Summertime is full of possibilities, both indoors and outside. The Boy and Girl Scouts offer many activities to keep children busy and engaged during the summer months.
The Girl Scouts offer weeklong camping adventures for girls kindergarten age and older. Camps are three to 14 days long, with the average being five nights. The girls and their counselors plan activities, taking advantage of the resources available at the campsite. Day camps are available for three or more consecutive days for four hours or more. The occasional overnight may be offered. Weekend camps typically last for two days and one overnight. Some weekend camp experiences are designed to include staff with program expertise—a good choice for girls and adult volunteers who may want support with their camp experience. Travel camping is an exciting option for those looking for adventure. The group travels by foot or human power and uses motorized or non-motorized transportation to move from one site to another over a period of three or more nights. Motorized transportation is usually a bus, van or automobile but may also be an airplane, boat, bicycle, train or combination of vehicles. There is also a minimal-impact camping option, which encourages each person to leave no trace of their outdoor or camping experience, from the planning stages to the outdoor experience itself.
For a more controlled and indoor environment, girls can work in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math () and see how they relate to everyday life, such as discovering how a car’s engine runs, how to manage finances, or exploring careers in fields. In addition to gaining knowledge of these areas of science and math, girl scouts also develop leadership skills and learn about career opportunities.
During activities, the organization engages girl scouts in three different ways: girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning.
Through the girl-led process, Girl Scouts offers a safe, supportive place, away from unspoken assumptions about gender roles, for girls to seek challenges. The girl-led process encourages girls to decide which topics they want to explore and how they want to go about it.
Research shows that, particularly with , youth need to be hands-on, active learners. The learning-by-doing process encourages this approach. In addition, Girl Scouts’ learning-by-doing process involves a reflection step that asks girls to think about how a given activity worked and what they would do differently in the future—a key skill in scientific testing and conducting experiments.
In general, girls prefer a collaborative leadership style, rather than the traditional, top-down, “command and control” approach. The cooperative learning process gives girls the opportunity to develop leadership and skills in a way that might feel most comfortable.
Girl Scouts also gain leadership skills through a well-known activity of the organization: cookies.
According to its website, the real purpose behind the $790 million Girl Scout cookie program is to teach girls five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills.
All the revenue earned from cookie sales—every penny after paying the baker—stays with the local Girl Scout council that sponsors the sale. Councils use cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups, and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers, and conducting events. Troops have used their money to go kayaking and learn about the environment, visit their state capitol to talk about encouraging girls in careers, visit other countries, and the list goes on.
As part of their experience in any Girl Scout product activity, girls can earn official Girl Scout awards at every level of Girl Scouting, including cookie and financial literacy badges and the annual Cookie Activity Pin.
For ease of purchase, customers can now find their Girl Scout Cookies using a free app available for iPhone or Android, or by visiting the newly refreshed official Girl Scout Cookie Finder at www.girlscoutcookies.org.
Girl Scout cookies are on sale until March 17.
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories as well as American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries.