Ever since our founder Juliette Gordon Low pitched the first tent with her troop in 1912, Girl Scouts have been getting outside. For over 100 years girls and their fearless leaders have been sleeping, cooking, and exploring outdoors, where they learn life skills, take risks, and have fun!
Help spread a love for the outdoors to a new generation! Whether you’ve been camping since you were a kid, or have never ventured past walking the dog in your nearby city park, you and your troop can have a fun and safe outdoor adventure. As with many parts of Girl Scouts, outdoor skills and suggested activities follow a progression. Girl Scouts of the USA provides the framework, then you and your troop decide what activities interest you and make a plan! Check out this previous In the Loop post to learn more.
If you’re ready to get out and explore the beautiful trees, lakes, trails, and night skies of Minnesota and Wisconsin, we’ll get you started!
- Start with the basics: Begin by reading the Safety Activity Checkpoints for camping, hiking, and outdoor cooking. Then, if you haven’t already, complete the Girls Sleep In and Girls Cook In self-studies.
- Build your fire skills: Brand new this year for troop leaders is our River Valleys’ Campfire Fun online enrichment training! This quick, simple training will help prepare you carry on a time-honored Girl Scout tradition—having a campfire! Learn safety, techniques, and tips for teaching girls how to build, light, and tend a campfire. Have your first fire in a city or state park, at a rented River Valleys camp facility, or in your own backyard.
- Sign up for a volunteer training: Not sure your fire building, outdoor cooking, or tent-pitching skills are up to snuff? Or just looking to find out more about Girl Scout outdoor activity guidelines and safety? Register for an upcoming Girls Cook Out and Girls Sleep Out volunteer training session. River Valleys holds a few of these sessions at our camps every spring led by seasoned volunteer outdoor trainers. You can also check with your service unit to see if any regional trainings will be offered.
For troop leaders looking for ways to get girls engaged in the outdoors—get the ball rolling with the Hiker badge for Brownies and Camper for Juniors! Need a little help? Download the River Valleys Activity Plans.
Idelle Erickson – Idelle is the Camp and Program Services Coordinator at River Valleys, where she works with volunteers to help girls have great outdoor experiences. Idelle has a background in outdoor education and loves to spend her time hiking, canoeing, camping, and exploring Minnesota and Wisconsin’s beautiful city and state parks. Idelle’s other interests include music, cooking, travel, and her big fluffy cat, Marley!