September 25 - 27, 2020. Registration will open in spring!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Antipasto Kabobs and other musings......

As the holidays approach (oh wait, they are here!) my mind returned to those tasty antipasto kabobs that we had at the last Great Escape.  Sarah/Fluke graciously took a minute out of her busy day to send me the link to the recipe.  Here it is!

I hope you make them for someone special this month.

In January the committee will be 'retreating' to camp where we are going to work on some new and different ideas we've had for the next GE, which will be October 4 - 6, 2013.  If you have any ideas, why not leave a comment for us?

And if you liked the lasagne at GE this year, here are links to those recipes.  Hope your 2013 is filled with food and friends and family and fun - gosh, I just described Great Escape!

Friday, October 12, 2012

About The Great Escape Committee

There are some very special people I want you to meet.  No, I NEED you to meet:  the Committee that has been incredibly supportive and continues to have vitality and enthusiasm since this adventure began many years ago. 

Some recall the original Great Escape days on the Cape; others' special memories are of Camp Wabasso in New Hampshire.  We are from communities across the Council (and other councils), have varied backgrounds and family stories, work (or not) in different organizations, drive SUVs or school buses, and enjoy hiking or swimming, knitting or woodworking, but make creating a weekend in the woods of New Hampshire one you will long remember a priority.

This year, like all others, the committee was a group of people who know that their collective efforts will make for an experience unlike any in Girl Scouting.  A "working" committee:  where everyone contributes time and talent to ensure others are able to relax and rejuvenate while meeting new friends and sharing a laugh. Thank yous should start no where else but with food. 

This year, we had an amazing group in the kitchen:  Sarah, Andrea, Jess, Katie and Beth.  Each plays a significant role, from planning the budget and menu, raiding extra supplies from camp stores (with Council's permission, of course!), arranging recipes and general oversight of the kitchen prep staff. 

Hospitality was chaired this year by "Jump in with Both Feet" Lois, assisted by early-birds Lou Ann, Ginny & Mel.  Thanks for the delightful centerpieces and gracious table settings as well as the ever popular Kaper chart and assignment plan!  (Many hands make light work!)

We have a Thursday Night Crew who sets about creating the "gracious living" ambiance you found when you arrived at Camp Wabasso.  Donna's group plans dinner first (who wouldn't) and then gets down to the business of checking each site and delivering supplies, setting up the "Welcome" table for check-in, moving chairs and tables for workshops, and generally preparing for your arrival!  Thanks to Kaye, Sue, Betsy, Lesley, Louise, Laura and Kathy (did I forget anyone?) for all they do both on site and behind the scenes to make our stay pleasant and fun. This year's special decorations really made the dining room look more homey - nice job!  Who knew a Girl Scout Birthday party could be so colorful!

Tech-savvy Deb has become an indispensable member of our Committee for setting up (and getting us to use) the GE Yahoo site, working with Mel on our Great Escape Facebook page and GsGreatEscaper Blog and generally keeping us in touch with each other and with all participants.  She was responsible for our new mugs.  If you didn't get one in New Hampshire, they'll be at the next event.

Many thanks to those who wear many hats including Louise, our photographer, Linda , Janine, and Danielle, who passed up the weekend this year to get married!!  Don’t forget Pat who keeps me on the straight and narrow:  my hat’s off to all of you for making our stay incredibly wonderful!  If only the weather could cooperate!  We still enjoy each other’s company, meeting old friends and new, and breathing in the fresh fall air.  Thanks to all.

When will we see you again?  When will we share precious moments?  As Pat has already told you, next year’s date has been set.  Join us at Camp Wabasso October 4-6, 2013.  We’ll be there, how about you?

by Paula

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm Letting the Secret Out!

Quick! Get your calendars ! The date for Great Escape 2013 has been confirmed for October 4-6, 2013! Some of the workshop ideas being tossed about include mosaic stepping stones, paper bag baskets, a variety of jewelry making, Waldorf stars, singing in harmony and lashing.

Perhaps you've attended workshops before, maybe at GE, maybe somewhere else and thought, "I could do that." And then perhaps you thought, "NO! I'm not good enough/smart enough/knowledgeable enough/fill-in-the-blank enough!" I'm suggesting that perhaps you are enough. There's something that you do…that you are good at. Or there's a game you know how to play that you think is great fun.  Other people always say, "Wow! Can you show me how?"  Give this some thought. Maybe this will be the year you give it a try and offer a workshop, eh?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Great Escape Is Over

...but planning for next time has already begun ! Your committee had a wrap-up meeting at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon-gobbling up yummy leftovers-thank-you Sarah, Andrea, Jess, Beth and Katie!! (Did you know we always send some to a shelter program? Nothing is wasted.)

 But I digress. We can talk about food another time. Actually, tell you what. If you're interested, let us know and we'll ask one of our fair cooks to tell us a bit about our menus and food.

Watch for next year's date to appear real soon now. We're awaiting confirmation. We KNOW the date, but can't tell you yet!

Fun stuff is already in the works. Workshops and presenters, next year's menu, the new, new, new GEAA and a special event to celebrate it, product sales and more! Watch our website, Facebook page and this blog for more news over the next few weeks.  You never know what all these creative minds are up to!

BTW…are you a guitar player? Contact me if you are. We need to talk to you!!

Special thanks to all of you who have come to Great Escape. We can make plans until the judgment day, but unless you come, we've got no real party. You are the ones who make it happen. Thanks for the fun!

Happy Trails,

Pat G.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The 30th Anniversary Great Escape Was Fabulous!

Back from the Great Escape and here's some of the highlights -

The cupcakes - lots of different kinds with amazing frosting - the one with coconut, caramel and chocolate was my favorite.

Cannolis - two different fillings - and leftover vanilla filling on my oatmeal Sunday morning.

The synchronized swimming - you had to be there!

The formation of the Great Escape Alumni Association - more about this later - but if you have ever attended GE you are a member!

The closing ceremony - so wonderful, I think I'll hang up my hat as ceremony queen and let those ladies do it again.

The singing - especially the song after the last one when the fabulous Kaye taught a new song in harmony!

The auction was fab - later we'll tell you how much and what improvements to our camps we are going to make with the money....remember it's all about helping out!

The number of mother/daughter teams there this year - we'll count later....What's your favorite GE memory?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

We're Almost There!

T - 5 and Counting

One week from now I will be home from Great Escape.  The singing, the fun, the food, the excitement, the auctions, the food, the ceremonies, the workshops and the food will all be memories.

Make yourself some new memories.  Go to our webpage, Great Escape, and sign up.  If you can't come, look at the photos from previous years and sigh.  Resolve that next year, nothing will stop you from joining in.  And the food is good, too, did I mention that?


Monday, September 3, 2012

Greetings From the GE Kitchen

We hope you’re counting down the days until the Great Escape - we are! The kitchen will be hopping all weekend, from Friday night to Sunday morning. Bring your appetites; there will be plenty to eat.

Join us Friday evening for tea, cocoa, coffee and warm chocolate chip cookies, as we come together to meet new friends and greet old ones.

Saturday morning will kickoff with pancakes and bacon. Piping hot oatmeal, a yogurt bar and cereal will be available. Lunch includes a baked potato bar with toppings, a large salad bar, homemade chicken and rice soup, homemade pasta e Fagiola soup, and fresh rolls with butter. Don't miss our freshly baked brownies!

Saturday dinner is an Italian-themed celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts! Start with delicious appetizers, including bruschetta and antipasto kabobs. Choose from several kinds of homemade lasagna, fresh garlic bread, and Caesar salad. Delight in a variety of homemade, Girl Scout themed cupcakes.

We'll close the weekend with French toast and sausage on Sunday morning. Oatmeal, yogurt and cereal will be available as well.

TEA, COCOA AND COFFEE WILL BE AVAILABLE ALL WEEKEND. We suggest bringing your own mug.  We will have GE ceramic mugs for sale for $10.00.  Sharpies will be available so you can put your name on your new mug.  We'll bake them to 'set' the ink and you'll have your very own GE mug which you can bring back every year!

Pop into the kitchen and say hello when you arrive - we'd love to see you!
Sarah, Andrea, Jess, Katie and Beth
Great Escape Kitchen Crew 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why Am I Still Doing This…or, Why Would I Want To Stop?

Mel is the Queen Creator of The Blog. However, she's asked committee members to help her out by creating posts. So it's me, Pat posting this one. 

As Labor Day began to creep up, so did thoughts of what I'd bring as an auction donation. Also…committee e-mails about GE and logistical discussions between myself and Deb may have also been little nudges! I finished work early one day and decided it was the perfect opportunity to head to …Aw. You thought I was gonna give a hint about where I shopped, didn't you? Nope.

Anyhow, off I went. When he got home, my husband decided that he liked my purchase so much, he wants to bid on it. So ...there's already competition! 

This blog post was written because I was about to wrap this surprise. I began thinking about my fellow  Great Escape committee members. Some old, some new, some gone on sabbatical and now returned. I've always said that these are the most amazing bunch of women I've ever known. Some of them are best friends. Some I've traveled with (Washington D.C with the 'clown car' cab ride, conventions, Ohio and a variety of canoe trips). Some I only see at GE meetings. With all of them I've laughed and cried…crying mostly because I'm laughing too hard. I'm talking my drink coming out my nose laughing. I mean I can't breathe or catch my breath laughing. I mean when I am prepping to go home, my face hurts! Can it get better than that??

But why do we all come together? It's the same for all of us. It's an openness to whoever is interested in coming along for the ride and that promise of friendship that attracts with a good time for sure…but what else? It's certainly no weekend of relaxation for us…but when you love what you're doing it doesn't feel like 'work', does it? But what really brings us all together in the end is that we believe in Girl Scouts. I mean really believe. We have members with and without troops. Some who had girls who were or are GS's. Some with boys and no girls at all. Some with no children. But all of us come together, for a weekend in the woods of New Hampshire, because of that common thread. We believe that if you take care of and nurture adults, they are able to give more, to become energized by your caretaking to do the amazing things they do for girls.

So… we meet once at retreat and a couple other times a year to energize ourselves, get silly, eat great food and do lots of planning so that we can make a weekend of fun for you. Come on up to New Hampshire in a few weeks. Get silly with us and eat great food. Learn stuff. Let us entertain or relax you. Depends on which workshops you take, right?:)

But come on up so we can help you take care of yourselves and so you can give to those whom you give to so freely. You deserve it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gracious Living in the Outdoors

That's our motto!

Yesterday I was working at Cedar Hill and I snuck over to see the new brink walk.  The GE brick includes that motto.  We've been working hard to make it so - white table cloths for dinner on Saturday, decorations. fabulous food.  This year we have more workshops than ever before.  Run on over to our website  The Great Escape and check it out.  Hope to see you on September 28-30 in New Hampshire!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hike the Appalachian Trail During the Great Escape
Are you wondering what new and different thing to do at GE? Did you celebrate the GS birthday 
already (maybe a LOT-maybe not at all), but are thinking you'd like something different and 

Read below and see if you might like to join us for this once in a lifetime event happening 
as a Great Escape activity!  If so, go to Great Escape to sign up.  

You will get transportation to the Trail, a box lunch, a patch and make a donation to the 
Appalachian Trail Conservancy, all for $8 and the GE signup fee.  Not to mention a great 
breakfast and dinner at the Great Escape.


Make it a birthday to remember!

We are looking for Girl Scouts of all ages (from 5 to 95) to pick a section of the Appalachian
Trail to hike in honor of our 100th anniversary. Our hiking journey starts Monday,
March 12, 2012 (Girl Scouts 100th birthday) and ends Wednesday, October 31, 2012
(Juliette Gordon Low’s 152nd birthday).
Our event’s Honorary Chair Mary “Mama Boots” Sands inspired this celebratory hike. As a
Girl Scout Leader in Kentucky (Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana) she began hiking and backpacking
the Appalachian Trail in the early 1970s. Over the course of nearly 20 years, accompanied by
groups of Girl Scout girls and adults, she eventually hiked the entire 2000+ miles of the AT – in
bits and pieces or section-hiking.
So join your sister Girl Scouts across the East Coast – across the nation – across the globe
who are gathering to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2012 to  celebrate our golden years.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

 Paula's History of the Great Escape

This is a first...never wrote a "blog" before, but am taking hints from my Great Escape Committee members and my nephew, Jeremy, who was working in Belize with the Jesuit Corps for the past two years.  He's home now with lots of history and life experiences under his belt.  But I digress...

I want to tell you just how wonderful the GE Committee and how it came to be... my position as chairperson began with an idea for change...

Several years ago, Council had historically sponsored this event as a 'thank you' to adults who volunteered their time and talent to Girl Scouts across the Council.  Numbers began to dwindle...for a number of reasons -- more moms were taking on full-time jobs and crushed all their family time into the weekends and many felt that taking a weekend for themselves was stealing from that time, maybe transportation was an issue, maybe it was the money.  And face it, many adults did not want to sleep in a tent.  But, it appeared to me that changing the format of the event, and offering more varied (and warm!) accommodations might be attractive to those looking for a way to spend time away from home to enjoy themselves (you deserve it!) using quality time to learn new ideas.  I called as many of my 'do anything' friends as I could find and held a meeting.  (Most of those 'do everything' people are are still on the Committee today!)  We set out to offer exciting workshops that taught troop-related activities, such as Pysanky Egg Decorating, leather crafts, songs & games, and archery, among many others. Signing up for the weekend workshops gave a purpose to the weekend and a great excuse to get away.  With some very animated, excited and crazy advertising at every adult event we attended, the number of participants began to grow from a mere 30 at the very brink of cancellation to a mighty 100+!!!

Upon thinking long and hard, we used our resources wisely and changed our venue from Camp Favorite on the Cape, to Camp Wabasso in New Hampshire.  There were several considerations that went into this change.  First, the accommodations.  Wabasso offers unheated cabins and tents as well as heated rooms with cots in the Lodge and Christa's House.  The dining hall is the perfect space to meet 'n greet and the welcoming smells of baking cookies can't be beat!  And we asked that the showers be turned on for the whole weekend!  We provide a lifeguard for those warmer fall weekends we have enjoyed and utilize the camp canoes for a spin around the pond.  And what leaf-peeper can resist nature's colors on a beautiful New Hampshire afternoon??  There is something for everybody!

I highly recommend that you check out our web site at and sign up for this year's fabulous event!  'Gracious Living in the Outdoors' is our theme and we'll be celebrating both the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts as well as the 30th Anniversary of the Great Escape event.  We couldn't be more pleased to have you join us!  (Don't forget to thank a Committee member when you meet her!)

Hi all, Deb here!  We are all starting to get excited because the Girl Scout Great Escape 2012 is only 48 days away.  If you haven't registered yet, go to The Great Escape, take a look at the workshop schedule and register.  We've got tons of new choices this year, but some of the workshops are starting to fill up.  You know how quickly Stained Glass and Pysanky Eggs fill up!

Loons On Lake Blaisdell

These are some of the feathered friends who visit us at GE at Camp Wabasso on the shores of Lake Blaisdell.

Girl Scouts Love to Sing!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cookies & GSGreat Escape Fun

 What does everyone think about the new Nestle Girl Scout collaboration???  Read up -

I have to admit to loving the Edy's GS ice cream.Let's get some For GSGreat Escape- .Come join us for a weekend of fun, friends & Gracious Living in the Out Of Doors in beautiful New Hampshire.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Actual Camper comment cards

These are actual comments left on U. S. Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:
  • “A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.”
  • “Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.”
  • “Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.”
  • “Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.”
  • “Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals.”
  • “All the mile markers are missing this year.”
  • “Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse.”
  • “Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.”
  • “Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.”
  • “Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter.”
  • “Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.”
  • “The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.”
  • “Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.”
  • “Need more signs to keep area pristine.”
  • “A McDonald’s would be nice at the trail head.”
  • “The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.”
  • “Too many rocks in the mountains.”

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Juliettes Tree

A Tree for the Future

Every spring
The sap rises in the trees
From root to branch
And  makes a tree that looks dead
Blossom with green leaves
And life.
So it  is that the Scouting Spriit
Rises within you and
Inspires you to put  forth
Your best.
By  Juliette Gordon Low

Wednesday, January 25, 2012



Sunday, January 22, 2012

GS Great Escaper -first entry