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Girls and their families enjoy STEM, outdoors, cooking, performances and more at the G.I.R.L. Expo NH


Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains hosted event Oct. 13 in Bedford

BEDFORD, NH | They climbed, they created desserts, they drove underwater water robots, they baked bread, they tried out pottery, they saw how a machine can print live cells, they saw the night sky in a planetarium, they drummed and danced – girls and their families had a great time at the G.I.R.L. Expo New Hampshire: Everything Exciting for Girls at the NH Sportsplex in Bedford on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving New Hampshire and Vermont, hosted the event, which nearly 1,700 people attended. The expo offered G.I.R.L.s (Go Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers, Leaders)™ ages 5 to 18 plenty of opportunities to broaden their interests, earn badges, and just have fun. The lead sponsor of the event was Catholic Medical Center.

“Today was pretty neat!” said Bella, 9. “There were all sorts of different things we could try.”

“The planetarium was awesome,” said Beth Ledger, an adult attendee from Chester.

“I loved it because we got to do one my favorite dances – The Cotton Eyed Joe!” said Kylie, 11.

One highlight of the event was the Girl Scout Pastry Competition, in which three teams of three girls each competed to create desserts, with one essential ingredient: Girl Scout cookies. Each team had the help of a local food service professional but had to come up with the unique dessert recipe themselves. Judges had a difficult choice, but ultimately settled on one confection with Thin Mints, chocolate pudding, bananas and other ingredients.

Competing were Sophia Klanchesser, a Cadette Girl Scout from Newington, NH; Adriana Pedro, a Junior Girl Scout from Quechee, VT; Scarlett Casey, a Cadette Girl Scout from Nashua, NH; Ryleigh Belanger, a Cadette Girl Scout from Auburn, NH; Lilly Belanger, a Junior Girl Scout from Auburn, NH; Olivia Britton, a Cadette Girl Scout from Grantham, NH; Sophia Blair, a Junior Girl Scout from Milton, NH; Claire Chetwynd, a Junior Girl Scout from East Kingston, NH; and Claire Burke, a Junior Girl Scout from Derry, NH.

The professionals assisting the teams were Angelina Jacobs, the executive chef at Cabonnay; Miranda Lareau, lead pastry chef for the Michael Timothy Dining Group; and Lindsey Demers, chef for Sodexo and Franklin Pierce University.

The winning team was Sophia, Adriana and Lilly, with a confection that incorporated Thin Mints, bananas, chocolate, lemon zest and more. Judges had a difficult time picking one favorite.

In the Restaurant Olympics, participants tested their agility and speed in setting tables, dressing a chef, and folding sheets. This competition was hosted by the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association.

Rising pop star Kristina Lachaga had the audience rocking and singing along. Social media star Meridith Rojas kept the girls’ interest with tales of her personal journey into the world of musical artist promotion and her Digitours concerts, and how they, too, could become “Selfie-Made,” the title of a how-to book she has published on becoming a social media expert.

One Cadette Girl Scout found Rojas’ advice on becoming a YouTuber inspiring, and was happy to have a chance to think about college, even though she’s only 12. “The college part helps kids to be prepared,” said Lexy, 12. “I want to plan ahead to college, but a lot are hard to get into.”

Performances by the Ameri-Kids Baton Twirlers, Miss Teen New Hampshire, the McGonagle School of Irish Dance, Subzero Ice Cream and the Burlington Taiko Drummers, along with a Matilda Jane fashion show, kept the excitement high and the families engaged.

Because Girl Scouts want to make the world a better place, there were several opportunities to do just that. In Bake for Good, both kids and adults learned how to bake yeast bread with King Arthur flour and donate a loaf. In the Take Action Zone, participants assembled birthday kits to donate to the New Hampshire Food Bank, including cake mix, frosting, a pan and balloons. Others painted pumpkins to brighten the day for local nursing home residents and those served by Meals on Wheels. They also had the opportunity to learn about Girl Scouting’s highest awards, the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, which result in sustainable positive change in a girl’s community and are the most prestigious awards in Girl Scouting.

Getting outdoors and understanding science and financial literacy are two big goals of Girl Scouts, and the expo gave attendees lots to do in these areas. They learned about wildlife and our diverse habitats. They got to fire an Airsoft rifle, shoot an arrow or climb a tower, and learn about the many outdoors and camping opportunities offered through Girl Scouts. FIRST Robotics demonstrated what FIRST Lego League competitions are like. SeaPerch gave everyone a chance to steer an underwater robot. UNH guided participants through computer science and cyber security. Cellink demonstrated how human organs can be printed, and kids tried out snap circuits and coding. Citizens Bank introduced financial concepts to Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts, while Cookies 411 gave the girls advice on money management and the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world – one that is designed with, by, and for girls. Girl Scouts fuels the leadership pipeline, with half of female business leaders and 80 percent of female tech leaders getting their start in Girl Scouts. At the G.I.R.L. Expo, girls and their families got to see the many opportunities offered by Girl Scouts, where girls take the lead in an all-girl safe space where they’re free to explore. To learn more about becoming a Girl Scout, see

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our innovative leadership programs help girls discover, connect, and take action as they develop strong values, a social conscience, and a deep sense of self and their potential. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit