According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s More Than S’mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts’ Outdoor Experiences, girls benefit immensely from exposure to the outdoors.
Data showcases direct connections between outdoor experiences and Girl Scouts’ understanding of their leadership potential.
Despite the benefits of experiencing the outdoors, about 60 percent of girls are not getting regular outdoor exposure in Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts of the USA recently received a $1 million investment from the Richard King Mellon Foundation that will be used to encourage girls to embrace the outdoors.
Over the next two years, the funding will help launch pilot outdoor internship programs at five Girl Scout councils across the United States, create a summer Girl Scout Destinations trip to a national park, and develop outdoor program content for the Volunteer Toolkit—Girl Scouts of the USA’s new digital platform for troop volunteers.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation helps creates a path for Girls Scouts to elevate current outdoor and conservation activities, which in turn will enhance the Girl Scout volunteer experience. Girl Scouts will also benefit from the grant by exploring national parks via Girl Scout Destinations trips during summer 2016 and 2017.
Over the course of two weeks in July 2016, ten Girl Scouts will experience cascading waterfalls, marvel at awe-inspiring vistas, and observe fascinating wildlife while working side by side with park rangers, as the girls tackle environmental stewardship projects at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
The location of the 2017 Destinations trip has yet to be determined.
The participating councils include Girl Scouts of Alaska, Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.
To find out more about Girl Scouts‘ collaboration with Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Student Conservation Association, visit their Partners page.