Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Girls, Parents, Volunteers

Finding Art Anywhere: Experimenting With Art in the Outdoors

Every year on April 22 people all over the world celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day is a day to reflect on how we have treated our planet, and more importantly, how we can treat it better. It is a day to focus on appreciating the beautiful gifts that the Earth gives us, and to think about how we can use those gifts to their fullest potential. While April, often called “Earth Month,” has come to a close, troops can carry the spirit of appreciation for our planet forward by looking around themselves to find opportunities in nature to create with one another!

Here are three ways to experiment with art in the outdoors, which vary in skill level and age appropriateness. Need more ideas? Make sure to check our digital resource, the Volunteer Toolkit, for Girl Scouts’ Art in the Outdoors badge series for Brownies on up or the new Daisy, Brownie, and Junior level Outdoor Journey. You’re sure to find something that’ll inspire your creative side!

Nature Photography

In the age of smartphones and the ability to take a photo, selfie, or Snapchat at the drop of a hat, we often forget to look around at the world around us and show appreciation with a photograph. Leading a nature photography excursion does not need to require a fancy camera, but it is important to take into account whether the girls in your troop have access to one at all (whether it is a family camera or one on their cell phones.)

If not everyone has access to a camera or phone, you can pair them in groups rather than assigning each individual Girl Scout to take her own photo. If you would like to add a scientific edge as well, consider devising a “species scavenger hunt” which directs them to find specific species and take interesting photographs of flora and fauna that can be found in your surrounding area.

DIY Flower Crown

The next few months in western Ohio will be the most colorful ones of the year! Wildflowers are blooming everywhere you look, from the sides of a highway to a trail in the woods. Creating a flower crown from these wildflowers is the perfect way to kick off the warmest months of the year, and will allow each Girl Scout the flexibility to express her personal preferences and style.

The internet is littered with tutorials, but I love this one. It is simple and easy to follow, using all found materials.

Garden Gifts for Mom

If you are looking for an outdoor craft to do with younger Girl Scouts at the Daisy or Brownie level, it is best to keep it simple and creative. With Mother’s Day approaching, it is a great time to be looking outside to find the perfect gift for mom that can be enhanced with a personal twist.

Garden markers made by painting found objects such as rocks and branches are a great way to get Girl Scouts to pay attention to their surroundings as they look for the smoothest object to work with, but still allow them to get creative and messy with something they know and love: paint! Here and here are some great “tutorials” for making garden markers, but really, there is no wrong way to do it! We definitely recommend using varnish to protect your markers from the elements after they have been painted, but we recommend doing that without the kids present.

So, over the next few weeks, consider a creative activity in nature to get the girls in your troop excited about the changing season. After this winter, everyone will be excited to get outdoors and get their creative energy flowing!

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