IP Requirements Edit Edit

Each interest project contains numerous activities, which are organized into four different categories: Skill Builders, Technology, Service Projects,  and Career Exploration.  By doing these activities, you will gain insights about yourself - your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes.  You will have a range of new experiences, and you will develop valuable  skills and expertise in specific areas. To earn an interest project award, you must complete at least seven activities as follows:

  • Two Skill Builders activities
  • One Technology activity
  • One Service Project activity
  • One Career Exploration activity
  • Two activities from any category that you choose


  • Do the one REQUIRED activity (or Skill Builder)
  • Do ONE activity of your choice for each of the THREE categories (LEARN, DO, SHARE)

  • Design and do ONE activity of YOUR OWN
  • Create a short REFLECTION after you've completed all of the activities

Skill Builders (the 2 starred Skill Builders are required activities)

1. Make a list of equipment and clothing needed for a back-packing trip. Add specialized items to this list for the following environments: desert, mountain, and beach. Learn ways to take care of yourself by the use of  appropriate clothing, food, and water. To learn ways to reduce the size and weight of the items you carry, talk with an experienced backpacker or read a book about lightweight backpacking. 
Pages 163 - 164 in Outdoor Education in Girl Scouting will be helpful.

* 2. Get into shape from the ground up. Choose and break in hiking shoes or boots appropriate to terrain you will be hiking on. Learn proper foot care, including what socks to wear. Develop a plan for conditioning your legs and increasing cardiovascular strength to meet the  demands of the terrain and altitude. Take a practice hike with your backpack  loaded and make any needed adjustments. Learn to spot signs of fatigue and  dehydration and what you can do to avoid them. See pages 34, 39, and 159 - 160  in Outdoor Education in Girl Scouting.

3. Learn the first-aid treatment for burns, cuts, blisters,  sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, hypothermia, shock, insect stings, ticks,  contact with poisonous plants, and a bite by any poisonous animal common to the unit
s where you plan to travel. Assemble a light-weight first-aid kit. Review how  you can put a first-aid plan into action. See pages 83-94 in Outdoor  Education in Girl Scouting, and complete the activities in each section.

4. Learn to use a compass and read a topographical map. Read pages 103 - 111 in Outdoor Education in Girl Scouting or pages 123 - 124  in the Cadette Girl Scout handbook. Then trace out a hiking route on a topographical map. Describe what you would see along the way by visualizing the  terrain from the map symbols.

* 5. Put your minimal impact skills to the test by planning and carrying out a backpacking trip of at least two days. Follow Safety-Wise guidelines, obtaining permission for each trip and the area where  you plan to camp. Submit a written plan that describes the route, emergency  procedures, group safety rules, equipment, menus, and names of participants. Develop a plan for building teamwork and sharing leadership among the individuals going on each trip. Before taking the first trip:

  • Be able to explain why a group of four to ten people is most appropriate in a backcountry setting.
  • Know ways to avoid and prevent encounters with wildlife when on the trail  or when storing food overnight.
  • Know how to avoid insect and tick bites.

Upon your return, evaluate the trip. Make  appropriate changes in procedures, teamwork strategies, and gear before your next outing.


1. Visit an outdoor store to find out about the variety of back-packs and frames  available. Learn about the materials and design components of internal and  external frame back-packs. Try on a pack that adjust to fit you. Make sure that it includes padded shoulder straps and a hip belt. Compare the kinds of sleeping  bags and tents on the market, and ask for recommendations for ones most appropriate for the type of backpacking that you plan to do.

2. Learn about the most common water pollutants in the area where you will be hiking. Find out about methods of purifying water on trips to the backcountry, including  at least one "high-tech" way. Practice purifying water by using one method.

3. Compare backpacking stoves operated by butane, propane, blended fuel (propane and  butane), and gasoline. Compare ease of use, weight of stoves, cooking times,  suitability for different altitudes, and recommended temperature range. Arrange to try out at least two different kinds of stoves. Which stove(s) would be best for general use? Which would work best when back-packing at high altitude or in cold weather? See pages 49 - 50 in Outdoor Education in Girl Scouting.

4. Plan  the food for at least one backpacking trip. Learn about lightweight foods as  well as those that pack best and last without refrigeration. What's the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods? With your group, consider the cost and size per serving, the efficiency of the packaging, and which foods  will provide the maximum energy. If needed, repackage food to eliminate excess  weight.

5. On the  Internet, search for information on backpacking, hiking, or outdoor adventures. Look for Web sites with backcountry weather reports, maps, or information on  wilderness areas. If possible, use the Web to help plan a trip.

6. Draw  your own design for a piece of equipment or clothing that would be useful on a  back-packing trip or improve on  a current mode. If possible, construct and  use it on a trip.

Service  Projects

1. Teach younger girls skills such as campsite selection, safe use of a backpacking stove, equipment selection, proper backcountry hygiene, food selection and  repackaging.

2. Join a  trail maintenance or campsite cleanup effort.

3. Contact a search and rescue group. Train to become a member of a search and rescue team.

4. Work  with an environmental organization to complete such tasks as replacing natural  resources, collecting and planting native seeds, and protecting wilderness and 
park areas.

Career Exploration

1. Visit a store that sells camping and backpacking equipment. Learn about job  opportunities in this retail business. Ask someone what kinds of skills and  experience are necessary for different levels of jobs.

2. Shadow  a wildlife biologist, geologist, botanist, or other natural resource  professionals for a day. Or interview at least two people who work in outdoor  recreation. Find out what they do in their jobs, what challenges they enjoy and don't enjoy. Ask them to trace their career paths for you.

3. Contact by phone or in writing two manufactures of camping of camping and backpacking  equipment for information about careers in designing and manufacturing outdoor equipment.

4. Talk  with trip leaders or outfitters of various high adventure programs such as  backpacking, white-water rafting, or horseback packing. Ask questions about what they must do to plan trios, provide meals, and offer a safe but challenging  program. What kinds of training, permits, and insurance are necessary to run an  adventure-based business?

5. Investigate career opportunities related to backpacking such as working with  recreational, outdoor, or environmental clubs and organizations.

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