From the city block to the suburban back yard to the back country, Girl Scouts has a long and storied history of getting girls outdoors.

While Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines summer camps will not be open this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts is committed to ensuring that all girls are provided with opportunities to learn and explore this summer both in the outdoors and from the comfort of their homes while staying safe and adhering to evolving social distancing guidelines.

The outdoor experience is very important in Girl Scouts and is greatly valued at Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines, and the council has developed a variety of opportunities for girls of all ages as part of the Beyond Ordinary Summer Program.

Through the Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines Beyond Ordinary Summer Program, girls can stay entertained and engaged in virtual and in-person environmental activities all summer long. Offerings include virtual summer camps, guided badgework activities and exciting virtual events based outdoors and indoors.

These opportunities will ensure girls across central and eastern North Carolina have access to a variety of fun, challenging, and experiential activities so they can continue to develop essential skills and behaviors that will help them become effective leaders in the outdoors and beyond.

During weekly virtual camp sessions, girls entering grades 2-12 will spend three hours of time engaged in online activities led by staff and an additional one-to-two hours of independent time as they follow prompts to explore, create and play on their own each day. Mini-sessions are available for girls entering kindergarten and first grade.

Additional opportunities separate from the virtual camp sessions include weekly Friendship Fire events to imitate the fireside chat feel, events with partner organizations where girls can earn patches, and more. Through these activities, girls can continue to make new friends and memories this summer despite limited safe and accessible outdoor options.

The Beyond Ordinary Summer Program opportunities are available to all girls, not just Girl Scouts, and financial assistance is available to those with a need so that all girls are able to benefit from outdoor experiences this summer.

Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines recognizes that this has been a difficult and confusing time for girls as they have transitioned to school at home and with many events that they have looked forward to being cancelled, and the purpose of the Beyond Ordinary Summer Program is to provide them with an outlet to discover their passions and try new things in a supportive environment.

When girls spend quality time outdoors and increase their exposure to nature, they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually. According to a 2019 Girl Scouts Research Institute study titled “Girl Scouts Soar in the Outdoors,” 86 percent of girls agree they learned more about nature through Girl Scouts, and 80 percent state that they participated in outdoor activities through Girl Scouts that they never would have done otherwise.

While summer this year will be unconventional, Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines is excited to offer girls innovative new activities to engage in the outdoors.

Girls and parents can learn more about the Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines Beyond Summer Program by visiting the Girl Scouting home page at nccoastalpines.org.

In addition to Girl Scouts–North Carolina Coastal Pines offerings, Girl Scouts of the USA has launched the Girl Scout Camp Adventures at Home Marketplace with even more opportunities for girls to get outdoors from home, and families are encouraged to explore those as well.