February 26, 2020 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Local Girl Scouts reflect on trip to Georgia

The road to Georgia was long and winding, but worth it.

Recently scouts in Troops 2077, 2116 and 2134 presented information on their trip to Savannah, Ga., to parents and other scout troops.

The troop spent five days in July in Savannah, taking a trolley tour, eating lots of food, taking a ghost tour, visiting the Girl Scout birthplace, taking a tour of the Girl Scouts first headquarters and visiting Tybee Island.

Lily Ploense, 15, said her favorite part of the trip was walking around Savannah and finding new facts about Girl Scouts.

“My favorite part of the Savannah trip was getting to spend the week with my friends and all the memories we made and laughs we had,” said Sara Steffens, 16.

“My favorite part of the Savannah trip was actually just being in the house with all of my friends and making memories that’ll last me a life time,” said Edanne Barber, 16.

Hannah Fox, 15, agreed that the best part of the trip was hard to pin down. Fox said she enjoyed taking pictures, spending time in a garden and spending time with her friends.

The trip gave the girls the chance to learn about the history of scouting.

Gracie Warns, 14 said her favorite part of the trip was visiting the Andrew Low Home. The home is the Girl Scout First Headquarters building and was formerly the carriage house for Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low’s adult home. The home was willed to the Girl Scouts upon Low’s death in 1927.

The building has served Girl Scouts longer than any other building in the nation and is the only building left by Low to Girl Scouts.

The building has historical significance, not only for the Girl Scouts, but Savannah as it has been shared with the United Way, the Junior League and The British War Relief Association during World War II.

The home now serves as a museum, program center and shop while offering educational experiences for scouts.

Madeline Thompson, 15, said while she enjoyed visiting the Girl Scout historic sites, she also enjoyed visiting Tybee Island.

“I loved visiting the ocean,” she said. “I’m a sucker for everything that involves the beach. I guess you could call me a fish out of the water.”

Thompson said she also learned that Savannah is the home to many firsts, including not only the Girl Scouts but also the first lighthouse on the Atlantic Coast and the first Black Baptist congregation in America.

“Savannah is truly an amazing place full of surprises,” she said.

All of the scouts said visiting the birthplace of Low was another highlight of the trip.

“It was kind of like she was there with you, like you could feel her spirit lurking around and still feel that part of her was there,” said Alexis Taylor, 15.

The birthplace gives scouts a look at the history of Low and shows how she built the girl scouts into an international organization. The house is filled with original and period furnishings and has high ceilings and unique features including elaborate millwork, decorative plaster ceilings and a large mahogany staircase.

“Visiting Juliet Gordon Low’s birthplace was an experience that I felt brought me closer to Girl Scouts across the country, as it a meeting place for all Girl Scouts,” said Emily Elsbernd, 14.

Katie Powers, 15, echoed that sentiment.

“It was amazing to visit the place where Juliette Gordon Low was born and raised,” she said. “I knew much about Juliette before going on the trip, but knowing and seeing are two different things. I knew she was artistic, but I got to see her hand-painted plates that looked unbelievably realistic.”

All of the girls said they value their time in scouts because it enables them to have experiences they would not have otherwise while building strong friendships.

“Girl Scouts is extremely important to me because I get to help others and potentially even change their lives,” Thompson said. “Girl Scouts is amazing because it’s women empowering women. There are so many negative things happening around us, but Girl Scouts really helps to lift us back up again.”

Taylor said she likes scouting because it is inspiring.

“It inspires little girls around the world that girls can do just about anything if they put their mind to it,” she said.

Barber said she enjoys scouts because of the sense of sisterhood it creates.

“Girl Scouts has taught me about being a leader and that any girl can feel like a sister,” she said.

For more info about visiting Girl Scouts locations in Savannah visit: https://www.gshg.org/content/dam/girlscouts-gshg/documents/Discover%20Savannah.pdf

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