Tami gave a great description of the Basic 8 Outdoor Skills. I have occasionally added suggestions for station activities
Basic Eight Outdoor Skills.
Provide Each Girl with a length of Gimp and a Safety
Pin to place her beads on when she completes a skill session. (see bottom for
description of colors)
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 1
Don't feed the Animals
Review Campsite Courtesy
-Leaving a site clean and better than it was before.
*Make a clothes Pin craft with your name X2
Explain what a Kaper chart is. Provide the girls with three different design ideas
Have the girls design their own
Decide which jobs are important
Station Suggestions: A Jeopardy Game beased on this information, or Jean A.'s suggestion of Camp Cleanup:
Clean up the campsite: We had 3 tribes and the field was divided into 3
areas using clotheline that was laid out in the shape of a "Y".
In each "campsite" were old socks, sponges, and very light weight balls.
Because it was hot, each team also had a washpan of water in which to dip
their items. At the sound of the whistle, everyone starts throwing their
"trash" into the other campsites. Wetting takes time, but makes for a good
splat on someone. After 2 minutes, the whistle blew and the tribe with the
cleanest campsite got the points. We played an extra round with just the
"chiefs" (adults). That was great fun with our tribes cheering us on.
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 2
DRESSING FOR THE OUTDOORS
Relay Game to sort items
Have clothing to sort, include silly things. ie: heels, hairdryer, candy, Include bug spray, extra socks, flashlight,
Ziplock bags for to keep clothing dry.
Do sleeping bag roll-up relay game
Teach how to pack
Relay Dressing up Game
Provide clothing applicable to the weather. Offer gloves hats etc.
Station: I'd try to choose one of these that isn't in the Brownie books (sleeping bag roll-up relay??), just to
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 3
Teach the Square Knot, Reef Knot, Clove Hitch
Big Beetle Game
One beetle needs...... 8 short pieces of rope (string)
1 beetle head (cardboard with hole for attaching to body)
2 antennae - 2 pieces of wire in a loop
2 eyes - 2 large circles
Players need a bucket, large dice, tape and glue, long piece of rope, short rope. Provide all items for each patrol, each girl throws a dice in turn
A 6 must be thrown first to get the body
5 - head to be attached with a reef knot
4 - legs attached with a reef knot
3 - tail, short rope with a reef knot
2 - antennae, stick to head with tape
1 - eye, glue into place.
When the beetle is complete, a long rope is tied around the neck with a bowline and the beetle is dragged across
the finishing line some distance away.
One girl about 20' from the remaining 3-4-5 girls on the team. The remaining team had a bunch (4-5)of pieces of
rope that had to be tied together with a square knot into one length then thrown to the one who caught the end
and then was pulled to "safety" from the fire. It was fun because if you didn't pay attention to pieces you were tying
you ended up with a circle of rope!
Relay race with Licorice
Use 2 or 3 lines depending on number of girls and parent helpers. First person runs to front of line ties whatever
knot is called out, eats knot (licorice) and goes to end of line.
Then each team member in order goes to the table as the one in front of them completes the knot correctly.
For the second race we added a cookie for the girls to eat and a small cup (Bathroom cup size) of juice.
Human Cat's Cradle
Although this is not truly a knot game, it is a lot of fun! You'll need a large rope and ten people. First, have two
girls with a smaller rope do the steps in the cat's cradle, and then mimic using the large rope and lots of girls as the
"fingers". See how far through the string
game you can get!
Give the girls the following situation: You have fallen over a cliff and your rescuers are here with a long rope.
They throw it to you, but they can't come down and
get you! Tie a bowline so that you can be rescued.
The Bean Game
After you have taught the reef knot you give everyone one bean. They then go in pairs and see who can tie the
knot the fastest. The fastest one gets the other one's bean which now means they have two. Girls with two beans
find each other and repeat tying the knot. The one who ties it the fastest gets the beans and therefore now has 4
beans. She goes to find another person with four beans and so on. For the girls who lose they just go and get
another bean from the pot and start out again so no one really loses and everyone gets lots of practice with this
The Chocolate Bar Game
Play this game after you've taught the girls a specific knot, for example, the sheepshank.
Equipment needed: apron, placemat, knife and fork, oven mitts and wrapped (many times with newspaper over
and over again) a chocolate bar, and one dice.
Game: Put all the equipment in the center of a circle. The girls are sitting around the equipment in a circle. The dice
is passed around and everyone has a turn at throwing a 1. When you throw a 1 you get the rope and start tying
the knot, meanwhile, the others are still throwing the dice. If you tie the knot successfully before someone else
throws a 1 then you get to put on the oven mitts, your apron, put the chocolate bar on the placemat pick up the
knife and fork and try to get into the chocolate bar. However once someone else has successfully tied the knot
you have to hand over the equipment and become part of the circle again. Once the chocolate bar is opened,
make the girls share it!
Tie Up The Dog
This game is good for teaching uses for the bowline. Have the girls bring in their stuffed animal dogs. Set the girls
up into relay race teams, with the stuffed toys at one end of the room sitting on a chair (one chair of toys per team)
and the girls at the other end. Each girl in turn has to run down to the chair, tie their dog to the chair with a bowline
and go back to the end of their line. When everyone in your line is sitting down and all the dogs are tied to your
chair you win!
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 4
Preparation: Each girl will need a cardboard "training" knife, a real pocket knife, a sharpening stone and an 18
inch long 3/4 inch diameter stick.
Go over the course outline with adults who will be helping with the course prior to the girls arriving. There should
be approximately 1 adult for every 4 girls.
When the girls arrive spread them out in a large open area free from obstacles.
They should be told what a safety circle is. It is a circle formed by the length of their arms extended to all sides
and front and rear. Add 4 feet between each girl to allow for walking room for the adults. Give each girl a cardboard
knife and tell them to put it in their pocket or belt pack.
Explain to them:
SAFETY RULE NUMBER 1!
They may not take the knife out until told to by an adult.
Have the girls take out the cardboard knife, call it a training knife.
SAFETY RULE NUMBER 2!
They may not open the knife until told to by a leader! Unless their parent is a trained leader, they may not tell
the girl to open the knife at a Girl Scout function! ONLY the trained leader may tell them to open the knife.
Explain and demonstrate how to open a knife safely.
Open with both hands, keeping the fingers behind the blade. Put your thumb nail in the slot on the blade. Keeping
the fingers away from the cutting edge, pull the blade out all the way.
Explain and demonstrate how to safely close a knife.
Hold the handle firmly from the closed side, the one without the blade slot. Make sure no fingers are over the
blade slot. With the other hand push upward from the back side of the blade, the dull side. Continue pushing
until the blade snaps into its slot. Always close a knife when you are finished and before walking away.
SAFETY RULE NUMBER 3!
Always open and close a knife with your fingers away from the blade slot.
Explain and demonstrate how to safely pass a knife.
The knife must be closed to safely pass it to another person. Hand the knife to another person, holding firmly onto
one end. The receiving person should firmly grasp the knife and when it is firmly gripped, say "Thank You". This
tells the person passing the knife that they can then let go of it. The passer should not let go of the knife until the receiving person has a firm grip on it.
SAFETY RULE NUMBER 4!
Never pass an open knife, make sure the person receiving the knife has a firm grip before letting go.
How to cut with a knife. Pass out sticks. (Carrots)
Double check your safety circle to be sure no one is near you. Hold the stick in your off hand, usually left hand.
Grip the stick firmly by the near end. Make sure the stick is pointed down and away from you. Hold the knife
very firmly in the on (right) hand. Your fingers should be wrapped around the handle and no fingers should be
on the blade. Place the sharp knife edge against the stick a few inches from the end with the blade slanting toward
the end to be pointed. Press the knife against the stick and push toward the stick end. Make sure the stick is
pointed toward the ground and away from your body. After this stroke turn the stick slightly and repeat. Keep
doing this until the stick has a pointed end. This technique can be used to make cooking sticks, tent pegs and other useful things.
SAFETY RULE NUMBER 5!
Always double check your safety circle and then cut down and away from you.
How to sharpen a knife.
Pass out sharpening stones A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife.
To safely sharpen your knife, hold the sharpening stone in your left hand being careful to keep all your fingers
below the top of the stone. Hold your knife in the other hand and tilt the blade as in preparing to cut. With a
gentle circular motion move the blade back and forth on the sharpening stone. Do this slowly and try to have the
entire blade be in contact with the stone at some point in the circle.
SAFETY RULE NUMBER 6!
Always keep your knife sharp and clean. Dull knifes are dangerous.Now repeat the above steps with the girls
using real knives. If a girl doesn't want to or feel comfortable using a real knife or if a parent doesn't want a girl to
use a real kife, do not push her. She is not ready for the real thing. The girls are awarded their "permit to carry"
cards only if they have completed the entire course
and if their parents agree. The girls are told they will lose their cards for
any one violation of the safety rules. They must then take the course again to
earn another card.
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 5
.napkins .Paper cups to fill with water . cheerios .shredded coconut .potato sticks .pretzel logs .cinnamon hearts
(red hots) .one toothpick/girl
1. Each girl should unfold her napkin and lay it nice and smooth to represent the clearing that has to be done in an
area to make it safe to build a fire. Here you may go into as much detail as you feel your girls are ready for. Discuss safe places to build fires.
2. Clean your fire site with a rake. Fill the fire bucket (Dixie cup) and place nearby
3. Make a fire ring of cheerios. Again you may pause and talk about safety circle. It's a circle 5' out from the fire
circle and kids aren't allowed to play or move faster than a walk while inside this circle.
4. Next you make three piles of firewood: coconut for the tinder, potato sticks for the kindling and pretzels for logs.
5. Now you are ready to lay your fire: Lay an A or V of logs after you decide what direction the wind is blowing. Place the open end of the "A" facing the wind so the flame can get oxygen
6. Lay your tinder against the crossbar of the A or in the cross of V. As each girl is ready, she gets a toothpick
7. for a match to hold in under the largest pile of tinder and you drop a few red hots on top to show that the fire
is burning brightly, using just one match! Then she places on more kindling and logs as the fire burns brighter.
8. Discuss how to put out clothing if it catches on fire, Stop, Drop and Roll How to put out a fire. Sprinkle water,
not pouring the whole bucket on it.
9. After her fire has been approved by the leader
she eats it all, leaving a clean fire site.
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 6
What to cook
How to pack it
Methods of Cooking
Dunk Bag relay -
Needed - Set up 3 separate dunk bag stations, using the 3 tub method (soapy water, rinse water and hot clear
water) (for the game it can all be plain water).
3 complete dunk bags
Divide into 3 teams or 3 patrols.
Explain to the girls how to wash dishes using the dunk method.
The girls start about 10-15 feet back. The first girl in line has the dunk bag.
At go - the front girls run to the station and must wipe off the dishes, wash them, rinse them and then put them
in the dunk bag and dunk into the hot clear water. She then runs back to the line and give it to the next girl in line.
Continue until all girls have washed dishes. This can also be adapted to use the dunk line. Have the dunk bunk
bag clothes pinned to the line - the girls must take it off the line and when done hang it back on the line.
Girl Scout Hotdogs.
For each girl we took a hotdog roll, added a piece of banana (the hotdog) placed it on a napkin. The girls could
add their own fixings..... The condiments were labeled appropriately.........Chocolate syrup (ketchup), mustard (whipped cream), chocolate chips (relish) , sprinkles (onions). Even parents requested the snack. I applied the
mustard (aerosol whipped cream).
Recipes Go over some real ones and create a shopping
I'm assuming that she was describing a "wishy-washy" where you take a gallon size bleach bottle and use it for
washing your hands. You remove all the markings, cut a small hole in the side near the bottom, tie a golf tee to
some string and then tie that to the handle and put the golf tee in the hole. Put some soap in some old pantyhose
and tie to the handle and add a rope for hanging it. Fill it with water and tie it to a tree branch near the latrine and
when you need to wash your hands you loosen the cap slightly and remove the golf tee and you have running water. Tighten the lid and put the tee back in to turn it off. We always have a basin to catch the water and then empty the basin. It keeps girls from using the pump for washing their hands and you always get clean water. You can draw
a face on the bottle using the golf tee as the
mouth. When it's done it doesn't look like a bleach bottle. (I'd use a water bottle.)
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 7
SAFETY AND FIRST AID
Review Pictures of Poison Ivy, poison Sumac
Never eat Mushrooms found outside
How to apply a Triangle bandage
How to splint a limb if you need to move someone
Check, Call, Care First Aid Steps
Treating Shock-provide warmth, keep head up and keep safe
Sharing of Medicines not allowed
BASIC OUTDOOR SKILL NUMBER 8
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
Animal Awareness and Minimal Impact
Beginning compass skills - cardinal points, etc
Save old calendar pictures or other large pictures - cut into an 8 or 9 inch circle and glue to a plain piece of
Paper. For starters, draw lines to cut each circle into 8 "wedges" - before cutting - label the edge (on the
plain side) with the basic compass points N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW. If you do it before you cut the circle
apart, it's easier to make sure the pieces are labelled in the right order (voice of experience talking here!!) now
cut the circle into wedges and mix the pieces up. the girls can reassemble the circle with the points in the right
order on a stiff piece of paper or cardboard. once done, have them put their one hand over the circle and flip it
over. If they put the pieces in the correct order - the picture will now be correctly assembled. After they have
this down, get the in between points - NNE, ENE, etc
Here are the 8 Basic Skills and colors of pony beads you will need for each skill. You may use smaller beads if
you wish. Use heavy string, embroidery floss or gimp to string the beads on. Tie with a square knot when finished. Using a square knot will allow you to untie the knot and add more beads later.
Blue - OUTDOOR MANNERS -
Campsite Courtesy, Buddy System, and Kapers
Purple -DRESSING FOR THE OUTDOORS-
How to Dress, What gear to take and how to pack
Brown - KNOTS -
Knots, Hitches and Lashing
Yellow - KNIFE SAFETY -
Cardboard knives, Safety, Camp Tools
Orange - FIRE BUILDING - How to build, Different types of fuel, Safety, Use methods
Red - OUTDOOR COOKING -
What to cook, How to pack, Sanitation, Recipes and Methods
Basic first Aid and Survival kits/skills
Green - PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT -
Staying Found, Hiking, Animal Awareness and Minimal
Words for a word search puzzle see Discovery.com