From their first local field trip as Daisies to exploration
of another country as Seniors or Ambassadors, girls will find
that Girl Scouts is the best way to travel. They’ll challenge
themselves in a safe environment that sparks their
curiosity, and they’ll create lifelong memories with their Girl Scout
sisters. And the Girl Scout Cookie Program can help to make travel
dreams a reality!
Traveling with Girl Scouts is very different from traveling with
family, school, or other groups because girls take the lead. As they make the decisions
about where to go and what to do and take increasing responsibility
for the planning and management of their trips, girls build important
organizational and management skills that will benefit them in college
Girl Scout travel is built on a progression of activities, so girls are set up
for success. Daisies and Brownies start with field trips and progress
to day trips, overnights, and weekend trips. Juniors can take
adventures farther with a longer regional trip. And Cadettes, Seniors,
and Ambassadors can travel the United States and then the world. There
are even opportunities for older girls to travel independently by
joining trips their councils organize or participating in Destinations. There’s a whole world of
possibilities for your girls!
Planning Ahead for Adventure
Get in touch with your council as you start thinking about
planning a trip. They likely have training programs that will raise
your confidence as a chaperone as well as an approval process for
overnight and extended travel.
A “day trip” is defined as any activity planned outside of the
group’s regular meeting place, time and date AND does not include an overnight.
“Overnight travel – non-camping” is defined as any activity or event
that takes place beyond the normal meeting date and/or time and lasts
for at least one (1) night but no more than three (3) nights. NOTE:
group travel of three (3) nights or more requires the purchase of
additional Girl Scout insurance EXCEPT when the travel is during an
official federal holiday.
“Overnight travel – camping established site (including Adirondacks
and screened cabins)” is defined as any activity or event that takes
place beyond the normal meeting date and/or time and lasts for at
least one (1) night but no more than three (3) nights AND camping in
an established site that is missing one or more of the amenities
listed in “overnight travel – noncamping.”
NOTE: group travel of three (3) nights or more requires the purchase
of additional Girl Scout insurance EXCEPT when the travel is during an
official federal holiday.
Any adult traveling with girls must be a currently registered member
of GSUSA and have successfully completed a criminal background check.
At least one registered adult accompanying the group must have
completed the required training.
A signed parent/guardian permission form is required for each girl
for activities that take place beyond the normal group meeting date,
place and/or time OR for any activity or event that could be
considered sensitive in nature.
Notice must be submitted, and approval received, for any activity
that includes an overnight.
Activity Checkpoints regarding overnights and travel will be
observed for all activities.
The Annual Permission Slip and Health History provides
parent/guardian permission to travel to, attend and participate in
troop and council-sponsored activities that are not more than three
(3) nights AND not considered high-risk activities or sensitive issues
as defined in the next section and outlined in Safety Activity Checkpoints.
If a parent/guardian chooses not to sign the Annual Permission Slip
and Health History she will need to sign the Event Specific Permission
for each activity or event that takes place outside of the regular
group meeting place, time and date that is not more than three (3) nights.
The Event Specific Permission form is to be used to obtain
parent/guardian permission allowing a girl to travel to and from,
attend, and participate in activities considered high risk or
sensitive in nature, as defined in the next section and outlined in
Safety Activity Checkpoints.
Not sure where to begin? Check out the Girl Scout Guide to U.S. Travel. This resource is designed
for Juniors and older Girl Scouts who want to take extended trips—that
is, longer than a weekend—but also features tips and tools for budding
explorers who are just getting started with field trips and overnights.
Once girls have mastered planning trips in the United States, they
might be ready for a global travel adventure! Global trips usually
take a few years to plan, and the Girl Scout Global Travel Toolkit can walk you through the
If you’re planning any kind of trip—from a short field trip to
an overseas expedition—the “Trips and Travel” section of Safety
Activity Checkpoints is your go-to resource for safety. Your council
may have additional resources and approval process. Be sure to
follow all the basic safety guidelines, like the buddy system and
first-aid requirements, in addition to the specific guidelines for travel.
Note that extended travel (more than three nights) is not covered
under the basic Girl Scout insurance plan and will require additional coverage.
Girl Scout Connections
It’s easy to tie eye-opening travel opportunities into the
leadership training and skill-building your girls are doing in Girl
Scouts! Your girls can use their creativity to connect any
leadership Journey theme into an idea for travel, like
a Sow What? trip focusing on sustainable agriculture and,
naturally, sampling tasty food!
There are abundant opportunities to build real skills through
earning badges too. The most obvious example is the Senior
Traveler badge, but there are plenty more, such as Eco Camper, New
Cuisines, Photography, and, of course, all the financial badges that
help girls budget and earn money for their trips.
Looking to incorporate Girl Scout traditions into your trip? Look no
farther than the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah,
Georgia! Your girls also have the chance to deepen their connections
to Girl Scouts around the world by visiting one of the WAGGGS (World
Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) World Centers, which offer low-cost
accommodations and special programs in five locations around the world.
Travel to an Epic Girl Event
And there’s no better way to combine travel and Girl Scouting
than by attending the epic G.I.R.L. 2020 convention, taking place
October 23–25, 2020, in Orlando, Florida! It’s the world’s
largest girl-led event for girls, young women, and everyone who
supports them. This premier gathering for Girl Scouts happens every
three years, and they’ll meet fellow go-getters, innovators,
risk-takers, and leaders from around the country and the world—it’s an
amazing opportunity your girls won’t want to miss!
Are your girls looking to stay closer to home this year? Then ask
your council about council-owned camps and other facilities that can
be rented out.
Lift up the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at every opportunity in
your planning, but limit your role to facilitating the
girls’ brainstorming and planning, never doing the work for them.
Share your ideas and insight, ask tough questions when you have to,
and support all their decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement!