Destinations Girls Discover Dublin!

Our Destinations girls enjoyed a last day in Boston before winging their way to Europe. We’ve been planning for so many months and now their excursion is finally here.

DAY TWO BY GIRL SCOUT EVE:

group quincy marketThis morning we got to sleep in until around seven, but had to be out of the rooms with our luggage by 8:45. Then we started the the drive to Boston and the Holocaust Memorial Museum. After that we had a brief discussion about the holocaust and its importance as well as how it made us feel, we made our way to Quincy Market and had a little shopping time. Next we walked on the freedom trail to Paul Revere’s house and the old North Church. After a couple hours of spending time in northern Boston we had a fun time at the Science Museum with a planetarium and an Imax theater. We ended the day by meeting up with the GSGWM girls and taking an overnight flight to Dublin!

KellsThe group arrived really early in Dublin from their overnight flight, met their tour director Catriona, and were off on a tour of this intriguing city.  Along the way they went to Trinity College and see The Book of Kells.  They tried some new food and discovered, of all things, a Pringles dispenser!!!!  Pringles DispenserLast night part of the group chose to try out Irish River Dancing, while part of the group headed back to the hotel to get settled and rest from their travels!  Of course along the way there was some shopping.

Irish River Dancing

 

Destinations Girls Off To Dublin, London, and Paris!

Fenway park group shotOver the next two weeks we have 28 girls and adults gathering in Boston, then traveling on to Dublin, London and Paris on a GSUSA Destination trip hosted by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

Thirteen girls from around the country arrived on Tuesday and were joined by the GSGWM girls participating.  Destinations trips are open to all girls of the appropriate age from any Girl Scout council. The application process opens in August/September and girls are accepted in mid-December.

currency and passportBefore their departure to Europe, the group visited Fenway Park, the Boston Tea Party, spent time getting to know each other at the EF Tours headquarters, been on a Duck Tour, and visited the Boston Museum of Science.

Follow along on their amazing adventure here, in their own words, and be sure to check out all the other upcoming GSGWM travel opportunities for the next two years on our website!

DAY ONE, BY GIRL SCOUT BEKA
Today was our first complete day in Boston.
To start off, we went to the Boston Museum of Science and waited for the Duck Boat tours to open up. I happened to fall asleep right on the lawn while we were waiting so now I can officially say that I have slept on the streets of Boston!
After our fun little tour with our Argonaut river guide, we went to the New England Aquarium and saw some fish…shocker there! Actually there were penguins and seals as well, which was interesting, not to mention the 85-90 year-old sea turtle. (I swear the grumpy ones never die…seems to travel between species!)
Eating lunch was our next task, which was carried out very faithfully by all members of the party (mine happened to be fish and chips), and then we proceeded to shop.  We made our way to the EF Tour headquarters and got to know each other because it is always good to know who you are going to sleep next to. Then we went to dinner at a nice Asian restaurant called Wagamama, I believe. (I know it had something “mama” in it at least)
Then we went and looked around Harvard University or “Havahad” as the locals call it, and made our way back to the hotel where we are now discussing all of the world problems and not realizing that tomorrow we will wish we had slept. Thanks for a great day ladies! It’s been a blast!

Pen pals’ 40-Year Friendship Began with Girl Scouts

jeanrich2BOW, NH–Spanning over four decades and crossing multiple time zones, the friendship of two longtime Girl Scouts is a testament to the organization’s life-enhancing youth programs. Jean Rich of Bow, NH was just ten years old when she received her first letter from her pen pal Sharon Arthur of Australia. Rich, who lived in New Jersey during her childhood years, participated in the letter exchange as part of a Girl Scout badge program.

Rich received her first letter in August of 1972. What she didn’t know then was that she would have a lifelong friend in Arthur. The two young women continued to exchange cards and letters throughout middle and high school, and well into college. “We were the same age and I just thought it was so cool to get those letters,” Rich said. “She’d draw little hearts and include these cute little phrases, like ‘Posty, Posty, don’t be slow!’”

Decades before email existed, Girl Scouts gave Rich the opportunity to learn, at a very young age, how to access the world at her fingertips. “It was pretty exciting to get my own mail—we didn’t have texting then,” said Rich, who would later correspond with another pen pal from England. “Even though she was in another country, we could relate on so many levels.”

As the mail poured in, Rich was soon struck by the similarities she shared with her newfound friend. Arthur would always sign the letters as “your loving pen pal and friend.” The two young women wrote about their daily lives, about their families, and about their respective holiday celebrations. “I had to get used to the fact that Christmas comes in the summertime over there,” Rich recalled with a laugh.

When Rich was in her second year of college, the letters became less frequent and eventually stopped altogether. “We kind of lost touch as our lives drifted in different directions,” she said. Rich continued with her college education, completing law school, while Arthur got married and immediately began raising a family. Still, the two women never stopped thinking of each other.

In April 2014, Rich tracked down Arthur via Facebook and soon after, received a response. A long-lost friendship was rekindled. “We stay in touch through emails and chats now,” Rich said. “She has all kinds of grandkids now. Someday we hope to meet in person.”

With a successful legal career under her belt, Rich, now a mom to a teenage son, still treasures memories of her Girl Scout years. “I’ve kept all those letters, all those years,” she said. “They’re tucked in a shoe box, along with my Girl Scout sash.

Interested in connecting with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides throughout the world? Click here to learn more: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Pen pal Program

Winter Is For Outdoor Fun

outdoorThe holidays are just around the corner and girls will be on their winter break. Don’t just cozy up in the house the whole time. This holiday season, spend quality time with family and friends in the great outdoors, Girl Scout style!

Why? Because the outdoors is infinitely FUN. There are endless things to discover and learn from! Plus, spending time outdoors is critical for physical and emotional health. Specific to girls, research has shown that even one outdoor experience a month benefits them, especially girls of comparatively low socioeconomic status. In other words, the outdoors is not just fun, it improves health and well-being—one of our favorite combos!

That’s why the outdoors is an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. At Girl Scouts, we offer girls outdoor experiences in a safe, all-girl space where they’re free to stretch their minds and expand their skills, taking on challenges they might not feel as comfortable with in a coed environment.

Have you had a chance to check out the new Girls’ Choice Outdoor Badges? These are specifically made for the awesome adventure seeker, team builder, and problem solver in every girl. Click here to start the fun!

Want more variety? Here are more AWESOME outdoor- and STEM-related badges across Girl Scout grade levels—plus outdoor opportunities are woven into all of our core program materials. These badges (details below!) encourage girls to become environmental stewards by exploring the natural environment around them. Girls learn about how STEM and the outdoors are linked, and they connect with female role models in environmental careers.

Naturalist Legacy badges (Bugs, Flowers, Trees, Sky, Water)

Science & Technology Skill Building badges (Home Scientist, Entertainment Technology, Science of Happiness, Science of Style)

    • Outdoors Skill Building badges (Hiker, Camper, Trailblazing, Adventurer)
    • Adventure Skill Building badges (Letterboxer, Geocacher, Night Owl, Traveler)
    • Innovation Skill Building badges (Inventor, Product Designer, Entrepreneur, Social Innovator)
    • (New!) Outdoor badges (Outdoor Adventurer, Paddling, Archery, Horseback Riding, Ultimate Recreation Challenge)
    • …plus new Outdoor badges will be introduced in 2016—yeah!

Did you know? Ranger

Girl Scouts has partnered with the National Park Service to encourage girls to visit a national park, monument, historical site, or seashore near them. While there, they’re encouraged to earn our Girl Scout Ranger patch introduced in 2015.

Girl Scouts is actively involved with the National Park Service initiative Every Kid in a Park, which offers all fourth graders in the United States unlimited free admission for one year to any national park, historic site, seashore, or monument.

Now if that’s not enough reason to get outdoors and get active this winter break Girl Scout style, we don’t know what is.  Join us outside! It’s always a great time.

Take a Hike!

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Nine Hooksett Girl Scouts and their three adult advisors took their experience and knowledge to great new heights during a recent hike in NH’s White Mountains.

On Thursday, July 30- a month before starting their freshmen year of high school- members of Troop #10085 were loading up their backpacks and lacing up their hiking boots as the prepared to make their ascent up Mt. Lafayette.

Joining them for the late July hike were seven fellow troop members (many of whom have been enjoying Girl Scout activities since kindergarten) and three adult advisors, including Troop Leader Karren Crain.

Karren said climbing a 5200’ peak is a testament to the progress her troop members have made over the years (some of them have been together since they first joined a Daisy troop in kindergarten!) Despite the extreme heat and humidity, the girls soldiered on, reaching the Appalachian Mountain Club hut at 4200’ feet the first day and rising bright and early the following morning to reach the summit.

Using skills acquired from Girl Scouts over the years, the troops were able to navigate trails, load up their packs accordingly, and even keep their supplies dry and protected from intermittent rain showers using carefully-placed trash bags.

Troop Member Ava Toole admitted she’d “never really hiked before,” but she made it to the top with the encouragement of her fellow Girl Scouts.  “Most of us were pretty new to climbing,” Ava said.

Troop Member Catey Crain said she’s made a lot of friends during her time in Girl Scouts: friendships she knows will endure, even though her troop members will be attending five separate high schools this fall.

Troop Member Carley Crain added that her Girl Scout experiences have made her a more confident, well-rounded person: one who’s ready to take on high school, college, and the world beyond.

The troop members will soon celebrate their bridging to Senior Girl Scouts.