Taking Leadership to the Outdoors

Camping is a great way for girls to explore leadership, build skills, and develop a deep appreciation for nature. Whether they go for a day, week, or longer, Girl Scout camp gives girls an opportunity to grow, explore, and have fun under the guidance of caring, trained adults. Every girl deserves a chance to camp! And if girls love the outdoors, make sure they check out the Girl Scout It's Your Planet—Love It! Journey series.

Camp Experiences

Here are some Girl Scout camp experiences:

Resident Camp includes girls who have finished kindergarten and older. Girls camp for three to fourteen days and nights (the average is five nights). Girls sign up as individual campers or go with a buddy. The girls and their counselors/volunteers plan activities, taking advantage of the resources available at the campsite. A council may sponsor summer resident camp with a specially trained staff and facilities.

Day Camp includes girls in kindergarten and older who typically camp for three or more consecutive days for four hours or more. The occasional overnight may be offered. Girls may sign up as individual campers or go with buddies. The girls and staff plan and carry out activities. Day camping is usually council sponsored or approved, with the council training the staff and approving the facilities and site. A day camp may be at a council-owned site or a site contracted by the council.

Weekend Camp includes girls in kindergarten and above, and typically lasts for two days and one overnight. Weekend camp experiences are planned and carried out by a group of girls and their volunteers, using council-approved sites. Some weekend camp experiences are designed to include staff with program expertise—a good choice for girls and adult volunteers who may want support with their camp experience.

Travel/Travel Camping (using campsites as a means of accommodations) is planned and carried out by a group of experienced campers—girls and adults. The group travels by foot or human power and uses motorized or non-motorized transportation to move from one site to another over a period of three or more nights. Motorized transportation is usually a bus, van, or automobile but may also be an airplane, boat, bicycle, train, or combination of vehicles.

Minimal-Impact Camping (can apply to any outdoor activity or camping environment) encourages each person to leave no trace of their outdoor or camping experience from the planning stages to the outdoor experience itself.

Camp Safety

Girl Scouts of the USA is committed to establishing a camp experience that will protect and maintain the well-being of every Girl Scout by providing Girl Scout Safety Guidelines and Safety Activity Checkpoints for camp and outdoor activities. Please check with your Girl Scout council for these resources. Your council may also be affiliated with the American Camp Association (ACA), a private, nonprofit educational organization that provides members with educational and accreditation services. An ACA accreditation indicates that a camp has met ACA standards. All Girl Scout councils must meet Girl Scout standards as well as national and state standards set by law.