Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Volunteers

6 Amazing Overnight Experiences!

Sleeping bags and giggling girls…there’s just something special about a troop overnight that you can’t get anywhere else. Maybe it’s bonding as you sneak by the adult during a 2 am snack run or the silly stories whispered among friends but whatever it is, it’s essential to Girl Scouts! And we’ve got some great suggestions to take your troop overnight to the next level.

  1. Sleep With the Fishes: Or as close as you can get with Sharks After Dark at Newport Aquarium. Or take a walk on the wild side with one of our zoo partners, with options like Safari Overnight (Toledo), Sleep With the Manatees (Cincinnati), and Night Owl (Columbus) you’re sure to have a wild night! Contact the education department at your zoo of choice for more information.
  2. Rat Basketball and Explosion Shows: Only at COSI. Always bringing fun and science together, the camp-ins here are a long standing Girl Scout tradition. Girls 14 and up can even go behind the scenes as Program Assistants. For science, technology, and teamwork programming this place is hard to beat. If Columbus seems too far, Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta also does awesome overnights and Imagination Station in Toledo has some excellent badge related science workshops so check them out as well.
  3. Cowboy Up: saddle up with the wranglers at Camp Willson as you explore the countryside on horseback. You’ll ride to a primitive campsite,  spend the night, and hop back in the saddle for several more hours of riding before your adventure ends. Not quite ready for primitive camping? Test your riding skills at Marmon Valley Farm. Take a trail ride, spend the day on the farm, and sleep in the bunkhouse for a less primitive but still memorable overnight adventure.  GSports14_EasternPA_-389
  4. Explore the River: Spend a day (and a night) on the water with Little Miami Canoe Rental. They’ll pick you up at Camp Whip Poor Will, teach you the basics, and then let you wander the byways of the Little Miami. Camp out in Oregonia on the river and then paddle down to Morrow in the morning. At the end of the trip, they’ll return you to Whip Poor Will.
  5. Sleep Underground: Everybody loves camping when there’s no fear of rain. For those willing to travel for adventure, the Blue Springs Caverns Overnight in Bedford, IN or Caveman Camp Outs at Cumberland Caverns-TN  are the perfect overnight to explore the natural wonders of the cave without giving up modern conveniences like restrooms. Not ready to sleep in the cave but still want to explore? Try out the Waterfall Crawl at  Marengo Cave in IN for muddy adventures and then spend the night at their bunkhouse or join our outdoor staff for our Caving Trip April 30-May 1, 2016 for more underground adventure. Contact Tori Houck ( for more information on our trip.
  6. Backpack through the Wilderness: Explore the outdoors and sleep under the stars as you load up your backpack and take a hike to the perfect overnight location. First timers can learn all about the basics at one of our Backpacking Workshops, then try it out during our Backpacking Overnight at Van Buren State Park. Ready for a lengthier trip? Join our council-wide Backpacking Trip and help us plan the entire trip. Contact Vicki Proctor ( or Tori Houck ( for more information on these events.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your next troop overnight today! Don’t forget to check Safety Activity Checkpoints before your go and use the Travel and Troop Trip Overnight Planning Manual from our Required Trainings to make sure you’re ready for your overnight.