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Get Outdoors

Every Girl Outdoors

Girl Scouts of Alaska wants every girl to get outdoors! There are many different ways to connect with nature, and with Alaska as our backyard the possibilities are endless. In this ongoing patch program, girls will experience what it means to be a citizen scientist, a backcountry chef, take action in their community and spend a night under the midnight sun. We want you to experience Alaska’s natural environment by trying something new starting April 1, 2019.

Every Girl Outdoors Center Patch

Start your outdoor plans by earning the Every Girl Outdoors center patch and then branch out to the Cooking, Take Action, STEM+Art, and Camping patches. 

To earn the Every Girl Outdoors center patch, do each of the following: 

  1. Make sure a troop leader or adult has the appropriate certifications or training for the activity you would like to do. First aid and CPR are good places to start, while additional training is needed for specific activities. You can read the safety standards for an activity of interest to find out what is needed. You can also check out one or more of the resources below to find out more about facilitating outdoor activities. 
    1. Beyond Ecophobia by David Sobel 
    2. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
    3. More than S'mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts' Outdoor Experiences a report from the Girl Scout Research Institute
  2. Learn how to dress appropriately for an outdoor activity of interest
    1. For example, Daises can learn how to properly dress for a nature walk when it rains and how to store their gear when it has gotten wet. Older girls can learn what layers, materials, and types of clothing they should bring on a backcountry portaging trip.
  3. Learn an outdoor skill to be prepared while on your adventure. You can try activities such as: 
    1. Map and compass orienteering
    2. Learn to make trail signs
    3. Knot tying 
    4. Rolling a sleeping bag and/or pad
    5. How to properly pack a backpack
    6. Find constellations in the night sky
  4. Plan an adventure and do it! Where will you go? How long will you be out? What should you wear? What is the meal plan? The parts of your plan may be different depending on what type of adventure you choose. Then, put your plan in action!

By earning this patch you will be an Outdoor G.I.R.L!

Border Patches

Outdoor Cooking

When done well, few meals taste better or satisfy more than those cooked while outdoors and by YOU! Cooking outdoors does require more time, planning, and creativity than cooking at home. Some options are more complicated than others, like cooking in a Dutch oven. Others are a great starting point, like making s'mores. Choose a cooking challenge that is right for you. 

To earn the Outdoor Cooking patch, try 2 different methods of outdoor cooking activities. 

  • Stick over a fire (s'mores, hot dogs, etc.)
  • Pot over fire
  • Dutch oven
  • Reflector oven
  • Foil packet over fire
  • Picnic (no fire) this can include chopping and developing safe knife skills 
  • Fuel stove (ex. Jetboil, MSR Dragonfly Stove, etc.)

Camping

Camping is a great way to reconnect with family and friends, de-stress, make memories, and develop leadership skills. Camping happens many ways and many places: in a tent, cabin, yurt, or RV - they all count! Dare to explore and see how many different ways and nights your troop can spend outside! Snowshoe to a cabin in winter, pitch a tent on a backpacking trip, car camp at a designated campsite or drive and park at a scenic location in an RV. You can also camp at Girl Scout Camp!

Choose what is best for you and your group and camp outside for 3 nights (these nights do not need to be consecutive) to earn this patch. 

STEM + Art

Connecting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) + Art with the outdoors is a great way to bring girls closer to the natural world while learning something new. To earn this patch, complete at least 3 activities relating  STEM or art to the outdoor environment.

Some ideas include: 

  • Become a citizen scientist and contribute real time data to working scientists that need your help!
  • Complete activities from a STEM/Outdoor Patch of the Month
  • Spend some quality time in nature drawing or painting a landscape
  • Practice outdoor photography
  • Use plants or natural substances to dye yarn
  • Make an animal track casting
  • Write a poem or story
  • The opportunities are endless. Come up with your own!

Take Action + Community Service

Work with your community, school, or neighborhood to create a Take Action project related to the outdoors. By completing this step, you can learn how to advocate for change, research root causes of issues, manage projects, make group decisions, empathize with others, and more. You can be a leader by recognizing a need in your community and finding a solution. How will you make the natural world around you a better place?

 

Nights Outdoors Patches

How many nights have you spent outdoors lately? Celebrate your achievement as you reach 5, 10, 15, or 25 nights outdoors during your program level (Daisy, Brownie, etc.). These could be nights at Camp Togowoods, Encampment, tent camping, yurt camping, or in a shelter you build. 

Get Your Patch

Once you've completed any of the Every Girl Outdoors patches, share your story! Send us a picture for a chance to be shared on the GSAK Facebook or Instagram page. Tag @GirlScoutsAK and use the hashtag for #AKGirlsOutdoors for a chance to win some great outdoor prizes!

Order your patches here: http://bit.ly/gsakoutdoors

FAQ

Is there an order in which to earn the patches?

No. Although we strongly encourage troops to earn the center Every Girl Outdoors patch first to help prepare for the outer border patches. 

Our troop has done some of these activities in the past, do these count towards earning any of the Every Girl Outdoors patches?

No. Only activities that were completed after April 1, 2019 count towards Every Girl Outdoors patches. 

If a girl completes some of the activities at camp (ex. Sleeping in a tent, an art activity, or a backcountry cooking activity) does it count towards earning any of the Every Girl Outdoors patches?

Yes! Activities earned through any of the GSAK camp programs, including Encampment and other service unit or council events, can count towards any Every Girl Outdoors patch. 

Who should track participation and the number of activities completed?

Participation is "on your honor." Troops and/or girls and families are responsible for tracking the number of Every Girl Outdoors activities completed. 

Can girls participate in Every Girl Outside activities on their own/with their family?

Yes, although girls are encouraged to participate in events at the troop, service unit, or council level. However, if a girl's troop is not participating in Every Girl Outdoors (or she is an individual Girl Scout), she may plan Every Girl Outdoors activities on her own. Please remember that individual girls can attend council events such as Encampment, summer camps, and other events posted on the Girl Scouts of Alaska events page. 

Is there a cost for the patches?

Yes prices are as follows:

  • Every Girl Outdoors Center Patch (Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, or G.I.R.L.) - $2.50
  • Border Patches (Camping, Cooking, Take Action, or STEM + Art) - $1.50
  • Nights Outdoors Patches (5, 10, 15, or 25 nights) - $1.50

When can I order patches? When will they be available for pick up/mailed out to me?

The patch request form is available online. Patches will be available for pick up or will be mailed out when the request form is received and paid in full. 

Will Every Girl Outdoors be offered next year? Is the Every Gir Outside patch the same every year?

Every Girl Outdoors is a continuing patch program that is intended to be earned during one program level (Daisy, Brownie, etc.). As girls move into a new program level they can leave their earned patches with their previous vest or sash, allowing them to begin again with a new center patch and choose age appropriate outdoor challenges. 

Do we have to request the Every Girl Outdoors patch and the border patches at the same time? Or can we request them as they are earned?

That is up to you. You can order the patches as you earn them, or you can order them after you have earned all the patches. 

If we repeat the same type of activity for the Outdoor Cooking or STEM + Art patch (ex. Roasting s'mores two times to earn the outdoor cooking patch) does that count towards earning the patch?

While we encourage girls to try different activities for these patches, we know there may be a time where girls want to expand on the skills they started. 

Extra Safety Considerations

Roadside - Many outdoor activities may take place near a roadway or parking lot. When you are participating in any activity near vehicles, including snow machines or 4-wheelers, make sure to ensure your group's physical safety. For example, if you are doing a litter pickup, it is a good idea to wear reflective vests and choose roads with less traffic. 

Water and ice - There are safety standards for activities in and on the water like swimming and boating, but there are also times when your group may be near water without the intent to go in it (beach cleanup, etc.). Please be aware of the dangers of open water and thin ice and address them with your group as needed. 

If you need help with guidelines around any activity, please reach out to the council office at 907-248-2250.