By Hayley Fedor
Two fundamental principles taught in Girl Scout programs around the world are to face challenges and learn from setbacks. With the pandemic, the Fossil Valley Girl Scouts in FishHawk were faced with a setback when the annual Girl Scout encampment, which is a much-anticipated overnight camping activity, was canceled.
Well, two Fossil Valley Girl Scout parent leaders, Brandy Dumas and Nicki Clay, exemplified exactly what it means to face a challenge when they created their version of the television show The Amazing Race as a COVID-safe event for the girls to participate in.
The event took place on February 28 and included 10 different locations throughout FishHawk with different challenges at each spot and the finish line at the FishHawk Girl Scout camp.
Around 143 Girl Scouts, ranging from second to ninth grade, participated in the event, and 24 troops total ran the Amazing Race, learning essential skills like teamwork.
“They had to work together to solve the clues and they had to pay attention to details,” said Dumas.
Within the race, Dumas and Clay incorporated elements of a Girl Scout tradition known as Thinking Day, which teaches the members about different cultures around the world where Girl Scouts practice.
At each location in the race, the participants received “tiny safety pins and they had different themes on them, so they got the flag and the country colors,” said Dumas.
One of the most widely enjoyed challenges of the Amazing Race was creating marshmallow shooters out of balloons and solo cups, which were used to launch a number of marshmallows into a bucket in order to complete the challenge. At the middle of the race, the Girl Scouts had to strategize to earn their lunch by learning Morse code and solving messages.
“Each clue was designed to have some sort of education part to it,” said Dumas.
While some of the troops took around 3 and a half hours to complete the race, others took up to 5 hours; however, at the finish line, all racers were rewarded with Kona Ice snow cones and a notable congratulations from Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, who made a special appearance.
Around 45 older Girl Scouts and parent volunteers made the event a great success by helping fill roles at every station of the race to keep the participants excited and, more importantly, safe throughout the day.
To learn more about the Fossil Valley Girl Scouts, visit www.gswcf.org.