Green for Good is LIVE!

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.

Register to attend Green For Good: Powered by Girl Scouts »

Lead In Events

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!

Register now »

Community Recycling Day – Mar. 14

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.

SURPRISING items include:

  • Keys (household, luggage, car)
  • Any and All Musical Instruments
  • Holiday Lights
  • Cords (phone, computer, etc.)
  • Eyeglasses & Sunglasses
  • Bowling Balls
  • and more!

Check off items on our recyclable list and register for this GREEN event »

Beach Clean Up Day – Apr. 18

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.

Sign up for the clean ups at:

West Beach at the Indiana Dunes »
63rd Street Beach »
Marquette Park Beach »
Clark Street Beach »

Get Your Green for Good Tickets

Be a part of something bigger—an initiative to save our planet!
Register to attend our Green for Good expo »

Career and College Workshops for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors!

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.

Register here before February 1!

Spark Tank

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!”

Register here before March 22 to snag a spot!

Three C’s: College, Career, Choose Your Own Path

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.

Register here before April 19 to attend the April 25 workshop at Camp Greene Wood, and register here before April 26 for the May 2 workshop at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place!

College Knowledge

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!

For the March 14 workshop at the Merrillville Gathering Place register here, and register here for the April 4 workshop at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place!

The Future Looks Bright!

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.

Check out our programs page to see all the awesome opportunities lined up for this year for all ages (and some just for you CSAs).

Interested in earning one of the council’s Highest Awards? Find out how you can go Silver or Gold!

Go Gold: Mythbusting the Gold Award!

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.

Here we have combined some of the most common questions and some commonly misunderstood rules for earning your Gold Award through Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Stay tuned for more in our Go Gold blog series!

Have a question that’s not answered here? Contact Annie Gilmartin for more information!

You may have heard…

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.

Money earning…?

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!

Questions about highest awards? Email Annie Gilmartin.

Learn More

Learn More about the Gold Award

Meet the Girl Scouts GCNWI 2019 Gold Award Recipients

Girl-Led Advocacy Programs

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!

Register here by Mar. 15 to attend the Friendship Center event, and here by Mar. 22 for the event at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place!

I Vote, You Vote

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!

Register here by Jan. 19!

Your Voice, Your Vote

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!

Register by Feb. 2 to secure your spot.

We The People

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!

Register by Feb. 9!

Global Action Day: Feed My Starving Children

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.

Come to a Feed My Starving Children site nearest you, in Libertyville, Aurora, or Schaumburg! $5 covers the cost of the patch for Girl Scouts. All other day-of participants, including parents and siblings, need to register here by Apr. 2.

Stand Up, Act Now!

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.

Check out our programs page for more advocacy programs.

Interested in making a different? Earn one of our Highest Awards and impact your communities!

Cookie Season 2020 has BEGUN!

Happy New Year: Girl Scout Cookies are here!

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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!

Check out this year’s Cookie Rewards!

Digital Cookie is Back!

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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!

Find out more about Digital Cookie on our website.

Download the iPhone or Android Digital Cookie app to get started!

Join us for the Virtual Cookie Rally!

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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!

Find out more about the Virtual Cookie Rally!
PLEASE NOTE: Sign-ups for the Service Unit and Gathering Place watch parties have closed!

Ready… Set… Go!

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Ready to get out there? We sure hope so! With help from our volunteers, Service Units, families, friends, and girls, this is sure to be the best Cookie Season yet.

Make sure to tune in to the Virtual Cookie Rally to see what’s in store this year!

How to be a Girl Scout in 2020

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2020 is sure to be a memorable year, and not just for Girl Scouts. In the first year of the new decade, we are expecting a presidential election, important technological and scientific advances, the momentous 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, and continued efforts toward civil rights.

Looking Back at 2019

Before we look to the future in the next decade, take a look back at some highlights from 2019!

At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), we’re also gearing up for the 2020 Cookie Season, our exciting environmental expo Green for Good at Navy Pier, brand-new programs and travel opportunities, the Girl Scouts National Convention in Orlando, Florida, and another year full of making memories with our Girl Scout sisters!

Clearly, Girl Scouts have a lot to do in 2020 and beyond. Read on to find out what we’re up to here at GSGCNWI!


Virtual Cookie Rally!

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This year, the Cookie Rally is going VIRTUAL! 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! Expect all the fun from a regular Cookie Rally, but now, from wherever your phone or computer is! We’ll be introducing the Cookie Season, sharing tips and tricks, doing fun activities, and much more! You can choose to attend by:

  • Enjoying the Virtual Cookie Rally from the comfort of your home;
  • Hosting a watch party of your own with your troop or Service Unit;
  • Or, join one of our Official Watch Parties! We are getting together on Saturday, January 11 at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place and at the Friendship Center. Register before Jan. 3 to join us!

Your Vote, Your Voice, Your World

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2020 is an especially important year in regards to the future of the nation, and it is your duty as a Girl Scout to take a stand and stay informed. If your resolution for the new year is to learn more about politics and advocacy, you will love the girl-led programs coming up for change-makers of all ages.

  • Daisies are invited to Camp Greene Wood on Saturday, January 25, for I Vote, You Vote, to learn about how and why we vote!
  • Cadettes who are passionate about civic engagement and advocacy are invited to Camp Greene Wood on Saturday, Feb. 8, for Your Voice, Your Vote, a program dedicated to teaching advocacy and civic engagement.
  • Juniors are welcome to We the People at Camp Greene Wood on Saturday, Feb. 15, to dive headfirst into the world of U.S. democracy and learn about the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and more!
  • 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave some women the right to vote in elections. To celebrate, all ages of Girl Scouts are invited to HERstory: Lead Like a Girl! at the Friendship Center on Saturday, Mar. 21, or at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place on Saturday, Mar. 28.

Going Green for Good

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Something big is coming: our environmental expo Green for Good on May 9 at Navy Pier! 

Young people (not just Girl Scouts) and their families are invited to the Green for Good expo to be inspired to speak up, change habits, cultivate new ideas, dialogue with industry leaders, and learn about issues that matter to our environment. We’re sparking innovation, creativity, advocacy, and action.

Leading up to the expo, we’ll have events, service opportunities, and patch programs to help you Go Green for Good! Stay tuned for more information about the expo in the new year.


Auld Lang Syne

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In 2020, Girl Scouts will continue the legacy that Juliette Gordon Low created, but with a contemporary twist. Girl Scouts are going digital, going global, and going forward. They are changing their international and local communities through their innovative service projects and highest awards. They are dedicating themselves to causes that matter to them and fighting for racial, gender, and socioeconomic equality.

We are so proud to be a part of the movement fighting for the empowerment of young women and girls. Thank you for your contributions, membership, service, and support. Happy holidays and Happy New Year to you and yours!

See ya in 2020!

Love,

GSGCNWI

Get Ready to Travel in 2020!

The new year is quickly approaching, and it’s time to make the best of 2020. Get ready to get out there, because Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana has some exciting trips coming your way so you can start the new year with a bang!

Read on to take a look at where we’re headed–– and how you can come along with us.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Midwest!

Starved Rock State Park in Utica, IL

A girl-led adventure awaits eight Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts this Jan. 17 through 20! Start out the new year with a chance to travel to either Milwaukee, WI; Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH; or Starved Rock, IL. Whatever your group chooses to do, this is your own girl-led adventure where you will practice budgeting, planning and personalizing your 3-day trip!

The group will meet at Camp Greene Wood Friday night. On Saturday morning, after planning the trip, you will hit the road for the adventure of the decade! This trip is girls only. There will be two Girl Scout chaperones attending.

Registration closes December 12, and there are only three more spots available, so register here as soon as possible!

Capital Tour: Nashville!

Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, TN

Get excited for this NEW PROGRAM: 50 state capitals, 50 new Girl Scout trips! Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts are invited to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for a cross-country adventure from Feb. 15 to 17! Once we get to Music City, we’ll tour the Capitol Building, take part in a service project, and visit the sites. You’ll practice your budgeting and trip-planning skills while we’re at it.

Group will leave from the Friendship Center in Country Club Hills, Illinois. Sorry, parents, this is a girls-only trip! There will be two Girl Scout chaperones heading the adventure.

Register here by December 12–– there are only four more spots available!

Junior Jetaway to Milwaukee

Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI

Junior Girl Scouts are invited to a brand-new girls-only getaway to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Feb 16 to 17! Girls will depart from the Vernon Hills Gathering Place and head to the Dairy State. You will get a chance to check out a museum of your choice, eat cheese curds, walk through the historic Third Ward, and more.

Accommodation, sightseeing, and all meals included in the cost. There will be two Girl Scout chaperones attending.

Registration for this trip also closes on December 12! Register here to snag a spot.

Brownies Day Out in Chicago

Chicago River Walk in Chicago, IL

Meet Brownie Girl Scouts at Hostelling International-Chicago to participate in the Brownies Day Out in Chicago on May 16! With 77 distinct neighborhoods, Chicago is a giant city with so much to explore. Will you choose to visit the Bean, walk around the Art Institute, or take a city tour? Maybe you’ll visit cultural neighborhoods like Chinatown or Pilsen?

Whatever your group chooses to do, the girls will take off on their own girl-led Windy City adventure! Each troop must have at least one chaperone, or if girls are attending without their troop, each Girl Scout must attend with a parent or guardian. Fun patch and public transportation card included!

Register here by May 10 to secure your spot on this awesome exploration of the city!

You-And-Me on Mackinac Island!

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Grab your mom, aunt, or grandma and board the GSGCNWI coach bus for a weekend getaway on Mackinac Island from Aug. 9-11. Girl Scouts from Brownies to Cadettes will have the chance to take horse-drawn carriage tours, photograph beautiful butterflies, and more!

This 3-day, 2-night trip includes multiple meals, hotel stay, various group activities, and coach bus ticket! Bus leaves from the Friendship Center in Country Club Hills, IL.

Right now, registration requires a $200 deposit. Registration closes Feb. 28, or until trip is sold out! Register here.

G.I.R.L. 2020

Prepare yourself for a mega-event full of fun, friendship, and amazing experiences! On behalf of Girl Scouts of the USA, we cordially invite you to G.I.R.L. 2020, from October 21-25, 2020, in Orlando Florida, for the largest girl-led event for girls and women in history.

This year’s GSUSA National Convention will provide attendees with unforgettable experiences as they gain inspiration, tools to empower themselves, and the know-how to lead change in their communities, connecting with some of the most influential women in the world along the way.

Registration to attend opens in January 2020. To learn more, visit GSUSA’s website, and check back often–– updates are on the way!

Which Way to Adventure?

Clearly, there’s a lot to be excited about for next year, and not just for our awesome travel opportunities! 2020 is a big year for Girl Scouts–– from brand-new programming and events, to GCNWI’s Green for Good Expo, to Journeys, Highest Awards, and so much more, GCNWI has got you covered.

Check out our program’s page to see all of the amazing things we have planned for Girl Scouts of all ages.

TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD WITH GIRL SCOUTS DESTINATIONS!

Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs

This generation of girls is pretty extraordinary. They are passionate, hopeful, independent, and risk-taking. They envision a future where they are completely in control of their financial decision making. They desire to break down barriers to economic success. They are curious, confident, and innovative.

Now, imagine if all these girls had the same access to resources designed to strengthen their skills, and all the encouragement necessary to push them forward!

This year, the Girl Scout Research Institute conducted a national survey of over 1,000 girls to get a closer look at girls’ outlook on entrepreneurship and financial literacy, and the results are beyond exciting! Read on to learn how girls are ready to take over the world–– and how Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) provides the resources to help make that happen.

This is a Girl’s Generation

Great news: today’s girls are already thinking like entrepreneurs! According to the 2019 Report by the Girl Scout Research Institute, six in ten girls reported they are confident in their abilities, socially conscious problem-solvers, curious learners, innovative and flexible thinkers, challenge seekers and risk-takers, and collaborative team members.

Many of the girls had already engaged in entrepreneurship, whether by creating a new product or service, starting their own business, and organizing fundraisers for good causes!

Still, girls see barriers to success. Girls reported feeling they would have to work harder to succeed in entrepreneurial roles than men, and while they believe the genders are equally capable of success, many girls believe men are more likely to achieve in this career path.

We know this for sure: girls have what it takes to be the world’s next change-makers and money-makers. To help pave the way, Girl Scouts is dedicated to providing the experiences needed to sharpen their skills!

What is the Girl Scout Difference?

Supportive career guidance and mentorship. Access to community resources. Chances to earn the highest awards for passion projects. A wide range of financial and entrepreneurial programming. The Girl Scout Cookie program. These are just some of the ways just GCNWI provides girls the opportunities to succeed in the workplace!

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, one that prioritizes five essential skills for developing financial literacy: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

The difference is clear! Research shows Girl Scouts are more likely than other girls to have an entrepreneurial mindset and to be interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Girl Scouts particularly shine when it comes to community problem solving, innovation, and the use of social capital!

CEO Spotlight: Carolyn Leonard

Carolyn Leonard, CEO and co-founder of DyMynd (Dynamic Minds in Action), is one of Chicago’s leading voices in the movement for women’s financial empowerment. She has long been a pioneer in her field, famously the first woman to trade her own money in the pits of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange in 1976!

Along with being a Camp CEO 2019 Mentor, she is at the forefront of a financial innovation firm focused on uplifting women. As Carolyn says, “Financial literacy skills and an entrepreneurial mindset are exceedingly important for young women throughout their lives.” The more information a woman has, the more comfortable she will be taking charge, and “her community and her family will thrive” as a result.

The most important thing a young woman can do to jump-start financial success? Start making small investments, because “the younger you start, the more your adult self will gain.” Carolyn advises that an investment in a college education is especially important because “this is an investment in the self.”

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds!

Carolyn Leonard is just one of the many inspirational high-level professionals who joined GCNWI Girl Scouts to provide valuable mentorship and leadership experiences that last a lifetime at Camp CEO 2019. Thanks to these mentors, 40 teens from across the council dug deep into their own girl power and potential for success!

Just a glance at these girl’s responses to what their favorite leadership qualities they possess reveals an incredible amount of possibility for the new decade. These girls see themselves as good listeners, problem-solvers, communicators. They are loyal, empathetic, and deeply caring. They are confident, focused, patient, and determined. They “keep it real.”

One girl responded, “I have the commitment and compassion for what I’m doing, and the ambition and creativity to get it done.”

These are just some of our community’s and our country’s future teachers, writers, animators, chefs, business owners, computer programmers, marketing executives, artists, world travelers, and entrepreneurs. Pretty impressive, right?

Time to blaze some trails!

Girls can have it all–– and we are committed to helping make that happen.

Girl Scouts is the premier non-profit organization committed to the empowerment of girls. With the Girl Scouts, girls develop the attitudes, skills, and behaviors they need to succeed, giving them the courage to fail, the tools to create an independent future, and the power to do good in the world.

Thank you to Carolyn Leonard for her inspiring advice, and to the Girl Scout Research Institute for their hard work!

Read the full report by the Girl Scout Research Institute here.

Check out GCNWI’s financial literacy and entrepreneurship programming on our website!

Honoring Our Veterans

Girl Scouts have always shown their appreciation to our military and veterans who serve to protect our freedom.

In observance of Veterans Day, we are proud to debut our newest patch program, Honoring Our Veterans.

Working together with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth—a Girl Scout alum and army veteran—we have developed the Honoring Our Veterans patch program for girls to connect with and honor our veterans.

How to earn the patch

  1. Complete at least two criteria from the list below.
  2. Share a story with us about your experience! This could be a photo, video, or a written account. Stories should be shared on our website.
  3. Bring your story submission confirmation email to one of our six shop locations to pick up your free patch! Find a shop location near you.

Complete a Service Project Benefiting Veterans

Below are some service project ideas. You may complete two service projects to earn the patch. 

  • Send cards of appreciation
  • Volunteer at a Veteran Home or program
  • Coordinate and lead an activity with a veterans
  • Work with a local Veteran Home or senior center to coordinate a monthly visit to bring hygiene supplies, clothes and other needed items. 
  • Participate in an Honor Flight (Learn more https://www.honorflight.org/tour-schedule/)
  • Volunteer with a therapy dog organization that provides therapy dogs for Veterans (such as Hero Dogs, Dog T.A.G.S.)

Visit with a Veteran: This could be someone you know, or by visiting a Veteran Home.

Tell a Veteran’s Story: Interview a veteran and tell their story through writing, video, or another way.

All of the stories submitted through the story submission form will be collected and shared with Senator Duckworth.

Download the Patch Program guidelines [PDF] »

Share your story to earn the free patch »

Get excited for Holiday Activities!

Brace yourselves! The holidays are coming, and what better way to celebrate than with the Girl Scouts sisterhood? This holiday season, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) has some dazzling activities lined up for everyone to enjoy!

Whether you’ve been longing to see a production of a well-loved story like The Nutcracker, or itching to construct some gingerbread architecture, GCNWI has got you covered. Read on to learn about the festivities!

A Girl Scouts Christmas Carol!

Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to this year’s Drury Lane Theatre production of A Christmas Carol on December 7! The heartwarming story, based on the novel by Charles Dickens, shares the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old man who is offered one last chance on Christmas Eve to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

There’s a chance to grab tickets to the show, and an extra-special opportunity to join us for a delicious breakfast buffet after the show! Register here for the show and here for the buffet by November 14th to snag a spot!

Ballet Bonanza

This year, there are three super exciting opportunities for Girl Scouts of all ages and their families to see one of the most beloved dance productions of all time: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Ballet!

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Join us at the Rosemont Theatre on Sunday, December 8 for an afternoon of Holiday magic with the Moscow Ballet’s production of the Great Russian Nutcracker! This world-renowned Russian tour group includes over 40 classically trained dancers and the show features over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets, and soaring birds!

All Girl Scouts will receive a Moscow Ballet patch for their attendance. And, as a bonus, if more than 25 people from the council attend the performance, there will be an extra-special Meet and Greet with a ballerina from the show!

Register here by November 21 to get your tickets!

Chicago Ballet’s Nutcracker

On December 13, Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to the historic Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview for a special performance of the Nutcracker! This gorgeous adaptation of the season’s classic takes the audience on an unforgettable journey to the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of the Sweets. Ring in the season with beautiful music, choreography, and your Girl Scout sisters!

Tickets will be at will call on the day of the performance. Register by November 21st!

The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

The Joffrey Ballet is Chicago’s premiere, world-class ballet and dance organization–– and Girl Scouts of all ages are invited on December 14 to see why. Watch as the magic of the holiday season takes hold when the Great Impresario sets off a whirlwind journey of romance and adventure in the Joffrey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at Auditorium Theatre!

Ticket purchase includes a fun patch for each Girl Scout! Registration closes on November 14, so get your tickets early!

Gingerbread Architecture

Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors are invited to the Joliet Gathering Place on December 15 and the Vernon Hills Gathering Place on December 20 to enjoy some holiday STEM fun! Get together and learn about scale, proportion, area, and perimeter, all while building a delicious celebratory gingerbread house!

Fun patch will be earned for participating! Register by December 7 for the Joliet event, and December 13 for Vernon Hills!

Jingle All The Way!

The end of the year is approaching fast–– so spend the rest of this year with your loved ones and Girl Scout family! From all of us here at GCNWI, we hope your holiday season is filled with celebration and excitement for the next decade. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Curious about any other events going on this year and the next? Check out our programs website to get the full scoop.