Girls wore shorts and our custom troop t-shirt
10am Girl Scouts First Headquarter Tour
Lunch & Freetime
3pm Old Fort Jackson
6pm Pirate’s House for Dinner
We started day 2 with limited plans for several reasons. The day before was so packed that the girls wanted some downtime. The Girl Scouts First Headquarters wasn’t doing scheduled tours the weekend we were there because it was also the weekend of their virtual QuestFest. They were open for audio tours and shoppers though – we were very thankful for that! The Headquarters is a 2 room building – one room was a museum and the other room the gift shop. The girls enjoyed looking at the Girl Scout memorabilia and old uniforms. It was also a nice place to cool down from the heat. There were no other groups there at the time. I picked up a few surprise souvenirs for the girls in the gift shop and most of them bought a patch or two.
Afterwards the girls got to decide as a group what we did next and where we went for lunch. I had a few different ideas selected for the girls to choose from. Our next event wasn’t until 3pm at Old Fort Jackson so we planned to meet back up at 2pm at the hotel. We had roughly 3 hours to kill. I had presented the following ideas for the girls:
- Finish the scavenger hunt & lunch
- Take the free Savannah Belles Ferry & lunch
- Or walk to Forsyth Park and/or Laurel Grove Cemetery
The girls ended up splitting up into smaller groups and decided to meet back up at the hotel later. A few of the parents decided to treat their girls to a fancy lunch (on their own) at the tea room at SCAD. A few parents wanted to go to Paula Deans restaurant. The rest of us went shopping at some stores the girls noticed by Leopold’s the day before and then headed down to River Street. We did a really fun, cheap, and quick lunch at Soda Pop Shop. Totally recommend this for budget friendly lunch! The staff was very welcoming to our group and very accommodating. It’s not a large shop but it held our group of 8 nicely! Hot dogs, chips, slushees and ice cream for about $7. Their Girl Scout lunches are only $5 so I allowed the girls to splurge on the extras! Fun places to shop nearby included Nerdheim. Nerdheim was neat for any girls who like anime, comics, and that sort of thing. Odin and Sons Comics was a comic book shop too that they enjoyed. And of course anything and everything on River Street!! We never did complete the scavenger hunt or take the ferry but this trip is girl-led and the girls decided how to spend their unstructured time!! It’s super important not to over schedule them!!
Back at the hotel we had to coordinate our Ubers to Ft Jackson. It took 3 Ubers to get our group there and we didn’t have any problems with transportation. We left in plenty of time to allow for hiccups and shopping at the fort. The Uber ride is only about 10 minutes from the hotel and was $10-15 depending on the time of day and number of people.
The Old Fort Jackson Girl Scout Militia Program is a MUST-DO! I contemplated skipping it because of transport issues (not walkable) but everything I read had rave reviews! I now understand why! For starters it’s only $11 per girl and that includes their patch! It’s history. My girls are huge fans of Hamilton the musical which has led to a love of Civil War history. Most of the girls also just finished US History in middle school. They weren’t excited about the activity in advance – but they did hear about the canon and that was enough to keep them mildly interested during the planning stages of the trip. I also told them that I got to pick one event for them and this was my choice!! When you get to the fort there’s a very small gift shop. Take a few minutes and explore. The girls loved seeing the goofy civil war hats, swords, and bonnets. The replica declaration of independence, and all of the typical history filled souvenirs. I grabbed a copy of the First Girl Scouts Handbook and giggled with the girls over some of the requirements from 1912! Housewifery as one of their favorite laughs!!
When our tour began it was just our group and a young man in costume met us outside. He was roleplaying the entire time and the girls were a little nervous about what was coming up next. He made them feel welcomed as they joined the troops fighting the war. He made them lineup like recruits and even got the parents involved! I stood by the side to document the trip by camera and he even incorporated that in his roleplaying – I was a photo journalist for the day! The girls had to get in line and march to the fort, they had to take an oath, and pass a few health tests. This guy was awesome!! I’m sure these guys don’t make a million dollars role playing Civil War history at a fort but they love their history and definitely do this out of love! There were many activities in the hour long tour including how to load and shoot a fake wooden rifle, history of the fort, communicating via flags and morse code, and what role the Girl Scouts might have played back in the day. The end of the tour concluded with the firing the cannon and included the girls as participants in every step of the mock firing. He actively engaged the girls during the hour and asked for volunteers often. The volunteers were paid handsomely with replica money from the day. The girls LOVED this tour and talked about it all night. Best tour of the trip – hands down!
Since our trip to Savannah, the gentleman who was our tour guide at the fort has started Liberty Encounters. Aaron now provides immersive walking tours around Savannah for individuals and groups similar to what he did at the fort. I strongly encourage you to visit his website and learn more about these new opportunities. He’s an amazing host and I’m sure the girls will enjoy them.
We Ubered back to town for dinner. Meeting up at the Pirates’ House after a short walk at that end of River Street. We used this time to take some family photos with the girls and their moms on the river before dinner. The girls loved the downtime like this and this trip really formed stronger bonds between these girls.
Pirates’ House dinner was good. They were ready for us when we arrived and actually had our reservation time wrong. They thought we were arriving 30 minutes earlier. We had a private room to ourselves and the server was ready with drinks! The food was good, the service was good, the meals were brought out timely. Nothing special though – just a good meal. It was nice to have a private room and the girls had fun bonding over dinner. We didn’t feel rushed but once we were served we didn’t see much from the waiter. We had one drink spill and were left to fend for ourselves to clean it up. We were a little sad that the costumed pirates didn’t visit us. I wish they had a mini-Girl Scout tour of the house or storytellers to explain to the girls the significance of the spot. Wouldn’t have changed our plans and we’d do it again – just don’t have high expectations.
Another night done! We walked back to the hotel with the hopes of being able to walk through the cemetery from the night before. It had closed 10 minutes before we got there. We did walk past a few other spots I had mapped out ahead of time like Rainbow Row and a little piece of history talking about the haint blue ceilings. The walk back to the hotel is about one mile so take your time and find some ways to keep the girls entertained. They loved looking at the old homes and trying to spot the blue ceilings on the walk back.
Since we were traveling with parents our rooms consisted of 2 moms and 2 daughters. I pre-determined the rooms so there would be no drama. I also let the girls know that I would open my room for anyone who wanted a girls sleepover on one of the nights. The girls were so tired on the second night that they opted for a 30 minute facial mask bonding session instead of a sleepover! Win-win for the parents and a good nights sleep for the girls!
Part 9: Day 3 Agenda in Savannah, GA
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