Help Girl Scouts Break a World Record

Help Girl Scouts Break a World Record

Join Girl Scouts, the Chicago Wolves and your community for a family-friendly event with Girl Scout Cookies and hockey activities at Allstate Arena.

Do you want to set a world record? This is your chance! We know every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risktaker, Leader)TM is amazing, and we can make it official. Like, Guinness World Record official.

3…2…1…DUNK! Be officially amazing.

We need YOU! Help us attempt to collectively dunk more cookies in milk than ever before. We’ll take the lead to break a Guinness World Record and kick off an amazing 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program!

The day includes interactive cookie activities; hockey activities for the whole family; meet-and-greet with Chicago Wolves mascot Skates; skate on the ice (skate rental is not provided); and performances by Carly and Martina, plus much more!

To learn more and buy your tickets, click here!

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Chicago Girl Scout Sells More Than 30k Boxes of Cookies

Chicago Girl Scout Sells More Than 30k Boxes of Cookies

What does it take to be one of the top Girl Scout Cookie sellers in the country?

A lot of hard work, dedication and help – at least that’s the recipe for success according to Giada Gambatese, the 9-year-old Chicago Girl Scout Junior who sold 30,120 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies earlier this year.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said.

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Giada, who was also Girl Scout of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s top seller last year with more than 13,000 cookies, credits her record-breaking sales to some serious tech savviness. She recorded videos asking for donations to the council’s Gift of Caring Program, which sends Girl Scout Cookies to organizations that bring comfort to the women and men serving in the armed forces.

“My Papa [grandfather] was in the Marines and he helped me, so I want to help others,” said Giada.

Then she sent emails and letters to potential customers and followed up with phone calls. Afterward, she created handmade thank-you cards to everyone who donated to Gift of Caring.

“We wanted to up the ante this year so we targeted her Papa’s local President’s Club of which he is a member,” said Giada’s mom, Gianna Franzia. “All of the members are remarkable companies and were eager to donate knowing it went to aid our men and women in the armed forces.”

Originally, Giada wanted to sell 20,000 boxes, but when she heard about other Girl Scouts across the country selling more than that, she tapped into her inner entrepreneur and kicked her sales strategy into high gear with a bit of PR.

In March, Giada appeared on The Steve Dahl Show in Chicago to talk about her business approach and saw a boost in sales.

“It was really fun and cool to talk into the microphone,” she said.

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Nancy Wright, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, poses with Cookie CEO Giada Gambatese

 

Giada, whose favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Thin Mints and S’mores, is also considered a Cookie CEO, which celebrates the top five cookie sellers in the council. Cookie CEOs enjoy a busy day at the GSGCNWI’s Chicago office meeting with the council CEO, Nancy Wright; holding an all-staff conference call, lunch and much more.

“My favorite part was meeting the CEO, she’s really nice,” Giada said.

Next year, Giada wants to 100,000 boxes of Girl Scouts of Cookies. And for other Girl Scouts who want to become Cookie CEOs, she has the following advice.

“Have help, set a goal and have fun,” Giada said. “And when you’re selling cookies, be organized. It takes time to do everything, so be patient. My mom always says ‘nothing happens overnight.'”

To learn more about the Girl Scout Cookie Program, visit girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Song and Sisterhood Abound at Easterseals Academy Girl Scout Troop

Song and Sisterhood Abound at Easterseals Academy Girl Scout Troop

More than 100 years ago in Savannah, Georgia, Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts on the belief that girls can change the world.

Today, that principle is alive and well at Girl Scout Troop 25226’s monthly meetings at Easterseals Academy, which serves people and families with disabilities in the Chicagoland and Rockford region.

“Autism disproportionally affects boys, which means there’s already a small population of girls here,” said Jamie Fagerburg, an occupational therapist at Easterseals. “Girl Scouts is a great way to bring the girls together.”

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Every meeting, the students start by reciting the traditional Girl Scout Promise and Law.

“On my honor, I will try…”

Afterward, the girls practice the official Girl Scout handshake and receive their sashes so they can continue earning petals, which are the special Daisy version of badges earned by older Girl Scouts.

“We created this structure and stick to it so the meetings are predictable for the girls,” explained troop leader Carrie Browne. “They really enjoy a lot of those rituals. When we call everyone’s name to get their sash, they cheer for each other.”

During their February meeting, the girls earned their clover petal for using resources wisely. After watching a brief video about recycling, they decorated pots and planted seeds for a vegetable garden.

“There’s a particular who typically has a difficult time in groups, but in Girl Scouts, she’s the happiest you’ll ever see her,” said Libby Puckett, a speech language pathologist at Easterseals. “She’s clapping and smiling, she’s beside herself with happiness. So it’s great to see how Girl Scouts affects her overall demeanor.”

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The troop started meeting a little more than a year ago and, since then, the girls have sold Girl Scout Cookies, participated in a campout and visited the Lincoln Park Zoo, just to name a few activities.

“One of the reasons our troop has been so successful is because of the staff participation,” said Browne. “They’re really invested in it and they enjoy it as much as the girls.”

And the girls appreciate the sisterhood and solidarity Girl Scouts offers them. At the end of the meeting, everyone joins hands in a Friendship Circle and sings the chorus from Rihanna’s hit song “Umbrella.”

“When the sun shine, we shine together/ Told you I’ll be here forever/ Said I’ll always be your friend/ Took an oath, I’mma stick it out until the end.”

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“Girl Scouts really provides the closest thing to what their peers are typically doing,” said Fagerburg. “It gives them opportunities for social exchanges in an environment with girls with similar disabilities. They’re in it together.”

To learn more about Easterseals, click here. To join Girl Scouts or become a volunteer, visit girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Why I’m Giving Back to Girl Scouts

Why I’m Giving Back to Girl Scouts

All of my friends were doing it. Admittedly, that isn’t a great reason for choosing something you would spend the next decade or so doing, but it is the reason I joined Girl Scouts as a kindergartner. That, and I really wanted to do all of the craft projects.

While the allure of plaster of paris and friendship bracelets was enough to get me involved, it was the different badges that kept me interested. Each badge opened up something completely new to me. Learning canoeing and archery at summer camps. Participating in World Thinking Day. Attending a ballet for the first time. Running a cookie booth at our town’s annual holiday parade. Restoration projects at the Dunes.

Being a Girl Scout allowed me to have so many different experiences, some that I may have never tried on my own. Each badge and project we pursued was our choice. Each of us had a voice and our opinions mattered. Our troop leaders guided us and facilitated the projects, all while making us feel like the ones leading.

On #GivingTuesday, my inbox was filled with appeals from worthy causes, but the Girl Scouts email stuck out to me. I hadn’t thought about my time as a Girl Scout for a while (beyond my annual cookie order). Reading the email, I was reminded of what I loved about Girl Scouts: friendship, opportunity, empowerment. Girl Scouts has helped so many girls become leaders in our world today, including myself. Though my donation was not large, I know it is still meaningful. Even a small donation can have a huge impact on a girl’s life.

And that is why I’m giving back to Girl Scouts. So other girls can explore the world. So they can discover something new about themselves. So they can feel free to be curious. So they can become the leaders they are meant to be. And because of how much Girl Scouts gave me.

Hayley Trezzo is a Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana alumnae and Gold Award recipient.

To join or become a volunteer, visit girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Girl Scouts Build Solar-Powered Cookie Booth

Girl Scouts Build Solar-Powered Cookie Booth

No outlets? No problem.

After struggling to keep the lights on for their blinged-out cookie booth, Girl Scouts from Troop 60194 in Chicago had the brilliant idea to create a solar-powered, 3D-printed masterpiece to help them sell Girl Scout Cookies.

In order to make their dreams come true, the troop enlisted the help of Exelon to use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to “build a brighter tomorrow.”

But the fun doesn’t stop there.

The troop is planning to donate 500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to wounded veterans in Baltimore and D.C. through the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s Gift of Caring program.

Learn more about their journey here and watch their booth-building adventure below.

Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouts Selling Cookies at the Cookie Kickoff Rally

Celebrate 100 Years of Girl Scouts Selling Cookies at the Cookie Kickoff Rally

What better way to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts selling cookies than with your Sister Girl Scouts? Join Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Wolves on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois for a fun, family-friendly day of cookies, contests and much more at the annual Cookie Kickoff Rally.

Your ticket includes admission to the rally, Chicago Wolves game, a rally patch for Girl Scouts and a commemorative t-shirt. You’ll also get the chance to flex your cookie boss skills at interactive sessions, such as our cookie recipe contest, business plan competition and Bling Your Booth contest. Plus, you’ll be able to win a special Girl Scout patch by visiting certain booths and participating in various activities to complete your Cookie Rally Passport.

But wait … there’s more! As a Cookie Kickoff Rally attendee, you’ll also get to meet Skates, the Chicago Wolves mascot, and have the opportunity to skate on the ice. After the Wolves game, break out your favorite dancing moves with your Sister Girl Scouts at the after-party, featuring a live DJ.

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Come with your troop, your family or friends and help us welcome the new Girl Scout S’mores Cookie! The S’mores-inspired crunchy graham sandwich cookie with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling is sure to be a hit among hungry cookie customers.

For more information about the Cookie Kickoff Rally and to purchase your tickets, click here. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Go Nuts with Fall Product

Go Nuts with Fall Product

Craving candies, chocolates and nuts? Want to raise money for your troop’s programs and field trips? Then you’re in luck! There’s still time to participate in Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s fall product program.

Like the Girl Scout Cookie Program, our council’s fall product program empowers Girl Scouts to learn five important leadership skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

In addition to classic favorites such as Mint Chocolate Penguins, Peanut Butter Bears and Dulce de Leche Owls, girls and customers can enjoy three new products this year: Snowman Tin of Caramel Treasures, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts with Peanuts, and Girl Scout Camp Pack Tin of Mint Treasures.

“I love fall product,” said Selena Randecker, a regional volunteer for product program. “What I’ve learned is that every family has a different ability to participate in our programs – whether that is earning badges or our product program. Some have great Fall Product goals while others excelled at [Girl Scout] Cookies. It was all about giving them choices and offering them the ability to contribute to the success of the troop in their own way.”

As the manager for Service Unit 406, Randecker coordinates and hosts an annual fall product kickoff rally for the troops in her service unit.

“You get to set goals right away at the beginning of the year and fall product gives you money to get started as a troop,” she explained. “The fall product items also make great gifts for coworkers, teachers and hostesses.”

Kyra Bennett, a 10-year-old Girl Scout Junior, agreed.

“We love the nuts and candy and my Dad also renews his magazines through Girl Scouts each year. But also because the fall product program allows our troop to start the year out with funds to do all sorts of fun activities and outings,” said Kyra, who was one of the top sellers for fall product last year. “My Girl Scout troop always has a full year of outings and events planned based on reaching our fundraising goals.”

In previous years, Kyra’s troop has used fall product proceeds to pay for uniforms and for programs such as horseback riding, Dozin’ with the Dinos at The Field Museum and glamping at the Wisconsin Dells. They’ve also used fall product funds to purchase fabric to make blankets for people in need and create Build-a-Bears for patients at the children’s hospital.

“This year, our sales goal is to fund another glamping outing in January,” she said. “We also donate our leftover fall product to the food pantry so other families can enjoy the nuts and candy, too.”

You can also support women and men in the military by supporting our Gift of Caring program with the purchase of a product or magazine voucher for just $5. The women and men of the armed forces receive these vouchers and can use them as payment toward their favorite magazines.

All fall product items can be ordered, paid for and directly shipped to a home or business. But hurry, the program ends Oct. 23, 2016! For more information or to participate, click here.