Volunteer Orientation Handbook
Traveling with Girls
Girls love trips. And Girl Scouts is a great place for them to learn how to plan and take exciting trips, because travel is built on a progression of activities—that is, one activity leads to the next. Girl Scout Daisies, for example, can begin with a discovery walk. As girls grow in their travel skills and experience and can better manage the planning process, they progress to longer trips. Here are some examples of the progression of events and trips in Girl Scouting’s ladder of leadership:
Short trips to points of interest in the neighborhood (Daisies and older): A walk to the nearby garden or a short ride by car or public transportation to the firehouse or courthouse is a great first step for Daisies.
- Day trip (Brownies and older): An all-day visit to a point of historical or natural interest (bringing their own lunch) or a day-long trip to a nearby city (stopping at a restaurant for a meal)—younger girls can select locations and do much of the trip-planning, while never being too far from home.
- Overnight trips (Brownies and older): One (or possibly two) nights away to a state or national park, historic city, or nearby city for sightseeing, staying in a hotel, motel, or campground. These short trips are just long enough to whet their appetites, but not so long as to generate homesickness.
- Extended overnight trips (Juniors and older): Three or four nights camping or a stay in a hotel, motel, or hostel within the girls’ home region (for example, New England, the Upper Midwest, the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, and so on). Planning a trip to a large museum—and many offer unique opportunities for girls to actually spend the night on museum grounds—makes for an exciting experience for girls.
- National trips (Cadettes and older): Travel anywhere in the country, often lasting a week or more. Try to steer clear of trips girls might take with their families and consider those that offer some educational component—this often means no Disney and no cruises, but can incorporate some incredible cities, historic sites, and museums around the country.
- International trips (Cadettes and older): Travel around the world, often requiring one or two years of preparation; when girls show an interest in traveling abroad, contact Manitou Council to get permission to plan the trip and download the Global Travel Toolkit at www.girlscouts.org. Visiting one of the four World Centers is a great place to start, but also consider traveling with worldwide service organizations. Recently, girls have traveled to rural Costa Rica to volunteer at an elementary school, to Mexico to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and to India to witness the devastation of poverty in urban slums.
- Destinations (Cadettes and older): destinations travel adventures, which range from two days to three weeks and are for all Girl Scouts ages 11–17, help girls develop leadership skills, gain confidence, and enjoy valuable learning opportunities. Council scholarships and grants are available. For more information go to www.gsmanitou.org.
Set the Right tone. Remember, girls take cues from adults. So, once you’re on the road, stay positive. If you’re negative about the quality of the tour or cranky about the food, girls will replicate that attitude.
This is a trip of a lifetime. When they look back, will girls remember their lunch was cold or that they climbed the Eiffel Tower?
Put it in perspective
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