Greetings from the Outdoor Adventure Club! This pilot program has taken off and gotten girls outside and in touch with nature. In the OAC, girls have:
- Tried beginning camping skills at Meadow Mountain Ranch
- Gone rock climbing inside Garden of the Gods with an overnight stay at Hamp Hut
- Experienced archery, orienteering and scrambling/rock climbing at Magic Sky Ranch
We are looking forward to even more adventures in 2017. This pilot program got started quickly after a brainstorming session with our Board of Directors about how to keep older girls interested in Girl Scouting and capitalize on the wonderful outdoor opportunities at our doorstep. We came up with a skeleton plan and got going – the excitement we’ve felt from girls and their families is contagious! We priced the passport very low so it would not be a barrier to entry for girls, and as a pilot program we wanted to generate initial interest. We sold 120 passports at $195/girl in no time at all, and we closed enrollment so we could best serve these outdoorsy girls!
What goes into this price? Great question!
After running our first OAC events, we realize that each event is like a pop-up resident camp for 120 girls at a different location around the state — talk about logistics! Here are a few things that go into this cost per girl:
- Lodging: Sometimes we use GSCO properties, sometimes we don’t…either way, we have costs for overnight experiences.
- Food: We pay an average of $7/meal per girl when she attends and eats at OAC events. Often we have girls bring sack lunches to help keep this cost down.
- Transportation: Once we are at one location, if it doesn’t have our activity there are buses to reserve! Giant charter and school buses cost $1,000s per day to reserve.
- Administrative Staff: Each event takes lots of coordination on the administrative side to set up the event online, communicate with parents, and create rosters, health sheets, sign-in paperwork, etc.
- Program Staff: Along with our amazing volunteers, we have 3-4 program staff who save time out of their regular schedules to work our events on the weekends.
- Outdoor Vendors: Because we are serving a huge number of girls on a large scale with highly skilled outdoor activities we don’t always have volunteers who are (1) trained, (2) in proximity, and (3) readily available, for our needs. Because of this, we use vendors who can work with us to give a discount, but we still incur costs per girl for outdoor activities.
We are so grateful to the families who are participating this year. It has been exciting and a great opportunity to get to know the girls and their desires as older Girl Scouts.
Looking ahead into 2017:
- We anticipate that there will be price increases. It is our goal to keep this as affordable as possible, but with an actual cost of about $1,400 per passport, we know the price needs to increase to keep the program going.
- We anticipate separating girls by ages a bit. We know that 6th grade feels young and once you get a year of middle school under your belt it’s easier to mix with older girls. We are playing around with ideas of doing programs specifically for 6th graders and then for the older girls too.
- We want to increase the numbers of girls served!
- We want to increase availability of programs around the state!
If you have any program, transportation, or other resources you think would be helpful for this new project, please let us know! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your resource and idea suggestions.