Girl Scouts Just Launched Free Virtual Tours of State Parks Across the Country

By Melissa Mills

Girl Scouts Loves State Park takes place September 12-13. In addition to the activities GSCM is offering, Parents Magazine printed these offerings from GSUSA in their August issue.

Travel plans may be on hold, but your family can still safely “get away”—thanks to the Girl Scouts of the USA.

PHOTO: COURTESY GIRL SCOUTS OF THE USA

Between new uniforms and a new, breakfast-inspired cookie for 2021, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have been busy. Now, the Girl Scouts have outdone themselves yet again. To help kick off their second annual Girl Scouts Love State Parks celebration in September, GSUSA launched a virtual map with state park tours and activities from around the country to allow kids to “travel” and get interested in the outdoors. The best part? It’s free!

As parents know by now—months into the COVID-19 pandemic—fun, educational, and safe activities for children are few and far between. Mom and Dad are burnt out, the kids have seen and done it all, and everyone’s been mostly stuck indoors. Stressing the importance of introducing kids—and especially girls—to nature, the Girl Scouts Love State Parks event will offer viewers activities to do at home, interviews with park rangers, and even show kids how to “star hop” and identify constellations—all in addition to the interactive map.

A 2019 Girl Scout Research Institute study found that 70 percent of girls who engaged in outdoor activities with the Girl Scouts “increased their confidence, interest, and commitment to environmental stewardship.” And the Child Mind Institute echoes the benefits of getting kids outdoors: it promotes confidence, creativity, and can even reduce stress.

“I’m proud that Girl Scouts continues to develop virtual programming so that every girl has the opportunity for outdoor education, even from their home or backyard,” GSUSA Interim CEO Judith Batty said in a press release. “Outdoor experiences are an important part of our leadership program for girls, giving them opportunities to take healthy risks, practice independence, build confidence, and learn about environmental stewardship—while having fun! Join thousands of girls and state parks in all 50 states for this exciting virtual Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend.”

In collaboration with the National Association of State Park Directors, Girl Scouts Love State Parks kicks off on September 12. Contact your local GSUSA council to learn more about Girl Scouts Love State Parks activations in your area.

Consider your itch to travel scratched—and the kids busy for at least a little.

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