Submitted by Misty Roper
Northern & Northeastern CO
I wanted to share some of my daughter’s experiences this summer as a Girl Scout Brownie in your beautiful Colorado State Parks. Coming from out of state and different council, we definitely set out to go the distance for GSUSA’s week one challenge in honor of National Great Outdoors Month June 1 – 8, 2018. We planned this adventure since the early spring and as the days got closer the nine-hour drive was worth every minute. As a third-year Girl Scout leader for my daughter’s troop, she and I ventured out to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park. We were adventurers for sure while gaining courage and building character and confidence together while embarking on difficult courses of action. Within the national park, she became a Girl Scout Service Patch recipient, Junior Ranger, and enjoyed staying in a cabin, cooking on a fire, painting outdoors, hiking along side a lake and in the national park, observing wildlife, bird watching, identifying trees, plants and animals, as well as learning about different tracks and scat of animals within the mountains. Being a part of a few ranger-led programs about bears and the history of Rocky Mountain National Park was one of her favorites, as she loves everything about history.
Natilee is 8-years-old and able to learn things and experience being bold and fearless while doing things that helped me take the risk as well. She learned for the first time how to fish, build a teepee fire to cook on, make tin foil dinners, take on a role while hiking as the trailblazer/animal detective, skipped rocks on the lake and hiked up to see the Alluvial Fan Waterfall, where she learned about rocks and minerals seeing fools gold, daringly suited up to rock climb, sat atop a viewing room with a giant telescope to learn about astronomy at night at the local Observatory, practiced wildlife safety, Leave No Trace and gave back to the animals in the area by making biodegradable bird feeders around the cabin area where we stayed.
I can explain what a change I seen in my daughter. As an only child, she and I get to experience a lot of things together, but being adventurous and being a Girl Scout along with her was forever changing. Natilee was shining with self-fulfillment and showed great leadership skills as I allowed her to lead many excursions with little adult guidance. From what we had studied beforehand, she implemented very well and cautiously. We look forward to completing activities throughout the summer in our local council with our troop to build on the traits she learned by going the distance.
In celebration of National Great Outdoors Month, Girl Scouts is excited to host four weeks of exciting outdoor challenges in June. Follow along, have fun, then make sure to share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #gsoutdoors for a chance to win an awesome prize from the North Face!
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