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Outdoor Resources

Outdoor adventures never stop in our council, so here are some additional resources to fuel your experiences.


Troop Camping

Interested in camping with your troop? Check out the resources below.

7 Easy Steps to Troop Camping for Leaders

1. Visit the DoubleKnot reservation system and reserve your site, dates, etc. Full payment is due at the time of reservation in Doubleknot, so have your troop debit card handy!

2. Complete the Travel Roster for your troop (Excel file – click to download).

3. Confirm your group meets safety ratio and First Aid/CPR requirements.

  • After completing your roster, confirm that your group has the proper girl-to-adult ratio based on Volunteer Essentials and the Safety Activity Checkpoints. Additionally, troops are required to provide at least one First Aid/CPR certified adult when camping on a troop camping trip.

4. Confirm with council that all adults have completed background checks and are an approved volunteer.

  • Any adult who is fulfilling the girl-adult ratio and will be working directly with the girls must fulfill the requirements to be an approved adult which includes a background check and Girl Scout membership.

5. To enhance your troop's camping experience, consider attending in-person adult training session. See below.

6. Confirm specially trained staff for optional activities, if necessary.

  • Some activities at camp (swimming, archery, boating, ropes course, etc.) require specially trained facilitators in order for troops to participate. Troops/Service Units provide their own certified lifeguards, archery, and boating instructors -GSWNY must receive a copy of that individual's current certification.
  • Reconfirm that you are adhering to the Safety Activity Checkpoints (see Step 5) for your chosen optional activities. Reach out to council if you need additional assistance or information about optional activities.

7.  Work with your girls to plan your adventure.

  • Find out what your girls want to do when they're camping: hiking, nature observation, outdoor challenges? Use their ideas to drive programming.
  • Check out the Outdoor badges and Journeys for your level in the VTK/your MyGS Girl Scout account
Troop Camp Training

Please note that there is no required outdoor training to take your girls outdoors and/or to visit our properties, however, we have additional resources should you need them.

  • VIDEOS:Our website features tutorial videos on a variety of subjects including developing outdoors skills, taking the Girl Scout Journeys outside, planning your first campout, campsite set-up, cooking outdoors, Leave No Trace principles, outdoor songs and games, and fire-building. Check them out on the bottom of this page!
  • IN-PERSON ADULT TRAININGS: Throughout the year, we offer adult training opportunities such as archery certification, small watercraft certification, and much more. These opportunities can be found on gsEvents as they are available.
Service Unit Camp Out (SUCOs)

Leaders can reserve a camp to arrange their own volunteer-run, mini day camp program for their service unit for up to four days.  This is a great way to provide exciting and engaging day camp activities for Service Units who want to experience day camp with friends and others they know. Availability of SUCO Day Camps are as follows:

  • July-August: Camp Windy Meadows and/or Camp Seven Hills – Lakeside
  • Year Round: Off-council camp sites can be used with council approval
  • Sept-Oct & May-June: Any camp property

Additional Resources

I Camped, I Conquered Patch

Ready to explore all of our properties? GSWNY offers a fun patch for troops who visit and help maintain each of our four camp properties. Click here to learn more!

Equipment Rentals

We want girls to have as much time outdoors as possible. You can reserve the following equipment for activities with your troop, service unit, or for any volunteer-led programs (day camps, family camps, etc.) in the outdoors! Gear such as snow shoes, archery equipment, a backpack, camp stove, personal stoves, tents, and more is available for rent! 

Things to consider when requesting rentals:

  • If you are ALSO renting a camp property at the same time as equipment, Rental Forms (including waivers) and payment must be submitted at the same time as the Property Rental Application/Contract or our Service Unit Camp Out Application.
  • All Property and Equipment Rental Requests (including waivers) can be EITHER mailed to the address provided on the applications or emailed to Customer Care at CustomerCare@gswny.org
  • All equipment is available on a first come/first served basis. Customers will be notified within five business days about approved/unapproved requests. Payments for approved requests will be processed immediately
  • To ensure availability of equipment, please submit equipment rental requests at least 2-3 weeks ahead of time.
  •  No more than 10 boats are permitted on the water at the same time at Goodyear or 6 at Lakeside properties.
  • Certain circumstances may prevent the use and availability of equipment for rent, however you may bring your own for use during your stay.
  • Non Girl Scout members are permitted to rent equipment only for use on GSWNY property.

For more information, review and complete the:

If you have any questions, please Contact our Customer Care team at 1-888-837-6410 or by email at CustomerCare@gswny.org

Refunds

Renters who return equipment in poor condition (broken, unusable or damaged in ways that are not already noted on pre-condition check-out form) will be charged a fee for repair or replacement.   We request that equipment reservations are made no less than three weeks in advance of rental date. Full refunds will be given for cancellations prior to 72 hours of pick up date, and cancellations after that time will not be refunded.

Ropes Course Adventures

The Ropes Challenge Course is a popular programming activity for girl scouts. The course programming is available based on facilitator availability (to be provided by the council). Participants must be in good physical condition, age restrictions apply (see descriptions below).

There are two levels of programming available: 

Challenge 1: Adventure Play and Low Element Ropes Course (DBJCSA)
  • 3 hour program
  • $20 per participant (Adults may pay to participate, but do not need to if only providing supervision).
  • Minimum of 10 participants (please contact the ropes course coordinator if you have a group smaller than 10)
  • Maximum of 30 participants

In Adventure Play, our trained facilitators will take your group though a series of fun games designed to increase your groups sense of fairness, team spirit and communication. The games are easily modified for a large spectrum of individual abilities and ages. 

Low Element Ropes Course Activities involve a fun filled time working on your communication, trust, team building, problem solving and leadership skills through a series of activities design to engage your group. Working as a group you will problem solve ways to conquer the low element challenges.

Some low elements you may work with include the Wild Woozy, Porthole, Swinging Log, Whale Watch, TP Shuffle or the Nitro Crossing. Low elements are approximately 1-3 feet off the ground.  Participants must wear close-toed shoes to participate on the low ropes course.

Questions? Contact the Ropes Course Coordinator, Susan Fimbel at ropes.programs@gswny.org

Please note: Office Hours for the Ropes Course Coordinator takes place in the evening

Challenge 2: Adventure Play, Low & High Element Rope Course Activities (JCSA)
  • Full day program ( up to 7 hour program)
  • $30 per participant (Adults may pay to participate, but do not need to if only providing supervision).
  • Minimum of 10 participants (please contact the ropes course coordinator if you have a group smaller than 10)
  • Maximum of 30 participants

Imagine…an unforgettable outdoor adventure that fosters trust, problem solving, team building and overcoming fears in a safe environment! Join GSWNY Ropes Course Facilitators for a full day of activities designed to increase your confidence in yourself and in a group.

Start the day by playing a series of games to increase your problem solving, communication and team building skills, then move to the low ropes course elements to work as a group to solve group challenges. Once your group has accomplished the challenges of the low elements move to the high elements where individuals will build upon their confidence while conquering the more challenging high elements.

High elements at Camp Seven Hills include Cat Walk, Two-Line, Burma Bridge, Tower, and Dangle Duo, Islands in the Sky or the Zip Line.  Some of our high elements at Piperwood are Lily Pads Ships Passing in the Night, Vertical Playpen or Multi-Vine.  Participants should be in good physical condition.

Low elements are approximately 1-3 feet off the ground. High elements are approximately 30-40 feet off the ground and all participants are attached to a belay system and must wear appropriate safety equipment (included). 

Participants must wear close-toed shoes and pants to climb the high ropes course. 

Questions? Contact the Ropes Course Coordinator, Susan Fimbel at ropes.programs@gswny.org

Please note: Office Hours for the Ropes Course Coordinator takes place in the evening

 

If your troop is interested in participating on one of our fun and exciting ropes courses please fill out the ropes course challenge form and email it to ropes.programs@gswny.org   Once your form is received our ropes course coordinator will reach out to you to finalize your program.  

Readiness Quizzes

Not sure if your girls are ready for an overnight experience? Our Readiness Quizzes can help you and your families navigate your outdoor experiences.

Letterboxing and Orienteering Maps

Outdoor Skill Building Videos

Are you new to hiking and camping? Maybe a little nervous about taking girls on an outdoor journey for the first time? Don't worry! These videos from GSUSA will help you prepare for a fun, safe adventure with your girls. (And be sure to read our Safety Checkpoints for specific safety guidelines on everything from archery to whitewater rafting.)

Step by Step: Developing Outdoor Skills in Girls
Taking the Journeys Outside
Planning Your Troop's First Campout

Sample Packing List for Weekend-Long Program

Please pack for comfort and weather. All events are rain or shine and will include time spent outside. Please keep in mind that all you bring you have to carry. More stuff = heavier bag. Click here to download this list as a PDF.

  • T-Shirts/long sleeve shirts (non-cotton in winter)
  • Pants/shorts (waterproof/snow pants in winter)
  • Sweatshirts (sweater/fleece in winter)
  • Socks & underwear (wool socks in winter)
  • Hat with a rim/ball cap/sunglasses
  • Pajamas
  • Jacket (light layers in warm seasons, waterproof, down and fleece jackets in cold)
  • Warm hat/gloves (especially important in winter, but even in spring and fall evenings are chilly)
  • Rain gear
  • Sneakers/hiking boots - NO FLIP FLOPS or open-toe SANDALS. In winter waterproof shoes/winter boots are required.
  • Indoor footwear (to prevent wearing muddy boots inside)
  • Small towel/washcloth
  • Roll of toilet paper per person
  • Toiletries (suggested items: hair ties, sunscreen, bug spray, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush/comb, chap stick, feminine hygiene items, deodorant, glasses/contacts, hand sanitizer or soap)
  • Sleeping gear (warm sleeping bag for outdoors, pillow, blankets, etc.). Sleeping accommodations may include tents, platform tents, or cabins/lodges, depending on the program and season.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • REUSABLE Water bottle/covered mug for hot drinks
  • Medication (must be in its original container and have your name on the prescription. This applies to both girls and adults.)
  • Personal First Aid Kit - in addition, it is good practice for each troop or group to bring an additional full first aid kit to all activities.
  • Girl Scout Health Form (All attendees - Girls and Adults). The Health Forms will not be returned to the participants.
Introduction to Campsite Set-up
Introduction to Cooking Outdoors
How to Leave No Trace Outdoors
Outdoor Songs and Games
Introduction to Fire Building