At Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO), we’re all about trying new and exciting things – especially in the outdoors! With the new Outdoor High-Adventure badges, troops can design their own experience by advancing their skiing or snowboarding skills or by going on a winter camping trip.
Inspired by the endless possibilities, Troop 90186 completed the new Snow Adventure badge, which was released July 2019. Each year, the troop chooses a theme and this year it is “Find Your Passion,” so they have been trying new things all year long! Earning this badge inspired them to enjoy the Northeast Ohio winter weather while trying something new together. Through the experience, the girls learned to be prepared, embrace the cold, stay positive, and have fun in the chilliest of conditions.
“I liked this badge because it was a fun experience to work with our troop as a big group,” said Lily Taylor, a fifth grader in the troop. “My favorite part was going down the hills, slipping, falling, and then laughing about it with [my] friends. We all tried things we were a little afraid of but tried and tried and eventually did it!”
To complete the Junior Snow Adventure badge, the first step is to choose your outdoor adventure. Together, the troop chose skiing by taking a vote – and skiing was the unanimous winner. Once the troop decided that skiing was their adventure, they started to plan, which included learning about skiing as a sport, budgeting, finding a location, and they even watched a snowboarding movie together! The troop had a yoga instructor come to one of their meetings prior to their lesson to hold a class specifically tailored to the muscles and positions required for smart skiing, so they were well-prepared to hit the slopes!
During the troop’s ski lesson, the girls learned how to put on their skis, weave around poles, and stop. The enthusiasm remained with the girls as their lesson progressed, and after their lesson concluded, some girls from the troop wanted to stay longer to keep skiing.
“I was very proud of myself because I didn’t quit!” said Katrina Wiley, a fifth grader in the troop. “I stayed after the lesson and skied down the hill more… I loved it!”
Besides the ski lesson, the girls in the troop value what Girl Scouts has given them – friendships, spending time in the outdoors, and trying experiences outside their comfort zones.
“I liked spending time outside because it let us spend time in nature, which I really like,” said Emma Roke, a fifth grader in the troop. “I also like spending time with my friends in the troop and I feel like this trip pushed me to try something I normally wouldn’t do.”
Troop Leader Ann Manby has watched her troop grow since their formation in 2014.
“I have watched these girls challenge themselves over and over again,” she said. “Whether it was petting a creepy lizard, playing barefoot in a clay creek, using a power tool, hiking in the dark, starting a fire, managing the cash box at a cookie booth, or skiing, these fun firsts have generated almost instant feelings of empowerment. I love seeing their faces light up with that ‘I did it!’ smile.”
Troop 90186 is only one example of how Girl Scouts is building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. In a safe space, Girl Scouts have access to powerful mentors, are able to try new things, and take healthy risks.