Out and About Getting Ready for CampGirl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council
Course Objectives Describe the value of outdoor experience in Girl Scouting Taking appropriate progressional steps Readiness indicators for girls Describe planning aids to organize your camping experienceThe objective of this course is to help walk you through the steps to begin outdoor experiences in Girl Scouting.
Outdoor EducationOutdoor education in Girl Scouting is designed to be a gradual learning experience for girls of all program grade levels. It occurs when Girl Scout program activities are held outdoors. These activities provide the opportunity for girls to grow as individuals. Outdoor education can improve self-esteem, enhance how girls relate to others, develop awareness of conservation and encourage community service.
Outdoor Education in Girl Scouts Discover Girls discover something new about the world of the out-of-doors Girls improve in at least one outdoor living skill Girls learn the joy of preserving simple things Girls gain new interests and skills
Outdoor Education in Girl Scouts Connect Girls have opportunities to increase their ability to relate to others in a new setting Girls participate in making decisions as an individual and by participating in group decisions Girls have opportunities for practice in democratic living
Outdoor Education in Girl Scouts Take Action Girls develop a sense of responsibility for group living Girls develop a sense of responsibility for making a minimal impact Girls develop an individual sense of responsibility for conserving the natural world
ReadinessHow do you know when girls are ready to camp?Here’s a list of questions you want to answer before you plan a trip to camp with girls.1. Have the girls spent the night away from home and family before or is this their first trip?2. How well do you know the girls and how comfortable are they with you?3. Are the parents willing to let their daughters go on an overnight without them?4. Is each girl able to cope with the new circumstances that camp will offer?
Let’s Look at Each Question in Detail1. Have the girls spent the night away from home and family before or is this their first trip?Communication with parents is very important in determining readiness. If girls have never spent the night away from home then you would need to do a simple sleep over before planning a big trip to camp. Keep it simple and close to home in case you have issues during the night.
Let’s Look at Each Question in Detail2. How well do you know the girls and how comfortable are they with you?If you have just started your troop, you will need to get to know the girls before you plan an overnight with them. Girls should have several troop meetings, take some short day-time trips and then plan a simple sleep over. This gives the adults in the troop the opportunity to decide if additional supervision will be needed or what special issues may arise. This is an opportunity to make sure that girls know and will obey troop safety rules. Girls need to know that they can approach you during the night if needed.
Let’s Look at Each Question in Detail3. Are the parents willing to let their daughters go on an overnight without them?An occasional trip that includes a parent or guardian for each girl can be a fun experience your girls and their families. However, one of the main goals in camping with Girl Scouts is to build independent living skills. If parents are unwilling to allow their daughters to go camping without them, then either the girl may not be ready or the families may feel that they don’t know the adults well enough.
Let’s Look at Each Question in Detail4. Are each of the girls able to cope with the new circumstances that camping with offer?Girls should be able to cope with new circumstances such as: Meeting new people Visiting strange places Darkness and strange night noises Sleeping in a strange place Bugs Functioning as a member of a group Willingness to sleep, eat, and play with all girls, not just her best friend Being flexible, not always having their own way Limited space and managing with little privacy
Use Skits!Skits are a fun and easy way to see if girls know how to handle themselves in situations. Present the girls with some scenarios and see what they do. You will want to look at the following: Staying with a buddy (the buddy system) Keeping up with their personal belongings Working well as a group What to do if they get separated from the group Talking care of personal hygiene Cleaning up after themselves
Progression Troop MeetingA key concept in girl Short day-time tripactivities is Longer day-time trip Simple overnight in the communityprogression. Girls 1 night in cabin/lodge with completeshould be emotionally facilities 2 nights in cabin/lodge withand physically ready to complete facilities 1 night in cabin without indoortake the next steps. A facilitiesnormal pattern of 2 night in cabin without indoor facilitiesprogression with a Tent campingtroop would be: Primitive tent camping Back packing
Progression in ProgrammingGSUSA has designed the program Example:materials we use to fit the Your Girl Scout Brownie troop decidesdevelopment of girls’ physical, mental to go on a hike.and behavioral abilities. At a troop meeting, you do activities exploring nature. You discuss proper shoes to wear when hiking. Then you take a short walk at a nature trail in your area. Talk with the girls about the nature hike. What will they do differently on a longer hike? What supplies do they need to carry? (Snacks, water bottle, etc.) Then you go hiking.
Outdoor MannersHow many times have you been in a park or forest and seen garbage? Or been disturbed by noise from other campers or picnickers? As Girl Scouts, we want to leave a place looking better than we found it and we don’t want to disturb other people around us. These things are considered “Leave No Trace” ethics.
7 Principles of Leave No Trace1. Plan ahead and prepare2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces3. Dispose of waste properly4. Leave what you find5. Minimize campfire impact6. Respect wildlife7. Be considerate of other visitors
Leave No Trace Use only established trails Use only established campfire circles Don’t pick wild flowers or other plants When collecting firewood, use wood that is “dead, down and dinky” Don’t disturb wildlife Don’t disturb other people
Respect Wildlife Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. When in the out of doors, do not put your hands where you can’t see. Food is the number one thing that attracts animals to your camp. Never leave food or garbage where wildlife can find it. NEVER take food into tents or cabins.
Be Safe!We manage risk in almost every aspect of our lives. There is risk involved in stepping out of our homes in the morning, but we go anyway. There are risks in crossing a street, catching a bus, taking part in sports, but we find ways to minimize these risk and maximize our safety and well-being.
Be Safe! The following slides are a few of the risk you need to be aware of when camping or hiking.Make sure that you have a First Aider with your troop whenever you camp, hike or play in the out-of-doors.
Poisonous PlantsPoison Ivy grows abundantly in Kentucky. Help girls learn to recognize it or follow the adage: “Leaves of three, let it be!”Also be aware of “hairy vines”. Touching poison ivy vines can also cause a reaction Poison oak is less common than poison ivy and grows as a small shrub. The leaves resemble oak leaves
Poisonous PlantsPrevention: Wear protective clothing; tuck pant legs in socks when hiking. The best preventive is to recognize the plant and avoid it.Symptoms: Intense itching, rash with tiny red bumps that tend to run in lines. The rash usually begins 24-48 hours after exposureCare: Wash the skin alcohol, flush with cold water and wash with soap and water. Rashes can be treated with cold cloths, oatmeal baths or with the parent’s permission, calamine lotion.
Insects Bites, StingsWhen it comes to insects, accept the fact that there are lots more of them than there are of us! Reduce the likelihood of being bit or stung by applying repellents, wearing long pants tucked into socks. A scarf or hat also offers some head protection. Here’s some critters you should be aware of and prepare for when in the out of doors.
Poisonous SpidersThe black widow spider is shy and nocturnal and usually not aggressive. It is shiny black, usually with a reddish hourglass shape on the underside.Prevention: Don’t put hands where you can’t see.Symptoms: Sweating, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain and cramps, severe muscle pain and spasms, breathing might become difficult.Care: Clean with soap and water. Apply a cool compress and keep affected limb elevated to about heart level. See doctor immediately and/or call the Poison Control Center.
Poisonous SpidersThe brown recluse has a well defined dark violin marking. It is not aggressive and bites only when crushed, handled or disturbed.Prevention: Don’t put hands where you can’t see.Symptoms: Initially the bite might not hurt but within 2- 8 hours there will be pain, redness and swelling at the wound. An open sore is likely to develop. The victim might suffer fever, chills, nausea, joint pain and a faint rash.Care: Apply ice pack. Try to take spider with you, if possible, to the doctor for positive identification..
Chiggers, Bees & TicksChiggers: Almost invisible, they burrow into skin pores when they cause small welts and itching. Try not to scratch. Some relief by covering bite with hydrocortisone cream or by dabbing them with clear fingernail polish.
Chiggers, Bees & TicksBees, Yellow Jackets, Hornets: Most common of any of the animals listed are stings from bees. Scrape away bee stinger with the edge of a knife blade or even a credit card. Don’t squeeze the sac attached to the stinger – it might force more venom into the skin. An ice pack might reduce pain and swelling. Watch for trouble breathing or severe swelling. Allergies can develop over time, so always monitor someone who has been stung, even if their health history does not indicate they are allergic to stings.
Chiggers, Bees & TicksTick Bites: A bite from a tick can infect you with one of several diseases. Protect yourself by wearing long pants tucked in. Encourage all campers to do a thorough daily tick check of themselves and each other. If a tick is attached, grasp it with tweezers close to the skin and gently pull until it comes out. Wash the area with soap and water, and apply antibiotic ointment.If the tick has been embedded more than 24 hours, see a physician.
SnakesSnakes are found everywhere, even in your back yard. Most are harmless and try to avoid humans. Bites are very rare.There are two types of poisonous snakes found in council area:Copperheads:Rattlesnakes:
SnakesPrevention: Stay on trails and roadways when in camp. Do not put your hands where you can not see. Use a hiking stick to poke among stones and brush ahead of you when you walk through areas where snakes are common. Watch where you put your hands as you collect firewood or climb over rocks and logs.Care: Try to keep the victim calm. Remove rings and other jewelry that might cause problems if the area around the bite swells. Keep the wound lower then the level of the victim’s heart. Get to victim under medical care as soon as possible.
BearsBlack Bears are beginning to find their way back into the wooded mountain areas of the state. Although black bears are generally shy and avoid contact with humans, it is important to remember that bears must be respected for their size and strength. When in areas where there is a bear population, do everything you can to prevent close encounters and conflicts with bears.
Bears Do not deliberately approach a bear or try to become chummy with one, especially one that appears unafraid of you. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. Travel quietly and do not pursue, feed or force animals to flee. ONE EXCEPTION is in bear country where it is good to make noise so as not to startle the bears. Do not have food in tents and cabins. Keep food in secured containers. Do not keep trash in your camp site – dispose of it each evening. Report any bear sightings to the site manager.
Dressing for the WeatherPrepare girls for the out of doors by making sure that clothing is right for the weather and what you plan to do. Clothes should protect individuals from things like poison ivy, thorny bushes and sunburn.Check the weather forecast before you go.Bring clothing for unexpected weather changes.Second hand stores are great for getting clothes for camping and getting dirty!
Think LayersBecause of the large amount of heat that is lost through your head be sure to wear a camp or hat to keep warm. You may even wish to sleep in a cap.Here’s an example of layering clothing in the winter: Underwear Long Johns Light wear followed by heavy socks, long pants, t-shirt and a long sleeve shirt Add a coat, wind breaker or poncho Mittens, warm shoes/boots and hat Wool is a good fabric choice for winter
Dressing for SummerWhen it’s hot outside, you need to dress properly to avoid over exposure to the sun, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Clothing made of cotton is best – it will breathe and absorb moisture Light weight long sleeved shirts and long pants to protect from the sun Loose fitting clothing so you move more freely Bandana or broad brim hat to protect the head Sun block Sunglasses or visor Closed toes and heeled shoes should be worn in camp at all times. Poncho for rain
BedtimeAt bedtime, have girls change all clothing from the skin out, including underwear.Your body puts off moisture even in the coldest temperatures. When you leave on moist clothing you are more likely to stay hot when it’s warm outside and to stay cold when the temperatures are low.
Teaching girls to dress for the Out of DoorsClip pictures of a variety of clothing items from magazines or catalogs. Have the girls choose those that would be appropriate for a given activity or weather type. Some examples are: hot summer day hike, camping in the fall when overnight temperatures will be cool, spring cook out, etc. Create collages of appropriate and/or inappropriate clothing for various outdoor activities.
Personal GearOnce your girls understand the appropriate clothing to take on the camping trip, it’s time to make a personal gear list for each girl. Girls should be limited as to the amount of belongings they should bring to camp. For most weekend trips, girls should be able to put all their clothing and necessities into a typical backpack or book pack. The sleeping bag and pillow will be extra. All personal gear should be labeled with first initial and last name. A girl should be able to carry all her belongings from the vehicle to the campsite in one trip. She is then available to help with the troop gear.
Personal Gear ListGirls should pack their belongings themselves with parental supervision. That way each girl will be able to find the things she needs.Try making a partial packing list for girls to use and have them add to the list at a troop meeting.They may come up with things that need that you don’t have on the list!
Sleeping BagsA proper sleeping bag makes a big difference in your comfort on any camping trip. The slumber party type bags that many girls own are not suitable for a camp setting. If girls don’t have appropriate sleeping bags, encourage them to bring an extra blanket just in case they need it.
Things Everyone Should HaveEvery girl should have her own personal toiletries and clothing. In addition, girls should bring the following things to camp: Flashlight Water bottle Plastic bag for wet and dirty clothing Towel, wash cloth, shower supplies Shower Shoes Mess kit or camp dishes with utensils and a cup
What Not to BringGirls should understand that the camp environment is not the ideal setting for expensive electronics.Girls should not bring jewelry, money or valuables.Parents should understanding that the trip nor the council is responsible if these items are brought to camp and they are damaged.
Troop GearWhen making a packing list for your troop, think through all the activities and cooking you’ll be doing. Make a detailed list of items you will need to bring.While our camps have equipment both in the lodges, cabins and tent sites, things sometimes accidently get packed with troop gear and may be in the process of making it back to camp. If there is a particularly item you can’t do without, pack it just in case.There is a sample packing list for both girl gear and troop gear in the outdoor training resources on the web site.
Special ItemsMost girls like to take a “warm fuzzy” to camp to help them feel secure. You will need to limit the number and size of stuff animals that decided to camp with your troop.Girls should bring their own sunscreen and bug spray.Books, journals, board games, etc. are nice additions during quiet time.Girls should not bring candy, chewing gum or snack foods in their personal supplies.
Rainy Day BoxOne of the things most troops find useful is a rainy day box.This may be a small plastic tub filled with activities that girls can do if it is a rainy day or if plans need to be changed after arriving at camp.Fill the box with craft items, puzzles, small games, etc.There are lots of rainy day ideas on line
Evaluating with GirlsPart of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is that girls learn best by doing things.Part of that is evaluating activities afterwards to see what could have been done better, what they didn’t like and what they enjoyed.Girls should be able to honestly express their feelings about a camping trip in a way to improve things for the next trip without criticizing each other.It takes some practice to teach how to discuss negative aspects without placing blame.The more opportunities girls have to practice this skill, the better they will become.
Evaluation QuestionsYou want to ask girls questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Here are some questions to get you started: Did anything surprise you? How did you feel when . . . ? What was the purpose of this event? What did you like the most? What did you like the least? What would you do differently if we do this again?Take notes on their answers and keep this in a notebook of camp ideas, recipes, etc. for future use.
Girl Scout Camp is a great placefull of fun, adventure, excitement, friends and memories.