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Troop Camping Planning Resources

Introducing your troop to the wonders of hiking and camping couldn't be easier! Whether you’re a camping pro, or just starting out, you can help campers of all ages have a positive experience in the great outdoors—and we have a plethora of resources to help you plan your best troop camping experience yet.

  • Prepare & Plan Ahead

    Get yourself and your campers ready! Explore GSNorCal's Outdoor Trainings for Adults, review resources and videos, and get comfortable with your skills a little at a time. Before you go, be sure to make solid plans.

Before you go camping...

Get Acquainted with the Process

  • Be sure to take camping training for adults.

Pre-Camping Basics

General Resources

Girl Scouts is first and foremost girl-led program, and troop camping trips should be no exception! There's a lot to consider when planning an outdoor adventure, and even your youngest Daisies have the confidence, knowledge, and skills to contribute to the planning process.

Best Practices

  • Schedule a specific period of time during meetings to give the girls time to plan and take leadership of the troop camping trip. They can start by writing a timeline of when they would like to go on the trip, and the steps they'll need to get there.
  • Your campers should select the campsite that works best for their interests and needs. Check out the "Choosing a Campground" section for more details.
  • Ask your participants what they want to do on their camping trip! Hike? Make S'mores? Earn badges? All of the above? They can decide as a group what activities they can accomplish, and what they'll need to do them on the trip.
  • The older the troop, the less they'll need guidance from adults!

Budgeting

Online Resources

We're a little biased, but we think Northern California is one of the most beautiful places in the world. In addition to all of our GSNorCal properties, there's so many hiking trails, campgrounds, and other wilderness for Girl Scouts to explore!

What to Consider

There's a lot to consider when choosing a campsite for your troop, but here's a few key things we think you should know before you go:

  • Do you want to drive in or hike your gear in?
  • Do you want to be close to the bathrooms, or far away? Or will your campsite have a bathroom at all?
  • Will lots of traffic pass through the site and will it be vulnerable to road noise?
  • Are you a reasonable distance from all of the activities you're hoping to do?
  • Do you want shade or sun?
  • Are you okay with bears or other critters that might involve special gear (like bear boxes)?
  • Is there a picnic table or will you need to bring your own seating and tables?

Where to Camp

We have 11 stunning rental properties throughout Northern California that can suit the needs and interests of troops of all levels and sizes. Troop leaders can easily rent the GSNorCal camping property of their choice online. Even better, property rentals are dramatically discounted for Girl Scout troops!

If you're ready to venture beyond our council-owned properties, we suggest these awesome resources for booking local campsites:

Once you decide on a location, make sure you and your campers pack everything you need! Camping equipment can be expensive, but there are many low-cost rental options in Northern California, and service unit volunteers or other troop leaders will often loan you their equipment.

What to Pack

Outdoor Gear Rentals

Safety first! Whether you are a first-time camper or a survivalist, staying safe is easy with the right know-how!

  • Explore and Adventure

    Fill your camping days with exciting activities! There are so many ways to keep your campers busy-- and busy campers are happy campers! Explore on a hike, scan the sky, or learn new skills; there's no limit to what a G.I.R.L can do!

Hiking and camping give girls a sense of empowerment in the outdoors, show them how to use natural resources more wisely (including respecting our environment and wildlife), and help them become lifelong stewards of the land and our natural resources. It's also a great way to get exercise and bond with troop members! There's a wide range of trail length and difficulty in the resources below, and all of them are beautiful in their own way.

Your campers are going to be hungry during your camping trip! Outdoor cooking is a fantastic skill for troops to learn, and an important activity to do together while camping.


There's nothing quite like sitting around a blazing fire, roasting delicious s'mores, and finding constellations in the clear night sky. S'mores are a Girl Scout invention, and many campfire songs and stories started in Girl Scouts troops. Plus, girls of all ages and skill levels can participate in these traditions!


Try some of these awesome, accessible activities right from the comfort of home.