1) How do I brainstorm ideas for projects or activities in which to participate? Your answers to the following questions might help you decide on a project that you want to complete.
a) Is there something about science, nature or history that you would like to learn?
b) Is there a project on the park webpage that you find fascinating?
c) Which interests you more: exploring an educational project or being engaged in a volunteer service project?
d) How many girls plan to take part in the project?
e) What is the time frame 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 the Girl Scouts and how many will participate
b) Time frame 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 commonly has many responsibilities. It might be the volunteer coordinator, a park interpreter, or the youth programs coordinator. Ask for one of these individuals. If you cannot reach one of the aforementioned, contact the NPS Regional Youth Programs Coordinator in your state. (a list of names follows these FAQs).
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. Service and action projects can always be combined to create one sustainable program. Here are a few examples of service and action projects.
- Service - cleaning up a campsite; performing trail restoration.
- Action - implementing a recycling program at a park; educating visitors about ways to minimize their impact on the trails.
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.
You can do whatever combination of hours and park units you would like.
8) May I participate in a program more than once?
Yes, you can! Some action (and service) projects are likely to take much longer to plan and implement. Only one certificate and/or patch will be awarded to a Girl Scout. Hopefully, you will have so much fun through the experience that you will return 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?
Girls scouts are awarded a program certificate upon completion of set hour requirements for the program (5 hours for a certificate, 10 hours for the Girl Scout Ranger patch). We strongly believe 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 continuing their experiences at national parks that will build from awareness to knowledge, from interest and skills to participation, and ultimately to conservation as a value and habit, in addition to achieving Girl Scout leadership outcomes. The hour requirement can be met through a series of park experiences, so the program’s flexible participation design ensures that we afford Girl Scouts with the opportunity to have a continuum of diverse park experiences that foster long-term engagement with the NPS and the outdoors.
10) How did this program come about?
The Girl Scout Ranger program is a collaboration between the GSUSA and the NPS under the umbrella Linking Girls to the Land program. It is an expansion of the former Resource Stewardship Girl Scout Ranger Program.
As the nation and the world are increasingly turning to technology, some believe this leads to a decrease in children participating in outdoor activities. The Girl Scout Ranger program supports the NPS goal of introducing youth to the outdoors. The experience provides girls the opporuntiy to expand their horizons, develop new ideas, new perspectives, and gain an increased appreciation for natural and cultural resource stewardship. The Girl Scout Ranger program is also a great opportunity for 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?