Wednesday, February 26, 2020

10 Things You Learned as a Girl Scout that You Still Use Outdoors

Girl Scout alums

We asked our alums on Facebook what skills they picked up at Girl Scout camp that still, to this day, define how they camp, hike, and explore the outdoors. Overnight, we received hundreds of responses—525 to date!—and some of them may surprise you. Buddy burners, cherry dump cakes, bedrolls, slip knots, and sit-upons came up a lot—but many of our alums say that their camp experiences have resonated in ways that extend well beyond the woods. Read on for some of our favorite responses.

1. Empowered Decision Making

“I was an older Girl Scout hosting a younger Girl Scout troop on a campout, and it started pouring rain and the ground around our tents was flooding. I remember my troop leader looking at me and saying ‘what are you going to do?’—which induced a moment of panic that I will forever remember [was] followed by decisive action. It was a moment of empowerment that fuels me today, 25 years later!” —Susan E.

2. Respect for Nature

“The most important thing that I learned, that I emphasize to my kids, is to always leave places better than you found them.” —Anne Marie D.

3. Planning for the Worst

“I always have a first-aid kit! My husband laughs because I have one in my Jeep, house, and purse … at all times!” —Raine S.

4. Enjoying the Journey

“Plan ahead but stay flexible and positive when plans have to change—sometimes that makes for the best memories.” —Lezley B.

5. Inclusiveness

“I learned to set a pace by the slowest girl, which is a great way to learn to care for others.” —Sarah P.

6. Independence

“I had never been able to stay overnight anywhere away from my mother—until Girl Scout camp as a Brownie! That changed my life forever and gave me a lifelong love of camp.” —Nan C.

7. Cooking Over a Fire

“I learned to build and cook over an open fire. This was very useful after Hurricane Sandy when we had no electricity for more than 10 days!” —Gina S.

8. Tenacity

“I learned problem solving. My first year leading at a day camp, I fixed a latrine door that kept jamming by using a big rock to hammer the flange back into place.” —Jocelyn H.

9. CPR

“I learned first aid and CPR—and it led me to become a medic!” —Lauren B.

10. Fire Skills

“I learned how to keep a fire going in the rain! They never cancelled our camp training during Hurricane Hannah … and I learned so much that I still use today.” —Rachel C.

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