From the city block to the suburban backyard to the backcountry, Girl Scouts has a long and storied history of getting girls outdoors. This summer, when kids and parents are faced with limited safe, accessible, and affordable camp and outdoor options due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is launching three outdoor initiatives to keep girls entertained and engaged in virtual and in-person environmental activities all summer long. Offerings include virtual summer camps, free online experiences tied to the outdoors, and exciting virtual events to ensure girls across the country have access to a variety of fun, challenging, and experiential activities so they can continue to develop essential skills and behaviors that will help them become effective leaders in the outdoors and beyond.

When girls spend quality time outdoors and increase their exposure to nature, they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually. According to a 2019 Girl Scouts Research Institute (GSRI) study titled “Girl Scouts Soar in the Outdoors,” 86% of girls agree they learned more about nature through Girl Scouts, and 80% state that they participated in outdoor activities through Girl Scouts that they never would have done otherwise. With the launch of the Girl Scout Camp Adventures at Home Marketplace, members and nonmembers can access a one-stop shop to sign up for any of the hundreds of virtual summer camp sessions taking place nationwide. For the first time ever, girls can meet and participate together in virtual camp sessions offered by any of our 111 councils across the country. They can find a camp based on their interests and grade level on the Marketplace site. Camp sessions include more familiar Girl Scout camp experiences as well as some newer offerings that range from skill building in wildlife education to activities in environmental stewardship, astronomy, STEM, imagination exploration, and even the culinary arts.

“Girl Scouts created one of the largest platforms for virtual summer camp opportunities in the country,” shared GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “For more than a century, Girl Scouts has been a place where girls come together to learn, lead, get outdoors with their friends, and take action in their communities. This summer, we are proud to continue offering high-quality programming that provides girls opportunities to explore the natural world around them, engage in environmental stewardship, and enjoy the fun and friendship of Girl Scouts in innovative new ways that meet the needs of families during this unprecedented time.”

Pricing varies depending on the camp session and ranges between $25 and $100 for up to a week of programming. Parents can also visit the official Girl Scout Shop to gear up for Camp Adventures at Home and browse STEM kits, craft supplies, camping gear, sports equipment, and more that go hand in hand with virtual activities. New camp sessions from across the country will also be added to the Marketplace calendar every week from June until mid-August.

“Girl Scout Camp Adventures at Home includes a blend of live engagements with counselors, as well as plenty of activities to complete away from the screen, independently, or with a caregiver” shared GSUSA’s Director of the National Outdoor Strategy Amanda Daly. “The same goes for programming available on Girl Scouts at Home, including activities that are part of the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge—we want to make sure equal opportunities and resources are available to girls from different neighborhoods all across the country, and varying experience levels in the outdoors, both plugged and unplugged.”

At home, outdoors

If girls are still itching for more outdoor or environmental activities this summer, Girl Scouts at Home offers families access to free self-guided activities that are searchable by topic and age level. A few outdoor-specific projects include making colorful paintings or sketches using leaves, making a solar box cooker, studying insects within a nature circle, and creating a “stress-free zone” to work out, meditate, or just relax in nature. Girls can also complete activities from the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge. Activities vary, from learning how to identify bird calls to watching the sunset or sunrise, flying a kite, learning how to use a compass, and building a bird or bat house.

Visit girlscouts.org for information on Girl Scouts at Home and virtual events this summer.

Virtual events

GSUSA will also be rolling out three national virtual events in June, July and August on the Camp Adventures at Home Marketplace platform over the course of the summer for girls to sign up and participate in. The events will focus on topics surrounding Engaging Responsibility in the Outdoors in collaboration with The North Face, Space Exploration: Mars to the Stars in collaboration with subject matter experts from our NASA-funded Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts program, and a virtual campout at the Girl Scout Birthplace.

Visit www.girlscouts.org/athome to learn more about all Girl Scouts’ summer outdoor offerings.

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