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Central California Girl Scouts Bridge Outdoor Gender Gap
Girl Scouts
Coming from an 18-county area, close to 600 Girl Scouts from within the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California organization had the opportunity recently to gather for a campout featuring a wide range of outdoor activities at Lake Camanche. Photo Contributed


Girl Scouts Heart of Central California recently crushed the outdoor gender gap, when nearly 600 girls and 260 adult volunteers in an 18-county region descended on Lake Camanche to learn or improve their skills in archery, fishing, paddling, and horseback riding.

The Outdoor Adventure Campout was an overnight camping experience, hosted in late April, for Girl Scouts in grades K-12. Participants chose from one of four “trails,” to focus their weekend on fishing, horses, paddling, or target sports. All girls were able to hone their outdoor survival skills, climb a rock wall, swim in a lake, camp with their troop, and learn more about nature.

According to the 2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report, funded by the Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association, 2021 had the highest rate of American participation in outdoor activities on record, largely due to COVID-19. However, nearly half of the U.S. population did not share in the positive health outcomes of the outdoors. In addition, female participation in outdoor activities remained stagnant at just 46 percent, despite the fact 51 percent of the U.S. population is female.

The inaugural Outdoor Adventure Campout occurred in 2019 with 600 total participants, including adult volunteers. Out of concern for the health and safety of girls and volunteers, events in 2020 and 2021 were conducted virtually, and girls camped in their backyards and living rooms.

“We are thrilled to see a 40 percent participation increase from the 2019 Outdoor Adventure Campout,” said GSHCC CEO Dr. Linda E. Farley. “We are even more thrilled to bring this in-person event back to girls in Central California. It is absolutely essential to us that girls have a safe place to get outside, try new activities, and feel supported by their peers and the adults around them.”

The Girl Scouts Heart of Central California covers 18 counties, including both Stanislaus and San Joaquin.

To learn more about the opportunities Girl Scouts offers, or to learn more about volunteering, visit

Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.

Girl Scouts
Nearly 600 Girl Scouts and 260 adult volunteers from an 18-county region, including San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, descended on Lake Camanche recently for an Outdoor Adventure Campout to learn or improve their skills in archery, fishing, paddling, and horseback riding. Photo Contributed