Aug. 27, 2012. Grandfather Mountain welcomes Girl Scouts back to the Mountain for a day filled with opportunities to hone their wilderness skills, play games and learn more about nature. On Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Scouts can expand their nature know-how through a variety of programs that cover topics ranging from indigenous insects to NASA. All Girl Scouts and their leaders will be admitted free of charge with proof of membership.
Grandfather Mountain first adopted the Girl Scouts in 1971, beginning a long-standing tradition of a special day in September where girls would be invited to learn more about nature and the Blue Ridge Mountains in a hands-on way. The Scouts returned the favor by adopting Grandfather’s late mascot, Mildred the Bear, as an honorary Girl Scout and presenting her with a series of pins to mark her many years with the organization.
The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with “My Backpack and Me.” Scouts will learn proper packing tactics and the ideal characteristics of gear and footwear for any hiking excursion. An Interpretive Ranger will then lead a hike where different hiking techniques will be discussed.
Scouts have an opportunity to participate in a High Elevation Hike from 10 a.m. to noon. This is an interpretive loop hike beginning and ending at Black Rock Trailhead. This hike is only for Girl Scouts at least 10 years old. The hike is strenuous and scouts will need to bring water, snacks and have appropriate footwear. Space is limited to 15 scouts and chaperones are welcome. Call the Naturalist Department for reservations at 828-733-4326.
A forest investigation program is at 11 a.m. This one-hour adventure is a unique opportunity to learn the history of the land by looking at the forest, how it grows and what is growing in it. Meet Jesse Pope, director of education, at the Woods Walk for this walk through history.
Also beginning at 11 a.m. is a presentation on clouds and weather. Here, kids can learn about cloud types and how they affect the weather before making their own cloud viewers. They will then use their creations to observe different types of clouds and discuss how understanding cloud types can give us a clue as to what our weather may become.
One of the most anticipated events of the day is guest speaker Dorothy Hall’s presentation: “Observing our Changing Planet from Space.” Hall works as a researcher on the remote sensing of snow and ice for NASA. She will present in the Nature Museum Auditorium and discuss what it is like to be a woman in a competitive science field.
The “Creepy Critters” and “Bug World” programs begin at 2 p.m. These hour-long showcases will be “crawling” with excitement. “Creepy Critters” meets in the Nature Museum Auditorium and “Bug World” meets at the “Let it Rain” Picnic Shelter.
The programs then go airborne with the “Hawk Watch” and the Monarch Butterfly Program at 3:30 p.m. Those interested in the “Hawk Watch” should meet at Linville Peak across the Swinging Bridge to participate in a program about raptors and possibly catch a glimpse of these migrating birds of prey. The scouts interested in the butterfly program should meet in front of the Nature Museum to learn about the natural history, migration and life cycle of this special butterfly.
Visit www.grandfather.com to find out more about the 42nd Annual American Girl Scout Day at Grandfather Mountain and to view the full schedule.
The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources.
For more information, visit www.grandfather.com or call 800-468-7325.