1) How do I brainstorm ideas for projects or activities in which to participate? Here are some questions to consider that will help you establish ideas for projects or activities:
a) Is there something in particular you would like to learn?
b) Is there a particular project on the park webpage that interests you?
c) Are you more interested in exploring an educational project or being engaged in a volunteer service project, or perhaps both?
d) How many girls plan to take part in the project?
e) What is the timeframe for completing the project? Do you want to complete it in one day or work several weekends?
f) Do you plan to earn the certificate or work towards the patch?
g) Is there anything you don’t want to do?
2) What information does the park need from me?
a) Age range of participating Girl Scouts
b) Timeframe for completing the project(s)
c) Interests and ideas for activities (use your brainstorm list)
3) What if I cannot reach the park’s representative?
This person is commonly the volunteer coordinator, a park interpreter, or the youth programs coordinator, so it is suggested you ask for these individuals. If you need further assistance contacting the park, contact the NPS Regional Youth Programs Coordinator in your state. (Link to names of Youth Programs coordinators).
4) What are the benefits of developing my own project?
There are quite a few! For starters, you have the chance to take part in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. You can: Discover a strong sense of self, positive values and understanding of your important role in caring for the environment, wildlife and our Earth’s natural resources. Connect with others while who also care about nature, the outdoors and the local and global communities. Take Action to identify community and environmental needs, positively impact the environment and educate and inspire others to act as stewards of wildlife and our Earth.
5) What is the difference between volunteer service and action projects?
While service projects are often considered an immediate response to a basic need, action projects address the root cause of a problem. Those who participate in an action project are invited to team up with others to find ways to solve a problem to instill long term benefits on the community and the environment.
Examples of volunteer service or action projects are below:
Service: cleaning up a campsite or performing trail restoration.
Action: Implementing a recycling program at a park or educating visitors to the park about ways to minimize their impact on the trails. Service and action projects can always be combined to create one sustainable program.
6) Can this program contribute toward earning the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award?
The Girl Scout Ranger program is not a part of the qualifications for the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, however experiences you gain from participating in the Girl Scout Ranger program may contribute toward your progress in earning the award. Visit the Girl Scout award webpage for more information on the criteria for earning the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
7) Do I have to conduct projects at multiple park sites, or can I participate at just one park? You can do whatever combination of hours and park units you would like.
8) Can I participate in the program more than once?
Yes. You can of course spend more than five or ten hours participating in an educational program or working on a project or multiple projects. Many action projects are likely to take much longer to plan and implement. However, only one certificate and/or patch will be awarded to a Girl Scout. The NPS is confident you will have so much fun through the experience that you will come back to the park or seek out another park whether you earn an award or not.
9) Why five hours for a certificate and ten hours for a patch?
It is important for Girl Scouts to spend some quality time exploring park resources. Five hours is an afternoon at a national park site and ten hours is two afternoons, or a month of volunteering 2 or 3 hours per weekend. The NPS strongly believes that with these set hour requirements, girls will come away with not just a certificate or patch, but the reward of discovery, sense of awareness and hopefully an interest in something new. Girls should also be able to achieve some of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience outcomes. Flexible participation options for the Girl Scout Ranger program are also integral in reaching girls through diverse Girl Scout Pathways—the way girls and adults participate in Girl Scouting. Girls can participate in the Girl Scout Ranger program through a troop, event offering, special interest, travel, or camp experience.
10) How did this program come about?
The Resource Stewardship Girl Scout Ranger program is a collaboration between the GSUSA and the NPS under the umbrella Linking Girls to the Land program. The nation and the world are increasingly turning to technology which some believe leads to a decrease in children participating in outdoor activities. Girls who participate in outdoor activities that help them expand their horizons will develop new ideas, new perspectives, and an increased appreciation for natural and cultural resource stewardship. The Resource Stewardship Girl Scout Ranger program supports the NPS goal of introducing youth to the outdoors. Beyond that, it is a great opportunity for today’s girls to join together, have fun, and make a difference!
11) Why should I be engaged in this program?
The Girl Scout Ranger program is exciting and fun! You can have fun in the outdoors and at the same time discover something new about yourself and your surroundings. Consider engaging girls in a journey or other Girl Scout program activity in a park and earn hours toward the certificate or patch. There is a project or activity for every grade level. When girls work with the park, projects can be catered towards the girls’ interests and goals. There are many different types of career opportunities with the National Park Service like biology, firefighting, education and interpretation that you could explore! It is so important and very rewarding for you to get outside, take in some fresh air, see wildlife, discover culture, and learn your role in protecting our environment.
12) Where I can learn more about Girl Scout programs and opportunities?
For more information on the Girl Scout Leadership Experience download the following PDFs: The Girl Scout Leadership Experience FAQ The Three Keys to Leadership For more information on Girl Scout Pathways click here.
13) What if I have additional questions about the program?
General questions about the Girl Scout Ranger program can be directed to the NPS Regional Youth Coordinator that oversees programs in your state.
National Park Service Headquarters
Maine, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia
North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio
National Capital Region
District of Columbia
Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma
Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
Pacific West Region
Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam
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