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From left, RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts Molly Lawson, Victoria Cleveland and Jaazmyne Stringer find protection from the rain under their umbrellas at the Twilight Camp.

From left, RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts Molly Lawson, Victoria Cleveland and Jaazmyne Stringer find protection from the rain under their umbrellas at the Twilight Camp. (Bryan Mitchell / S&S)

From left, RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts Molly Lawson, Victoria Cleveland and Jaazmyne Stringer find protection from the rain under their umbrellas at the Twilight Camp.

From left, RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts Molly Lawson, Victoria Cleveland and Jaazmyne Stringer find protection from the rain under their umbrellas at the Twilight Camp. (Bryan Mitchell / S&S)

From left, KP Miller, Greg O'Donnell, Jennifer Rife and April Goss prepares s'mores by the dozen for the RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts Twilight Camp in Cambridgeshire.

From left, KP Miller, Greg O'Donnell, Jennifer Rife and April Goss prepares s'mores by the dozen for the RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts Twilight Camp in Cambridgeshire. (Bryan Mitchell / S&S)

HUNTINGDON — Think you’re busy lately? Try keeping up with the RAF Alconbury Girl Scouts.

The girls have been sending care packages to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, cleaning headstones at Cambridge’s Madingley American military cemetery and tending to their new Girl Scout Hut on base.

But in between all their charity work, as well as the rope-climbing, horseback riding and overnight trips to London, the girls still find time for the quintessential Girl Scout experience: campfires and s’mores.

Roughly 50 Girl Scouts, parents and troop leaders braved the cold British rain on a recent Friday night for their annual Twilight Camp. This year, the girls gathered at Cambridgeshire County’s Hinchingbrooke Country Park for the two-hour event.

“It’s good fun because we all get to hang out and make s’mores,” 11-year-old Jaazmyne Cleveland said from under her umbrella. “They’re my favorite desert.”

Just about every girl on site came prepared with an umbrella and a pair of wellies, boots made especially for rain and slush.

“You gotta have your wellies,” Troop 121 leader Allysia Cleveland said.

The yearly event is used to usher new Girl Scouts into the world of Scouting. Their ethos is simple: fun, education and a healthy serving of sing-alongs.

Laura Miller, 17, was one of the Senior Girl Scouts on hand and led the damp faithful in songs as parents toasted marshmallows over the open fire.

“It’s fun for me for a lot of reasons,” Miller said. “I can get up and sing as loud as I want, and no one really cares that I can’t sing. They all look up to us older girls, and we can teach them a lot.”

USA Girl Scouts Overseas has more than 18,000 members in 90 countries that stretch from Norway to Qatar, according to the Girl Scouts official Web site, www.girlscouts.org.

Every year, scores of Girl Scouts from across Europe meet at Germany’s Camp Lachenwald, the Girl Scout’s only resident camp in Europe. Last year, RAF Alconbury Girl Scout leader Ruth Miller led a squad of seven Girl Scouts for a weeklong camping experience in the German countryside.

“The experiences and memories will be remembered by the girls for many years to come. I highly recommend it to both girls and adult volunteers,” Miller said.

But for most of the Girl Scouts, events such as Twilight Camp and the overnight Camporee are the highlights of a yearlong pursuit of courage, confidence and character.


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