The first Girl Scout troop was established by Juliette Gordon Lowe in Savannah, Georgia in 1912. Girl Scouts of the USA is an organization with the goal of providing girls with activities and events that foster courage, character and confidence. Florida offers several opportunities for learning, discovery and enrichment. The state has a rich history as well as unique natural landscapes. In addition, some of Orlando's theme parks can provide educational experiences as well as entertainment.
Many of Florida's natural landscapes are preserved as state parks and may feature nature trails, camping sites and wildlife viewing. Examples include Crystal River Preserve State Park, Tomoka State Park and Lake Kissimmee State Park. In addition, Florida is well-known for its springs. Wekiva Springs State Park, for example, allows visitors to swim in the spring itself. But the most important natural site to visit in Florida is Everglades National Park. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. and has been designated as a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve and Wetland of International Importance.
Spanish Colonial History
Florida's history as a Spanish colony offers educational opportunities for Girl Scout troops. St. Augustine preserves much of its Spanish colonial heritage. It is the oldest city in the country, founded in 1565. Visitors can take advantage of historical reenactments, enjoy historical cuisine and tour the grounds of Castillo de San Marcos.
Florida in the 19th Century
The sites of the two largest Civil War battles fought in Florida are preserved at Olustee and Natural Bridge Battlefield State Parks. A visit can provide Girl Scouts with the opportunity to learn about one of the most defining periods in U.S. history. Gamble Plantation Historic State Park and Orman House Historic State Park feature antebellum mansions. There are many other historical sites to view in Florida, such as Dudley Farm Historic State Park, which shows how Florida farming evolved and features demonstrations of daily chores.
Orlando is known as the theme park capital of the world. Many of these attractions offer Girl Scouts educational opportunities. EPCOT, for example, features World Showcase, in which visitors can visit pavilions dedicated to 11 countries. Each pavilion contains attractions, exhibits, educational films and cuisine relating to that culture. The Future World area of the park contains The Mission:Space and Spaceship Earth Pavilions. Universal Studios and Hollywood Studios offer visitors insight into the movie-making process. For a non-theme park destination for Girl Scouts, the Orlando Science Center is a good choice.
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