March 26, 2013

Wine Tasting to Benefit GSNI Alumnae Association

IMG_5287Artalé Wine Co. will host an adults-only wine tasting for the public on Friday, April 5, from 5:30–8:30 p.m. at 6876 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, IL to benefit girl members of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. The event will include 30 wine varieties, along with hors d’oeuvres and dessert bites from Josef-Barbados Restaurant & Oyster Bar. Cost is $15 per person, cash, at the door. $10 of each cover fee will be donated to GSNI. GSNI’s Alumnae Association will use proceeds from the event to help girls register as Girl Scouts, attend camp, and travel.

Each month, Artalé choses one non-profit organization in the Rockford area and showcases them at a wine tasting. Artalé’s wine tasting events are well-known throughout Rockford and continue to draw a crowd of loyal supporters. For more information, please contact the Artalé Wine Co. at 815-877-9463.

March 22, 2013

Thin Mint Popcorn

Looking for something to make for The Great Girl Scout Cookie Challenge? Why not try this making this Thin Mint Popcorn? Entries are accepted through March 31, 2013. Don’t miss your chance to win a basket full of baking supplies valued at $100!


Thin Mint Popcorn

1 1/2 bags light microwave popcorn, popped (Don’t use 2 full bags)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 package Thin Mint cookies (or Keebler Grasshoppers), coarsely chopped

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Rip open your popcorn bags and tear them carefully down the middle. (Basically make your popcorn bag flat with the popcorn sitting on top of it. This will cause all the unpopped kernels to fall to the bottom, so you can easily scoop up handfuls of the popped pieces only.) Place the popped kernels in a large bowl.

Stir together the sugars, corn syrup, cocoa, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat until boiling. Allow to boil 2 minutes. Then stir in peppermint extract and baking soda. Mixture will foam.

Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn in your bowl and stir until very well coated. Spread the popcorn onto the foil-lined sheet. Bake in the oven 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped cookie pieces. Allow to cool to room temperature. (Put in freezer for 10 minutes or so if you’re impatient like me). Break into chunks and store in an airtight container. Best after aging a day or two.

March 21, 2013

Top Ten Reasons I Love Girl Scout Camp

GSNI is hosting a contest all about camp! Have your happy camper submit a list of the top ten reasons why she loves Girl Scout camp to She will be entered to win over $100 in Girl Scout camping supplies! Girls will be credited for their lists and featured on GSNI’s blog and social media. This contest is open only to members of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. All entries received before Friday, May 31, 2013 will be entered.

March 19, 2013

Volunteers Needed!

Do you live in the Geneva or Bartlett areas and  looking for a way to make an impact in your community? GSNI is looking for adult volunteers to lead a six-week Girl Scout troop opportunity for girls in grades K–5. Volunteers will be provided training and support materials focusing on one of the three Girl Scout curricula:

Troops are scheduled to begin working on these programs the week of April 15. Troop meeting date, time, and location are flexible to volunteer needs.

For more information in Geneva, contact Rebecca Gronke at 630-897-1565, Ext. 7181 or For more information in Bartlett, contact Lindsey Robertson at 847-741-5521, Ext. 7137 or

March 15, 2013

GSNI Announces The Great Girl Scout Cookie Challenge!

The Great Girl Scout Cookie Challenge

We all know Girl Scout Cookies are amazing right out of the box. But did you know they also work great as ingredients in a number of recipes, too? We want to know – what’s your favorite recipe using Girl Scout Cookies? If you tell us, you will be entered in a drawing to win a Baking Basket valued at $100! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow us on Pinterest:
  2. Create a board called “The Great Girl Scout Cookie Challenge”
  3. Pin photos of the food you made using Girl Scout Cookies. Make sure you put the recipe in the comments or link to it in some way and include #GSNICookieChallenge in your post.

Each recipe will count as one entry into the contest. GSNI reserves the right to use photos and recipes collected during this contest in other printed and digital materials. Credit will be given to people who submit recipes. In order to be selected as a winner, your Pinterest profile must be connected to Facebook for notification purposes. Entries will be accepted between Monday, March 18, 2013–Sunday, March 31, 2013. The winner will be chosen on April 1, 2013.

Need ideas? Check out our idea board on Pinterest.

So, let’s get cookin’! Show us what you can make with Girl Scout Cookies for your chance to win!

March 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Approves Girl Scout Cookie Booths Nationwide!

Great news! Wal-Mart is reexamining its solicitation policies regarding storefront activity and is now permitting Girl Scouts to continue to sell cookies in front of stores, including Sam’s Club locations, across the country! Our friends at Wal-Mart have asked us to share the following statement about the Girl Scouts/Wal-Mart relationship:

Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are proud to support local Girl Scout troops with their annual cookie-selling campaigns. This year, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Girl Scouts of the USA have developed a uniform agreement to establish a consistent process for conducting the 2013 cookie campaign in front of our stores and clubs. This effort intends to ensure a strong, uniform relationship between our company and the local troops during the 2013 cookie-selling season. Wal-Mart is committed to providing the best possible store experience for our customers, and we are committed to being a strong community partner. We believe that because of this process even more of our stores and clubs will be encouraged to participate.

Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club’s locations nationwide have been provided with a copy of this agreement. The decision of whether or not a particular Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club will allow Girl Scouts to have a cookie booth is decided by the manager at each store. If you are interested in having a cookie booth at your Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club location, please contact the manager, mention the new agreement, and encourage the manager to allow local girls have a cookie booth at the store. Your word as a loyal shopper and community member means a great deal to the management at each store!

If you have any questions regarding the agreement between Wal-Mart and Girl Scouts, please contact Madelon Koerner, Director of Product Program, at 847-741-5521, Ext. 7120 or

March 11, 2013

Happy Girl Scout Week 2013!

Juliet "Daisy" Gordon Low

Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments, and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and studied first aid. One hundred and one years later, Girl Scouts are still doing that and much more!

Girl Scouts of the USA, CEO, Ana Maria Chavez shares her thoughts on this occasion:

“Juliette Gordon Low’s vision was to establish an organization in which any American girl could expand her horizons by having fun, exploring new interests, and contributing to society. The core of that vision was girl leadership and I am immensely proud to note that it continues to be at the center of our mission today.

In fact, as we enter our second century of service to girls, our focus on girl leadership is more intense than ever. Girl Scouts offers the premier leadership program for girls, and just two weeks ago I had the privilege of joining some truly amazing Gold Award recipients at a leadership breakfast in Washington, D.C. These young women have already accomplished so much as Girl Scouts and as citizens of their communities and their country. Seeing the passion on their faces and hearing their incredible stories, I was reminded yet again of the importance of our mission, and the vital role we play in developing girls who are making our world a better place.”

GSNI is proud to continue Juliette Low’s vision locally. Join us in celebrating all week on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn pages. If you are interested in joining our membership or volunteering, please email

March 11, 2013

Unique Opportunities Available at Volunteer Connect!

Typically, when you think of a Girl Scout Volunteer, you think of a Troop Leader. But, there are many other volunteer opportunities available with GSNI! Some include working with girls, and others include connecting a volunteer’s special talents with our areas of need! Also, some available positions do not require a year-long commitment. Take a look at a few of our current volunteer opportunities:

  • Coordinating Council Wide Events – Do you have expertise in event planning or interested in learning more about it? We are looking for people to help with annual events held by GSNI. These events include Thin Mint Sprint, Girl Scouts Forever, and more.
  • GSNI Speaker’s Bureau – Do you enjoy public speaking? Did you gain valuable skills through Girl Scouting, or watch your Girl Scout learn about leadership first hand? Are you a proud Girl Scout alumnae, parent, troop leader or community partner? If you believe in the Girl Scout Movement and the benefits it provides for girls, consider joining GSNI’s Speakers Bureau!
  • STEM Volunteers – Do you like science technology, engineering, and/or math? GSNI is looking for people to share their STEM passion with Girl Scouts. Why not volunteer to help girls become interested in these exciting fields!
  • Plumbing/Carpentry Help – Do you have a skill in plumbing or carpentry? GSNI has facilities throughout the council that could definitely use your help!
  • Service Unit Communications Professional – Do you like promoting events, sharing stories with people, and working with people in your service unit? GSNI’s Communications team is looking for someone to act as their liaison at Service Unit meetings and work with Girl Scout Emissaries in their area to help promote and share the stories of GSNI.

This Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois is hosting Volunteer Connect! at our Rockford Service Center. We invite you to come and see the opportunities are available. As you know, volunteering is a great way to add to your resume, can help when applying to graduate school, and benefits the community at the same time. We look forward to seeing you this Wednesday!

March 8, 2013

Celebrate International Women’s Day

International Women's DayInternational Women’s Day has been celebrated since the early 1900s. The theme has changed along the years to reflect different issues facing women in the world. However, the main focus has remained on the leadership women have in economic, political, and other social achievements.

Girl Scouting has been proven to make a difference in the lives of girls around the world, making them into the leaders of tomorrow. Take a moment to read some quotes from recent study titled, Linking Leadership to Academic Success: The Girl Scout Difference by Girl Scouts of the USA to see how we are doing just that.

  • My experience as a Girl Scout made me a better, more confident person and showed me ways how to make the world a better place. (13 year old Girl Scout, Massachusetts)
  • Girl Scouting has created new opportunities for me to try new things, make new friends, and learn how to lead! It has been a great opportunity for me to help the world, one thing at a time! (12 year old Girl Scout, Ohio)
  • I enjoy being around other girls from many cultures, and learning to work together for the betterment of our schools, and community. (12 year old Girl Scout, Nebraska)
  • Girl Scouts is a place where I know I can be myself and speak what’s on my mind. Girl Scouts has allowed me to see my real self and not be afraid to show who I really am. (12 year old Girl Scout, Massachusetts)
  • Our troop leader is a great influence for us and teaches us things way above our age. (11 year old Girl Scout, California)

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois is proud make an impact in our local community by working to achieve our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. This International Women’s Day, you can help by volunteering your time, making a contribution, or joining our membership.

Looking for ways to get involved? Click the link to learn how you can help celebrate International Women’s Day Online!

March 7, 2013

Register for Your Chance to Win an iPad Mini!

iPad MiniGSNI and Girl Scouts of the USA Research Institute (GSRI) are partnering to provide opportunities for girls and adults to share their thoughts and feelings about their Girl Scout experiences through a unique website at

To participate, girls and their parents can complete an initial registration survey to help GSNI send relevant, age-appropriate surveys in the future. Information provided on these surveys is important to help us understand how to create the best possible programs for all Girl Scouts.

Girls ages 12 and under will need a parent to sign them up, and girls 13 and over can do it themselves. Registering on will take 5-10 minutes and will ask for basic personal information. This website is managed and protected by Girl Scouts of the USA; your information is never shared with any third party, and it is always kept separate from your daughter’s future survey responses to protect her anonymity.

Every Girl Scout who signs up on by March 31, 2013 AND completes a survey in April 2013 will automatically receive a new Girl Scout Voices patch and be entered to win one of four iPad Minis, a stay at camp, Journey books for their entire troop, or one of four gift certificates for the Girl Scout Council Store. You must register on Girl Scout Voices by March 31 in order to receive the survey in April, so it’s the only way to be eligible for all the great incentives! Sign up on, today!

For more information, please contact Emily at survey or (815) 962-5591, Ext. 7216.