School's Out. Now What?
Six Super Ways to Keep Girls Connected This Summer

As the dog days of summer take us all in different directions, one question keeps coming up: How do you keep the girls connected to each other, and Girl Scouting, over the summer?

Photo of a girl with swim goggles. © GSUSA. All rights reserved.Here are six super ways to keep girls connected this summer:

  1. Make sure everyone has everyone else's correct contact information. Getting wrong numbers or getting someone else's e-mail address can cause problems. The girls will be disappointed and frustrated if they can't reach each other.

  2. Set up summer pen pals. Pre-address post cards now to mail with updates throughout the summer. Or the girls can make postcards out of summer photos or art projects; have a stuffed animal or "Flat Stanley" visit one week of the summer with each of them. Putting the postcards or photos together in the fall will make a great coming-together project to kick off the new year.

  3. Make it a game. Create a scavenger hunt of fun—and safe—activities. Give each girl a copy of a list of healthy things like bike riding, skating, and hiking. Include safety guidelines (helmets worn, water carried, etc.) as well as silly summer things like finding shapes in clouds or making daisy chains. Each girl can record their accomplishment in a small notebook and e-mail or IM other girls with updates on their success all summer long.

  4. Help find summer hangouts in the community. Not everyone online at home? Check with the local library and see if they are. Girls can come in, sign on, and e-mail each other from there. Many libraries and parks departments also run summer fun programs. Help the girls identify some they'd enjoy and get them signed up before they're booked.

  5. Don't forget Girl Scout camp. Learning to swim, portaging a canoe to the river, putting on a show, sitting around the campfire—these are quintessential summer memories. Encourage the girls to sign up for one week of day camp, or a short stay at resident camp.

  6. Make plans for next fall. Schedule something special for September and October—a September sleepover, a workshop on scrapbooking where they can use their summer pictures, a new school year fashion show. Having set plans for the fall will help them look forward to Girl Scouting—all summer long.