Day 0: Check check check in

A day late (as usual), but hopefully I can make up for it with all my photos!

We arrived to Columbus yesterday (Friday) morning, my mom and I driving separately in to our air bnb in Columbus. I’m kind of obsessed with air bnb, I’ve stayed in them on most of my recent trips and you can usually save tons compared to hotels.

Ours is a wonderful apartment in the King-Lincoln neighborhood, about a mile from downtown/the convention center. Erica and Ben are great hosts, but their cat, Loaf, is an even better one.

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Hi, Loaf!

After get settled in, we Uber-ed down to the convention center, getting lucky with knowledgeable drivers who could avoid all the construction. The convention center went all out for Girl Scouts, right from the entrance we could tell we were in the right place.

We proceeded to an information booth to get oriented to the huge convention center and find the volunteer check in. A very nice volunteer walked us aaaaaaaallllll the way down to the other side to check in.

Volunteers receive one Hall of Experiences pass per shift they are working. We picked up these as well as some goodies for volunteers. We then headed back downstairs to the Hall of Experiences.

 

If you’ve ever attended any type of convention, you know the feeling when you first walk in to the hall and feel very small. There were tons of booths from Girl Scout and non Girl Scout related companies and organizations. It was divided into “neighborhoods” by themes like Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and A World for Girls. There were also a few “Campfires”, (I love it!) where exhibitors were scheduled to give talks at various times.

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Many (probably most) of the exhibitors had hands-on activities at their booths, which was GREAT! It was getting the girls involved, and getting them to spend more time at each booth. There were a ton of STEAM themed booths, a whole section for NASA, a Space Camp booth, lots of robotics and we got a peek at the COSI (Center of Science and Industry) booth, where we will be spending the night tonight.

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Learning by Doing!

As always when girls get together, it was inspiring to see the future leaders of the world. In the World for Girls sections, there was representation of the Five World Centres, and an area to join the Girl Scout Advocacy Network, and place sign a petition to rename a bridge in Savannah, Georgia to the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge (signed!).

In the Girl Scout Shop (with so many things that were so hard NOT to buy!), I met up with a friend from Sangam (who helps run this awesome zine with her council in Atlanta). It was great catching up with her and I was reminded how small the Girl Scout world can be. I’m hoping to catch up with a few other friends I know who are in various capacities.

After seeing all there was to see (I think we hit all of it!), we hopped in another Uber back to our air bnb and grabbed dinner at a local “pub”. We hit the hay early to get ready for our BIG DAY on Friday.

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Guess Who’s Back?

Namaste all!

Well, after about 26 hours of travel start to finish, I finally arrived at Sangam!  This time I flew through Munich, as opposed to last time going straight 15 hours from Newark.  All my flights were great, actually getting into the airports early.  I’m still undecided as to which route prefer, but I did enjoy getting bumped up to extra leg room from Munich to Mumbai 🙂

My laptop isn’t set up for the internet yet, and I can’t post pictures from this guest computer, so I’ll keep it short.  I’m so excited to be here, and to start training on Monday.  I’ll train for a week, then participate in the next event, and then start “real work”.  On Monday the next Community Relations Intern arrives, and we will be training and rooming together for the next two weeks.  She is from Costa Rica and she was actually at the Girls’ World Forum with me, but I don’t think we ever met there.  The Girl Scouting/Guiding world keeps getting smaller and smaller!

Right now there are staff and volunteers here from the states, Australia, England, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, India, Kenya, and Malaysia (I think that’s everyone!).  I think one of the reasons the Girl Guiding world seems so small is that despite our incredibly different background, experiences, languages, and home countries, when we all come together we are, in the end, so similar.  As Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouting in the US said, “Ours is a circle of friends united by ideals.”  She could not have been more correct.  I have only been here two days, and already feel incredibly welcome, already have “inside jokes” and have Wii danced with my fellow Sangam residents.  I miss the girls I was here with before, and I was a little nervous about being here with a new staff, but I realized we are all in that same circle of Guiding friends, and our ideals-empowering ourselves and other to make a better world for girls for one-unite us no matter where or who we are.

“Ours is a circle of friends united by ideals.” -Juliette G. Low

This circle of friends stretches all around the world, and all of you are a part if it.  Even just by reading this blog, you are a part of it.

So with that, I will remind you as always that this is a conversation, so please comment, subscribe, and share this with anyone else you know in our amazing circle of idealists.

Talk to you again soon,

Ana