Last year I wrote about how the Girl Scouts were introducing space science badges and now I want to give you a preview of what they’re offering this summer. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts continue to introduce more STEM-focused programming and their roster of summer camp programs include many interesting and fun STEM themes. If you are looking to incorporate STEM into your camp plans, keep the Girl Scouts in mind. Note: You do not have to be a Girl Scout in order to attend their camps. Everyone is welcome.
Girls from grades K-12 will have the opportunity to explore subjects like space, forensic science, and civil engineering – they can even learn about the science behind cooking. The programs are all hands-on and team-oriented and include the type of creative activities you would expect to find at Girl Scout camps. For example, in the Space program, girls will learn how to make a solar oven to create s’mores using the sun. Sounds both intriguing and delicious!
STEM Program Themes
I spoke with Jill Register, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Director of Outdoor Adventure and Camp, and she told me that the most popular STEM sessions at their camps include Space is the Place, where girls can play amateur rocket scientist, Myth Busters, Civil Engineering, and Animals in the Wild. This year, the Girl Scouts have added a full list of new sessions including:
- Icky, Sticky Science
- Out of this World
- Reach for the Stars
- Science Wonders
- Sea Stars
I love how the Girl Scouts place an importance on spending time outside and incorporate nature and outdoor elements into their programming. In today’s digital world, these camps give girls an opportunity to approach technology and explore STEM in new and different ways. Jill explained, “It’s so important for children to unplug from technology and spend time in nature during camp, which is why our STEM activities are nearly all “unplugged,” meaning we don’t need electricity. This allows campers to explore science, technology, engineering, and math in the great outdoors.”
“Girl Scouts are resourceful, so many of our new camp programs explore STEM by using the materials found around us. Campers will learn how wind powers a sail in our progressive sailing and windsurfing programs, how nocturnal animals use echolocation to find food, or how the chemical reaction of salt helps ice cream stay creamy. At night, we’ll use the stars above us to explore constellations and basic astronomy. These programs help show that STEM is a part of our everyday lives – and FUN!” – Jill Register
Massachusetts and New Hampshire STEM Summer Camps
Here is the full list of STEM-focused programs offered at camps in Massachusetts (Andover, Brewster, Plymouth, Reading and Waltham) and at Pelham, New Hampshire.
|Program Name||Camp||Location||STEM Learning Objects||Entering Grades||Session Dates|
|Secret Agent||Cedar Hill||Waltham, MA||Learn how to identify an ink type using ink chromatography and learn how to identify and detect different fingerprint patterns.||Grades K-1||Session 4: July 16-20|
|Space is the Place||Cedar Hill||Waltham, MA||Learn to make solar ovens to create s’mores using the sun. Girls will learn the parts of a rocket and the science behind its launch.||Grades 2-3||Session 4B: July 16-27|
|Animals in the Wild||Cedar Hill||Waltham, MA||Girls will identify an owl pellet’s contents and analyze what owls eat to survive.||Grades 2-3||Session 5: July 23-27|
|Reach for the Stars||Cedar Hill||Waltham, MA||Girls will learn the parts of a rocket and the science behind its launch.||Grades 4-5||Session 4B: July 16-27|
|Civil Engineering||Cedar Hill||Waltham, MA||Girls will work in teams to design and build a bridge.||Grades 6-10||Session 2B: July 2-13 (no camp July 4)|
|Exploring Forensics||Cedar Hill||Waltham, MA||Learn how to identify an ink type using ink chromatography and learn how to identify and detect different fingerprint patterns.||Grades 6-10||Session 7: August 6-10|
|Myth Busters||Maude Eaton||Andover, MA||Girls will learn the parts of a rocket and the science behind its launch.||Grades 6-10||Session 3: July 9-13|
|Ooey Gooey Fun||Rice Moody||Reading, MA||Girls will learn how salt helps ice cream stay creamy instead of turning into a block of ice.||Grades K-1||Session 1: June 25-29; Session 1A (half-day): June 25-29|
|Science Wonders||Rice Moody||Reading, MA||Girls will learn how salt helps ice cream stay creamy instead of turning into a block of ice.||Grades 2-3||Session 6: July 30 – August 3|
|Icky, Sticky Science||Wind-in-the-Pines Day||Plymouth, MA||Girls will learn how salt helps ice cream stay creamy instead of turning into a block of ice.||Grades 2-3||Session 3: July 9-13; Session 7: August 6-10|
|Ooey, Gooey Fun||Wind-in-the-Pines Day||Plymouth, MA||Girls will learn how salt helps ice cream stay creamy instead of turning into a block of ice.||Grades 4-5||Session 1: June 25-29|
|Extreme Cuisine||Wind-in-the-Pines Day||Plymouth, MA||Learn about the science involved in their culinary creations at camp by exploring the science behind adding different ingredients to recipes.||Grades 6-10||Session 4: July 16-20|
|Space Cadettes||Wind-in-the-Pines Day||Plymouth, MA||Learn to make solar ovens to create s’mores using the sun. Girls will learn the parts of a rocket and the science behind its launch.||Grades 6-10||Session 7: August 6-10|
|Silly Science||Wind-in-the-Pines Resident||Plymouth, MA||Girls will participate in experiments involving different states of matter.||Grades 2-3||Session 4: July 15-20|
|Paws and Claws||Wind-in-the-Pines Resident||Plymouth, MA||Girls will learn about animals, animal habitats, and animal care.||Grades 4-5||Session 8: August 12-17|
|Zoo Crew||Wind-in-the-Pines Resident||Plymouth, MA||Girls will learn about animals, animal habitats, and animal dissection.||Grades 6-8||Session 7A: August 5-17|
|Icky Sticky Science||Favorite Day||Brewster, MA||Girls will participate in experiments involving different states of matter.||Grades 1-3||Session 3: July 9-13|
|Sci-tastic||Favorite Day||Brewster, MA||Girls will participate in experiments involving different states of matter and chemical reactions.||Grades 4-6||Session 3: July 9-13|
|Sail Away||Favorite Resident||Brewster, MA||Girls will learn about wind direction and lift as it relates to how a sail works.||Grades 5-8||Session 3: July 8-20; Session 6: August 5-17|
|Windjammers||Favorite Resident||Brewster, MA||Girls will learn about wind direction and lift as it relates to how a sail works.||Grades 7-12||Session 3: July 8-20|
|Out of this World||Runels Resident||Pelham, NH||Girls will participate in guided exploration of the night sky, stars, constellations, and other basic elements of astronomy.||Grades 4-5||Session 5: July 29-August 3|
|Sea Stars||Runels Resident||Pelham, NH||Girls will learn to identify different local aquatic creatures and learn about others.||Grades 4-5||Session 7: August 12-17|
|Archeology 101||Runels Resident||Pelham, NH||Girls will learn how to conduct and preserve an archeological dig.||Grades 9-12||Session 1: July 1-6|
In addition, here’s a link to the 2018 Camp Guide, which shares much more about all of their summer camp offerings.
We’re Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEMA). We’re 47,000 strong, with 32,000 girls and 15,000 volunteers in 178 communities in eastern Massachusetts who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. GSEMA is the 10th largest Girl Scout council in the United States, building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, join, or learn more, visit gsema.org.
Photo Credit: Girl Scouts