Wrentham & Plainville Girl Scouts at Operation Snowflake!
Wrentham & Plainville Girl Scouts displayed their go-getter and
risk-taker spirit by competing in Operation Snowflake the weekend of
February 17th and by braving the outdoors and camping out at
Operation Snowflake held at Camp Wind-in-the-Pines in Plymouth, MA.
Operation Snowflake is a winter camping competition for Girl Scouts in grades 6-12, hosted by Dartmouth Troop 117. In its 44th year, there were 128 participants made up of 8 Cadette and 18 Senior patrols from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and one girl from Virginia. Each patrol competed in events including flagpole lashing, travois lashing and race, biathlon race (snowshoes and 'snow' ball throwing), fire starting and string burning, compass skills, constellation identification, wood sawing, dog sled racing, outdoor baking, and patrol flag design.*
The girls along with their leaders prepared for this event over six weeks, learning and perfecting these and other critical cold-weather skills. Their training began with learning the basics around proper winter clothing. Staying warm and dry is by far the most important lesson for the girls since all of the weekend’s events were outdoors. While the event started out dry, the girls camped out while several inches of snow and rain fell on their tents overnight.
Troop leaders Tricia Barry and Stacey LaBombard taught the girls and kept them motivated along the way. “The girls worked hard and we celebrated each milestone of their training with donuts. The girls liked that so much that they made donuts their patrol’s mascot on their matching hats and patrol flag. Their patrol name became a play on words when they named themselves ‘7 ate 9’. We couldn’t be any prouder of their achievements.”
Their hard work paid off at the competition! These eight Cadette Girl Scouts from Troops 789 (6th grade) and 4721 (7th grade) came together as one patrol and earned several top honors including 1st place in fire starting and string burning, flagpole lashing, A-frame lashing, and dog sled racing. The girls also earned the Trailblazer Award for Inspections and 3rd Place Patrol overall. It was an outstanding accomplishment especially since this was the first time any of these girls attended Operation Snowflake. Impressive!
Throughout this experience, the girls learned more than outdoor skills. They learned valuable lessons about teamwork and communication. Samara White from Troop 4721 shared, “I learned how important it was to work as a team. We all had a part in each of the events. The more we communicated with each other, the better we did and the more fun we had.” Amelia Ritcher and Lilianna Brenneis both from Troop 789, added, “It was fun to see how everyone was getting along and excited to participate”; “It was more fun to cheer on everyone and not just yourself.”
In addition to their many ribbons, the girls also made memories that will last a lifetime. Perhaps the best words of enthusiasm come from Skyler Barry from Troop 789 who shared, “Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean it’s not fun.”
Our thanks to Jan Fiske for this story contribution!
*Take a look at some of the impressive results of GSSNE Troops across council that placed! And of course, we are super proud of every troop that attended and gave it their all! You all are truly #leadinglikeagirlscout!
Cadette Division are as follows (3 troops from GSSNE):
- 1st Troop 399, Manville (Lincoln), RI
- 2nd Troop 821 North Kingstown
- Tied for 3rd Troop 789 Wrentham and Troop 75220 Duxbury, MA
Senior Division (3 troops from GSSNE):
- Tied for 1st Troop 561 North Kingstown, RI and Trop 399 Manville
- 2nd Troop 62625 Millis, MA
- 3rd Troop 426 Warren, RI