LAKEGEORGE-Girl Scouts in Lake George have busy lives, but they have reserved time to be involved in both charitable efforts and adventures, Troop 3576 Leader Cathy O'Brien said this week.
One reason for that commitment by her Ambassador Scouts - now Seniors in high School - may be the close bond shared by a core group, together since Daisy Scouts in Kindergarten.
Last year, the Lake George-based Girl Scouts, both Ambassadors and younger "Seniors," participated in a Christmas Eve morning walk alongside soldiers - honoring their service to the nation. The walk was conducted from the National Guard armory in Queensbury to the Floyd Bennett Airport and back, about four miles. The event was held particularly to remember those who couldn't be home for the holidays, O'Brien said.
Their participation was particularly important to the Guard soldiers, she said, noting that her son was one of the group.
"That walk meant so much to the soldiers," O'Brien said. "No questions asked, all the girls committed to be there early in the morning."
This solidarity with soldiers isn't an isolated incident with Troop 3576. Eight years ago, they adopted a soldier from Minnesota stationed in Iraq, and they've been pursuing other patriotic projects since.
This year - as they have for several years - the girls plan on working on planning and presenting Girl Scout Great Escape Day which welcomes Girl Scouts from all over the Northeastern U.S., O'Brien said. Recently, the girls adopted a theme of Support Your Troops," which involves raising money for the Ben Osborn Foundation, named after the beloved Lake George Soldier killed in summer 2010 in Afghanistan.
This year's plans for Great Escape Day include involving soldiers in running an obstacle course, recruiting scouts to write letters to soldiers, and a scavenger hunt.
Recreational adventure is also a big part of life for Lake George Girl Scouts.
In August, the older scouts took a trip to Disney World, after determining that a trip to Mexico wasn't safe with all the unrest there, O'Brien said.
The scouts stayed at Disney World's Pop Century Resort and not only enjoyed the various attractions and entertainment, but met with one of the Disney artists for an explanation of Disney's creative process.
This year, to cap off their many years of scouting, they are looking forward to another trip. Plans at this point call for the group to go in June to Kennebunkport Maine and stay at an inn on a cove.
Sometimes, recreational trips can turn out to be quite an adventure, O'Brien said.
Several years ago, a trip to Hershey Park which included sleeping in tents ended up enduring a downpour that soaked the girls bedding and belongings.
The girls encountered a similar fate at a recent overnight Relay for Life walk on the Queensbury High School track to raise funds for cancer research.
Last June, the event ended up with a thunderstorm and a torrent of rain at 2:30 a.m., with 13 girls cramming into O'Brien's car and trying to get some sleep however possible in such close quarters.
"I always tell the girls, we are on an adventure, and we just have deal with it," O'Brien said.
Other community service stints for the Lake George scouts include clearing the local elementary school nature trail.
Also, one of the scouts, Paige Edwards, has planned to create and erect two "peace pole" monuments, one in Shepard Park, and the other at one of the local schools. The idea has been hailed by local officials, and details are now being worked out.