Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicago's Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 Years & Gathering Place Grand Opening

 Brownie Sage   Photo Credit ChiILMama.com

Brownies and Girl Scouts bring to mind Thin Mints, annual cookie sales, camping and badges.    But as we approach the Girl Scouts 100th anniversary, on my son's birthday, March 12th,  we'd like to share how much more the scouts have become.    I was a Brownie and Girl Scout back in the 70's and my own daughter is now in her 2nd year as a Brownie.   When I rejoined scouting last year, after decades away, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much more tech savvy, eco-friendly, multicultural and girl empowering scouts have become.    

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're all about highlighting the arts, music, and great, creative spaces that benefit kids.    So we'll be featuring a number of Girl Scout spaces and events in this exciting anniversary year.    The best news is....these places are not just for girl scouts or even just for girls!    We'll soon be featuring a video tour of Journey World and interview with Director, Lisa Garrucho.    This hidden Chicago gem at Halsted and Chicago runs school workshops, day camps, and overnighters for Chi-town girls and boys, scouts and non-scouts.

We've kicked things off with coverage of Reality Check, a multimedia exploration of how reality show watching affects teen girls, and a video contest where girls can create and document their own realities for great prizes.

We'll also soon be featuring an exclusive video interview with Maria Wynne, CEO of The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, the largest council in the world.

  Maria Wynne at The Gathering Place Ribbon Cutting
  Photo credit for all Gathering Place photos:   Amy Ravit Korin 

In addition to celebrating a century, this year, Chicago area scouts are also celebrating a new space.

Girl Scouts Unveil Gathering Place
The Girl Scout Gathering Place, located at 20 S. Clark St. in Chicago, officially opened less than a month ago, with a ribbon cutting, on September 19th.

The Gathering Place honors 10 decades of Girl Scout roots in Chicago and signals the future of premier leadership development programming for more than 86,000 girl members and 23,000 adult volunteers across our geography.

Senator Durban with a Girl Scout

Guests included The Honorable Richard J, Durbin, Maria Wynne, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago, the Council Board of Directors, members of the philanthropic community, other public officials and Girl Scouts.

Background:  The Gathering Place reflects the Girl Scouts’ commitment to providing girls ages 5 – 17 and from 245 communities within our geography with leadership development opportunities that prepare them for tomorrow’s world.  

The Girl Scouts relocated to create an innovative, welcoming environment that honors past legacies, makes the space available to members and donors, and marks the 100th anniversary milestone in 2012 with the exciting possibilities of the future.

Reality Check Event
On Saturday, Oct. 22, there's a FREE event for girls ages 13-17 at Chicago Gathering Place, located at 20 S. Clark Street, Suite 200, Chicago, IL.  Registration is required to ensure seating, click here to register. Film your own video for our contest on the spot, meet Kasia, have your photo taken by The MASH, the Chicago Tribune print and online newspaper created by and for teens and much more. Find out more about this free and exciting event. Slots are filling quickly, so register NOW!

ChiIL Mama's happy to support The Girl Scouts, as they continue their committment to and investment in girls' education and leadership training.   Check back with ChiIL Mama early and often for updates on great local resources and fun upcoming events.

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