Who are we?
We are a group of concerned Member-Volunteers: Girl Scouts, leaders, staff, and trainers, plus their friends, who are advocating for change from within the GSUSA system to help make more official GSUSA outdoor opportunities available for girls.
We are from all across the country.
How it began
One day, after thinking a lot about Journeys, I thought perhaps that a NEW Journey would be a good idea, because I saw a lack of both outdoor badges and also of a disconnect between the official Journey program and traditional camping and outdoor education, as endorsed by our Founder, Juliette Low.
This bothered me. I could see that in the future, we might lose our great Girl Scout traditions, due to new leaders not being educated in Outdoor Program and not knowing much about it at all. Also, there were news stories about camps closing, and membership decreasing. I was worried about this too. Why was this focus going away from the outdoors in Girl Scouting? Part of the problem seemed to be a focus away from the outdoors in the official Journey program. I wondered how could I make a difference in this situation, working within the current Journey framework. Of course! GSUSA could ADD another Journey, this time an Outdoor Journey.
I posted my idea on the popular Greenblood Gab Yahoo Group. I also talked about it on the Girl Scout Gab Facebook page too.
It became a very popular topic, and many people started to like the idea.
The Facebook Page is now very popular. (I can OK you there.) There is also a new Yahoo group for those who do not want to be on Facebook. It is here: The Outdoor Journey Yahoo Group II.
Members of the Outdoor Journey Project Group have come up with <unofficial> Journey examples. They can be found in the Files section at the Facebook page. We also have links and Outdoor Program ideas there from all over.
Check out the Multi-age <unofficial> Journey Example in the Files Section too. Jennifer J. is the author of that one. The <unofficial> Junior Journey Example also has Core Content Standards with it. See the Make a Journey page for more information.
FYI: GSUSA asked for and received copies of all our Journey Examples.
Councils across the country sent in Official Requests to GSUSA in the Fall of 2013 to have a Conversation about Outdoor Program at the 2014 National Council Session being held October 16-19 in Salt Lake City Utah. These are the Proposals they sent: #1: Discussion Proposal Outdoor Journey Discussion, #2: Linking Girls to the Land (latest version) and #3. Pacesetters (latest version) (click to download these to read them.)
Because of all this, and the BIG interest Then GSUSA had a BIG Outdoor Discussion at the 2014 National Council Session. The Girl Scout girls let GSUSA know that they wanted a LOT more outdoor program back in Girl Scouting.
In related news, Sarah Y., an Ambassador Scout, has come up with an Outdoor STEM Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors that her Council, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, piloted for their girls. Then they made it this Journey an OFFICIAL Pin Program. They are sharing it right now with other co8uncils. You can find out more about this at her Facebook page for older girls, CSA Girl Scouts REALLY in the Outdoors.
Good job, Sarah!
Look for more ideas, discussions, and program ideas here and on the Facebook page for troops and volunteers.
May 2015: We changed our name and our header to the Outdoor Girl Scout Project.
Now we are getting ready to Take Action at the 2017 National Council Session too. It will be in Columbus, Ohio.
The Girl Scout Survey: more about it.
Survey results are in from the Girl Scouts Members and Supporters who took a very important Survey about Girl Scouting.
You can see the Survey, and check out who took it, the survey results, AND the comments here: http://gsmembersupportersurvey.weebly.com/
(from the GSUSA: Are You Listening Facebook Page): "For comments or questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find us on Facebook at GSUSA, Are You Listening? <http://www.facebook.com/pages/GSUSA-Are-You-Listening/335108643294594> where we are hosting a GS "virtual" town hall to discuss all things Girl Scouting."
Send your ideas to me to include on this site. Thanks!
We want this website to be a handy place for leaders and volunteers (plus girls!) to find links to resources and help in order to incorporate outdoor education and FUN into their Girl Scout program.
I hope you find this site helpful - and keep in touch.
"Ours is a circle of friendships, united by ideals."
"The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers."
"Right is right, even if nobody else does it."
-Juliette Gordon Low