Travel, the Girl Scout way

button image labeled Juliette Gordon Low birthplaceSince I live inside Girl Scouts of Central Texas’ council, these notes and links are specific to GSCTX. But if you find this page while wandering on the interwebs, chances are good these notes will be useful where you are, too.

adult training requirements

These notes are made to go with a workshop entitled Birthplace Bound, all about taking Girl Scout troops to Savannah, GA from Central Texas. No one-hour specialty workshop can take the place of Actual Girl Scout Adult Training. Even I can’t talk that fast.

To take girls and troops to Savannah and back, at least one travelling-with adult will need to have:

Consider having other travelling-with adults take the GSCTX Chaperone Course (online), so that all adults are on the same page about expectations for girls and for adults.

girl planning aids

Girl Scouts is girl-led! Since we’re all about girls gaining experience, hand over as much planning as possible to the girls. Naturally you’ll make certain everyone will be safe and Girl Scout requirements and Safety Activity Checkpoints are followed…but particularly if you’re working with older girls, give them copies of those guidelines so they can do that part, too. Feel free, too, to edit some parts of the planning experience to better fit the time and attention spans of the girls you’re working with. The goal is for the girls to own absolutely as much of the experience as possible, from glimmer in the eye to “So, how do you think that went?” when they get home. Letting the girls price a sailboat charter and crew to get from Galveston to Savannah doesn’t take that much additional time—and the ownership it gives the girls is priceless. (Note: girls cannot crew their own boat to Georgia, according to Volunteer Essentials Chapter 4: Safety Wise. Transportation must be staffed by licensed folk 18 and older. Very disappointing news to my troop!)

adult planning aids

In addition to Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints, pay particular attention to the great information in:

travel forms and timeframes (adults)

GSCTX has a great downloadable Travel Checklist for Domestic Trips that covers this info and more, but here are the highlights:

  • An Intent to Travel form for domestic travel should be submitted no later than 6 months prior to departure for Cadette/Senior/Ambassador groups, 12 months prior for Junior or Brownie groups.
  • Get parent overnight & extended travel permission forms and health histories for all attending girls. Get health histories for all travelling adults, too.
  • Purchase Girl Scout travel insurance. Don’t worry; it’s cheap. Contact Customer Care to get routed to the right person.
  • A Troop Travel Application form should be submitted 10 weeks prior to departure. Note that this is a much longer timeframe than is listed for local overnights and/or regional travel.

I hope this helps you feel more grounded as you get ready to start your girls on their travel adventures. Travel is one of those fantastic gifts that we adult Girl Scouts can give our girls. These are the experiences that make us different from other organizations, and that give our girls lived-out resilience that they will rely on well into adulthood. “Hey, I can do this project at work. After all, I planned a trip to Savannah, GA when I was in middle school!”