Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is committed to ensuring that all girls have the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting. In order to remove financial barriers to participating in Girl Scouts, limited funds are offered to help meet the needs of those members who would be unable to participate in approved Girl Scouting activities without the assistance of financial support from the council. Troops are encouraged to facilitate girl-led financial planning for the activities planned throughout their membership year. Financial assistance is not a primary source of funding for members. Financial assistance funds are generated in part by the fall product and Girl Scout cookie programs. Participation in product program activities by all Girl Scouts supports this valuable benefit to girls.
Girl/Adult Eligibility Requirements
- Applicant is an active registered member of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
- Applicant would be unable to participate in the activity without financial support from the council
- Applicant would benefit from the requested experience and the funds will be used for the purpose requested
- Applicant has participated in at least one of the council’s product programs during the application year. Members who are new, or part of a new/start-up troop, and have missed one or both of the council’s two product programs must plan to participate in the next year’s product program activity.
- Applicants must not have any outstanding debt to the GSGCNWI council
Financial assistance applications should not be used for:
- National Membership Dues
- Please refer to the membership registration form for more information on requesting assistance for national membership
- GSUSA or GSGCNWI Trip and Travel
- Please refer to the Trip and Travel application
Girl Member Eligible Expenses
- Troop dues (not to exceed $20/person/year)
- Basic uniform items
- Approved uniform items include: (sash/tunic, troop numerals, council ID)
- One program book per year
- The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting or one Journey book
- Troop Field trips (day trips planned by the troop or service unit)
- Program pathways (council-sponsored programs and events: STEM programs, troop field trips or camping trips)
- Summer camp programs, please see Summer Camp Financial Assistance Application (a percentage will be granted for EITHER one Day or Resident Camp program)
Adult Member Eligible Expenses
- One program book per troop per year
- The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting or one Adult Guide Journey Book Set
- Troop field trips/program pathways for fulfilling the girl to adult ratio (please refer to Volunteer Essentials for ratios)
Financial Assistance Time Frame
Limited funds for financial assistance are available. Please note that applications for financial assistance are accepted through the following time frames:
- Troop Pathway (dues, voucher items) no earlier than September 1st.
- Trip and Travel applications are accepted between January 5th- March 1st.
- Program Pathway no earlier than January 30th.
- Summer Camp programs no earlier than March 1st.
- Financial Assistance Reconciliation forms MUST be returned to council by June 15th. Exceptions will not be made.
Process of Application
- A financial assistance application must be filled out for each individual member applying. Requests for entire troops are not accepted.
- Girl and adult members have different applications; please fill out the appropriate application.
- Applications must be filled out and signed by parent/guardian or the adult in need of assistance.
- All sections of the application must be completed in order for the request to be reviewed.
- The financial assistance team will only accept the current application on our website; previous versions of the application will not be accepted.
- Once the application has been received, the financial assistance team will review the request. Notification will be sent by e-mail or postal mail to the troop leader or parent/guardian of a Juliette. Notification will include an explanation of the amount of assistance that has been approved.
Summer Camp Process of Application
- Each camper may request financial assistance for one session of day camp or one session of resident camp.
- Camper must register for the day or resident camp before applying for financial assistance.
Receiving Financial Assistance
- If the applicant is receiving financial assistance for troop dues, troop field trip, or program pathway the assistance will be sent in the form of a check to the troop leader.
- If the applicant is receiving financial assistance for approved uniform components and/or program books, the assistance will be in the form of a voucher. The voucher will be redeemable at any of our council shops. Vouchers cannot be redeemed for items that are not approved through financial assistance. Reimbursements will not be awarded for items purchased without use of the voucher. Vouchers must be redeemed within 90 days of being issued, after which time they expire.
- Members wishing to receive a vest must pay the difference between approved sash amount and vest.
- Approved day camp financial assistance will be sent in the form of a check to the parent/guardian of the camper.
- Approved resident camp assistance will be deducted from the amount due for the session.
- Financial Assistance Reconciliation Forms will be sent with the notification of approval. The completed reconciliation form and any unused assistance must be returned to the Lisle Gathering Place by June 30th of the membership year the assistance was granted.
- Financial Assistance Reconciliation Forms are to be filled out for applicants who are awarded troop dues, troop field trip or program pathway.
- If Financial Assistance Reconciliation Forms are not received by June 30th, members will be ineligible for Financial Assistance for the following program year.
- Financial assistance requests do not automatically register the applicant for an event or program. Registration forms must be submitted to the appropriate registrar or organization.
- A “special circumstances” fund has been established to provide support for emergency or other unforeseen situations. Utilization of these funds is made at the discretion of the GSGCNWI Financial Assistance Team.
- Support for those with special needs (e.g. certified interpreters, occupational therapists, nurse’s aides) up to an individual maximum of $50 per month/event/requester, is available. The requester is responsible for paying the balance of services in excess of $50.
- Regardless of the number and nature of the requests, there is a council-wide maximum of $5000 for special needs financial assistance.
- Those seeking special needs Financial Assistance please see Special Needs Support application