Girl Scouts travel to Washington, DC
Troop Leader Faith Stewart, with 40 years of scout service, and Assistant Leader Barbara Weston, along with mother Diana Adams, escorted nine girls on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts.
The group arrived at Arlington National Cemetery for a beautiful trolley tour of the grounds. Girls and leaders agreed the highlight was being able to witness the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Before dinner, they made a photo stop at the White House.
The first stop the next morning was at the Hard Rock Café to purchase commemorative 100th Anniversary Girl Scout pins for each girl. Then the Scouts went to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Many of the girls were in awe of seeing the nation’s name on the decorative granite wall. Weston was especially touched to find her grandparent’s names, Carlton and Frances Jemison, etched in the memorial wall.
Then everyone headed to the Washington Monument for the 100th year “Rock the Mall” event. There, they joined 250,000 Scouts from all across the country in a sing along and flash mob. There were food tents, water stations, first-aid stations and Scouting souvenir tents.
For weeks prior to this event, the Scout troops were feverishly making SWAPS (special whatchamacallits affectionately pinned somewhere). SWAPS are special handmade keepsakes traded with girls from other troops as a way of expressing their sisterhood and representing their own troop. The local troops’ were tagged as GSWNY (Girl Scouts of Western NY) Seneca Nation of Indians. They traded SWAPS and met girls from New Jerse, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, to mention a few. Regardless of the high temperatures the girls stayed hydrated and had an exhilarating afternoon while in the shadow of the Washington Monument.
After dinner at the Ronald Regan International Trade Center, the girls were treated to a memorable illuminated tour of the monuments. The Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, including the Wall, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial were breathtaking by night.
Day three was spent at the National Aquarium in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The stingray tank, sharks, jellyfish exhibit and dolphins were the crowd favorites. It was a beautiful way to end the trip. Everyone arrived home safe and sound Sunday night. All the girls and adults enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity immensely.
The local troops meet at the SNI Wellness Center Tuesday nights during the school year for girls in grades two and up, with 85 percent of the girls being from the Cattaraugus Reservation.