Everyone in my family was a Girl Scout. I guess you could say my dad was also, long before the days of equal opportunity, because he was the chairman of the camp committee, which meant we were always at the overnight camps weekends in the spring to set up and in the fall to close it down.
My sisters and I all had opportunities to travel as a Girl Scout. These experiences are still offered and any Girl Scout who has a yen for travel should check into it. Currently there are 3 internships, 15 international trips, 12 outdoor adventures, 3 people related programs, and 3 science activities. Fund raising suggestions are given that are within reach of any teenager.
I was selected to participate in two activities. When I was 14 I went to a 3 week program in Puerto Rico. It was my first plane ride and that in itself was exciting…although I was reading The President’s Plane is Missing and we flew through a thunderstorm……
Two weeks were spent at the local Girl Scout council’s camp and we went for hikes, and went on field trips to El Yunque (the rainforest), Luquillo Beach, and a pineapple plantation. You have not tasted pineapple at its best with any you buy in the grocery store! Fresh picked, trimmed with a machete, and eaten in the field….wow!We also spent a week with a host family who then shared some other aspects of normal everyday life with us. They took us to Old San Juan (where I actually saw and chatted with someone from home who was on vacation there!), the university campus (where I had amazing coconut ice cream—memories come in all types….visual, aural, as well as taste) and to the El Dorado Beach Hotel (so we can see what a nice beach vacation can be).
The summer I was 16 I was selected for a 2 week program in Connecticut. They offered 3 options: theater, sailing and backpacking. I opted for a 10-day hike on the Appalachian Trail.
I remember going to shop for hiking shoes with my mom, who was appalled that I would be wearing such clunkers. For years afterwards she called them my “dancing slippers”. When I compare what I wore then to the light weight, great support hiking shoes available now it is amazing I could lift my feet!
Imagine a group of 10 teenage girls, all with varying levels of readiness for a 10 day hike. At the end of each day, after we set up camp, we would sit in a circle and massage shoulders and necks and then feet. We also indulged in a contest with our leg hair…I won the fastest growing but someone else won the longest by the end of the 10 days. The things we remember! LOL