Can Scouting Dissolve Barriers to the Outdoors?


Scouting organizations are a solution for families who may not know how to begin to engage with the outdoors. These historic organizations provide the infrastructure, knowledge, and the equipment that takes the guesswork out of outdoor exploration.

Even though my own parents were “country folk”, they were not campers. It was my experience with the Girl Scouts as a kid and later with Outward Bound as an adult that expanded my joy, technical savvy, and ecological perspective about the outdoors that I am now able to pass on to my kids. Even though the scouts have had some negative press in recent years, our troop experience has been nothing short of amazing and relevant for the growth and development of my son Seth, and I have been welcomed as a parent volunteer.

I just got Seth and three of his fellow Troop 24 members off to Wolfeboro this week, a Boy Scout camp located near Yosemite. His troop has had a tradition of visiting the site each year since the 1920’s. While driving up through the forest, I remembered fondly my own trips with the Scouts as a girl, recalling the whispered secrets and giggles that went on through the night under the stars, and the adventure of hiking and singing along lush mountain trails. Those experiences were a foundation for the passion I have for the outdoors today. For my 12 year old son, this is his first extended “roughing it” trip without me, where he will not only be sleeping on the ground, but also managing the responsibility for meal preparation and chores with his fellow troop members. He is getting a big dose of the natural world, while also learning about self sufficiency and peer group leadership — lessons for a lifetime.

Contact your local scouting organization to learn more:

Girl Scouts of America

Boy Scouts of America

Spiral Scouts


6 Thoughts on “Can Scouting Dissolve Barriers to the Outdoors?”

  • I am thrilled to discover your website – I have been a Girl Scout adult volunteer for nearly 20 years and am primarily involved as an outdoor skills trainer. Whenever I ask any woman if she was a Girl Scout as a girl, if she says yes, I ask her what her most vivid memory is. Almost invariably the memory involves an outdoor experience. We try very hard to teach adults how to be comfortable in the outdoors with other people's children – after all, the kids can't go without the adults. I will share your website with my GS Council. Keep up the great work!

  • Oh Smoky Scout — my hat is off to you as someone who instills in youth a lifelong passion for the outdoors. My daughter is 7 and I am certain I'll lead her troop — thanks you for your example for us all to follow!

  • Boy Scouts did WONDERS for my horizons…
    I extended my love for tree climbing and exploring in my back yard to rappelling, white water rafting, and of course camping.

    I highly recommend the "Waters Creek" area near Blood Mtn in norther GA for new and experienced outdoor Afro's!

    -delano :c)

  • i have three scouts and it's a wonderful experience for them; two are star scouts and my youngest is working on his tenderfoot rank. it would be nice to see more of us involved in scouting.

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