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Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Child in the Woods

If you are on the beach this August, why not read our GE book club selections for this year, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv?
And watch this video, the link to which I received from committee member Danielle who is not only our Hospitality chair, but a concerned new parent:

The end of childhood?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 7: Closing Ceremony and Dinner

Finally, Day 7 and the GSEM destination, Whales, Tales and Trails, had to end.  At the closing dinner, held in the Lodge at Endicott College (a very girl-scout-y wood framed cabin with canoes suspended from the ceiling and skis, snow shoes and tennis racquets on the walls) the girls presented their Girl Scouts' Own closing ceremony.

There was an Italian banquet, speeches, laughter and yes, a few tears.  Later there would be marathons of packing and chatting in the dorm, but this was a time for all the committee members and adults from Girl Scouts, Eastern Massachusetts who were involved with the destination to bid goodbye to the 24 wonderful girls and 4 fabulous chaperones who made this destination such a wonderful experience.





Beth, Gail, George and Kit
Parents, grandparents, thank you for sending us your Girl Scouts!  I'm sure it was hard for you to send them off 'beyond the blue horizon' but your girls will have learned a lot and taken some big steps on their journeys towards successful adulthood.

Girls, I enjoyed meeting you all and I hope those of you who are still girl members will urge other Girl Scouts to apply for a destination for next year - and apply yourself - the new list goes up on the GSUSA website in November!  And when you are a senior in High School - come to the Great Escape!  It's an adult destination that happens every year!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day 7: Life on the Ocean Wave

On Friday afternoon, the crew sailed on the Schooner Ardelle, out of Gloucester Harbor.

This destination was blessed with almost perfect summer weather!  Hauling away!




Puffy clouds, a breeze and happy girls!



Wildlife - very Girl Scouty!


A view from aloft!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Service at the Children's Center for Communication

On the last day of GSEM's Whales, Tales and Trails destination, the Girl Scouts descended on The Children's Center for Communication to give a bit of service back to the communities, Beverly and Eastern Massachusetts, which had hosted them for a week.

The Children's Center for Communication was founded in 1876 as the Beverly School for the Deaf.  Now it serves children who have all sorts of communication and developmental delays.  The teachers  needed help preparing sensory materials - cutting, assembling and gluing materials that would help students learn shapes, letters and numbers. What a  perfect project for this bunch of reading and writing aficionados!  After an introduction to the school and the project, the girls went to work!





 Results - lots of terrific materials!
The girls had been working all week on making gifts for all the students (sadly, they couldn't meet them in person!) and the students left gifts for the girls too.  Now it was time for lunch and a trip to Gloucester for an ocean voyage!




Friday, July 24, 2015

Day 6: Make Way For Girl Scouts!

Boston was the destination's destination on Thursday, Day 6.  Their "Boston by Foot" tour started out at the Potato Famine statue at the foot of School Street (site of the first school in North American, Boston Latin School, founded in 1635 and still going strong) and ending at the new State House (completed in 1798!) 
Lunch and shopping at Fanueil Hall provided a needed break from touring.   The girls then boarded a Duck Boat for a tour of the Charles River and waterfront area.

What would a tour of Boston be worth without a visit to Mr and Mrs Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack?


The girls returned to campus for dinner and a writing seminar with Author Edith Maxwell, whose "Local Foods" mystery series is set on a farm in the North Shore of Massachusetts, and features a character named Ellie, a Senior Girl Scout working on her Locavore badge.

Day 5: Salem

Day five was spent wholly in Salem, Massachusetts, site of the infamous witch trials in 1692. The girls went to the Witch Museum where they learned the truth behind the legends.


Before Facebook, Before Twitter, Before Texting.
It was neighbor against neighbor,
Hearsay, Innuendo and Gossip.
We show you the evidence..You be the judge!
Twenty innocent people were put to death during the Witch Hysteria of 1692.
History made them famous... we make them real!

The girls also saw the lighter side of the witch legends, with a visit to the Samantha statue. 

Another picnic outside, shopping and strolling, a scavenger hunt at the cemetery, and a visit to the House of the Seven Gables, where they met Nathaniel Hawthorne, rounded out the day.
They were hosted in Salem by a troop of Girl Scouts, and in the evening, at a local church, they were treated to a lovely dinner prepared especially for them by the Salem Girl Scout community.











The whole gang with their host troop!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Destination Day 4: Three State Jaunt!

After Strawbery Banke, the girls had dinner in Portsmouth, then took a twilight hike over the Piscataqua River into Maine!
The fog had come up over the river, making for some very evocative photographs.  Note the new sweatshirts!  Portsmouth has terrific shops of every description - high end art and antiques to nautical gear and supplies to keychains.
So in one day, the girls started and ended their day in Massachusetts, went tidepooling and travelled through history in New Hampshire, and hiked into Maine - something New Englanders take for granted, but a bit different for those from Arizona, California and Texas!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Destination Day 3: Orchard House

The staff of Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott and her family, actually opened up early so that we could tour the house - there were so many of us that we had to tour in groups so as not to exceed the capacity of the small, old  (the main part of the house is cs. 1690!) house with its nooks, crannies, narrow stairways and step up/step downs.  No photography is allowed in the house, but you can visit the Orchard House site for panoramas of the main rooms.  Do not miss Orchard House if you are a fan of the Alcotts.  Eighty percent of the house's furnishings were actually owned by the family.  The docents are knowledgeable. They have a great selection of books by and about the Alcotts in the shop, as well.  Only three years until the 150th Anniversary of the publication of "Little Women" - wonder what they have planned to celebrate?


Our bus parked across the street from the house and the house next door, Wayside House.  Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family lived next door to the Alcotts at Wayside (and the Alcotts actually lived there too - one of the 27 moves they made in 20 years.)  Later Harriet Lothrop, author of "The Five Little Peppers" series under the pen name of Margaret Sidney also lived at the Wayside; but the house is being restored right now so we could not visit.

The gardens at Orchard House were lovely - this is just about the best time to see our New England gardens with the hydrangeas, daylilies and true lilies running riot!

After the tour and a short shopping break, we walked up the hill to the office building (an old house that's been beautifully modernized and air conditioned) so the girls could participate in their journaling program.
I was excited to see these dolls representing Amy, Beth and Meg.
 (No Jo on display  - I suspect she met with an accident like Beth's ' miserable specimen of dollanity' from Little Women - but I own the missing doll.  If her feet weren't broken I'd reunite her with her sisters.)

We ended with a quick snack and water break under the trees before the girls boarded the bus to the whale watch out of Gloucester Harbor (pronounced Glostah Habah.  Get the accent!) The snacks were provided by Foodlink (a perfect example of a TAP - read their story)  and if you are near Arlington MA, get involved with this wonderful organization.