Posts Tagged ‘Girl Scouts’

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Mofongos and more in Puerto Rico

July 25, 2013

A Travel Log by Girl Scout Troop #243

After a year of planning and fundraising, six Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors from Troop #243 along with two adult advisors headed for Puerto Rico this past June.  Join Girl Scouts Carly, Haruka, Meghana, Genevieve, Kirten and Krisin (along with leaders Barbara and Linda) on their travels to Puerto Rico!

Day 1

We started with a “hop on – hop off” trolley tour of Old San Juan . We explored the old forts, cathedral, and town walls while enjoying a nice breeze. We also stopped for gelato at El Morro.

Then we had our progressive dinner tour. Yum! We visited four local restaurants to sample local cuisine like fried plantains, red snapper, and mash while learning how to make a (non-alcoholic) mojito. Our guide and architecture student, Victor, told us about the local architecture in between food stops.

Here’s a picture of us enjoying our first mofongos!

Puerto Rico 6.10.13 Jena

Day 2

Today we traveled about 45 minutes to explore the El Yunque rain forest. What a great place! It was made even more special because our guide, Wilfredo, knew the name of every plant, flower, and frog in the forest and told such great stories about them. The highlights of the trip were seeing La Coca waterfalls and taking a hike (in the pouring rain). It was the leaders, not most the girls, who left their raincoats on the bus!

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When we returned to our hotel, there was plenty of time for a swim or nap at the beach.

Day 3

Today we traveled to Fajardo on the east coast of Puerto Rico for a day of snorkeling in the coral reefs. We first sailed aboard a catamaran to the uninhabited island of Icacos where we learned to snorkel while in the shallow water. We enjoyed seeing all the fish and playing with the Christmas tree worms. After a huge lunch aboard the ship, we sailed to another set of reefs for more snorkeling. These reefs were bigger, in deeper water, and had more fish to see like blue tangs, parrotfish, and sergeant majors.  Despite the morning rain, the sun really came out for our snorkeling!

Puerto Rico 6.12.13 Swimming with Fishes Haruka, Carly, Meghana, Kristen, Jena, Kristin

Day 4

Today was our scheduled beach day at our beach, Playa de Isla Verde. Everyone slept in and then lazed by the beach or pool and occasionally took breaks to reapply sunscreen or take a swim. We couldn’t have had a nicer day to spend at the beach!

Puerto Rico 6.13.13 Beach Bum  Carly

Day 5

Sniff! It is our last full day in Puerto Rico!

We started off with a tour of the Caribe Girl Scout Council. We toured their newly built offices and found they sell Girl Scout cookies as well! They have chewy granola bars – Tagalong flavor. We made such a fuss about them that they broke some open so that we could try them.

Puerto Rico 6.14.13 Troop 243 visiting Caribe GS Co in San Juan, PR
Then we returned to Old San Juan for some shopping and ate lunch at La Waffle-era. We had learned about this place on our food tour really wanted to try it out.  Who knew that chicken pesto waffles would be so good?!

After our visit to the city and a quick change, we were off to night kayak in the bioluminescent bay. The dinoflagellates only light up when disturbed, so they glowed every time we paddled or moved the water with our hands. It was like painting on the water – so cool!

What a fabulous way to explore the Girl Scout Travel Pathway! Here’s to another great adventure for Girl Scout Troop #243. Where have you traveled with your Girl Scouts?

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S’more Adventure with Troop 2430

July 17, 2013

By Jenifer Bubenik, Community Cultivation Specialist

DSC_0155Growing up, Girl Scout camp was always my favorite time of the year.  I can still remember the excitement I felt before each camp season.  Girl Scout camp is where I learned how to properly tie knots and identify poison ivy, paddle a canoe, ride a horse, and most of all, where I made new friends.

These memories are some of the many reasons I love sharing Girl Scouts with communities across the Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines council region.  As I work to foster relationships in communities new to Girl Scouting, I am able to bring our leadership programs and opportunities like summer camp into households and families that otherwise know very little about Girl Scouts.

Over the last year, I have been fortunate to work with Girl Scout Troop #4230 from Southeast Raleigh.  This past spring, we presented our S’More Adventure program to the girls’ families and shared the many opportunities possible through our Camp Pathway program.  The girls and families were hooked from the start!

In the following weeks, Wake 16 Membership Director Meridith Orr and I met with the girls to ensure they were prepared for camp.  They made their first sit-upons, SWAPS to share with new friends at camp, and crazy hats for Wacky Wednesday – a tradition at Camp Mary Atkinson. We also had a guest speaker teach the girls about First Aid and CPR.  When it came time to leave for camp, the girls were ready.

As we headed to Camp Mary Atkinson the van was quiet – this was each of the girls first time at camp and it was clear they were taking the whole experience in.  Ooh’s and aah’s abounded once we reached the property, full of lush green trees and flourishing flowers. After check-in, the older girls ran off to Fox Leap without a good-bye or hugs — they were excited to get going!

Over the course of the next week all eight girls participated in archery, canoeing, cook-outs, and even used iPads to identify trees and outside plants.   They nick-named the Alpine Tower the “Eiffel Tower” and shared that swimming in the pool was their favorite activity at camp!

DSC_0166As we drove home, I asked what they had learned over the course of the week. I heard so many responses including, “I learned to face my fears” and “I learned to swim under water with my eyes open!”  And what had once been a quite car ride to camp, the return ride was booming with camp songs with each girl wanting, “My song next!”

Back in the girl’s neighborhood, there were lots of hugs and thank you’s, but most of all questions.  From Linda, “Miss Jenifer, can I go to every camp, every year?” From Camila, “Miss Jenifer, when do we get to go back to camp?”

I told them that I hoped each of them could attend camp again next year and for years to come.  But I also shared, that if they are like me and a Girl Scout for life, camping will be with them wherever they go.  I encouraged them to take what they learned at Girl Scout camp and use it in the future, whether they are hiking the Appalachian Trail or pitching a tent in their backyards.

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