From their first local field trip as Daisies to exploration
of another country as Seniors or Ambassadors, girls will find
that Girl Scouts is the best way to travel. They’ll challenge
themselves in a safe environment that sparks their
curiosity, and they’ll create lifelong memories with their Girl Scout
sisters. And the Girl Scout Cookie Program can help to make travel
dreams a reality!
Traveling with Girl Scouts is very different from traveling with
family, school, or other groups because girls take the lead. As they make the decisions
about where to go and what to do and take increasing responsibility
for the planning and management of their trips, girls build important
organizational and management skills that will benefit them in college
Girl Scout travel is built on a progression of activities, so girls are set up
for success. Daisies and Brownies start with field trips and progress
to day trips, overnights, and weekend trips. Juniors can take
adventures farther with a longer regional trip. And Cadettes, Seniors,
and Ambassadors can travel the United States and then the world. There
are even opportunities for older girls to travel independently by
joining trips their councils organize or participating in Destinations. There’s a whole world of
possibilities for your girls!
Planning Ahead for Adventure
Get in touch with your council as you start thinking about
planning a trip. They likely have training programs that will raise
your confidence as a chaperone as well as an approval process for
overnight and extended travel.
Overnight trips up to and including three days and two nights (with
no activities that require GSNI-M approval according to Safety
Activity Checkpoints) only require notification to
email@example.com. Trips longer than three days/two nights,
international trips, and specialized activities require prior approval
from GSNI-M. Please read Group Policy 8 (Trips) in Volunteer Policies
for more information and the exact steps to follow.
Encourage the girls to submit much of the information themselves,
including the following:
- A detailed itinerary, including specific activities involved,
mode of travel, and all dates/times
- Location and type of
premises to be used
- Numbers of girls who will be
participating (parental permissions must be obtained)
and contact information for the volunteers participating
- Any other groups, organizations, consultants, or resource people
who will be involved
- Participants’ skill levels, if
applicable (language skills, backpacking or camping experience, and
- Any specialized equipment that will be used, if
- Required agreements or contracts (for example,
hiring a bus, use of premises)
Not sure where to begin? Check out the Girl Scout Guide to U.S. Travel. This resource is designed
for Juniors and older Girl Scouts who want to take extended trips—that
is, longer than a weekend—but also features tips and tools for budding
explorers who are just getting started with field trips and overnights.
Once girls have mastered planning trips in the United States, they
might be ready for a global travel adventure! Global trips usually
take a few years to plan, and the Girl Scout Global Travel Toolkit can walk you through the
If you’re planning any kind of trip—from a short field trip to
an overseas expedition—the “Trips and Travel” section of Safety
Activity Checkpoints is your go-to resource for safety. Some
activities require prior approval from GSNI-M. Per Group Policy 8 in
the Volunteer Policies: “A specialized activity is an activity that a
group is conducting that Safety Activity Checkpoints requires council
approval or that requires facilitators with specific certifications.
The Safety Activity Checkpoints for each activity will state if that
particular activity requires council approval. Prior to participating
in the activity, please complete a Non-GSNI-M Specialized Activities
form and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org at least one month before the
event. This form is not needed if the activity is happening at a
council-sponsored activity or event.” Be sure to follow all the basic
safety guidelines, like the buddy system and first-aid requirements,
in addition to the specific guidelines for travel.
Note that extended travel (more than three nights) is not covered
under the basic Girl Scout insurance plan and will require additional coverage.
Girl Scout Connections
It’s easy to tie eye-opening travel opportunities into the
leadership training and skill building your girls are doing in Girl
Scouts! Your girls can use their creativity to connect any
leadership Journey theme into an idea for travel, like
a Sow What? trip focusing on sustainable agriculture and,
naturally, sampling tasty food!
There are abundant opportunities to build real skills through
earning badges too. The most obvious example is the Senior
Traveler badge, but there are plenty more, such as Eco Camper, New
Cuisines, Photography, and, of course, all the financial badges that
help girls budget and earn money for their trips.
Looking to incorporate Girl Scout traditions into your trip? Look no
farther than the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah,
Georgia! Your girls also have the chance to deepen their connections
to Girl Scouts around the world by visiting one of the WAGGGS (World
Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) World Centers, which offer low-cost
accommodations and special programs in five locations around the world.
Travel to an Epic Girl Event
And there’s no better way to combine travel and Girl Scouting
than by attending the epic G.I.R.L. 2020 convention, taking place
October 23–25, 2020, in Orlando, Florida! It’s the world’s
largest girl-led event for girls, young women, and everyone who
supports them. This premier gathering for Girl Scouts happens every
three years, and they’ll meet fellow go-getters, innovators,
risk-takers, and leaders from around the country and the world—it’s an
amazing opportunity your girls won’t want to miss!
Are your girls looking to stay closer to home this year? Then ask
your council about council-owned camps and other facilities that can
be rented out. [NOTE: could include all TROOP TREKS when up and
running. This will likely be for next year.]
Lift up the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at every opportunity in
your planning, but limit your role to facilitating the
girls’ brainstorming and planning, never doing the work for them.
Share your ideas and insight, ask tough questions when you have to,
and support all their decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement!