Hard work pays off for Girl Scouts

Published 9:11 am Thursday, July 27, 2017

Girl Scout Troop 41166 of Mocksville recently returned from a European tour with EF Tours for Girl Scouts.

Troop leader Marjorie Foster has led the troop from Mocksville since 2007 when the scouts were first graders and Brownie Scouts.

“I told the girls in the beginning that if they stayed active in scouting, sold tons of cookies, and earned the highest awards available in girl scouts that we would travel to Europe in high school. I don’t think they really believed it then but they continued to ask about it through the years. There are 6 remaining scouts in the troop and three were able to join us on the trip,” Foster said.

“Through the years we have met at Premier Realty, First Methodist Church, and Foster’s Jewelers in Mocksville. The girls completed the Bronze Award, the highest award available in Juniors (3rd-5th grade) by working on air quality and idling at Mocksville Elementary School. As Cadettes (6th-8th grades) they completed two Silver projects, South Davie tennis court improvements and South Davie Middle athletic banners for the gym.”

The Gold Award, comparable to the Eagle in Boy Scouts, is an individual project for each scout during the high school years and several of the six have nearly completed and the rest are working on the Gold Award now.

Girl scouts Sierra Foster, Julie Miller, and Sydney Walterman;  Leader Marjorie Foster and parents Becky Miller, Gretchen Walterman, and Vicki Miller departed on June 20 for the 12-day trip.

The group joined the rest of the tour group of scouts in London, England. In their 2 ½ days there they visited Piccadilly Circle, The National Gallery, China Town, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Clock Tower, the Tube, Wembley Stadium, Platform 9¾ (Harry Potter), and the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

Highlights included the ride on the London Eye Ferris wheel with views of the city, the cruise on the River Thames, and the tour of the Girl Scout PAX Lodge (International) in London for a pinning ceremony.

The group then traveled by Eurostar train to Paris, France via the English Channel under the ocean bed. The next three days involved touring Paris beginning with a night viewing of the Eiffel Tower and city lights from a top the Montparnasse Tower’s 56 floor observation deck. After a bus tour of the city, the group visited the Palace of Versailles viewing the famous Hall of Mirrors, castle, and the gardens. They viewed the Pantheon, the Avenue de Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Latin Quarter, and visited Notre Dame Cathedral.

They enjoyed a scenic river cruise on the Seine River by the Eiffel Tower and Statute of Liberty replica. No tour of Paris would be complete without a visit to the Louvre Museum and seeing the Mona Lisa.

One of the more interesting adventures was the overnight Thello train ride through the Swiss Alps to Milan, Italy. Accommodations were tight with six people to a train berth. After continuing to Florence by train, the troop visited the Piazza Michelangelo and the San Miniato al Monte Abbey above for beautiful views of the city, a leather making demonstration, the Duomo, street bazaars, and an authentic Italian lunch on the Piazza della Signoria.

Following Florence, they continued to Rome and a tour of Vatican City with St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. The group toured the Roman Coliseum (70 AD), the Forum, the Pantheon, tossed good luck coins in the Trevi Fountain, and hiked the Spanish Steps to the top for a city view of Rome.

Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii in the Sorrento/Naples area was next. The charter bus ride up Mt. Vesuvius was hair raising, even after the crazy driving of Paris and Rome. The group hiked the mile long Vesuvius Crater Trek up the side of the volcano to the crater top with views of the Mediterranean and surrounding area. They toured the excavated city of Pompeii buried by Vesuvius (79 AD).

The final day included a ferry ride out to the Isle of Capri in the Mediterranean and a small craft ride around the island and its beautiful grottos. Following a walking tour of the island, the afternoon was spent on a rocky beach of the Mediterranean Sea and a float/swim.