By Melanie Kincaid, Camp Zama Girl ScoutsMay 15, 2016
Camp Zama (May 16, 2016) - The Camp Zama Girl Scouts and their Japanese Sister Scouts danced the night away with an end-of-the year celebration, themed "1950's Sock Hop," held May 7 at the Camp Zama Community Activity Center.
Over 130 people attended and help celebrate a successful year of community service, cultural exchange, outdoors activities, and leadership opportunities for the Girl Scouts.
In the spirit of Girl Scouts and creating leadership opportunities, the scouts were the driving force in planning and implementing the event.
As a team, the Camp Zama Girl Scouts designed the activities for the day and then lead the activities during the event.
"The girls were the brain and muscle behind the entire Sock-Hop," said Iris Cartier, Junior Troop leader for the CZ Girl Scouts.
"From the theme to table decorations, master of ceremony script, playlist, dances, games... it was all their idea!"
Two MC's from the Juniors Troop, Caroline Cartier and Hannah Andersen, lead everyone through the activity changes and set the high-spirited mood of the event. Japanese and American Girl Scouts participated in a bubble blowing competition, learned several new dances, played limbo, and participated in a freeze dance competition.
This annual celebratory event is an important way to recognize and thank the Japanese Girl Scout counterparts for their friendship throughout the year.
The CZ Girl Scouts and the Japanese Girl Scouts have teamed up on multiple events throughout the year to strengthen cross-cultural bonds, learn about each other, and simply have fun through the sisterhood of Girl Scouts.
For this past Girl Scout year- running Oct. 1 until Sept. 30 -together the CZ Girl Scouts and Japanese Girl Scouts have participated in the following events:
- Halloween Camp: About 200 Japanese and American Girl Scouts participated in the 11th annual two-day Halloween Camp held at Ashigara Fureai no Mura (a Kanagawa Prefecture conference center) Nov. 7 and 8, 2015.
- Nursing Home Visit: A cross-cultural tradition of the CZ Girl Scouts to visit the Soyodai Nursing Home each December to spread a little holiday cheer to its many residents. Over 40 Girl Scouts (American and Japanese) ranging in ages from 5 - 17, sang Christmas carols in English and Japanese on Dec. 12, 2015 to nursing home residents.
- Making Japanese Food and New Year's Celebration: A large event hosted by the Japanese Sister Scouts with 25 CZ Girl Scouts learning how to make gyoza and Temali zushi (ham sushi and fried egg sushi).
- Ski Trip: A small group of CZ Girl Scouts joined by 20 Japanese Girl Scouts. The overnight ski trip was a time for the girls to ski, play, and make new friends.
- World Thinking Day: The CZ Girl Scouts joined hundreds of Japanese and American Girl Scouts in Yokohama to celebrate World Thinking Day; a day of international friendship, and speaking out on issues that affect girls and young women.
- Thin Mint Sprint: Equal amounts of youth and adult participants joined in the 3K race to help the CZ Girl Scouts raise money for their yearly programming. The Japanese Girl Scouts also participated in this event.
- Doll Festival: Twenty-five CZ Girl Scouts learned how to make Ohinasama dolls (king and queen) from origami paper from the Japanese Sister Scouts. After the girls finished with the crafts, they had a snack with their Japanese friends and then played a fun game that got all the girls interacting together.
- Bunco: Focused on the older Girl Scouts, 17 American and Japanese girls had a chance to interact and form new friendships by playing a popular American group game.
- Enoshima Beach Clean-up Community Service: In partnership with the Japanese Girl Scouts, over 65 people came together to help clean-up a section of Enoshima Beach, Japan, as part of Girl Scout Week.
- Strawberry Picking: The CZ Girl Scouts enjoyed the morning with the Japanese Sister Scouts as they picked strawberries for 30 minutes at the Strawberry House in Ebina, Japan. After the strawberry picking, Japanese and American Girl Scouts played games and performed a dance together.
In addition to a fantastic year, CZ Girl Scouts have a lot to celebrate this year as they received the President's Award from USA Girl Scouts.
This prestigious award recognizes the efforts of the CZ Overseas Committee as they surpassed goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council's overall goals.
About Camp Zama Girl Scouts:
The CZ Girl Scouting program supports Girl Scouts of all ages living in and around Camp Zama, Japan. In addition to offering opportunities for adventure, fun, and leadership available to our stateside Girl Scout sisters, the CZ Girl Scouts have a vibrant host nation program which provides the girls wonderful opportunities to make new friends, explore Japan, and foster cross-cultural understanding. www.zamagirlscouts.org