General

Outdoor Experiences Benefit Girls

9278138213_f1d85e78e6_oDid you know that lower socio-economic girls benefit greatly from outdoor experiences in Girl Scouts… BUT they get less exposure?

R  In a 2012 online survey with 2862 Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts (grades 4-8) from 15 councils in 16 states, lower socio-economic girls report significantly higher benefit from Girl Scouts overall and for exercise, academics and recognizing their strengths.

R Outdoor participation strengthens lower socio-economic girls’ perceptions of the impact of Girl Scouts.

R But lower-socio-economic girls are more likely to have low or NO exposure to the outdoors in Girl Scouts!

In addition, 50 percent of all surveyed Girl Scouts (n=2862) said they could not do an outdoor activity if not for Girl Scouts.  This tells us that you, the Girl Scout volunteer, are filling major gaps for girls through your work in Girl Scouting.  A Girl Scout volunteer can help girls get experience outdoors in simple ways.  These activities can be fun and meaningful and do not have to happen at a Girl Scout camp. Try out some of the following activities in your own community:

  1. Take a walk and talk about what you see from nature (birds, trees, flowers, etc.)

  2. Go on a treasure hunt outdoors, finding things from a list you’ve created.

  3. Start geocaching in your city neighborhood, using a GPS to find treasures and swapping them for new ones.

  4. Go on an alphabet hike, naming things you see outdoors starting with each letter.

  5. Bring fun games outdoors, such as a hula-hoop relay, hopscotch, frisbee, tag or jump rope.

Check out previous blog posts about outdoor activities for more ideas.  Also, don’t forget to keep promoting summer camp opportunities to girls and their parents.  There are still spaces available.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Outdoor Study visit http://www.girlscoutsofwesternohio.org/What-We-Do/Innovation-and-Strategy/Research%20Documents/OutdoorStudy_01292014(pub).pdf