Girl Scouts Embark on a Swiss Adventure

Girl Scouts Embark on a Swiss Adventure

Nearly a dozen girls from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana traveled to Switzerland this summer on a council-sponsored trip. Accompanied by five adults, the group arrived in Zurich after an eight-hour plane journey from the States. Once there, they hit the ground running on a walking tour of Altstadt, or Old Town, in the Swiss city of Zurich.

The next day, the Girl Scouts went to the Swiss National Museum and the Zurich Zoo, where they happened to see Beyoncé! Next up was Bern, the capital of Switzerland. The group enjoyed many free sites here, such as a bear pit, rose garden and botanical garden.

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Girl Scouts in Bern, Switzerland

The following day, everyone participated in a walking tour of Bern and was luck enough to see Le Tour de France as the cyclists biked through the town.

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was the nine days the girls got to spend at Our Chalet, which is an international Girl Guide/Girl Scout centre and one of five World Centres of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, or WAGGS. While there, the girls met other groups from the U.S. and Canada, including their pen pals from Canada.

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Girl Scouts white-water rafting at Our Chalet

While at Our Chalet, the girls also went zip-lining, abseiling into a gorge, white-water rafting, met a woodcarver and did a lot of hiking. The views of the country were phenomenal. Finishing up the trip was a day in Lauterbrunnen where the participants saw Trummelbach Falls, the only waterfalls in Europe you can see inside of a mountain.

This trip was a culmination of a year’s worth of planning. Once the girls applied in June 2015, they began discussing their itinerary. They also attended a panel with people who had either worked at Our Chalet or visited there to get a better sense of what to expect.

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Girl Scouts at Trummelbach Falls in Switzerland

At the end of the trip, the girls agreed that Switzerland was one of the most beautiful places they had ever seen and they returned to the States with bags of cheese and chocolate for souvenirs.

To learn more about council-sponsored travel opportunities, click here. For more information about traveling as a Girl Scout, please email our senior program manager of arts, cultural awareness and travel programs at achristensen@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Kankakee Girl Scout Troop Embodies the True Meaning of Sisterhood

Kankakee Girl Scout Troop Embodies the True Meaning of Sisterhood

Eight years ago, Girl Scout Daisy Mia Martin was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which is a congenital heart defect that affects normal blood flow due to the incorrect formation of the left side of the heart, causing holes or gaps in the walls.

Since diagnosis, Mia has had 14 procedures, four of which were open heart.

“Looking at her, you would never know,” said her mom, Jaime Martin. “She is a very strong girl. She never gets gives up on what she wants to accomplish, and if she can’t do something, she will keep working on it until she does get it.”

When Mia was entering first grade, Bonfield Grade School in Bonfield, Illinois held a fair that included a Girl Scouting table. Mia and her mom did not hesitate to register and get started in Troop 75410. Part of the reason Mia wanted to join was because her family had received so much help and she wanted to give back to the community by participating in Girl Scouts.

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Mia (left) and her friends love getting together during Girl Scout meetings – Troop 75410, Service Unit  746

This year, Mia has perfect attendance at her Girl Scout meetings.

“She’s always asking if this is a Monday she has a Girl Scout meeting,” her mom said. “She has already learned so much in just one year – earning all her Daisy pedals and 23 patches, and selling over 200 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies!”

Mia is highly involved in the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) chapter near her, where she stays around procedure times. According to Mia, her favorite day at RMH so far was the day her Sister Girl Scouts visited her and brought her goodies.

The troop members made breakfast bags for the current and future guests. Mia and her friends toured RMH, and she explained how much this place has done for her and her family throughout her many procedures. There is an engraved brick on RMH’s campus in memory of her grandmother and in honor of Mia. Mia loves to show off her brick to her guests and visitors.

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Mia pictured with the brick that honors her and remembers her grandmother. (Credit: RMHC Chicago and Northwest Indiana Facebook)

Mia and her family want to encourage their community to support the Ronald McDonald House through their Pop Tab Collection Program. This program benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities  of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI) through their recycling partner, United Scrap Metal, which donates the market-value of the recycled items back to RMHC-CNI. Last year RMHC-CNI raised more than $40,000. Since it started, the Martin family has already collected one million pop tabs! In honor of this great accomplishment, Mia’s name will now be on the wall at RMH. Pop tab collections can be dropped off at various addresses listed on the website.

In addition to collecting pop tabs, Mia and her Daisy troop have been selling lemonade to raise funds for RMHC.

The Martin family says that Girl Scouting has made a huge impact in Mia’s life so far as a great organization that accepts everyone and demonstrates openness and love.

“She is my miracle,” her mother said fondly. “I just try to teach her to be thankful for every day and live life to the fullest!”

Local Girl Scouts Recognized for Innovation as FIRST LEGO League Semi-Finalists

Local Girl Scouts Recognized for Innovation as FIRST LEGO League Semi-Finalists

When you think of LEGOs, what comes to mind?

For members of Fast Thinking Girls, a Girl Scout-sponsored team, they think of an opportunity to change the world.

The Fast Thinking Girls (GIRLS stands for: Great Intelligent Robotics Loving Science) was one of the 20 semifinalist teams selected from entries across 23 countries for their innovative solution FIRF: Food Into Renewable Fuel.

“[FIRF] will keep food out of landfills which will reduce methane in the atmosphere and reduce global warming,” said the girls from Girl Scout Troops 40915 and 40792 and Service Unit 404 in Mount Prospect, Illinois.  “It will also help people have a more convenient way to recycle food.”

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Fast Thinking Girls visit The Plant in Chicago to study a commercial digester.

The girls will be traveling from to Washington, D.C. this month to present their innovation to expert judges.  There, they will participate in a two-day hands-on event at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, aiming for the top prize of $20,000.

“We are most excited to go to Washington, D.C. for the awards ceremony and to meet the teams from other countries like Canada, Germany and Spain,” said the girls.  “Making a real prototype and getting a patent is also something we look forward to. We can’t wait to see it work!”

This was not an easy feat.  These troops completed a research project with involved working with mentors to design, build and program autonomous robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS.

“Learning the new EV3 software for our robot and understanding what anaerobic digestion [were the hardest parts],” said the team.  “It took us a long time to figure out our solution. This year’s solution is really complicated and there are a lot of pieces we still need to figure out.”

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The team meets with engineers at Underwriters Laboratories.

These girls are joining the ranks of innovators and creators who have helped the world tremendously.  Past winners created solutions like helping toddlers with hand differences learn to write and erasable bar codes to warn consumers about food spoilage.

Luckily for the girls, they had the Girl Scout skills to support them throughout their journey.

“Girl Scouts helped us learn and research about new things, helped us create, design and talk to specialists and professionals to help create our FIRF,” said the troops.  “They have also given us the tools to learn how to communicate better with my team and resolve conflict.  They have given us support every step of our journey and shown us that our ideas are important even with providing money to help us during the season.  We have taken some classes about engineering and they invited us to talk to a group of engineers about our FIRF.  We think being on a team with just girls is better.”

Want to watch the team in action? Tune in to the live stream on Wednesday, June 22 at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET by clicking HERE!

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Girl Scouts Celebrate 50 Years of Friendship

Girl Scouts Celebrate 50 Years of Friendship

“Make new friends and keep the old” is more than just a traditional Girl Scout song. For members of the adult Troop 007, it’s a way of life.

The group, one of the few organized adult troops in the country, has humble origins in the western suburbs of Chicago.

“It all started in 1965 when we decided to have our own adult outing after a council-sponsored one,” explained Carol “Cinders” Nelson, one of the charter members of the troop. “At the time, it was part of the Girl Scout Lone Tree Area Council in Oak Park, Illinois.”

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Pat “Sunshine” Mellema (left) greets Yvonne “Sam” Morehead with a hug.

That first year, the women went camping in Wisconsin. Over time, as Girl Scout tradition would have it, they bestowed upon each other camp nicknames, such as “Beaver,” “Stinky” and “Salty.” For example, Nelson became known as “Cinders” after sweeping a fireplace at camp and Rita “Little Bill” Watt was named after the Commonwealth Edison light bulb logo.

The members refer to each other by their camp names so frequently, they often forget each other’s real names.

“There was one time we went to visit a friend in the hospital and we couldn’t remember her real name,” recalled Watt. “The nurse must have thought we were crazy. It was so funny. We had a lot of fun over the years.”

After inducting 32 original members, the group had a waiting list. In order to become part of the troop, women had to be a registered Girl Scout member and referred by a current member. Husbands were often honorary members.

“It’s like a family,” Nelson said after describing the time a Sister Girl Scout’s husband made dinner for her family after her father-in-law had passed away.

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Yvonne “Sam” Morehead and Jeanne “Nege” Stange pose for a picture at lunch at Mother’s Day Restaurant in North Riverside, Illinois.

The troop’s moniker derived from the James Bond series, which had premiered a few years before Troop 007 convened.

“We just thought he [Sean Connery] was so handsome!” said Watt.

As adult volunteers, Troop 007 created fun, hands-on activities for the girl members, such as the Brownie Bash, Cadette Crawl and Junior Jumble.

“They’d ask us to teach other leaders and facilitate camp crafts for children,” said Nelson. “We also taught them how to build campfires and sing the traditional camp songs.”

But the fun wasn’t limited to the girls. During Troop 007’s adult outings, each patrol would have a different theme, such as decades and superheroes, and create banners to coincide with the theme.

“Our camping days are behind us now,” said Watt. “We’re past that age now.”

After 50 years together, Troop 007 officially disbanded in October 2015, but they still get together occasionally for lunch and other outings, most often in St. Charles, Illinois where they had attended the now defunct Girl Scout Camp Wild Rose. There are about a dozen surviving members of the group in various states including Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota and Washington.

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Troop 007 plans its fall outing during lunch.

As a final act of goodwill toward Sister Girl Scouts, the troop donated about $200, the remains of the troop treasury, to Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana to “help a girl or troop enjoy a camping experience.”

“It’s a way to give back to Girl Scouting,” said Nelson.

Pam “Gunner” Roti, whose mother, Doris “Beaver” Morris, is also a member of Troop 007, agreed.

“If it weren’t for the Girl Scouts, I’d be a memory,” Roti said. “I was one of the naughty ones and Girl Scouts helped me turn my life around.”

Join Us for #100DaysOfGold

Join Us for #100DaysOfGold

To commemorate the impactful work of all who have earned Girl Scouting’s highest awards, we’re celebrating with a council-wide service initiative known as #100DaysOfGold.

Service units, troops, volunteers, girls, families and supporters are invited to do good in their communities throughout our 100 days of service, starting on March 12 and going through June 20. Let’s show everyone what it means to go gold and make the world a better place!

Are you participating in #100DaysOfGold? We’d love to learn more! Please complete our quick online form and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when you share stories and photos.

Starting on March 1, anyone who participates can visit their local Gathering Place and grab a bright, fun and complimentary #100DaysOfGold slap bracelet!

 

Go Gold

Need some ideas to get started? Take a look at the list below and check back as new ones are added.

Events:

April 15-17

Feed the Hungry: Join North Shore Seeds at Christian Heritage Academy to pack seeds to send to impoverished people around the world. Volunteers will work in two-hour shifts. For more information or to register, click here.

April 25

Chicago Youth Service Day: Join youth across Chicago for an interactive day of service and non-violent action. Projects are youth-driven and include beautifying community spaces, serving senior citizens and learning about world hunger. Click here to learn more.

April 30 and May 1:

Kits for Kids: Help Project C.U.R.E. through their Kits for Kids program by bringing “medicine cabinet supplies” and a nominal donation to give the gift of health to other kids around the world. Join the Packing Party on April 30 at the Friendship Center in Country Club Hills and May 1 at the Vernon Hills Gathering Place. Registration is $6 per girl.

May 7:

Run for the Kids: Join the Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley at their 13th Annual Run for the Kids: Superhero Hustle 5K Run/2 Mile Walk in Villa Park. Take part in the festivities or cheer along participants with pom-poms and colorful signs of encouragement.

May 9:

Almost Home Kids: This Illinois-based organization provides transitional care in a home-like setting to medically fragile children with complicated health needs and respite care in Chicago and Naperville. Help them celebrate National Nurses Week (starting May 9) by honoring pediatric nurses who provide important care for the children at Almost Home Kids. Troops can bring a meal to nurses during the day or night shift. Or create goodie bags containing chocolate, hand lotion, pens and small snacks for the nurses. For more information, please email Lisa Snow, community outreach coordinator, at lsnow@almosthomekids.org.

May 13-15:

All Things That Glitter: Do you have new or gently used accessories, such as handbags, jewelry and scarves sitting around the house collecting dust? Donate your items to under-served girls at Chicago Public Schools through All Things That Glitter’s accessory drive. You can drop off your accessories at our Vernon Hills Gathering Place (650 N. Lakeview Parkway). For more information, click here.

June 3-4 and June 10-11:

Forget-Me-Not Days: Help the Alzheimer’s Association raise awareness about the disease by collecting donations outside storefronts, business offices, tourist attractions and more. Chicago collections take place June 3-4 and collections in the suburbs will take place June 10-11. In exchange for a donation, volunteers will distribute Forget-Me-Not flower seeds to plant in honor of the more than five million people living with Alzheimer’s. To learn more or find a volunteer opportunity near you, please click here or contact Rebekah Marquez at rmarquez@alz.org.

June 11:

Beautify Your Gathering Place: Get your hands dirty planting flowers and spreading mulch at your Girl Scout Gathering Place, then make a recycled craft to take home. You’ll also receive a fun patch and a pair of gardening gloves. For more information and to register, click here.

Special Events for Girl Scout Alumnae:

 

June 18:

Chicago Park District Service Day: At Nichols Park in Hyde Park (1355 E. 53rd Street, Chicago) from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., join your Sister Girl Scouts in cleaning up the park, mulching, weeding, gardening and other projects that may come up. It’s a great opportunity to work along with other Girl Scout alums to help make the world a better place. Suggested attire: closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothes and gardening gloves. Street parking is available.

To register, please visit www.girlscoutsgcnwi.org/alumnae. For more information, please contact Pat Broughton, VP of Philanthropic Innovation at pbroughton@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 312-912-6342.

Ongoing:

Alexian Brothers: With locations throughout the Chicagoland area, there are plenty of opportunities to care and help others while learning about the healthcare field. For more information, click here or email Laura Ingrim at laura.ingrim@alexian.net.

American Heart Association Patch Program: A healthy heart is critical to a healthy lifestyle, which is why we’ve teamed up with the American Heart Association to promote heart awareness. To learn more about the program and to register, visit our blog.

Amnesty International: There are plenty of ways to get involved with Amnesty International and lobby for human rights. Sign a petition, attend an event or start a campaign at your school. Learn more here or email Emily Walsh at ewalsh@aiusa.org for details.

Bernie’s Book Bank: Want to share your love of reading with at-risk children throughout Chicagoland? Volunteer for Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Bluff, IL. You can drop in at the warehouse or collect books on the bank’s behalf. Learn more here or email volunteer@berniesbookbank.org.

Bridge Communities: Connect homeless families to a better future by volunteering with Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, IL. You can also earn “A Heart for the Homeless” patch. For more information, click here.

Chemo Survivor Kits: If you’ve ever had a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer, you know how difficult the process can be. By collecting a few simple items in a small tote bag, chemo patients will know the small difference you made. Register here.

Chicago Cares: Volunteer at locations around the city, such as Mercy Homes, local schools, and Garfield Park Conservatory, with Chicago Cares. Details here.

Clean up your playground or park: Make the world a more beautiful place by picking up trash in your neighborhood.

Clean your closet: Get a head start on spring cleaning by donating your gently used clothes to a local family or refugee shelter. Click here to find out how Girl Scout Madison Fanta started a clothing drive in Saint John, Indiana.

Connection of Friends: Enrich the lives of teenagers and adults with special needs by volunteering with Connection of Friends in Wheaton, IL. Learn more and apply today here.

Connections for the Homeless: Team up with your troop to host a donation drive for this nonprofit organization that helps people dealing with homelessness in Evanston. The most commonly needed items include household size toiletries, cleaning supplies, linens and blankets. You can also gather a group to cook and serve dinner at Hilda’s Place Shelter or sign up for a Second Saturday for Service where you can help clean the shelter, sort donations, organize the food pantry and more. For more information, click here.

Cradles to Crayons: Looking for a fun and easy way to give back? Create customized “KidPacks” for children in need. Click here for more details or email Kelsey Miklos at kmilkos@cradlestocrayons.org.

Cuddle Comfort: Create cuddly small pillows or lap blankets as welcome gifts for pediatric patients, senior citizens, homeless shelters and emergency rooms. Register here.

Deborah’s Place: Help women heal, grow and lead at Deborah’s Place, a safe community for women experiencing homelessness in Chicago. With ongoing, individual and group opportunities available, there’s a chance to give back for everyone.

Donate gently used books, toys and games: Make another kid’s day by donating items you don’t use anymore to a children’s hospital or family shelter.

Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry: Volunteer during client shopping hours and food deliveries at the Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry. For details, click here.

Gilda’s Club Chicago: There are different ways to help people who’ve been affected by cancer by helping at Gilda’s Club Chicago. Whether it’s greeting members at the reception desk or playing with children and teens, find out how you can get involved here.

Girl Scout Help: If you want to give back and you’re not sure where to start, begin with Girl Scout Help, which connects Girl Scouts with various volunteer opportunities.

Greenheart Travel: Want to rescue animals in Costa Rica or save elephants in Sri Lanka? You can make a difference by volunteering abroad with Greenheart Travel.

Honor Flight: Pay homage to the brave women and men who served our country by becoming an Honor Flight volunteer. Help these heroes get their day of honor in Washington, D.C. by clicking here or emailing Kathi Krankoski at hfcscouts@gmail.com.

Humanitarian Service Project: Support families in need by volunteering with Humanitarian Service Project in Carol Stream, IL. Opportunities include food and toy sorting.

Host a bake sale or lemonade stand: Whip up a batch of your favorite sweet treat and donate the proceeds to your visit charity.

La Casa Norte: Serve youth and families facing homelessness by getting involved with this Chicago-based organization. Learn more about open volunteer positions here.

Little Hands – Big Hearts: This volunteer opportunity is perfect for little ones who want to make a big difference. For more information, click here.

Meals on Wheels Chicago: Visit with seniors residing in independent living communities with Meals on Wheels’ Friends Beyond the Years program. Details here.

Midwest Soarring Foundation: This nonprofit is dedicated to “educating the public about various American Indian cultural issues, environmental issues, and building community among all people.” To learn more or to volunteer, click here.

Northern Illinois Food Bank: Help the hungry by volunteering at one of three locations in Northern Illinois. Children ages 8 and older can volunteer with families or in groups with adult chaperones. For more information, click here.

Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions: Learn about agriculture and farming, environment and conservation and more when you volunteer abroad in Jamaica. Find out more here.

Organize a blood drive in your community: Recruit donors and help schedule appointments. Create thank-you cards to hand out at the drive. Visit the American Red Cross to learn more.

Restoration Workday: Make use of your green thumb and help restore biodiversity and function to our native ecosystems with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

Ronald McDonald House Charities: Support the families staying at your local Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Room by collecting wish list items, volunteering in the Houses to bake sweets and creating a craft for patients and siblings to enjoy. Each location has specific needs that groups can directly help with and support. Register here.

Send cards to soldiers: Thank women and men in the armed forces for their service to our country. While you’re at it, send cards to veterans, too!

Share Your Soles: Help provide shoes for children and adults in need by volunteering with Share Your Soles. Learn how you can get involved here.

The Puppy Mill Project: If you’re a passionate animal lover, check out volunteer opportunities with this Chicago nonprofit. To sign up, click here.

Visit a local nursing home: Take some time to visit senior citizens at a nursing home in your community. You can read with them or have fun making crafts. Don’t live near a nursing home? Offer to help an elderly neighbor with household chores.

Volunteer at an animal shelter: Help cute critters ready for adoption by volunteering to play with them and groom them. Or you can collect items for the shelter, such as food and supplies, or make toys for the animals.

 

 

 

 

 

What I Learned at Girl Scout Summer Camp

What I Learned at Girl Scout Summer Camp

My name is Charlotte and I have been a Girl Scout for 10 years, from Daisy through to Senior. For the last four years, I’ve gone to Girl Scout summer camp. I’ve been to the Hoist your Sail, On Belay, Engineering Design and Backpacking Adventurer camps. The picture of our Backpacking group was in this year’s camp brochure, how cool is that?

Going to Girl Scout camp is great. There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met. It doesn’t matter if you go to camp by yourself (like I do!) as you always meet up with other girls from previous years camps. Even though we haven’t seen each other for a year we’re still the best of friends. I love camping in the outdoors, learning new skills and sharing those experiences with my new and old friends.

Charlotte Camping Solo

Sailing taught me how to work both on my own and with other crew members. Of course the best part was tipping the sail boat and trying to re-right it! It was so much fun to be on, and in, the water every day. Our group stayed in platform tents by the lake which was great as it was cooler by the water.

Rock climbing taught me that I must be responsible for checking my equipment and that no obstacle is too high or too scary to overcome when you have buddies encouraging you all the way. At Devil’s Lake we stayed in the coolest yurts ever. They had A/C and a TV, too (shhh … don’t tell your moms!). Mind you, it was 103 degrees when we were there, so it was much appreciated.

The Engineering program was one of my favorite camps. We worked in groups and individually to solve all sorts of problems using the items provided as well as improvising along the way. We also got to visit the Yerkes Observatory. I had never done any engineering before, but after this camp I looked into the engineering classes my future high school had to offer. As a freshman, I chose to do a class in engineering design and next year I’m doing civil engineering and architecture. If I hadn’t been on this camp I would never thought about doing engineering at high school.

Finally, the Backpacking camp taught me the value of teamwork: planning and doing our hikes, sharing responsibilities around camp and fine tuning our “leave no trace” skills. I also learned that I really don’t like powdered eggs for breakfast and that life without any electronics is possible and totally enjoyable when you have good company and lovely scenery.

So, what will you do this summer? Watch TV? Play computer games? I challenge you to go try something new!

As for me, I’m off to Girl Scout leadership camp this summer. It’s time to learn some new skills and how to give back to the Girl Scout community.

Have a great summer – see you at camp!

There’s so much to see and do at summer camp! Check out our full list of summer programs at day and resident camps across our council in the 2016 Program Guide and register today.

What I Love About Being a Girl Scout Volunteer

What I Love About Being a Girl Scout Volunteer

As the infamous saying goes, “Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout!” Growing up, I was a Girl Scout and I have wonderful memories of my mom being a volunteer for my troop. We’d go on our Brownie camping trip, sing songs and make S’mores.

My mom was so funny and had everyone laughing because instead of wood she picked up a mouse and she screamed. She was always sewing on different patches and making sure my uniform was always washed and ready to go. She also went rollerskating with us. My mom is a people person and everyone just loved her.

So when my 6-year-old daughter, Jenna, asked to be a Girl Scout Daisy, of course I said yes! I knew the troop leader well as both our daughters attended preschool together. I want the best for my daughter, as every parent does.

Being a volunteer has given me the opportunity to witness my daughter practice the skills that Girl Scouts has taught her firsthand.

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As a volunteer for her troop, I was able to go caroling with the girls and help them make Christmas cards for a local nursing home. I used to work with the elderly and I swelled with pride as my young daughter showed kindness and compassion and got it back tenfold!

Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, I was able to teach my daughter money management and people skills during booth sales. We shared many laughs as I stood on the side of the road waving the cookie sign!

Girl Scouts goes beyond the badges and the pins. Girl Scouts is about girl power … that anything is possible, to be kind and to help others. Just like a Daisy, my daughter and the wonderful girls in her troop are blossoming into wonderful girls. I can’t wait to see what they do next!

A former dancer and dance instructor, Jessica Barnes is a first-year Girl Scout volunteer in Elk Grove Village. When she’s not busy helping the Daisies, she is enjoys having fun with her two daughters, Jenna and Emilee, spending time with her family and friends and baking.

Don’t miss out on the fun, renew your Girl Scout membership today! Troop leaders who renew their troop members through the online Member Community now until June 30 will be automatically enrolled in our brand new GS Plus Loyalty Program, which includes exclusive discounts, a free Girl Scout planner and much more.

Girl Scouts Take Over Downtown Chicago During Loop Site Day

Girl Scouts Take Over Downtown Chicago During Loop Site Day

If your commute was a little sweeter this week, you can thank a Girl Scout.

On Wednesday, March 23, Girl Scouts took over downtown Chicago for the first of four Loop Site Days this spring. During Loop Site Days, girls sell Girl Scout Cookies in the lobbies of downtown businesses.

Ryeleigh M., 6, and Fabiola V., 5, both Girl Scout Daisies from Troop 55190 in Algonquin, Illinois were excited for their first Loop Site Day.

“We’re saving our cookie money to go to Build-a-Bear,” Ryeleigh said.

“And buying crafts for children at the Ronald McDonald’s House,” added Fabiola.

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Ryeleigh (left) and Fabiola (right) created signs to promote their cookie business.

Meanwhile, Caity S., 10, Zoe V. , 9, and Stephanie B., 10, Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 40306 from Mundelein, Illinois plan to use their cookie money to go camping at Camp Juniper Knoll in East Troy, Wisconsin.

“It feels so grownup to sell cookies and it’s just so amazing that adults are trusting us to do this,” shared Zoe.

Stephanie agreed.

“It’s great because we’re cookie bosses and we can decide what to do with the money and where we want to go on trips,” she said.

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(From left to right): Zoe, Caity and Stephanie from Troop 40306

 

In addition to meeting new people and learning new business skills, Cara C. an 11-year-old Girl Scout Junior in Troop 41101 from Lake Villa, Illinois enjoys helping people while selling Girl Scout Cookies.

“During our site sales at grocery stores, we offer to help people take their groceries to their car,” she said. “It feels good to give back.”

Missed the first round of Loop Site sales? Be sure to get your fix at downtown Chicago businesses on March 31, April 7 and April 19!

Become a Superhero with the Girl Scout Super Gold Power Patch Program

Become a Superhero with the Girl Scout Super Gold Power Patch Program

If you’ve ever wanted to become a superhero, now’s your chance.

In celebration of the centennial of the Highest Award this year, we’ve developed a program for Daisies, Brownies and Juniors to learn about what it takes to be a super Girl Scout!

The Super Gold Power Patch Program features fun, high-energy games about the history of the Highest Awards in Girl Scouting; colorful comic strips featuring real-life examples of Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects that have had a deep impact on the community; activities for girls to create their own one-of-a-kind superhero comic strip and emblem – and envision their own Highest Award project for the future.

The curriculum and patches are $5 for each Girl Scout participant. To learn more about the Super Gold Power Patch Program and to register, click here.

Experience Leadership at Camp CEO

Experience Leadership at Camp CEO

What does it take to be a leader in today’s world? What is it really like being a woman in a management position?

You can find out the answers to these questions and more at the 10th annual Camp CEO, a fun-filled, five-day overnight camp hosted by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

An experience like none other, Camp CEO brings together a select group of teen girls to engage in outdoor leadership activities with some of Chicagoland’s most prominent female business leaders.

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#Selfie time at Camp CEO

“Camp CEO had managed to bring a diverse crowd of women and girls together to learn from each other, ultimately so that we could utilize our acquired skills in the real world,” said Eva Lewis, a 17-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador, who participated in last year’s session (pictured above, right). “We were bettering ourselves to make the road to become a successful woman easier. Not only were we investing in our futures, but by doing this we were investing inthe futures of those who will come after us.”

From campfire conversations to archery practice, Camp CEO is an exceptional experience combining the adventure of overnight camp with the personal growth and business savvy of leadership seminars.

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Archery at Camp CEO

“Camp CEO taught me to be ambitious, courageous and passionate – and it all started at a game of kickball with my Camp CEO mentor,” said Kavya Anjur, a Girl Scout and Camp CEO alumna. “After following her advice, I networked with a local lab and got a summer internships, which helped me win a national science contest. I recommend Camp CEO to every high schooler out there – you’ll learn the skills necessary to be successful in this day and age.”

Camp CEO takes place Aug. 7 -12, 2016 at Camp Butternut Springs in Valparaiso, Indiana. Tuition is $150 for Girl Scouts and $180 for non- Girl Scouts and include accommodations, meals and more. Financial aid available.

For more information and to apply, visit girlscoutsgcnwi.org/campceo. Applications are due May 9.