MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ – JULY, 2019:  New Jersey, dubbed the Garden State, residents take pride in its natural beauty from the beaches to the hundreds of parks and trails to enjoy.  The weekend, of July 13-14, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore joined thousands of Girls Scouts across New Jersey and the United States to explore the great outdoors as part of the first ever nationwide ‘Girl Scouts Love State Parks’ initiative.

From star gazing at Island Beach State Park and kayaking the waters off Sandy Hook to climbing the steps of a lighthouse at Twin Lights Historic Site in Highlands, nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts and their families experienced the beauty and history of 34 New Jersey state parks on July 13th and 14th.

“Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend was aimed at getting more girls and their families outside to experience the outdoors, an integral part of Girls Scouts’ all-girl leadership program,” said Eileen Higgins,” chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, one of four Girl Scout Councils in New Jersey.

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"The legacy of Girl Scouts and the outdoors is profound," Higgins noted. Studies show that 71 percent of girl members ages 8–14 tried their first outdoor activity through the organization and half would not have had access to outdoor activities and programming if not for the programs of the Girl Scouts. 

"The organization’s focus on environmental conservation, camping, and outdoor science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming is rooted in a passion for adventure and healthy risk-taking combined with taking action to protect the environment for present and future generations", Higgins said.

The outdoor initiative was developed in collaboration with the National Association of State Park Directors and plans are already underway for the next Girl Scouts Love State Parks program, tentatively in September 2020.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our girls to unplug from cell phones and technology and connect with their families and friends in our beautiful state parks,” Higgins said.

SAVE THE DATE for the 2nd Annual Girl Scouts Love State Parks on September 13-14, 2020! Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves nearly 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For over 100 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner or donate, visit jerseyshoregirlscouts.org or call (800) 785-2090.

Every girl scout who particpated in the program earned a free 2019 Girl Scouts Love State Parks fun patch! 

The following park programs were available in New Jersey for the Girl Scouts and each program was only $5.00 a person. The guide can provide a lot of great day trip ideas for your family to enjoy: 

Burlington County
• Nature Scavenger Hunt at Bass River State Forest
Saturday, July 13 | 9:30am - 12:30pm | Grades 2-8
• Playing in the Past at Batsto Villiage
Saturday, July 13 | 10am - 12pm | Grades 4-5
• Pinelands Nature Walk at Wharton State Forest/ Batsto Historic Village
Saturday, July 13 | 10:30-12:30pm | Grades K-12
• Intro. To the NJ Pinelands at Wharton State Forest/ Batsto Historic Village
Sunday, July 14 | 10:30-12:30pm | Grades K-12
• Pakim Pond Bug Buddies at Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00-11:30am | Grades 2-3
• Pakim Pond Bug Buddies at Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
Sunday, July 14 | 2:00-3:30pm | Grades 2-3
Camden County
• Walt Whitman’s Home and Garden at Walt Whitman House State Historic Site
Saturday, July 13 | 10-11am & 1-2pm | Grades K-12
Cape May County
• Bird Walk/Nature Walk at Cape May Point State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 9:00-10:30am | Grades K-12
• Bird Walk/Nature Walk at Cape May Point State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 9:00-10:30am | Grades K-12
• Nature Walk at Cape May Point State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 2:00-3:30pm | Grades K-12
• Nature Walk at Cape May Point State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 2:00-3:30pm | Grades K-12
• Pond Study at Belleplain State Forest
Saturday, July 13 | 1:00-2:00pm | Grades K-12
• Pond Study at Belleplain State Forest
Sunday, July 14 | 10:00-11:00am | Grades K-12
Hudson County
• Natural Area Shoreline Cleanup at Liberty State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00-12:00pm | Grades K-12
Hunterdon County
• Forest Hike at Voorhees State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00-11:30am | Grades 2-5
• Walk in the Woods at Bulls Island Recreation Area
Saturday, July 13 | 10am - 12pm | Grades 4-5
Mercer County
• Build a Rope Bridge at Washington Crossing State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00-12:30pm | Grades 4-12
Middlesex & Somerset County
Outdoor Adventure Scavenger Hunt at Cheesequake State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 9:00 - 12:00pm | Grades K-12
Walk the D&R Canal Path to Rockingham State Historic Site at D&R Canal State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 9:30-11:30am | Grades 4-12
Monmouth County
• Presentation & Kayaking at Leonardo State Marina
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00am - 12:00pm | Grades 2-8
• North & South Tower Climb and Presentation at Twin Lights Historic Site
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00am - 12:00pm | Grades K-3
Morris County
• Trail Hike at Hacklebarney State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 1:00-2:00pm | Grades K-1
Ocean County
Double Trouble History Hike at Double Trouble Village State Historic Site
Sunday, July 14 | 9:00-11:00am | Grades 4-12
Island Beach Star Party at Island Beach State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 8:00-9:30pm | Grades 4-12
Passaic County
• Bugs Badge at Ringwood State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 10:00-11:30am | Grades 2-3
• Animal Habitats Badge at Ringwood State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 12:00-1:30pm | Grades 4-5
• Butterfly Walk at Ringwood State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 1:00-3:00pm | Grades K-12
• Garden Walk at Ringwood State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 2:00-3:30pm | Grades K-12
Sussex County
• Mountaintop Exploration at High Point State Park
Sunday, July 14 | 2:00-3:30pm | Grades K-5
• A Walk In The Forest at Stokes State Forest
Sunday, July 14 | 1:00-2:00pm | Grades K-12
• Lenape Clothing Making Workshop at Waterloo Village Historic Site
Sunday, July 14 | 10:00am -3:00pm | Grades K-12
• Watersheds & Stream Sampling at Swartswood State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 10:00am - 12:00pm | Grades 4-8
• Rid Litter Day at Kittatinny Valley State Park
Saturday, July 13 | 9:00-10:30am | Grades 6-12

For information on becoming a member of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, visit www.jerseyshoregirlscouts.org or call (800) 785-2090.