Explore the Outdoors with Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend!

Girl Scouts Love State Parks is being celebrated the weekend of July 13–14 by over 100 councils across the country!

Through this national event, you can experience the great outdoors by participating in planned events hosted by state parks and council staff. Or take the opportunity to explore on your own with friends and family!

Check out all the exciting events to explore July 13-14 and all summer!

Bonus: Girls who participate are eligible to purchase our inaugural national Girl Scouts Love State Parks patch!

How to Participate

Planning a hike? Camping adventure? WE WANT TO SEE IT!

Tag us at @girlscoutsgcnwi on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
and use the hashtags #GSLOVESPARKS and #GSOUTDOORS.

Full Moon Hike at Indiana Dunes State Park

Come along with Naturalists and volunteers for this special full-moon hike to Lake Michigan and back. Stories about our moon and up-close views will be shared. The evening begins with an indoor information presentation until about 8:15 p.m., and the hike runs from 8:15-9:30 p.m. Some “stellar” treats will also be served thanks to the Friends of the Indiana Dunes.
Sign-up for the Full Moon Hike »

Participating Indiana Parks

July 13

July 14

Learn more about these Indiana events at calendar.dnr.IN.gov.

See ALL Indiana State Parks Below

Participating Illinois State Parks

July 13

Learn more about these Illinois events at calendar.dnr.IL.gov

See ALL Illinois State Parks Below

Get the Patch!

More about Girl Scouts USA at girlscouts.org.

Check Out These Summer Programs for the Entire Family!

If you want activities for the whole family to enjoy, then look no further. Below is your guide to family friendly programs offered by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Get excited for all that summer has to offer!

Outdoor Adventures

Have a Sleepover Safari at Brookfield Zoo!

August 30–31 | Brownies–Ambassadors (Grades 2–12)

Your whole family is invited to the Brookfield Zoo for a summer sleepover! You’ll get to go on a night hike around the zoo, examine real skulls, and make treats for the animals to enjoy. Registration includes all activities, breakfast, and a fun patch! Get your Sleepover Safari Tickets »

Star Party

Saturday, August 17 | Camp Greene Wood, Woodridge, IL

How many constellations can you spot? Come celebrate the stars with other astronomy enthusiasts. We will have games, projects and crafts you can take home, and a chance to view the night sky with an astronomer. Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors: enjoy this event with your entire family. Sign-up now »

Camp

You & Me: Summertime Fun

Weekend of June 21 and Weekend of July 19 | Camp River Trails, Sheridan, IL
All ages!

Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and female guardians: spend a weekend at camp with your Girl Scout at a You & Me Camp Weekend! Each year we celebrate with a different theme, and this summer’s theme is “Hogwarts: Journey to the Forbidden Forest.” “Swish and flick” your way to summer fun with your girl! You’ll have your choice to stay in a lodge, prairie cabin, or screened in platform tent. Learn more and register for You & Me Summertime Fun!

Take the Whole Family to Camp!

Weekend of July 12 | Camp River Trails, Sheridan, IL
Weekend of September 13 | Camp Butternut Springs, Valparaiso, IL
All ages!

Enjoy a weekend at camp with the whole family! Fourth graders and older can try archery. You’ll stay in platform tents, screened-in cabins, or bring your own tent! Learn more and register for Family Camp!

Sports & Entertainment

Chicago Red Stars: Bark in the Park

Saturday, June 23 | SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL

This is a night for the dogs! Join us at SeatGeek Stadium for their 2nd annual Bark in the Park celebration where your pup is invited to cheer on the Red Stars. Everyone who purchases a Bark in the Park ticket receives a free bandanna for your pup and will participate on their halftime Pet Parade. Get your tickets now »

Girl Scout Night with the White Sox

Wednesday, July 3 | Guaranteed Rate Field

Due to inclement weather Girl Scout Day with the White Sox was postponed. The makeup date is scheduled for Wednesday, July 3rd at 1:10 PM as part of a split doubleheader and your game tickets will be good for Game 1.

Your previous ticket and parking pass are valid for the make-up July 3rd game ONLY. Tickets will only be good for Game 1 of the split doubleheader.

For those who did not purchase tickets for the previous game, check out our updates flier!

Girl Scout Night with the Chicago Dogs

Saturday, June 29 | Impact Field, Rosemont, IL

Come out to Impact Field for 2nd Annual Girl Scout Night on Saturday, June 29th at 7:05 p.m. Ticket purchase includes pregame parade on field, custom Girl Scout patch, Video Board Troop Recognition, Post Game Fireworks and a donation back to GSGCNWI. Learn more and purchase Chicago Dog Tickets »

Wizarding Celebration

Saturday, July 20 at Friendship Center, Country Club Hills, IL
Sunday, July 21 Vernon Hills Gathering Place, Vernon Hills, IL
All ages!

Girl Scouts! Do you love Harry Potter? Bring your friends and family & come join us to celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday. You’ll get to make potions, play quidditch, drink butterbeer & more! Family event. Fun patch included. Sign-up for Wizarding Celebration »

Attend a Cirque du Soleil Show

May 22 through July 6 | Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

Under the Big Top at Soldier Field lives a show so grand and so fun! Bring the entire family to this amazing and dazzling show that will be sure to satisfy any adrenaline lover. Check out the official flyer on how to purchase tickets to this great show » [PDF]


Don’t Let Her Miss Out!

Girls must be a current Girl Scout to participate in these fun activities! To join in on this summer fun, you can become a Girl Scout today for only $35, and her membership will be valid all the way through Sept. 30, 2020. That’s nearly a year and a half of fun ahead!

What Girl Scouts can do During the Summer!

Just because it’s summer and your Girl Scout troop isn’t meeting doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with Girl Scouts! Read about the many fun programs and events girls of all ages can take part in this summer—with or without your troop! Below are a few highlighted programs, or you can view all of the summer programs for your age group!

If you aren’t already a Girl Scout, that’s OK! To join in on this summer fun, you can become a Girl Scout today for only $35, and your membership will be valid all the way through Sept. 30, 2020. That’s nearly a year and a half of fun ahead!


Have a Sleepover Safari at Brookfield Zoo!

August 30– 31 | Brownies–Ambassadors (Grades 2–12)

See what happens after hours at the Zoo! Your whole family is invited to the Brookfield Zoo for a summer sleepover! You’ll get to go on a night hike around the zoo, examine real skulls, and make treats for the animals to enjoy.

Registration includes all activities, breakfast, and a fun patch!

Get your Sleepover Safari Tickets »


Get Outdoors at Summer Camp!

Various Dates and Locations | Daisies–Ambassadors (Grades K–12)

Girls need a safe space where they can just be themselves, a space with an incredible view where they can relax and try new experiences. That place is Girl Scout camp! Our council offers summer camp programs at eight locations in Illinois, Indiana, and even Wisconsin.

Girl Scouts will get to participate in a wide variety of program activities including hikes, crafts, and the opportunity sing songs by the campfire.

Browse the 2019 Camp Guide and register on our website.

Girls can attend day camp or resident camp, or you can even take your whole family!

Sign Her Up For Summer Camp »


Attend Summer Camp Programs Designed for Your Troop, Family, and More!

Troop Camporee: Sunny Fun

Weekend of June 28 | Camp Greene Wood, Woodridge, IL
Weekend of August 2 | Camp Pokanoka, Ottawa, IL

All ages!

Bring your troop to a Troop Camporee! You can choose to stay Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Sunday of either weekend program. Learn more and register for Troop Camporees!

Take the Whole Family to Camp!

Friday, July 12-Sunday, July 14 | Camp River Trails, Sheridan, IL
All ages!

Enjoy a weekend at camp with the whole family! Fourth graders and older can try archery. You’ll stay in platform tents, screened-in cabins, or bring your own tent! Learn more and register for Family Camp!

You & Me: Summertime Fun

Weekend of June 21 and Weekend of July 19 | Camp River Trails, Sheridan, IL
All ages!

Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and female guardians: spend a weekend at camp with your Girl Scout at a You & Me Camp Weekend! Each year we celebrate with a different theme, and this summer’s theme is “Hogwarts: Journey to the Forbidden Forest.” “Swish and flick” your way to summer fun with your girl! You’ll have your choice to stay in a lodge, prairie cabin, or screened in platform tent. Learn more and register for You & Me Summertime Fun!

Community Resource Listings

Ongoing Dates in Various Locations | Daisies–Ambassadors (Grades K–12)

The summer is the perfect time to take advantage of special offers and programs for Girl Scouts from our Community Resource Partners! Visit our website to view the list!


Earn Patches on Your Own

Ongoing Dates in Various Locations | Daisies–Ambassadors (Grades K–12)

Girl Scouts from any level can earn patches in our self-directed programs like the Passport to Chicago! Take the summer to learn more about culture, cities and counties in our council, STEM, and more! View all of the Girl Scouts GCNWI Patch Programs and Council’s Own awards on our website.


Complete a Summer Service Project

Ongoing Dates in Various Locations | Daisies–Ambassadors (Grades K–12)

Girl Scouts Give Back

Girl Scouts have a rich history of giving back to their communities. Be a part of this tradition by participating in a service project over the summer. We have a few options that you can complete on your own. View Service Projects on our website.



Bring Her to a Daisy Party!

Various dates and locations | For girls entering Kindergarten or 1st grade in Fall 2019

Let’s kick-off your Daisy year with a summer party! You’ll get to meet other Daisy Girl Scouts, play games, have a dance party, and learn all about the Girl Scout Promise and Law. You’ll even get a fun patch to add to your apron or sash! We can’t wait to show you how fun Girl Scouts is! Learn more and register for a Daisy Party!


FREE Summer Drop-In Days across the council!

Various Dates in Various Locations | For Daisies–Cadettes (Grades K–8)

Stop by our Gathering Places throughout the summer for a FREE Drop-In Day! You’ll have fun with themed activities, meet other Girl Scouts, volunteers, and staff! Learn more and register through the links below.


More Summer Programs for Girl Scouts!

View All Daisy Summer Programs (Grades K–1)

View all Brownie Summer Programs (Grades 2–3)

View all Junior Summer Programs (Grades 4–5)

View all Cadette Summer Programs (Grades 6–8)

View all Senior Summer Programs (Grades 9–10)

View all Ambassador Summer Programs (Grades 11–12)

Love Harry Potter? Bring your friends and family & come join us to celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday! You’ll get to make potions, play quidditch, drink butterbeer & more!


Don’t Let Her Miss Out!

Girls must be current Girl Scouts to participate in these fun activities! To join in on this summer fun, you can become a Girl Scout today for only $35, and your membership will be valid all the way through Sept. 30, 2020. That’s nearly a year and a half of fun ahead!

Volunteer Spotlight: 2019 Girl Scouts GCNWI Honorees

Marie Marino, 60 Years Pin Recipient

Opening her eyes to a world of possibilities? Helping her transform into a force for good? Unleashing her most confident self? As a Girl Scout volunteer, you’re an everyday hero with an extraordinary super power: you prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. Being a Girl Scout volunteer is one of the most powerful, rewarding journeys you’ll ever embark on.

That’s what makes National Volunteer Month so near and dear to our hearts! Every April, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) celebrates the meaningful and inspiring contributions our volunteers make all year long. Join us in celebrating these amazing volunteers who have dedicated their lives to supporting our girls! These volunteers were recently honored at our Annual Meeting and Adult Recognition (AMAR) event. Read the event recap.

Heidi Gannon

Hall of Fame 2019

From left: Heidi Gannon and Nancy Wright

Heidi began her Girl Scout career in the 1940’s on the South Side of Chicago where she grew up. As a girl member her favorite memories include earning her First Class Award, camping at Sweet Woods in Glenwood, Illinois, and selling LOTS of Girl Scout Cookies during the annual Cookie Sale. Heidi accredits her continued participation in the organization due to the continued efforts to support and grow girls into women leaders, as well as the camaraderie the organization provides for both fellow Girl Scouts and adults.

She became an adult leader for her daughter in Dolton as part of the legacy South Cook County Girl Scout Council (SCCGS). Heidi was a Troop Leader from 1967-1979; a Service Unit Manager (known as an Association Chair) in the 1970’s; was on the Board of Directors for SCCGS in the 80’s and 90’s; and was a National Council Delegate for the GS convention in Minneapolis in 1987. Heidi has also received many of the Adult Girl Scout awards, including the Thanks Badge, Thanks Badge II, and she received her 50 year pin last year.

Heidi is currently involved with GCNWI as a council historian, working to preserve the history of the former South Cook County Girl Scouts. Outside of Girl Scouts, Heidi is involved in her church, Bible Study Fellowship, and women’s Bible Study.

Marlene Knapp

Hall of Fame 2019

From left: Marlene Knapp and Robin Moss

Marlene was in Girl Scouts as a girl, in East Lake Porter Council, from second through sixth grade. Marlene became an adult Girl Scout member in 1983, when her daughter started as a Brownie. When she transitioned from assistant leader to troop leader, she stayed with the girls until they completed their Ambassador year. Her fondest memories include watching her daughters grow and mature through Girl Scouts. She loved seeing their communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills develop, and how they applied the skills beyond the organization.

Marlene has served in many roles in her 37 years as an adult Girl Scout. Positions include: Treasurer, Service Unit Manager, Consultant, Trainer, and Troop Organizer and well as a member of the Programs team of Drifting Dunes Council.

Marlene, for her amazing work, has received the Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin and Thanks Badge. She has also received the Porter County United Way Award. She is also the treasurer at her church and has served on many committees as chairperson.

Christine Alfred

Thanks Badge

Christine Alfred started as a girl member of Girl Scouts from first through fourth grade. Since becoming an adult volunteer, she has served in many roles including Leader, Troop Cookie and Fall Product Manager, Service Unit Cookie Manager and Fall Product Manager, Cookie Cupboard, Service Unit Manager, Council Delegate, all while serving on various committees. Along the way, she has received the Outstanding Leader Award, Outstanding Volunteer Award, and the Honor Pin. She has even received the St. Ann Medal for her work with helping Catholic Girl Scouts earn their religious awards.

The girls have always given Christine great inspiration, and volunteering has taught her how to work with a diverse group of people. Chris credits Girl Scouts with turning her into a social worker, event planner, master negotiator, financial analyst, master chef, and expert multi-tasker! She realizes that it’s not just the girls who develop skills through Girl Scouting, but also the adults who acquire so much more than could ever be imagined.

From left: Christine Alfred and Melissa Young-Bridgefort

Melissa Young-Bridgeforth

Thanks Badge

Melissa Young-Bridgeforth was never a girl member in Girl Scouts, but she did become an adult volunteer for the legacy Chicago council, and now for Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. There have been numerous reasons over the years for Melissa to continue to serve Girl Scouts. She believes in the mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character. Her enduring loyalty to Girl Scouts was demonstrated in 2018 when Melissa made the commitment to become a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society.

Although Melissa has had a wealth of experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer, the one she recalls vividly includes sirens and flashing red lights! It seems a Chicago police officer was suspicious of her having a car full of Girl Scout cookies. Fortunately, the experience has not deterred Melissa from continuing her volunteer work for Girl Scouts!

Carol Stahnke

50 Years

Carol Stahnke (center) with Kathy Scherer (left) and Nancy Wright

When her daughter wanted to sign up to be a Girl Scout, Carol Stahnke agreed to become a Girl Scout leader for Lone Tree Council in 1968. Carol continued her involvement as a volunteer after her daughter was no longer a girl member because she had such a positive experience. She served as Service Unit Manager for Berwyn and became a member of the Board of Directors for Lone Tree.

Carol also served on various committees, such as the search committee for the new Lone Tree Service Center and the Cookie Selection Committee, and she held the position of Field Vice-President. One of her prize possessions is a sliver tray she received in 1978 which acknowledges her service as Field Vice-President.

Carol has fond memories of camping at Wild Rose in St. Charles, Illinois, and Wild Deer in Wisconsin, both former properties of the Lone Tree Council. She credits Norma Brown and Shirley Eatwell from the Lone Tree staff with giving her excellent support to fulfill her duties as a volunteer. Although Carol was only able to be an adult in Girl Scouting, the experience of being there for the girls has meant a lot to her. She has been a lifetime member—a gift her thoughtful husband had given to her knowing how much Girl Scouts meant to her.

Rosemarie Courtney

60 Years

Rosemarie Courtney (center) with Board President Kathy Scherer (left) and CEO Nancy Wright (right)

Rosemarie Courtney began her long association with Girl Scouts in 1950 when she joined Intermediate Girl Scout Troop 298 at Immaculate Conception Parish. She received her Curved Bar (forerunner of the Girl Scout Gold Award) in 1954. She remained a girl member with Senior Troop 1615 until 1958 at which time she registered as an adult with that troop. Rose continued with Troop 1615 throughout her college years. She credits her assistant leader and then Senior Adviser Anna Mae Idestein with giving her the confidence to attend college. Besides encouraging her to study science in college, Anna Mae helped Rose find part time jobs, so she could save the money needed for her tuition. She credits Anna Mae as being the most inspirational Girl Scout adult in her life and recognizes the importance that great adult leadership can impact a girl.

Since then, Rose has gone on to receive every adult national recognition there is, including the Thanks Badge II. She was also inducted into the Girl Scouts GCNWI Hall of Fame. From Secretary to the Board of Directors for DuPage County Council, to Council Trainer, to National Council Delegate, to Council Historian, Rose has held almost every volunteer position there is. She is truly one of Juliette’s pearls.

Joy Johnston

60 Years Pin

Joy Johnston is celebrating 60 years as a registered Girl Scout having started her Girl Scout career at the age of seven. Joy’s first Girl Scout Troop was number 78 in Chicago. People from legacy councils may remember that Joy’s parents were the caretakers at Camp Butternut Springs for many years. Her mother was a Girl Scout herself for over 50 years and was widely known as Mother Nature around Butternut. Joy’s parents, the Andersons, were very much admired for their service and dedication, and the lake at Butternut Springs is named after them.

Volunteering was an important part of Joy’s upbringing and she continues that tradition. She and her husband are the directors of the Duneland Resale Shop in Chesterton, Indiana. This adult community center serves the surrounding areas not only with a resale shop, but also a medical supply cabinet, and a food pantry that services more than 300 families and has given more than $1.5 million back to the community. Always a big dream of Joy’s, she has demonstrated that determination and hard work can make dreams come true.

Learn more about volunteering with Girl Scouts GCNWI!

Girl Scouts GCNWI’s Annual Meeting and Adult Recognition Event was a Smashing Success

On Saturday, April 6, 2019, more than 500 Girl Scout adult members gathered for the annual council meeting, and to celebrate the service and tenure of dedicated Girl Scout volunteers!

With this year’s council theme being Action Speaks Louder, Nancy Wright, CEO, gave a riveting State of the Council keynote, sharing details about the work that has been done over the past year, and more importantly, the strategic work of the council for the current year and beyond. Board President, Kathy Scherer followed and with the help of girl board representative, Colleen Christian, installed new officers and directors to the Board of Directors.

Several stand out, celebratory moments from the day included;

  • Heidi Gannon and Marlene Knapp were added to the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Hall of Fame.
  • We celebrated the following GSUSA honorees:
  • Christine Alfred, Thanks Badge
  • Melissa Young-Bridgeforth, Thanks Badge
  • Christina Robinson, Honor Pin
  • Tonya Belcher, Appreciation Pin
  • Scott Bennett, Appreciation Pin
  • Dawn Brook, Appreciation Pin
  • Cori Chojnacki, Appreciation Pin
  • Keth Goodman, Appreciation Pin
  • Starr Hochbaum, Appreciation Pin
  • Christina Johnson, Appreciation Pin
  • Mike Kizman, Appreciation Pin
  • Nzsenga McClendon, Appreciation Pin
  • Patricia McCoy, Appreciation Pin
  • Nicole Mitchell, Appreciation Pin
  • Claire Mosshamer, Appreciation Pin
  • Janet Skogsberg, Appreciation Pin
  • Suzanne Stewart, Appreciation Pin
  • Two staff members were honored with the D.A.I.S.Y. (Dynamic and Incredible Staff of the Year) award:  Peggy Brothers, AVP, Camp Program and Property and Jenny Waszak, HR Director.
  • We celebrated the dedication and action of 30 Service Units who received the President’s Award—this is a record number of Service Units earning the award!
  • Also, part of the celebrations were volunteers who’ve provided service to Girl Scouts from 5 to 60 years!  A record number of volunteers received their 5 and 10 year pins at this year’s event. 
  • Guests enjoyed continental breakfast, empowering music, a photo montage of awardees, cupcakes and time to reconnect with Girl Scout friends.

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Annual Meeting such a great success. We remain grateful for all our staff and volunteers who make the Girl Scout world a wonderful place to work and serve!

Tribute to Achievement: A Night Where Actions Spoke Louder

The Girl Scouts, honorees and guests in attendance showed us all how to ACT FOR CHANGE at our 2019 Tribute to Achievement (TTA) dinner and we are grateful to so many for their generosity and support.

Girl Scout emcee Phoebe Williams kicked the night off as our Girl Scout emcee, much to the delight of those in attendance.

“There is no better time than right now for us to come together to lift up the girl voices that are speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo and working to change the world.”

The evening also featured a mini panel, with two of our Action Speaks Louder stars Amoolya and Carlie, as well as Connie Lindsey; Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust and Past President of the Girl Scouts of the USA National Board.

Each of these women spoke about the impact of Girl Scouts in their individual lives and shared their hopes and dreams for change in the future.

Girl Scouts

“As adults, we have the responsibility and the privilege to create every opportunity possible for the girls in our lives to discover their own voices. We need to SEE them. We need to HEAR them. We need to ACT with them.” Connie Lindsey

See Amoolya, Carlie and other action taking girls in our council video “Action Speaks Louder.”

We also had the pleasure of honoring the following awardees; Luminary Award Recipient Kelly Grier of EY, Corporate Appreciation Award Recipient Exelon, received by Bridget Reidy, and the Girl Scout’s Own Award recipients, the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital, received by Dr. Colleen Chicchetti and Ms. Caryn Curry.

Honorees


Thank you to our honorees for showing the world that ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER!

We also want to thank everyone who supported Girl Scouts GCNWI at TTA this year! Your generosity will be the spark to help our Girl Scouts to become the best Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers and Leaders that they can be!

Together, we ACT for Impact. Your investment shows the world what you stand for and who you are. Your action speaks power to the importance of girls practicing leadership today.

These young women are the resilient change makers needed for a brighter future. We are grateful for your generous support. Support Girl Scouts GCNWI!

Get Ready for Girl Scouts GCNWI Trefoil Derby Day!

All Ages | $15 per girl | $4 per adult | Children 5 and under FREE
Joliet Gathering Place, 1551 Spencer Road, Joliet, IL 60433

Custom patch and T-shirt included with registration!

Join us for the 5th Annual Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Turbo Trefoils Derby at the Joliet Gathering Place.

Join us to work on your car at the Derby Build Day on April 27! Bring your derby car kit and ideas. We’ll have tools and paint so you can work on your derby car, then test it at our aerodynamic testing station! Pizza will be provided. Sign up now!

How to Compete in the Trefoil Derby

This is your chance to design your own trefoil derby car with your troop, friends, or family, then race your car against other Girl Scouts in your age group!

Purchase your official Trefoil Derby Car Kit. Kits come with an official race pass, and must be purchased through a GSGCNWI shop (we have them in stores and online!). Any cars purchased at other locations will not be qualified to race. Purchase now »

Get to work on your car, and be sure to follow Official Derby Rules!

2019 Official Derby Rules

Upon arrival we will weigh each car with the “official scale” and turn back any car that exceeds 5.0 oz.

We will then do a quick visual inspection of each car against the following inspection points:

Car Dimension Rules

  • The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
  • The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
  • The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.
  • The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body so it does not rub on the track.

Derby Car Weight Rules

  • The car shall not exceed 5.0 ounces.
  • The official race scale that is used at car check-in shall be considered final.

Car Modifications Not Allowed

  • The official wood block must be used. The block may be shaped in any way that is desired.
  • The wheel may not be changed from the original wheels sold with the kit. The track is set to exact dimensions of the original wheels.
  • The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seams and imperfections from the wheels that result from the plastic mold formation process.
  • The axles may be polished and lubricated, but you must use the axels that come with the kit.
  • Axels must be placed in the precut slots on the wooden block, you may not move them forward or back on the car.

Other Derby Race Rules

  • Once a car passes inspection and is entered into the race, only race committee members can touch it.
  • If the car loses a wheel, or is otherwise damaged, the racer shall have 5 minutes to make repairs.
  • Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it will be allowed to compete. The Inspection Committee has the responsibility to give a time penalty to (0.50 sec.) those cars that do not meet these rules.

Are Pinewood Pro parts allowed?

  • As long as the car passes the guidelines explained above without any violations the car will be allowed to race.

Are Pinewood Pro Wheels and Axles Legal?

  • Graphite-coatings on axles and wheels are legal.
  • You must use the original wheels sold with the kit and car must conform to dimension guidelines.

Information about Derby day will be sent to those who are registered via email one week prior to the event.

New this year! Nature-based Day Camp for Girls

For the first time ever we are offering nature-based day camps at our Vernon Hills Gathering Place, and the Girl Scouts GCNWI Friendship Center in Country Club Hills, IL!

Day camp spots are still open for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (girls entering grades 1 – 5 this fall)! Leadership opportunities are available for older Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (entering grades 8 – 12 this fall).

Here is some of what girls can look forward to at day camp:

  • Learn about animals and nature
  • Make new friends
  • Outdoor STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)
  • Learning (or practicing) how to cook outdoors
  • Juniors and above can stay overnight on Thursday
  • Fun, themed days
  • Plus, girls who attend the Vernon Hills Day Camp will get to go on an off-site field trip

And guess what! You don’t already have to be a Girl Scout to attend, so bring a buddy along!

Check out the Day Camp Overview to see if these programs are right for you. Keep reading to learn more about day camp for each age group.

Browse the Camp Guide »

Register for Summer Day Camp»


Daisy Adventurers Day Camp

For girls entering grade 1 in fall 2019

Ready for a summer of smiles and new friends? Come to camp where you’ll create nature art, play games, and laugh until you can’t laugh anymore!
Daisies will work toward the Buddy Camper badge. Register now!

DateLocationFeeCode
July 8 – 12Friendship Center$15095101
Aug. 5 – 9Friendship Center$15095201
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills$165
Includes an offsite adventure
96101

Brownie Adventurers Day Camp

For girls entering grades 2 – 3 in fall 2019

Create unforgettable moments as you learn about animals, discover new worlds, and create art so realistic it could come alive. Brownies will work toward the Cabin Camper badge. Register now!

DateLocationFeeCode
July 8 – 12Friendship Center$15095102
Aug. 5 – 9Friendship Center$15095202
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills$165
Includes an offsite adventure
96102

Junior Adventurers Day Camp

For girls entering grades 4 – 5 in fall 2019

Put your camping skills to the test! Go on hikes, tie knots, and cook over a fire. Join us for nighttime fun with a Thursday overnight experience. Juniors will work toward the Camper badge. Register now!

DateLocationFeeCode
July 8 – 12Friendship Center$15095103
Aug. 5 – 9Friendship Center$15095203
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills $165
Includes an offsite adventure
96103

Communi-Teen

Open to older Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (girls entering grades 8 – 12 in fall 2019)

Put your leadership skills to the test! Work with younger Girl Scouts as they experience everything day camp has to offer. Play games, practice camping skills, and even help lead a campfire one night. Includes a Thursday overnight experience. Register now!

DateLocationFeeCode
Aug. 5 – 9Vernon Hills $2596105

Now Hiring!

Are you looking for a summer job that will leave you with a sense of empowerment, a positive outlook on life, and skills that will benefit you for years to come?  Apply for a summer camp position with GCNWI! 

Build skills in leadership, time management, communication, decision making, and problem solving, while having the time of your life at summer camp (must be 18+)!

Browse All Open Positions

Refer a Summer Camp Employee

If you refer a summer camp employee and they are hired, you’ll be eligible for a FREE archery or campfire and song program! Just have the applicant list you as a referral when they apply!

Only one adult and one child may attend the free program. Archery is for girls in grades 4+.

Girl Scouts Persevere and Triumph at LEGO Robotics Competitions!

Lego Queens jump for joy!

Powered by Exelon, and supported by BNY Mellon and Motorola Solutions Foundation

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana sponsors LEGO Robotics teams to compete in competitions. We have offered a LEGO Robotics program since 2008, and we now support 27 teams each year, impacting 100+ girls annually.  

In the 2018 season, GCNWI had 25 teams, including five rookie teams! Five of our veteran teams advanced to state championship tournaments.

Veteran Teams Advance to State! 

The Indiana GCNWI team, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Robot, competed in one of the many robotics competitions that took place in November and qualified for the state championship. At state, they were awarded the first-place award for Robot Strategy & Innovation as well as received a trophy for excellence in Robot programming.

Now that the season has ended, our girls are working on their Silver Award and have decided to sponsor a toothbrush drive for less fortunate members of our community. Their experience at the state competition, also led them to create a long-term strategy to pass the team on to younger girls.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Robot holding their trophy at the state competition.

The Super Bots competed at the state qualifiers for the fourth year in a row and swept away the competition, earning 212 points on their first table run. They earned the Tournament Champion award and qualified them to also compete at state level in January. They received the award for “Excellence in Robot Design.” These girls were one of the teams invited to tournaments in Turkey and Australia, which is a wonderful recognition!

Congratulations to the Super Bots!

Team Radioactive is small but mighty! They managed to capture the Championship trophy and advance to the state finals at the Vernon Hills qualifier in December.  At the state championship in January, these ladies took home the “Gracious Professionalism” award, which was well deserved.    

The Cybourg T.U.R.T.L.E.S. are fascinated by space exploration. Their initiative impressed the judges when they presented a 50+ question personality survey about Mars readiness, and this earned them the Project Award. They also advanced to state, where they made their best table runs of the season.  

These Cybourg T.U.R.T.L.E.S are ready for space exploration!

Rookie Teams Also Earned Recognition

Funding from BNY Mellon helped make it possible to add five new teams to our robotics programs!  

Holmes Hawks loved their first year as robotics team members!

Rookie team Holmes Hawks competed at their first qualifier in December. The team worked collaboratively to complete the competition’s course, and while they did not place, it never diminished their enthusiasm. The demonstrated exceptional problem-solving skills, collaborating and hypothesizing on how to run their mission. Their persistence and optimism earned them the “Rookie Award” for the competition, and they are excited to compete again next year. They plan to complete five missions!  

Another rookie team, the Slimemaniacsqualified for state on their first attempt! They also earned the award for Core Values. At the state championship tournament the girls won the “Rookie Award”!    

All our LEGO Robotics Teams together.

Learn More about Robotics! 

Girl Scouts offers programs and badges designed to learn more about robotics! You can attend a Design Your Own Robot Badge workshop to learn about what robots do and how they help people, then design your own! 

Get involved in LEGO Robotics

The Girl Scouts GCNWI LEGO program is in partnership with FIRST Robotics. You can be a part of the excitement! Applications open annually in May to participate in the following season.

We are looking for teams of Girl Scouts, who have between 2 – 10 participants, two team leaders, and are willing to dedicate 1 – 2 hours per week on LEGO Robotics from September through December. Girl Scouts participating do not necessarily need to be from the same troop.

As a part of a FIRST LEGO Robotics team within Girl Scouts GCNWI, teams will:

  • Design, build, test, and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS ® technology;
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts;
  • Research challenges facing today’s scientists;
  • Learn critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills;
  • Participate in team meetings, tournaments, and celebrations.

Sign-up to be notified with the 2019-2020 applications are open!

Girl Scouts GCNWI Career Day Recap: STEM Takes the Lead!

On President’s Day 2019, Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana explored careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) with presenting sponsors DeloitteMolex, and Intren, and at other programs hosted by Groupon and NiSource.

Read on for highlights from each Career Day event which helped inspire and lead girls on greater paths within STEAM.

Girl Scouts Learn Business Chemistry at Deloitte

Deloitte hosted Girl Scouts for an Introduction to Business Chemistry and Women in the Workplace! Girls that participated in the day discussed resiliency, networking and self-promotion and learned about how their own personality types interact best with others through Deloitte’s Business Chemistry program.

Girl Scouts Networked with Women in Electronics STEM Fields

The Connect with STEAM was a Career Day style event coordinated by both our local Girl Scouts organization and the Molex WBC.  Molex welcomed a record 40+ girls, 10 parents/troop leaders, and 20 Molex volunteers! The Girl Scouts were split into three groups and rotated through three activities:

  1. An engineering focused build a circuit activity;
  2. A team building/manufacturing focused activity where the girls built and tested paper airplanes;
  3. A coding focused activity where the girls learned the basic concepts of writing and reading code.

They finished the day with a question and answer panel featuring five ladies from Molex with STEM related careers in Accounting, Engineering, IT, Pricing, etc.

One Girl Scout facilitator noted, “The girls were fired up by the keynote speaker, and enjoyed the squishy circuits, the airplane assembly lines, the robot activity, and the inspiring career panel at the end. It was a great opportunity for girls to engage with hands-on activities and many inspiring women.”

Girl Scouts Explore Energy at Intren

Intren’s Girl Scouts Career Day, “Explore Energy with Intren,” inspired Girl Scouts interested in joining the fast-growing energy industry which is currently male-dominated.

Girls built an electrical circuit, got up close and personal with the hefty machinery used to build utilities groundwork, and met and networked with women in the STEM field. The girls had a great time engaging with women in the industry and loved having their eyes open to new possibilities!

Girl Scouts Explore Engineering at Groupon

Groupon hosted “Scout Out Engineering at Groupon.” The girls worked with circuit boards and participated in coding activities, as well as exploring the offices with a scavenger hunt.   

One Girl Scout parent told us, “The girls loved the program and loved meeting so many volunteers and [Girl] Scouts from other troops! It was a really special program and we hope that such a program continues to flourish.

“In speaking with the girls on the way home after the event, the girls talked endlessly about being at Groupon, and building circuits (both the frustration of building, the thrill of perseverance and in successfully seeing the light illuminate).  They also commented on how great it was the circuit boards like that don’t need to be built anymore and how great new technology is (and clearly why circuit boards like the one they were building aren’t used anymore because of the fickle nature of the connections and board).”

Girl Scouts Introduced to Engineering at NiSource

NiSource hosted another one of their recurring and successful “NIPSCO Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day!” Girl Scouts has an insightful safety demonstration, participated in a Q&A panel with women, and competed in an engineering challenge! 

The Girl Scouts were able to learn about the potential for careers in engineering while having fun experiencing new and exciting things about STEM!

Learn more about STEM

Girl Scouts GCNWI hosts a multitude of STEM Career Day Exploration programs on school “off” days (such as President’s Day, Columbus Day, and MLK Day). Keep your eyes peeled for our 2019-2020 programs which will be announced this fall!

STEMapalooza Registration Open Now!

Learn more about STEM in a hands-on way, and meet women in the field at STEMapalooza, the only Science expo made just for girls! Get tickets before they’re gone!