Last Friday, we stayed overnight at the Niagara Falls Aquarium with two other girls from the troop. The overnight was a council-sponsored event, so there was no planning on my part. It would have been nice if more girls could have come, but this wasn’t a troop event. I sent out an email a while ago saying Bean and I were going to do this, and if anyone wanted to join us, to let me know so I could register them. Next year, I think I will make this a troop event, and request that the girls sell cookies to help cover the cost. We’ll see.
Back to the overnight. We got there a little before 8pm and found the other two girls and moms. They found a nice spot to sleep near the catfish aquarium. It was a full house – 100 people were there! – mostly Brownies and Juniors. I don’t think there were any Cadettes on up, but there was one other Daisy troop there. Once everyone had arrived, we trooped upstairs to get a rundown of the night’s events. Then the girls were split into two groups. We did a scavenger hunt first, and then went down to the touch tank. After, we got ready for bed and set out our sleeping bags (having an air mattress would have been nice), then went back upstairs for pizza (why you give elementary school girls pizza and sugar drinks at 10pm is beyond me, but they had fun) and bingo.
The touch tank was fun. They had various crabs, lobsters, horseshoe crabs, snails, clams, mussels, and starfish. The best part was watching the girls’ faces as the instructor picked up animals from the tank and talked about them. Their expressions ranged from “this is soooo cooool!”, to “I’m not sure about this” (Bean), and utter disgust. I was brave enough to pick up a starfish, clam, and snail, but wouldn’t touch the crabs, lobsters, or horseshoe crabs. Bean looked for a quick second, and then decided she wanted nothing to do with the tank. One girl and her mom stayed the longest picking up animals, etc…the other girl also wanted nothing to do with the tank, and looked at some of the specimens on the shelves.
Skipping over pizza, bingo, and bed, the next morning we had a quick breakfast of donuts and milk, and then got to watch a sea lion show. The trainer came out and talked to the girls afterwards (this normally doesn’t happen during the day). Bean suckered me into buying some things at the gift shop; one gift for each member of our family. I tried to buy patches for the girls, but the man in charge overnight had already left. It would have been nice to know that he was the one selling them or I would have tracked him down before then. Oh well. I bought some from the council shop.
Overall, it was great! There were some minor negatives. The biggest of those was that one of the instructors didn’t know how to interact with the girls very well. She was abrupt and didn’t let them down easy when they got an answer wrong at the scavenger hunt. I don’t think she meant to be rude, I just don’t think she’s used to young kids.