Did you know that you could learn to fence, rock climb, go backpacking, and even indoor skydive as a Girl Scout? Participating in high adventure activities gives girls the opportunity to experience something thrilling and new. Girl-led adventures are often the best adventures, but for safety reasons, there are sometimes restrictions. That’s why GSUSA has spent countless hours researching and developing a standard progression program for high adventure activities, so each activity can be successfully executed based upon the girls’ age or level in Girl Scouts. As girls grow and continue through Girl Scouts, they will gain access to new high adventure activities and build on existing skills that they’ve have acquired from the years before. Once girls reach the Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador levels, they’ll be able to explore a whole world of activities!
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In case you’re wondering what activities are considered high adventure activities or how to choose an age-appropriate high adventure activity for your girls, I’m here to help! First off, let’s define high adventure. High adventure consists of exciting activities where girls can explore unfamiliar fields, learn new skill sets appropriate for their age-level, and experience healthy risks and challenges.
On a more logistical note, high adventure activities also require council approval through the High Adventure Approval form, and usually require troops to plan 2-3 months in advance. Many troops use money earned from product sales or money-earning activities to put towards their experiences.
Daisies are often the most excited of Girl Scouts—ready to conquer the world. Even though their activity options are the most limited due to their age and size, there are still plenty of opportunities to explore. Sun or snow, land or sea, here is a list of approved high adventure activities for girls in grades K-1!
- Backyard Camping (1st grade only)
- Fencing (with foam swords only)
- Ice Skating, Inline Skating, and Roller Skating
- Pony Rides (led by adults)
- Sledding/Tobogganing/Snow Tubing
In addition to the high adventure activities available to Daisies, a whole new world opens up when girls become Brownies. While there are still many activities that are restricted, girls can now explore more of the outdoors with activities like archery, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and overnight camping!
- Archery (permitted that equipment is sized correctly)
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Indoor Trampolines
- Local Camping
- Low Ropes Course
- Rock Climbing
- Outdoor Cooking
- Vaulting on Horseback
- Whitewater Rafting Class I and Class II
The option for longer adventures begins when girls bridge to Juniors! Girls can start backpacking, taking multi-day troop camping trips, and exploring the world of high adventure from the sky! Indoor skydiving, zipline canopy tours, rapelling, and challenge courses are just a few of the many options that girls have to catch some air and soar.
- Canopy Zipline Tours
- Challenge Courses
- Indoor Skydiving
- Recreational Tree Climbing
- Rock Climbing and Rappelling
- Stand-Up Paddle boarding
- Travel Camping
- Waterskiing and Wakeboarding
- Whitewater Rafting Class III
For Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors
Once girls enter the world of older Girl Scouting, they’ll have the opportunity to participate in high adventure activities that require an extra level of training and expertise. Girls will often enroll in 6-12-week long courses to learn how to scuba dive before they take off for the coral reefs of Australia, or 6-week long courses to prepare them to safely participate in shooting sports. With age comes responsibility and becoming an older girl means taking the reigns and working towards new high adventures!
- Scuba Diving (for girls age 12 and up)
- Segway Tours
- Shootings Sports and Firearms (for girls age 12 and up)
- Whitewater Rafting Class IV
Being a Girl Scout means exploring new things within the safety net of your supportive Girl Scout council. We have developed Safety Activity Checkpoints for all of the above activities to highlight what troop leaders should be prepared for. Most high adventure activities also require the use of one of our approved vendors that are vetted by council. If your girls want to try out a new vendor that is not currently on our list of approved vendors, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember when your girls are ready to execute their adventure, to fill out the High Adventure Approval Form. If girls can dream it, we want to make it happen…. Safely!
What to do next:
- Browse GSNorCal’s Safety Activity Checkpoints or approved vendors list for high adventure inspiration!
- For more exciting ways to stay active, check out our other outdoor blog posts.
- Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Tiffany Phamvu—Tiffany is the Risk Management, Dispute Resolution & Travel Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she supports girls and volunteers in their planning endeavors from troop meetings to travel adventures around the world. She is a Northern California native but has spent time living all over the world. Tiffany is an avid traveler (having visited 19 countries so far!) and an outdoor enthusiast who’s scared of heights, but loves to zip line. Her favorite thing about Girl Scouts is all the opportunities to go on adventures that are available through the Girl Scout program.