Summer vacation is such a special time of year for us Midwesterners! After the long winters, we look forward to sunny days when we can get outside to explore, connect, and relax! We know you think of Girl Scout camp when you think of summer break, but do you think about Girl Scout travel? We reached out to just a few of the many troop leaders who have traveled with their troops this year. They’re sharing their favorite travel tips, from one troop leader to another!
What is your favorite part of traveling with your troop?
I love watching them learn new skills in a new city, the team building that happens when they solve a problem together and watching them have a blast together!
Sara, Coon Rapids
How does your troop make decisions as a group?
I typically bring up issues that need to be discussed. For example, I will ask them what kind of activities they want to do on a trip. They typically shoot out a bunch of thoughts amongst themselves and then I ask them to do research on those activities on location. They research things like pricing, if it fits in the budget, location, and so on. Then they come back at the following meeting to present their completed research and everyone votes on their options.
Lori, Saint Paul
Troops 16715, 58183, and 57127
What is your favorite way to keep planning girl-led?
We plan using large post-it notes. The Girl Scouts come up with locations, activity ideas, and food choices. We put their ideas for the trip on the large post-it notes and then they vote on the choices.
Troops 57657 and 58227
What are some benefits you’ve seen in your troop from traveling?
Going on a troop trip builds interpersonal skills because it’s hard traveling with the same people for days or weeks. It requires teamwork and communication skills to talk about issues or plans. We encourage the Girl Scouts to work in their groups to solve small issues that come up, so I also see their problem-solving skills improve. Rather than running to an adult every time something is wrong, they tend to solve their own problems or ask another Girl Scout for help. These are all such essential skills to have as they grow up!
Megan, Arden Hills
Troops 55943 and 16741
What is your favorite tip you would pass along to a troop leader wanting to travel with Girl Scouts for the first time?
For a first trip, it is about progression both for the Girl Scouts AND for you as a leader. I really recommend starting with a trip to somewhere you are familiar with or at least have heavily researched yourself. Having a familiarity with the destination allows you to provide guidance to the troop as they plan and allows you to be aware of any key pinch points.
On top of planning and scheduling a trip for the first time, part of the difficulty in first-time traveling is learning how to research attractions and how to budget. If you have some knowledge of the location then you can provide guidelines to keep things safe, cost-efficient, and enjoyable. As you and your troop become more experienced travelers, you can expand into brand new destinations because you will have developed the tools to do so.
Now that you’ve heard from other troop leaders about why they love to travel, where does your troop want to go next?
Sydney Tuttle – Sydney is a Leader Engagement Coordinator at Girl Scout River Valleys, focusing on training and supporting troop leaders. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Minnesota— Twin Cities. In her free time, Sydney enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her friends. She can talk your ear off about her two cats, Korra and Mabel!