Night 4: Chicago City Scavenger Hunt

Hello readers!

Another picture post, yay!  Since day 0, the three of us hadn’t really had time to explore the city.  The scavenger hunt arranged by the girls planning team was a really great way to do this, I think especially for those girls and chaperones who had never been to Chicago it was a really good idea.

The first stop was the Chicago Water Tower.  As the girls learned on their bus tour, this was one of the only structures to survive the great Chicago fire.

Chicago Water Tower

The next stop was the CTA entrance.  We never actually took the subway while in Chicago, but it was cool to see how we would take it.  We arrived at this stop at the same time as another large group of Girl Scouts, singing all the way down the block.  I hope Chicago misses us now that we’re no longer filling it’s streets with song.

Next was the Daley Center, with a Picasso sculpture in the middle of it.  The girls told me (since my bus tourguide on my bus failed to mention it) that it’s a sculpture of Picasso’s wife.

Picasso Statue

Next up, one of the oldest paths in Chicago, State Street.  At each stop, we received a card with a picture on one side and some words of encouragement on the other.  The photos were taken around Chicago by one of the members of the girl planning team (anyone know who? They were great photos!).  We also stopped at the Palmer House, the famous Art Institute lions, and then entered Millennium Park, but not before stopping for slurpees at 7/11 🙂

We went back to The Bean, whose official name is apparently Cloud Gate.  It looks really cool at twilight, but it’s hard to get a good picture.  You’ll just have to take a trip to Chicago to see what we saw!

GSHOM delegation at The Bean

We also saw the garden and the foot bridge at the park.  We knew we were at the right place when we would see the green-shirted volunteers.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned them before, but throughout the week, volunteer Girl Scouts (both girls and adults) from the area were everywhere, in conference rooms, on buses, around Chicago, at the registration table, at all times letting us know where to go and how to get there.  These women did an amazing job all week, I can’t believe it’s taken me until now to talk about them.  With all the unclear-ness going on when we were given instructions, the volunteers always did their best to tell us the right thing or find out if they didn’t know.  Since most of them were from the Chicago area, they were great guides on the Scavenger hunt, and honestly on the bus tour I learned more from the volunteer in front of me than from my tour guide.  Thank you volunteers, you girls rock!

I had a really great time on the scavenger hunt, and Ali and Julia found they had a lot of common interests.  Even though we came as a delegation and slightly new each other beforehand, we were mostly split up during sessions and such, so this was really one of the first times we were hanging out just us.  I’ll talk more about that in my wrap up, but I’m really glad they both ended up coming, they were awesome to work with and made my job super easy.

So, I’m almost done!  Just one more day!  And it’s mostly pictures of the party!  I have to work tomorrow so I’ll leave you for now, thanks for sticking with me!

Yours in scouting,

Ana Cristina

 

 

Day 2 Contiunued: And then it began to rain…

Oh the rain.  I knew it was coming, the sky was starting to cloud over and the wind was picking up.  I have to say that Ali was prepared, she had told us on the bus that she brought her poncho, but Julia and I were both convinced that it wouldn’t rain.  According to my ex-weatherman bus tour guide, Chicago was very close to official drought conditions, and Michigan has been the same for the past few months.  But apparently we had forgotten that we were in the midwest, and even closer to a great lake than normal.

The clouds blew in and the lightning began, and of course, since this is Girl Scouts, we were directed back the the discovery center for shelter.  But, like they have so many times this week already, we the girls took the opportunity to make new friends.  A chaperone taught a game that was a lot like the Sarah Sponda game that I used to play when I was a brownie.  In a circle sitting on the ground, you place your hand on your partners knee and cup it.  Your right hand is your passing hand, and one person has a coin that they pass around from one hand to the next.  Everyone is moving their hands to look like they are passing all the time.  One person sits in the middle and closes their eyes.  Everyone starts moving their hands and when everyone has found their rhythm, the person in the middle opens their eyes.  They have to guess who has the coin, and when they do, that person is now in the middle.  More and more people joined in, and it was a great way to learn names and wait for the storm to pass.

Coin passing game

The storm passed just as quickly as it had come in.  We went back to the pavilions and the girls broke up into groups to discuss what they had learned so far. After some more confusion about who was supposed to go where and an incident with a broken table, they discussed and the chaperones were left to hang out in the back.  These girls are constantly amazing me in so many ways, including their perseverance throughout the very long days.  Even in our general conference days, the chaperones have a lot more break time built in, and our sessions are more free-form (my session just now got out early so I have time to write this) and tend to end early.  The girls are go go go all day long, and while I’m sure they sleep wonderfully every night, they are alert and engaged in all their sessions all the time.

Julia in session at the zoo

After their discussions, we had some more free time.  This time just the three of us headed out, and we realized what a big zoo this is!  There are so many animals to see, there was no way we could see them all, but here are some photos of the ones we did see.

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We met back at the discovery center one last time to get our “goodie bags” (all stuff from Little Brownie Bakers), and load up the buses.  By this time, of course, the rain had started again and the girls and I ran to our bus so as to get the least wet as possible.  I sat next to a girl from Nigeria, who knew Amina, my roommate from Sangam.  I’m pretty sure Amina knows every Girl Guide in Nigeria.  Almost immediately I fell asleep, and stayed that way until we arrived back at the hotel.

That night was a free night, but the girls and I decided to stay in, since we have all seen Chicago before, we had had the bus tour the day before and we were going to Navy Pier later in the week.  Ali and I did go to a really awesome sing along session with Melinda Caroll, the Girl Scout celebrity I mentioned earlier.  I felt a little out of my element, because I can’t carry a tune AT ALL.  I don’t even know what “carry a tune” actually means.  But Girl Scouts is about singing no matter what, and singing loud.  We sang some of our camp favorites and also some girls from other countries shared theirs, mostly from Germany.  Jen (Sangams World Centre Manager) came later after her meeting, and I got to sing Come Into Sangam with Jen, who wrote it, and Melinda.  I could tell it was a dream come true for Jen, and it was a really great moment for everyone who was there.

Ali has some audio of us singing, and I’m planning on making a video about our experience when it’s all over, so I’m sure I will use it for that.  For now, sing your favorite camp song as loudly as you can, and you can join us in that way 🙂

Yours in scouting,

Ana Cristina