We’re celebrating Girl Scouts’ 100-year-plus camping legacy and we want you to take part! Challenge yourself to experience the outdoors by spending a night under the stars. This program is returning for a second year with new challenge patches.
Why It’s Important
Outdoor education is one of the four areas that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Every Girl in a Tent continues a strong tradition in camping and learning outdoor principles such as Leave No Trace. Camping experiences and programs like Every Girl in a Tent afford every girl the opportunity to:
- Explore nature and learn to appreciate and protect the outdoors
- Be challenged to grow in new ways and become better problem solvers
- Unplug from screens and social media – and know that it’s ok to take a break
- Develop leadership skills and become team players
- Have fun exploring and building social bonds within a safe space like Girl Scouts!
Plan Your Trip
- Decide where and when you will camp. Remember, only non-permanent structures count (like a tent or sleeping in the open air under the stars).
- Create a packing list. See our suggestion below.
- Plan your menu and create a shopping list.
- Review helpful resources like our Every Girl in a Tent Progression Guide, Safety Activity Checkpoints and the Travel Progression and Planning article.
- Plan your activities. Hiking? Singing around the campfire? Bird watching? Simple card or board games? The possibilities are endless!
General Packing List
Here is a basic packing list to get you started – customize to fit your trip’s needs! Looking for specific camping items? Check out our Outdoor Gear Rental Resources
- Cooking gear
- Wash bins/biodegradeable soap
- First aid kit
- Garbage bags
Individual Girl Gear
- Water bottle
- Mess kit (plate/bowl/fork/spoon)
- Sleeping bag/pillow
- Sleeping pad
- Sunscreen/insect repellent
- Rain gear
Get Your Patch
Get Your Patch and Share Your Story
After your trip, tell us about it! To earn the patch, complete the Every Girl in a Tent Patch Request Form and share a photo. Don’t forget to tag us on social media with #EveryGirlInATent and @GSRV.
The exclusive glow-in-the-dark Every Girl in a Tent patch can be earned after camping at least one night in a non-permanent structure.
The Multi-Night Challenge add-on patches can be earned after spending 5, 10, 15, or 20 nights camping in a non-permanent structure (nights are cumulative, and do not have to be in the same trip).
Starting October 1, 2019, to earn the Winter Camping add-on patch, girls must camp in a non-permanent structure (tent, quinzhee, hammock, etc.) in cold weather between the months of November and March. To earn the Under the Stars add-on patch, girls must camp outside of a tent. Think hammock, or right there on the ground!
What types of structures count towards Every Girl in a Tent?
Any outdoor, non-permanent structure counts.
- Tarp Shelter
- Platform Tent
- Open-air/sleeping bag under the stars
What types of structures would not count towards Every Girl in a Tent?
Any permanent structure, such as a cabin, camper, car, or yurt.
Is there a cost for the patch(es)?
No. The patches are free to current girl members of Girl Scouts River Valleys.
Can I participate in Every Girl in a Tent with my family?
Yes, girls can earn the Every Girl in a Tent patch by participating in family trips.
Can I request a patch for each member of my family? Can adults earn the patch?
The patches are available for only Girl Scout River Valleys girl members at this time.
Can a girl request the Every Girl in a Tent patch more than once?
Girls may request the Every Girl in a Tent patch once per program level. Example: she earns the patch this year as a 2nd grade Brownie Girl Scout, then she can work towards earning the patch again as a 4th grade Junior Girl Scout. Girls can continue to work towards earning the add-on multiple night patches and request them as they are earned.
Can I request our Every Girl in a Tent patch before our camping trip?
For troop and individual girl patch requests, please submit the form after your trip. We want to hear about your trip and what you learned!
If you are a service unit volunteer in charge of coordinating a service unit encampment where girls could earn the Every Girl in a Tent patch, you may submit the form before OR after your event. (see next question)
I am a service unit volunteer planning a tenting overnight for day camp or a service unit encampment. Can I request the Every Girl in a Tent patch in advance of my event for all girl attendees?
Yes! Use the same patch request form and note that you are requesting the patches for your service unit encampment (there’s a question for that!). It is ok if you request the patches in advance of your event so you can give them out to attendees at your event. Please remember the patch is only for those who spend the night in a non-permanent structure. When asked to share a camping highlight or story, feel free to share a fun activity you plan on doing. You can always reach out to us after your event to share stories and pictures via the Share Your Story form.
Can girls from other councils request or purchase the Every Girl in a Tent patch?
No. This patch is only available to girls who are members in Girl Scouts River Valleys council. Check with your own council to see what patch options they may offer.
How often are the patches mailed if the program goes all year?
The patch request form is open year-round. Due dates for each mailing are listed below. If you submit your form after one of the due dates, your patches will simply be mailed the next time around.
- January 31
- May 31
- July 31
- September 30
Who should track participation and the number of nights camped out for the cumulative multi-night patches?
Participation is “on your honor”. Troops and/or families are responsible for tracking number of nights camped.
We camped for five nights last year, prior to the launch of Every Girl in a Tent – can we request the 5 night patch, or add this number to future camping dates to earn higher add-on night patches?
No. Only trips that were taken after September 1, 2018 count towards the Every Girl in a Tent Challenge.
Do we have to request the Every Girl in a Tent patch and the add-on night patches at the same time? Or can we request them as they are earned?
That is up to you! Example: Your troop did their first camping trip for two nights this fall and have a three-night camping trip planned next summer. You can either request the main Every Girl in a Tent patch now, and then request your 5 Night Patch later this summer, OR you can wait until your second trip and request both patches at the same time.
To earn the multi-night patches, do you add up all the nights during your entire Girl Scout experience? Or, do you start over with counting the nights for each program level?
The multi-night patches are cumulative across all program levels. So, if you camped two nights as a Brownie, and three nights as Junior, you could request the 5-night patch.
Can I sleep in a hammock with a bug net to earn the Under the Stars patch?
Yes, but tents in any form do not count for the Under the Stars patch.
What “counts” as Winter Camping?
Aside from being between the months of November and March, winter camping requires additional preparation and steps for cold weather safety. It’s “on your honor” to decide if your experience qualifies.