Sunday, April 28, 2019

Golden Gate Bridging to Cadettes

Lily's girl scout troop has been planning their big trip to SanFrancisco to walk over the Golden Gate bridge and advance to Cadette's for over a year now. They sold their little hearts out in cookies to raise money to help pay for the trip. All ten girls in her troop and their Mom's headed out on Friday April 26th (missing school too) to drive up north to the girl scout camp Bothin.
Lily Sophia and Scarlett along with Julie myself and Barb carpooled up in Julie's mini van! It was a giggle filled 7 hour drive.
Julie and Aunt Michelle wrote on the car windows "Honk for Girl Scouts". People kept honking at us on the drive up and we kept forgetting why and thought they were being rude! 
We stopped to stretch our legs at a park just outside of Fairfax, CA which is north of SanFrancisco.
At check-in at camp Bothin we received our room assignments. We had one big room for 16 people and one small room next door for four. The girls LOVE staying in camps with bunk beds and a room full of friends. It is easily their favorite thing about being in Girl Scouts.
Next to our building was a hiking path and rope swing. Of course we weren't allowed to play on the ropes course and swing but......
While the kids are away the chaperones will play.
Maybe the moms had as much fun as the girls did!
The camp site is owned by the Girl Scouts of America. It was donated years ago. In the past it was a hospital for tuberculosis patients. Apparently it is said to be one of the most haunted places in California.
We didn't get any real ghost sightings though.
The girls goofed around until it was time for dinner.
One mom prepped spaghetti and meatballs for all of us to have for dinner. 
Then we had a little gathering where the troop leader Barb handed out awesome goody bags to all the girls. She had matching shirts made for everyone to wear on Saturday for bridging along with their bronze awards they earned this year. 
They also got hilarious hats to decorate and wear on the bridge the next day so we could spot them among the thousands of girl scouts on the bridge.
After a fitful night of little sleep (16 people on old rickety bunk beds in sleeping bags makes for a lot of noise), Lily was all pumped for her big day. All the girls had badges to get them on the bus and across the bridge.
The camp provided breakfast and a sack lunch to take with us into the city.
It was an early start and the bus left the camp site by 8 am to drive us to the north side of the bridge to walk across into the city.

Due to permit capacity they only allowed three adults to accompany the troop to the bridge and on the bus. The rest of us parents had planned to take an uber into the city to try to meet up with the troop. Somehow on the morning of the event the buses didn't seem to care of you had a pass and were one of the allotted chaperones so we all got to board the bus with our girls and walk the bridge together. 
We arrived at the city and took some photos before starting our walk. It was SO COLD and a bit foggy but anyone who knows this city was prepared and realized that SF has it's own climate.
This is our whole troop before we head out. 
There are literally thousands of girls that participate in this event so the bridge was wall to wall scouts. It is only for juniors that are bridging to cadettes so everyone is in Fifth grade heading into Sixth. Since this is also the year the girls move on to junior high and leave our elementary school it was even more special to have this big event as many of the girls will no longer be together at school or stay in the troop.
Lily, Scarlett, Sophia, Anna, Jillian, Sierra, Sarah, Kate and Julia have become such a great group of friends for Lily. She has gone to school with many of these girls for years but being in girl scouts with them has opened up new friendships for her. 
Her troop leader Barb is such a fantastic leader and has become a good friend of mine as well. 
Part of the fun at girl scout events is exchanging "SWAPS" with other troops. These are little trinkets you make that are on a safety pin and you exchange them and hang them on your event lanyard. Lily, Gemma and I made a ton of swaps for our girls to be able to exchange at the event. Lily really loves this part.
We took our time crossing the 1.7 miles of the bridge. It was pretty windy and cold but we were prepared with our puffy coats.
Lily and I walked the bridge together hand in hand for a good portion. We were so lucky to spend this time together and make great memories.

Once we made it to the end of the bridge the girls crossed onto land again and are now Cadettes! They received a pin for participating in the event and a patch.

Barb and her troop of Cadettes.
We took some time to exchange swaps with other girls. Then walked the path down to Crissy Field where they had event booths and music. 
Once the girls were sick of posing for photos we just started to take selfies.
The police on site for crowd control even had swaps to trade with the girls. They save them every year in a giant bag and exchange them.
After our long walk down to Crissy field we walked over to the Palace of Fine Arts to sit and have our packed lunch from camp. We had been going for hours by now and were tired from walking miles.

Next on the agenda was a trip through the museum of ice cream. In planning for this trip the girls got to vote on all the activities and food they wanted while in the city for the day after the event. They all voted to go through the museum of ice cream. We all piled in ubers to cross the city.
We took our uber on a little detour down the crookedest street - Lombard St.
Then we arrived at the museum. It is a experience museum based around ice cream with various different rooms for you to play and take photos. It begins with a trip down a giant pink tunnel slide.
The first room is a ticket to the experience and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich.
Then we were led in a cheer and moved on to the next room.
It was an old time soda fountain type room. They served toasted pound cake "french fries" with red velvet ice cream soft serve "ketchup".

The next room was a wall of alphabet magnets you pose with your creation.
Then it was circus animal cookie ride on carousel.

Who doesn't love riding a white unicorn?
Not us!
The disco cave.
The cotton candy room was a delight. It was citrus flavor and tasted like grapefruit.
Our cotton candy server also served up glitter magic.
The big finale was a huge pool of "sprinkles" with a slide.

As you can see it made for great photos.

The girls went down the slide a million times and generally wore us all out.
The next event on the agenda was dinner in China town!
We walked the few blocks over to our restaurant. Who knew an ice cream museum could make you so hungry?
A few of our group were leaving from the city to get to the airport for a flight out of town so our final picture as a complete group in China town.
From here we ventured to get on a trolley to Fishermans Warf. 
The trolleys are so popular and crowded we missed the first few until we sort of squeezed ourselves onto every nook.
Our girls got to ride standing up front holding on to the poles.

We had another hour or so before our bus back to camp. We got famous sourdough bread at Boudin and then watched the sea lions for a while. It had turned cold and windy again and we were all wiped out.
We arrived back at camp about 8pm in time for the evening camp fire. Staying at a Girl Scout camp always includes camp fire with a chance to perform a skit or song.  Our group did a little skit and was so tired they didn't even stay up to wait for a chance to do s'mores.
I think everyone slept better that second night.  On Sunday morning it was just pack up and clean up before leaving. Once we did all our chores and said goodbye to camp our car popped into town in Fairfax for a bite and coffee. We found a super cool little coffee shop.

This was the fuel we needed to make it through the drive back home. It was a great weekend and an experience the girls will remember forever. Lily is loving her troop and plans to continue on through junior high as a Cadette.

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