Traveling has long been an exciting element of the Girl Scout experience, and our troop of Juniors and Cadettes recently experienced this tradition with a week-long trip from Southern Arizona to San Diego. It was an amazing experience for the girls, and we encourage our sister Girl Scouts to consider the benefits of taking a trip with your troop!
1. Traveling to new environments provides unique learning opportunities.
As Girl Scouts in Southern Arizona, we’re well-versed in fire prevention and water preservation in our forests and deserts. We know how to leave sites better than we found them and the consequences to wildlife if we don’t. Our tour guide at the Living Coast Discovery Center taught us how these same ideas can be applied to beaches and ocean life. She also showed us how to spot tiny crabs waving in the sand, which was just delightfully cute.
2. The girls will learn how to budget.
After a successful cookie season it can feel like you have so much money to spend, but when you have to estimate the costs of a meal for 14 people you begin to realize how quickly that money can disappear. The girls had to compare the costs of meals in restaurants to the cost of packing sandwiches. They figured out pretty early in the planning process that it would be wiser to spend money on experiences than food, and we packed lunches in camp almost every day.
3. The girls will learn to prioritize, make decisions, and compromise.
It was so exciting to consider all of the possibilities for this trip, but we really only had five days for activities. Everyone had to realize that they were not going to be able to do everything that they wanted to do. But each girl got to do several things from their priority lists. Everyone wanted to spend time at the beach, so that was an easy choice. On the other hand, not everybody was excited to visit the zoo—yet, in the end, nobody felt disappointed by that experience!
4. Troop travel provides opportunities for the girls to learn together.
This sounds a bit obvious, but, watching the girls playing on the beach one day, I was struck by what a rare experience that was. Sure, I’ve brought my family to the beach several times, but, coming from Arizona, we didn’t get to bring friends with us. But on this trip the girls visited a nature preserve with friends. And they went to the zoo with friends. And they got soaked in the splash zone at Sea World with friends. Kids interact differently with friends than they do with their parents or siblings, but life doesn’t provide a lot of opportunities for them to have adventures with peers. Girl Scouts provides those opportunities!
5. Travel tightens the bonds between troop members.
This trip cemented friendships. Girls grew in maturity, came to understand one another better, and learned to trust each other. They have inside jokes and common memories that they continue to share with each other. The girls in our troop have more fun with each other as a result of taking this trip.
This trip provided the girls with a taste of the possibilities that are available to them through Girl Scouts, and they have begun to dream even bigger. They are exploring the options provided by Girl Scout Destinations and considering what they might want to do next (and how to finance it!).
Consider this a bonus reason to travel with your troop: the girls will begin to see just how much is possible.
Linda is the co-leader and trip organizer for Troop 73. She has been a Girl Scout volunteer for 8 years.
Are your girls ready for their next adventure? We’ve updated our Trips and Travel resources just in time for back-to-troop. Check them out!