Appendix 8.0: For Travel Volunteers
Not only do some of the most memorable moments in a Girl Scout’s life happen while taking trips, but travel also offers a wealth of opportunities for girls to develop leadership skills. This appendix helps you prepare girls for local, regional, or international travel of any scope and duration.
Juliette Low World Friendship Fund
To honor Juliette Gordon Low’s love of travel, of experiencing different cultures, and of making friends, Girl Scouts created the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund in 1927. Today, this fund supports girls’ international travel, participation in adult learning, and attendance at other international events—any event that fosters global friendships that connect Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 145 nations. Click here to find out more or to donate to the fund.
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. Your Journey adult guide has a lot of other ideas about trips that bring the Journey to life. 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 long enough to generate homesickness. Be sure to follow Council policy when planning an overnight trip. To get approval for overnight trips, submit a Troop Trip Application to your staff Community Development Specialist. Applications are available at www.gs-top.org/forms under the “Troop/Group Management” category.
o GS-TOP Policy: Trips overnight, or longer, to a site other than a Council facility, the Group’s regular meeting place, or the home of an adult registered with the group, must be approved in writing by authorized Council Personnel.
o Policy: Safety activity checkpoints for all trip activities must be followed.
- 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. *See note above regarding Council policies on overnight trips.
- 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. *See note above regarding Council policies on overnight trips.
- International trips (Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors): Travel around the world, often requiring one or two years of preparation; when girls show an interest in traveling abroad, contact your council to get permission to plan the trip and download the Global Travel Toolkit. 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 work with girls living in poverty in urban slums. *Any troop wishing to travel internationally must submit an International Troop Trip Application at least nine months prior to departure. The International Troop Trip Application packet can be found at www.gs-top.org/forms under the “Troop/Group Management” category.
Although some girls who are in a group (for example, a troop of Cadettes) may decide to travel together, opportunities exists for girls who are not otherwise involved in Girl Scouts to get together specifically for the purpose of traveling locally, regionally, and even internationally. Girls can travel regardless of how else they are—or aren’t—participating in Girl Scouting.