“A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.” – Excerpt from the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook
As Girl Scouts, we’ve heard it a million times: always be prepared! But the Girl Scout motto is more than a catchy saying; it really is a way of life. From emergency situations to adulthood decision-making, the motto teaches us to always be prepared for what life may throw our way—whether it be a sprained ankle or a pop quiz.
From soothing a mosquito bite to saving a life, here are 7 first aid skills to help your girls be prepared for any situation:
First Aid Basics for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors
If someone was sick or hurt, would your Girl Scouts know how to help? During an emergency, it’s important to act quickly and stay calm, so teach your Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scouts these 3 first aid basics to help them be prepared for anything!
Know how to get help from 911.
Walk your younger girls through the why, when, and how of calling 911. Teach them to stay calm and speak clearly as they give the 911 operator all the details that they’ll need to send help – her name, phone number, what’s wrong, what happened, where she is, how many people are hurt, and what’s already been done to help.
Learn how to treat minor injuries.
When younger girls know how to treat injuries like cuts, scrapes, bruises, and insect bites, they’re empowered to take care of themselves and others. Help your girls level up their first aid skills by teaching them about common injuries and how they can use a first aid kit to treat them.
Take the steps to prevent injuries before they occur.
Enjoying the outdoors at camp, at the beach, or at a park is great fun. What’s not so fun? Bug bites, bee strings, sunburns, and poison oak or ivy. Fortunately, most of these ailments are preventable if we know how to take care of ourselves! Teach your girls how to avoid and treat these incidents that could put a damper on an otherwise fun day.
Advanced First Aid Skills for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors
Girl Scouts get the chance to experience amazing outdoor adventures—but when you’re out in the wilderness, anything can happen. When it does, others may look to you as Girl Scouts to know what to do in an emergency situation. Here are a few things that will help your Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts handle any problem they encounter:
Be trained on how to use everything in a first aid kit.
A well-stocked first aid kit contains everything you need to treat any minor injuries. But how do you use gauze, anyway? And what do you do with that triangle-shaped bandage!? Before you head out on your next big trip, make sure your girls know how to use each piece of a first aid kit, and how to tell a minor injury from a more serious situation.
Know how to handle urgent first aid issues.
Allergic reactions, asthma attacks, snakebites, choking, and accidental poisonings are all incidents that require a swift response. Help your older girls learn about what to do in an urgent situation that requires them to spring into action and walk through the ways you can help in these potentially life-threatening scenarios.
Learn to prevent serious outdoor injuries.
What do you do if someone breaks a leg while you’re hiking in the mountains? Or how do you help someone who has nearly drowned on a boating trip? Teach your girls what they can do to help deal with wilderness emergencies—you never know when it might come in handy!
Know how to move an injured person.
One of the first things your girls should learn in any first aid and CPR certification course is not to move a person with serious injuries, but sometimes you just have no choice. If there’s an immediate danger, such as fire, fallen power lines, or flood, your girl may need to move the person out of harm’s way, so make sure they should know how to do it safely.
As with most things in life, there’s an infinite amount of safety and first aid skills that your girls can acquire, so the learning shouldn’t stop here! The Girl Scout badge program does a great job of building in a progressive first aid education at each level of Girl Scouting, so your girls can expand their skill set year after year. Looking for an easy way to work them into your Girl Scout year? Complete the safety badges during your next troop camping trip! What better way to keep outdoor safety on their minds than to work on the badge activities while they’re out exploring?
Psst—do you have any tips for teaching your girls to live by the Girl Scout motto? Let us know in the comments below!
Marissa Vessels—Marissa is a lifelong Girl Scout, Gold Awardee, and Marketing Manager at Girl Scout of Northern California. Though she’s originally from Southern California (Yay, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council!), she moved to the East Bay to attend UC Berkeley and never looked back. One of her favorite things about Girl Scouting in the Bay Area is all the incredible hiking and camping options available to girls who love to explore the outdoors!