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Girl Scout camping makes it possible for girls to experience the out-of-doors. Through Girl Scout outdoor program opportunities, girls and adults have the opportunity to learn, enjoy, appreciate and help preserve our natural environment.
Here are a few ways that outdoor experiences help girls achieve the council goals.
- New environments (indoors and outdoors)
- New opportunities to use existing skills
- Opportunities to learn new skills
- New passions and interests
- With themselves
- With each other
- With new friends
- With other caring adults
- With nature
Girls Take Action:
- Through service projects
- By putting their new skills and connections into action by taking care of the world around them
- By protecting the environment in their local communities and beyond
Progression is the process of going forward and continuing development. Girls learn new skills and grow through improving current abilities and expanding their range of experience. Progression applies to both the girl’s experience and skills. As with any group activity you do with your girls, progression is important in camping to prepare them for the experience and allow the girls to develop the necessary skills and readiness they will need.
Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies and other girls with little or no outdoor camping experience should start with activities in the most familiar environments before venturing far from home. Start with simple, short experiences and gradually increase to more in depth activities for longer periods of time.
Sample Outdoor Progression
- Look Out: Wonder what the world is like that starts at our doorstep. Discuss the natural environment that surrounds their meeting location.
- Meet Out: Have a meeting in an outdoor location. Look, listen, feel, smell and observe the outdoor world.
- Walk Out: Walk around the block to see and identify the natural world around them.
- Hike Out: Take a hike in a local park or nature reserve. Walk with a purpose by assigning girls a scavenger hunt.
- Venture Out: Encourage girls to sign up for a service unit or council sponsored day camp opportunity.This is a great way for girls to meet other girls, learn to work in a unit, and experience the camp environment.
- Sleep Out: Girls can begin preparing for overnight camping by having a simple sleepover.
- Camp Out: Visit one of the camp properties or go to summer camp and plan what to wear and what to take.
- Trip Out: Use everything girls have learned to plan a trip that offers interesting and worthwhile program possibilities.
Each step can be designed and customized to help girls acquire the skills and emotional readiness needed to progress to the next experience. Day Camp, Troop Adventure Camp and Resident Camp offer girls and leaders many outdoor experiences with the support of volunteer, core or paid staff.
Girl Scout Daisies can participate in troop camping as well but should limit their activities to half day field trips.
It is important to remember that in order to take girls on an overnight outing, the troop leader or another adult attending must be certified by completing the Lodge
Camp/Indoor Camping (for lodge camping only) or Camp Certification course or by passing the equivalency exam.
Outdoor Girl Scout Opportunities
There’s something for everyone! Girl Scouts offers several types of camping opportunities for girls and adults, including:
Troop Camping: Overnight camping done by a troop with volunteer leadership. An overnight camping experience for 24 or more consecutive hours planned and carried out by a troop and its leaders using sites approved by the council. It can happen at council-owned sites or non-Girl Scout sites. Each troop going camping must have proper adult/girl ratio and at least one adult qualified to administer first aid. In addition, an adult must have completed troop camp certification or lodge camp training.
Camping with your troop gives you the chance to tailor your activities to best meet the needs and interests of your girls. A great way to bond as a group is by working and exploring together at one of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s camp properties.
It is important to remember that in order to take girls on an overnight outing, the leader or another adult attending must be certified by completing the Lodge Camp Training
(for lodge camping only) or Troop Camp Training
Service Unit Campout: Troops in one service unit join for one to three nights of camping together with coordinated activities. Ask your service unit manager or program consultant if your service unit offers this opportunity.
Core-Staffed Activities: A troop experience where "core" staff are provided to assist leaders in providing program activities to troops. Activities are designed to acquaint leaders with program resources available and are based upon the interests and experiences of girls.
Day Camp (Summer): Camping by day, usually lasting three to five days. Girls from different troops sign up as individual campers and are placed in temporary units. The girls and unit leaders plan and carry out activities. Day camping is council-sponsored on a site, which may be council owned, leased, rented or borrowed. Any registered Girl Scout may attend. For specific information, see day camp fliers available through service units, the council website or contact the Girl Scout Center in early spring.
Family Camp (Summer): Share a camping adventure with the whole family. You and your family get the chance to experience all there is to do at camp. Me and My Gal and Family Let’s Just Play Day are great opportunities to enjoy camp and the outdoors.
Resident Camp (Summer):
A sustained camping experience during which girls from all parts of the council camp at an established site under the guidance of carefully trained counselors. Girls from different troops sign up as individual campers and are placed in temporary units. The girls and their counselors plan activities taking advantage of the opportunities available to them. Girls are grouped according to age, experience, and program interest. Further information may be found in the Summer Camp Opportunities Brochure
, which is available on the council website in January.
Troop Adventure Camp (TAC) (Summer): Troop camping that offers a troop or patrol an opportunity to enjoy core-staffed camping during the summer. Lifeguards, a naturalist, an arts consultant, and program assistants offer program support. Kitchen staff prepares three meals per day. One adult accompanying the troop must attend orientation prior to camp.
Further information may be found in the Summer Camp Opportunities Brochure, which is available on the council website in January.