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The Great Girl Scout Hike
The year 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and they are holding a variety of events and activities to celebrate the occasion. One such program will involve Girl Scout troops from the entire eastern seaboard of the US (and elsewhere) participating in hikes on the Appalachian Trail (AT).
The plan is for Girl Scouts of every age to participate in hikes or backpacks along the AT sometime during the period from March 12, 2012 (the 100th Anniversary of the very first Girl Scout meeting) to October 31, 2012 (the 152nd birthday of the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Low). Activities might range from Daisy Girl Scouts (kindergarten and first grade girls) taking a half-hour walk on the trail to high-school age girls taking overnight backpacks.
Also planned are camporees at Girl Scout camps near the AT that will include hikes from the camp onto the AT. There will even be an organized group, primarily Girl Scout alumni, doing a full thru-hike of the AT; local groups are invited to hike along with them as the come through the area.
Help with Events in Our Region
The organizers of "The Great Girl Scout Hike," as it has been dubbed, are coordinating with the Girl Scout councils along the trail and the hiking community, especially AT Maintaining Clubs, to help with training and assisting Girl Scout leaders so that they will be comfortable leading hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Since the Trail Conference is the AT maintaining club for the states of New York and New Jersey, we have taken the lead in fostering this cooperating among the Girl Scout councils, the NY and NJ AT management committees, the Trail Conference's professional staff, the AT Conservancy (ATC), and the hiking clubs and hikers in the region.
The Trail Conference's AT Coordinating Committee, headed by Ron Rosen, is supporting the event. They are looking for volunteers willing to assist the Girl Scout leaders in preparation for the actual events. Any hikers already involved with the Girl Scouts (including Girl Scout alumni) are especially encouraged to come forward. Assistance can include:
1. attending leaders' meetings to talk about hike leadership and the history and maintenance of the AT,
2. taking Girl Scout leaders on a hike to give them experience with the issues of hike leadership,
3. attending actual Girl Scout meetings to talk to the girls, or
4. joining Girl Scout troops on a hike on the AT.
The coordinating committee can provide volunteers with additional information or handouts to help with the training events. Also, experienced hike leaders are especially encouraged to volunteer!
Those wishing more information on volunteering to help with the training or leadership, can contact Ron Rosen, NY-NJ Trail Conference AT coordinator (a volunteer, not a staff person member), at 845-454-4936 or [email protected] .
More information on the program as a whole can be obtained by visiting the website www.gshike.org, or on Facebook at "Great Girl Scout Hike."