Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

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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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April Travels brings May Flowers – and More!

April 18, 2013

By Lisa Jones, Chief Executive Officer

FoxTentIt’s beginning to look and feel like Spring around our Council.  That yellow pine pollen, which we never have a shortage of, is covering everything in our eastern counties.  Azaleas are displaying brilliant colors around our three service centers.  The colorful cabins of Camp Hardee and platform tents at Camp Mu-Sha-Ni have are free of their winter cobwebs ready for Troop camping and area camporees.

Deliveries for the 95,952 boxes donated during the 2013 Operation Cookie Drop are scheduled.  Adult volunteers have gathered for Spring Leaderee at Camp Mary Atkinson.  Registrations are filling for the GEMS events at UNC Wilmington and Methodist University.  And many service units are busy planning their end of the year bridging ceremonies and recognition events.

While the traditional Girl Scout year winds down, our chief staff and executive teams are gearing up to steer our Council into the new century of Girl Scouting.  I recently attended two national conferences where our leader, Anna Maria Chavéz, spoke about how we must build a better, more innovative Movement for the benefit of girls throughout our country and around the globe.  She is a true source of inspiration and her story proves Girl Scouting’s leadership program works.

In one keynote, Anna addressed the importance of strengthening partnerships between the national organization and councils like Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines at Girl Scouts of the USA’s Working Together conference. This work session held in late March, brought together chief executive and finance officers to explore ways for increasing volunteerism, financial stability, and leadership excellence.

At Girl Scouts of the USA’s Fund Development Conference in early April, Anna spoke about how Girl Scouts is one of the most recognized leadership programs, while emphasizing that we must work more diligently to market our program in order to retain and engage more girls in our movement.  Many tools, ideas and inspiration to drive the growth in our Movement were gained.

I traveled back home both times with increased excitement for the Girl Scout Movement and confident in our ability to lead.  As the Board of Directors prepares to embark in strategic learning for our Council, I will echo her messages loudly in that we must listen to our girls and young women; we must sharpen our focus on the Girl Scout Leadership Experience; and we must work together to succeed.

So in the words of Anna Maria Chavez, the leader of our movement, “Let’s get ready to roll up our sleeves to do what’s necessary to position us for even greater success in our next 100 years.”  It’s time to dig in.

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