Girl Scouts from Homewood, Flossmoor and Glenwood will have the trip of a lifetime in summer 2022 when they travel to Savannah, Georgia, the birthplace of the Girl Scouts of America.
Savannah was the home of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts in 1912.
Visiting her birthplace, now an historical home, will get the girls a special recognition pin to be worn on their Girl Scout vests. They’ll also have the chance to earn badges, including one for etiquette, by participating in an afternoon tea.
But first, troops are trying to raise money to cover a portion of the costs. The girls were out at the Homewood Farmers Market on Saturday, July 31, selling Spa Kit products, including lip balms, bath bombs and other beauty products that they had packaged themselves.
“We don’t want the burden of the financial responsibility on the parents, the troops, the girls themselves,” said Kelly Philbin, troop leader. Their fundraising efforts will be sandwiched between the Girl Scouts traditional fall products and March cookie sales.
Philbin said the trip was planned for summer 2020, but when COVID-19 hit the troops postponed it. With the COVID risk still high, the trip is now planned for summer 2022.
The trip will be open to girls age 11 and older who are members of the Cadet, Senior and Ambassador levels of scouting. Philbin said about 20 girls and five to seven chaperones will be on the trip.
Missie Symowicz, manager of Girl Scout Service Unit 627, has been to Savannah and is anxious to share the trip with the girls to give them a look at a different area of the country.
“They really appreciate the Girl Scouts from all over coming there,” she said. The trip will include a stop at a restaurant that has alligators and a chance to work on an ecology badge with a trip to a nearby beach.
The leaders say the trip is more than a destination. It also will give girls a chance to travel outside of the immediate Chicago area, and the fundraiser is helping them gain insights into a business operation.
In the meantime, they will be volunteers for Flossmoor’s Hidden Gem Half Marathon race on Sept. 11, and will be participating in the reinstatement ceremony for the Flossmoor Veterans Memorial.
“We want the girls to build character and be empowered and comfortable going out in their adult lives with the skills they learned” in scouting, Symowicz said.