How to Earn Service Hours and Badges at a Camporee – Without Preplanning

A weekend campout is an excellent time to earn badges or journeys. But how do you do it without bringing extra bags of supplies or driving yourself nuts as a leader?

I’ll be honest. I’ve tried campouts where I brought every single potential thing I would need to earn xxxx badge or journey. It can make you crazy. Did we fully finish this requirement? Do we have space fore everything? I forgot the xxxx!

This year I tried something different. And I’m not going back.

Our Cadette troop recently attended a camporee with our service unit. I planned ahead and brought a bag of “stuff:” beads and threads for jewelery, bird book, orienteering supplies.

We touched none of it. We also accomplished far more than I ever thought.

The Secret? Read on.

I did two things to help my girls earn badges and service to Girl Scout hours during our campout:

I packed a folder with printouts of a few badges they could work towards. I may have referenced it once. I’ll keep this with me for future reference though.

The second step is far more important.

I wrote down everything those girls did that weekend. Helped work stations for camporee? Noted start and stop times. Taught a troop firebuilding skills? Check. Every detail I could remember, big or small, was written  down on a sheet of paper.

When I returned home I cross referenced those tasks against my current and retired badge books and marked in the spreadsheet. It is that simple.

In a weekend, my Cadettes earned:

  • All but one step of Girl Scout Way badge.
  • A Canadian Girl Guide “Survivor Girl” badge (the only fully planned one we had wanted to do, thanks to a motivated parent)
  • A troop’s own Songs badge we had ordered
  • Parts of camping, public speaking, first aid and a retired advanced outdoor cooking badge (instead of simply doing New Cuisines)
  • 8.5 hours toward the service to Girl Scouts award – all from things they stepped up to do.

The best part? I stressed about none of it.

Take notes. Enjoy the ride.


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