Troop Camping

We know our volunteers are game for anything, but it might be overwhelming to think about shepherding a group of 12+ girls through an overnight backpacking trip. Likewise, not all girls have the same comfort level or experience with adventuring safely outdoors. Troop leaders, troop volunteers, and girls need to start small and local, before working their way up to advanced outdoor trips and experiences.

Every group is different and has unique experiences, so GSNorCal has a standard outdoor progression (PDF) for Girl Scouts to follow. Progression allows girls to learn the skills they need to become competent in the outdoors, including how to plan and organize outdoor activities. As girls master each outdoor skill, we invite her to challenge herself further by taking that next step up and out!

Experience level: Little–none

Appropriate for: All Girl Scout program grade levels

These mini-trips take place during a troop’s regular meeting time. The troop should start and end the at their regular meeting location and go to a point of interest that is within walking distance, a short car ride, or accessible via public transportation.

Look Out: Share past experiences in the outdoors.

  • Talk about favorite outdoor places and why they're special.
  • Wonder what else can be seen in the outdoors.

Meet Out: Step outside to look, listen, feel, and smell.

  • Share what was observed.
  • Learn more about what was discovered.

Move Out: Plan and take a short walk outside.

  • Discuss being prepared for the weather.
  • Do activities to explore nature.
  • Plan and carry out an indoor sleepover.

Experience level: Basic; comfortable with meeting-time trips

Appropriate for: All Girl Scout program grade levels

These simple, one-day excursions get Girl Scouts away from their regular troop meeting place and last a few hours or more. Check out our approved activity, vendor, and field-trip opportunities for some ideas!

Explore Out: Plan and take a short and easy hike.

  • Discuss what to take in a day pack.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Plan a healthy snack or lunch.
  • Learn how to stay safe in the outdoors.

Experience level: Basic; comfortable with day trips

Appropriate for: Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

On simple overnight trips, campers and volunteers can spend one to two nights at a point of interest. Points of interest examples include a Girl Scout facility or campsite, a nearby campground, or even your own backyard!

Cook Out: Plan and cook a simple meal outdoors.

  • Make a list of gear and food supplies needed.
  • Learn and practice skills needed to cook a meal.
  • Review outdoor cooking safety.
  • Practice hand and dish sanitation.
  • Create a Kaper Chart for the cookout.

Sleep Out: Plan and carry out an overnight in a cabin/backyard.

  • Discuss what to pack for the sleep out.
  • Learn to use and care for camping gear.
  • Learn how to practice new outdoor skills.
  • Plan a menu with a new cooking skill.
  • Discuss campsite organization.
  • Plan time for fun activities.

Experience level: Intermediate; comfortable with simple overnights

3 nights are appropriate for: Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

4+ nights are appropriate for: Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors

On extended overnight trips, Girl Scouts and volunteers can spend three or more nights at a point of interest. Points of interest can range anywhere from a nearby Girl Scout facility or campsite to across the continental United States.

Adventure Out: Plan and take an outdoor trip for several days.

  • Learn and practice a new outdoor skill.
  • Learn a new outdoor cooking skill.
  • Develop first-aid skills and use safety check points.
  • Budget, schedule, and make arrangements.
  • Participate in an environmental service project.
  • Teach and inspire others about the outdoors.
  • Imagine new experience to be had outdoors.
  • Practice all Leave No Trace principles.

Download our Trip & Outdoor Planning Checklist

Stellar trips and outdoor experiences are all about progression and girl readiness. Follow the guidelines in this checklist to ensure your Girl Scout travels are a success!

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