According to a new study by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), More than S'mores (2014), girls benefit immensely from time spent outdoors. Girls who regularly spend time outdoors eclipse their peers who spend less time outdoors in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers—all important traits in twenty-first century leadership.
The study also found that Girl Scouts are twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to say they take action to protect the environment (51% versus 23%) and that they’ve had a personal experience in nature that has made them appreciate it more (49% versus 29%).
“There is a moment when a child connects with nature, and it changes their identity, and it is our identity that impacts how we treat others,” says Dr. Denise Mitten, an outdoor expert at Prescott College and researcher who works closely with GSACPC. Dr. Mitten was 8-years old when she first attended Girl Scout camp, which was the starting point of a life-long commitment to nature and outdoor education.
Dr. Mitten’s says that according to her research, one of the best ways for girls to learn competence, build confidence and create a positive self-image is through spending time outdoors in an arena such as summer camp.
GSACPC offers an array of innovative, fun, and memorable camp activities that allow girls to build courage, confidence, and character, in a safe, all-girl environment. Arizona Girl Scouts have the option to attend three unique camps: Shadow Rim Ranch, known as the adventurers’ camp; Willow Springs Program Center, known for its arts and drama programming, and Camp Maripai, known as the horse enthusiasts’ camp. These camps are highly evolved, matching the interests of twenty-first-century girls, with programs such as Jedi School, Global Goddess and Camp Chemist.