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Empowerment through Adventure
Why Girl Scouts’ camp programs are a must for our daughters

by Staff

When we envision our daughters’ development, we hope for experiences rich in self-discovery, resilience and unshakable confidence. However, the environments providing these formative experiences are shrinking in a world that often undervalues certain aspects of growth, particularly for young girls. In an era where screen time often surpasses outdoor time, the impact of programs designed to inspire and to educate through the great outdoors has never been more critical.

A core strength of Girl Scouts’ Camps is its thoughtful curation of programs, tailored to the developmental milestones of different age groups. The youngest girls are introduced to swimming, climbing and creative projects while working together. Older girls are afforded the opportunity to take on bigger adventures like archery, ziplines and kayaking. And the oldest girls can take on leadership roles as camp aids and counselors where they actively participate in planning and executing activities. These age-appropriate excursions build upon one another, creating a seamless growth path.

Confidence through Competency
Competence breeds confidence, and there’s no better way to learn than by doing it. Girl Scouts’ Camp programs are immersive, providing numerous opportunities for girls to master skills. Whether it’s starting a campfire, going on a hike or learning to set up a rain-tight tent, each achievement is a building block for a young girl’s growing confidence. By fostering real competencies, girls understand that setbacks are not signs of failure but integral parts of the learning process.

Growth in All Forms
While external growth is evident – in the physical stamina, the heights they climb, the lakes they traverse – it is the internal growth that is most profound. These adventures are not just recipes for outdoor skills: They are blueprints for character development. Girls learn resilience in nature’s unpredictability, resourcefulness when faced with challenges and adaptability in new environments. Coping mechanisms learned through these experiences are transferrable to every aspect of life – in the classrooms, boardrooms and communities they will lead.

Science and the Outdoor Classroom
Girl Scouts’ Camp programming not only focuses on traditional camping and survival skills, but also integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in an outdoor context. This integration fosters a love for these fields and a realization that the principles they learn are directly applicable to the outdoor world.

Cultivating a Sense of Stewardship
Participation in Girl Scouts’ Camp programs is also about cultivating a sense of responsibility toward the environment. With environmental challenges mounting, the world needs individuals who not only appreciate the outdoors, but also take action to preserve it. Girl Scouts are instilled with this ethos from an early age, ensuring a future generation of environmental advocates.

Diverse Adventures, Diverse Learners
The array of adventures and experiences offered at Girl Scouts’ Camp are as diverse as the girls themselves. These programs provide a safe space for girls to explore their preferences and to discover new interests. Whether they find joy in archery, astronomy, or arts and crafts, they are appreciated and encouraged.

Let’s Not Forget: A Community of Companions
Friendships forged through shared challenges and victories are among the most enduring. The camaraderie between girls who have pitched tents together, shared stories under the stars and navigated the wilderness as a team speaks to a bond that lasts a lifetime. In a world that is increasingly interconnected yet strangely isolating, meaningful connections rooted in shared experiences are invaluable. These relationships build a community of support, an essential resource as girls grow and face challenges in their teenage years and beyond.

A Path Beyond the Troop
The scope of Girl Scouts’ Camp programs are vast, extending well beyond the traditional troop activities. From sleepaway camps to day camps, from survival skills to gourmet cooking, and from STEM to the arts, there is a path for every girl.

For more than a century, Girl Scouts have been at the forefront of shaping girls into leaders. As the organization looks to the future, it’s clear that the role of outdoor programs will only grow in importance. The need for experiential learning, strong community bonds and environmental stewardship is more significant than ever.

Girl Scouts’ Camp lays the foundation for a lifetime of exploration, growth and leadership, where young girls find the courage to take the lead – not just on the trails, but in every aspect of their lives. The adventure starts here.

Girl Scouts of Central & Southern N.J.
Cherry Hill
(856) 795-1560

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 9.
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