Did you know that Girl Scouts has multi-national gatherings and centers for visiting all over the world? Afton Girl Scout Ambassadors Troop 30755 has taken part in three international trips so far and plan to continue their travels every chance they get. The girls started big. Their first international trip was to Our Chalet owned by WAGGGS – World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in Switzerland. Leader, Helen Kittle, says “the trip to Our Chalet… kind of set a precedent with younger scouts that we could and would travel internationally with them.” The Chalet is only one of many places where American Girl Scouts can meet Girl Guides from all over the world.
While staying at the Chalet, the girls met a Canadian Girl Guide who invited them to Spirit Camp in Ontario, Canada. The girls were eager to take her up on her invitation and traveled to Canada in the summer of 2012 as part of the centennial celebration of Canadian and American Girl Guides/Girl Scouts. The girls had a great time and were able to socialize with girls from other nations. They ended up meeting Jess, a Girl Guide from Australia, who told them about WINGS 2014 which is a camp for boys and girls in scouting programs that took place at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire, England. Ready for another adventure, the Ambassadors flew to the UK where they first explored London while staying on a Scout ship in the Docklands section that functions as a youth hostel.
While in England, they watched a cricket match, visited the Tower of London and London Bridge, took a double decker bus tour and went to places the girls were dying to see such as Baker Street (from Sherlock Holmes) and Westminster Abbey. They then met up with their host troop from Weybridge who transported them to Windsor Great Park. While campfires were not allowed on the grounds, the girls had plenty to do. They were taught circus skills such as stilt walking and riding a unicycle, had an afternoon to visit Windsor Village/Castle, and took part in activities such as a ropes course, archery and riflery, and group games. Eileen Tallmadge, another leader of the troop, said, “Each evening there [were] two stages for entertainment with bands [and] a talent contest.”
No campfires also meant no s’mores, but the girls enjoyed traditional English food like having tomatoes, sausage, and beans for breakfast. The troop had an amazing time learning about other countries and making new friends. Your troop can too! Check out the WAGGGS website at http://www.wagggs.org/en/world where you can learn about their World Centres in London, Mexico, Switzerland, and India. An overseas trip is an adventure in itself, but it may also open up a whole new world of opportunities for your girls.