In 2019, GSUSA revitalized the Girl Scout Mariner track for older girls. Mariner Girl Scouts first began in 1934 when the program was developed to help girls build critical skills in water-based activities. Girl Scout Mariners enjoy activities in, on, or near the water. Favorite activities of Mariners include sailing, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, water quality testing, exploring water-based ecosystems and so much more. The recommended grade levels for Girl Scout Mariners are Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, for whom the program provides a high adventure, specialized track to engage our older girl members. Becoming a Girl Scout Mariner is also a great way for older girls to explore careers on, in, or near the water! Participating in a hands-on environment will help them develop their true passions as well as get a sneak peek into what aquatic-based career opportunities are available.
There are many ways to become a Girl Scout Mariner under the new guidelines. A girl may join a troop that has been classified as a Mariner troop and join other girls with similar interests on their adventures. Girls may choose to remain in their traditional Girl Scout troop as well; becoming a Girl Scout Mariner does mean the girl must leave her original troop. Individually registered members can also become independent Girl Scout Mariners by following the guidelines and participating in council-led Mariner activities or programs. In addition, Girl Scout Mariners can set sail on independent adventures to meet the requirements to earn their Mariner pin. As they explore water-based activities as Mariners, girls can continue to earn badges, complete journeys, participate in product sales, and enjoy all their favorite Girl Scout activities.
After completing the prerequisites to earn the Mariner pin, girls can choose from two paths to further develop their skills. The first track is a skill development outline of all the different activities that a Mariner can learn from water safety and weather conditions, to navigating and communicating on the water from various watercraft. Using this track, girls can hone their skills by participating in available programs and activities without a linear progression. The second track uses the traditional Mariner proficiency ratings from Midshipmate to Helmswoman to breakdown the skill development outline into a progression through the various Girl Scout Mariner skills.
The Outdoor Program Team at GSSEF is working to provide more Mariner opportunities at our camp properties and within our community partner programs. You can learn more about what Mariner Programs are being offered locally on our High Adventure webpage or by accessing gsEvents through your myGS portal. Some examples include council-led programs like Mariner Girl Scouts, What’s that About? (an introduction to Mariner activities) and GSSEF Watercraft Draft (an exploration of different watercraft they may choose to specialize in as they develop their skills), as well as partner programs like snorkeling, beach learning days, paddle boarding trips, and many more opportunities to get our Girl Scout Mariners in, on, or near the water to explore!
Thank you to our Outdoor Programs Manager, Kate Goosey for providing the content for this blog!