Troop Leader Support is Here!

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 3:04pm

New for the 2015-2016 Girl Scout Troop year, GSNI-M will have professional staff assigned to each grade level to support and mentor troop leaders. One thing we will be doing is calling leaders and checking in with them to make sure they are on the right path, offer assistance, and gather information. Although we will be focusing on new troop leaders, we’ll still check in on experienced leaders from time to time. In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to call us.  We’re here to help you!

Soon leaders will also begin receiving a monthly e-newsletter specific to their grade level with tips on implementing the best Girl Scout practices for their girls!  Make sure we have your email address.

We look forward to working with troop leaders to ensure the best Girl Scout experience for every troop!

Introducing the new Troop Support Team: (please note that some of these staff have other responsibilities that are not listed here)











Abby Schoonaert – Daisy & Junior









Jean Orcutt – Brownie











Nanette Yarde (beginning September 2015) – Multi-grade troops;  Troops are multi-grade if 75% or more is not made up of one level









Christina Castro – Cadette, Senior & Ambassador

5 Camp Songs Every Girl Scout Should Know

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 8:46am

Camp season is finally upon us! While many are loading up their overnight bags, preparing their favorite fireside snacks, and picking out their favorite swimsuits, we’re all about the camp songs that’ll be ringing in the air all week long. To prepare our campers for the ultimate sing-along session, we asked our Facebook audience for the best Girl Scout camp songs. Here are the Top 5—check them out and see if your favorite is among them.

Oh, and happy singing!


Download the lyrics to Kookaburra here.

Download the lyrics to the Brownie Smile Song here

Download the lyrics to Linger here.

Download the lyrics to Princess Pat here.

Download the lyrics to Make New Friends here

The 2017 GS Convention is in Columbus, Oh!

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 9:11am

As you’ll see, Columbus is a vibrant metropolitan area with a lively arts and entertainment scene, great shopping, one of the country’s most innovative food scenes, and a wide range of professional sports teams. It’s also home to Ohio State and Big Ten sports, and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), where they make science fun for kids and where more than one million Girl Scouts have participated in the COSI Camp-In.

There’s always something fun happening in Ohio’s capital city, and in October 2017, that fun will be our next Girl Scout convention. So mark your calendars now to join us in Columbus!

Learn more!

Top 5 Reasons Juliette Gordon Low Should Be on the New $10 Bill

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 10:58am

Calling all Girl Scouts: The $10 bill is getting a makeover and we need you to help us convince the U.S. Department of the Treasury to choose Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon Low to appear on the new $10 bill.

Last month Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that a woman of historical significance would replace Alexander Hamilton on the new $10 bill. The redesigned $10 note is scheduled to roll out in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

There are hundreds of trailblazing women throughout American history who would make great choices to replace Hamilton. But here are five reasons we think the Treasury should choose Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon Low for the new $10 bill—and bring some Girl Scout green to the redesign:

  1. Juliette Gordon Low built the world’s largest leadership organization for girls. You can find our 59 million Girl Scout alumnae in the halls of Congress, on space shuttles, and at the helm of businesses small and large as they raise the next generation that will make the world a better place. Chances are, when you find a successful woman leading the way, she’s very likely to answer the question,“Were you a Girl Scout?” with an enthusiastic, “Yes, and it helped make me who I am today.”
  2. The Girl Scout Movement’s proud tradition of inclusion has left its mark on American history.From our earliest years—we were founded in 1912—girls of all colors were welcomed at Girl Scouts. The first African American Girl Scout troops formed in our first decade. Hispanic and American Indian troops joined them in the 1920s.Girl Scout troops desegregated before many other institutions in American society, building bridges between girls of different colors.
  3. Juliette Gordon Low didn’t believe in stereotypes. She believed in shattering them. Against the conventions of her time, Juliette Gordon Low traveled the world alone, visiting India and Egypt. She moved to Paris to study art, and tackled every challenge that came her way with both tenacity and grace, serving as a role model for thousands of girls. She encouraged them to study revolutionary topics like aviation, electrical systems, and other technical topics.
  4. Juliette Gordon Low believed all girls matter. Juliette Gordon Low, who was nearly deaf for much of her life, made sure early Girl Scout troops welcomed girls of all faiths, girls with disabilities, and girls from across the social and economic spectrum. She envisioned a world where a girl who came from an orphanage in Savannah could belong to the same sisterhood as a girl from one of the city’s most prominent families.Just as Gordon Low intended, the Girl Scout Movement remains open to all girls today.
  5. Millions of girls and women have made our country—and the world—a better place through Girl Scouts. Service has been at the heart of the Girl Scout Movement from the beginning. Today, 103 years later, Girl Scouts still make the world a better place every day. Our alumnae even report higher levels of civic engagement. The service of millions of girls of courage, confidence, and character has impacted generations, transforming countless communities.

As Juliette Gordon Low said, “The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”

Help make history! Share your support for putting Juliette Gordon Low on the new $10 bill on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #TheNew10 today.

Learn more about Juliette Gordon Low.

Get involved with Girl Scouts. Join, volunteer, or donate today.

Join. Shop. Camp. Eat.

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 9:45am


Here’s The Scoop:
  • Any troop that has 75% of last year’s girls and adults registered by Sept. 30 will be entered in a drawing for a $50 ScOutfitters gift certificate! (one per region)
  • Any community that has 75% of last year’s troops registered will be entered in a drawing for a free weekend at camp! (restrictions apply)
  • Back To Scouts registration event – Come to our first ever Rain Gutter Sundae Party and eat ice cream from a gutter!  Join us on September 12 at the Fort Wayne Leadership & Learning Center and September 19 at the South Bend Service Center.  Bring a friend to register and receive the “Make New Friends” patch!  For more information contact Cheryl at 800.283.4812 x 302.

Help us prepare a great Girl Scouting program for 2016! When girls and volunteers register by September 30, it gives us an opportunity to begin planning programs and opportunities right away for the fall.  As you and your troop get ready for a new school year, we hope that you’ll celebrate your accomplishments together and make a commitment to learn and grow even more in Girl Scouts next year!

Click here to renew now!

Help Us Make More WOW!

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 1:59pm
Can you teach a girl new songs? Would you invite a friend to be a new role model? Won’t you help us find great people that want to inspire a girl?

How would you like to help girls uncover more of those special moments?  The moments when you realized that you could do pretty much anything you set your mind to.

By sharing your talents, stories, and time with us, you can inspire a new generation of Girl Scouts.

Join us for pizza and conversation and learn how you can help grow Girl Scouts across our council by joining us on
Monday, July 27th at the South Bend Service Center from 6:30-7:30pm; or
Tuesday, July 28th at the Fort Wayne Leadership & Learning Center from 6:30-7:30pm; or
Wednesday, July 29 at the First United Methodist Church*, 179 S. Indiana St., Warsaw, IN 46580 from 6:30-7:30pm.

You have the power to change a girl’s life, and we can’t wait to hear your story.

For more information please call Cheryl Ankrom at 800.283.4812 ext 302, or email

*Parking is available either in the church lot or the bank lot next door.

Believe In Her, Invest In Her

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 10:46am
A special message to all of our members, volunteers, and funding partners
at Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana- Michiana.

Here at Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana (GSNI-M) we want you to know how thankful and humble we are to call you our partners. Whether you are driving your daughter to and from Girl Scouts, organizing a troop meeting, or helping financially to support girls, you are a partner and we thank you!

All of us, here at GSNI-M, are invested in one or several ways because we know girls need us as mentors, financial supporters, and as an example of how working together for a good cause brings great rewards! Because of that, we are reaching out to you today and asking you to consider making a meaningful financial contribution to continue to help propel our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

What is the impact of your generosity?

  • Reach more girls
  • Create a larger positive impact in our community
  • Provide programing & volunteer support
  • Provide financial assistance
  • Change the future for a girl in our community

What does your dollar do?

  • $100 covers the cost of background checks for approximately 50 new volunteers
  • $500 will provide membership assistance for 20 girls
  • $1,000 provides week long resident camp assistance for 3 girls


Consider this, your investment can change the life of a girl who, without your help, may not have the opportunity to go camping, make friends in a safe environment, or discover her full potential. She needs you. She is the girl in your community who needs someone to believe in her enough to invest in her.

I invite you to become a proud funding partner of GSNI-M, today. To make a gift, please visit us at or by contacting a member of our Fund Development Team at 800-283-4812 or email

Any amount you give is greatly appreciated. Every dollar invested in GSNI-M helps a girl reach her potential! Thank you for all you do for your community. I hope we can count you as one of GSNI-M’s funding partners.

Believe in her, invest in her.

Yours in Girl Scouting,




Sharon Pohly

Gluten Free Cookie Order Form

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:12am

It’s that time again to place your Gluten Free cookie order for the 2016 Cookie Program. Please fax to 855-283-4812 or e-mail form to on or before September 15, 2015.



Trios – gluten Free, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Girl Scout Cookies

  • Made with real peanut butter, real chocolate chips, and certified gluten free whole grain oats
  • No artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high-fructose corn syrup, no palm oil and no hydrogenated oils.
  • Retail price $5.00 a package
  • Available in 5-ounce re-sealable foil pouch with 12 pouches per case


Your cookies will be entered into SNAP and will show up from the Gluten Free Cupboard.   All orders are due to the Council by September 15, 2015. No orders will be accepted after this date. If you have any questions email or call 260-422-3417 ext 130.   Please e-mail, fax or mail form to my attention.  Limited supply.

Venture Out!

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 10:05am
Venture Out!: An Excellent Outdoor Resource for Volunteers

Let’s face it—girls really enjoy the outdoors. In fact, Girl Scouts have been enjoying the great outdoors since our Movement began in 1912. And while our program has evolved with the times, one thing remains: the outdoors are an integral part of what makes Girl Scouts such a unique and dynamic organization for girls.

The reality is, though, that while girls want to spend time outside, not all volunteers are equipped to provide such memorable experiences. After conducting a survey, Girl Scouts discovered that many of our newer volunteers aren’t totally confident and comfortable when it comes to leading outdoor excursions. Whether they’re a bit unfamiliar themselves or lack the confidence to get creative and spearhead activities and events outside, one thing is clear: volunteers need resources.

The solution? Venture Out! With this new resource, new volunteers learn practical tips and tricks, read other volunteers’ stories, and explore the joys of taking girls outside through a fun, interactive outdoor adventure made possible by GSUSA’s Elliott Wildlife Values Project. Gone are the days when girls and volunteers miss out on the outstanding benefits of getting outdoors; Girl Scouts is now proud to offer a resource that helps Girl Scout leaders strengthen their outdoor skills as they instill confidence in their own troop members.

So are you ready to Venture Out! with us? Get started now!

Want a FREE t-shirt?! Volunteer today!

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 8:50am

As a volunteer, you’ll introduce girls to new experiences that show them they’re capable of more than they ever imagined.

You’ll be their cheerleader, guide, and mentor, helping them develop skills and confidence and encouraging them to explore every dream! Imagine the smiles, the excitement, the memories made—and with so many ways to get involved, you just might find something new that you love, too!

Be the role model she’ll always remember. Volunteer today to become a new Troop Leader or Co-Leader and receive a FREE t-shirt! We’ll also waive your 2015-16 $15 membership fee!

Volunteers Benefit from Their Girl Scout Experience

Girl Scouts really is great for everyone! While there are possibly too many positive outcomes associated with being a Girl Scout volunteer to list, there is some compelling research which illustrates just how good Girl Scouts is.

Data shows it is not just girls who benefit from participating in the organization: 94 percent of volunteers have made new friends, 88 percent believe their life is better because they volunteer with Girl Scouts, and two-thirds believe their volunteer experience has helped them professionally. Ninety-five percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls’ lives better.

However, while GSUSA boasts more than two million members nationwide, there are more than 30,000 girls on waiting lists who want to join Girl Scouts but can’t because there are not enough volunteers in local communities to help deliver the Girl Scout experience.  Girl Scouts exists for girls, but it exists because of volunteers, and that’s why we need you!  Get started!  Have questions?  Call 1.800.283.4812 ext 149 or email to learn more!

Making Progress at the Dunbar Gathering Center

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 2:32pm

As we previously announced, the Dunbar Service Center at Camp Wildwood will become the Dunbar Gathering Center at Camp Wildwood. The Board has approved $50,000 worth of improvements to the center, including a new upstairs program room, and new windows for the facility.  Also, the Studio of Dreams will be renovated to be a bunk house accommodating 10 girls and 4 adults.   We are extremely excited about these renovations and improvements and believe this configuration will better serve the members in this community, with a greater focus on the programming needs of the girls and volunteers. Troops can schedule the use of the facility for their meetings, activities, and events.

Also, don’t miss the Camp Wildwood birthday celebration kicking off the renovation completion, on Saturday, July 25, when Camp Wildwood turns 55!  More details to come!

New shower at Studio of Dreams

New carpeting at Studio of Dreams

Studio of Dreams before new carpet was laid

New windows from outside of Dunbar Gathering Center

New program space in Dunbar Gathering Center

New shutters on windows at Dunbar Gathering Center

Close-up of new windows at Dunbar Gathering Center

Studio of Dreams after wall was removed. What a difference a wall makes!

Studio of Dreams before wall was removed


Calling All Volunteers!

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 1:45pm

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana is making its summer push for girls and adult volunteers to join Girl Scouts, the country’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With families already thinking about how to allocate their free time during the coming school year, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has released new data showing the organization’s benefits for both girls and volunteers.

Results of a summer 2014 pulse poll conducted with over 3,500 volunteers and parents of Girl Scouts in the K−5 age range show positive effects on members of all ages. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter, that she has had fun and exciting new experiences (95 percent), and that she has learned or tried something new (96 percent). In addition, 94 percent of parents say that because of Girl Scouts their daughter feels special, has more friends (95 percent), and is happier (89 percent).

The data shows it is not just girls who benefit: 94 percent of volunteers have made new friends, 88 percent believe their life is better because they volunteer with Girl Scouts, and two-thirds believe their volunteer experience has helped them professionally. Ninety-five percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls’ lives better.

“Girl Scouts has provided a safe, fun, and engaging place for girls and adult volunteers to lead and thrive for over 100 years,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We know the majority of volunteers feel their Girl Scout experience has helped them both personally and professionally, but in many places throughout the country, the lack of volunteers is what keeps girls on waiting lists. Every adult who volunteers for Girl Scouts can help us bring fun, new experiences to at least five girls. Imagine what that can do to shape the next generation of female leaders.”

Girl Scouts gives girls a place to explore topics of interest in a judgment-free space outside of classroom confinements; it cultivates cooperative and self-directed learning, as well as the growth mindset (the understanding that intelligence and talent can be developed)—all of which help foster a lifetime passion for learning. The variety of experiences and the value for the money the Girl Scout program provides are also popular selling points. Eighty-nine percent of parents say their daughter gets a greater variety of experiences from Girl Scouts than she does from other extracurricular activities, and the majority of parents feel Girl Scouts is a great value for the money compared to other extracurricular activities. Overall, parents consider Girl Scouts one of the most beneficial extracurricular activities for their daughter.

“We’re doing lots of great things here locally.  From constructing new and renovating old recreational spaces, to creating several unique and exciting programs that girls of all age can experience!  However, I cannot stress enough that Girl Scouts exists for girls, but it exists because of volunteers, and we need lots of them”, expresses Sharon Pohly, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana.

Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. The more adults step forward to volunteer, the more girls will get the chance to be a Girl Scout. Adults over age 18 may become volunteers; both girls and adults volunteers can join at any time of the year. Girl Scout volunteers come from all walks of life; they are men, women, young professionals, retirees, college students, and more. To join or volunteer, please visit:

Lighting The Way To A Brighter Future

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 12:46pm

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana – Michiana in collaboration with Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) and NISTEM/IPFW will host a STEM conference, Saturday, May 30th from 9am – 4pm in the Walb Student Union on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, located at 2101 E Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN.

“We are delighted once again to partner with FWCS and Dr. Jeff Nowak of NISTEM/IPFW at hosting this STEM conference. Girls will gain confidence in their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills by doing hands-on, fun activities in a supportive, all-girl environment,” says Sharon Pohly, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana – Michiana. “We hope to increase their capacity for both critical thinking and resourceful problem solving; two key Girl Scout Leadership Experience outcomes related to STEM.”

Girls grades 6 – 12, can enjoy “career exploration” sessions from 9am – 12pm, and girls grades K – 5 will enjoy “hands-on” activities from 1pm – 4pm.  Learn more here.