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Milton’s Girl Scout Troop #1861 enjoys Chicago tour

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By Special to The Banner

By Cindy and Maddie Withrow

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Troop Leader and Senior Girl Scout

Do you ever wonder where the money from the sale of Girl Scout cookies goes? I know there are faithful cookie buyers in every town and every county—the wonderful people that pay the price for the yummy Samoas and Thin Mints and never question where DOES the money go.

Well, let me tell you about the recent adventures of Troop #1861 from Milton—adventures made possible by their loyal customers, families and local shoppers.

At 11:30 p.m. on April 1, backpacks were loaded and our adventure began. We arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Union Station around 12:30 a.m. to catch an Amtrak passenger train to Chicago, Ill. Sleepy and excited at the same time, nine girls, six adults and one tagalong boarded the train. The conductor quickly got the kids settled in and comfortable for the trip, which took nearly nine hours to reach our destination. We used the opportunity to get much needed sleep, waking just in time to see some beautiful Indiana countryside and have a little breakfast on the train.

Once we reached Chicago, we were in awe of the huge skyscrapers and all the taxis and buses. We purchased our day passes for the Chicago transit system and we were off to learn how to get around a city on public transportation. We boarded a downtown city bus that took us to the navy Pier where we rode a 150-ft Ferris wheel and very large swings, and saw the amazing skyline of Chicago over Lake Michigan.

We spent the afternoon at the Chicago Children’s Museum, playing in water with pumps and buckets, went on a fossil search digging in the sand, and played with lights and shadows. Then we took another city bus to our hotel where we ordered pizza (of course, we were in Chicago!) and watched the NCAA National Championship Tournament cheering on the University of Kentucky before we called lights out.

The next morning we arose to eat a light breakfast and head back out for another full day of downtown Chicago. We did a little sightseeing before stopping to eat lunch at Ed Devebics—known for their rude servers. We had a good laugh there! Then we took a bus to Millennium Park where we walked around the park, saw The Cloud Gate (the bean) and the great lawn. On our way out of the park we came across a Girl Scout Cookie booth. Yes, we did buy a lot of cookies! They are $4 a box in Chicago.

Our last adventure in the city was to ride the “L.” The elevated train will take you around the heart of Chicago and to the outskirts of the inner city. We discovered the “red line” is very fast!

At 5:45 p.m. on April 3, we boarded the Amtrak train for our trip back home. The girls were old pros on the train, making themselves at home, building tents around their seats and playing with all the cool things they bought in the city. They soon settled down to catch some sleep on the long journey home. We arrived back in Cincinnati at about 3:30 a.m. Sleepy-eyed and exhausted we walked out of the station and paused to realize that Cincinnati isn’t that big after all.

Nine girls and two troop leaders has all their expenses paid for by the money the troop had earned in just two years of cookie sales.

On behalf of Girl Scout Troop #1861, I would like to say thank you to our community and all those who supported the Girl Scouts that bought that one box of cookies or gave a little donation at the booth, and to those businesses that allowed us to set up booths at their doors. What a wonderful, unforgettable experience that was for nine little girls from such a small town.