Navigating the Wild: Adventures with Girl Scouts and Kids Two-Way Radios

My best camping experiences always involve Girl Scouts and my daughters. As a troop leader, I have a unique position to teach outdoor skills to many of the girls who have very little camping experience. I also am in a unique position to make a fool of myself and at the same time, make the girls feel independent and strong.

Picture me, leading a group of tiny scouts on their first outdoor adventure through the woods, like little ducklings following my every move. As we begin our hike, I turn around to warn my entourage to double-check that they have all of their equipment ready, their water canteens, their little beginner survival knives, and to be very careful where they step so they don’t fall and get hurt. Before I can even finish the sentence, my foot catches a huge tree root and find myself hurtling through space toward the forest floor. I literally had a mouthful of dirt and a skinned elbow.

The girls rushed over to help me up and ask if I was OK. With a dirty smile, I promptly replied, “Of course I’m ok! I just wanted all to see what NOT to do! And now that we have that demonstration out of the way, let’s hit the trail!” Naturally, the girls could see right through me, so I told them that the next time someone tells me to eat dirt, I can say that I already have.

In hindsight, I realized that communication is key, especially in the wilderness. That’s why I made sure each of the girls had a kids two-way radio clipped to their backpacks. It was not only a safety measure but also a tool for them to stay connected and coordinate during our outdoor excursions.