It’s the perfect time to enjoy spring weather. Birds are chirping. Temperatures are rising. It’s time to get out those rain boots and jackets!
1. Visit a Girl Scouts camp
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois has four camp facilities open for a visit. All of our facilities are open for spring camping, including Camp Conestoga with plenty hiking trails and a lake for canoeing. Camp Tahigwa, home of Bear Creek, a beautiful clear-water stream, flowing lazily through this 315-acre property. Camp L-Kee-Ta is the wooded outdoor paradise! It is full of lush vegetation, a meadow and a creek flowing throughout the property. Camp Little Cloud features rolling hills, meadow lands, a pond, and natural springs for all of the outdoor wonder you could imagine! Each one of our facilities offers indoor sleeping facilities. Call 1-800-798-0833 to get in contact with a ranger and find out availability.
2. Visit a State or County Park
Iowa and Illinois have many State and County Parks available for recreational activities. From hiking and camping to bird-watching and bicycling, each park offers many diverse and exciting adventures!
Here is the link for Iowa State Parks.
Here is the link for Illinois State Parks.
3. Reconnect With Nature
Make an insect watering hole: Place a shallow tray or saucer on the ground. Fill the tray with smooth, flat stones. (You can put a layer of soil in your saucer first, and then add rocks and water, to create a puddle of minerals for the butterflies in your yard.) Pour water into the tray until it fills the spaces between the stones. The water should not cover the stones. Watch for insects visiting your watering hole for a sip of water on warm days. Tip: Locate your watering hole near spring flowering plants, so insects will find it faster.
Leaf Splatters: Using a plastic knife let your kids scrape slivers of sidewalk chalk into a small bowl of water. Add several colors of chalk to the water. Now dip one leaf into the water. The colors will attach themselves to the leaves. Place the leaf on a flat surface. When it dries, you’ll have multi-colored leaves.
4. Play a Game
Red Light Green Light: One girl is designated as “It” and plays the part of the stop light. The other girls line up about 20 feet away from “It.” Facing away from the other kids, “It’ calls out “Green light!” The other girls move toward “It.” “It” then calls out “Red light!” and turns around quickly. Any of the girls who are caught moving must go back to the start line. Play continues until someone reaches and tags “It.” That girl then becomes “It.” The trick to winning this game is to move smoothly so that you can freeze instantly until you are within reach of “It.”
Backyard Bowling: Gather empty 2-liter soda bottles from your home or neighborhood and start bowling. Invite your troop to knock over these homemade pins using a kickball, beach ball or an over-sized play ball. As a variation on the game, children may somersault into the pins instead of kicking a ball into them.
Tic-Tac-Toss: On a flat surface, place strips of duct tape to a shower curtain or liner. Use more tape to make X’s on four flying discs or heavyweight plastic plates. You’ll need four more disks or plates for O’s. To play, set up a throw line, and then follow the rules of tic-tac-toe. If your disk lands off the board, in an already-claimed square, or centered on a line, throw it again.
5. Learn a New Outdoor Activity
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt. You search for treasures called “caches” using a GPS device to pinpoint the correct location. Select certain items to hide outside and collect the coordinates of the treasure hidden. Give the coordinates to the girls and have them use the GPS to find the hidden treasure! These little treasures can be found in rural areas and towns and cities throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. To learn step-by-step how to take kids geocaching check out this great post.