The Girl Scouts of America is marking their 100th year by hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections, making sure that every mile of the more than 2,100-mile trail is covered by at least one Girl Scout.
According to the trip leaders, getting Girl Scouts outdoors has become more of a challenge in recent years – not because of a lack of interest, but because young girls are already overcommitted and adult volunteers are too busy to lead hiking or camping expeditions.
Jennifer Pfister, communications director for Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline, said the idea for a Great Girl Scout Hike started with Roanoke troop leader Barbara Duerk. Duerk had heard about the legendary Mary Sands, or “Mama Boots,” a troop leader who, beginning in 1965, spent 16 years section hiking with 135 different Girl Scouts to complete the entire Appalachian Trail.
Girl Scouts from 25 states have signed up online with their families, friends or troops to hike a portion of the trail, and according to the sign-ups, the entire trail will be hiked – several times.
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