Frequently Asked Questions - Camping

How can I find out about Girl Scout camps in my area?

Call your local Girl Scout council and ask for a copy of the day or resident camp information. If you want to attend a camp program and your council doesn't offer one, ask for the name of another council in the area or look up the councils in your state. Most councils allow participants from other areas to attend their camps.

In what grade does a girl have to be to start camping?

There is no set age for camping, just a need for individual and troop/group readiness for the experience. Before going into an unknown situation, girls should feel comfortable staying away from home one or two nights. Try a sleepover first. If a girl has never been to camp before, she should spend some time learning skills needed in an outdoor environment.

How old do girls have to be to go out hiking?

Girls can hike whenever they feel ready. It's similar to taking a walk, going by foot to the local store for milk, or going from shop to shop at the mall. A hike is a longer walk, with a purpose—whether following a trail you have selected or reaching a special destination. A hike is planned with your troop/group, supervised by adults, and a group first-aid kit is carried by the first-aider. Longer hikes usually involve daypacks with lunch or snacks, water, and rain gear. A hike might be a mile or two in a nearby park or at a camp, or five or six miles in a state park. Start out with shorter hikes and build up to longer hikes.

What does ACA accreditation mean?

Girl Scout councils can choose to belong to the American Camp Association (ACA). ACA accreditation means that the camp practices have been measured against national standards and go a step beyond a state's basic licensing requirements. However, all Girl Scout camps are given activity and program recommendations and standards through Girl Scouts of the USA. Councils are encouraged to belong to ACA, but membership and accreditation are not required as there are additional fees involved.

What kinds of activities do you do at resident camp?

Camp is a great place to have fun, meet new friends, and learn new skills. At Girl Scout camp you might learn to swim, ride a horse, make a clay pot, groom a llama, paddle a canoe, go on a hike, learn how to create a new computer program or use a global positioning system, make jewelry, or learn about the plants and animals in the area. Camp is a place where you learn to live and work with other girls, and prepare for the challenges of every day life. Many camps have special themes for each session, but there is always an element of girl planning. Ask for camp information from your local Girl Scout council.

What if you are nervous about attending camp?

Many girls get scared or nervous before attending their first day at camp, whether it's day camp or overnight camp. To help you feel more comfortable, perhaps before camp opens you could visit the day camp site to become familiar with things. You might also see if you could talk with the camp director to learn more about the program. She or he could answer any of your questions. Finally, see if there is someone you know who is attending camp; you could have a buddy on the first day.

Do volunteers get to go to summer camp with their group?

Generally, leaders/advisors do not attend resident camp with their girls. However, they do attend troop/group camp or core staff camp, where they stay with their troop/group and work with a core staff who offers activities. The staff/volunteers running the core staff camp experience usually provide all the logistical arrangements such as food, project supplies, and experienced instructors when needed.

Do volunteers need special training to go camping with girls?

The adult helping girls to plan their camping trip must have special training provided by the Girl Scout council. This adult needs to be a registered member of Girl Scouts. There must also be an adult who has first-aid training. Consult your council outdoor training person, Volunteer Essentials, the Safety Activity Checkpoints, and Outdoor Education in Girl Scouting for further information.