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C&O Canal Hike w/Daughter's Junior Troop

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Just got back from a nice 4 mile hike on the C&O Canal with my daughter's Junior Troop. We joined the towpath at the parking area below the Park Headquarters across the river from Shepherdstown, WV. It was a very good day for a hike, 62 degrees, mostly cloudy and low humidity.

 

The girls wanted to try to balance on every fallen tree across the canal and did on one, but after that the Troop leader nixed any more attempts. The main group of girls shot out ahead of the adults.

 

We stopped for lunch at Lock 40 and it was there that the difference between Cubs and Juniors really manifested itself. Apparently there was an icky spider/queen ant/bee that crawled up on to one of the girls legs and she began shrieking like there was no tomorrow. Soon they realized that there was a lot of stuff moving on the ground and they decided to put a towel down to sit on. My DD who at times takes very much after her mother, just shook her head and smiled at me. Later we found a little toad and the girls decided that it wasn't that bad and passed it around.

 

I had a chance to talk about how to use a compass and what you need to have with you when you go on a hike. Girls, like boys, have short attention spans and only the one who asked a question was left to hear the answer, the rest were chasing the toad.

 

After continuing a bit farther it was time to turn around and head back. My daughter's feet started to ache, but she toughed it out and made it back with the rest of the group. (She's upstairs now soaking her feet in Mom's VibroSpa foot massager!)

 

We had a good time and she told me she was glad I came on the hike with her. Several times I encouraged her to go up with her friends, but she surprised me and said that she wanted to walk with me.

 

All in all, it was a very nice afternoon.

 

John

Tiger Den Leader

Pack 13

Shenandoah Area Council

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Ah John, it's not so rare that she wanted to walk with you. Time with Dad is precious time for girls that age. When I was GS dads weren't encouraged to be involved, but I got lots of time in the woods with my father. It was at about that age that my dad taught me archery, still a life-long interest. They are experiences I still treasure.

 

Thank you for taking time to help the girls - they got more out of than you may think.

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Infoscouter,

 

Thanks for the kind words. I'm hoping we get to do this or other similar outdoor things again. I think she's been a little jealous of the time my son and I spend on CS stuff, so this was a good way to give her some special time and share things we both like.

 

I did take her to the Pack fishing derby and she enjoyed that as well, even though it was "her and the boys". She has always enjoyed fishing and now she has her own pole and doesn't have to share mine or her brother's. Soon, she'll be taking the fish off the hook herself. She has no qualms about putting on the worms and I had to tell her to quit sticking her hand into the worm container and pulling out all the worms at once!

 

Now, if we can just work on getting all the homework done...

 

8^)

 

John

 

 

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John

 

I think it is great you went with your daughter's troop. Keep going with them. Many years ago when my daughter was in juniors and I was the troop leader, we didn't get to do as much outdoor stuff as some of them wanted, because I didn't have adults that would help. With 12-18 girls with only 1 or 2 having any outdoor experience and our assistant leader was like the girl you mentioned about bugs, I wasn't brave enough to try to educate all of them at the same time. My daughter was lucky enough to have her previous leader take back over as she moved into Cadets and they got to do lots of outdoor stuff. She stayed in Scouting and is now in her fourth year as a registered adult (the last two have had sporadic participation, since she has been in college 200 miles away with an intense schedule). As I type, she is in Switzerland at Our Chalet (the GS world center in the Alps) volunteering for six weeks. Close friends of mine are struggling trying to keep their daughter involved, because the troops in their area are not very "outdoorsy" and that is what their daughter wants to do. They have actually considered driving 40+ miles for their daughter to be in a troop that camps and goes outside.

 

Remember girls may be silly and giggly, but will do the outdoor stuff if they are encouraged. And many will fall in love with the outdoors.

 

Judy

 

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My daughters GSUSA toop leaders decided last fall that they (husband & wife) had had enough and would not return as leaders. No other parents came forward at that time to take over.

 

I went and called around to other junior troops in our community to get my daughter back in scouting....All told me they were "full" and couldnt take any more girls in for members. I was stunned..I've never heard of a full scout unit.

 

Myself and a lady whos a troop committee member as well as a GSUSA leader decided to re-start the troop my daughter had been in. The other girls who had their scouting cut short were excited to hear the troop was getting going again.

 

I am serving as assistant troop leader and outdoor/camping advisor. The girls and their parents were happy that I offered to serve as the girls wanted to do the outdoor "scout" stuff,...and my experience in backpacking and camping came in very handy.

 

The girls in our troop so far have only gone on a trip to the BSA's local climbing tower,...but it was a huge hit! I had girls who were climbing to 50' and some even rappelled from 50'...one girl did it twice. Fact is the girls outclimbed the boys who are the same age that were climbing that day...Oh yeah, we did our climbing along with Boy Scouts and some Webelos scouts(2nd year), talk about a diversity WB ticket item!

 

Anyhow, I proud to be a GSUSA asst.troop leader, along with serving the BSA as a ASM and Roundtable Commissioner....this scouting stuff rocks!

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Its just a shame that more Dads are discouraged or out right told they can't join in and help out with thier daughters troops.

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Kudos to those dads that join in their ddd activities including scouting.

 

I have just completed my first year as a Brownie Troop leader (and I survived!), and I am happy to report that all of my families have re-registered for next year. I believe a portion of this success is due to the active registration of 90% of the dads in my troop which I encourage, and 100% of moms. I don't think it should be one or the other and I let my parents know that it is not a "drop and run" program.

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Thanks Judy, I will continue to be involved as much as possible. I'm meeting them after work tomorrow at a Pottery By Me store, hopefully they won't be too far ahead of me by the time I get there! Then it's off to a Cub/Adult Weekend at Camp Rock Enon! Can't wait for that...

 

John

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