Girl Scouts of Alaska announces virtual camps

Girl Scouts of Alaska (GSAK) will host virtual summer camps in lieu of traditional, in-person camps. Camp sessions will open at different times throughout the summer, but once they are open, they will remain available through the end of August and can be completed at a girl’s own pace.

Virtual camp is more than online programs – while virtual camp will include live and recorded programs to watch online, there will be plenty of opportunities to move beyond the computer, with hands-on activities, outdoor adventures, and opportunities to connect with others across the state (and possibly the country).

Parents and girls can find more information in the Virtual Camp Catalog and on the GSAK website. Those wondering what virtual camp is all about can join for a free mini camp sampler program to get a taste of the magic of camp. This will include activities like: Singing along with counselors to a camp song, downloading a STEM experiment, and learning how to paddle a canoe and practicing your strokes from your couch with an experienced camp director.

The program fee for each camp “session” will include at least the following components:

Guided instruction from knowledgeable staff*, 1 live virtual program with an expert which will occur the first week the program is released*, 1-3 pre-recorded virtual programs*, A weekly virtual campfire with songs and games, Downloadable activities (with step by step directions)*, Camp sing-alongs, A live stream of camp, Outdoor activities, Access to our camp phone line with changing activities, “At home counselor” instructions for parents*

*included in mini camp sessions

In April, GSAK announced that in-person day, resident, and traveling camps would be canceled this summer due to State of Alaska and CDC mandates related to COVID-19. Although we were heartbroken to not be hosting camp for the first time in 70 years, GSAK then pivoted to planning for an at-home, socially-distanced version of camp. With virtual camp, girls from all over the country can join, and they don’t have to be Girl Scouts before attending camp!

Non-Girl Scouts can register for a membership when they sign up for camp. This year, Girl Scouts of Alaska is also offering financial aid to anyone who needs it to attend virtual camp.

“We know camp is a cherished tradition for thousands of Girl Scouts each summer,” said Leslie Ridle, Girl Scouts of Alaska CEO. “It’s hard to think that after over 70 years of in-person camps we won’t be able to do them this summer, but we are very excited to be able to offer a safe, fun and educational alternative to a wider range of girls. Our first priority is always girls’ safety, and we think virtual camps will be a great way for girls to remain safe while also being able to participate in traditional camp activities.”