you want once enrollment opens.
All program registrations are on hold until Feb. 3, at 5 a.m., while we transition between our old and new systems.
Propertyand equipment (like flags and parade kits) will still be reserved through their current processes. We’ll release these through the new system at a later date.
May 9, 2020 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m. | Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
Registration is Now Open to Attend this Extra-Ordinary Expo!
Green for Good is no ordinary expo! It’s a life-changing, family-friendly experience to spark innovation, creativity, advocacy, and action to make the world a better place. Hosted by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), Green for Good will feature a wide variety of learning experiences for all youth and their families.
Why Green for Good?
It’s in Girl Scouts’ DNA. Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was a famous lover of nature. Today, Girl Scouts honors her legacy by promoting respect and love of the great outdoors far and wide.
Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to value the Earth as their home, and are inspired to develop a lasting commitment to the environment through care, conservation, and responsibility.
In preparation for our Green for Good expo we have some events to inspire, educate and kick-start a “greener” way of life! These events are open to EVERYONE both non and current Girl Scouts.
Bees, Bats, Butterflies – Feb. 16
Did you know that a lot of our food and produce comes from crops that are pollinated by cross-pollinators like bees, bats, and butterflies? Presented with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, this event is perfect if you’re curious about pollinators and our environment.
You’ll learn why pollinators are so important, and everyday things YOU can do to help them thrive. Through hands-on activities, you’ll get to meet and learn from naturalists, animal caretakers, and heritage interpreters from the forest preserve!
It can be difficult to recycle many items that aren’t collected by traditional recycling programs. So, In honor of the Girl Scout Birthday and (of course) Green for Good, bring your “hard-to-recycle” recyclables to the Vernon Hills Gathering Place.
When summer rolls around, the beach is the place to be! But the experience can be tainted when we see trash and waste at our favorite spots. It can truly ruin an awesome summer experience! But we are here to help.
Working in partnership with Alliance for the Great Lakes, we are hosting a beach clean up day at several locations this spring along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
If you’re a Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador Girl Scout, you probably fielded a lot of career aspirations and college planning questions over the holidays. Don’t let all those family members scare you–– you have more than enough time! Preparing for the future can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Thankfully, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) has your back. Find out how you can start preparing to pursue your passions with our upcoming programs for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.
Think Like An Engineer
Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors are invited to the Vernon Hills Gathering Place on Feb. 8 to Think Like an Engineer! Learn how engineers use the design thinking process to solve problems, create prototypes using this process, and brainstorm your Take Action project together.
Ever dream of running your own business? Maybe you have a great idea for an invention, or the business savvy to start a company?
Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors are invited to join GNCWI’s Spark Tank at Camp Greene Wood on March 27 to develop your idea, prototype it, and develop marketing. The program ends with a panel presentation to potential “investors/sharks!”
Seniors and Ambassadors are invited to explore opportunities after graduating high school! Whether it’s attending college, starting your career, or choosing your own path, we are here to provide the resources you need. We’ll have college advisers, career counselors, trade school representatives, and travel advocates educate girls on all the options available.
Seniors and Ambassadors, it’s almost time for college! From test prep to financial aid, explore the ins and outs of the college admissions process with Girl Scouts at various workshops available from January through April. Badge included!
Whatever you see for yourself in the future, whether it’s becoming a bestselling author, a business-owner, a teacher, a public defender, an artist (the list goes on and on!), Girl Scouts has the resources and programming to help your dreams become reality. You have the potential within you–– let’s unleash it together.
Welcome to the first blog in our Go Gold series! To start, we are breaking down some processes and procedures for the Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn–– and busting some common myths you may have heard. It’s true that nowadays the common way to find answers to questions is, “Google it!” but the Gold Award is a bit different, because every council has their own set of procedures.
Myth #1: The Gold Award requires a ton of paperwork!
Sort of true–– but it’s not as bad as you think! For the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, yes, there is paperwork you need to complete. But remember this: it’s only two sets of paperwork, a proposal, and a final report. As of October 2019, all girls beginning their Gold Award process should utilize Go Gold online as the platform to collect all their information in one place.
The project proposal is a girl’s expression of how her project will address the root cause of an issue, create lasting change, be sustainable beyond her involvement, and connect to a national and/or global issue. The final paperwork gives girls a chance to show off how their project achieved her goal and made the lasting changes she sought!
Remember, with a proposal and final report, girls are responsible for including detailed project plans, timelines, and budgets. These are considered supplemental materials for the proposal and final report. Thanks to the Go Gold online platform, they are easily populated and integrated into proposals and final reports. There’s no longer a need for multiple additional documents and attachments.
Myth #2: Gold Award interviews are hard to schedule!
In the past, yes, but good news: we have recently made changes to alleviate this issue! As of October 2019, girls who submit paperwork (either a proposal or final report) will not need to interview with our committee. Instead, the paperwork will be reviewed by our Gold Award Panel. Panel reviews will happen every two weeks. Once our Gold Award Panel reviews your paperwork, you will receive an email from council with your next steps! See our step-by-step guide for more details on what comes next, specifically for proposals and final reports.
Myth #3: Girls must finish by their 18th birthday!
Myth! All graduating senior Girl Scouts have until September 30 of the year they graduate to have their Gold Awards approved by our committee. Please remember: this means projects need to be reviewed and approved by our Gold Award Panel prior to September 30 to be considered complete. Our suggestion would be that all graduated seniors submit their final paperwork no later than September 1 to ensure you receive full approval by September 30.
Other things you might be wondering…
Who should my project advisor be?
Someone who works with the organization you are partnering with for your Gold Award project! For example, if you plan to work with a food pantry to develop a community garden so they always have fresh fruits and vegetables, you may select the director of the food pantry at your advisor. Project advisors should be selected based on their ability to assist you in completing your Gold Award. Remember: project advisors should NOT be your troop leader or any family member or friend.
What hours count towards the 80?
Great question! Some myths throughout the years have thought that all volunteer hours of those helping with Gold Award projects count towards the girl’s total 80 hours, but that is NOT TRUE! Only the hours the individual girl spends working on her Gold Award project count towards the 80. Don’t worry about it too much up front–– almost all projects have no problem achieving 80 hours of girl time!
Is there a list of pre-approved projects?
Myth! This is just an old campfire tale that seems to recirculate every few years, but remember–– it doesn’t exist! Girls looking to earn the Gold Award are challenged to take a look at their own passions and communities and see where the need lies. Once a girl determines where her interests and the community needs overlap, she should take a step back and identify the root cause of the issue she is tackling.
Pro Tip: Go Gold Online has great resources (and examples) to help identify the root cause of an issue.
What does it mean for a project to be sustainable and have a national or global reach?
It’s not as difficult as it seems! Sustainability and global reach tend to be daunting words when talking about Gold Awards, but don’t worry, they aren’t as bad as they seem! For a girl’s project to be considered sustainable, it needs to carry on or have continued impact even after the girl has earned her Gold Award. In other words, she has created a lasting change. For national or global reach, a girl should be able to explain how her project connects to an issue that is relevant worldwide.
Pro Tip: Go Gold online defines and shows examples of how girls can make their projects sustainable and have a national/global link.
Can I start a project after I graduate high school?
Not recommended! Graduating senior Girl Scouts must submit a Gold Award proposal to council no later than June 1 of the year they graduate. Girl Scouts GCNWI has this procedure in place to be sure girls give themselves enough time to complete a project that meets all requirements. This deadline gives graduated seniors at least four months to work through and complete their projects.
Ah! The big question. Here are the basics:
Girls looking to raise funds for their Gold Award project should utilize product sales (Fall Product and Cookies) as their first resource. The more product you sell, the more money you can raise!
If additional money is needed for a girl’s Highest Award project after she sold Fall Product and Cookies, she is eligible to do an additional money earning activity. This could be garage sales, bake sales, wreath sales, gift wrapping, etc. If a girl plans to raise more than $100 with such activity, an additional money earning form needs to be submitted to council (some blackout dates apply).
Donations work too! If a girl would like to ask for donations from a source (like Home Depot, Lowes, or other retailers) they must take an adult with them. The girl is welcome to explain the project and outline what she plans to do, but the adult must be the one to ask/solicit the donation of goods/items. The girl should not ever solicit things herself. Remember that girls should include all donations on their final budget.
Go for Gold!
Going Gold is not easy, but it is worth it, not only as an investment in your own future, but in your community, your nation, and your world.
Stay tuned for more Gold Award blogs in the future as a part of our Go Gold series!
If your resolution for the New Year was to learn more about politics and be active in the advocacy sphere, you will love the girl-led programs coming up this year that will teach you by doing. This election year is especially important for the future of the nation, and Girl Scouts are ready to take center stage.
Get ready to lead like a G.I.R.L. all year long with Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana! Read on to learn about all the opportunities we have in store for change-makers and trailblazers.
HERstory: Lead Like a Girl!
Did you know 2020 is the 100th anniversary when some women first received the right to vote? All ages are invited to join us to celebrate this and the other accomplishments women have made throughout history at the Friendship Center on Mar. 21, or at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place on March 28!
Why and how do we vote? How does voting effect you? Daisies, come to this program on Jan. 25 at Camp Greene Wood to have fun while you learn all about voting! Let Dr. Seuss’ book “One Vote, Two Vote, I Vote, You Vote” inspire you to use your Girl Scout voice!
Cadettes are invited to join us on Feb. 8 at Camp Greene Wood for Your Voice, Your Vote: a program dedicated to teaching advocacy to Girl Scouts who are passionate about issues that impact their local communities! In this program, we will expand on civic engagement and teach girls how to get involved and use their own voice to advocate for local change!
Juniors! Do you have a passion for politics and advocacy? We have the program for you! Join us on Feb. 15 at Camp Greene Wood for an interactive program that dives headfirst into the world of U.S. democracy!
Learn about the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and how they directly effect you as a person living within the United States. Develop your passion for advocacy by developing campaign posters and talking points you can take to your own city or town!
Music, hairnets, and saving lives together! Join us on Apr. 18 to feed kids all over the world for Global Youth Service Day, a Global Action Day where girls all over the world serve together and help each other.
The state of the nation is rapidly changing, and we need all hands on deck! Now is the time to get active and make your voice heard. Girl Scouts have the power within them to make real change, to lead the way, to defy norms. These programs are just some of the ways Girl Scouts GCNWI is helping makes this happen.
Girl Scouts, volunteers, families, friends, and fans have been patiently (or impatiently) waiting all year for this moment. The time has finally come to set your cookie goals, plan your sales, and power your next Girl Scout adventures!
In 2020, buying and selling Girl Scout Cookies has never been so on-the-go:
Girl Scouts can use Digital Cookie to sell cookies online from Jan. 1 through Mar. 23. Girl Scouts are able to deliver cookies to customers themselves until Jan. 19. Otherwise, the cookies can be shipped directly to customers or contributed as a Gift of Caring at any time during the season!
The eBudde mobile app for iPhone and Android now has all the specs you need to manage the cookie program from wherever: you can order cookies and rewards right from your phone, exchange cookies between troops, and sign up for booth site sales on the go!
A Clover Troop Credit Card Processor is the perfect tool for selling cookies with ease!
With Digital Cookie, the Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love gets a contemporary revamp. Just like last year, these fun and easy-to-use tools help Girl Scouts superpower their sales and go beyond the booth. Girls who used the platform in addition to traditional sales sold more cookies and reached their goals faster!
Download the iPhone or Android Digital Cookie app to get started!
Join us for the Virtual Cookie Rally!
Girl Scouts of all ages, parents/caregivers, troop leaders, and service unit cookie program managers are all cordially invited to “join us” at our Virtual Cookie Rally premiering on Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.!
Expect all the fun from last year’s Cookie Rally, but now, from wherever you are! We’ll be doing fun activities, introducing Cookie Season 2020, sharing cookie sale tips and tricks from our top sellers, a breakdown of the rewards you can earn, a secret special message, and much more!
These assets can be accessed all cookie season to use as inspiration and guidance for this year’s season and beyond!
We are also getting together on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place and at the Friendship Center for our Official Watch Parties!
Girls who have registered to attend a council-hosted or service unit watch party will receive a 2020 Cookie Rally Patch at the event, and if you’re following along from home, you can post on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #virtualcookierally to get a patch of your own!