Daughter Wants to Go Camping with Girl Scouts

Updated on March 04, 2010
D.B. asks from Springfield, PA
19 answers

My 8 1/2 year old- will be 9 in July- is in 2nd grade and wants to go camping with her girl scout troop - Friday to Sunday- she is outgoing and is not the kind to be sad without me- but she has never been away from me other than to her dad's or her aunts or another relative occasionally. I think she will have fun -I cannot go because I have other children to take care of - I am a single mom of 3- I do not want to leave my 13 yo son alone all weekend and I do not have anyone to help - I have another daughter 5 years to take care of as well. Do you think it is ok to let my daughter go? There would be other moms there to help and I know not everyone will have their mom going because there are only so many moms that are allowed to go. I have just never been through this before.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I would have her sleep over at one of the girl's houses whose Mom is going ahead of the camping trip and see how she does since it sounds like she's never been away from you before. It sounds like she will be fine based on what you say about her personality though.
My daughter is a girl scout and I've been on many of the weekend trips with her troop and although there has been crying to go home in the middle of the night, we're always able to calm the child down and get through it without calling the parent.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

YES! I have incredible memories from girl scout camp, and it was an awesome experience every time we went.I belive I was in 2nd grade the first time I went with my troop, and in 3rd grade it was a big deal to go on the spring trip with the junior scouts for one night. The women that go on the trips are very capable, and they have lots of activities planned so the girls won't be bored or restless. Agree to the trip, and be ready to hear some wonderful stories when she gets back!

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answers from Indianapolis on

well i really dont know how u feel on this on my son is only five mounths old so i havent been through this one yet but i would let her go its good for her to get out and make new freinds. I know that you will probley worry about her but you will have to just know she is okay. since there will be other moms there and she is almost nine u have to let her start staying places one of these days she is going to want to go stay at a friends house too. now would be a good chance to get used to that. but your the mother you do what u feel



answers from Pittsburgh on

I would feel like you do. It's scary. BUT, I think it's great, though, that she wants to go. My son (7) is shy and he may have a problem with doing that, so I think you should encourage her. I'm sure the other moms will keep a good eye on her. Maybe you can keep in touch with one of them via cell phone?



answers from Pittsburgh on

Absolutely. I went to GS camp at about her age and had a blast! They are required by law, I believe to have a certain ratio of kids to adults.

Hope she has a great time!



answers from Lancaster on

My nine year old daughter went camping with them this past fall and had a ball! It is something she wants to do - and I can't think of a better way to have that "first time away from home"



answers from Montgomery on

Hi D., I'm a troop leader and I have a daughter that is a year younger than yours so I completely understand your reservation about sending her to camp alone. I'd say if she has fun with her troop and is outgoing then she will be fine. Even girls who are naturally shy tends to shine in this environment because they get to show a little independence. There will be a phone there or the troop leader will have one so ask if she will call you if your daughter seems upset. However, I do not suggest calling your daughter because she may experience speration anxiety while speaking to you and want to go home. Besides she'll have an opportunity to meet girls from other troops that will foster new friendships. In the end go with your gut instinct.



answers from Los Angeles on

I would definitely let her do it! I was a girl scout for many years and we frequently did weekend trips where only 2-3 moms would come to supervise the entire troop. I also did week-long summer camp at that age. She will be safe, happy, and have a great time! I STILL remember so many great things about girl scout camp and can't wait to send my own children some day (though right now, I have no daughters!).




answers from Harrisburg on

It's an absolutely fabulous idea! What a great age to go camping for the weekend! She'll love it! It sounds like Mom may not feel ok with it, which is usually the way it works. Mom is a bit concerned, but the child is ready to par-tay! LOL Hope she has a blast!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter is almost the exact same age as yours, so I can understand your reluctance. If there is any sort of problem and your daughter were to become upset, would it be a problem to be notified where you could pick her up early? If that is an option, then what I would do is try to talk to one of the moms who IS going, if there is not one that you are particularly closer to (or your daughter is particularly close to) then choose someone you consider responsible and willing, and then talk to them about sort of "keeping an extra eye" on your daughter, since you aren't able to go along. When you find a willing mom, then talk to your daughter about how this mom will be taking EXTRA care to look out for her, and that if she has a problem that THIS mom is someone she can go to at ANY TIME during the trip for whatever reason. Let that mom know that you can be called to come get your daughter if she thinks it is appropriate, etc.

Your daughter will probably be just FINE. But the added comfort of knowing a specific person to go to if she has any issues (rather than just "one of the moms") can make the difference in her comfort levels while she is on the trip. I always try to designate a particular person for my kids to go to if they have problems... even at drop-off birthday parties. It simplifies things for them.

Hope this helps!



answers from Albuquerque on

I was in girl scouts as a kid, as were both of my sisters. I was also a summer camp counselor when I was in college (week-long camping for brownies through juniors--I had the brownies groups for 3 weeks). I say if you are confident that she is mature enough to behave and won't have severe anxiety leaving you, this is probably the perfect age to let her go! The GS are heavily mandated, so there will always be emergency contact information, adult supervision, and it will be an awesome experience for her. Be sure that you let the troop leader (or whoever is in charge of this trip) know that this is your girls' first trip, that they have your contact info, and that you have theirs. Ask about their adult-to-kid ratio. Do NOT call in the middle of the trip just to "check up" on them! And, it may be hard, but try to put on your bravest, happiest face and let your girl know how proud you are and how she's going to have TONS of fun, etc, etc. Try not to let her see that you're so worried, or it might make her more anxious, or she'll hold back from having fun because she's worried about you. As a camp counselor, I saw many kids come in crying not wanting to leave, but as soon as mom leaves, they are the first to offer to help, explore, etc!
Good luck, I think this would be a wonderful experience for your girl!



answers from Chicago on

If she is well-behaved and you do not think she will try to run off on her own, let her go. This can be the first "independant" thing she gets to do. Girl Scout camping is usually supervised and structured very well. Find out where they will be and if you will be able to contact anyone just in case an emergency comes up. Then listen to her talk about it when she gets back. The first time letting our kids go is hard but can be very rewarding for them, and us as parents as we watch them grow.


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi D., Let her go! She will have so much fun and she will be well taken care of. Girl Scouts has lots of guidelines and rules and regulations not to mention training that each leader must follow and go through before being able to take a troup camping...and for each age level a certian number of adults is required! I have been involved with GS since my oldest (she'll be 18 next week) was in Daisy's in Kindergarten and I personally don't think you could find a better organization to provide great female role models and tons of great growing-up things to do. Don't feel guilty about not being able to go, GS is all about providing opportunities for girls that they normally would not have and trust me when I say almost every girl loves to go to camp...it is the best part for many of them. There are a lot of great camps in PA and they are well maintained and very safe. If you need to get a sleeping bag and mess kits they carry them at WalMart at great prices...and don't forget to mark everything with a sharpie! You can label the stainless mess kit with a sharpie but you may have to re-mark it over the years. Gather a set of old towels, a fitted bottom sheet, a felt-backed plastic table cloth (to use when tent camping to cover bed durring the day) a rain poncho, a flash light with extra batteries (sharpie all this stuff too) and she may need a "sit-upon-bucket" (a large bucket with lid like the ones you can buy for $5 at Home Depot) and large zip-lock bags (to pack her clothes in by outfit <socks, undies, shirt, pants> this will keep them dry no matter what and she can put her dirties into the empty bag) and send her on her way. The leader should provide you with a list of stuff to pack for each event...extra socks and an old pair of shoes are a must as well....Scouts love to get into water and mud as weather allows! I also recommend that you get her a disposable camera to take along...keeping a scrap book of scouting outtings is great fun over the years as well. If you have any questions just talk to your leader! Have fun! Best wishes.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, D.:

This the time when your children start making friends and doing this with them. It is great that you are willing to let her go by herself.

It takes a village to raise a child. She will learn to trust others to help her as she journeys through life. You will miss thee responsibility but take a breather while she is away.
Good luck. D.



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi D..

I am a Girl Scout Leader. While this is my first year as a leader, I have been an assistant since my daughter was a Brownie (about 7 years). So, I've been to camp with a couple of different levels of Girl Scouts.

It's always difficult to know for sure if our daughters will be okay with out us, especially for a weekend. If she has a good relationship with the leader and with the other girls, she should be fine. If you are okay with the worst case scenario -- that you have to go pick her up because she is inconsolable, then you should feel comfortable letting her go. Camp is exciting for girls this age -- okay, most ages. So she may miss you and may wish you were there some times, she will probably be enjoying herself and having fun.

The leaders have background checks done and have to be certified in camping and first aid. Your daughter will be safe.

In the end, you have to do what you feel comfortable with.



answers from Allentown on

YES! Please, let her go! It will be a wonderful opportunity for her and she will have a great time. As you said, there will be other moms there and she will be with friends. Girl Scouting is a wonderful organization and will be great for her to have on her resume when she gets older and applies to college.



answers from Chicago on

Let her go. My oldest daughter did many overnight trips. I did go on some because I wanted to spend this time with her, however I would have let her go either way. As long as your daughter has no issues with being without you then send her.



answers from Philadelphia on

Definately. She will enjoy herself. I have a 9 year old myself and she enjoys camping (we go every year). I have also been a girl scout and went camping without mom at about 7 for a week. Trust me with all the activities that are normally planned she will rarely be bored or even think about home and think of the adventure stories she'll share when she returns.

Plus if she has a phone (If there're going to Camp Laughing Waters she'll have a signal) just have her call you or you can call her just to check up.



answers from Indianapolis on


I'd highly encourage her to go if you can swing it financially and if she really wants to go. That was my favorite part of Girl Scouts. My parents never attended, but the parents that did were really attentive and responsible. I was probably right around the same age.

It's good for kids to have the opportunity to be in other environments. I had never really been away from home before I went to college (we didn't do summer camps, etc). I chose a school 650 miles from home and did amazingly well.

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