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Girl Scouts travel the world with Concord troop

Girl Scouts of Concord Troop 20507 gather at a historic building in the Azores. (Courtesy photo)

Troop 20507 focuses on expanding girls’ horizons while teaching life skills

CONCORD, NH – Whether venturing beyond their neighborhood as a young child or flying across the ocean to visit a foreign country, Girl Scouts broaden their view of the world through the many travel opportunities Girl Scouts provides.

One troop in Concord truly makes the most of these programs and is nicknamed the “travel troop.” Troop 20507 loves to explore the world, so they visited the Thousand Islands area of western New York in August, and in June spent 10 days in the Azores, an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic that is part of Portugal. Girl Scouts in this troop are from Concord, Penacook, Franklin, Loudon, Northwood, Boscawen, Bow, Contoocook, Chichester, Hopkinton, Pembroke, and Manchester.

In the Azores, they explored old buildings at Ponta Delgado, took surfing lessons, spent two full days touring the island with guides, went on glass-bottom boat and snorkel tours, met a local artist, went horseback riding, and tried the local cuisine. The girls loved the local parade in honor of St. John the Baptist. They even met a goat farmer, where they learned about his farm, milked and played with the goats, and enjoyed a farm-to-table breakfast.

The girls who did not travel to the Azores enjoyed a trip to the Thousand Islands, where they enjoyed a pirate festival, took a boat tour, explored Boldt Castle, went hiking and swimming in two state parks, danced at a concert, and enjoyed a museum of the area. The girls earned a pirate patch by learning about pirates, visited the lighthouse where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River, visited a small museum with a history of the area and another museum that documents its place in the Underground Railroad.

“Taking girls abroad, many for the first time, to see the beauty of the Azores and learn about its history and customs, while encouraging the girls to try new things... it's what Girl Scouts is about!” said Sheila Morris, one of the troop’s leaders.

The Girl Scouts paid for their trip through fall product and cookie sales. They also have a large yard sale every spring and take clothes to Savers, which pays by the pound, and the troop does holiday gift wrapping to raise funds.

They host “lots and lots of booths,” said Dr. Pat Edwards, another of the troop’s leaders, “and during COVID we delivered cookies to the hospital, nursing home staffs, and medical office staffs in lieu of cookie booths.

The troop was started 10 years ago as a travel troop with that being their main focus. Edwards said the girls take several shorter trips a few local spots, and some three to four hours away before going on an international trip. Depending on the money raised, they may make two international trips before the end of their Girl Scout years.

“We have been to New York City; Washington, D.C.; Costa Rica; a cruise that stopped in Belize, England and Ireland; Azores; Lake Placid and Lake George, both in New York state; camping on Cape Cod,” she said.

Edwards said the troop started out with Sheila Morris and Deb Kaitz wanting to continue on as leaders when their girls were getting ready to age out.

“They contacted me, as my daughter had already aged out, and Cindy Peace and we were off and running,” said Edwards. “Then Melissa Starkey and Denyse Totten joined us, and most recently Marci Howe has come on board. Sheila and Deb have been chaperoning and traveling with their troops for years before this, as have I, so we were all ready to travel even farther.”

Girl Scouts encourages girls to discover more about the world and themselves through travel, no matter whether they are in a troop or as individuals. The Girl Scout Travel Progression allows girls to build their skills and confidence by starting with troop travel to local places, like a field trip to a fire house or other local spot, progressing to day trips, overnights, regional trips, national trips, international destinations, and independent travel. Girls 11 and older are eligible for the Destinations program, the ultimate adventure for older Girl Scouts who want to visit another state or country. Applications will open Sept. 20 for Destinations trips to 16 states and 15 countries in 2023/2024. Scholarships are available for travel, and participation the Girl Scout Cookie program also helps Girl Scouts fund their trips.

Girls of all ages are invited to find out more about the opportunities Girl Scouts offers, whether it’s travel, outdoor activities, troops, STEM, or just a new way to make new friends. At Girl Scouts, it’s all fun, no filter. See more at

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