Walt Disney World and Nickelodeon Suites offer summer Girl Scout events
Two Orlando resorts are offering Girl Scouts the journeys of a lifetime. Walt Disney World and Nickelodeon Suites have separate summer programs, and registration is open now for both.
If Girl Scouts choose to visit Walt Disney World with their troops, they can learn about the the many disciplines that it takes to run the resort and how those principles relate to their own lives. Girls can ride Space Mountain with the lights on, learn the secrets of The Haunted Mansion and design their own roller coasters. And that's just for starters.
"2014 Girl Unite: Dream, Act, Change," a program sponsored by Disney Youth Programs for girls in kindergarden through twelfth grade, is back for its third year at Walt Disney World. Registration has just opened for the summer sessions, which run May 29 through June 28.
Girls Unite offers educational activities in the areas of leadership (dream), science & technology (act), and conservation (change) that are tailored to grade levels and give participants a taste of a different Disney park for each course. Daisies and Brownies can choose from "Exploring Disney Animation History," "How Things Move" or "Principles of Animal Behavior." Juniors and Cadettes can learn about "Discovering Marine Life Conservation," "Energy & Waves Physics Lab" and "Managing Your Personal Brand." Seniors and Ambassadors can opt for "Disney Leadership Strategies" or "Energy & Waves Physics Lab." Each program lasts about 2.5 to 3 hours. (Grade requirements are strictly enforced for the programs.)
Every Girl Scout who attends Girls Unite at Walt Disney World will receive a special patch appropriate for display on their uniforms. However, it is up to the troops to determine which classes fulfill requirement for specific badges and journeys. The Girl Scouts of Citrus, the Orlando council, has developed a step-by-step list of things to do at Walt Disney World that will contribute to earning badges. It's even broken down by level. Check it out here.
Troops create their own experiences by customizing the length of stay, resort hotel, and more. The basic Girls Unite experience is a three-day experience -- Thursday through Saturday -- and includes one of the above programs and three days' worth of theme park admission tickets. Troops can add programs and more days in the parks at an additional cost. Because there are no blocks of rooms reserved for Girls Unite, troops choose whichever hotel best suits their budget. (Scouts are not required to stay on Disney property.) If the troop books 10 or more rooms, the participants are eligible for a discounted rate through Disney Youth Programs. There is no dining plan available with Girls Unite. To get started, go online to the planning website.
Troop leaders, parents, siblings and guests are eligible for Girl Scout event prices, but annual passes are not valid. One chaperone per five girls is allowed at the educational programs.
One change this year is the lack of social opportunities planned for Girls Unite. Last year, girls could add on the experience of a private dessert party, the Sweets and Swaps Social, at Epcot with a special viewing location for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the nightly fireworks show. There also was a Kick-Off Sing-Along Dinner with character meet-and-greets, and special breakfasts.
Also in Orlando, the Nickelodeon Suites Resort is hosting its seventh annual Girl Scouts Thanks-A-Lot weekends from April 25 to June 8. The two-night weekend packages offer a Swap Exchange at the pool, plus other complimentary activities such as a self-guided scavenger hunt and karaoke, and a 2014 Girl Scout Patch. For an additional charge, girls can sign up for the Girl Scout Poolside Bash that includes lunch, slimings, entertainment and a character meet-and-greet.
The weekends of April 57-27, May 2-4 and June 6-8 are sold out. To register, visit the Nickelodeon Suites Resort website.