Two Santa Monica Girl Scout troops, 2835 and 2935, visited two Girl Scout World Centers this year, capturing their dream of traveling, learning and connecting with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in England, France, Italy and Switzerland. To get there, they spent years planning and raising funds through Cookie sales and other money-earning activities.

All rising ninth through twelfth graders, the girls planned their trips to include tours of Pax Lodge in London, England and Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland. They brought SWAPS (Special Watchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) and photos to share about their own Girl Scouting activities in America, and they studied up on the countries to discover how Girl Scouts participate and take leadership.

At a stirring ceremony at Pax Lodge, the girls received special pins commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Lodge, home base for all Girl Guides of England, and the “nerve center” of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). Our Chalet in Switzerland welcomed the troops with hearty alpine food, home-cooked by the Center’s volunteers. The Swiss outdoors beckoned them to hike to a frozen waterfall together, while absorbing incredible views. Both world centers receive and sponsor Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world for internships that teach leadership, environmental alertness and common understanding among girls and youth.

One Girl Scout journeyed on into Italy, where she met with Scout leaders in Umbria and visited two scout bases. What she learned: Italian Scouts commit to self-reliance in the outdoors and do all their camping with backpacks. The Umbrian scouts were especially dedicated to be ready in case of disaster, and talked about how they made their own scout houses into places of refuge during earthquakes, fires and other disasters.

Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles serves more than 40,000 girls in partnership with more than 20,000 volunteers throughout the diverse communities of Los Angeles County and parts of Kern, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. The council engages girls through programs in Leadership, Business and Financial Literacy, Outdoor Adventure, STE[A]M (science, technology, engineering, art, math), and Healthy Living. To join, volunteer, reconnect, or support, visit or call (213) 213-0123.

  • Submitted by Francesca Taylor, Troop Leader