Program Activities

From A to Z, the GSSJC Girl Experience and Outdoor Experience Departments have events and activities to keep you and your troop busy all year long! Check out this list of Program Activities, and you will have a hard time choosing what to do!

Program volunteers and staff strive to make sure that GSSJC offerings are fun, educational, and challenging. Many of these opportunities, at the Region and Council-Wide level, are planned and led by volunteers, in conjunction with the staff from the Community Engagement and Member Experience and Outdoor Experience Departments. Volunteer Genevieve Walls is the Outdoor Experience Coordinator and her staff partner is Linda Pau, Outdoor Experience Director. Volunteers Dave Lee and Kim Lyman are the GSLE Coordinators and their staff partner is Rebecca Tirrell, Girl Experience Director.

Our goal is to include a wide variety of opportunities for girls, no matter what their age. girlscouting activities New and exciting experiences are developed and implemented frequently. Listed here is a selection of program offerings. The Program Activities section of each issue of The Golden Link contains upcoming events. The most current offerings are listed on the website, under the Council Information Network (CIN).

Archery
Learn about archery and perfect your skills by attending Archery for Troops session available to Girl Scout Brownies and older, individuals and/or troops. More experienced archers can join Archers in Motion (AIM), a special interest group for girls 8 and older that meets once a month. For more information, contact George Ann Barrett at 713-292-0313 or gbarrett@sjgs.org.

Astronomy
Learn all about astronomy and learn how to use a telescope. Mentor other Girl Scouts during astronomy programs and troop camping. In addition, the group decides what field trips, speakers and subjects they want to explore and they do it! For more information, contact Mary LeMaster at 713-292-0357 or mlemaster@sjgs.org .

Baby-sitting Classes
A Red Cross babysitting course is designed to teach girls how to handle emergencies, prevent accidents and recognize child development and abilities, and to instill competent baby-sitting practices. Basic first aid and rescue breathing skills are included in this year-round program for Girl Scouts 12 years and older. For more information, contact Liz Atton at 713-292-0269 or latton@sjgs.org.

Backpacking
Backpacking groups organize weekend trips on a monthly basis from September to May and extended trips for Spring Break, summer, and resident camp sessions. Not only is backpacking a great way to keep fit, but it is also a great way for novice backpackers to gain skills and to meet people who share the same interests and love for the outdoors. Girls age 11 to adult may participate in the backpacking program. For more information, contact Lisa Cearfoss at 713-292-0232 or lcearfoss@sjgs.org.

Big Boats
Imagine sailing in a 24' to 27' sailboat on Galveston Bay!  Troops are able to sign up for day experiences provided they have appropriate Red Cross Level IV swim cards and Safe Boating Test cards.  Boats are captained by certified volunteers.  Program is offered during the school year.  For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.   

Canoeing
Second Year Girl Scout Daisies and older may go troop canoeing year-round at Camps Robinwood, Agnes Arnold or Whispering Pines with a certified leader, or they may participate in the Council's canoeing and paddling workshops. Summer time also brings many canoeing opportunities during Camp Agnes Arnold resident camp sessions. For more information, contact Lisa Cearfoss at 713-292-0233 or lcearfoss@sjgs.org.

Carousel
Troop camping is year-round fun for second–year Girl Scout Daisies and older.  Each weekend is planned with a unique theme and held at one of GSSJC's camps.  Girls may participate in activities such as swimming, canoeing, hiking, arts and crafts, and archery. For more information, contact George Ann Barrett at 713-292-0313 or gbarrett@sjgs.org

Challenge Course
The Challenge Course at Camp Silver Springs is a wilderness-type experience in a fixed setting.  Low ropes elements will first challenge your troop through a series of real and imaginary obstacles by way of cooperative games, group initiatives, trust-building games and a variety of structures (usually 12-18 inches off the ground) that test physical strength, stamina, agility, balance and flexibility.  A second day on the ropes course may progress to the high elements where you might be flying down the Zip Line, climbing the cargo net or leaping off the pamper pole. It's a day of challenge and team building for troops aged 12 and up. For more information, contact Rebecca Tirrell at 713-292-0353 or rtirrell@sjgs.org.

Council History Committee
The Council History Committee offers docent guided tours of the Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History in the Program Place for Girls, offers uniform check out kits, serves as event hostesses (including Juliette Low Tea Parties), develops the publication “S'More About GSSJC” and functions as the archival trained keepers of GSSJC history. For more information, contact Mary LeMaster at 713-292-0357 or mlemaster@sjgs.org.

Council Library
The Council Library is filled with resources containing troop meeting program ideas, songs and information. Adult volunteers and girls of all ages are welcome to check out books for two weeks. Libraries are located at the Program Place for Girls and the Lufkin Service Center  Rebecca Tirrell at 713-292-0353 or rtirrell@sjgs.org.

Council Patch Programs
These patch programs are special recognitions for girls developed when girls, volunteers, or staff members discover areas of interest not included in the Girl Scouts of the USA recognition programs. For more information, contact Kelli Cavenah at 713-292-0271 or kcavenah@sjgs.org .  

Council Planned Trips
GSSJC plans trips across the USA for second-year Girl Scout Juniors and to international destinations for girls age 14 and older. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.orgg.

Counselor-In-Training (CIT)
GSUSA's Girl Leadership Training requires (CIT) three weeks of core training, followed by the possibility of being hired as camp staff! Girls must be Seniors and Ambassadors. For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.

Creative Writing
Girls of all ages can write and illustrate their own books for the Kappa Delta “Share a Story” patch program, and Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors can participate in writing workshops that allow them to explore poetry, fiction and playwriting. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

Day/Twilight Camps
Make new friends and experience new adventures at camp. Day/Twilight camps offer a wide variety of fun activities for girls of all ages, including earning badges! For more information, contact Lisa Cearfoss at 713-292-0233 or lcearfoss@sjgs.org.  

Destinations
Individual girls 11-17 can apply for trips to fabulous destinations. National and international opportunities await Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world. For a list of trips, go to www.girlscouts.org/destinations. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

Environmental Awareness
Girl Scouts of all ages learn about their environment through troop, community and Council-wide events. Community partners offer activities at their locations while volunteers and staff may plan workshops on subjects such as animal tracks and plants at council locations or area nature centers.  For more information, contact Melissa Hardy at 713-292-0376 or mhardy@sjgs.org.

Environmental Mini-Grants
Funding is available for troops, communities, groups of girls or individual girls at all levels to develop environmental projects. The projects can deal with any environmental issue such as energy or water conservation, waste management/recycling and increasing green space by planting gardens. For more information, contact Melissa Hardy at 713-292-0376 or mhardy@sjgs.org.

Equitation
Multiple opportunities for girls of all ages to participate in horse activities are available. Troops camping at Camps Silver Springs, Agnes Arnold, Robinwood, or Misty Meadows can register for “Weekend Horseback Riding” sessions. Love, Hug, and Groom is available most weekends for all levels.  Girls learn about grooming tools and tour the McNair Equestrian Center. Girls 13 years of age or older can become SPURS (Super People Using Riding Skills) and be involved with the equitation program. There are also opportunities during resident camp for third year Girl Scout Brownies-Ambassadors.

Weekend equitation experiences are offered ten – twelve times each year for girls who are in fifth grade or above at Camp Myra S. Pryor.  Program activities begin on Friday evening, and conclude shortly after noon on Sunday.  Three levels of activities (Saddlehorns, Rustlers and Wranglers) are offered, providing built-in progression of both horse knowledge and riding skills.  Girls who have completed all three levels, and who are at least 13 years old, may attend the Horse PA Weekend Training to become STARS (Scouts Trained as Riding Staff) if they are interested in teaching horse skills to younger girls who attend the Camp Myra S. Pryor program weekends.  For more information, contact George Ann Barrett at 713-292-0313 or gbarrett@sjgs.org

Family Camping
Camping can extend to the entire family. Camp Whispering Pines, located in Garrison, has spaces for family campers, and additional GSSJC camp properties may welcome family camping during designated times of the year.

First Aid Classes
Safety first--and it starts with knowledge provided by the American Red Cross.  Various sessions are available depending on age. For more information, contact Judy Syring at 713-292-0254 or jsyring@sjgs.org.

GAM
This nautical-themed day event is held in odd-numbered years at Camp Casa Mare.  It includes events designed for Girl Scout Juniors through Ambassadors.  For more information, contact Liz Atton at 713-292-0269 or latton@sjgs.org.  

Girl Planning Boards
Girls have a democratic and creative leadership role in the planning of events that affect them. For more information, contact the Program Department at 713-292-0300 or look to The Golden Link for Council and community level events that need girl planning board members.

Girl Scouts of the USA Bronze Award
The Bronze Award is the highest award that Girl Scout Juniors (or girls in fourth and fifth grade) can earn. The Bronze Award allows girls to work as a troop to identify issues in their community and explore sustainable solutions and national connections. For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org .

Girl Scout Brownie Magic
Plan for a day of magical fun! Set aside a Saturday in the fall for this event—troops can experience camp, learn Girl Scout ways and songs, and learn a little science-based magic. For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org.

Girl Scout Cadette Weekend
Held in even-numbered years, this event is designed for Girl Scout Cadettes, or girls ages 11 to 14. Coordinated by a girl planning board, participants can expect anything from activity rotations to random, free-roaming fun. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award
The Gold Award is the highest award that Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (or girls in ninth through twelfth grade) can earn. Gold Award candidates identify the root cause of issues in their community, and work to achieve sustainable issues, while researching the global and national links and solutions to their community issue. For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org .

Girl Scouts of the USA Silver Award
The Silver Award is the highest award that Girl Scout Cadettes (or girls in sixth through eighth grade) can earn. Silver Awardees work in a team or individually to enact change in their communities with plans for sustainable solutions. For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org .

Gold Award Recognition Event
This annual spring event recognizes Gold Award recipients. For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org .

Green Starlettes Drill Team
Green Starlettes offer dance clinics for troops as well as opportunities for individual girls to join the Green Starlettes Drill Team. The girls, 4th grade and older, often perform at university and Council events or at professional events such as half-time performances with the Aeros and Rockets.  For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.  

Health and Safety Weekend
Canoeing, first aid, CPR, swimming, babysitting, and more is held during summer training at Camp Agnes Arnold for Girl Scout Brownies and older.  For more information, contact Liz Atton at 713-292-0269 or latton@sjgs.org.

Healthy Living
Girls of all ages explore nutrition, physical activity and other healthy living topics. Activities focus on emotional, physical and mental health. For more information, contact Rebecca Tirrell at 713-292-0353 or rtirrell@sjgs.org

Hiking
Enjoy a fun adventure in hiking at a Girl Scout camp. Come see the beautiful green forests and hills that surround our camps and learn about trees, animals, insects and fungi. Guided hikes are available at Camps Agnes Arnold, Misty Meadows, Robinwood and Silver Springs and are led by certified foresters and naturalists. This is fun for girls of all ages, whether weekend camping or just there for the day. For more information, contact Melissa Hardy at 713-292-0376 or mhardy@sjgs.org.

Lifeguards
Girls and boys (16 years and older), who have completed Red Cross Lifeguard certification, have the opportunity to work in paid camp positions during fall, spring, and summer seasons. For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.
 
Nature Center Workshops
Whether girls are spending the weekend at camp, or just want to enjoy a camp setting for a day-only activity – they should head to the Nature Center at Camp Agnes Arnold for mini nature workshops. Led by a naturalist, girls of all ages can explore astronomy, amphibians, plants and more! For more information, contact Melissa Hardy at 713-292-0376 or jewilliams@sjgs.org

Overnight on the Tall Ship Elissa
Girl Scouts can experience a sailor's life from the days of old, in a special overnight adventure aboard the Elissa, docked at Pier 21 in Galveston. For more information, contact Melissa Hardy at 713-292-0376 or mhardy@sjgs.org.  

Pro Sports
Sport clinics and special game tickets for girls of all ages and their families are organized throughout the year with various local professional and university sports teams. For more information, contact Lisa Cearfoss at 713-292-0233 or   For more information, contact lcearfoss@sjgs.org at 713-292-0233 or lcearfoss@sjgs.org.

Program Aide
Girl Scout Cadettes can learn how to relate to younger girls and to effectively lead them in program. This national level teen mentoring award prepares girls to create and teach in a variety of settings from day camps to one day events.   For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org .

Red Cross Instructors
Training courses are for girls, age 17 and older, and adults. Become an instructor in an area where GSSJC needs help:  First Aid, CPR, Baby-sitting, and more.  For more information, contact Liz Atton at 713-292-0269 or latton@sjgs.org.

Resident Camps
Camps Agnes Arnold, Casa Mare, and Misty Meadows offer a variety of themed sessions for Girl Scouts of all ages. For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.

Riflery
A “Taste of Riflery” and instructor programs are ongoing at Camp Robinwood and at resident camp session at Camp Misty Meadows. For more information, contact Lisa Cearfoss at 713-292-0233 or lcearfoss@sjgs.org.

Robotics
The robotics interest group brings girls with no technology experience together with experienced girls to design, build and program robots. Robotics kits are provided for monthly meetings at the Program Place for Girls. Girls select their monthly activities and determine locations for field trip and potential guest speakers. For more information, contact Mary LeMaster at 713-292-0357 or mlemaster@sjgs.org.   

Sailing
The sailing program has opportunities for older girls to become Mariners (Mariners are girls who have passed the Red Cross Basic Sailing certification) through Instruction weekends, Aquatics weekends and resident camp. All opportunities are offered at Camp Casa Mare in Seabrook. For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.  

Scrapbooking
Girls learn basic scrapbooking skills and build upon their current knowledge. If you love pictures and want to learn more about making creative photo albums, then this is for you. For more information, contact Rebecca Tirrell at 713-292-0535 or rtirrell@sjgs.org.

Shutterbugs
GSSJC has a special photography lab used during intensive weekend training at Camp Agnes Arnold. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

Service/Take Action Projects
Service and taking action are the cornerstones of Girl Scouts and need to be a monthly program for all girls.  Project ideas are shared on the council website at www.gssjc.org and in The Golden Link Service Corner column. Troops report their projects regularly using Form-269.  For more information, contact Tamina Chenier at 713-292-0209 or tchenier@sjgs.org.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Positive, interesting projects offer experiences in math, science, and technology. Under this umbrella, girls can participate in events focused on topics ranging from forensic science to petroleum engineering.  Current special interest groups include astronomy and robotics.  For more information, contact Mary LeMaster at 713-292-0357 or mlemaster@sjgs.

Swim Level Testing
Girls of all ages can sign up for swim level testing offered by the Council earn Red Cross swim cards and Safe Boating Test cards. These cards are required for many aquatic activities including canoeing and sailing.  For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.

Swimming
Girls of all ages can swim with their troop while visiting Camps Agnes Arnold, Misty Meadows, Silver Springs and Myra S. Pryor.  For more information, contact Jamie Williams at 713-292-0224 or jewilliams@sjgs.org.

Take Note Council Choir
Girl Scout Cadettes through Ambassadors can join this singing ensemble. Rehearsals are monthly at the Program Place for Girls, where girls learn songs in four-part a cappella harmony.  Sponsored by Houston Horizon Chorus of Sweet Adelines International (SAI), girls have the opportunity to perform as guest entertainers at a variety of select Council and community events, including Dickens on the Strand in December in Galveston.  Auditions are required as a learning tool, as all girls become part of the Choir. For more information, please contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

Theatre
Theatre workshops are held with various existing theatre groups for Girl Scouts of all ages. Girls have the opportunity to earn badge requirements while learning basic acting skills, theatre games, dance and musical theatre. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

Troop Camping
Troop camping requires planning and training for all ages. Set a date and fill out a troop camping registration form. For more information, contact George Ann Barrett at 713-292-0313 or gbarrett@sjgs.org.

Vintage Fashion Show
For almost 20 years, the Vintage Fashion Show has offered audiences a fun and educational comparison on the national Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. uniform designs and how they've kept up-to-date with the current fashion. Volunteer models are registered girls and adult volunteers. The 30-minute show is available for groups and can be customized. For more information, contact Mary LeMasters at 713-292-0357 or mlemasters@sjgs.org.

Visual Arts
Explore drawing, painting, sculpture, etching and much more in these art workshops for Girl Scout Brownies and older. Mostly Try-It, badge or IPA-centered, these workshops expose girls to the world of visual arts. For more information, contact Sam Fergeson at 713-292-0309 or sfergeson@sjgs.org.

For additional information on these and other activities, contact programs@sjgs.org.