Hi everybody! I’m Danielle Weniger, and if you have missed my previous blogs, I am your Miss Tustin 2015!
For those of you who don’t know, I am a Girl Scout, and I have actually been one for 12 years (all of those in Tustin!). Currently, I am a member and am the president of Girl Scout Troop 1015, which is the biggest troop in Tustin with 46 girls. Through my time in Girl Scouts, I not only have had many opportunities to get involved in the community and learn valuable life skills, but Girl Scouts was my first experience with leadership and being business-savvy (because I have sold between 400-600 boxes of cookies every year since I was in 3rd grade). Now as I am going to be graduating, I cannot imagine how my life would be different if I had not joined Girl Scouts when I was 5 years old.
However the reason I really wanted to talk about Girl Scouts was because I just finished my last Girl Scout event this past weekend. This weekend, I, along with 22 of the girls in my troop attended GAM (Gathering of All Mariners), which is a mariner scout competition where girls from all over Southern California (from Coachella to Orange County to San Diego) come to compete and learn new nautical skills.
I have attended GAM for the past 4 years, and I was honored enough to be the Officer of the Deck, or coordinator of GAM with my best friend this year. Now what this entailed, was much more than just organizing a campout or selling cookies, because not only did I have to do my best in all of the events this year, I had to make sure everyone in my troop was equipped with the skills that they needed to do their best.
Since the school year began, we have been preparing little by little, so I would like to share with you some of over 20 events that we competed in!
The Class A Test
One of the very first events just so happened to be an 80-question scantron test that we took (after 2 weeks of AP testing) at 7am in the morning. Fun right? Well it actually kind of is, because the Class A test encompasses so many different components, and gave me so much knowledge that I never would have known about otherwise, such as: types of boats, parts of a sailboat, types of anchors, bell time and watches, and tons of Girl Scout trivia. So here’s a bit of trivia, did you know that Girl Scouts was founded on March 12, 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, and just recently celebrated it’s 100 year birthday? Well there is your fun fact for the day! And did you know that the normal type of anchor that appears in most designs is called a Fisherman’s Anchor? (but there are at least 8 other types of anchors that are commonly used)
Message to Garcia
This may sound like a kind of funny title for an event, but this is actually a 5-event and 6-person relay that I have competed in for 4 years! Message to Garcia has 3 components: Semaphore, Canoeing and Morse Code. The first step, is a Semaphore (signal flag) sender sends out a message that is then received by a Semaphore Receiver (Me!), who then gives it to a Canoe Team. The Canoers then race around a buoy and back, then hand the message to a Morse Code Sender, who translates the message into Morse Code, and it is finally handed to a Morse Code Receiver, who translates it back into English.
Boating and Other Water Skills
The whole purpose of GAM is to hone our nautical skills, so how could I not talk about boating? Well, over my 4 years, I have competed in every single water event and been in every kind of boat. This can range from a kayak or a canoe to a sailboat or rowboat. (Personally I don’t like sailing, but I am very good at putting the boat together) Also, just this year I expanded my horizons by joining the Troop 1015 Swim Team for the swimming events, and we managed to win all of our races!
School of the Crew/Marching
If you don’t know, I have been in marching band for 4 years, so this event combined two of my favorite things together – marching and Girl Scouts. In this event, I was tasked with teaching the girls approximately 13 marching skills, as well as creating an up-to 2 minute creative marching routine. Not only is this event fun to do (at least for me because I love marching) but we also get to wear a fun sailor uniform called a Middie. Almost all of the troops compete, and it is always a blast seeing troops of all sizes (from 2 girls, to our 20, to the largest with 27) compete.
Now thanks to all of my amazing girls who put in so much effort, as well as my Co-Officer of the Deck and our troop advisors, we were able to come away with our best score in 10 years, as well as Top Ship (top score) in both Message to Garcia and School of the Crew! Even despite the rising tide, too-small campsite, and many other struggles, we sure made this GAM one to remember!
Thank you for reading my blog, and if you want to keep up with any of my somewhat-interesting, but mostly just busy life as a titleholder, make sure to follow me on Instagram at @misstustin and on Twitter at @TheMissTustin. Thank you again, and make sure to watch out for me at Miss California in a month!