To the Moon and More…

Day 1:

Syracuse Troop 60036 left early on Saturday morning, March 31, 2012, to join Garden City Troop 60102 at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Museum. After a quick meet and greet, the Cadettes were introduced to Jeff and Makayla, instructors at the museum.

These western Kansas Girl Scouts explored and experienced everything that the Cosmosphere offered. Troop leader Donna Blake shared, “One of the favorite activities there was the wind capsule.  Up to three girls at a time could go in and experience wind speeds…up to 70 to 80 mph.” She continues,” Our scouts got to try out the g-force centrifuge too. As they learned about gravitational pull, one of the girls placed her flip-flop on her head to see if the force would make it stick…it did!”

Other activities included:

  • Building and launching rockets
  • A guided tour of the museum
  • Learning about space vehicles
  • A movie in the IMAX theatre
  • A visit to the planetarium to view the stars
  • Tasting homemade ice cream using liquid nitrogen
  • Making star gazers and airplane gliders

Part of the Kansas Cosmosphere experience included Space Camp. They practiced the procedure astronauts use to escape from the space capsule if needed and worked on skills that involved quick reflexes. The girls learned about life on the shuttle: how and what astronauts ate, where they slept, and the challenges of weightlessness.  Following Space Camp everyone was allowed to tour the museum on their own, until lights out at midnight.

Day 2:

After rounding out their space experience at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, these Girl Scouts met up again after noon at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum to travel 650 feet below the earth’s surface.

Safety first! The first order of business on this tour was a safety video and instructions on how to use the breathing apparatus in case of an emergency.  Everyone donned hard hats and the breathing gear before heading to the elevators to begin the subterranean adventure.  The Girl Scouts descended in a double decker elevator in total darkness before getting off in the middle of what was once an ancient Permian Sea.

KUSM staff shared the history of how the mine came to be and common uses of salt in our everyday lives. Girls saw different formations of salt rock and equipment used to create salt as we see on our tables at home. A tram took the tour through parts of the mine shafts and a short stop gave everyone a chance to pick out a salt rock to take home.

Donna shared, “After the rides, we walked around and found out that salt is a preservative, so much so that stuff miners left in the mine years ago is still in the same condition today.  State and federal offices have archived their records at the mine. And museums, film studios, and other agencies have artifacts stored at the salt mine to preserve our history.”  A special treat was seeing a newspaper that was published the day that President Abraham Lincoln was shot a displayed original superman costume, as well as the snowman from a popular Christmas film.

These Western Kansas Girl Scouts are excited to return to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum to explore even more as Girl Scout Overnights are now on the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland activities calendar. Do you have a story to share? Upload pictures and more here.

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