By Tresa Nielsen
Our local Girl Scout Troop #389, who worked very hard this year, spent this past Memorial week-end surrounded by 100,000 acres of protected wildlife. The girls raised enough money to go to The Westgate River Ranch Resort, a 1,700-acre ponderosa forest recalling an era when Florida was home to cowboys and cattle ranchers. The River Ranch was a perfect setting and retreat for the girl scouts to experience Florida’s nature first hand.
Located just an hour south of Orlando, the Westgate River Ranch gave the girls the chance to experience an authentic dude-ranch. The accommodations were spacious western themed rooms surrounded by the beauty of the ranch. All the girls indulged themselves in a wide range of activities that allowed them to escape into nature’s sanctuary. This resort encouraged the girls to unleash their inner cowgirl with many different activities offered “western style.”
Once the girls arrived on Saturday they enjoyed an hour long hayride watching the cattle drive in a chuck wagon, followed by a cookout on the Florida Trail complete with the River Ranch’s famous “Singing Cowboy.”
Later that same night, an authentic western style rodeo was held at the Westgate River Ranch rodeo arena. Real cowboys participated in allof the events: calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing and trick riding. So, making sure we fit right in, our girls put on their cowboy hats and boots and joined in for a night of fun at the longest-running weekly rodeo in the U.S.! Their rodeo is affiliated with the IPRA and Americom Rodeo.
Followed by the Rodeo that night, the girls got to kick up their heels at the East Corral, where entertainers like Hank Williams and the Dixie Chicks got their start. This street party was held outside under the stars for the girls to dance alongside a blazing bonfire for making s’mores.
Come Sunday morning the girls got up at sunrise to enjoy a huge buffet breakfast before saddling up and exploring one of the many heavily wooded nature trails for a one-hour horseback ride with many experienced wranglers. The afternoon activities enjoyed by the girls were frequent rides in golf carts to the general store for camping supplies, archery, putt putt golf; airboat and swamp buggy rides in the Kissimmee River to… spending the afternoons at the stables and petting zoo.
All our girl scouts had an adventure of a lifetime!
We all’d like to take this time to thank y’all, for supporting our local girl scout troops.
It was a lot of fun!!! YEE-HAW!