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Local Girl Scouts have big travel plans

Many of the local girls looking forward to a trip to San Francisco have never seen an ocean. This summer though, they’ll get to take a cruise in it, look for dolphins and have an unforgettable experience.

The Girl Scouts troops are headed to San Francisco in August for a destination trip they won’t soon forget.

“Most of these girls have been scouts from seven to 10 years, and they are actually remnants of four different troops that existed here in Detroit Lakes,” leader Sue Livermore said.

Once the girls get older, they tend to drop out of scouts, she said, so the four troops have been condensed to two groups — and 10 girls. They are all going on the trip to San Francisco. There will also be four adults traveling with them.

Last fall, the groups got together and narrowed their options down to two Girl Scout destination trips, which they then found out were within a few miles of each other, so they plan to visit both areas. One is downtown San Francisco and the other is a wildlife area nearby.

Brittanie Watson said that the girls could decide from trips to New York, San Francisco, another location in California and Florida. She said for her personally, she’s going to New York next year and San Francisco just “sounded more fun” than the other choices. “I’ve never been that close to an ocean.”

Also working on her Gold Award — which is similar to the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts, the highest level a scout can achieve — Watson is waiting to get approval for her project.

She plans to help put on a vaccination clinic for people who can’t afford to get their pets vaccinated, and therefore are spreading diseases among animals in Detroit Lakes.

Tied to her passion for animals, Watson said she’s most excited to see the wildlife while on the California trip.

Anna Schumacher has the same desire to see the ocean.

“I’ve never seen the Pacific Ocean and thought that would be fun to do,” she said of why she chose to go to San Francisco.

The girls are leaving Aug. 6 and returning Aug. 11. They are staying in hostels and will be visiting several attractions while in San Francisco like getting to experience riding cable cars and taking a Bay cruise.

Schumacher said that’s what she is looking forward to most.

“The San Francisco Bay cruise, it’s my first time in a boat on the ocean. It’s kind of a big deal,” she said with a laugh.

Emily Schiltz has no one thing she’s looking forward to most though.

“Probably the experience, or the fun,” she said.

While there, the girls will also visit a marine mammal recovery center.

“Some of the girls are more interested in the nature side of it so that appealed to them,” Livermore said.

She found a redwood forest near there, so the group will hopefully get to visit there as well.

“These girls have done several smaller trips through the years they’ve been in Girl Scouts. We’ve been to Sioux Falls and did some different things there, and we went to the Renaissance Fair a couple years ago, and a lot of camping when they were younger, so many of them have traveled together several times,” she said.

None of the girls who are going on the trip have previously been to the San Francisco area, which makes this trip exciting for everyone.

“We don’t have the exact itinerary down yet because we want the girls to do as much planning as possible,” Livermore said. “It’s difficult to get them all together at once, but I’m hoping that while we’re doing these fundraisers, we’ll be able to sit down and narrow it down to exactly what they want to do.”

Upcoming fundraisers

To raise funds for their  trip, the Girl Scouts will be holding a couple events before their August trek.

  • On Saturday, they are hosting a rummage sale in the Boys and Girls Club.
  • “Everyone has been saving their stuff for a few months now,” Livermore said.
  • Then on May 10 is Pizza Hut night where the restaurant is giving a percentage of their sales that night to the Girl Scouts. Be sure to mention when you pay though that you are there to support the Girl Scouts.
  • A hot dog stand will be up in June, but the date hasn’t been set yet.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.