Six Steps to Your Next Troop Adventure
It’s that time of year again! The snow is starting to melt, the days are getting longer and the Girl Scout Cookie Program is in full swing! Along with the 5 Skills girls gain from participating, one additional benefit comes from selling cookies: troop proceeds! Many girls and troops choose to use at least a portion of their troop proceeds to plan a troop trip. As with all things in the Girl Scout world, planning and implementing a troop trip is a great learning experience for girls. Whether your trip is for Girl Scout Daisies or Ambassadors, around the corner or around the world, these six steps will help you plan!
1. Think in Advance: If a troop trip could be in your future, you are going to want to become familiar with council’s policies, procedures and resources. Consult the travel and troop trips page on the website, review Volunteer Essentials, and look up Safety Activty Checkpoints.
2. Engage the Girls: Being girl led is one important aspect that sets Girl Scouts apart from other organizations. Where do they want to go? What do they want to do? Break out into groups and have girls brainstorm ideas for the trip. Come back together and compile a master list.
3. Create a Plan: Prioritize and come up with a plan for the trip. Assign different planning responsibilities to different groups—meals, activities, lodging and transportation, etc. Always have a back-up plan; for example, in case weather forces one activity to be cancelled.
4. Inform Parents and Council: Communicate with parents and other adults working with the troop. Be specific in enlisting support-drivers, grocery shoppers, etc. Distribute necessary paperwork (Permission Slips, High-Risk Activity Forms, etc.) Submit a Troop/Group Activity/Trip Notification Form to council.
5. Implement: Gather your adults, girls, supplies, drivers and go! Help girls to see the advantages of their pre-planning as the trip progresses. Perhaps have a “Plan B” in mind, in the event that things don’t go according to the original plan.
6. Evaluate: Review the experience as it is happening and at your next troop meeting. During the activity, ask the girls open-ended questions about what they see, how they feel, what they like so far and so on. At the next meeting, continue to review by asking questions designed to make girls think. What went well? What was your favorite thing? What could we do better next time?
GSUSA also has great resources and travel opportunities for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors. Check out troop opportunities through Getaways and individual travel opportunities, both international and domestic, through Destinations.