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We have some good news and not so good news about camp to share with you today.


Let’s get the not so good news out of the way, first. After much consideration, a decision was made to cancel the sessions of Desserts Galore (6), Duct Tape Creations Part 1 (7a), and Duct Tape Creations Part 2 (7b) taking place at Camp McCormick. All of the families have been notified of these changes. Please know that this is never an easy call to make and we never do so lightly. We always want to offer as many fun opportunities for girls as we can.

Tagged in: 2015 camp

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If you have been to Mary Ann Beebe Center (MABC) recently, you may have seen that the bridge across the pond is closed. We have closed the bridge for safety reasons. Parts of the structure are rotting and we are working with an engineer to determine the cost of repair and possible plan of action.

 

In the meantime, we recognize that many troops use the bridge at MABC as part of their bridging ceremonies in May and June. While the bridge won't be usable during this time period, we recognize that a bridge is a vital part of this ceremony. Therefore, GSNI Rangers will be building a temporary small wooden bridge for use during this time and setting it up in a scenic location. This temporary bridge will be available for use from May 1st.

Tagged in: 2015 camp

Ever wonder what camp is all about? Today Heather, also known as "Snow White", shares her memories of Camp McCormick.

 

My name is Heather, and I have been a Girl Scout for fifteen years. I joined as a Daisy in kindergarten and am now a junior in college and a lifetime member of Girl Scouts. My experiences as a member of this organization have positively impacted my life and made me the young woman I am today.

 

snowwhite1

 

Throughout my years as a Girl Scout, I have enjoyed spending time at camp. I attended day camp in the summer, spent weekends at camp with my troop and my younger sister's troop, and have been part of the resident camp staff for five years. I believe that everyone deserves to experience the opportunities that camp has to offer. Camp can change your life—it definitely changed mine!

 

Some of my earliest camp memories are from being a day camper at Camp McCormick. During my days at camp, I quickly fell in love with camp life. I had so much fun learning new songs and making new friends. A few of my favorite activities included swimming, arts and crafts, tie-dying, and going to the trading post. I even remember my counselors: Kermie, Daisy, and Aerofly!

Tagged in: 2015 camp camp mccormick

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By: Guy Schmale, Camp Dean Ranger
 
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As we head into spring, you may notice evidence of fire across large natural areas in some of our camps. These fires were prescribed to help restore native prairie, savanna, and forest habitats. 
Fire is a natural part of these landscapes and before the arrival of European settlers, they burned more frequently. Fires were started by lightning strikes and meteor impacts. Native Americans also used fire to drive game, to clear land, and as a weapon. Back then, the landscape was not divided by highways, big agriculture, or other development. Because of this, fires would burn a long time and cover great distances.
 
Over the last century, the attitude in the U.S. was to put out all fires as quickly as we could to protect people and property. Only in recent decades have ecologists come to understand how removing fire is actually harming the balance of native ecosystems. When fire burns through an area, only plants that can resist or evade the flames are able to survive. They may have adaptations such as thicker bark or deeper roots. Potential competitors that are not suited to fire are set back or killed—leaving more resources like water and light to reach those that remain. 
Tagged in: 2015 camp

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CampChatssm

 

Camp Season is right around the corner! We want to make sure you have all of the information you need before the fun begins. Join us for a Camp Chat either in person at our Service Centers, on Facebook, or via webinar from Thursday, February 12 through Wednesday, April 1. Signing up is easy, just visit one of the links below to RSVP to one of these informational sessions. Camp Registration opens Tuesday, February 17 and we can't wait to see you out at Camp Dean and Camp McCormick! In the meantime, take a look at our Camphlet (Camp Pamphlet) to see what we have planned for 2015.

Tagged in: 2015 camp

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A camp experience:

  • Develops skills, knowledge and self-confidence through exciting, challenging and fun activities such as canoeing, kayaking, archery, hiking, outdoor cooking, and horseback riding
  • Enhances teamwork and social skills through community living and group play
  • Strengthens self-reliance and independent living skills by being away from home
  • Provides exciting and enriching opportunities for personal growth
  • Develops an appreciation for nature and the environment

 

Fees for camp cover only about 64% of the direct costs to provide the camp experience.

 

This past summer about 50 families needed financial assistance to pay the camp fee.

 

The average cost of a camp session is $250. We would like to raise enough on Giving Tuesday to send at least 10 girls to camp whose families cannot afford it

 

Your gift, of any amount, will help provide the camp experience for girls and financial assistance for families who need it. So on Giving Tuesday, please make a donation and Give the Gift of Camp. Thank you!

Please click here to Give the Gift of Camp now.

Tagged in: 2014 camp giving tuesday

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Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois will host “Visit Our Fantastic Forest” from 9 a.m.–12 Noon on Saturday, September 13, at Camp Far Horizons, 9702 S. Lost Horizon Road, in Hanover. Girl Scout troops, families, and the public are welcome to visit Camp Far Horizons and enjoy a leisurely walk through nature. There will also be a geocaching scavenger hunt and hands-on activities for the whole family! Experts will be on hand to talk about healthy forest management and native plant species and to lead participants in invasive species removal.

Tagged in: 2014 camp

It's time for Camp Service Days, again! The goal  is to assist in preparing the camps for the winter by storing away summer equipment. Assisting at Camp Service Day is rewarded with a free night in a tent unit and ½ price for a lodge for one night. Deposit is still required but will be refunded following normal procedures.

 

If you would like to perform a service project at one of our camps, contact Charlie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your project idea. To register, click one of the links below:

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GSNI recently received a thank you from the mother of Kesiime, a Girl Guide from Uganada who spent part of her summer at camp with GSNI. We wanted to share her words with you.

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Jumpin’ Jammin’ is a council-sponsored older girl camping experience designed for Girl Scout Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops/groups and individually registered girls. At Jumpin’ Jammin’, a core staff of event assistants and adult volunteers are on hand to assist participants and lead a variety of theme-based program activities.

 

This year’s theme—CSI—will focus on activities and competitive challenges inspired by camp site investigation. Girls will be able to experience a new twist on outdoor skills, common camp activities, and problem solving. So round up your troop and friends because Jumpin’ Jammin’ is where you want to be!

Tagged in: 2014 camp

Today, GSNI Camp Ranger, Guy Schmale writes about how GSNI is helping to grow more trees and the next generations of tree stewards with help from The Morton Arboretum. 


Almost 50 Girl Scouts got to help plant oak trees as part of a pilot program this summer at Camp Dean, one of five camps owned by Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI). The plantings were led by Beth Corrigan, Community Trees Project Coordinator for The Morton Arboretum. Beth talked with the girls about many of the ways we benefit from trees and then walked them through the proper way to plant one. Beth’s outreach work, including her visits to the camp, is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Tagged in: 2014 camp

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There’s a reason we call Camp Benson the 113-acre memory maker. You’ll have an opportunity to brave Camp Benson’s very own cave! This dark and cold hike is filled with all kinds of cool things, even stealthy bats. A trip down the 3-story-tall zip-line might be just the rush you’re looking for. Take a leisurely hike through the grotto, or climb aboard your sled and take the plunge down the 240-foot long Twilight Zone tube slide. If you have a desire for adventure, Adventure Camp Overnight is for you!

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Being away from home can be hard for anyone. Why not help your camper feel special during camp this summer and send her a Pamper Your Camper Kit from GSNI? There are two types of kits available, a standard kit and one to send if your Girl Scout is celebrating a birthday while at camp.

Tagged in: 2014 camp Council Store

Summers can be busy. That’s why we’ve made it easy to send your Girl Scout to camp with everything she’ll need to have a great time. Use this order form to order the following:

Tagged in: 2014 camp Council Store

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Swimming. Archery. Learning new things. Making new friends. Memories to last a lifetime. These are all things that make for a great summer and are all things that are offered to girls at GSNI Camps. We wanted to make sure you were aware of the registration deadlines for our camp sessions this summer. Take a look at this handy chart found in our 2014 Resident Camp Guide: 

Tagged in: 2014 camp

Moving at the “speed of girls,” Girl Scouts brings the camp experience into the twenty-first century! According to a new study by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), More Than S’mores (2014), girls benefit immensely from time spent outdoors. Girls who regularly spend time outdoors eclipse their peers who spend less time outdoors in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers—all important traits in twenty-first century leadership.

Tagged in: 2014 camp research

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Camper paperwork and balances due on June 1. Paperwork and balances can be dropped off at any GSNI Service Center Store. If mailing paperwork, please return to the Elgin Service Center, Attn: Emily Hall, 12N124 Coombs Rd., Elgin, IL 60124. Campers MUST have paperwork turned into council prior to their camp session. If you are unable to return camp paperwork and payment by June 1, please contact Emily Hall at 847-741-5521, Ext. 7132 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Camper paperwork and balances due on June 1. Paperwork and balances can be dropped off at any GSNI Service Center Store. If mailing paperwork, please return to the Elgin Service Center, Attn: Emily Hall, 12N124 Coombs Rd., Elgin, IL 60124. Campers MUST have paperwork turned into council prior to their camp session. If you are unable to return camp paperwork and payment by June 1, please contact Emily Hall at 847-741-5521, Ext. 7132 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Camp registration is still open. There are still openings in many sessions, but they are filling fast! Check out some of the available sessions:

 

Experiment Extravaganza
Camp Dean
June 22-27
Entering Grades 5-7

 

Movin’ On Up Camp
Camp McCormick
July 16-18
Entering Grade 6 (Note grade change from original camp book publication)

 

Canoes, Kayaks, and Rafts
Camp McCormick
July 13-18
Entering Grades 8-10

 

You’ll Have a Splash
Camp Dean
July 24-26
Entering Grades 2-4

Tagged in: 2014 camp

Dedicated volunteer and Girl Scout mom, Aimey C. recently won the $100 gift certificate to Girl Scouts after taking our 2014 Parent and Volunteer Survey online. Aimey and her family had benefitted from program assistance from GSNI in the past, and like any Girl Scout would do, she wanted to pay it forward. Aimey donated her gift certificate to be used as a Campership for a girl in need in her area. Thanks Aimey! If you would like to help a girl near you go to camp this summer, make a donation to camperships here.


Our Girl Scout family believes that camp is for every girl. And yet, affording Girl Scout Camp is not possible for all girls, even though our council subsidizes the costs for every girl. Last year, we distributed over $10,000 in financial assistance to give more girls the opportunity to receive the great benefits of summer camp. We need your help to make this possible.

Tagged in: 2014 camp campership