Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Family Experience

Camp Activities You Can Do Without a Facilitator

Our high adventure activities at camp are awesome and we know girls love them, but there also a ton of activities you can do that don’t require a specifically trained facilitator! We asked some of our camp and outdoor experts for some fan favorite activities that get girls outdoors and ready to explore in a simple, easily accessible way.

  • Take a Hike! Outdoor Learning Facilitator, Kyle Sevilla, suggests heading out for a night hike! Grab your flash light and hit the trails as you experience a familiar activity in a new light (or lack thereof) as nature transforms under the moon. We got some other great suggestions from some Outdoor Facilitators for themed hikes:
    • Color hike: have girls choose a color or colors and see if they can find items that match.
    • Alphabet hike: can you find the letters of the alphabet in nature?  You can even turn your hike into a scavenger hunt or nature bingo!
  • Another nighttime suggestion, stargazing! Whether you are just taking a moment to enjoy the night sky or perhaps working on a Space Science badge, girls will surely enjoy exploring the moon and stars. No telescope required, but using one is definitely a great way to dive deeper.
  • Play a game! Outside, inside, it doesn’t matter. Bring a game or have girls make one up! Our Outdoor Program staff recommends a few rounds of gaga ball! There are gaga pits at every GSWO camp. Not sure what that is? We bet your girls do! If not, here are the gaga ball rules.
  • Go on a treasure hunt! Well, kind of. Letterboxing is a camp must! Brownies can even work on their badge while hanging out at camp. Geocaching kicks things up a notch, and once girls have found their expertise, they can move on to orienteering. Have girls challenge each other and yeah, they can even hide some “treasure.” 
  • Give me a beat! Lemme Sticks are a great way to bring the group together to explore rhythms and patterns and even create a troop beat. We often think of Lemme Sticks for younger girls, but music and games can speak to girls of all ages. You can check out a Lemme Stick kit for free at any of the G.I.R.L. Resource Centers at your nearest GSWO Center. Here’s a resource to learn a little more about this fan favorite, Maori Stick Game.
  • One thing everyone agrees on is that free time is a must! It’s great for the girls and the leaders. Free time is the ultimate girl-led experience as it promotes social interactions, creative play and exploration. Girls spend a lot of time in structured environments and need opportunities to decide how they will spend their time, even the possibility of experiencing “boredom,” which we know won’t last long at camp.
  • Campfire eats! Grab your friends and gather around the campfire for some fan favorite outdoor cooking dishes. Not sure what to make? Ask members of your Service Unit, ask fellow volunteers, reference your Troop Camp Training Manual, or try an internet search.
  • Some other things you can do at camp that take a little more planning but are incredibly rewarding include service or Take Action projects and celebrations! Our camps get a lot of use, which means sometimes they need a little work. You can work with the rangers and other council staff on planning a project for girls to complete while at camp.  You can also use camp as a location to celebrate! Plan bridging ceremonies, investiture and any other celebrations at your favorite Girl Scout camp property!

For more ideas, connect with your local outdoor enthusiasts, try the Outdoor Program staff or Outdoor Learning Facilitator. The G.I.R.L. Resource Centers are located in every Girl Scouts of Western Ohio center and are loaded with items to enhance your camp experience, from Lemme Sticks, to parachute games, outdoor cooking supplies and more and free to check out.

If you have a fun activity your troop loves to do at camp, please share!

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