Summer break is almost upon us, and if you’re looking for ways to fill those lazy, hazy days – look no further! Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts alike can keep active and sharp all summer long with fun badge activities. Think of it as continuing education!
A cool thing about being in Girl Scouts is that you don’t have to do everything with your troop – you could finish a badge this summer all by yourself! (Hint: This is the time to work on that Digital Movie Making badge that no one else in your troop is interested in.)
Not a Girl Scout family? No problem! Work on these together and have fun anyway.
Want to be a Girl Scout family? Awesome! She can sign up for an entire year for just $35 Grown-ups sign up for $25 a year. That’s your annual membership fee! Want to renew your existing membership? We can do that, too!
Badge activities usually don’t require a ton of supplies, and when they do, they’re pretty easy to find at your house!
Here are five to get you started!
Learn about bugs!
Determine an outside area where girls can safely observe bugs.
Head outside and search for bugs. Maybe take a magnifying glass!
Have the girls look for three different bugs in the area, for example, an ant carrying food, a beetle chewing on a leaf and a roly-poly (sow bug) on a porch.
Have the girls identify the bugs and try to find out what they are doing and why.
Have the girls share with one another the fun things they have learned.
Prepare for your adventure! The goal of a geocaching adventure is to find the geocache, or hidden treasure box.
You’ll use GPS “clues” to uncover treasures that most people don’t know exist. There are over one million hidden geocaches all over the world!
With an adult, visit an official geocaching site and get started! It might be www.geocaching.com or www.navicache.com.
Get the geocaching slang! Find out what these different terms mean: FTF, waypoint, CITO, TFTC, terrain rating.
Come on get happy!
What would make you happiest? Money? Cool clothes? Living in a mansion on a tropical island? Such things may make you happy for a while, but science shows they aren’t what keep you happy in the long run. What is? Pleasure, engagement, and meaning (see the red box for more information). In this step, practice getting more engagement and meaning in your daily life. Do one of these choices for two weeks.
Get into a state of “flow.” When you hit your flow, you’re really into whatever you’re doing. You get so focused that you might not notice time flying by! Try getting into the flow of playing a sport, reading a great story, or doing a cool craft project for at least a half hour each day.
Count three blessings. In a gratitude journal or in a video or audio recording, write down, draw, or record three things that went well each day and why you consider them blessings.
Stop and smell the roses. Pay attention to the little things that make you happy. Try taking mental photographs of the things you love throughout your day – it might be a pretty sunset, a fuzzy dog, or food that tastes really good. Record three to five things every day.
Take an adventure!
Choose your adventure activity and find a location what will offer the possibilities for a trip of at least two nights.
Practice Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
- Do one of these activities to enhance your adventure:
Find out the background of your activity. If you’re rock climbing, you might review past expeditions. What are popular climbs, famous climbers, the challenges they face? Is there a great adventure novel on your activity? Or, if you’re rafting, looking to the river – what are the different rapids on the trip, and what experiences have past adventurer had?
Get to know the ecology of your adventure area. Dig into the science of the place – what’s the geology of your destination, what are common flora and fauna? Are there environmental issues or regulation you should be aware of? Soil erosion, common pests, pollution issues?
Add an element. Plan an activity within your adventure. For example, if you’re kayaking, have a fun hike to take one afternoon after you’ve set up camp. Or if you’re biking, figure out an indoor adventure in case rain takes you off the road for a day.
Cool off in the water!
Visit water in its natural state.
Hike, swim, walk along a beach, or splash in puddles. If there’s a water place you’ve always wanted to visit, go there! You might take a simple water tour of your hometown, noting where water splashes or spouts: fountains, puddles, drips, drops, creeks, steam, frost.
Try a new water skill!
Find a course in SCUBA diving, snorkeling, sailing, white-water rafting, water rescue, or synchronized swimming. If there’s water experience you’ve always wanted by haven’t had the necessary skills or training for, get some now!
Enjoy a water activity you already know.
Perhaps you already have a way you like to spend time with water – canoeing, kayaking, surfing, fishing, or tubing.
Take a special trip to enjoy it and reflect on why you love it!
- See a summer blockbuster
- Pick berries or visit a farmer’s market
- Go camping, hiking or fishing
- Roast marshmallows and make s’mores
- Have a picnic and toss a Frisbee
- Watch a sunrise or sunset
- Go to an outdoor concert or baseball game
- Swim in a lake or go kayaking or canoeing
- Go on a bike ride