Marissa Garza

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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

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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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While the time for individual order card sales has ended, Girl Scout Cookies can still be purchased via a Digital Order Card until March 9 and our Booth Sales begin in just a few weeks on February, 27. This week, GSNI CEO, Fiona Cummings, shares her thoughts on the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

 

digitalcookie

 

It's that time of year again. The cookie program. You either love it or you hate it and to be honest, my sense is that most girls love the program and most adults do not. So, thank you right now for all that you do as an adult to support your daughter or other girls who are benefiting from the cookie program. This is the largest girl-led financial literacy program in the United States and a wonderful way for girls to finance their activities in Girl Scouts.

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GirlScoutDayatCapitol


Are you and your girls heading down to Springfield for the 2015 Girl Scout Day at the Capitol, on May 1, 2015, hosted by Girl Scouts of Central Illinois? Are you thinking, “How am I going to transport my troop to Springfield on a Friday?” Well, “leave the driving to us!” GSNI that is. GSNI has chartered three coach buses running three different routes for your convenience. The round trip fee to ride the bus is $40 per person. A minimum of 40 people (girls and adults) must register to ride a route in order for the route to run. If the minimum is not met, you will receive a full refund.

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How would you describe someone who volunteers?


I'd say they are probably very helpful and caring. They also likely want to make the world a better place.
Wait a second! That sounds an awful lot like a Girl Scout too!

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GSNI CEO, Fiona Cummings, shares her thoughts on this holiday season.

 

We will all be celebrating the holidays in different ways and for different reasons, but one thing is for sure; this is the time of year that many people, and especially the Girl Scouts, remember those who are less fortunate, and seek to make these individual’s lives just a little bit better.

 

I have been asking around our Council for examples of the wonderful things that volunteers and girls are doing at this time of year to help others. Here are just a few inspiring answers.

Tagged in: 2014 From Fiona

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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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Yes, the Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love is going beyond the booth and offering more ways to buy cookies and support girls' learning than ever before.

 

And the best part is that Digital Cookie helps take the five essential life skills girls learn through the traditional cookie program to a whole new level—introducing critical lessons about online marketing, application use, and ecommerce to more than one million excited Girl Scouts, in real-time.

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Starting this month GSNI CEO, Fiona Cummings, will be talking directly to our membership and public through this blog. Here is her first post.

 

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to share with you what I am thankful for so far this Girl Scout Year.

 

It has been such pleasure to meet so many girls, volunteers and parents that make up GSNI at the Meet the CEO events that have been happening around the council. At our most recent event in Rockford, over 200 people came out to visit. I enjoyed hearing about all the Journeys and activities that our Girl Scouts want to do and about their favorite Girl Scout experiences. Have you made it out to a Meet the CEO event yet? The next Meet the CEO will be at our Sugar Grove Service Center on January 29, 2015 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Keep an eye on our webpage as there are more planned around the council. Girls who meet me, even get a patch!

Tagged in: 2014 From Fiona