Family Experience, Volunteer Experience, Volunteers

Exploring the Outdoors When You’re Not Outdoorsy

We all have different levels of comfort with the outdoors. Some of us hear “outdoor adventure” and immediately grab our trekking gear, compass, and are ready for some back country fun. Others hear “outdoor” and think “no, inside good, outside bad.”

But even if all 33 Signs You’re Not An Outdoor Person apply to you, the girls you love need to play outside! Why is nature important? Here’s just a few benefits girls receive from outdoor adventures:

Mental Health Benefits: studies show that outdoor education programs promote mental health and can reduce symptoms of cognitive disorders such as ADHD. Researchers also found that hiking in a natural environment decreases anxiety, depression, and other issues such as binge eating and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Increased Problem Solving: a recent study on Attention Restoration Theory (ART) found that “four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multi-media and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50% in a group of naive hikers”. While going four days without your phone may seem extreme, trying a 2 hour hike without texting is an excellent start.

The constant noise and technology glut in urban life is wearing out our brains. The answer is unplugging and going outdoors! It’s time to give your girls some eco-therapy. So where do you go for outdoor programming for newbies? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our suggestions for getting your troop outdoors when you’re not outdoorsy:

  1. Outdoor Program Events! Our event list has so many great adventures for all age levels led by our excellent outdoor staff. You can start simple with events like Daisy Nature Day or Family Night at one of our camps and as you get more comfortable outside (and your girls do too) attend a skill building workshop like Campfire Cooking, Brownie Hiker or Outdoor Skills Day.  
  2. Awesome Community Partners! We’ve got partners across western Ohio who love nature and are excited to share the love with our girls. From canoeing to geocaching, they’ve got something for every skill level. Check our website for a list of partners in your area or flip through your Program Event Guide for information on the Girl Scout programs these partners offer. 
  3. Camp! At camp girls can have fun in a safe outdoor environment surrounded by people who love the outdoors and want to inspire a life long love of nature. We’ve got camps where leaders can come and join the fun (Troop Adventure Camp), camps for younger girls who aren’t ready to leave home yet (Day Camp) and more! Why camp? Here are 5 Reasons to Send Your Kid to Girl Scout Camp.

So what are you waiting for? Get your girls outdoors! You won’t be sorry and just maybe you’ll experience some of those benefits we mentioned above too.