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5 Girl Scout Badges for the Budding Naturalist

The great outdoors has always inspired human curiosity, courage, and determination. From lesser known naturalist heroines like Rachel Carson and Herma Albertson Baggley to great conservationists like Jane Goodall, women have always had a place in exploring nature. But you don’t have to live with chimpanzees or trailblaze Yellowstone National Park to inspire a love of the outdoors in your girls! Dive into the complex beauty and diversity of the natural world with the Girl Scout Naturalist badges. We’ve got all the resources and skill-building activities you’ll need to teach your girls about the world around them, from Brownies to Ambassadors.

We’ve got all the resources and skill-building activities you’ll need to teach your girls about the world around them, from Brownies to Ambassadors.

Brownie Bugs

The Brownie Bugs badge will help your girls get to know the smallest residents of the natural world. Far from being gross, bugs will be your girls’ valued guides to understanding ecosystems and food chains. You’ll build bug crafts, learn about their habits and habitats, and even go on a field trip to see them in their natural environment. Visit the Reid Park Zoon, find a local butterfly exhibit (such as the Tucson Botanical Garden), or for extremely brave Brownies, find a hike to go on!

Junior Flowers

Channel that flower power with the Junior Flowers badge! Talk to experts, identify different flowers and how they work, and explore their many uses—from medicines to tea to aromatherapy, flowers have many uses. (For example, did you know you can use these colorful plants to send secret messages? It’s called floriography!) Talk to a beekeeper about the role of bees and wildflowers in our food supply system, or learn more about blossoming beauties!

Cadette Trees

Trees are tree-mendously important: they provide nuts and fruit for food, shelter from the rain and shade on sunny days, and most vitally, they breathe in our carbon dioxide and breathe out clean, fresh oxygen, which keeps our whole planet alive! The Cadette Trees badge is an incredible opportunity to get to the root of what makes these majestic plants so amazing. Design your dream treehouse, make a tree map of your neighborhood and identify the different species, or debate the pros and cons of logging and deforestation. Get to know your tree friends better by hiking through a grove of California Redwoods (Muir Woods, Calaveras or Sequoia National Parks are some of the best places) going apple, orange, or even avocado picking in a local orchard, or branch out by visiting a local fire tower for a panoramic view of a forest.

Senior Sky

Sun, moon, clouds, stars—your girls will stretch their minds beyond our planet to learn about all the wonders seen and unseen (or that need a telescope) with the Senior Sky badge! Spot planets and identify constellations by hosting a star party, listen to sky creation myths from cultures around the world (including your own!), and understand the science behind air and light pollution. Visit your local planetarium, take photos of the stars with a night photography class, watch (and discuss) a TED Talk on climate change, or reach for the stars with Girl Scouts’ space science program!

Ambassador Water

Water may make up 71% of our planet, but it’s still a precious resource vital to all life on earth (and we think it’s pretty swell!) Dive into this beautiful element with the Ambassador Water badge! Make music from water sounds (or even build your own fountain) or learn about sustainability at a water treatment or desalinization plant. Design a new water filtration device, suggest water policy ideas to your local representatives, or get involved with marine conservation.

From land to sea to sky, from the smallest insect to the majestic redwoods, the outdoors has always been the heart and soul of the Girl Scout experience. No matter the age of your troop, there are exciting experiences in nature, science, and adventure waiting for you just around the river bend. So get outdoors, breathe that fresh air, and earn some naturalist badges!

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