Wednesday, October 11, 2017

We Went to the Girl Scout National Convention

I have so many words about GIRL 2017, the Girl Scout National Convention that the kids and I went to last week, but the vast majority of those words are so Girl Scout nerd-centric that I'll save them for the Girl Scout leaders message board that I'm a part of, okay? You probably don't need to know about the SWAP celebrity that I met, or the controversies over the Macy's booth and the taser display, or an in-depth comparison/contrast of the experience of delegates vs. attendees.

You might be interested to know, however, that there was both a dive tank in which girls were receiving SCUBA lessons, and NASA scientists letting girls try out NASA training simulators. There was a real-time service project going on in the back of the hall. Will met a park ranger who gave her the contact information of another ranger who could help her with her Silver Award project. I met the founder of the Little Free Library program, and was too starstruck to ask if I could take my picture with him.

Here's what else we did!

Soooooo many SWAPS were made and exchanged! I'll tell you more about SWAPS another time--especially because I have some SWAP tutorials to share with you!--but here's just a little bit about them. Adults get into them, too, so I made my own SWAPS to share. Except then I gave my SWAPS to Will so that she'd have something to exchange when she realized that she left her Girl Scout bag, with all her SWAPS in it, at home.

Fun fact: Will also forgot her shoes (she wore the Crocs that she slipped on early that morning to go do the chicken chores for the whole road trip), her pajamas, and her surf shirt (she had to wear a T-shirt in the hotel pools, instead). Sigh...

Instead of trading my own SWAPS, then, I took pictures of other SWAPS that I liked--

--and I enjoyed watching the kids share their (and my) SWAPS!
This is one of Syd's.
 We were only doing the Hall of Experiences, not the full convention, and I worried that there wouldn't be enough for the kids to do, but there was actually SO MUCH to do that we didn't get to everything in the long day that we were there! Nearly every booth had one, and often several, activities for the kids:
They're making noisemaking flyers at a booth for a company that hosts STEM enrichment parties for children.
Both kids spent ages at the Makerbot booth!

Syd designed a 3D-printable bunny.

Syd designed a parachute at the COSI booth and tested it in a wind tunnel.

Both kids programmed robots, also at the COSI booth.

The American Electric Power booth had snap circuits.

At the Joann's booth, you could make your own cape!
Chalk of the Town had chalk art.

They made star viewers at one of the NASA booths.
 Okay, here's one Girl Scout nerd thing that I'll share with you: new badges in the making!
I just wish they wouldn't take so long to come out. Will will Bridge to Senior before the Cadette badge comes out, alas.
 Here's another super nerdy Girl Scout thing: there are two companies in the US that make Girl Scout cookies. Their names are Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers, and they make some different cookies. Our region is a Little Brownie Bakers region, and I've never tasted an ABC Bakers Girl Scout cookie, so of course as soon as I saw the ABC Bakers booth I went straight there, told them that I was a Little Brownie Bakers Girl Scout, and the guy running the booth hooked me right up with the ABC Bakers special cookies:
Here you see Thanks-a-Lot and Lemonades. Not shown is Smores, which I think I already ate.
 Of course, that didn't stop us from also visiting the Little Brownie Bakers booth and eating a lot of Samoas and Thin Mints:

more SWAP-making

The Columbus Zoo was there, which is why I have a thousand pictures of my children petting a kangaroo: 

Taking a painting break, and crap! I just remembered that I didn't pick up their paintings at the end of the day--oops!


Does she look worn out yet? I was!!!
It was a wonderful day, and both kids came away inspired to do more, learn more, and be of service more. I came away with lots of leader ideas, and information and ideas for even more adventures that the girls could have.

And then we got BACK in the car, because the 3.5 hours that I'd driven early that morning to get to Columbus clearly hadn't been enough. I fought traffic to drive past the Ohio Statehouse so that we could say that we'd seen it (we saw it!), and then another nearly two hours down south,  nearly to the Kentucky border.

We ate sandwiches, swam, watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on my laptop, and then went to bed early, ready for Native American mound viewing on the next day!

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