Memorial Day Weekend was a beautiful kickoff to summer and hopefully many outdoor adventures for you and your family. Most families struggle to get their children to unplug and get outdoors. Modern technology has created many conveniences, but at the same time has created a deficit to many families who have distanced themselves from the outdoors and the environment.

Outdoor adventures, one of the four program pillars to Girl Scouting, are so important to a person’s development and well-being. Why? Because everyone, including girls, benefit immensely from experiencing the outdoors.

The Girl Scout Research Institute, which studies the needs of girls and their families, conducted its own research into the benefits of engaging in outdoor activities. The study reaffirmed what we already know – there are overwhelming benefits of outdoor experiences for girls. Girls who regularly spend time outdoors more readily seek challenges, are better problem solvers and are better stewards of the environment than peers who spend less time outdoors. All of these skills are needed for girls and young women to be successful in the future.

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The study also found that girls of lower socio-economic status benefit even more from these outdoor experiences.

It is well-known that there are health benefits to being outdoors. From a leadership perspective, it is also beneficial for girls to learn about the world around them, especially the environment. This same study found that girls who have personal experiences in nature are more apt to appreciate it and, therefore, become good stewards of the land.

Girl Scouts continues to offer outdoor adventures for girls and locally we are gearing up for summer day camp. From archery and hiking to sports and environmental studies, camp is a great way to get out and enjoy the summer. Girl Scouts are also partnering with National Parks in July to get families out of the house and into the sunshine.  State and national parks in our area offer many different activities so there are options for every family who want and need to explore the beautiful site in Northern New Jersey.  

Whether it’s at the beach, on the sports field, in a park or at camp, with the beautiful summer months ahead, now is the time to plan to unplug, get outside and make some fun, family memories.