I was priviledged to attend a special session of Ho! West We Go! - it was a session for the deaf! The session was mixed; about 50% deaf girls & 50% not. I found out that many of the participants were deaf only about a month before I left, & went right to work learning sign language. In that short time, I was only able to learn the basics, but it was a good start.
It was also an exciting event because I got to fly in an airplane for the first time! My parents were nervous, because I had a very long (six hour) lay-over in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. They just couldn't imagine their 13 year old daughter alone in that huge airport for so long. So, my Girl Scout council called the council in Chicago, & I was met at the airport by a wonderful Girl Scout leader who took me on a tour of Chicago. I got to ride to the top of the John Hancock Center, & go to a zoo. I had a great time, & hated to go, but I was also excited about finally getting to NCW.
Once I arrive at National Center West, the real fun began! National Center West was amazing. (I went twice, & both times it just blew me away!) The center consisted of 14,134 acres just a few miles east of Ten Sleep, Wyoming. It was the only Girl Scout National Center west of the Mississippi until it was sold in the late 1980's. The center offered activities such as horseback riding (with pack llamas!) backpacking, archeology, photography, geology, wildlife....you name it! There were mesas & ancient indian pictographs to discover. Enough to keep you busy for weeks!
Besides all the usual NCW activities, we also got to go on field trips. We visited a fish hatchery, watched a rodeo, & went shopping in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We sang around the campfire, made pottery from real clay, the way the indians would have, & worked on our sign language.
I learned a lot during Ho! West We Go! Besides improving my outdoor skills & learning about the places we visited, I learned never to underestimate anyone. NOt even myself. I learned that everybody is different & sometimes you have to make adjustments for them. (I needed a lot of adjustments made for myself, as I was nowhere near as fluent in sign language as I needed to be to have a conversation!) I learned that, no matter where you go, as long as you're a Girl Scout you have friends to look after you. And, I learned that you should never try to irritate you deaf buddy - she can ignore you extremely well next time you need a favor. *G*
GS - Wilderness Road Council, KY