Taking girls outside can be a fun time for everyone as girls develop outdoor skills and a passion for nature.
Now it’s even easier for Girl Scout volunteers to introduce girls to the wonders of hiking and camping. Whether you’re a camping pro, or just starting out, you can help girls of all ages have a positive experience in the great outdoors.
Thanks to a grant from the Elliott Wildlife Values Project, we’ve created eight outdoor skill-building videos especially for volunteers newer to Girl Scouts and older Girl Scouts as they take younger girls outside.
These videos can help volunteers give girls a sense of empowerment in the outdoors, show them how to use natural resources more wisely (including respecting our environment and wildlife), and help them become lifelong stewards of the land and our natural resources.
We’ve also collaborated with the Richard King Mellon Foundation to sponsor a video showing how to pack a backpack for an outdoor adventure and tip sheet highlighting tips for councils to get girls outdoors.
Step by Step: Developing Outdoor Skills in Girls
At Girl Scouts, we work to build girls’ outdoor skills and inspire girls to care for the environment as they grow. The Girl Scout Outdoor Progression Chart (PDF) is a tool you can use as you advance girls’ skills in an age-appropriate way.
Taking the Journeys Outside
It’s easy to take a Girl Scout Journey outside. Each Journey is full of fun, interactive activities that can easily go outdoors and inspire girls to love and protect the planet. Watch this video to find out how!
Planning Your Troop’s First Campout
In order to have a great campout, you need to plan ahead—and be prepared. This video will give you plenty to think about as you plan your next outdoor adventure with Girl Scouts.
Introduction to Campsite Set-Up
A safe, efficient campsite is important when camping. Watch and learn how to set up a proper camp!
Introduction to Cooking Outdoors
Propane, charcoal, box ovens—there are so many choices when cooking outside. This video shares ideas about the delicious possibilities. Tasty!
How to Leave No Trace Outdoors
A Girl Scout always leaves an area better than she found it. Throughout this video, girls will learn the importance of caring for the land, and how to easily “Leave No Trace” when exploring and enjoying the outdoors.
Introduction to Fire Building
To ensure a fun campfire experience and help minimize impact on the environment, this video provides basic skills on Leave No Trace ethics, wood gathering, types of fire building methods, and how to start and extinguish a campfire.
Outdoors Songs and Games
This video provides fun tips on how to teach songs and games to girls to do in the outdoors, and resources available to learn more about Girl Scout songs and games.
The Dos and Don’ts of Backpacking
This video features some great tips to help you start planning your next backpacking trip this troop year!
- Each video includes helpful tips that can be used when planning outdoor adventures.
- Adult- or volunteer-learning departments at councils can use these videos during troop camp certification, grade-level trainings, or with outdoor trainings.
- Service units can use these videos when planning camporees and skill-building weekends.
- Older girls (program aides, counselors-in-training, or volunteers-in-training) can learn new outdoor skills to use when working with younger girls.
Ask your local Girl Scout council for a copy of Safety Activity Checkpoints or Volunteer Essentials to keep up to date with safety and risk management guidelines, and take appropriate outdoor training before starting any activity.
Here’s another great resource
Explore Venture Out!, an online resource that provides guidance to volunteers who may be less familiar with taking younger girls outdoors. You’ll find:
- Inspiration and confidence to use the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to connect more girls with the outdoors
- An opportunity to practice decision making when leading outside activities
- Tips for how to make the outdoor experience more girl-led
- Practical knowledge and real-life stories from other volunteers about getting girls outdoors
- Ideas for dealing with common outdoor challenges
- An appreciation that outdoor experiences don’t have to be perfect
Let’s get outside and have fun! Comments or questions? Please contact us via email.