Outdoor Education

Troop Camp Leadership Certification

Why enjoy the Outdoor Experience with girls? Lead girls out-the-door to a field trip in the city or out-of-doors to a campsite—all of these experiences will allow girls to discover the world around them, connect with their environment, and inspire them to take action to make their world a better place! The out-the-door experience is one of the best ways to involve girls in girl-led, cooperative activities in which they learn by doing!


In order to take a troop on an outdoor experience, each troop must have one or more adults who have taken outdoor training. Both women and men over 18 may take outdoor training. Financial assistance is available!


Please note:

Day Trips and Cooking with Girls: If a troop plans on doing only daytime field trips which include cooking with girls, the Introduction to the Outdoors course will provide the adult in charge the required cooking and outdoor training.


Camping: For troops planning outdoor overnight experiences, one or more adults MUST take training to become Troop Camp Leadership (TCL) certified. Adults completing TCL certification may then take troops camping in a variety of locations, including council-owned sites, cabin-camping, and tent camping in state parks/ private property (sites that have permanent buildings, restrooms, and are within 30 minutes of emergency help). The TCL-certified adult then guides the troop through its planning process and accompanies the troop on camping trips. Each troop must have a TCL-certified adult in order to go camping. TCL certification is good for three years; adults current in TCL can recertify through a TCL-review process.

Changes to TCL certification -- TCL certification is now offered in just two formats as described below. Either of these formats provides successful participants with TCL certification.


TCL Option 1, Overnight Format

Participants must attend:

  • TCL OPTION 1 Classroom Planning Session (3 hours)
  • TCL OPTION 1 Overnight Session (12 p.m., Saturday to 12 p.m., Sunday) in an outdoor environment

TCL Option 2, Troops & Adults Camping Together Format

Adult participants must attend:

  • TCL OPTION 2 Classroom Planning Session (9 hours)
  • TCL OPTION 2 Overnight with their troop—training staff provides supervision and activities for girls while adults train (9 AM, Saturday to 11 AM, Sunday) in an outdoor environment

Either of the above options will certify an adult in Troop Camp Leadership.

Camp Essentials

Prerequisite: Participant must be a registered member of GSUSA with a criminal background check form submitted to the council.

This is now an optional course. This is a two-and-a-half-hour classroom and outdoor cooking session. Note: This course should be taken only by those participants who plan to take TCL OPTION 1 to become TCL certified OR want to cook outdoors and on day trips with girls, but do not plan on becoming TCL certified. (Do not take this training if you are taking TCL OPTION 2.) This training will prepare adults to take their girls on outdoor day activities where the girls will be cooking. Participants will learn how to involve girls in planning the activity, how to use a kaper chart, as well as learning basic environmental awareness. Focus will be on health and safety procedures for outdoor cooking, use of basic charcoal fires, and one-pot meal preparation. Note: This course by itself does not provide TCL certification.

Fee: $7/person (includes meal and course material)

Please register five business days prior to the date of your choice. 


TCL Option 1, Overnight Format

Prerequisite: Participant must be a registered member of GSUSA with a criminal background check form submitted to the council.

This is a mandatory three-hour classroom planning session. You must also attend the mandatory overnight camping session.

Completion of TCL OPTION 1 is needed to complete TCL certification in this format. Adults will learn about required procedures and paperwork, emergency procedures, kaper charts, and environmental awareness. More advanced cooking methods than in Introduction to the Outdoors will be taught.

Fee: $15/per person (covers the cost of training materials and site usage)

Please register five business days prior to the date of classroom session.


TCL Option 2, Troops & Adults Camping Together Format

Prerequisites: Participant must be a registered member of GSUSA with a criminal background check form submitted to the council.

Adult volunteers and girls can learn to camp together! Mandatory nine-hour classroom planning session for adults only, as well as an overnight camping session from 9 AM, Saturday to 11 AM, Sunday with adults and girls. TCL OPTION 2 provides an opportunity for adults to gain TCL certification while camping with their troop. It is a camping experience intended for troops that have limited or no camping experience. Each troop provides and cooks its own meals with assistance from experienced volunteer leadership. Girls and adults will sleep in separate cabins which are within viewing and listening distance. Male adults will sleep in a separate unit but can participate with their troops in all activities. Classroom session is required and is for adults only. At least one adult* from each troop must attend the classroom session. Failure to attend the entire classroom session will prevent the troop from participating in the TCL OPTION 2 overnight and there will be no refund. In order to become TCL certified, you must attend the entire classroom planning session and the entire overnight training. (*One adult should be current first aider.)

Minimum: 1 adult for classroom session; 2 adults and 5 girls for campout

Fee: $20/per person

Ratio: Troop leaders/adults should meet but not exceed adult/girl ratio (see Safety-Wise). Tag-a-longs are NOT permitted.

Scholarships: NOT available for girls. Girls may use cookie credits.


  • Troops are encouraged to register early, as this is a first-come, first-serve event. Courses without sufficient troops registered by deadline will be cancelled.
  • Please register no later than five business days prior to the date of classroom session.

Training Waivers

Volunteers who have completed training at other Girl Scout councils, as well as USA Girl Scouts-Overseas may be eligible for a training waiver. All adult volunteers are encouraged to participate in the adult training courses, but may not be required to duplicate training already taken elsewhere.

Volunteers requesting a training waiver must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have been active and continue to be active at the troop level within the last two years.
  • Training must be comparable to that offered at this council.
  • Waiver requests must be completed and submitted with documentation (i.e. copy of past training card, etc.) to the Adult Development Department. Complete the Training Waiver Request Form and submit it with your documentation.
  • Volunteers will be notified in writing of the results of their waiver request.

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