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More Fun for Girls

3 Rivers Food Co-op    

Tours and badge workshops are available for troops that would like to learn more about natural foods and healthy eating. This member-owned grocery emphasizes whole foods that are minimally processed. In addition to tours and badge workshops, store personnel will arrange scavenger hunts, and DIY beauty-care sessions for older girls to make dry shampoos, sugar scrubs, and lotions. To schedule a visit or an event, contact Heather Grady at news@3riversfood.coop

ACRES Land Trust    

Private hikes; nature walks; and presentations on a variety of topics, including wildflowers, animal habitats, and invasive species are available at the more than 100 natural areas in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and southern Michigan that are maintained by the ACRES Land Trust. Troops can schedule a free private hike, environmental-education activity, or volunteer opportunities by contacting outreach@acreslandtrust.org

Air Zoo    

On Super Science Saturdays imaginations take flight as aviation and aeronautics provide the backdrop for creative learning—and badge earning! Options include badge programs for Daisies through Juniors, as well as themed overnights and a Girl Scout Aviation Extravaganza. Customized events are also available. The sky truly is the limit at this Portage, Michigan, destination. Find out more.

Ann Cole Training Center    

Do your girls love horses and want to learn more and ride more? Does your Junior troop want to earn the Horseback Riding badge? Then a visit to the Ann Cole Training Center, in Niles, Michigan, might be just the ticket! With both a heated indoor and an outdoor arena and special Girl Scout riding programs, this equine training facility might be perfect for a visit. Learn more

Annie Oakley Natural Perfumery

Groups can arrange a sensory tour of Annie Oakley Natural Perfumery, in Ligonier, by calling 260-894-7219. In addition to learning all about organic, natural fragrances and essential oils, girls will get the chance to mix and match their own home-and-body spray or body oil. Experience this blend of art, science, and creativity! Tours cost $5 and each participant receives a $5 coupon. Find out more here

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automotive Museum

Where else can you experience breathtaking art and architecture, rich Indiana history, and STEM concepts all in one location? Girl Scout trips to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum bring concepts from across the board to life! Girls can participate in a hands-on mechanical-engineering badge workshop, then tour the museum to witness the amazing art and cutting-edge design in locally-made automobiles in this National Historic Landmark, located in Auburn, Indiana. Guided tours are available on request. Learn more at automobilemuseum.org.  

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels    

Take your troop on a pretzel field trip and learn the history of pretzels as well as the Auntie Anne origin story. Girls will get to roll their own pretzel and enjoy a hot pretzel and a cup of lemonade. For more information and details on how to register, click here

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

Visit almost 100 displaced, captive-raised exotic animals that are enjoying lives free from exploitation for profit or entertainment. Tours of this Albion, Indiana, refuge are available, parking is free, and the staff can work with girls on badge requirements. Read more about opportunities for your girls to learn about responsible animal care and conservation.

CapeAble Sensory Products    

This Fort Wayne company, started by two female entrepreneurs, offers tours of its operation for troops that would like to learn more about a locally run STEM manufacturing business. CapeAble’s weighted sensory products are designed to calm, soothe, and comfort their users. For more information, click here.

Challenger Learning Center    

Exploration of the earth and a focus on space science are the cornerstones of the Challenger Learning Center, in Hammond, Indiana. Bring your troop to work on skillbuilding badges related to the Brownie Quest Journey (It’s Your World—Change It!), the Junior Get Moving Journey (It’s Your It’s Your Planet—Love It!), and the Cadette Media Journey (It’s Your Story—Tell It!). Discover firsthand the center’s vision: Merging the power of imagination with the excitement of discovery. To book your Girl Scout workshop, contact the center at 219-989-3250. Learn more about the center, including its planetarium programs for Scouts. 

Country Kitchen SweetArt

Hands-on classes give girls the chance to decorate cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more! Learn from the experts at Country Kitchen SweetArt, located at 4621 Speedway Drive, in Fort Wayne. Check out their themed workshops and classes just for kids or call for additional information: 260-482-4835. 

Cook's Bison Ranch

Take a guided wagon tour to see and feed the buffalo on this third-generation Wolcottville, Indiana, farm. Open tours are conducted periodically, but it’s best to call ahead and schedule your troop’s tour. Call 260-854-3297 or 866-382-2356 for current pricing or visit cooksbisonranch.com to learn more. 

Cranbrook Institute of Science    

Work on badges, enjoy an astronomy overnight, or just let your troop explore the wonders of science! The Cranbrook Institute of Science, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the place to go! Programs include Use Resources Wisely for Daisies; Bugs, Hiker, Home Scientist, Inventor, Potter, Senses, and Water for Brownies; Flowers, Jeweler, Product Designer, and Detective for Juniors; and Special Agent for Cadettes. STEM is alive and well at Cranbrook! Check it out

DeBrand Fine Chocolates

Here’s an idea for a sweet troop outing: Visit Debrand Fine Chocolates, in Fort Wayne, to see how the company’s decadent treats are made. Tours at the company’s headquarters, 10105 Auburn Park Drive, include a short video on the history of DeBrand and the chance to view the chocolate-making kitchens. Sampling several gourmet chocolates is a sweet bonus. Each tour typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes, and the $3 cost (for school-affiliated groups) includes a rebate of $3 off a purchase of $10 or more. Call for more details or to set up a tour: 260-969-8335. 

DeCamp Gardens

Located in Albion, Indiana, DeCamp Gardens is a working organic vegetable farm open to the public. You can schedule a tour for your troop, earn a badge, or work on a Journey. Learn the ins and outs of organic farming and gain a new appreciation for gardening. For more information, call 260-636-2924. 

Edge Adventures

Edge Adventure Park will take your girls to new heights! Come explore the aerial park’s treetop trails, obstacles, and zip lines. The park’s trails have a progression of challenges. The ACCT-certified staff will assist visitors, who are provided with all safety equipment, including helmets, harnesses, belays, and gloves. A safety briefing and practice on a beginner course precede your tour. Find out more about this fun outdoor adventure park, in South Bend: edgeadventures.com or 800-590-8347.  

Elkhart Environmental Center

Troops looking to work on outdoor or nature badges or to provide community service can contact the Elkhart Environmental Center, 1717 Lusher Ave., in Elkhart. In addition, it’s a great location for spending time outside exploring wildlife and an assortment of plants. Email annieklehfoth@coei.org or call 574-293-5070. 

Escapology

If you’re looking for a different kind of team-building activity for your troop, Escapology, in Fort Wayne, has you covered! Up to eight players work together to find clues, solve puzzles, and pick locks that will free them from the game room. All of the games are family-friendly, and there’s even a kid mode for younger players. Girl Scouts can receive a 20 percent discount by using the promo code Girls20. Read more about Escapology or call 260-755-1840 for more information.

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

If you’re looking to get your troop outside to earn a badge in a hands-on environment, Fernwood Botanical Gardens, in Niles, Michigan, is the place for you! This 105-acre arboretum, botanical garden, and nature preserve can work with Brownie, Junior, and Cadette troops to set up the perfect badge workshop. To learn more about this Berrien County, Michigan, destination full of wildlife and natural beauty, click here. Call 269-695-6491 to schedule a badge event. 

First Tee

If your girls would like to learn more about the sport of golf, First Tee of Indiana can help. Its mission is “to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” Contact Jenny Zimmerman at jzimmerman@indianagolf.org or 574-360-2764. 

Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control    

Tours and badge sessions can be scheduled with Fort Wayne’s Animal Care and Control. Brownies can work toward their Pets badge as they learn about responsible pet ownership, make enrichment treats, and tour the areas housing animals awaiting adoption. Donation opportunities are also available, and teens 13 to 17 years old can take part in several community-service and educational programs. Learn more about FWACC’s Scout programs and tour opportunities. 

Fort Wayne Astronomical Society

On clear Saturday nights from April through November, the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society’s Star*Quest Observatory is open for stargazing and planet watching. Viewing begins one hour after sunset and continues for two hours. Located near New Haven, Indiana, the observatory has a small warming building in addition to its collection of telescopes. Read all about the Society here

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Girl Scout groups are invited to overnights at the zoo, and zoo staff can provide guidance with badge requirements. Large groups of 50 or more receive a 15 percent discount on admission. Find out more about this award-winning destination. 

Granger Florist

Workshops on flowers, plants, gardening, and design can be arranged with Granger Florist, 51537 Bittersweet Road, in Granger. Contact the store at 574-272-0000 or email grangerflorist@gmail.com

Greenmarch Farm

Greenmarch Farm offers year-round unmounted and mounted equestrian program options covering basic horsemanship compliant with the Girl Scout program in a friendly and safe environment. Contact the farm for more details. http://www.greenmarchfarm.com/

Hopman Jewlers

Junior troops interested in earning their Jeweler badge can work with Hopman Jeweler, in Elkhart, to meet all the requirements. The shop is located at 100 N. Main Street. Because space is limited inside the store, when you call to inquire about a workshop, be sure to ask if your group can be accommodated. Learn more about Hopman Jewelers here

Indianapolis Zoo    

Brownies and Juniors are invited to spend the night at the Indianapolis Zoo and come away the next morning with a badge—and a newfound appreciation for animals. The Bunk for a Badge program is offered on select evenings in June, July, and August. Badges offered include Pets and Senses for Brownies, and Animal Habitats, Detective, and Flowers for Juniors. After the overnight, the girls and adults in their group get to explore the zoo! Read more about this fun opportunity. 

JOANN

Let the experts at JOANN teach your girls about sewing, quilting, knitting, cake decorating, and more. Browse all the class options here.

Kidsfirst Children's Museum

History comes alive at Kidsfirst, in South Bend! Children can check out a log cabin, one-room schoolhouse, trading post, wigwam, birch-bark canoe, livery stable, and Conestoga wagon. Step back in time and learn about life in a bygone era. Call 574-235-9664 or visit the Kidsfirst website

Krasl Art Center    

Krasl Art Center, in St. Joseph, Michigan, is the perfect destination for Brownie or Junior troops that want to earn their Painting or Drawing badges. Email the youth-programming director to schedule your troop’s one-of-a-kind private workshop. Free tours are also available for groups, followed by an opportunity to make an art project inspired by the gallery’s displays. 

Leslie Science & Nature Center    

Get your troop outdoors in Black Pond Woods and work on a badge at this Ann Arbor nature facility and animal center. Overnight programs can also be arranged. There’s lots for Girl Scouts to discover here. Read about the Honey House, the DTE Energy Nature House, the Critter House, and the outdoor adventures the center has to offer.

Little River Wetlands Project    

Catch a tadpole, check out some dragonflies, or learn about flower pollination through programs sponsored by the Little River Wetlands Project, in Allen and Huntington counties, in Indiana. At its various preserves, the LRWP can arrange guided tours and individual troop field trips. Learn more on the LRWP website

Martin’s School of Cooking 

Martin's School of Cooking offers classes at its store locations in Granger, Stevensville, and Warsaw to help girls earn cooking badges. Daisies can complete Cook the Books, Brownies can complete Snack Attack, Juniors earn Simple Meals, Cadettes work on New Cuisines, and Seniors complete Locavore. Learn more!

Metea County Park    

Looking to take your troop on a hike, do some geocaching, or work on a nature-inspired badge? Visit Metea Park, in northwest Allen County, Indiana, for a rewarding day of outdoor experiences. Staff members at the park, located at 8401 Union Chapel Road, can work with troops to design custom programs that meet the needs of all troop levels as well as multilevel troops. Read more

MUDLove

Looking for a fun troop outing that will also contribute to a great cause? Think about planning a tour of MUDLove, at 122 S. Buffalo St., in Warsaw. Tours can be arranged Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon for small groups to visit this pottery and custom-jewelry business. Groups will be shown the shop, retail space, accessory-production area, and pottery-production room. Through MUDLove’s partnership with Water for Good, every product the shop sells provides one week of clean water to someone in need. For more information, call 844-MUDLOVE or visit mudlove.com.  

Murray Hotel    

Is a Mackinac Island trip on your troop’s travel calendar? The Murray Hotel has a special package for Girl Scout troops heading to the island. Packages include two-night stays, round-trip ferry passage, self-guided tours of Fort Mackinac, a breakfast buffet, and group rates on island activities. Learn more about this full-service downtown hotel. 

National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States

Looking for a unique destination for a tour? Check out the National Automotive & Truck Museum of the United States, in Auburn, Indiana. Highlighting 130 years of automobile and truck history though buildings, vehicles, displays, and artifacts, the museum property boasts two National Historic Landmarks. Relive the past and learn about the role cars and trucks played in various eras. Find out more about what this museum has to offer. 

National Park Service Girl Scout Ranger Program

Does your troop want to make a difference while visiting one of the national parks, monuments, or 407 sites protected by the National Park Service? The National Park Service invites Girl Scouts to participate in educational or service projects at one of its sites. Projects can be existing NPS activities or Journey or badge projects that the girls devise on their own, including Take Action and Bronze, Silver, or Gold events. Girls can earn patches or certificates for their efforts. Find out more

Pleiades Astronomy Club

This Girl Scout–led astronomy club is focused on “developing a sisterhood under the stars through stellar space science education and hands-on activities for girls of all ages.” Juniors through Ambassadors are invited to the club’s bi-monthly meetings. For more information, email the club at gsastronomyclub@gmail.com or ask to join the group’s Facebook page: Pleiades Astronomy Club. In addition, watch for astronomy events hosted by the group throughout the year. 

Potawatomi Wildlife Park    

Camping and a variety of outdoor programs—including identifying leaves, hiking, aquatic science and ecology, soil studies, night hikes, astronomy, fishing, and historic- and prehistoric-features hikes—are available to troops at Potawatomi Wildlife Park, in Tippecanoe, Indiana. The park features five miles of trails and is a dark-sky preserve, making it a prime stargazing locale. The park does not charge an admission fee; however, donations or community service are appreciated. Learn more about the park’s programs.

Potawatomi Zoo    

Conservation Scouts is a two-hour program that allows Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to get involved with the Potawatomi Zoo, in South Bend, and learn about conservation. After completing the program, each Girl Scout will be awarded a Potawatomi Zoo Conservation Scout patch. Learn more. In addition, the zoo offers an evening safari program in which Girl Scouts and their families can learn about exotic animals and their environments, meet ambassador animals, and make enrichment items. Read more and check out the 2018 safari schedule.

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.)

Girl Scouts can deepen the connection between the Girl Scout Law and their own religious beliefs as they pursue the My Promise, My Faith pin and the religious recognition for their faith. P.R.A.Y. is a not-for-profit organization that offers programs and resources that help young people understand how God is active in their lives and in the world around them. Through Bible lessons and service projects, participants not only grow in Christian faith but also express that faith by reaching out in service to others. Read more.

Sarett Nature Center

If your troop would like to earn badges in a beautiful outdoor setting, be sure to check out this community environmental-education center in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Girls can participate in badge workshops, ski and snowshoe in the winter months, and hike year-round on wetland and upland-forest trails. Find out which badges are offered and read about other programs for Girl Scouts here

Science Central 

Bring your troop to this Fort Wayne power-plant-turned interactive museum for the ultimate STEM experience. Options include a Girl Scout overnight, badge workshops, and troop parties. Find out which badges or Daisy petals your girls can earn here. Come for the badge sessions; stay for the remarkable exhibits and unique hands-on experiences!

Shedd Aquarium    

Girl Scout groups of 15 or more enjoy special admission rates to this award-winning Chicago aquarium. Bring your troop and check out the 4-D Experience, the Wild Reef, the oceanarium, and the aquarium galleries. Go on a scavenger hunt and earn a Shedd Aquarium Salute to Scouting patch. You can also earn special patches by attending Shedd’s group overnights and weekend programs. Learn more or email group reservations to book your group’s outing. 

South Bend Chocolate Company

Calling all chocoholics! Check out the South Bend Chocolate Company’s Chocolate Museum for a behind-the-scenes look at all things chocolate! The 58,000-square-foot factory and museum, at 3300 W. Sample Street, in South Bend, boasts a tour that includes a brief history of chocolate, a guided tour of all the factory processes, and a sample at the end. The Chocolate Museum is home to one of the largest collections of chocolate memorabilia in the world, including a 1,300-year-old Mayan chocolate pot, as well as hundreds of tins, containers, and chocolate boxes of all shapes and sizes. Ready to indulge? Call 574-233-2577 to schedule a tour. 

Southwest Honey Co.

Looking to learn all about honey bees and how important they are as pollinators? Southwest Honey Co. can customize activities for any age group. Highlights include observing a hive with live bees inside, learning about the life cycle of the honey bee, investigating how honey bees work together and communicate to keep the hive operating, and a taste of natural honey. Located at 2505 Lower Huntington Road, in Fort Wayne, Southwest Honey Co. can be reached at 260-609-2897. 

Spring Creek Equestrian Center 

If your girls are interested in learning all about horses and their care as well as advancing their riding skills, expanding their horsemanship knowledge, and making new friends, Spring Creek Equestrian Center might be the place to go. Located in Three Oaks, Michigan, in a beautiful farm setting, Spring Creek is the perfect spot for all girls to have an equine adventure and for Juniors to earn their Horseback Riding badge. See what the center has to offer. 

Star*Quest Observatory

Treat your troops to an evening of stargazing and planet sightings at the Star*Quest Observatory, in Jefferson Township Park, in New Haven, Indiana. Operated by the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society, the observatory is open on clear Saturday nights from April through November. To find out more, visit the society’s website

Sweets So Geek

Sweets So Geek can host girls that want to hone their baking and decorating skills. The Fort Wayne bake shop prides itself on creating one-of-a-kind cakes, unique desserts, unusual flavors of ice cream (like Droid Tracks and Harley Quinn Sorbet), and “chocolates with a geeky twist.” What’s not to love? Visit the website or call for more information: 260-312-5758. As of July 2019, Sweets So Geek is located at 6722 E. State Blvd.

The Fresh Market    

Free tours for girls of all ages are available at this natural-foods grocery, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Store personnel can teach troops about special types of food, such as gluten-free and organic, and girls will get a sample or two! Call 260-459-9691 to schedule a tour.  

The HEDGE

Julie Wall, owner of the HEDGE, an art, design, and creativity studio in downtown Fort Wayne, would be happy to work with troops to set up printmaking or bookcraft workshops. Contact the HEDGE at 260-387-5237 or thehedgefw@gmail.com. Learn more about this fantastic female-owned resource.

The Region of Three Oaks Museum    

Badge workshops are available at this Three Oaks, Michigan, history museum. Choose from the Make a World a Better Place petal for Daisies, the Celebrating Community badge for Brownies, or the Playing the Past badge for Juniors. Troops are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the museum grounds. Programs last two to two and a half hours. Visit the museum’s website to make reservations. 

Troop Mackinaw

Road trip, anyone? Troop Mackinaw might be just the ticket! Several times a year, special Girl Scout weekends are offered at this beautiful Upper Peninsula location, which include two-night hotel accommodations in Mackinaw City; continental breakfast each morning; roundtrip ferry transportation; Grand Hotel lunch buffet; horse-drawn carriage tour of the island; admission to Fort Mackinac, the lighthouse, and the historic mill; a bonfire with s’mores; mini golf; waterpark admission; and event patches. This the perfect outing for troops, as well as mother-daughter duos. Read all about Troop Mackinaw

Unity Gardens

Unity Gardens supports 48 gardens in and around South Bend, producing a wide variety of produce that is donated or sold at farmer's markets. To learn more about growunitygardens@yahoo.com or call 574-315-4361.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens    

Elkhart’s Wellfield Botanic Gardens offer tours and badge workshops for Girl Scout troops. This botanically diverse landscape is a living museum that will give girls an appreciation for the relationship between animals, plants, and water. Learn more.

Wholesome Roots Cooking 

If your troop is looking to complete a Girl Scout cooking badge, Wholesome Roots Cooking can help. Meghan Hauser, a certified Healthy Hands Cooking instructor based in Fort Wayne, can work with girls to complete the Snacks, Simple Meals, New Cuisines, Locavore, or Dinner Party badges. Troops can also schedule holiday-themed cooking lessons and healthy-snack demonstrations. Learn more or call Meghan Hauser at 260-403-0624 or wholesomerootscooking@gmail.com.

Wilton Decorating Activities Just for Girl Scouts 

Wilton has a series of decorating activities created exclusively for Girl Scouts. Each activity is designed to take an hour and includes a step-by-step lesson plan. Among the topics available are Making Natural Food Colors, Cupcake Chemistry, Stencil Painting Fundamentals, Buttercream Flowers, and Decorating Cookies. Think of the possibilities: holiday-themed cookies, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cupcakes, or a STEM-focused troop meeting that explores kitchen chemistry. Check out all the offerings here and make some sweet memories! 

YMCA Water Safety Programs  

Monica Weaver, aquatics director at the Parkview YMCA, in Fort Wayne, can help your troop with badge activities that include health, fitness, and/or water safety. If your troop needs assistance with badge requirements in these areas, Monica will work with you to provide activities. Daisies through Ambassadors are welcome. Monica, a current Girl Scout leader, understands the details of badge work and provides assistance free of charge. No YMCA membership is required. Contact Monica at 260-755-4851 or monica.weaver@fwymca.org to discuss a personalized visit.