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The Camper badge is part of the “It's Your Planet - Love It!” badge set introduced in 2011. It replaces the retired Camp Together badge.

Activity #1: Start planning your adventure[]

Camping out is the perfect adventure.  You get to spend the night surrounded by the great outdoors and do fun activities like canoeing, hiking, and singing.  You might even go to your favorite Girl Scout camp. Do one of the choices below to help you start planning a fantastic trip.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Talk to an experienced camper.  This might be a parent, a neighbor, or an older Girl Scout who has been camping in your area.

OR

                              

Go to an outdoor store.Ask a staff member about favorite local camping spots and what supplies they recommend.

OR

Look at campsite maps for our local area.Pick a campsite with the help of your Girl Scout volunteer.  Keep the activities you want to do and your budget in mind.

MORE to EXPLORECamp Fashion Show.  To learn what kinds of clothes to bring with you, have a fashion show.  Make a pile of all kinds of clothes and pick the best and worst one for camping! Then, show off them to your Junior friends or family, and see if they know which is which, and why.  Or, work in teams, and have one team put together as many great camping outfits and the other put together as many poor camping outfits as they can in three minutes.  Discuss what makes each wrong and right.

Items to Pack in Your Duffel for an Overnight Camping Trip

·       Sleeping bag/bedroll

·       Rain or snow gear

·       Change of clothes

·       Extra socks

·       Sweater or hoodie/sweatshirt

·       PJs

·       Camper care kit (towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, washcloth, etc.)

·       Water bottle

·       First aid kit

·       Flashlight

·       Extra batteries

·       Whistle

·       Mess kit: plate, cup, bowl, eating utensils in a net bag (dunk bag)

·       Notebook and pen or pencil

·       Miscellaneous (such as money, maps, insect repellent, games)

Activity #2: Gain a new camping skill[]

Whether you’ll be hiking, boating, or getting to know your friends around the campfire, learn more about special skills that might come in handy at camp. Plan a way to use the skill on your camping trip.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Tie useful knots.  Knots can be used to hang up gear, tie tent flaps, connect a boat to a dock, and for lots of cool crafts.  Ask an older Girl Scout or other expert to teach you some basic knots, including the square knot, the clove hitch, and the bowline.

FOR MORE FUN:  Have a knot-tying relay!  See the directions.

Knot-Tying Relay    

Divide into teams.  Each team gets two pieces of cord.  Each team member in turn selects a piece of paper with the name of a knot written on it from a bag. The first person pulls out the name of a type of knot, ties it, and passes the cord and bag to the second person. That person unties the knot, picks out the name of another knot, and ties that knot.  The game continues until each team member has tied a knot correctly.

Go to http://www.wikihow.com/Tie-a-Square-Knotor http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Knot  to learn how to tie a square knot and others.

OR

Use a map and compass or GPS.A compass is a tool that helps you find north, south, east, and west.  A GPS is like a digital compass.  Learn to adjust a map according to the difference between true and magnetic north, take a compass bearing from a map and follow it, and sight an object, walk to it, and return to your starting point.  For a challenge, learn to find your pace as well.

FOR MORE FUN:  Learn to use a topographical map.

OR

Build a campfire.Know the safety precautions for setting up and putting out fires before you begin, as well as local rules about fires.  Then, learn how to build at least one kind of fire – and when to make it – from an older Girl Scout or camping expert.

FOR MORE FUN:  Learn ways to make your own fire starters.

Building a Campfire

Use an established fireplace or fire ring.  A fire ring is an area of bare soil that will contain the fire.  It should be an area without roots, dry materials, and overhanging branches.

Always work with an adult when making a fire

SafetyTIPS

FOR FIRES    Always check fire-making rules of the area, and follow these safety tips:

·      Tie back your hair and wear long pants

·      Have a bucket of water and a shovel ready before building your fire.  You might need to smother the fire with dirt, or to stir wet coals when you put it out. Let the fire die down until only ashes are left.

·      Then use a long stick or shovel to stir the ashes.

·      Sprinkle the ashes with water, and then stir them again. Continue until there is no gray ash and the fire bed is cool.

·      Be careful when you pour water on a fire – it will become steam, which can burn your face and hands.  Pouring water on hot rocks might cause them to crack or explode.

Knowing how to make a fire is one of the oldest – and most valuable – Girl Scout survival skills.  Fire gives you the power to stay warm on a cold night, to cook outdoors, and to bring people together for songs and s’mores.  Even if your campsite or park doesn’t allow fires, you can still learn how to make one as part of your Camper badge, so you’ll have the skill when you do need it.  

TINDERis thin material that burns as soon as it is lit with a match.  Tinder could be tiny dry twigs, dry leaves, or wood shavings.

KINDLINGis larger in diameter than tinder, thin enough to catch fire before the tinder burns out, and large enough to help the fuel to light. Kindling is about the same diameter as your thumb and should be dry enough to snap when you bend it.

FUELis thicker pieces of wood that keep a fire going.  Fuel should be dry, seasoned wood found on the ground or in a woodpile.  Have enoughtinder,kindling, and fuel so you don’t have to leave your fire once you start it.

Activity #3: Find your inner camp chef[]

First, make sure you know how to pack food to keep it fresh, and how to store it to keep away bugs and animals.  Then, choose one of these ideas for a great camp meal.  Pack all the equipment and ingredients to enjoy it on your trip.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Make a one-pot meal. Find a recipe or combine two or three of your favorite ingredients to make a delicious stew.

RECIPE:  Brownie stew 

brown and drain ground beef 

add canned vegetable soup

heat 

OR

Cook in foil.When using a campfire as your stove, cooking with foil is a great way to keep food from falling into the fire.  Lots of things can be cooked in foil – from corn to pizza to campfire chicken stew.

RECIPE:  Camper’s stew 

Spread out a piece of aluminum foil 

Make a ground beef patty and place in the middle of the foil

Slice some washed (peeled?) potatoes and place on top of the patty

Slice some washed carrots, whatever else you like, and add

Wrap all in same aluminum foil

Put in coals and let bake for at least an hour, turning every 10-15 minutes

OR

Cook a meal on a stick.Try grilled cheese in a hot dog bun, delicious roasted bananas to top pancakes, or sausages.



Bacon-and-Egg-wich on a Rock

Select a thin flat rock and heat thoroughly in your fire. (Washing the rock first would be my preference.)  (Avoid rocks that appear to have been put together in layers. These may be shale, slate, or schist inside where moisture collects.  When these rocks are heated, moisture produces steam which causes the rocks to explode.)  Remove hot rock from fire with tongs, a forked stick or asbestos gloves.  Brush off any loose dirt.  Cut two slices of bacon in half and cook on one side, on the hot rock.  Tear a hole in the center of a slice of bread, and place it over two of the pieces of bacon, crisp side up.  Drop an egg in the hole, cover egg with two remaining pieces of bacon, crisp side down. When done on one side, turn and continue cooking to your taste.


-Girl Scout Handbook,1953

S’mores: The first known recipe for “some mores” appeared in a book called Trailing and Tramping with the Girl Scoutsin 1927. The name of this delicious Girl Scout treat was shortened to “s’more” in 1971. Yum!

Recipe

Some Mores (serves 1)

4 squares plain chocolate (thin) or ½ a Hershey’s (plain) regular size bar

2 graham crackers

1 marshmallow

Toast a marshmallow slowly over the coals until brown. Put the warm marshmallow inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat of the marshmallow will melt the chocolate a little bit.  

More to EXPLORE

Make a solar oven from corrugated cardboard and aluminum foil.Put your food into a black pot with a lid, and place it inside a plastic roasting bag.  Place the bag into the solar oven in an area where the oven will be heated by the sun for several hours.

Leave No Trace

Good campers try to leave a campsite looking exactly the same as when they arrived – or better!  Pledge to protect nature and “Leave No Trace” on your camping trip.  These seven important tips show you how.

·      Plan ahead

·      Stay on the trail

·      Carry out what you carry in

·      Leave nature as you found it

·      Be careful with fire

·      Respect wildlife

·      Be considerate of other visitors

THE CONSERVATION PLEDGE

I give my pledge as an American

to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my country – 

its soil and minerals, its forests, waters and wildlife.

Junior Girl Scout Handbook, 1963

Keep your camp clean.  Keep it in order.  Let your motto be, “Tidy as you go.”

-How Girls Can Help Their Country,1913

Camp Game from 1953

Buzz

Equipment: none

Method:  the group sits in a circle.  Each girl counts off a number in turn.  When the number seven is reached, the girl must say “Buzz” instead of the number.  Every time the number is a multiple of seven or has a seven in it, such as 14, 17, 21, 27, the player must say “Buzz.”  If she fails, she drops out of the game (or make your own rule).  The last people left in are the winners.

Clean up   Don’t forget to:

·      Put out your fire and remove the ashes.

·      Extinguish the camp stove.

·      Wash, sanitize, and store the dishes.

·      Pack up and pack out trash, wet garbage, tin cans, and glass without endangering or damaging the environment.

·      Clean up your campsite or cabin.  Remember, a Girl Scout always leaves a place better than she found it.

Tip: If you soap the outside of a pot before using it to cook on a fire, it will be much easier to clean later.

Activity #4: Try a new activity[]

Camp is a great place to try new activities and discover your new favorite thing to do. Choose one of these extra adventures to try on your trip.  You might need to plan for additional equipment, find adult experts, or gather more information to make the most of your choice!

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Have some Leave No Trace fun.  Make up a fun skit, game, or activity about one of the principles of Leave No Trace. Or, create a special LNT ceremony.

OR

Be a scientist – and keep a journal.You could try being a botanist, and identify different kinds of trees and flowers. A geologist might classify rocks. An ornithologist would try to identify different birds and the sounds they make.

Potentially Perilous Plants

Poison Sumac       Poison Oak          Poison Ivy                  Poisonwood

OR

Try a new adventure!  Perhaps a hike you’ve never done to a scenic overlook or waterfall?  How about boating, snowshoeing, bird-watching, or horseback riding?

FOR MORE FUN: Take your camera or a sketch pad, and record your experiences to share!

More to EXPLORE:Pretend you’re a Junior in 1977.As they did to earn their Troop Camper badge, plan or be responsible of one of the following activities on the trip: flag ceremony, outdoor game, nature trail, hike, campfire program, activities for weather that keeps you indoors, thanks for a meal, or outdoor good turn.

Activity #5: Head out on your trip - and have some nighttime fun[]

The fun doesn’t end once the sun goes down.  When you’re on your trip, after you’ve eaten your delicious meal and used your new camping skill, settle down to enjoy the magic of camp at night.  Do one of these great nighttime activities.

CHOICES – DO ONE:

Gather around the campfire.  If you can’t have a fire, place your flashlights in a circle.  Tell your favorite stories, gaze at the stars, sing your favorite Girl Scout songs, and play games!

OR

Do a night watch.Team up with an adult to choose a special spot outdoors.  Arrange for one-hour shifts through the night, signing up in pairs.  Let yourself become part of the outdoors at night by keeping silent.  How is the night world different from the day?  What happens to your senses?  Record or log what you see and hear during your shift, and have everyone report back over breakfast.

Keep shoelaces in repair, to avoid breaks while on the trail.  If you tie them Girl Scout fashion, by slipping one loop of the bow through the knot a second time just before pulling it tight, the knot will not come untied.

-Girl Scout Handbook,1933

OR

Have fun with flashlights.You could play a game of flashlight tag. (First, make sure you discuss with an adult where it’s safe to play.) Or, you might go on a night hike – with or without flashlights. 

Additional Resources[]

FDA Consumer Update on Poison Ivy

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