We’re so lucky to live in Northern California, where we’re never lacking in outdoor adventure options. From hikes in the park to backpacking through Yosemite, our troops have the whole world right in their backyard! Rain or shine, it’s undeniable that our girls love the fun and excitement of high adventures and, as girls get older and progress through Girl Scouts, their options for adventures just get better and better. Horseback riding, white-water rafting, fencing, sailing… you name it, our Girl Scouts have done it and your girls can too!

Whether you’ve got a troop full of thrill-seekers, or just want to add some fun to your Girl Scout year, here are the top 10 high adventure activities for Girl Scouts:

Ice Skating

Age Levels: Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

From Daisies to Ambassadors, ice skating is a cool adventure for girls and their families. The sport is popular during the winter months when the temperature drops and the outdoor ice rinks open, but with indoor skating rinks widely available, girls can enjoy the joy of skating year-round.

Horseback Riding

Age Levels: Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

Girl Scout on Horseback

One of the first high adventure activities that girls participate in during their Brownie years is horseback riding. In fact, I’ve seen Brownies bridge to Juniors on horseback – definitely an awesome bridging ceremony they’ll never forget!

Did you know? Many riding facilities also offer great educational programs that teach girls about caring for horses along with their riding lessons. And, hey, if your girls discover a passion for horseback riding, they can saddle up at one of our Girl Scout camps or older girl destinations, too.

Tree Climbing

Age Levels: Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

Girl Scout Climbing a Tree

Girls of all ages will can reach new heights and feel on top of the world from the canopies of the forests. With the help of ropes, saddles, and climbing techniques, girls can experience a safe and exhilarating climb while also leaving the trees unharmed.

Rock Climbing and Rappelling

Age Levels: Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

Girl Scout Rock Climbing in Costa Rica

If your Brownies or older girls aren’t interested in trees, they can climb rocks instead! Whether they want to stay indoors or explore the outdoors, girls can experience various types of climbing.

New to rock climbing? Try indoor climbing first so your girls can climb artificial rock walls with belay and harness rope courses. Once your girls have a little more experience, they can explore bouldering, and then for the most experienced climbers, multi-pitch climbing is a safe and challenging alternative.

Indoor Simulated Skydiving*

Age Levels: Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

No need to pack a parachute or jump out of a plane for this skydiving adventure! Indoor simulated skydiving is the safest way to help your girls float and fly in the wind without even stepping outdoors. Your girls won’t want to miss the weightless sensation of this indoor freefall experience.

*As of 2017, indoor simulated skydiving has been added to the approved activities list for GSNorCal and a change in the Volunteer Essentials will be updated to reflect this addition to the available high adventure activities for girls. Skydiving and zero-gravity rooms are still not allowed.

Segway Tours

Age Levels: Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

Travel in style through the city or down the boardwalk with a Segway personal transportation device where girls will get to test their balance as they lean back and forth on the electric-powered wheels. At 12.5 miles an hour, they’ll be seeing both the urban and historic areas in no time!

Shooting Sports

Age Levels: 12 years of age and older with approval from your Girl Scout council

Take aim and help your girls hit their mark! From BB guns to rifles, girls can visit their local council-approved shooting ranges to learn gun safety and shooting basics. By practicing good shooting, girls develop essential skills, such as focus, patience, and determination that will come in handy later in life.

Backpacking

Age Levels: Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

Girl Scouts Backpacking

For a low budget excursion, backpacking is great for exploring the new urban areas or backcountry wilderness. No matter the destination, a backpacker’s primary mission is to explore on foot, while carrying all her gear in a pack and being a good steward of the land! If your girls are interested in backpacking, check out one of our specialized Girl Scout programs or start planning your adventure as a troop.

Indoor Trampoline Parks

Age Levels: Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors

Your girls will literally flip and bounce off the walls at indoor trampoline parks! These parks give girls an extra spring in their steps as they jump, fly, and laugh together.

White-Water Rafting

Age Levels: Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, Class IV rapids and below

Girl Scouts White Water Rafting

Whether your girls are high adventure seekers or general outdoor enthusiasts, white-water rafting is a rip-roaring experience worth diving into. The level of rafting difficulty is measured by white-water classification, which ranges from classes I to VI. Class I represents water with very few rough areas that are suitable for beginners, while Class VI rapids are considered to be extremely dangerous and generally impassable. No matter how many times your troop has been out on the rapids, there’s always a new adventure just around the [river] bend!

These 10 high adventure activities are really just the tip of the iceberg — they’re the newest and most popular among girls at GSNorCal, but there are so many more options available. From learning to fence and sword fight, to exploring the seas and sailing, trust us, your girls’ next adventure is out there!

To help plan your next adventure, make sure to check out the High Adventure Planning page for information on Approved Vendors you can visit and the process to plan your trip!

Have questions about high adventure activities for your troop? We’re here to help! Contact our Travel & Risk Management department by emailing travel@girlscoutsnorcal.org.


Tiffany PhamvuTiffany Phamvu—Tiffany is the Risk Management, Dispute Resolution & Travel Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she supports girls and volunteers in their planning endeavors from troop meetings to travel adventures around the world. She is a Northern California native but has spent time living all over the world. Tiffany is an avid traveler (having visited 19 countries so far!) and an outdoor enthusiast who’s scared of heights, but loves to zip line. Her favorite thing about Girl Scouts is all the opportunities to go on adventures that are available through the Girl Scout program.