I know you’ve been waiting patiently to find out if we found our missing mother and Girl Scout…..
Of course you did! This wouldn’t be much of a blog if we didn’t. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize we were making a change of trains, and so got off the train at L’Enfant Plaza. Fortunately, that isn’t very far from the mall, and so she walked to the mall from the train. Thanks to cell phones we were able to figure out where she was and guide her the last block or two until she joined up with the rest of us and we made our way towards the Washington Monument.
As we got closer to the main gathering of the Girl Scouts at their main stage, someone told us it was crazy near the main stage, and so we decided to find a place near the secondary stage. We were still part of a huge crowd in the shadow of…all right, not in the shadow, in fact the sun was shining directly on us, but we were sitting fairly close to the Washington Monument. We didn’t miss much where we were, they were sending a video from the main stage to a huge screen next to the secondary stage, and of course I expect the sound from both stages was carrying even further down the mall.
We’d brought our lunches with us, and the first thing we did once we’d set out some towels to sit on was to eat our sandwiches and fruit. We also had some bottled water with us, though as hot as it was I wish I’d brought some more. There were refill stations, but lines were long, and the water wasn’t cold. Our water bottles were still cold because we’d frozen them overnight, but they didn’t last long. We spent a couple of hours listening to the music and speakers on stage, but the longer we sat there, the more miserable it got, and eventually we decided to leave the celebration and try to check out one of the museums along the mall to enjoy some air conditioning.
Unfortunately, there were long lines to get into the museums, so we changed our minds and simply found a shady spot to sit and relax. It was much more comfortable, but my daughter had a great time trading swaps with the Girl Scouts moving to and from the stage area. At first she acted a little shy, which is out of character for her, but after a while she was waving one of her swaps in the air calling out “Swaps! Swaps!” to everyone passing.
I love the idea of the Girl Scout Swaps. We spent some time making up a small item that can be pinned to a shirt or hat, and my daughter got to interact with some of the other Girl Scouts from all over the country trading her Swaps for theirs. Felt like we met a lot of folks from Pennsylvania, and the furthest Scouts we met were from Idaho and Texas. Even met some folks from a Troop in Belhaven NC, probably the closest Scouts we met who didn’t ride the same bus as us.
By the time she ran out of swaps it was time to start making our way back to the Metro and on towards our bus home. The trip home felt a lot longer than the trip to DC, perhaps because there wasn’t anything to look forward to, except for arriving home again. I was a little worried that the heat had put a bit of a damper on my daughter’s fun, but talking to her on the ride home I realized she’d enjoyed visiting a new place, and meeting all the different Girl Scouts while she traded Swaps. And if the Girl Scout had a good time on a Girl Scout trip, that’s all that matters.