Hostelling International Chicago

Girl Scout Troops Curriculum

Discover the World, Girl Scouts Go Hostelling!

Curriculum: Participatory Patch for Girl Scouts Ages 11 to 17

The Discover the World patch is fun to earn and can start you on the path to traveling around the world! This patch can help your troop become global citizens who are connected to people and places near and far. Troop leaders are responsible for completion of the patch requirements for each Girl Scout receiving a patch. Get connected by having your scouts complete just one activity in each of the following three areas:

Before You Go: Trip Planning

  • Find out about hostelling! Go to the Hostelling International-USA web site at You can learn even more about HI-USA at the Chicago hostel. How did HI-USA get started and what is its mission? Where are the hostels in the US? What are the costs involved? Why do so many people love to go hostelling?! Share your findings with your troop. If you do not have time to complete your research before your trip, you can learn about hostelling at Hostelling International-Chicago! Complete the “Hostel Scavenger Hunt” worksheet during your stay!

  • Interview someone who has been hostelling or contact a staff member at the hostel you plan to visit. Get advice about what to pack for a hostelling trip – and what to leave at home! Learn about why someone would rather stay at a hostel than a hotel. Ask about special tips to help you have a great trip.

  • Any good hosteller knows that to travel smart you need to have a budget. How much will it cost for food, lodging, and travel expenses? How much can you spend on souvenirs? Create a budget, keep track of your trip expenses during your trip, and then compare your budget to your actual costs. Figure out what budget travel tips you can share with friends and family.

On Your Trip: Catch the Hostelling Spirit!

  • Part of living the hostelling life is getting to know other hostellers traveling from around the world. Learn how to say hello and good-bye in at least four different languages. By the time you’re done, you’ll know how to have a good time both coming and going!

  • Start a hostelling “icebreaker” activity by hanging out in the hostel kitchen or common room with a world map and getting hostellers to sign their names on their home country. You can also use this opportunity to start a conversation about the place you’re visiting, the food you’re eating, or whatever you think would be cool to know.

  • Volunteering has always been a part of girl scouting and hostelling. In the hostel, you can volunteer to cook a meal for other guests, lead an activity, or do a presentation for others to enjoy (e.g., Girl Scout customs, American traditions, skits). Outside the hostel, you can choose from a variety of community service projects in Chicago or in your own city.

  • Staying at a hostel is an exciting way to meet people from around the world! Learn about the backgrounds, talents, and interests of hostellers by completing the “Who Did You Meet?” worksheet during your stay at Hostelling International-Chicago.

When You Return: Spreading the Word and Keeping Connected

  • Did you have fun? Spread the news about your hostelling experience by writing an article or making a presentation for your school, council, or local newspaper. You can also write into websites that focus on scouting, hostelling, cultural exchange, etc.

  • Want to keep connected to the hostel you visited? Write a follow up letter or e-mail to the hostel staff and let them know what you thought of your trip and what other travel plans you’re making. To keep up to date on hostelling news around the world, you can also sign up for HI-USA’s e-newsletter called “Travel Bytes” at

  • Now that you had the chance to travel, let others know more about what life is like in your neck of the woods. Make a binder of things to do in your home area. Include information on museums, parks, local food specialties, fun places to hang out, and suggestions about how to get around and where to stay. Send the binder to the hostel nearest to you so that future hostellers can get the travel scoop from a native!

Do you have other ideas for earning a hostelling patch? The activities above are guidelines, but HI-USA is always open to hearing new and exciting ideas. It’s also important to know that troops and individual Girl Scouts are eligible to earn patches both from home or as part of a trip to a hostel.

Questions about the patch curriculum? Contact:
Arielle Semmel

[email protected]


Patches are $2.00 each. Purchase the patches for your troop before your visit to Hostelling International-Chicago. You can pick up your patches at the reception desk upon your arrival at the hostel. Mail check payable to: Hostelling International-Chicago

Rey Matos
Hostelling International-Chicago
24 E Congress Pkwy
Chicago IL 60605-1226

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