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Northland Encampment

Phaedra joined Girl Scouts in 3rd grade at age 8 making her a second year brownie. Since then her sister has joined the ranks and we as a family have become very involved with scouts. The many ways we've become involved could easily be a series but one notable project that has demanded the most time from me is Northland Encampment.

Northland Encampment is a biennial event that began in the 90s and has continued every 2 years since. It brings together Girl Scouts from all over the norther parts of Kansas City for a long weekend of camping, learning, community and fun! I first attended with Phaedra's troop (592) in 2016 and despite the torrential rain we had a blast. The following year I was approached about helping setup a geocaching trail for the girls as an optional activity. This lead to me being on the leadership committee where I was in charge of media outreach and, you guessed it geocaching. I attended dozens of meetings with the larger council and had numerous breakout sessions.

In 2018 the theme was "There's not place like home" so an obvious Wizard of Oz theme emerged. I created 14 caches for the girls to find and hid them all over Camp Wilderness just outside Lawson, MO. Each cache capitalized on the attributes of a character or asepct from the beloved movie. The tin man was a large barrel with a metal heart you had to find, the Wicked Witch cache (now rehomed in the wild) requires water to retrieve and to get to the Wizard himself and the ruby slippers you had to navigate a lengthy night cache with fire tacks and UV lights coordinated through an intercache. There was a yellow brick road cache, a flying monkey cache, a cowardly lion cache and many more. Each was designed to engage the girls and make them think creatively.

I had help from my oldest son and the son of the camp director. The 3 of us connected each troop with a set of GPS devices, gave them a crash course and then pointed them in the right direction providing tech support when necessary. A funny side note, Ana attended with Bridget's Troop (2061) so 5 out of 6 members of our family were present. Due to insurance regulations all 5 of us had to be signed up with Girl Scouts accounts to be in compliance meaning Alexander is the only non-Girl Scout in our family!

The feedback was incredibly good and we planned to repeat it with a new theme for 2020 till the world went into lock down. A few delays later and we are hopeful to return in 2022 stronger than ever. After much planning we are opening the event up to girls all over the city effectively quadrupling the attendees. I am going to need a lot more caches and help this time!

5/6/2021

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