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Scouting at Chimney Rock, by Resource Development Chair, Emily Walker

I'll never forget my first glimpse into what my new position at Chimney Rock Park would include. At this time in 2005, it was still a privately-owned entity and I was visiting to shadow the Spring Girl Scout Day. I would be returning in the summer to begin my new job and be part of these programs, which was both exciting and a little overwhelming.

Watching the event I was stoked to see Girl Scouts from a variety of areas, learning new things together and engaging with nature in such an inspiring setting. Although at that time it was fairly small, maybe 50 folks, they were all given the opportunity to participate in a variety activities throughout the morning and then enjoy the park on their own after lunch. As a former Girl Scout myself could appreciate what the staff, leaders and girls were experiencing.

Fast forwarding 14 years our scout days are still one on my favorite activities throughout the year. They've grown in attendance to hundreds of participants including scouts, parents and siblings The last couple of years they have become so popular they now require a waiting list. We spend the morning in hands-on programs pertaining to topics such as outdoor cooking, tree identification and appreciation of native snakes. After lunch our 32-foot climbing tower opens for the scouts and many of them head out with their troops to do a couple miles of hiking or searching for the best view. As the park closes to regular visitors we set-up camp for the night. Fire rings are lit, dinner is cooked and girls from around the southeast make new friends. As the evening draws to a close there's nothing like falling asleep under the stars and, of course, sharing that experience with my daughters and now, too! From my first Girl Scout day to the most recent earlier this summer, I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful event.


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