Member Monday Roundup: Happier Together!

Girl Scout Hayley O.

Wow–– what a week it was Springing Forward with GCNWI! We tuned in for our very first Career Conversation (you can still join in next Monday, May 18), designed incredible Balloon Cars at the Mechanical Engineering workshop, built comforting Happy Boxes together (you can learn how to build one of your own by watching our tutorial), and learned all about composting with earthworms!

This is in addition to the continued service enacted by many of our own GCNWI Girl Scouts to support community organizations and essentials workers with cookies and other resources. Let’s learn about some of our awesome local Girl Scouts (and check out a very special shout-out from Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot):

Launching into Springtime!

Our Girl Scouts have been having such a blast with our Virtual Programs and Events, and it shows–– just look at this future Girl Scout who joined us for a Virtual Girl Scout Daisy Launch! Looks like her rocket turned out great!

This Brownie troop has been getting ready for Green for Good week by upcycling and working on their Wonders of Water Journey–– so cool and a great way to get girls thinking about the environment. Thanks to leader and member of the Associate Board Misse Daniel for sharing!

Girl Scout Peyton has been keeping busy by participating in multiple virtual events, her favorite being the Girl Power Half Hour hosted by Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes! She attended a World Traveler session, where she made a sign in Japanese to say “hello” and embrace diversity. She also made “fairy bread,” a favorite treat in Australia. Sweet!

Last week, we also celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, and Girl Scout Troop 41762 shared an awesome thank-you to their teachers:

If you’re in need of some story-time, make sure to watch Girl Scout Kaylee read Splat the Cat! Great job, Kaylee!

Close at Heart

Girl Scouts have also weathered the storm and continued meeting regularly with their troops through virtual meetings, and they look like so much fun! This Brownie troop from St. Theresa School shared with us their beautiful unicorn paintings, and we’re wondering if they’re taking commissions!

Girl Scouts are making history–– literally! As a part of Chicago Museum’s “In This Together” project which records stories from the COVID-19 pandemic, leader Kris Nesbitt shared her experience leading a Brownie Girl Scout troop during this time. Read her whole story below:

Girl Scout Service Spotlight!

Junior Troop 70147

We remain SO impressed with our local Girl Scouts that have, over the past SIX weeks, donated hundreds of cookies, hours of time, and plenty of resources to their communities. We’ve gotten a lot of attention, even from Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot (keep reading to see the shout-out!).

Junior Troop 70147 (pictured above) made a big donation to the Frankfort Township Food Pantry, and Daisy Troop 55786 sold over 300 cases of cookies for our Gift of Caring program and donated them to My Joyful Heart! Just like that, the 1,000+ kids in the program may be tasting their first Girl Scout cookies ever. Great job, girls!

Girl Scouts are not the only ones who are doing some good: long-time Camp Greene Wood nurse, Tammy “Kandi” Lis, was saluted by the Chicago Blackhawks on National Nurse Day for her work sewing and delivering over 500 scrub-caps to her coworkers treating COVID-19 patients. We are super excited about this because she is an AWESOME human!

Our Girl Scouts are truly remarkable, and one of them has gotten the attention of Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot:

Hayley’s efforts are incredible, and we are so thankful to Mayor Lightfoot for featuring her! Find out more about Hayley’s project and how you can contribute to the cause.

After reading all of these stories from our local Girl Scouts, we hope you’re feeling renewed and inspired for the coming year! It is clear that even in challenging times, Girl Scouts shine brighter beyond imagination.

Share your stories with us, whether they’re about your service project or just having some fun.

In search of more Patch Programs to complete with your troop? The Girl Scouts from Home page is full of Badge How-To’s you can complete from home!

Stay updated with our upcoming Virtual Events by checking out our Calendar, which can be found on the Girl Scouts from Home page!

Go Green for Good from Home!

From worms to bees to saving energy, learn how you can help the environment from home!

Although we cannot celebrate Green for Good in person just yet, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate virtually and go Green for Good at home! In honor of Green for Good week, check out these patches and challenges:

Don’t forget to check out these amazing virtual tours from some of our Green for Good partners: take a tour of the Indiana Dunes State Park, meet the Shedd Aquarium penguins, and check-in with the Brookfield Zoo animals!

During this week, a few of our partners will help us learn about pollinators and vermiculture, and discover ways we can create habitats in our own homes to support plants and the environment. We will also make sustainable changes in our homes, communities, and the world as we gear up for next year’s event!

Tell us about any service projects, pledges, or events you take part at any point this year (not just Green For Good week!) and get a Go Green for Good fun patch! Learn more about Green for Good on our website.

This week in Virtual Programming

Monday, May 11 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 6-12) | Webinar

Join us for our weekly Career Conversations for girls in grades 6-12! Each week we will host some career-expert panelists to discuss a multitude of career opportunities with our council members! Not only will they share about their experiences, but they will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to hear about all sorts of careers–– this week we’re talking about careers in Fine Arts!

Register for the Career Conversation »

Plan your next Outdoor Adventures!

Wednesday, May 13 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages (Grades K-12) | Webinar

All ages of Girl Scouts are invited to join us for a panel discussion about adventures in the outdoors! Our panelists have all sorts of different careers and backgrounds, but they all share a love for the outdoors. There will also be an opportunity at the end for you to ask your own questions!

Register for the panel discussion »

Build Your Own Pollinator Habitat

Thursday, May 14 at 3 p.m. | For Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes (Grades K-8) | Webinar

Learn about Illinois pollinators: who they are, how they help us, and how we can help them! Join the University of Illinois Extension as we will build pollinator habitats so your local pollinators can find a home with you.We will also get the inside scoop on the life of bees from Leonard at the Montrose Metra Community Garden!

Register to learn all about pollination »

Older Girl Get-Together

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

Older girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other older Girl Scouts to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Be Well and Do Good

Friday, May 15 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors (Grades 4-12) | Webinar

Join GSGCNWI for Be Well and Do Good: The Silver Lining to COVID-19, as we explore how our lives and habits have changed for the better – and how we’re helping planet Earth – in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Even though our daily lives are different than normal, there has been a positive impact on the environment! Girl Scouts in grades 4-12 are welcome to join us the discussion!

Register for this webinar »

We’re excited to see how you celebrate Green for Good Week with us, so please share with us on our website or our our social media @GirlScoutsGCNWI!

Unexpected Generosity in Uncertain Times

by Nancy Wright, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Today, my goal is to fill your hearts with hope and inspiration.

The COVID-19 pandemic has toyed with our emotions for two months. It has been a social-emotional roller coaster, at times filling us with profound grief, uncertainty and anxiety about the health of our loved ones and concerns about the state of our global economy. 

Yet, just as spring pushes forward despite the darkness of the winter months, humanity’s optimism is emerging to showcase unexpected generosity.

Good news can, indeed, be found around us, hiding in plain sight.

As Girl Scouts rushed to do a “good turn daily,” like sewing masks and delivering cookies to essential workers, so, too, have thousands of others. Their stories touch our hearts, and spark even more acts of generosity.

Actor John Krasinski launched Some Good News to recognize acts of kindness across the globe, attracting millions of viewers hungry for light in the darkness. He most recently matched four remarkable teens with Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Steven Spielberg, and Jon Stewart for commencement conversations, showcasing the brilliance of young people whose drive and resiliency will guide us into a changed world.

Creative artists have filled our screens with their voices, images, and music to inspire us. Everyday citizens are finding ways to express their gratitude to their neighbors, teachers, parents, and first responders. Nonprofits, municipalities and funders are partnering to explore innovative ways to address education equity and access issues, as demonstrated by a recent announcement by WTTW, the City of Chicago, and Citadel.

Signs of unexpected generosity emerging from the depths of this pandemic are everywhere.

Last week, after we made the painful decision to cancel our full portfolio of in-person programming for the summer, including day and resident camp, an unexpected heartening trend emerged with more than 250 people to date donating more than $13,000, primarily by designating a portion of their prepaid fees, and in a few cases, the entire amount, to help close our funding gap. Others shared words of encouragement, applauding our ability to pivot and provide virtual experiences almost immediately.

That spirit of generosity is at the heart of today’s national Giving Tuesday Now campaign

This campaign matches the need of overflowing hearts searching for ways to help others. We hope that you will consider supporting our girls in any way you are able at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, as well as other organizations that bring light to the darkness and good news to your life.

Springing Forward with Girl Scouts GCNWI

As we near the end of the current Girl Scout year and kick off spring renewal, it is important to take the time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the accomplishments of our girls, and look forward to what’s next. Girl Scouts have stepped up in many ways over the last months to serve their communities––whether by making masks or donating cookies to front-line workers and food pantries, these girls are truly #GirlScoutStrong!

National Bridging Week Rescheduled

For girls bridging from one Girl Scout level to the next, it is a time to celebrate! Bridging is an important and defining time in a Girl Scout’s life, whether she’s bridging from Daisy to Brownie, or Senior to Ambassador.

Each year, the first full week of May traditionally marks National Girl Scout Bridging week. Due to the unique circumstances of the current year, National Bridging Week will now take place August 1-8. Save the date!

Things look a little different this year with our current shelter-in-place orders, so we’re taking the time to make sure bridging week is as fun as it can be.

But we know that a lot of girls and troops are ready to bring this Girl Scout year to a close, so this week we’ll be sharing a few ways for you to reflect and celebrate, and look ahead at your next Girl Scout year!

Read below to learn about our events happening this week, and check out our GCNWI Virtual Events Calendar to see everything we have planned!

This Week in Virtual Programming

Career Conversations

Every Monday at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages & Adults | Webinar

Join us for our weekly Career Conversations for all ages! Each week we will host some career-expert panelists to discuss a multitude of career opportunities with our council members! Not only will they share about their experiences, but they will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to hear about all sorts of careers!

  • May 4 – STEM
  • May 11 – Fine Arts
  • May 18 – Service/Medical fields
  • May 26 – Entrepreneur/Business/Law
  • June 1 – Cooking
  • June 8 – Animals
  • June 15 – Technology/Digital Arts
  • June 22 – Trades

Register for Career Conversations »

Mechanical Engineering: Make a Balloon Car

Tuesday, May 5 at 7 p.m. | For Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes (Grades 2-6) | Webinar

We’re learning about potential and kinetic energy so you can design your own balloon car! No matter what age you are, you will have some fun! This program puts Girl Scout Juniors on the path to earn the Mechanical Engineering Balloon Car Badge.

Register for the webinar »

Happy Box Live

Wednesday, May 6 at 4 p.m. | All Ages | Webinar

In times like these, we feel a lot of emotions and we can feel them more intensely than we usually do. That is where a Happy Box comes in! A Happy Box is a collection of items like toys, coloring books, stories, stuffed animals and more to relieve stress, anxiety, distress and any strong emotions we may feel.

Watch the Happy Box video tutorial for all the steps on making your own Happy Box! After you build it, join us in sharing our items with other Girl Scouts and council-members on this webinar!

Watch the Happy Box video tutorial »
Register for Happy Box Live »

Older Girl Hangout

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

Older girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other older Girl Scouts to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Fun with Composting!

Friday, May 8 at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes (Grades 2-8) | Webinar

Interested in learning about composting with worms? Worms play a super important role in our ecosystems: they break down dead organic matter and turn it into nutrient rich soil! Learn about the importance of worms for our food system and environment, how to care for them, and what you can grow with their “vermicompost” (or worm poop)! Join Plant Chicago’s Education Manager, Kassie H. to explore the wonderful world of worms!

Register for this webinar »

Member Monday Roundup: Super Girl Scouts Edition!

Girl Scouts from Troop 75462

Dreaming Your Future Week was a blast: we heard your powerful voices on the Scribe and Public Speaker Digital Stage, talked to our heart’s content at the weekly Older Girl Hangout, learned about our personal superheroes on the SuperHERo webinar, won some awesome prizes at the Shop Social Facebook Live, and got some indispensable College Knowledge!

Our local Girl Scouts have once again shown that they are not just surviving this difficult period, but thriving! Completing patch programs, attending virtual troop meetings and council events, donating cookies, even getting shout outs from community organizations and businesses–– these are just some of the ways Girl Scouts have continued to stay #GirlScoutStrong.

SuperHERoes Saving the Day!

Last week, we hosted the SuperHERo webinar, where Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors got together and became their own super-cool SuperHERo squad. The girls brainstormed, talked about what makes them each a superhero in their own ways, and came up with their own characters based on themselves! Thanks to those awesome girls pictured above for sharing their super-selves with us!

Want to discover your inner SuperHERo? Download the SuperHERo worksheet to unleash your hidden powers!

Keeping in Touch

Plenty of our local girls have been staying connected to their Girl Scout sisters through regular troop meetings that are both fun and occupy plenty of free time! Girls from Troop 60299 have been doing weekly fun challenges like the Trefoil Scavenger Hunt, rock painting, and chalk-walking. They’re even doing regular badge work using Google Classroom so they don’t miss a beat! Awesome!

Girls from Troop 15417 (pictured above) have utilized Zoom and Facebook to stay connected and engaged with structured activities, and Troop 10063 has been getting together using Facebook Live, even hosting a career florist who shared some gardening tips with the girls!

This Girl Scout troop leader shared an uplifting reminder that Girl Scouts can be ready for anything:

We certainly agree!

Citizen Scientists and Chefs

Members of troop 45133 are encouraging others to become citizen scientists during this time sheltering-in-place, and made their own Nature Scavenger Hunt worksheet to get people to go outside and look closely at nature! This worksheet has been shared with local schools and community members in Buffalo Grove, and all activities are possible from your backyard or wherever you feel comfortable getting out!

We also received this yummy-looking picture of some very beautiful Udon noodles a Girl Scout made for a virtual dinner party–– we’re definitely going to try to recreate this dish at home!

Girl Scout Service Spotlight!

The donations of cookies and other resources from Girl Scouts around the council has not stopped, and we continue to be very proud of the service our girls have provided to their communities. Here are some more super Girl Scout service shout-outs!

Girl Scout Zara S. from Troop 20438 with Officers from Chicago Police Department District 12

Girl Scout Zara (pictured above) donated over 500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the Emergency Rooms at Rush Hospital, University of Illinois at Chicago, La Rabida, Stroger, and the 12th District of the Chicago Police Department. The cookies were very appreciated and she even got a few shout-outs on social media!

Troop 65646 recently dropped Girl Scout cookies off to local fire and police stations, as well as EMS drivers! The rest were donated to soldiers and airmen at a local COVID-19 testing site.

Another group of Girl Scouts, Troop 47027, has proudly supported Hillside Pantry in Evanston, IL, in this special time of need, and recently donated six cases of cookies to the pantry that serves over 1,500 people each time their doors open! Great job, girls!

Troop 75462 (pictured at the very top of the blog) has put on a donation drive to help support essential workers, and their hard work has resulted in 100 boxes of cookies donated to essential workers! They are still working toward another 50 box donation–– awesome!

In partnership with Jimmy’s Charhouse in Elgin, Girl Scout Troop 25536 generously donated their cookie profits to help provide lunch for Sherman Advocate of Elgin’s Emergency Department. What a great (and delicious) way to say thanks to the community!

Here’s just one more shout-out from Lakeview Pantry celebrating some very generous Girl Scouts:

Do you have a super story to share with us about service, virtual troop meetings, or something you’ve been doing just for fun? We’d love to know! Share with us on social media or on our website!

Dreaming Your Future Week!

The future may seem uncertain right now, but there’s no reason you can’t keep dreaming. In fact, GCNWI has a whole week of virtual programs to help you on your path forward! Join us for Dreaming Your Future Week and begin unleashing your potential! Whether it’s learning how to use your voice to share your story, or learning how to prepare for college, this week is for you! 

Join us on the Digital Stage

Tuesday, Apr. 28 at 2:30 p.m. | For Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes (Grades 4-8) | Webinar

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on our ‘digital stage’ as we as our sister Girl scouts and share the stories and projects you’ve created as a part of your Scribe or Public Speaker badge. Each girl will get 1-2 minutes to virtually perform their piece and complete their last badge requirement. If you’re registered you’ll receive the webinar link in your email. We can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

Registration has closed for this event

Find Your Inner SuperHERo

Thursday, Apr. 30 from 4-4:45 p.m. | For Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (Grades K-5) | Webinar

Girl Scout Brownies, Daisies, and Juniors are invited to join us as we discover our inner superpowers to become a SuperHERo! We’ll be brainstorming, coming up with our own superhero characters based on ourselves, drawing these characters, and talking about what makes us each a superhero!

Download the SuperHERo worksheet »

Register for SuperHERo »

Shop Social Together!

Thursday, Apr. 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. | For Girl Scouts of All Ages, Families, Leaders, and Service Unit Managers| Facebook Live

Get ready for GCNWI’s first SHOP SOCIAL on Facebook Live! Find your comfy PJs, grab some snacks and shop with your Girl Scout Council shop – all from your couch! Our online shop is still open and we want to share all of our new products, your favorites, uniform essentials and fun items for every girl! Throughout the night we will have a Girl Scout trivia contest for FREE prizes!

Watch live on Facebook this Thursday »

Older Girls, Let’s Hang Out Virtually

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

Older girls, join one or all of our weekly hangouts to interact with other older Girl Scouts to talk about anything and everything. Each week we’ll have a different topic, then you’ll get to guide the discussion and activities.

Register for the weekly hangout »

Increase Your College Knowledge

Friday, May 1 at 3 p.m. | For Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (Grades 9-12) | Webinar

Girl Scouts GCNWI Seniors and Ambassadors, it’s almost time for college! Join us for a badge webinar where girls in grades 9-12 will complete fun activities focusing on scholarships and habits for success!

Girl Scout Ambassadors who complete the activity book and the webinar will have earned the College Knowledge badge. For the best webinar experience, Ambassadors should download and complete activities 1, 2 and 5 from the College Knowledge activity book.

Girl Scout Seniors attending the webinar will work towards the Financing My Future badge, but will have additional requirements to fulfill on their own before completing the badge.

Register for the webinar »

We can’t wait to see and hear your amazing ideas! Don’t forget to share with us what you got up to during Dreaming Your Future week on social media or on our website!

You can be a Girl Scout from anywhere, even when circumstances keep you at home. Find more activities and resources on Girl Scouts from Home!

Important Announcement Regarding GCNWI Summer Programming

For the past few weeks, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana has remained optimistic that we would emerge from the impact of COVID-19 in time to run a full summer of activities for girls. 

Today, it absolutely breaks our hearts to announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person programming through Aug. 14, 2020 — including all day and resident camp sessions — due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.

There are just too many unknowns, and too many concerns about everyone’s health and safety, to proceed with business as usual this summer.  

This decision is incredibly painful for our entire council. Seeing girls laugh and learn in the outdoors is one of our greatest joys. However, we must do what is best for our girls, families, staff, and communities. 

While right now Girl Scouting looks radically different than what we’re used to, our spirits, sense of adventure, and commitment to serve our girls remain higher than ever.  

Though we will not be able to gather in person at our camps yet, our team is working relentlessly to develop and deliver creative, virtual experiences for girls to participate in now and throughout the summer months. New adventures, including backyard camping expeditions, activities and much more, will be rolled out and announced on Girl Scouts from Home.

And we will be there, ready, when it is safe to get back together in person again.

Your Support is Needed  

As with so many non-profit organizations, this pandemic has left us vulnerable with a funding gap. In a time when we’re facing significant reduction in program revenues, your continued support can make all the difference.  

We know this crisis is affecting so many. If you are able, please consider donating back your deposit or paid program fee to Girl Scouts GCNWI to enable us to continue to provide critical financial assistance to members in need, keeping Girl Scouting and future camp seasons accessible for EVERY girl, regardless of her family’s circumstances.   

We also know that for some, especially now, donating is not an option. Therefore, we have outlined the process below to proceed with rescheduling, crediting your account, or requesting a full refund. 

Next Steps for Paid Registrations  

Families and volunteers who were planning to participate in any of our summer programs or activities have several options for next steps. Follow the link below to our form to indicate your preferences.

These options are regardless of reservation or registration type, and they include day and resident camp; all council programs (including outdoor and custom); adult training; council-sponsored travel; participation in a volunteer-led day camp; troop, group and family camping reservations through Aug. 14. 

Make your selection by May 11 for how to allocate your paid registration fees: 

  • Donate all or part of your program payment to support Girl Scouting in challenging times 
  • Keep your payment as a credit on your account for future programs 
  • Reschedule a troop camp outing or custom program experience for after Aug. 14 
  • Receive a full refund (including the program deposit, which is typically non-refundable) 

Please fill out this form by May 11 to indicate your selection

Refund Specifics

Every effort will be made to process all refund requests as soon as possible. Due to unexpected circumstances and high cancellation volume, there may be significant delays in refund processing. We will begin processing refunds after May 11.

You will receive your refund in one of two ways: 

  • If you registered on or after Feb. 3 for a program, outdoor program, or summer camp: requested refunds will be issued back to the credit card that you provided with your registration or you will be contacted by a Girl Scouts of GCNWI staff member for your card information if you do not have a card on file.  
  • If you registered before Feb. 3 for a program or event: refunds will be issued as a paper check in the mail. 

We are here to provide comfort, suggest other virtual program options, hear your ideas, answer your questions, and help you select the option that best fits your family’s situation. You can contact us at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Our Commitment to You and the Future

Thank you for being part of our Girl Scout family. 

We need each other more than ever, and we are committed to finding bright spots to celebrate in this challenging time. Show your support by renewing your girl and adult memberships when our annual renewal campaign kicks off on May 4. You will not want to miss what we are already planning for the year to come.

Today and always we are grateful and privileged to serve our girls, families, and volunteers – especially in moments they need a sense of community the most. 

Sincerely,

Nancy L. Wright, CEO
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Member Monday Roundup!

Sheltering-in-place is in full swing, but so are the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. We’ve been up to a lot: donating Girl Scout cookies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to essential workers in our communities, attending virtual webinars, hangouts, and dance parties with our Girl Scout friends, celebrating Earth Month, and so much more!

Read on to learn about what local girls have been doing to pass the time–– Girl Scout style!

Happy Earth Month!

Happy Earth Day from Troop 20461!

This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a series of videos on different green activities for you to try (watch those videos here!) but some Girl Scouts came up with their own ways to celebrate Earth Day and Month!

Daisy Girl Scout Liliana has taken pride in her inside compost bin! She has looked over videos and researched what a compost is, which kind she wanted to make (and which would work where she lives apartment), and she now knows how to take care of it and what belongs inside one. Great job, Liliana!

Aside from her being very diligent with her school work, Girl Scout Maddie has also been working hard on earning Brownie badges. For Earth Day, Maddie created an informational video about pollution, steps we can take to help our planet, and a fun craft to celebrate Earth Day. Watch her video now!

Lastly, Girl Scout Troop 60533 made the very helpful flyer below for their community members to use as part of their Bronze Award project! Thank you so much for sharing these tips and tricks!

Girl Scout Service Spotlight!

The good deeds from our local Girl Scouts have not stopped, and we continue to be proud and impressed of these girls! Here are just some of the many ways local Girl Scouts have stepped up to serve their communities:

Girl Scout Anaya (pictured above) and her brother Ayaan purchased 300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies using their own savings to donate to their neighborhood Walgreens and to the Greater Elgin Family Care Center! The siblings decided that a little positivity and cheer in these difficult times goes a long way for these everyday heroes.

Thanks so much to Vocalo Radio for the shout out, and great job to the Girl Scouts from Rogers Park and Evanston who stepped up and delivered cookies! Girl Scouts from Troop 55532 also donated cookies to frontline workers at the Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, IL—their leader said it was an “emotional and teachable” moment for all of the girls.

Our last member story for this week comes from Daisy Girl Scout Seraphina, who shared with us her idea for spreading kindness: hug cards. “I hope this helps people that are lonely. I wish that everyone would stay healthy.” We do, too, Seraphina!

Do you have a story to share with us about community service, at-home troop meetings, virtual programs, or anything else that strikes your fancy? Share with us on on our website!

Stay safe, and we’ll “see” you around!

Play Earth Day Bingo for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary!

Today isn’t just any Earth Day–– it is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! First celebrated and founded by Gaylord Nelson in 1970, the day was meant to increase climate awareness and create a movement that focused on environmental protection. On the very first Earth Day, 20 million people gathered in streets, parks, and auditoriums in order to fight against pollution that contributed oil spills, pollution from factories and power plants, toxic dumps, pesticides, extinction of wildlife, and loss of wilderness.

What was truly amazing about the first Earth Day day was that everyone, despite their different backgrounds, came together to fight for a common goal: to protect the environment from further harm. The first Earth Day had quite an impact, eventually leading to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts!

Today, millions of people around the world celebrate Earth Day by taking action, advocating, and learning how to help the Earth! We invite you to join in with the millions of other people and join in on the celebration–– and we have plenty for you to do.

Let’s Play Earth Day Bingo!

Looking for ideas on how to celebrate the occasion? Look no further! We have two Bingo cards for you, each with 25 items, totaling 50 activities and ways you can celebrate Earth Day not just today but EVERY day!

Download printable Earth Day Bingo cards

The “Earth” card has fun activities you can do while celebrating our lovely planet, and the “Day 50” card has ideas for lifestyle changes you can adopt into your everyday routines. When you put the two cards together, they read “Earth Day 50”!

Begin by selecting either card and completing activities to get five in a row. If you’re up for the challenge, see how many “Bingos” you can make! Can you do all the activities on one card?

Even if you’re able to complete just a few activities here and there and don’t quite get a Bingo, that’s totally OK! We encourage you to do your best and have fun with it. One small act can have a huge impact.

Download your Bingo cards now

Earn a Patch!

Save the planet while you save some energy! Earn your Save Our Energy Patch. For this patch, you will focus on what action we can do individually to slow climate change. When each of us does our part to save electricity and water at home, together we make a significant difference in reducing our carbon footprint.

How to Complete Earth Day Bingo Activities

We have put together a few resources for completing many of the Earth Day Bingo activities. First, download the activity packet that walks you through step-by-step instructions for some things you can do!

Download the activity packet and watch the videos below!

You can also watch these awesome videos that teach you about a few other activities!

  • How to make a nature journal
  • A nature walk and exploration
  • How to build a solar oven out of a cereal box
  • Composting indoors and outdoors
  • How to plant a seed indoors
  • The 7 Leave No Trace Principles
  • How to make a reusable bag out of an old t-shirt
  • Relaxation with nature yoga

Watch all the videos now!

Share Your Earth Day Story

We are so excited to see what lifestyle changes you make or are planning to incorporate into your life! We would love for you to share your photos and ideas with us so we can see how our Girl Scout community is helping the earth. For the photos that you share, we ask that you write down the lifestyle change you made on a sign and pose with it while you’re in action. Be creative with your photos, and make sure your sign is visible!

Share your story with us!

We can’t wait to see all the ways you’re going to help our planet! Have fun, and have a happy Earth Day!

Service Story Round-Up: Girl Scout Strong from Home

Another week of staying indoors, another week of Girl Scouts making waves nationwide! Throughout this global pandemic, Girl Scouts across the country have stepped up and served as leaders and helpers in their communities. Here at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, our girls and volunteers have been spreading joy, gathering resources, and dispensing them to those in need.

Just reading all of the stories our council members have shared with us has been truly amazing! Read on to learn about some of our local Girl Scout super-stars (and a very special shout-out we received from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot)!

Shout-Out from Mayor Lightfoot!

You read that right: local Girl Scouts have donated several thousand (and counting) boxes of Girl Scout cookies to healthcare professionals and essential workers in the community! This is in addition to the care packages, thank-you cards, homemade masks and other items that have made their ways to several local hospitals, including Rush University Medical CenterLa Rabida Children’s HospitalAdvocate Trinity Hospital, Roseland Community Hospital and many more.

Thank you to Mayor of Chicago (and Girl Scout alum) Lori Lightfoot for your amazing support and acknowledgment! YOU can share your service projects directly with her office by posting on social media with #ChicagoGoodWorks.

Service Spotlight!

Girls from Troop 55191 donated four cases of cookies, boxes of personal care items (for staff staying in hotels), and thank-you cards to staff at Alexian Brothers Medical Center, and Girl Scout Emily from Troop 45169 also donated eight cases of cookies to the same center!

Troop 10055 sent 17 boxes to Community Hospital’s nurses and staff in Munster, IN, and Girl Scout Caelyn from Troop 45420 made thank-you cards and donated cookies to the staff of Little City, a Chicago organization that provides services to people with developmental disabilities. Thank you, girls!

Girl Scout Natalie from Troop 35138, along with her mom, worked for 10 hours straight to sew, iron, clean, and pack 57 homemade face-masks to be donated for local hospitals! So far Natalie has made more than 122 masks, and she isn’t stopping any time soon.

Highland Indiana Animal Control received a very generous donation from Girl Scout Troop 10099, including bleach, soap, paper towels, cat and dog feed, toys, treats, leashes, bowls and more!

Service Unit 402 donated over 500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights Fire Department, Arlington Heights Post Office, Wheeling Police Department, Wheeling Post Office, Buffalo Grove Police Department, Buffalo Grove Post Office, and Lincolnshire Police Department. Shout out to Girl Scout troops 40624, 40666, 40694, 42575, 43108, 43266, 45325, 45568, 45582, 45710 45832, and 45916!

Final shout-outs go to Troops 55144, 55599, 26030, 60303, 55191 and 42025 for their donations of masks, cookies, treats, and thank-you cards to local police and fire departments, hospital staff, and essential workers. You rock!

Bonus: check out this Tik Tok nurses from Comer Children’s Emergency Room made to thank Girl Scouts for their cookie donation!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has shared their story with us, whether it’s been about your at-home service project, staying connected as a Girl Scout, or just a fun activity to pass the time.

If you’re donating cookies, resources, or spreading joy to your community, we want to know. Tell us all about it on social media or on our website!