6 essential outdoor activities for kid-friendly summer fun

Are ready to abandon the artificial chill of air-conditioned living and head out into the great outdoors this summer with your Girl Scout? Need some ideas for kid-friendly outdoor fun? We’ve got six awesome activities that’ll spark her imagination AND boost her love of the outdoors.

How do we know this? Because it worked for us! We asked some of our staff for their favorite childhood summer outdoor activities and made a list to share with you.

You can try a few new ones this summer or check them all off for the ultimate outdoor summer of fun.

Creek Stomping

“No summer was complete without spending time exploring a river (or creek) and getting a little muddy (okay, sometimes a LOT muddy). We’d put on our oldest play clothes, slide on our water shoes, and ride our bikes down to the Ottawa river for some watery fun. Clambering around on trees, wading into the water to catch crawdads, searching for fossils and oddly shaped rocks, each time we found something new and came home tired, muddy, and happy. I highly recommend a creek stomping adventure as you and your girl explore the outdoors this summer!” -Megan Ramey, Program and Partnerships


“One of the best memories I have is riding bikes with my friends in the summer. We would ride on our street or short trips around town.  As we got older, the distances that we rode grew.  Now I would love to get on a bike path with a picnic lunch and spend the day just riding and seeing our communities from a different view.” -Bonnie Edgin, Inside Sales


“As soon as the weather started to warm up I would beg my dad to take me fishing. We would pack up our poles, nets, worms and tackle box and head for the farm pond. Nothing was more exciting than walking up to the undisturbed stillness of the water. As soon as I would set up my pole and put my bait on the hook I was wading in the water excited for fish. I would watch dragonflies zip from cattail to cattail with one eye while keeping the other eye on the line as I waited for my first bite. All of a sudden the line would jerk and I would pull my line out of the water. Pretty soon I was catching fish after fish and having the time of my life.” -Chelsea Hinojosa, Program and Partnerships


“Lots of hiking! Doesn’t matter if it was just down the road to fish in the creek by our house or on a family camping trip. Every place we went there was a new discovery, which is what made it so much fun. I have been lucky enough to hike in places like Colorado and the Poconos in Pennsylvania, but the local park districts are just as amazing and  full of new sights, sounds, animals, plants…I could go on forever! There is something magical about discovering your own “backyard,” knowing that so many amazing things in nature are only a few steps away if you just take the time to explore.” -Kelli Rempe, Customer Care


“Summer doesn’t seem to begin until pools are open!  As a former swim team member, I love swimming fun!  Whether at a lake, a river or the community pool; endless hours of sharks and minnows, water polo or Marco Polo, water time is a needed summer activity!” -Sarah Kelly, Program and Partnerships


“I love canoeing the Mad River. It’s a quiet and peaceful day on the river. The current takes you down stream and you just have to steer and watch for wildlife. Go over the tractor pass (a teeny dip) in your canoe and keep an eye out for water snakes, little schools of fish, and birds as you drift. It’s a great opportunity to talk or just be quiet. My daughter and I pretend we’re Pocahontas and sing “Just Around the Riverbend.” Summer’s not summer without a canoe trip!” -Amy Orwick, Product Sales

So what are you waiting for? Slip on your favorite moisture wicking t-shirt, grab a hat, slap on some sunscreen, and take your Girl Scout on an outdoor adventure this summer!