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Outdoor Adventures

From the backyard to the backcountry, Girl Scouts has a long, storied, and successful history of getting girls outdoors. In fact, many Girl Scouts tell us “camping trips” are one of the best things about their Girl Scout experience - connecting with nature in a girl-led setting is a big benefit of belonging to Girl Scouts.

When girls spend quality time outdoors and increase their exposure to nature, they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually through:

  • Discovering that they can better solve problems and overcome challenges
  • Developing leadership skills, build social bonds, and are happier overall
  • Becoming team players and care more about protecting our environment

Take advantage of the wide variety of outdoor adventure programs and activities available at our camp properties. Options vary by property based on individual camp facilities, equipment, season, and trained staff availability. View our 10 Easy Steps to Camping guide and the Adventure Training Sequences Chart for tips & ideas to challenge yourself in the Outdoors!

GSWNY Adventure Training Sequences 

The new GSWNY Outdoor Adventure Training Sequences provide a non-limiting, guided path to outdoor adventures with programs designed to build skills for Girl Scouts who want a truly rigorous outdoor experience. The series includes three complimentary program sequences: Ace Adventurer, Trailblazer and Master Camper. The sequences encourage girls to challenge themselves with programs of increasing difficulty (defined as “degrees”). There are however, no mandated conditions to progress. Just move at your own pace, take the Readiness Self-Assessments (1, 2, & 3) to see where you fit in and once you feel proficient with skill milestones for each degree, you can decide how to test your own limits. Girls graduating to the 3rd degree of Expert in any sequence will have opportunity for an adventure of a lifetime with a multi-day, minimalist backpacking trips in locations such as the Adirondack High Peaks, Alleghany State Park, or Finger Lakes National Forest!

Adventure_Training_Sequences

 

Readiness Assessments and Skills Guide
Outdoor Activities

Take advantage of the wide variety of outdoor adventure programs and activities available at our camp properties. Options vary by property based on individual camp facilities, equipment, season, and trained staff availability.

Troops may request outdoor adventures anytime, for a few hours or as part of a camping overnight. Look below for activity availability at our camps, including approved age levels, months available, and locations. Once you’ve chosen an activity, follow the directions to submit a request. If you are planning a Service Unit Camp Out (SUCO) or any other troop camp event, please see our Troop Camping Page for more information.

  • Hiking/Backpacking
  • Wilderness Skills
  • Archery
  • Canoeing
  • Team Building Games 
  • Ropes Challenge Courses: Levels I, II, III, IV & V
  • Climbing Wall: Indoor or Outdoor
  • Ropes Challenge Course: High
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Orienteering/Aidless Navigation
  • Other Outdoor Badge Programs
  • Camping

 


Outdoor Badges and Patches

Outdoor Adventures are an epic way to earn new Girl Scout awards and badges. Explore nature, discover what interests you, learn new skills—and show the world what you can accomplish. Not sure which badge applies to an activity? Try the Award and Badge Explorer system and see how  your outdoor interests fit!”


Spotlight Badge: Eco Camper Badge   

 

Launched in 2017 with the Eco Camper badge for Juniors, our new suite of Environmental Stewardship badges are now available for every grade level. These badges strengthen girls’ outdoor skills and ignite their interest in environmental advocacy.


More Ways To Earn Badges & Patches
  • Eco Trekker:  Girls learn how to minimize impact on the environment while planning and taking an outdoor trek.
  • Adventure Camper: Girls plan an adventure, like kayaking, mountain biking, or rock climbing, and combine it with overnight camping to make the most of their outdoor experience.
  • High Adventure Team
  • Outdoor Adventures Progression Patch
  • Jr Ranger-National Parks Patch
  • Intrepid Journey Program

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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