side menu icon
Five Girl Scouts confidently posing on a fallen log in the forest. Their faces look like they chopped down the tree themselves.

Camp & Outdoors

Girl Scouts explore and engage with nature, experience adventure and take on new challenges in the outdoors in all sorts of ways. They can earn their Citizen Scientist badge at a local park, go rock climbing for the first time, develop a stronger sense of self at summer camp, advocate for an environmental cause and so much more.

With premier partners and pristine facilities Girl Scouts River Valleys provides unique opportunities for outdoor exploration and leadership—Ice or rock climbing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, archery, boating and wilderness trips are only some of the exciting options Girl Scouts can experience in the great outdoors—Adventures that returning Girl Scouts say they would never have done otherwise.

What Girl Scouts Learn

  1. Competence engaging safely and responsibly in a range of outdoor activities. They know how to pack and prepare for the outdoors.
  2. Confidence in their outdoor abilities and are willing to try new and challenging outdoor activities. 
  3. Curiosity for nature and an interest in the natural world. 
  4. Care and understanding for how their behaviors impact the environment and what they can do to protect it.

Unique Programming & Opportunities

    

Adventure Club (Patch Program)

Outdoor adventures have a long-standing tradition in Girl Scouts. To celebrate our strong history of encouraging go-getters, innovators, risk takers, and leaders through outdoor experiences—we bring you Adventure Club!

Adventure Club is for any Girl Scout who wants to get outdoors and push themselves to have more adventures than they have had before. Adventure Club programs and activities are mostly outdoors, engage with the natural world, and challenge you to try something new or go further. Participants can earn the Adventure Club Patch.

After your third and sixth adventure, tell us about it! Tag us on social media with #GSRVAdventure and @GSRV and share your photos with us. The

Adventure Club Patch and Adventure Club Pro patch can be purchased at our Girl Scout Shops.

Why It’s Important

Outdoor education is one of the four areas that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Adventure Club continues a strong tradition of outdoor experiences and skill exploration which afford the opportunity to:

  • Try new activities or sports that encourage an active lifestyle
  • Be challenged to grow in new ways and become better problem solvers
  • Unplug from screens and social media—and know that it’s ok to take a break
  • Develop leadership skills and become team players
  • Have fun exploring and building social bonds within a safe space like Girl Scouts!

Aerial view of a girl rock climbing

Two girls enjoying the view at the summit of a cliff.

Choose Your Adventure

Choose three (or more) outdoor adventures! Maybe you have never gone kayaking, but always wanted to try. Perhaps you went snowshoeing at Camp Lakamaga as a Brownie, but now you want to try snowshoeing a longer trail at a State Park. The activity and challenge level is up to you. Adventure Club activities are mostly outdoors, engage with the natural world, and challenge you to try something new or go further. Be sure to review Safety Activity Checkpoints for your chosen activity. 

Examples of possible Adventure Club activities include:

  • Canoeing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Hiking or Backpacking
  • Kayaking
  • Skiing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Parkour
  • Plein Air Painting (painting outdoors)

Check out our Events page to find events that are of interest to you.

Get Your Patch

After your third and sixth adventure, tell us about it! Tag us on social media with #GSRVAdventure and @GSRV and share your photos with us. The Adventure Club Patch and Adventure Club Pro patch can be purchased at our Girl Scout Shops.

Adventure Club FAQs

What types of activities count towards Adventure Club?
An Adventure Club activity is one that is mostly outdoors, engages with the natural world, and challenges you to try something new or go further. Here are a few examples of Adventure Club type activities:

  • Hiking/Backpacking
  • Rock/Mountain Climbing
  • Kayaking/Canoeing/Boating
  • Fishing
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Plein Air Painting
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking (city or mountain)
  • Horseback riding

Our troop went backpacking before 2018 – can that count as one of our three Adventure Club activities?
No. Only activities that were completed after September 1, 2018 count towards Adventure Club.

Who should track participation and the number of activities completed?
Participation is “on your honor”. Troops and/or GirlScouts and families are responsible for tracking number of Adventure Club activities completed.

Can Girl Scouts participate in Adventure Club activities on their own/with their family?
Girl Scouts are encouraged to participate in events at the troop, service unit, or council level. However, if their troop is not participating in Adventure Club (or if a Juliette Girl Scout), they may plan Adventure Club activities on their own. Please remember that individual Girl Scouts (with a parent chaperone) can attend council events! Check out our event list for lots of Adventure Club activity options!

Is there a cost for the patch(es)?
Yes, the Adventure Club patches may be purchased at our Girl Scouts River Valleys Shops.

What if an outdoor-type activity is being done indoors (example: rock climbing at an indoor facility)—Does that count towards Adventure Club?
Yes! If you are participating in an activity that prepares you to take it outdoors next time, such as indoor rock climbing, then yes—we’d consider that a great fit for Adventure Club!

If we do the same activity three times does that count towards our three activities for Adventure Club?
While we encourage Girl Scouts to try three different activities for Adventure Club, we know there may be a time where they want to expand on the skills they started. For example, if a troop goes indoor rock-climbing first, then on another date tries out-door rock climbing—That would be a good way to push themselves further in the same activity and both sessions could count towards Adventure Club. If a troop went skiing and did the same trail three different times, that should only count as one Adventure Club activity, and not three.

Helpful Resources

  • Camp and Outdoor Training – Girl Scouts offers a variety of training opportunities for you to prepare for a safe and fun outdoor experience.
  • Safety Activity Checkpoints – Use this information to ensure safety while planning and participating in particular activities.
  • Planning for Trip Safety Guide – A detailed guide on planning Girl Scout supervision, training on the buddy system, dressing for outdoors, and creating emergency plans.
  • Travel Progression and Planning – This article outlines travel progressions, planning resources, and exciting travel opportunities for your troop or individual Girl Scout.
  • Destinations and Getaways – The ultimate adventure program for Girl Scouts ages 11 and older. With a ton of different trips to apply for every year.
  • Outdoor Gear Rental Resources – This is a list of resources for renting outdoor equipment.
  • Girl Scouts River Valleys Events – This calendar includes year-round events for Girl Scouts, families, adult members, and alums.
Every Girl in a Tent (Patch Program)

Girl Scouts earn an exclusive glow-in-the-dark Every Girl in a Tent Patch for any outdoor overnight stay in a non-permanent structure (think tent, hammock, or quinzhee) with your troop, family, or Girl Scout sisters.

glow-in-the-dark Every Girl in a Tent Patch

Why It’s Important

Outdoor education is one of the four areas that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Every Girl in a Tent continues a strong tradition in camping and learning outdoor principles such as Leave No Trace. Camping experiences and programs like Every Girl in a Tent afford the opportunity to:

  • Explore nature and learn to appreciate and protect the outdoors.
  • Be challenged to grow in new ways and become better problem solvers.
  • Unplug from screens and social media—and know that it’s ok to take a break.
  • Develop leadership skills and become team players.
  • Have fun exploring and building social bonds within a safe space like Girl Scouts!

Six Girl Scouts inside their tent.

Three Girl Scouts standing outside their winter tent.

Girl Scout Troop poses for a picture outside their tent.

Plan Your Trip

Never spent a night outdoors before? No problem! Use these basic steps to get started!

  1. Decide where and when you will camp. Remember, only non-permanent structures count (like a tent or sleeping in the open air under the stars).
  2. Create a packing list. See our suggestion below.
  3. Plan your menu and create a shopping list.
  4. Review helpful resources like our Every Girl in a Tent Progression GuideSafety Activity Checkpoints and the Travel Progression and Planning article.
  5. Plan your activities. Hiking? Singing around the campfire? Bird watching? Simple card or board games? The possibilities are endless!

General Packing List

Here is a basic packing list to get you started—customize to fit your trip’s needs. Looking for specific camping items? Check out our Outdoor Gear Rental Resources

GROUP GEAR
  • Tents
  • Food
  • Cooking gear
  • Wash bins/biodegradeable soap
  • Matches/lighter
  • Flashlights/lantern
  • Compass
  • Map
  • First aid kit
  • Water
  • Garbage bags
INDIVIDUAL GIRL GEAR
  • Backpack
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • Water bottle
  • Mess kit (plate/bowl/fork/spoon)
  • Sleeping bag/pillow
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sunscreen/insect repellent
  • Towel
  • Rain gear

Get Your Patch

To earn the patch, complete the Every Girl in a Tent Patch Request Form and share a photo. Don’t forget to tag us on social media with #EveryGirlInATent and @GSRV.

Challenge FAQs

What types of structures count towards Every Girl in a Tent?
Any outdoor, non-permanent structure counts.

  • Tent
  • Hammock
  • Quinzhee
  • Tarp Shelter
  • Platform Tent
  • Open-air/sleeping bag under the stars

What types of structures would not count towards Every Girl in a Tent?
Any permanent structure, such as a cabin, camper, car, or yurt.

Is there a cost for the patch(es)?
No. The patches are free to current Girl Scout River Valleys members.

Can I participate in Every Girl in a Tent with my family?
Yes, Girl Scouts can earn the Every Girl in a Tent patch by participating in family trips.

Can I request a patch for each member of my family? Can adults earn the patch?
The patches are available for only Girl Scout River Valleys members at this time.

Can a Girl Scout request the Every Girl in a Tent patch more than once?
Girl Scouts may request the Every Girl in a Tent patch once per program level. Example: They earn the patch this year as a 2nd grade Brownie Girl Scout, then they can work towards earning the patch again as a 4th grade Junior Girl Scout. They can continue to work towards earning the add-on multiple night patches and request them as they are earned.

Can I request our Every Girl in a Tent patch before our camping trip?
For troop and individual Girl Scout patch requests, please submit the form after your trip. We want to hear about your trip and what you learned!

If you are a service unit volunteer in charge of coordinating a service unit encampment where Girl Scouts could earn the Every Girl in a Tent patch, you may submit the form before OR after your event. (see next question)

I am a service unit volunteer planning a tenting overnight for day camp or a service unit encampment. Can I request the Every Girl in a Tent patch in advance of my event for all girl attendees?
Yes! Use the same patch request form and note that you are requesting the patches for your service unit encampment (there’s a question for that!). It is ok if you request the patches in advance of your event so you can give them out to attendees at your event. Please remember the patch is only for those who spend the night in a non-permanent structure. When asked to share a camping highlight or story, feel free to share a fun activity you plan on doing. You can always reach out to us after your event to share stories and pictures via the Share Your Story form.

Can Girl Scouts from other councils request or purchase the Every Girl in a Tent patch?
No. This patch is only available to Girl Scouts who are members in Girl Scouts River Valleys council. Check with your own council to see what patch options they may offer.

How often are the patches mailed if the program goes all year?
The patch request form is open year-round. Due dates for each mailing are listed below. If you submit your form after one of the due dates, your patches will simply be mailed the next time around.

  • December 31
  • March 31
  • June 30
  • September 30

Who should track participation and the number of nights camped out for the cumulative multi-night patches?
Participation is “on your honor”. Troops and/or families are responsible for tracking number of nights camped.

Do we have to request the Every Girl in a Tent patch and the add-on night patches at the same time? Or can we request them as they are earned?
That is up to you! Example: Your troop did their first camping trip for two nights this fall and have a three-night camping trip planned next summer. You can either request the main Every Girl in a Tent patch now, and then request your 5 Night Patch later this summer, OR you can wait until your second trip and request both patches at the same time.

To earn the multi-night patches, do you add up all the nights during your entire Girl Scout experience? Or, do you start over with counting the nights for each program level?
The multi-night patches are cumulative across all program levels. So, if you camped two nights as a Brownie, and three nights as Junior, you could request the 5-night patch.

Can I sleep in a hammock with a bug net to earn the Under the Stars patch?
Yes, but tents in any form do not count for the Under the Stars patch.

What “counts” as Winter Camping?
Aside from being between the months of November and March, winter camping requires additional preparation and steps for cold weather safety. It’s “on your honor” to decide if your experience qualifies.

Helpful Resources

Girls in Gear (Mountain Biking Program)

Girls in Gear teaches mountain biking basic skills to Girl Scouts of all ages and allows them to gain confidence and endurance in a girl-only environment.

One of the first programs nationwide to offer an exclusive mountain bike experience at a Girl Scout camp, Girls in Gear was built with input from industry leaders. The program offers a premier experience for beginner and early intermediate riders.

Girl Scouts enjoy gaining confidence while exploring our mountain bike skills park and our 2.1-mile trail on a beautiful, rolling wooded prairie near Zimmerman, Minnesota. High-end Salsa bikes help them gain confidence and find success.

Mountain bike storage at Camp Elk River

Mountain bike course at Camp Elk River

Choose either half-day or full-day programs, as well as multi-day overnight camp options. All programs are developed by Bike Instructor Certification Program (BICP) certified staff. We’re thrilled to offer this unique program that allows Girl Scouts to build resilience, problem-solve, and conquer fears while learning a lifelong sport in the outdoors.

Generous support from local in-kind sponsors, Quality Bike Products, Salsa Bikes, and Tonka Cycle & Ski, helped make the program possible.

Helpful Resources

Power Girls (Trades Skills Camp Session)

Power Girls is a year-round series of programs that gives Girl Scouts the chance to explore the trades while enhancing their STEM skills. Whether a week-long camp or a day-long workshop, campers practice problem solving, experiment with technology, develop leadership, and take positive risks by discovering new skills—like woodworking, welding, sustainable design, and renewable energy.

Led by women who work in the trades, explore a range of educational and career options, all in a supportive, non-male-centered environment. The confidence that they build using power tools, working in teams, and learning from women role-models provides lifelong benefits.

Examples of Power Girls Programs

  1. A six-day camp at Camp Lakamaga, where 70 Girl Scouts became construction leaders. Campers learned how to use new tools and put their skills to the test as they built the exterior of two tiny homes. When they weren’t building the tiny homes, the campers enjoyed the outdoors and boosted their confidence through boating, archery, and outdoor survival programming. For a sneak peek of the camp from a camper’s view, check out Keena’s Power Girls Camp Journal.

  2. A series of virtual programs led by women in the electrical field from Power Partner MN. Girl Scouts learned about the day in a life of an electrician apprentice, created mini-flashlights and troubleshooted their design, did an electrical safety audit of their home, and created an electrical layout map of their room, complete with proper luminare designations.

Power-Girls-gallery-image_1

Power-Girls-gallery-image_4

Thank You to Our Power Girls Supporters

Special Thanks to: RAM Buildings

 

Learn about sponsorship opportunities or make a gift to support Power Girls.