Marissa Garza

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City-wide ice cream social? Yes, please! Alpine Kiwanis is inviting all Girl Scouts, Girl Scout alumni, and their families to attend Kiwanis: 100 Years of Giving on Saturday, August 22, from 3–7:30 p.m., at Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, in Rockford. The event will include scoops of free ice cream, local bands, and fun activities for all ages!

 

One of Rockford's favorite bands, Clutch Cargo, will perform live, and Alleluia Quartet will sing "God Bless the USA." Girl Scouts are invited to be part of a video, filmed via overhead drone, during the song. Alpine Kiwanis is also looking for a troop that would be willing to create a foam core map of the United States to be featured during the filming!

Tagged in: 2015 Rockford

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Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) is committed to providing girls the tools they need to be successful leaders now and throughout their lives. We are proud to extend this commitment by helping girls through the Girl Scout Scholarship Program. In 2015, GSNI awarded one $500 Girl Scout Gold Award Scholarship and eight $500 Girl Scout Ambassador Scholarships.

 

All scholarship applicants must be current and active members of GSNI. Recipients of the Girl Scout Gold Award Scholarship must have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award and live by the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The Ambassador Scholarship recipients must demonstrate they live by the principles expressed in the Girl Scout Promise and Law. We are proud to announce the recipents of this years' awards.

Tagged in: 2015 scholarships

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We've got some bad news! All current memberships will lapse on September 30, 2015. But don't worry, the good news is that current members can register NOW for the 2015-2016 Membership Year! Why wait?! Claim your spot today! 

 

Need more convincing? Here are some great reasons to re-register NOW:

  • Re-registering now will eliminate the chaos of fall paperwork with back to school season in full swing! We all know how hectic that can be!
  • Insurance coverage will not lapse. If a Girl Scout is not registered for the 2015-2016 Membership Year and attends a meeting on October 1, 2015 where something happens, this means that the troop leader could be liable for any injuries or accidents that might have happened. No one wants that! 
  • There's no good reason to stop the fun! Spring and summer are full of bridging ceremonies, big trips, and camping. Why not continue with the fun in the fall?
Tagged in: 2015 registration

Today we would like to introduce you to Christina Lanski, Miss Gold Coast's Outstanding Teen. Read her story of why she decided to join Girl Scouts again, as Girl Scout Ambassador. Have you re-registered for another year of fun yet? Join Christina and all of us for another year of fun! 

 

Christina Lanaski 2

 

Hello! My name is Christina Lanaski and I am a part of the Miss America Organization as Miss Gold Coast's Outstanding Teen (MGCOT). As MGCOT it is my job to dedicate my year of service to help promote and educate the community about my platform. So, what is a platform? In the simplest terms, it's a problem in society today that all girls in the MA/MAOT organization are passionate to raise awareness for and help those affected by it. Mine is "Healthy Living Confidently: Strut Your Stuff!. It has become an epidemic that 7/10 young woman worry about their image to a point of serious concern.

Tagged in: 2015 registration

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Summer is a great time for going out with the family to watch some sports! GSNI has great opportunities to do just that AND support Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois at the same time. Click on the name of the day to see the flier for each event.

Girls Scouts gives girls opportunities they can't find anywhere else. Today, Emily Bettler, Associate Board Director for GSNI and Girl Scout Ambassador, writes about her exprience at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

About 4 months ago, my mother forwarded me an email about an opportunity to go to the United Nations and participate in a conference that I knew nothing about called The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 59). Intrigued, I clicked on the email and scrolled through reading a little bit about what this trip would entail and instantly knew I wanted to go. After some discussion with my parents, we all easily came to agreement that I should apply, because it just sounded like such an interesting, unique opportunity. Without further ado, I wrote my application and (obviously) got accepted to go. It was thrilling to be accepted to be a part of something larger than myself at place that seemed so grand and prestigious.

Tagged in: 2015 United Nations

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At GSNI, we know that there can be a lot of of information to digest and a lot of places to find that information. In an effort to make it easier for parents to know the information that is most important to their Girl Scout and her experience, GSNI is proud to annouce Trefoil Talks. 

TrefoilTalks

 

What are Trefoil Talks?

Trefoil Talks are webinars that will present information targeted to each Girl Scout level. During each Trefoil Talk, our Senior Vice President of Girl Experience, Stacie Simpson, will walk you through a part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for that Girl Scout level and then talk about some of the events we have coming up. Stacie also wants to hear from you and will be there to answer your questions.

Tagged in: 2015 trefoil talks

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Angela B., age 13, Alex K., age 13, and Kaity M., age 13, of Girl Scout Troop 421 took a big step towards earning the Girl Scout Silver Award at the April 2015 Crystal Lake City Council Meeting when the mayor officially approved their proclamation to declare April 26–May 2 as Pay It Forward Week in Crystal Lake. The girls' goal is to increase local kindness by encouraging others to do good deeds without asking for anything in return, except that the recipients do something kind for someone else.

 

The girls formulated their project plan after their troop did a random act of kindness for the Crystal Lake Fire Department. The girls baked cupcakes and delivered them with a thank you note. "They had a blast doing it and felt that the fire fighters really appreciated it," says Kim Becker, Troop 421 Leader. The girls started researching ways they could use random acts of kindness in earning their Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6–8) can earn. Eventually, they decided to create a Pay it Forward project.

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Have you checked out our Council’s Pinterest page? On it you will find craft ideas, information about famous Girl Scouts, and information about upcoming Girl Scout Programs.


On the Girl Experience board you will in particular you will find many programs for girls of all ages. There is a map feature so you can see what is close to home or you might see a program offered a bit further away and decide it is time for a road-trip.

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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
MoneySmartWeek
 
When it comes to being smart about money—Girl Scouts rule! These dedicated female entrepreneurs are responsible for annually (and successfully) running the largest financial literacy program for girls in the nation, the Girl Scout Cookie Program! So, it’s no surprise they want to share important financial information with girls and women during this Money Smart Week, April 18–25, 2015. 
 
 
Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois will offer a fun, interactive events for all girls—not just Girl Scouts— Cost is $2 per girl; free for adults and all programs begin at 6:30 p.m. Registered Girl Scout troop leaders are welcome to attend an informational help session on troop finances during the girl program.

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stlouis

 

What are your plans for this summer? I sure hope they include some awesome trips, maybe like the GSNI St. Louis Trip. Spend 5 days and 4 nights exploring the Gateway to the West. Travel by bus and spend your nights in a cozy hotel next to the Arch. View the Zoo, the City Museum, join us for a river cruise, and do so much more. If you are in grades 5-12, this is the trip for you. Sign up today.

Tagged in: 2015 travel

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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Today GSNI CEO, Fiona Cummings, writes about the value of our volunteers to kick off Volunteer Appreciation Month.

 

People often ask me what the difference is between working for a for-profit and a non-profit organization. Apart from the level of monetary rewards, certain accounting processes and our ability to expand our markets, the largest difference of all is that for-profits mostly deliver their mission with paid staff and non-profits rely heavily on volunteers to deliver their mission.

 

We are at the time of the year when we recognize and thank our volunteers, without whom, GSNI and, indeed Girl Scouts as an organization, would not exist. In total, we have 2,303 active volunteers, of which 2,271 are women and 32 are men. Our volunteers run troops, help organize the Girl Scout Cookie Program, manage Service Units, lead programs, organize and help at events, organize alumnae, help raise funds, are active board and committee members, train and mentor other adults and hold many other roles.

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Are you planning on helping at GSNI’s Camp Service Days at Camp McCormick or Camp Dean? Planning on volunteering at Camp even though you have already finished your requirements for Program Aide Award? Make those hours work for you!


Did you know that Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors all have an award called the Service to Girl Scouting bar? They sure do. To earn it, just spend 20 hours volunteering for Girl Scouts. That isn’t so hard, and it is actually a lot of fun. Consider volunteering with a younger troop, helping out at camp, or coming to a service day. Those don’t work for you? Check in with us now and then to see where we could use a helping hand.

Tagged in: 2015 awards

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By: Guy Schmale, Camp Dean Ranger
 
burn
 
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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MarissaDambra

 

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois delighted local girls with the announcement that the highest level reward in the 2015 Girl Scout Cookie Program would be a trip for two to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! Announced at the beginning of cookie season, the first-time-ever reward is for girls who set their goals high and sell 2,500 boxes of cookies or more. Several girls are close to this reward level while many others are on their way to earning enough to finance a summer camp session, a community service project, or a troop trip.

 

One example is Girl Scout Marissa D. of Streamwood who has sold over 2,500 boxes of cookies to earn the Disney trip. She was very close to the Disney reward level and shared this news with a customer. The customer offered to purchase enough cookies—a value of $100—to help her reach her goal. Now, Marissa is going to Disney!

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The following message was sent out to Service Units and Troops via eBudde earlier today, but we wanted to share it with everyone:

 

Good afternoon,
We wanted to update you on the status of extending booth sales for one week. There will not be an official extension. There are a couple reasons we've decided NOT to extend booth sales through March 29.

 

1) We only heard back from a very small percentage of troops indicating they would like to hold a "My Sales" booth for an additional weekend. Most of those that were in favor would only be in favor if we could guarantee availability of all varieties.

2) Due to the national shortage and our regularly scheduled sale dates, the baker and therefore; the council, cannot guarantee to have all cookie varieties in our cupboards to cover the additional weekend.

 

If however, you were one of the troops that said yes and can arrange a "My Sales" location for the extended weekend (March 27-29) we would approve the site but only with the knowledge that the cupboards would not be open and the money would still need to be deposited first thing Monday, March 30 because the final bank sweep would not be delayed.

 

Thank you,
Your Product Program Team

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Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ (GSNI) cookie baker, Little Brownie Bakers (LBB), is currently experiencing a national shortage of Thin Mints and Samoas! Whoa! That’s big news!

 

Because of this, GSNI is also experiencing a shortage. We are working closely with LBB and are eagerly anticipating delivery of these cookies to the council at the earliest opportunity. Booth sales will continue as planned throughout the rest of the cookie program!

 

Although we are disappointed with the national cookie shortage, the good news is that cookie sales are up this year, thanks to our amazing girls! We especially appreciate all the hard work our leaders, volunteers, and parents do to support them in achieving their cookie goals! If you have any questions, please call 800-925-3327, Ext. 7250.

At GSNI, we know that our volunteers make it possible to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. That's why we are so excited to tell you about our upcoming training workshop, S.T.E.W. Christina Kirsch, Volunteer Support Specialist, and Chris Alsip, Volunteer Trainer and S.T.E.W. Committee Planner will tell you all about it below. 

 

From Christina:

 

Even though the temperatures still slip below zero, a thought of spring is coming our way. You may notice that we have changed our outdoor trainings a bit. In the fall, we introduced Indoor Overnight Trainings as a face-to-face training. In addition, we have added interactive activities in our trainings to give a better understanding of Adult/Girl planning. These classes will be held in the spring as well. We have a better scheduling process with our outdoor facilitators to schedule Outdoor Overnight Trainings in advance and with registration opening the same time each year. This schedule will help all of our volunteers plan for the trainings they will need to take their troop camping.

Tagged in: 2015 Volunteer