By Kelly Nestler

Several local Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Leaders, and parents went on a two-week trip to England and Europe. Chloe Nestler and Annika Waldron from Troop 1305 and Shannon Shrader and Leanne Shrader from Troop 3010 visited the countries of England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. The girls, along with their parents Kelly Nestler, Kim Shrader, and Angelina Waldron, worked for two years to prepare for the trip. The scouts sold cookies, t-shirt sponsorships and participated in other fundraisers to help offset the cost of the trip. The girls also learned about each country and city prior to beginning their travels as well as hiked in order to be physically ready for the long days of excursions.

The Pecatonica scouts partnered with nine scouts from the Schaumburg area, three from Missouri, six from North Carolina, and five from Washington DC. The scout group was assigned a tour guide, Sigi, from Germany who escorted the scout group throughout the entire trip. Sigi set up all of the local guides for major cities and attractions as well as being the group’s translator for French, German, and Italian. The scouts learned the basics in each of the languages and many times had to use their foreign language basics to navigate the cities during free time.

The beginning of the trip started in London, England. The scouts enjoyed visiting the London Tower, riding the London Eye, taking a Thames River cruise, and visiting Buckingham Palace. The scouts were able to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. One of the highlights of England was participating in a special pinning ceremony at Pax Lodge. Pax Lodge is one of five World Centers for Girl Guides and Scouts. The group from the USA was able to meet scouts and volunteers from Mexico, England, Ireland, and Australia at the Pax Lodge World Center. The scouts participated in several activities, traded SWAPS and badges, and shared stories.

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