For the past two years, Girl Scout Troop 42217 has been planning and raising funds for a European trip.
The troop, made up of nine eighth graders and one high school senior, will be traveling to Switzerland, with a stop in Italy, on June 25. They are based in Kirkland, with most troop members being from Finn Hill Middle School.
The idea began two years ago when one of the scouts saw a “Win a Trip to Paris” announcement on a Girl Scout cookie form. Since then, the girls started talking about it and their troop leader Katrina Wood realized they were all serious about the trip. Through research and a lot of conversation, the troop voted on Switzerland, one of the five Girl Scout World Centers.
“I’m pretty excited,” Wood said. “It’s pretty inspiring and exciting that they’ve stuck with it and that they are excited about it.”
The scout troop has accomplished a lot to raise funds, according to Woods. Aside from selling nearly 4,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies each year for the past two years, the troop has “brought cheer” to Kirkland neighborhoods by flocking yards with decorative flamingos. The troop has also sold their girl-designed and painted silk scarves and alcohol-ink greeting cards, they’ve hosted parents’ night out evenings and badge workshops for younger troops.
Aside from raising funds, the girls also serve the community with projects like building bat houses for Inglewood Presbyterian Church, building and installing Little Free Libraries and making blankets for pet shelters.
During their three-week trip, the troop will go sightseeing, hiking, participate in high-adventure activities, attend leadership seminars and more. According to Wood, the troop is participating in the Girl Scouts nine-day program at the World Center in Switzerland. For most girls, this will be the first time they travel overseas
Overall, the scouts said they are excited about the European trip and feel accomplished.
“It’s kind of hard to believe it’s actually happening,” said troop member Herminia Gabriel. “I just want it to be [summer break].”
Wood’s daughter, Madeline Wood said all their hard work makes her feel accomplished. Katrina Wood, who has been a troop leader for nine years said that all the parents are “super supportive” of their girls and the Girl Scout program.
“They’re all so fun,” Wood said about the troop. “They’ve got great ideas and it’s just been fun watching them grow through the years.”