By Molly B Cox (shown here with my co-worker April Gilley)
Hmmmmph. I must say … it’s not as if there has never been a horse on the White House grass before.
I asked to go with our girls to the White House camp-out, and I was told (quite rudely, I might add) that horses were not invited. I pointed out that Caroline Kennedy rode her pony, Macaroni, on the White House lawn and if a horse named after pasta can do it, so can I.
So instead, I graciously asked Samantha Houck to write about her experience when First Lady Michelle Obama included six of our very own Ambassadors in the inaugural White Horse I mean White House Camp-Out.
Taylor Bauer, Staunton GS Troop 834
Samantha Houck, Goode GS
Aniyah King, Danville GS Troop 160
Chelsea Noel, Weyers Cave GS
Emma Pray, Elkton GS Troop 109
Whitney White, Danville GS Troop 160
Betty Anderson, Adventurers, chaperone
Alicia Martin, Program Director, Roanoke, chaperone
Hi! My name is Samantha Houck and I was one of the six lucky Girl Scout Ambassadors chosen to go on a “once in a lifetime” camping trip. However, this was no ordinary camping trip.
First, our camping “site” was the South Lawn of the White House!!
Second, we got to meet President and Mrs. Obama (and the First Dogs).
Finally, we got to stargaze with a real astronaut.
Now this is only the beginning of some the awesome things I got to experience and I want to share some more with you. I had the amazing opportunity to teach the First Lady knot-tying. She quickly mastered the square knot and was so excited that she learned how to tie it.
What’s a camping trip without hamburgers and hotdogs? We got to go into the State Room of the White House and eat a healthy meal prepared by the chefs of the White House. I devoured a delicious hamburger with grilled asparagus and for dessert I had a banana boat. Yum!
After dinner the Secret Service pulled two tables at a time to the East Room to visit the First Dogs. Once everyone had eaten and visited with Bo and Sunny, we gathered at our “campfire.” Sadly we couldn’t have a real fire on the South Lawn so some lanterns took its place. We started joyfully singing new and old camp songs. Suddenly the singing stopped and a familiar voice asked, “What are you guys doing in my yard?” It was President Obama and the First Lady coming to join us in song. We taught the President how to sing an old Girl Scout favorite, “Make New Friends,” in rounds. He caught on quickly and sang one more song before he had to go back to work, saying, “I’m not allowed to have fun.” He got a quick look at Saturn before heading inside.
Next, we met astronaut Cady Coleman and listened to her adventures in space. All kinds of questions were asked, like “How do you eat and sleep in space?” We got to look through some of NASA’S awesome telescopes and see Saturn and the moon.
Our day full of new adventures was over but our nighttime adventures had just begun. Like any other Girl Scout trip we stayed up late. Once we fell asleep for about an hour, we woke up when the whistles started to blow. We were moved into a conference room in the Old Executive Office, where we stayed the rest of the night because of a thunderstorm.
It really was the best of both worlds. I had so much fun on this trip, making memories and history.