Nature Cat Brings Outdoor Fun to Girl Scouts at Camp Greene Wood!

Fine Feathered Friends

On Thursday, July 11, we joined our programming partner, WTTW and PBS Kids, to bring Nature Cat to the Daisy and Brownie day campers at our Camp Greene Wood for a day of nature-fueled fun! 

Nearly 170 girls were given the opportunity to interact with Nature Cat himself and participate in a WTTW-curated wind-direction activity while learning with their fellow camper friends. Girl Scout fun was had by everyone! 

Activities like these at the GCNWI summer day camps are so wonderful because they provide opportunities for girls to meet new friends, learn outdoor skills, and grow in courage, confidence, and character. By experiencing the great outdoors, these girls become environmental stewards!

The Cat’s Meow

Learn how you can earn your Nature Cat Explorer Patch!

Our patch program partnership with WTTW and Spiffy Partners has given our council the opportunity to introduce more girls to outdoor education from a young age in a fun way!

Learn more about Nature Cat’s show on WTTW!

We certainly look forward to seeing more girls exploring the great outdoors and hope to see Nature Cat, and his friends Daisy, Squeeks, Hal, and Ronald at more events in the future! 

Girl Scouts GCNWI offers camp and outdoor programming for girls, Girl Scout troops, groups, and families all year round! Learn more on our website!

Gold Award Spotlight: Meet the 2019 Recipients, Part 3!

The Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, is no easy feat. The award requires patience, planning, and perseverance.

From building apps to assisting women with breast cancer, from teaching music programming to painting murals, each of the girls honored in the May 18th ceremony accomplished magnificent things.

Please assist us in congratulating the spectacular achievements of these Gold Award Girl Scouts!
View the photo album and program booklet from this year’s recognition ceremony.

Don’t miss out on meeting the previously featured Gold Award Girls Scouts!
Part One: Meet the first 10 girls (last names A-B) »
Part Two: Meet the next 10 girls (last names B-D) »

Part Three: Meet 10 Gold Award Girl Scouts

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

Denise F.

For her Gold Award project, Denise intersected her passion for biology and computer science by building an interactive biology review app geared toward high schoolers. Her goal was to inspire other people, especially girls, to explore STEM fields for themselves. The app is called BioGirl and can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store!

Lucy F.

Lucy’s Gold Award project addressed the lack of access to appropriate food and veterinary care for pets in lower-income homes. Out of these concerns, Lucy worked with Michelle Duca, founder of both Kibble Kitchen Pet Food Pantry and the Feline Community Network to keep pet-owners suffering from economic crisis from relinquishing their pets by providing free pet food until the owner is able to afford care.

Victoria Ann F.

For her Gold Award, Victoria Ann started Meeples for Peoples, an after-school club dedicated to donating, sharing, and playing board games. Students gather every other Thursday to learn and teach new games, make friends, and practice communication and social skills. She has donated over 140 games!

Alexis K. F.

Alexis K. dedicated her Gold Award to something near and dear to her heart. When visiting her aunt in the hospital before she passed away from cancer, Alex noticed many patients covering their heads with uncomfortable wigs or hats. For her project, she created silk head coverings, enabling women to feel comfortable and beautiful while undergoing treatment.

Madison G.

Madison was on a mission to save Monarch butterflies from future endangerment. Her rising passion for environmental stewardship resulted in her Gold Award project. In partnership with her community, Madison increased the number of milkweeds in her neighborhood by planting the butterfly habitats around the local elementary school and retirement home.

Emma Caroline G.

Emma’s Gold Award project encompassed a message of self-worth, self-love, and self-respect. Her Inspiration Walls, murals painted in the girls’ and boys’ bathrooms at her school, began as an attempt to raise students’ self-confidence. These hopeful messages remain painted in the school’s common area bathrooms, so visitors, staff, and students can continue to view them.

Kimberly G.

Kimberly G. noticed many of her high school peers struggling to find time for extracurriculars. Her Gold Award project provided a fun and individualized solution: bullet journals, notebooks to be converted into personalized planners, habit trackers, and calendars. In her Bullet Journal Club, students organized their schedules, practiced time management, and felt empowered to plan the future.

Krystyna G.

For her Gold Award, Krystyna gathered a team of community members to tear off the deteriorating plywood siding and gutters on a mobile unit located on the property of St. Alexander Parish in Palos Heights, IL. Together, they replaced old materials with new house wrap, wood siding, and gutters, so the unit can be used for years to come.

Dina G.

Dina’s Gold Award focused on providing music programming for schools with limited resources. Her program, “Music in Motion”, involved collecting recorders and xylophones, while creating a curriculum for reading and playing music. Songs ranged from beginner to advanced to encourage participation.

Dannielle J. H.

For her Gold Award, Dannielle worked with the LifeSpring Foundation to make purses for women and stuffed animals for children who are going through tough times. She wanted to nurture, comfort, and shine a light of hope for people who are struggling.

Heart of Gold

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

All three awards give you the chance to do big things while supporting an issue you care about. You might plant a community garden at your school, or inspire others to eat healthy foods for your Bronze. You might advocate for animal rights for your Silver, or build a career network that encourages girls to become scientists and engineers for your Gold. Whatever you choose, you’ll inspire others and yourself along the way. 

As you earn one of Girl Scouts’ highest awards, you’ll change your corner of the world—and beyond. The possibilities are endless.

Learn more about earning the Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards.

Don’t miss out on meeting the previously featured Gold Award Girls Scouts!
Part One: Meet the first 10 girls (last names A-B) »
Part Two: Meet the second 10 girls (last names B-D) »

🎺 Announcing the 2019 Spring Renewal Patch Design Contest Winner!

We are so excited to announce the winner of our 2019 Spring Renewal Patch Design Contest!

Margaux’s original patch design

Say hello to our new patch designed by Margaux P., a Girl Scout Brownie from Tinley Park, Illinois. Her design was selected from over 150 submissions from Girl Scouts across our council!

Members of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana will receive this patch for FREE when they renew their membership by June 26!

Margaux is, “excited that my design was chosen because everyone gets to have my artwork on their vests!”

You too can rock your very own 2019 Spring Renewal patch!

Renew your Girl Scout Membership by June 26!

So what’s in store for next year?

Even more fun, adventure, and friendship. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what your girl and her troop might choose to do. Check out the Badge Explorer with her to see all the possibilities.

And as a massive bonus, the longer your girl sticks with Girl Scouting, the more she’ll get out of it. Studies show girls who participate in Girl Scouts for three or more years are significantly more likely to:

  • have a positive sense of self,
  • be civically engaged,
  • achieve higher education and income,
  • practice leadership,
  • have healthy relationships,
  • and feel satisfied with their lives.

Who could want more? Invest in her future and secure her spot for the next Girl Scout year!

Renew her membership now!

Support Her Journey and Unlock Special Savings!

During Spring Renewal, any parent or guardian can sign up as a first-time troop support volunteer by June 26, and you’ll receive:

  • Save 10% on one $50+ in-store purchase during August
  • Save 5% on private label merchandise all year
  • FREE 2019 Girl Scout Decal*

Renew and volunteer today!

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!

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!

Happy Holidays from Girl Scouts GCNWI

Happy Holidays from Girl Scouts GCNWI

This has been a year for girls to unleash their power and BREAK THROUGH.

They are practicing leadership and backing up what they SAY with what they DO. At Girl Scouts, girls are tapping into their potential every day.

Girl Scouts continue to run the largest girl-led business in the world. The leadership skills they learn today last a lifetime as they chase their dreams and champion issues. This year they even broke a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD with the help of their famous cookies.

And that’s not all they’re breaking

Girls are breaking barriers in STEM. They are breaking away from screens and getting outdoors. And they are breaking the silence and using their voices for change.

This year has also been a time to celebrate women leaders and role models. Women of courage, confidence, and character are breaking stereotypes and disrupting the status quo.

From Girl Scout alums who are famous faces to Girl Scout alums who are newly elected Congress women, these women paved the way so girls can BREAK the highest glass ceiling yet!

And they will. Because girls are today’s hope and tomorrow’s leaders.

May your new year and our future be as bright as our girls!

Happy holidays from your friends at Girl Scouts GCNWI.

The Best Girl Scout GCNWI Gift Guide!

This is the perfect last-minute gift guide you need to make this the most memorable holiday season yet!

Give Your Girl Scout Something From Our Shop

Take advantage of our current promotion!

Stay warm and cozy with these PLUSH GIFTS

If you just can’t wait till the 2019 Cookie Season then you have to check out our new COOKIE 2019 MERCH.

Looking for something unique? Our VINTAGE LINE has some wonderful hidden gems, perfect for your history-obsessed Girl Scout. 

CREATE CUSTOMIZES MERCH for you and your Girl Scouts.

Get festive with these Girl Scout ORNAMENTS or CHARMS, some of which you can customize. 

Don’t know what specifically to get your Girl Scout? GIFT CARDS are a great choice! 

Give the Gift of Lifetime Membership

When you give someone LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP IN GIRL SCOUTS this holiday season, you’ll give a one-of-a-kind gift that helps drive meaningful change today and build a better world for us all tomorrow.

And from now through December 31, 2018, you’ll receive a free tote bag that you can wrap and put under the tree—— or keep for yourself! Order by December 18 and you’ll get it in time for Christmas.

With your $400 contribution, you can honor a special person in your life and champion girls in a big way—— something that’s always been important but feels all the more vital today. We can’t do it without you! And if the person you’re honoring is a former Girl Scout between the ages of 18 and 29, the cost is just $200.

Spend Quality Time with Your Girl Scout on a You & Me Trip

Grab your mom, grandma, or favorite female adult friend and board the GSGCNWI coach bus to Door County, WI, or St. Louis, MO, in July 2019!

Each trip includes accommodations for two nights, multiple meals (and ice cream!), activities, and the chance to explore and shop. Approximate cost is $300 per person and is dependent upon number of participants. Registration closes February 28, 2019 or until trips are sold out.


Escape Cabin Fever with Cookie Rally 2019

There’s no better way to welcome Girl Scout Cookie season than by attending the Cookie Rally! Join Girl Scouts and their families from across the council on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 at Allstate Arena! READ MORE ABOUT THE HIGHLIGHTS as well as how you, when purchasing tickets, CAN EARN PRIZES FOR YOUR TROOP!

Spend a Night at the Museum

Join us for a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry after everyone has gone home! On Friday, Jan. 18, Girl Scouts have the chance to explore the museum’s one-of-a-kind exhibits, participate in special science activities, and create your own science toys. Be sure to complete a scavenger hunt for a special fun patch! There are opportunities for everyone!

Sign Up for the Co-Ed Snoozeum!

Sign Up for the All-Girl Snoozeum!

Enjoy an Evening at the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Discover the inner workings of a world-class opera company! See the inside of the art-deco Ardis Krainik Theatre, enjoy an up-close-and-personal view of the orchestra pit, and then journey backstage where you’ll learn about the vast array of skilled professionals who bring operatic stagecraft to life.

Use promo code GSTOURS19 for discounted tickets ($10), valid for all Public Backstage Tours during the 2018/19 school year. Girl Scouts will receive a fun patch at the end of the tour!


Sponsor a Uniform for a Fellow GCNWI Girl Scout

When you donate $50 to Girl Scouts of GCNWI, you will give a girl her “starter kit” essentials such as sashes and guides to kick-start her Girl Scout experience.

You can also give a gift on behalf of your own Girl Scout! GIVE THE GIFT OF A BRAND NEW UNIFORM TODAY!