Tag Archives: outdoors

Get Outdoors with Girl Scouts

While we can’t gather in person with our troops or at camp, check out these links to practice your outdoor skills, work on outdoor badges, get outside with your family, and spend time in the great outdoors this summer. Make sure to stay safe by staying up-to-date on the current COVID -19 guidelines on travel, outdoor recreation, social distancing, and more by visiting the Colorado Department of Health website and reading the Leave No trace recommendations on recreating outside in a COVID-19 era.

  1. Pack some snacks, lace up your shoes, and head outside to unlock the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors patch! You’ll enjoy nature, channel your creativity, and learn fun new things.
  2. Need to get outdoors, but live in an urban area? Go Urban Hiking!
  3. Visit the Leave No Trace website for outdoor activity recommendations to do as a family, online learning resources, and lots of other resources.
  4. Check out Children & Nature Network for tips, tools, blogs and webinars in outdoor resources.
  5. Sign up for the Outside Every Day Challenge to receive emails with ideas, tips and resources for getting your family outside every day.
  6. Now is a great time to get your outdoor gear in shape for your next adventure! Check out 50 ways to get your gear in shape.
  7. Check out the National Park Trust website for at-home activities and distance learning opportunities to help bring the outdoors and parks to you.
  8. Visit a Colorado State Park. Select campground are now open for reservation. Learn more on their website.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Earn the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge Patch

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors safely while social distancing! While you’re at it, join the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge. You’ll enjoy nature, channel your creativity, learn fun new things, and EARN A COOL PATCH. If you are unable to complete an activity due to social distancing guidelines, you can find an alternative. Take a virtual tour of a park online, gaze out of a window, or look through family photos of outdoor adventures. Drawing a picture works too!

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Check out the activities. Learn more about the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge patch here: https://www.girlscouts.org/content/dam/girlscouts-gsusa/forms-and-documents/at_home/GSlovesOutdoors_Woorksheet_v5.pdf
  2. Nominate someone. We may be distanced, but we’re certainly not distant! This challenge is a great way to connect with your fellow Girl Scout sisters and invite your non-Girl Scout besties to join in the fun! Nominate someone to take the challenge with you.
  3. Be prepared. As Girl Scouts, we know the importance of being prepared! If you’re venturing to a local park or hiking trail, first make sure they’re open. Pack sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks, protective gear (sunglasses, hat), and water!
  4. Get your patch. Remember, you don’t have to do all 51 suggested activities to earn your snazzy new patch! Complete the required number of activities based on your grade level.

Don’t rush! The Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge doesn’t end until Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend, September 12–13, 2020. This means you have plenty of time to select the activities you’re most interested in and complete them at your own pace.

As you earn this patch, be sure to share your photos and videos with GSCO on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and here on the blog. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo and #gsoutdoors.

The Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge is possible thanks to Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson has been championing women and giving them the tools, resources, and opportunities to succeed at work and at home since its founding more than 130 years ago. Johnson & Johnson’s generous support of the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors prepares girls to experiment, explore their environment, and push boundaries in healthy ways, all while learning how they can improve the world through STEM.

Head to the GSCO website to find more links to practice your outdoor skills, work on outdoor badges, get outside with your family, and spend time in the great outdoors this summer.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Girl Scouting at home: Outdoor Art Explorer badge for Girl Scout Juniors

Hi, my name is Juliette! I earned the Outdoor Art Explorer badge. The requirements for this badge can be downloaded from the Girl Scouts of the USA website. To earn this badge, there are five steps.

  1. Exploring outdoor art
  2. Making something
  3. Finding music in nature
  4. Being a nature photographer
  5. Designing with nature

The purpose of the badge is to find the art in nature and create your own. There were three choices under each step and you just have to pick one!

  1. The first project I did was paint a picture of a sunset and an elephant. This represents the first choice under step 1, create art inspired by wildlife. I used a canvas, taped the sides to create a border, and then painted the sunset and elephant. 
  2. For step two, while my paint was still out, I took a wooden spoon and painted a small meadow on it. This activity represents the section option under step 2, making something with wood.
  3. Step Three was to find music in nature. The second option was to make rainy day music, so I played “rain rain go away” on the piano. If you don’t play an instrument, you could sing outdoors or even create your own instrument.
  4. Step Four was to be a nature photographer and play with light for the first option. I found a place outdoors and I took 3 photographs at different times: one at 10 a.m., one at 3 p.m., and one at 8 p.m., this is how they turned out. You can see how the shadows change and the colors change based on the position of the sun throughout the day.
  5. Step Five is designing with nature. For this, I went outside with a piece of paper and took different shapes in nature and used the shadow to create art.

If you are a Girl Scout Junior and want to do this badge, go for it! There are so many options to choose from, so be creative, get outdoors, and have fun!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Snowshoe adventure

Submitted by Nancy Mucklow

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

On a recent snowy afternoon, Steamboat’s Girl Scout Junior Troop 56342 wrapped up their work on the “Snow Adventure” and “Animal Habitats” badges by taking a snowshoe outing with a Yampatika guide. The very knowledgeable naturalist taught the girls about identifying animal tracks in the snow.

“Meg and the staff at Yampatika were so welcoming and helpful and the girls had a really great time,” said troop co-leader Lisa Thornhill.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Samantha Kucera, Steamboat Springs, “Discovering The Wilderness By Kids For Kids”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a wilderness skills program for kids. Through this program, I have run numerous educational events for more than 230 kids, created an online skills guide, and have a booklet available as a Wilderness Junior Ranger Program at Steamboat Lake State Park and as a patch program with Girl Scouts of Colorado. I created this program because I attended a charter school that taught wilderness skills and my family enjoys camping, backpacking, and hiking.  After learning that I knew unique skills that most of my friends had never learned, I wanted to share them with the kids in my community. My passion for sharing outdoor skills and getting kids into nature gave me a clear focus for my Gold Award.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I was able to see the difference in participants every time I taught them new wilderness skills. I am looking forward to seeing my patch on the back of girls’ uniforms.  I also see incredible changes in my Girl Scout friends who have helped me by teaching skills. Their newfound confidence is inspiring to me.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

This project will be sustained without my involvement through my website, through availability at Steamboat Lake State Park, and through a patch program with Girl Scouts of Colorado. My website will be online until I choose to take it down, which I hope to keep updated instead. The website has all the information I would want to teach any kid, no matter the age. Currently, I have a booklet that guides kids through multiple activities, all teaching them aspects of wilderness skills. This program is active at Steamboat Lake State Park and will be used there for at least a year, but most likely for the foreseeable future. I have another version of this booklet as part of a Girl Scouts of Colorado patch program.  The initial order was for 500 patches, so they intend to advertise my program and keep it active for years to come.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

My project includes a website, booklet, and a Girl Scout patch. When you look online, there are very few websites teaching wilderness skills for kids. Many are written for older audiences that the younger generations are unable to understand. By creating a website, I am giving kids the tools to learn outdoor skills from anywhere. Girl Scouts of Colorado intends to make my patch available to other councils nationwide. I already have interest in the patch in Illinois, Washington, Arizona, and Wyoming.

What did you learn about yourself?

For my entire life, I have heard about people who do amazing things such as making a business, writing a book, or creating an event. Without the Gold Award, I would have never attempted this large of a project. I conceptualized, planned, and implemented a program at the elementary school for 100 fourth graders, with middle and high schoolers as my team leaders. I wrote a booklet with the outdoor skills I believe are the most important for kids to know. I created my own website for a topic I deeply care about. This multifaceted program was my vision and goal. I shared the skills learned from my family, school, and years of Girl Scouts. Through this project, I learned that I am stronger than I imagined and that making a positive impact on the world is not as hard as I thought.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

This project has made me an activist and a leader. My leadership skills will continue to grow because I learned how to turn my vision into reality. In the future, I will be able to let the leader in me show through in everything I do. I cannot wait until I get to see Girl Scouts with my patch on the back of their uniforms, seeing how my Gold Award has affected not only my life, but those around me.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Gold Award is something very few girls earn. I am proud I can join their ranks. This is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn and is an award most girls never earn. For my final year before I become a Girl Scout troop leader, I made it my goal to earn this prestigious award.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

My Gold Award taught me how to strive for what I never thought I could accomplish. I learned how to go for my dreams and make them a reality. Even when problems arose, I used my innovation to develop my ideas and solve any problems I faced. I have put my program and myself out for the world to see. I took the risk of letting the world see what I am passionate about. Every adult I worked with believed that I am a strong and confident young woman. Leading is what I have been developing my entire life. My Gold Award is my outlet to lead and share my knowledge with kids everywhere. Girl Scouts provided a place for me to learn about myself and become a better G.I.R.L.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend

Girl Scouts love getting outside, especially in Colorado! Girl Scouts of Colorado and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have teamed up for Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend July 13-14, 2019.

Share your love of the great outdoors and get to know your local state park with events in state parks across Colorado. Girls can attend as part of a troop or with their family – it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of warm summer weather, spend time in nature, and get inspired for future outdoor adventures. Girl Scouts who participate will earn an exclusive patch (details to come).

Activities at each park will vary, but may include

  • Ranger programs
  • Guided hikes
  • Nature Center tours
  • Opportunities to explore what makes each park unique- interpretive trails, waterfalls, animal programs, epic views, and more!
  • Overnight camping (Girl Scout groups are responsible for reserving a site on their own)
  • Girl Scout booth at the park visitor center where you can learn about Leave No Trace ethics to reduce your impact on nature, pick up a nature scavenger hunt card, and other fun activities!

Participating State Parks

  • Barr Lake, Brighton – July 13
  • Castlewood Canyon, Franktown – July 13
  • Staunton, Pine  – July 14
  • Lory, Bellevue – July 14
  • Ridgeway, Ridgeway – July 13
  • Rifle Falls, Rifle – July 14
  • Lake Pueblo, Pueblo – July 13
  • Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs – July 13
  • Mueller, Divide – July 14
  • Sylvan Lake State Park , Eagle – July 14

Park entrance fees of $8/car apply. This is not a drop-off event; girls must attend as part of a troop or with their family.

RSVP here to reserve your space and to receive updated event information and reminders emailed out prior to the event.

Don’t forget to share the fun on social media! Be sure to tag Girl Scouts of Colorado on FacebookTwitter, and  Instagram and use  #gsoutdoors and #gscolo. You can also share your story and photos on the GSCO Blog using the Share Your Stories form.

GS state parks flyer

Gold Award Girl Scout: Amy Fishman, Boulder, “Connecting Teens With Nature”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

As a high school student in Boulder, I’ve had incredible access to the outdoors throughout my teen years, like many of my classmates. However, as I’ve progressed through school, I learned that many of my peers do not remain engaged in the environment or its issues: they do not spend time outside, choosing instead to focus on schoolwork, Netflix, or other indoor activities, rather than the area that surrounds us. For my project, my aim was to foster a connection between teens and the environment. To this end, I worked to acquire information focused on teens’ engagement with the outdoors and then facilitated an improved connection with the outdoors. Through this, I also increased their understanding of environmental issues, in Boulder and beyond.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

At the start of my project, I administered surveys to students at high schools in my area. The results of the surveys illustrated the lack of environmental connection experienced by my peers. After analyzing the surveys, I designed a program based on their results that subsequently improved participating teens’ levels of engagement with nature and understanding of issues impacting the environment by approximately 30%.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

Science Adventure Program has agreed to a written commitment to continue the project through an annual meeting focused on fostering environmental stewardship and awareness in high school aged teens before they begin adult life. I shared information with a number of environmental groups, both local and international.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

As part of my project’s sustainability, I contacted the environmental organizations Green 10, Sierra Club, and Forest Stewardship Council. Green 10 is a coalition of environmental organizations that are active on the European level, which helped me to have a global impact by sharing my information. Forest Stewardship Council is located in the United States and focuses on environmental stewardship in relation to United States forests. Both Green 10 and Forest Stewardship Council responded to my research, which helped to spread the information acquired in my project nationally and globally.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project, I learned how to effectively communicate my ideas to a wide variety of audiences. I have also learned the importance of delegating work while in a leadership position. I realized that I was incapable of doing everything myself: for example, I could not administer a large quantity of surveys to multiple high schools. By delegating, I was able to reach my goals.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

I believe that earning my Gold Award will impact me primarily due to the fact that my communicative and leadership abilities have improved. Because I want to continue my education in regards to environmental studies, which has a focus on collaborative group work, having strong communication skills will be impactful to me in the future.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

At the beginning of high school, a large number of girls in my troop ended their involvement. This was deeply disappointing to me, because Girl Scouts has been deeply important to my personal community and friend group. Only one other girl remained part of my troop, and we both decided to complete our Gold Awards. Our work on our separate projects added to my experience as a Girl Scout, and I think that because we were supporting each other in our goals, I was able to build a strong community and truly learn from my experience as a Girl Scout in high school.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

I think that my Gold Award project helped me to become an innovator because I was obligated to solve problems as they arose, which challenged me, but also forced me to grow in this respect. For example, one meeting with students was scheduled in late December, but it became difficult for classmates to meet up in person for the second meeting in January. To resolve this, I chose to lead a session through a group email conversation. This, to me, was an effective and innovative solution, and helped me to become a stronger problem solver.

To me, completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project represents the fulfillment of my commitment to Girl Scouts. Much of my younger years focused around being a Girl Scout, and to recognize that I have gotten to this point as one is deeply important to me. I connected with my community by sharing my passion and my idea with the people around me, which has been one of the most important aspects of my time as a Girl Scout.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emily Clark, Colorado Springs, “The Art of Being a Naturalist”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I developed a years worth of art lesson plans for fourth graders at School in the Woods. These lesson plans meet the Colorado Department of Education standards for Art for fourth graders, but are unique in that they are tailored towards outdoor education.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I used feedback from School in the Woods and their students as my lesson plans were used to measure the impact of my Gold Award. My lesson plans are now a part of their ongoing classroom curriculum.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My project is sustainable because the lesson plans include instructions on how to teach each lesson, so they can be used by anyone. I designed them specifically to be implemented by parents, or adults who have no prior art education. This means they can be used by parents homeschooling their children in addition to parents assisting in the classroom.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

I sent .pdf files of the lesson plans to the national parks service, homeschooling groups, and some local art programs. These lesson plans have been shared across the United States, and I know they have been used in California, Colorado, and Ireland.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my project I learned teaching really isn’t my thing, but I learned a lot about art through teaching art and creating art lesson plans. While I don’t intend to be a teacher, I do plan on pursuing a career in art.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

The lessons I learned through my Gold Award Project will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can use what I learned on future applications for jobs or scholarships. Skills I learned and utilized include time management, leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and how to research and revise my work.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Gold Award teaches girls how to organize a project and set goals through a subject they enjoy and are passionate about. I feel I used the skills I learned in teamwork during Reach for the Peak, goal setting I learned through cookie sales, and skills from other Girl Scout events, projects, and workshops all came together to help me achieve success in earning my Girl Scout Gold Award.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L. because it challenged me to take risks. It helped me become a risk-taker because I had to try new things and reach out to people in order for my project to be successful. I couldn’t just rely on the skills I had, but had to ask others for their assistance to make my project successful.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Get your troop outdoors and earn badges for FREE

Girl Scouts of the USA is looking for troops at each Girl Scout level to participate in a research study on the use of outdoor badges, made possible by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project.

What’s Involved

Selected troops will:

  • Be assigned to complete one, two, or three outdoor badges between November 16, 2018 and June 1, 2019. You choose the dates, we choose the number of badges. Troops will be able to choose from a menu of four badges, including camping, environmental stewardship, art in nature, and naturalist badges.
  • Complete and submit to GSUSA a pre- and a post-program survey, or a one-time post-only survey (girls only) after the completion of badge(s). Surveys can be taken on paper or online; survey type will be assigned by GSUSA.
  • Complete an online volunteer survey (leaders only) after the completion of badge(s).

Who Can Participate

  • We are looking for troops at all Girl Scout levels (multi-level welcome).
  • Troops with any level of outdoor experience welcome. No outdoor experience required.
  • Troops that participated in the 2018 outdoor survey pilot study are not eligible.

Benefit to Troops

Participating troops will have the opportunity to help Girl Scouts of the USA understand how our programs benefit girls. Participating troops will also receive all earned badges free of charge!

How to Apply

Interested troops can apply here. A troop leader must complete the entire application by October 31 to be considered.

Everything you need to know about the NEW environmental stewardship badges

From Girl Scouts of the USA

A Girl Scout doesn’t need to be told twice to protect our planet—being green is in her DNA. Since 1912, Girl Scouts across the nation have accepted the charge to get outdoors, respect wildlife, and take care of our environment. And our commitment’s only growing. Yep, we’ve got the passion, the projects, and the new badges to prove it.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve teamed up with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to expand our environmental conservation and stewardship offerings with five new badges! These badges are the first to specifically prepare girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and protect the natural world (our Junior Outdoor Eco Camper badge completes the lineup for all grade levels).

Major thanks to the Elliott Wildlife Values Project, whose funding made these new badges possible. Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of all the badges. Drumroll, please!

Daisy Eco Learner
Earning this badge is as fun as it is informative! Daisies will learn how to keep plants and animals safe through games, prepare to go on an outdoor adventure of their choice, and remove trash that pollutes the environment.

Brownie Eco Friend
As Girl Scouts, Brownies already take care of the environment whenever they spend time outdoors, but with this badge, they’ll learn more ways to treat outdoor spaces and wildlife with kindness and teach others how they can too.

Cadette Eco Trekker

After earning this badge, Cadettes will understand the important role they play in nature and be able to plan an eco trek. The experience will show the girls how to minimize their impact on the environment and teach them ways to conserve, preserve, and protect it.

Senior Eco Explorer
With this badge, Seniors will examine different environmental issues—from plastic pollution to wildlife preservation to shoreline erosion—and plan a trip to explore a specific issue. They’ll also learn to work in a team to research and create solutions.

Ambassador Eco Advocate
Ambassadors have already learned about the importance of the environment, but by experiencing firsthand how to advocate for nature, they’ll take their skills a step further and have a greater impact. As they earn this badge, girls will hear from environmentalists about issues such as endangered species and the destruction of rain forests and work to explore challenges, create solutions, and advocate for their cause. 

By earning these badges, Girl Scouts are taking action in big and small ways to make the world a cleaner, healthier place for all.

Now that’s a G.I.R.L. Agenda we can all get behind. Get out there and earn your new badge now!