Girl Scouts celebrate the importance of getting outdoors every month, but the month of June is extra special because it’s National Great Outdoors Month, and it marks the beginning of summer and the activities that come along with it. Since the founding of Girl Scouts in 1912, outdoor experiences have played a pivotal role in programming, and founder Juliette Gordon Low led the first Girl Scout troop in activities like hiking, camping, swimming, and even telling time by the stars. Today, the value that Girl Scouts places in the outdoors is stronger than ever, and connecting with nature in a girl-led setting is a large benefit of belonging to Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts remains dedicated to encouraging girls to learn about the outdoors through badges, Journeys, and Council Patch Programs. Outdoor adventure badges include Hiker, Camper, Trailblazer, and Adventurer, with specialty skill badges in areas like geocaching and archery. There is also a new outdoor Journey stemming from the Camper badge that strengthens girls’ outdoor skills and ignites their interest in environmental stewardship, as they must complete a service project to benefit the environment. One Council Patch Program that encourages outdoor activities is the North Carolina Coast program where girls visit the coast to learn about coastal climate, attractions, and animals. These badges and the Patch Program allow girls to learn about the world around them and have fun doing it in the great outdoors.
Another fantastic outdoor opportunity that Girl Scouts provides to girls is camp, and in June, resident and day camps kick off across the council’s 41 county coverage. At Camp Mary Atkinson (Johnson), Camp Graham (Vance), and Camp Hardee (Beaufort), girls step outside of their daily lives and away from technology as they spend the week camping, hiking, cooking outside, and trying new outdoor activities. Whether it’s hitting her first bullseye at archery or overcoming her fear of heights by riding a horse, girls are able to learn about the great outdoors while discovering their strengths and passions at camp.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), when girls participate in outdoor activities through Girl Scouting they learn important life skills such as cooperation and team building. Girl Scouts’ outdoor programming offers girls once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the outdoors in a safe and fun girl-led environment. When girls get outside and explore nature, they are building independence and developing incredible memories in the great outdoors for years to come.
Join Girl Scouts in celebrating National Great Outdoors Month by signing up for Girl Scout Camp. For endless opportunities in the outdoors, join Girl Scouts at nccoastalpines.org.