I don’t know about you, but I’m officially in spring-mode. I know that we live in the great Midwest, and therefore the official first day of spring doesn’t necessarily mean no more winter, but I’ve already switched out my boots and my parkas for t-shirts and sandals (and maybe a light jacket). And with Daylight Savings Time officially in action, there’s even more time to enjoy the sunshine after school or work!
As troop leaders, I’m sure you’re itching to get your girls out and about with this warmer weather, so I’ve put together a list of great field trip options for you and your troop to take advantage of throughout the River Valleys area! For more great ideas in your area, check out the full list of field trip opportunities on our website.
102 East Crex Avenue, Grantsburg, WI 54840
Crex Meadows’ Wildlife Education programs offer hands-on experiences to guide girls in discovering new concepts in science, math, literature, art, and more through the natural world – and they have Girl Scout-specific programming for Brownie, Junior, and Cadette badges. Plan your trip to coincide with wildlife arrivals – go in early April to see the Sandhill cranes return to the Midwest!
2640 E Seventh Avenue, North Saint Paul, MN 55109
This scout-centric museum has something for everyone. Brand new troops – and those looking for a refresher – will love learning about the story of Girl Scouts from 1912 to today. If you have some first-time campers in your midst, an overnight at this museum could be a great pre-camp practice run. Or sign up for one of their events – like “S’mores with Juliette: Cooking with Pie Irons” in May!
1000 Rustad Road, Faribault, MN 55021-0186
River Bend Nature Center offers knowledgeable staff naturalists that can help Girl Scouts discover, enjoy, understand, and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds them while earning Brownie, Junior, or Cadette badges. Stop by in April to see the forests of River Bend burst alive with a carpet of wildflowers!
1225 Estabrook Drive, St Paul, MN
Seriously, when is it NOT a great time to visit the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory? Summer hours start in April which means they’re open til 6pm every day, giving you extra daylight hours to trek through a tropical jungle, swim with the polar bears (not literally), and discover new species. Sign up for a Girl Scout badge event or lead your own Scout-safari and stop by one of the great programs offered throughout the day, every day of the week.
Various locations in Minneapolis, MN
Summer is an awesome and empowering time for kids to experience growing independence. Prepare your girls to stay safe while they ride their bikes around the neighborhood, hang out at the park, and walk to their friends’ houses by bringing one of Not Me!’s youth trainings to your troop meeting this spring. Older girls will also benefit from the training as they prepare to go away to college or Destinations trips on their own this summer.
Various locations in the West Metro, MN
Three Rives Park District in the west suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area offers a variety of programs that complement various badges and activities in STEM and Outdoor Awareness. At the different parks, girls can try activities like archery, hiking, geocaching, biking, fishing – plus there are picnic areas for completing your Snacks or Simple Meals badges in the great outdoors.
14220-B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
Already thinking about summer? You don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite girls just because the school year is ending. Spend a Saturday at Big River Farms during the growing season, where girls can learn about basic sustainable agriculture practices and interact with real farmers – and knock off some badge requirements!
60 S 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
For those rainy spring days, girls can learn how to develop creative ideas to solve everyday problems while completing their Inventor or Product Designer badges with Fish & Richardson. Girls will be guided through games, activities and songs by volunteer intellectual property professionals to create their own pretend product patent. No need to travel for this awesome troop opportunity – Fish & Richardson will meet girls at your troop meeting!
P.S. Would your organization like to get involved as an approved Girl Scouts River Valleys field trip destination? Fill out our Field Trip Opportunity Submission form and we can work with you to offer programming that provides girls with the opportunity to earn badges as well!
Natasha Brownlee – Other than chatting with Troop Leaders and planning events, Natasha also works with Gold Awards and runs the In the Loop blog! Her background is in curriculum development, programming, and creative writing. She has bachelor’s degrees in Peace Studies and French and a Masters in Gender, Development & Globalization and has worked with various girl-centered organizations in the US and abroad. Natasha loves traveling around the world, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her dog, Rooney!