Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Everything You Need to Know to Unlock the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Patch

Embarking on outdoor adventures has always been a part of Girl Scouts’ DNA. Many of the badges the first Girl Scouts earned were tied to learning and refining outdoor skills and becoming environmental stewards (Foot Traveler badge, Animal Kingdom badge), and that hasn't changed in our more than 100-year history.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has kept so many of us homebound, as Girl Scouts we’ve found new ways to connect with the great outdoors and one another. We’ve spent time in our backyards, earned outdoor art badges, and even taken virtual national park tours!

Now, with warmer weather and longer days, we’re ready to take our love of the outdoors to the next level. So pack some snacks, lace up your shoes, and head outside to unlock the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors patch! You’ll enjoy nature, channel your creativity, and learn fun new things. If you are unable to complete an activity due to social distancing guidelines you can find an alternative. Take a virtual tour of a park online, gaze out of a window or look through family photos of outdoor adventures. Drawing a picture works too!

Here’s how to get started:
  1. Download the worksheet. Visit Girl Scouts at Home and download the official Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge worksheet. Review the list of activities and mark the ones you’re interested in.
  2. Don’t rush. The Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge kicks off May 20 and ends with Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend, September 12–13, 2020. This means you have plenty of time to select the activities you’re most interested in and complete them at your own pace.
  3. Share! Use #gsoutdoors to share your story and to see how other girls are completing this fun outdoor challenge. Don’t forget to tag @girlscouts for a chance to be featured on GSUSA’s social media channels.
  4. Nominate someone. We may be distanced, but we’re certainly not distant! This challenge is a great way to connect with your fellow Girl Scout sisters and invite your non-Girl Scout besties to join in the fun! Nominate someone to take the challenge with you.
  5. Be prepared. As Girl Scouts, we know the importance of being prepared! If you’re venturing to a local park or hiking trail, first make sure they’re open. Pack sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks, protective gear (sunglasses, hat), and water!
  6. Get your patch. Remember, you don’t have to do all 51 suggested activities to earn your snazzy new patch! Complete the required number of activities based on your grade level.
Getting outdoors isn’t just fun—it’s good for your overall well-being. Did you know that girls who participate in outdoor activities on a monthly basis are stronger challenge-seekers and problem-solvers than those who don’t? And research also shows there are psychological and physiological benefits to spending time in nature—even if it’s just your backyard! So don’t wait: get out and unlock your Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors patch. Tag @girlscouts on Twitter and Instagram and include #gsOutdoors to share your adventures with us.

The Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge is possible thanks to Johnson & Johnson.
Johnson & Johnson has been championing women and giving them the tools, resources, and opportunities to succeed at work and at home since its founding more than 130 years ago. Johnson & Johnson’s generous support of the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors prepares girls to experiment, explore their environment, and push boundaries in healthy ways, all while learning how they can improve the world through STEM.