For over 100 years, around 250 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been changing lives and building a better world through community action, advocacy, and service to others. Though girls all over the globe are working hard to change the leadership landscape on a daily basis, it's not an every day occurrence that a group of Girl Scouts gets the opportunity to get together in-person with Girl Guides to exchange their ideas and familiarities.
Tara and Juanita Kirk, Girl Guides from Brisbane, Australia sought to strengthen their guiding and scouting experience in a unique and personal way. Last June, they had plans to travel to the United States to visit their grandfather in Post Falls, Idaho. Eager to make the most out of their trip, they arranged for a meet-and-greet with sister scouts in this region of the country. With the help of their leader they contacted the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to ask for assistance in connecting with a local Girl Scout troop,
As soon as Coeur d'Alene Troop 3032 heard about the opportunity to host the Kirk family, they began planning for the rare occasion. The girls' excitement grew as they practiced and perfected their songs and games. Knowing how lucky they were to unite with likeminded youth from accords the globe, they wanted everything to go off without a hitch.
When the highly anticipated day arrived, it proved to be nothing short of a magical event. The group kicked off the evening by performing a Flag Ceremony, reciting their respective promises and laws, and exchanging SWAPs. They shared their memories of and plans for World Thinking Day, taught each other songs, and played field games. They ended the evening on a sweet note by introducing one another to their distinctive cookie business practices and delectable flavors.
Though the girls' special gathering may now be over, the impressions that were left and the memories that were made are sure to last a lifetime. As Girl Guides and Girl Scouts continue to shape their communities and influence the world, the group hopes to remain in communication with each other through a pen pal program. Troop member Mikayla Hageman recently received Juanita's address and can't wait to keep in touch with her new friend and forever sister.
Being that the Girl Scout motto is to "Be Prepared," it didn't come as a surprise when the only way to describe the experience was for Troop 3032's Cassie Skelton to say, "I didn't know what to expect, but that was awesome!" She shares a lesson with the rest of us to be prepared - whether it be for sudden calamities, unforeseen revelations, or surprising amounts of awesomeness!
Juanita and Tara were also able to visit Camp Four Echoes and meet two more girls from Troop 3032, who were attending the North Idaho Adventures resident camp session. Click here to view photos from their visit.