Planning for a Trip to San Francisco 2016

3/19/17. In August of 2016, our Girl Scout travel group went to San Francisco.  A group of 23 girls and 4 adults spent 2 years together getting to know each other, raising funds to travel, and planning the trip. We did a few other small trips together to make sure we came together as a cohesive group and learned how to travel. We had various levels of experience in traveling, ranging from a few girls who had never left New England nor been on a plane, to others who had traveled to other countries and continents.

Since we had a large group who needed to earn the money for the trip to the greatest extent possible, we needed to be cost-council us in all that we did. First, this meant that we flew in to Sacramento instead of San Francisco. Since that saved over $100 per person, it was worth it for this group. From there, we rented three vans and drove to San Francisco. (Fun Fact: All three drivers used Waze to guide us to our hotel, and all three drivers were directed over different bridges across the bay. We arrived within 5 minutes of each other at our destination.)

Some highlights of our time in San Francisco included: a trip to Alcatraz, dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, followed by dessert at Ghiradelli, a morning of wandering around at Muir Woods, the afternoon at the Muir Beach overlook, hanging out at Crissy Field, a visit to the Cal Academy in Golden Gate Park, discovering some hidden treasures in the park, taking in the view at Land’s End, and a pizza dinner on the beach our last night. Some of these activities deserve their own entry, so look for additional entries on these.

Since this was a Girl Scout trip, it’s important to mention a bit about the process of planning the trip. As mentioned above, the group was formed two years prior to the trip. We worked together over a couple of months to figure out where to go. The girls did research together and on their own to convince the group to go to the place they wanted. We narrowed it down to the top two choices: Puerto Rico and San Francisco. Puerto Rico was actually our first choice. The girls spent several months planning a fantastic trip to Puerto Rico complete with visiting a rainforest, kayaking in a bioluminescent bay and touring Old San Juan. In the spring of 2016, the Zika virus was in the news. Since our trip included 23 teenage girls, and the long term affect of the virus remains unknown, the Girl Scout council asked us to cancel that trip and choose someplace with less risk of the unknown. Since we are all willing to make our own adventure anywhere we go, we knew it would be fun no matter where we went. The biggest obstacle was that we had to do the planning for a completely different trip in just a couple of months. Since this group only gets together once a month, it meant we had to focus and get through lots of discovery and planning in a short period of time. A primary objective of this group is to teach the girls how to plan for travel, including unexpected changes along the way, this was a great opportunity to switch gears and deal with unforeseen circumstances. The group handled it very maturely and we had a great time in San Francisco.

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