June 13, 2012
-- Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ), a Girl Scout Council spanning the entire stretch of I-78 in New Jersey and serving over 25,000 girls and 10,000 adult members in the counties of Hudson, Essex, Union, Somerset, Hunterdon, southern Warren and parts of Middlesex spent the weekend of June 9-10 participating in myriad events marking the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the USA.
Several buses left NJ early Saturday morning to shuttle hundreds of GSHNJ Girl Scouts to Girl Scouts Rock the Mall: 100th Anniversary Sing-Along on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Girl Scouts Rock the Mall was the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in history. With a final count of more than 200,000 Girl Scouts, friends and alumnae from around the nation and world gathered to demonstrate the power of girl leadership.
Following the events on June 9, GSHNJ hosted its 2nd Annual Take the Lead 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk in Colonial Park, Somerset with more than 250 participants. The race coincided with other Centennial festivities attended by 50 people featuring energetic music by Bob Mills, Philly Event Group and the band Bloom, food and refreshments from Driscoll Foods, Costco, Panera Bread, New Jersey American Water, Pom Wonderful, ShopRite, Trader Joes, Vitamin Water and Wegmans. Families enjoyed activities including a pony corral by Rocking Horse Ranch, playing Microsoft Kinect, an egg toss and bingo.
The 5K was won by Tyler Grimm of Somerville High School in 17:26.6 who was cheered on by his mom, dad and Sparkee of the Somerset Patriots. The winning female runner was twelve year old, Courtney Skikus, of Hillsborough with a winning time of 21:11.5.
GSHNJ concluded the weekend of Centennial events Sunday afternoon as hundreds of Girl Scouts joined the 100 Butterflies for the Next 100 Years – Centennial Celebrations at GSHNJ’s Camp DeWitt and The OVAL. Troops were “excited” to partake in the day's activities, including the release of 100 butterflies. Girls gathered around the camps for a day of sunshine and fun including games like “Girl Scout, Girl Scout … Daisy!” and sing-a-longs to favorites like “We’re Going on a Lion Hunt.” During the event, the girls formed a once-in-a-lifetime centennial Girl Scout circle. The circle represents “always having room for one more,” a message of acceptance each girl will carry for life. The girls then had the opportunity to meet new friends through trading SWAPs.
When it was time to release the butterflies, every girl made a wish for future Girl Scouts everywhere – a wish that will be carried by the butterflies wherever they go.
Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey has offered a variety of Centennial events representing an array of tradition and interests to celebrate the Girl Scout Centennial. The next Centennial event hosted by the Girl Scout Councils of New Jersey is the “Believe In Girls” (B.I.G.) Celebration, a daylong event culminating in a fireworks spectacular and an evening concert featuring Grammy nominated artist and celebrity judge on NBC’s “The Sing Off,” Sara Bareilles, pop star Joe Jonas of the band The Jonas Brothers, and newly signed Nickelodeon star, Rachel Crow. B.I.G. is open to all everyone. The event will include 100 activities taking place at the scenic Liberty State Park, which features 1,122 acres of open space and panoramic views of The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the New York Harbor. To register or for more information about B.I.G., visit www.thebigconcertnj.com.