Fourteen of our Girl Scouts had the chance to visit Colorado this summer as part of our council’s travel experiences and explore the great outdoors! Learn more about their adventures from the girls themselves in the journal entries they sent home every night:

Day 1

Hello from Snow Mountain Ranch! We started off the day with our flight to Denver. Our pilot was hilarious and we enjoyed the free snacks. Once in Denver, we boarded our very own bus. Our bus driver was named Buffalo Bill and he had a very nice cowboy hat (by the way, it took Bill three years to become an official cowboy!). We drove through the mountains and our ears were popping as we slowly climbed the mountains. We even saw some buffalo and some snowy white caps!

Later, we checked into our rooms and ate dinner RIGHT AWAY (because we were starving). We then walked back to our rooms and enjoyed some free time. To finish off the night, we had a brief orientation meeting to plan our schedules for the week. We were overjoyed to hear that there ARE in fact llamas on property!
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Day 2

Today was our first official day of doing activities. All of the girls doing the one-hour horseback riding had to get up early to eat breakfast at the mess hall. They served French toast sticks and salami along with fruits, yogurt, granola and cereals, etc. We were all assigned to different horses and some were not as cooperative as others! Don’t worry, we were all wearing helmets.

All of the girls that were also doing archery then took a rented car to the other side of camp, to be on time. For the session, we all got to shoot the arrows at targets in the hay stacks. After a tired morning, we all walked back to get lunch. The meal (tuna noodle casserole) was delicious!

The adventurous people of the group dared to then go to the high-ropes course. We had to use teamwork to make the dream work on the “Giants’ Ladder.” After working from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., many girls got tired and went back to their rooms before going to the cafeteria for dinner. We all had a little bit of time to roller skate and play dodge ball in the Kiva (activity area) before going to a meeting about tomorrow’s fun. Many went on a last-minute hike to see the sunset for beautiful pictures.
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Day 3

Today, all of us had a lot of fun whitewater rafting. We made A LOT of fun memories that will last a lifetime. To start out our day, most of the girls went on a morning sunrise hike and got a lot of pictures. We quickly went back to our rooms to get ready for whitewater rafting. We had a quick breakfast before we loaded the buses to leave. We had a fun bus ride filled with laughter and song singing.

When we got the facility, we got fitted from our PFDs (personal flotation devices) and helmets, then we grabbed our paddles and took a few cute pictures. We hopped on the bus to get to the bank where we were loaded on to our rafts to begin our day of mad adventuring.

At the beginning, we did a lot of sightseeing, and one of the most beautiful things that we saw was a bald eagle. After about five minutes on the river, we hit our first batch of rapids. It was scary at first, but after a few good splashes, we realized how much fun we were going to have. We went through a few more rapids before we reached a small rock that we could jump off of. Most of the girls went without hesitation and were for sure shocked by the cold.

After jumping, we got back in to the raft and headed to the second section of rapids on our trip. On the second section, we got our first taste of what the Colorado River can dish out. It was a major adrenaline rush! After this, we stopped for a very hardy lunch and then cruised down the river. We got to jump out of the raft a couple times.

After dinner, some of the girls went on a beautiful hike where we got to see the sunset. We are excited to see what else Colorado has to offer!
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Day 4

Today, we had a splendid time with our activities. When we woke up, we met up with beautiful horses that would take us to our delicious meal of pancakes, sausage and eggs. The cowboys were very kind and treated us to their stories of their many travels brought by their talent of horse wrangling (with the help of Mrs. Garlough’s ongoing questions).

Later, we hiked over to the Rowley Homestead, where we whittled away at our award-winning hiking sticks. It was hard work whittling and sanding them, but they will definitely come in handy on our many hikes. We then ate lunch and hurried over to the summer tubing hill, where a steep bumpy hill and a lot of fun awaited us. All of us really enjoyed the experience, and the mist that was sprayed at us as we rode down was very refreshing, since it was such a hot day.

Next, we split up and had a while to relax and enjoy the afternoon. Some of the campers rented bikes and rode on some of the beautiful trails hugging the mountains. There were highs and lows, but overall it was an activity not to be missed! Other campers just relaxed in their rooms, went to the craft cabin, or enjoyed a refreshing swim in the pool. After that, we all met up for a cookout, and enjoyed the many different options that met each lifestyle.

Then we played on the playground until a sandstorm rolled in, but this was not exactly a bad thing, since it led us to a special needs talent show. It brought tears to many of our eyes. Their courage showed us how foolish we are to worry about what other people think of our talents. When it ended some of us went over to the roller rink and got an awesome view of a double rainbow — it went right over our cabin, what a coincidence! Finally, after a long day, we all headed back to our cabin to rest up for another full day tomorrow.
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Day 5

Today we had a busy, but exciting day. We woke up to a breakfast of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, and French toast. Some of us went on a very early morning hike. Some took later hikes, but both were spectacular. There was also a few on a horseback ride. Six people, including Mrs. Baudhuin and Ashley, went on a beautiful scenic waterfall hike. We took tons of photos, and ended up exploring a cave. The horseback ride was two hours long and was very exciting.

Afterward, we headed over to lunch, which included Rice Krispy Treats. Then we went canoeing on a beautiful lake. We played fun games, such as retrieving tennis balls from the lake. There was lots of teamwork involved to win the competition! We also had fun playing with the minnows, but we didn’t catch any, although we tried hard. We splashed each other a ton, but luckily no canoes were tipped over. But one person did intentionally fall in! We headed back for a few hours of free time — some swimming, some drawing.

Whatever it was, our time was not wasted! However, we noticed some dark clouds overhead. It started raining, so we weren’t able to go zip lining. Dinner was delicious including a wide variety of desserts to choose from, including coconut crème pie, ice cream, and carrot cake. Despite the rain, we had plenty of excitement. We decided to lounge inside and play a game of spoons. Don’t worry, no serious injuries, but it was quite vicious! We sang songs, had laughs, and ended up playing even more games. As we get ready to go to bed, we can all agree it was a very adventurous day. We are now looking forward to more fun and amazement tomorrow!
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Day 6

We had an exciting day today! We started our day off with getting on the bus to go to Rocky Mountain National Park. Once we got there we went to the Holzwarth Homestead. Our group took a tour of the homestead where we learned about the settlers that lived there. One of the groups worked on their tree badge and learned about the different trees in the area. At the end of our time at the homestead, we tried to lasso a wooden horse. All of us then got on the bus to go get lunch.

After lunch, we headed to the Continental Divide for a photo opp. Then our group went to the Alpine Visitor’s Center to go on a hike. The hike was to the highest point you could hike to. The elevation was 12,005 feet! While we were at the visitor’s center I (Molly) earned my junior ranger badge. On our way to Grand Lake we saw three moose and an elk.

Back in the town, we shopped for souvenirs. While we were there most of us got Dairy King. A little after we got back some of us went on hikes. One of the hikes was a waterfall hike. Once the girls made it to the waterfall, they took a picture in the waterfall. The water was really cold. While some girls were on the waterfall hike, a few other girls went on another hike nine mile mountain (it’s actually two miles). IMG_6839

Day 7 – Last Day

Hi there from our last day at Snow Mountain Ranch! We started off our day with a trip to the climbing wall. Several people got to hit the buzzer at the top of the wall. We think that the wall was at least 30 feet tall, but it certainly felt taller once you started to climb up it. We had very sore fingers by the end of our climbing trip. Then a small group of us went down to the craft cabin and participated in a glass fusion class.

After creating our works of art, we ran over to get photos done by our good friend Dill, a seasoned professional. After capturing our beautiful faces on to a digital screen we went on a trip down a 55-foot-high zip line! It was a thousand feet across. After this, our group split into doing a couple of activities. One was a three-mile hike up to a waterfall. We got a bit wet, but it was worth it in the end.

The others in our group went on a steak dinner horseback ride. The ride to our dinner spot was about an hour and a half long, and some of our horses were a bit temperamental. The steak was amazing and we had potatoes and beans as a side dish. We all also got to avoid the rain, which was nice! After our very busy day we ended it with a group campfire. Our trained CIT2s helped build it and the girls led camp songs throughout, ending it with their favorite song “On My Honor.” We’re going to miss our adventures in the Colorado Mountains, but we are excited to see our families and tell them all about our trip.
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Do you want to travel with Girl Scouts? For more information on our council’s travel programs, click here or email Ashley Christensen at achristensen@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

 

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