Must Have Items for Girl Scout Camping

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Taking your troop on a camping trip is a big decision. There are many questions that you need to answer before you take the plunge.

  • Should you take your girls alone as a troop or should you go to your Council’s big camporee?
  • How many days should you go?
  • Should you allow parents to come along?
  • Who pays for the trip? Parents or cookie money or both?
  • What supplies does the troop purchase for each girl?
  • What activities should we do outdoors as well as indoors?
  • What badges can we earn?
  • What food should we bring?
  • What meals should we make?

Yes, the list seems endless.

What should leaders provide for girls on a camping trip and what should the girls bring?

Photo from Pixabay

The younger you take your girls, the more they can help with the decisions as they get older, since they will have had experience. My troop has camped twice since becoming Cadettes and we are planning on a third trip this spring. After attending two Council sponsored camping events, the troop decided to go it alone. They had more fun when it was just the five of them than when there were activities planned for girls of all levels.

If you are going out for the first time, here are some things you can buy for the troop so each girl has them in her backpack or drawstring bag (which are cheap enough that you can provide them for each girl).



What Else Do the Girls Need to Have?

Water bottles are a must, and if your girls are like my children, you have acquired quite a variety over the years. This they can bring on their own-no need to purchase one.

Bug repellent and sunscreen are two other must haves. There are many brands and some girls may have skin sensitivities, so it is best that this item be packed by parents as well.

Visors or baseball caps are also necessary to protect girls from the sun.

Ponchos can be bought in bulk by the troop and used in case it rains.

 12 Pack of Ponchos Available on Amazon

Sleeping bags and overnight bags to carry everything to the campsite are also items your girls need to bring from home.

What are your essential packing items for your camping trip?


Our May Cadette Girl Scout Meeting

Out May meeting was very successful as we covered a lot of ground in our 90 minutes together…and it certainly seems to fly by! Eight of our ten girls were present to discuss our fall camping trip and to prepare for it.

Before the meeting started, I waited outside for my girls to arrive with the bag of food they were asked to bring so I could load them into my car. I was so touched that several of our families brought multiple bags to contribute! Even the girls who did not attend brought food over and did the right thing for others in need.

All together, we have fifteen bags of food and seven boxes of Girl Scout cookies that I will be delivering this week.

Quick and Easy Girl Scout community service porject
Our donations…so proud of my girls! Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

Roundtable Discussion

After our opening, the leader discussed her camping training that she participated in last month. She also shared that another mom was also getting camping certified, so that we will be all covered for any camping trips!

As I have shared before, we did not go camping when I was the leader as that was not my assigned role. Even though the girls bugged and begged to go, we never did.

Now that we are really going, some of them are having second thoughts! The bugs, missing a sporting activity, sleeping in a tent, the type of food they were going to make and eat…now some of them were getting a bit wary of the whole camping idea. Others were very excited about going. The girls were told that since the campsite is only eight miles from our town, they could come and go to attend a sporting event or not sleep over and rejoin us in the morning.

Time will tell who will go on the trip!

She then discussed the Silver Award, which will be optional. I know that certain girls will not do it, but we have a core group that will.

Building a Campfire

Part of the meeting was having the girls learn how to create a campfire and basic campfire safety. The girls collected tinder, kindling and logs.

Building a Girl Scout camp fire
The fire pit where we built the fire. Fire starters made from lint were used. Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.
Teaching my Girl Scout troop how to properly build a campfire.
Kindling and tinder were added. Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.
Girl Scout campfire safety
With the log added, the fire started to get big. Notice the jugs of water nearby to ensure that it could be put out if it got out of control.
Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

If you are going to have a campfire, then you are going to have to make S’mores! The girls liked this part of the meeting best of all!

IMG_1731
Photo by Hannah Gold. All rights reserved.

The leader had planned on the girls doing a part of the Amaze Journey, but the girls were having such a great time outdoors that this idea was put on hold.

How are you preparing your girls for your camping trip?


Camping With Your Girl Scout Troop More Resources for Leaders

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In my last post, I shared the history of Girl Scout camping and resources for leaders.  This second post is a continuation of the first and has additional ideas for leaders.

If your Girl Scout troop is headed for the great outdoors, here is a list of resources for leaders to use to help plan activities, menus, and more.Photo from Pixabay

I wonder what this group of Girl Scouts brought with them on this trip?

By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Camping Resources-Websites That Can Help You Get Organized

Camping Games and Songs for Girl Scouts

Being outdoors has so many layers of fun. Water activities, nature hikes, cooking outdoors and learning about the stars are just some of the things girls get to do when they go camping.

Other, non traditional games can also be played just for the fun of it! Glow sticks lend themselves to so many outdoor activities after the sun goes down, and girls just love them!

50 22″ Premium Glow Stick Necklaces Assorted Colors Glowsticks from Amazon

Sitting around the campfire, making s’mores, and singing songs is also traditional. Download some of these classic camping songs for your girls to sing as they roast marshmallows and enjoy the memories they are creating together.

Girl Scouts Greatest Hits Vol 5, Camp Songs for Every Girl, Everywhere from Amazon

What resources do you use when you go Girl Scout camping?  What are you must haves?

Camping With Your Girl Scout Troop

Ideas and Resources for Camping With Your Girl Scout Troop

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When Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of America on March 12, 1912, she was a woman on a mission. Born into a life of wealth and privilege, she had a vast array of interests including art, nature and athletics.

Juliette, who was nicknamed Daisy by an uncle when she was young, did not have the happiest life (money does not make you happy). She moved to England with her husband, William Low, who was a native of that country. Theirs was an unhappy union, and they eventually separated but never divorced. She contested his will after his early death and won a substantial sum of money.

Still looking for a purpose to fulfill her life, she eventually helped out with the Girl Guides in England. Daisy took this movement to the United States, and on March 12, 1912, the first two Girl Guide patrols were started. The name changed to the Girl Scouts of America a year later.

The Girl Scouts were to serve many purposes for young girls, including skills for being a homemaker, having a career and offering opportunities that might not otherwise have. Giving back to the community and becoming a leader were also a linchpins of the early Girl Scout movement.

Another important part of Girl Scouting is developing a love of nature and being outdoors. This was typically a boys domain back in the early 1900s, and Daisy set out to change that with the Girl Scouts.

camping with your troop

Photo from Pixabay

The Purpose of Girl Scout Camping

While there is no rule saying that Girl Scout leaders have to camp with their girls, the vast majority do. As mentioned previously, camping and learning about the great outdoors is one of the building blocks of the Girl Scout movement. As humans, it is our job to learn about the earth and protect it. Part of the Girl Scout law is to “make the world a better place”, and one interpretation of that is to take care of not only people, but our planet.

Girl Scout camping offers girls the opportunity to sleep in a tent or a cabin, something that their own family may not want or be able to do. Many troops use the proceeds from the cookie selling to sponsor these outdoor camping adventures, so the additional costs to parents is minimal or even non-existent.

Camping also permits girls to build upon skills that they have learned at troop meetings in preparation for the big camping event. Learning about fire safety, how to tie different knots and other outdoor skills can be taught indoors during meetings. These skills are then taken outdoors and new ones are introduced during the outdoor camping experience.

Camping Books for Girl Scout Leaders

Taking a group of girls camping can be a wonderful experience for all involved…or it can be a complete mess. One thing I encourage every leader to do is read as much as you can and have a game plan for your trip. If your local Girl Scout Council has a committee for planning a camporee event, then your help will not only be appreciated by them, but you will learn a great deal in the planning process.

Below are books that can help you plan your camping activities when you are camping with just your troop and do not have an entire program laid out for you.

 

The 175 Best Camp Games: A Handbook for Leaders from Amazon

 

The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature from Amazon

Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide from Amazon

Are You Camping Certified?

A Girl Scout leader cannot take her troop on any kind of camping overnight until she has taken the required courses. There also has to be a certified First Aider on the trip as well. If you think that you want to take your girls camping, be sure to take these classes in the fall so you are prepared for spring and summer camping season.

When Should You Take Your Troop on a Girl Scout Camping Trip?

A question many leaders of younger girls (Daisy Girl Scouts in particular) ask themselves is if their girls are ready for an overnight which is both outdoors and without Mommy and Daddy. Even if the girls are camping in a cabin, it is an unfamiliar place with adults whom they know, but still, it is not their parents. And on the flip side, many helicopter parents may want to go on a trip like this, and there is simply not enough room for all of them and other troops and leaders.

If your Council offers an outdoor camporee for its local troops, you may want to initiate Daisy Scouts with a day of outdoor activities and then go home. You can always take them overnight camping when they are older.

If your Girl Scout troop is tent camping, here is a Coleman sleeping bag for their comfort. It comes in many colors.

Coleman Kids 50 Degree Sleeping Bag from Amazon (other colors available)

Another option for young girls is to go “backyard camping” for the evening or for an overnight (as long as you have overnight certification). Being able to get together at night, gaze at the stars, listen to the night sounds, learn about fire safety, read traditional campfire stories and make s’mores or other food in foil can be a gentle introduction to the world of outdoor activities. Overnights can take place during the Brownie years, perhaps with a troop sleepover at the leader’s house to see how it goes and then camping together.

By slowly introducing the outdoor experiences to you girls, you will give them a love of camping that is age appropriate.

In my next post, I will share some more camping resources for leaders.

Easy Camping Recipes Book

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My husband bought an iPad for himself with gift cards and cash he earned from taking surveys…but I am the one who uses it most!

I was looking at the Kindle book section, where there are a lot of free and cheap books.  I stumbled upon this one:

Available on Amazon 

l though I still love to read real books, Kindle has opened up a new avenue of book reading for everyone.  I go to the library to borrow the latest best sellers-I am not shelling out $25 bucks for a book.  Kindle has made so many more kinds of books accessible for a low price.
I have not read this book since I do not camp, but I know that many of you do!  For $2.99 for 100 recipes, if you find one or two good recipes, it is worth the price!
Did you know that you do not need to own a Kindle to read Kindle books? You can download apps to your phone or iPad and there is software for your computer so you can read them.