Troop 13405 Trip to Savannah – Part Three
As you saw, we had quite an adventure. We learned, played, honored, shopped, ate well, and explored. A trip cross country with a gaggle of girls will teach you a few lessons. Here’s what I learned:
1. I understand how Ms Hannigan felt. Little girls EVERYWHERE. Not only with us. Savannah has a troop of girls around every corner. Be prepared for giggles and gushing at each landmark and tour.
2. On Girl Scout trips, you are not allowed to drink alcohol. After a bout of “she’s being mean to me,” you will long for a soothing glass of wine. Sorry. Not until you get home. Why is there a pub around every corner in Savannah? Are they trying to tempt me to death?
3. I had a detailed schedule with the receipts and email confirmations printed out and sorted by day in one folder. Each night, I would switch the top file to the following day’s activities. Along with all the plans, I recommend squeezing in some flexibility. The open space allowed us to add activities the girls were interested in along the way. That’s how we were able to visit the First African Baptist Church, as well as some shopping and eating out.
4. Learning activities can be squeezed in while the girls are having fun. I believe you have to learn every day. Most of these lessons are thrust upon you and you have no choice but to adapt and survive. I gave each girl a budget of $5 (not including tax) and set them loose in the BIGGEST candy store I had ever seen. Some chose immediately. Some decided to share with a friend to sample a variety. Some took their time scouring the store for the best deal. The girls learned how to stay on budget while I learned that each girl approached the problem differently. Fun for all!!!
5. I do NOT recommend taking your troop until they are at least cadettes. One of the troops staying at our hotel had Daisies and Brownies. We ran into them at two other activities. The little ones were screaming from fatigue. Each day was long for us; it was an eternity for the tiny ones. Half the time the moms were dragging them along and the other half the girls were running around at inappropriate venues. This was not the only troop of young ones there either. I saw the same behavior repeated. They may be cute, but nothing will wear you out faster!
6. If you drive, check out the way points for fun activities. There’s nothing more troublesome than a bunch of teenage girls with nothing to do. We couldn’t swim at the hotel pool because we did not have a lifeguard. Instead, we searched Mobile for something to do in the evening. The minor league baseball game was the perfect activity to pass the time and have some fun. My only disappointment is that they did not have a patch. That would have been amazing!!!
7. The girls weren’t the only ones strengthening their friendships. We adult volunteers had time to talk and bond as well.
8. Don’t OVERbook your activities. We had some free time, usually in the evenings after dinner, for the girls to decompress and just hang. Luckily, our hotel had an impressive lounge area so we did not have to compete for space in each other’s room. The girls played cards, looked through the pictures from that day and talked. I have no proof, because we were relaxing and holding that camera is a lot of work.
9. The BEST part of the entire trip for me was watching the girls experience things they never have. Some of these girls had never swam in the ocean. Some had never seen a baseball game. Some had never traveled out of the state without their family. This is why I volunteer for Girl Scouts. To watch the girls explore new worlds and find their worth in them makes all of the preparation and stress and paperwork and negotiation worth it.
10. Finally, never miss an opportunity to say thank you. We meet and do MANY of our activities at a Methodist Church. As we explored the squares, we found a statue of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist religion. We took pictures in front of the monument as well as the detailed plaques. I have those pictures being printed now so I can frame a formal “thank you” to the church for so generously allowing us to use their facilities. I’ll have the girls sign it at our meeting this week.
That’s it for the Savannah trip. The girls voted on their next trip at our planning meeting. Alaska, here we come!!!