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Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:09 am
by Tomahawk Leader
Four girls from Tomahawk's Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts (Troops 7221 and 7212) and three leaders currently are in New Zealand for a team-building excursion, following three years of fundraising, notes their leader, Kay Kissinger Wolf. Among the many supportive fund drives included the local summer flea markets, recycled aluminum cans (over $4,000 raised by that means alone), food stands and Girl Scout cookie sales.

The girls are sending updates from their trip to the Tomahawk Leader and we will post them here. The first one follows here:

Greetings From Down Under!

Here's our first email from the first two days. We have gone through many interesting experiences so far and I'm sure there are many more to come!

To start off our trip we had to take 4 different flights just to get here. They added up to 37 hours which is just way too much. We got to celebrate Colleen's birthday on one of the flights Kay had an announcement made to the whole airplane.

Our first day we went on a Lord of The Rings Tour. On this tour we got to see some of the sights where the filming took place. It was pretty cool. Then we got to hold some of the weapons from the movie. We also got to wear an actual dwarf cape from the movie. After our tour we went to the Dart Stables for a 2 hour horse ride. Jenna and Alyssa got to ride actual horses from the Lord of The Rings!!!! Jenna's horses name was Elvis and Alyssa's was Kysharn!!!!!! The horses were totally chilll even though they were movie stars. LOL.

We are staying at YHA which is a youth hostel. It is right on the main street so everything is pretty much in walking distance which is nice. Otherwise tour buses will pick us up and take us where we need to go. People are so friendly around here and very easy to joke around with and get along with. The weather on the otherhand is not so nice. It is very cool and not as nice as back home. When we hear the temperatures at home we get very jealous and wish we had that too.

Our second day here (June 14th) started off with a gondola ride up the mountain. When we got to the top we took two luge rides, which were very fun. Then we took the gondola back down and had to head over to catch our next tour. This was a triple challenge which consisted of a shotover jet boat ride, then a helicopter, and we whitewater rafted down the Shotover River. The jet boat ride was thrillling but super cold. The driver would drive really close to rocks between the mountain and do 360's. Then we took the helipcopter to the starting point of the rafting ride. We were on a level 3-4 course and thought it was going to be worse than it actaully was. We get a quick course on how to paddle and what to do if we fell out of the raft and off we went down the rapids. This ride was very fun and luckily none of us fell out, however we still got wet. Our guide told us that we were good paddlers, girl scouts taught us something.

So far we have had a great time and can't wait to keep you guys updated on our days to come.

Troop 7-212
*Jenna Koth, Colleen Krick, Alyssa Martin, Valerie Thomzik
*Kim Koth, Barb Krick, Kay Kissinger-Wolf

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:11 am
by Tomahawk Leader
Day #1 - June 15, 2009

Hello From New Zealand!!!

I know I just wrote yesterday but we are going to fill you guys in on today. We are all very sore today from the previous days activities so were glad today was a laid back day.

Today was an early morning we woke up at 6 so we could catch the bus for the Doubtful Sound Cruise. First we had to ride the bus for two hours, then a ferry for an hour, and then another bus through the mountains for an hour, then to the big cruise boat. We sailed on that for 3 hours. Saw some beautiful waterfalls and mountains. When we went through the mountains IT WAS SNOWING!!!! Thank god we didnt have a crazy bus driver.

On the way back through the mountains we stopped at a hydroelectric plant underground. It was pretty interesting. When we returned to Queenstown we ate at the Flame restaurant. Tomorrow we travel to Dunedin and go to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. The weather has been cool but we are still having fun. Talk again soon!!

Troop 7-212& 7-221
*Jenna Koth, Valerie Thomzik, Colleen Krick, Alyssa Martin
*Kim Koth, Barb Krick, Kay Kissinger-Wolf

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:16 am
by Tomahawk Leader
Update #3 June 17, 2009

Yesterday we made a dangerous journey from Queenstown to Dunedin via bus. It was snowing and was very hard to make our way through the mountains. We had at least an hour delay as we had to wait for a truck ahead of us to get pulled out of the ditch and out of our way.

When we finally arrived to Dunedin we talked to some natives and told them that we had just come on a bus from Queenstown. They said that it was amazing we had made it at all and that they couldn't believe we had made it through safetly. We then proceeded to walk through the snow to the Cadbury chocoalte factory for our booked tour. When we got there they said that the tour had been canceled because of the snow and we rescheduled for the next morning. In fact, everything in town seemed to bne closing due to workers not being able to make it to their place of employment.

Ancticpating that all restaurants would be closed down we headed to a grocery store and prepared to make ourselves spaghetti for dinner using the hostel kitchen. It was a pretty calm night and we went to bed early after watching a movie.

Today we were able to take our Cadbury Factory tour. We were given a lot of chocolate which we were all very thankful for and even saw a chocolate waterfall! This apparently is just for fun and doesn't actually have any practical purpose. :)

After this we rushed to the bus stop for our nature tour. The first stop we made on this was Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world! We slowly made our way to the top and took many pictures of the spectacular view. Next we briefly visited the Dunedin Train Station which is no longer in use and then headed on over to Lanarch Castle. Lanarch Castle isn't in fact a real castle, just a very large house that was built by a New Zealander who considered himself a high-statused English gentlemen, even though he had only been to England about 3 times in this entire life. He built his house and labled it a castle to make everyone aware of his social status.

The last stop of the day was the penguin reserve. Here we saw the very rare Yellow Eyed and Little Blue penguins. The workers there were very involved and interested in the penguin's personal lives and told interesting stories of how Jess was going on her third mate in the last two years and how Dave is "totally desperate" and keeps trying to hook up with her but she is way into Nick so she won't even give Dave the time of day. We all enjoyed thought these stories were very amusing.

Now we are back at the hostel and are going to go to bed soon after our exhausting day.

Hope everything is well in Tomahawk,

Troop 7221

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:12 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Update June 19, 2009

Yesterday we left Dunedin and traveled to Christchurch. It wasn't nearly as dramatic as our bus ride to Dunedin as there was no snow and "No Worries." The day we arrived in Christchurch we looked at the shops and took the Gondola up the mountain. It was sunset on our way up and we enjoyed the beautiful sight of the city lights appearing. We shopped at the top and took a tour on Christchurch's history.

Today we woke up bright and early to make it to our "Up Up and Away" hot air balloon ride! It was very cold but the view was definitely worth the chill. We saw the sun come up over the mountains and all practiced our teamwork in setting up and taking down the hot air balloon. Our landing was something less then perfect as we missed our planned landing strip and just barely knicked a fence and skidded along the field we were now aiming for. We finally landed sideways piled on top of eachother! Such a good way top end an amazing experience!

After that we did our sightseeing and shopping. I trhink it is safe to say we all spent a little more than we wanted to. ;) During this relaxing time we also went punting on the Avon River and saw many exotic Paradise Ducks, which are native to New Zealand. We also enjoyed singing "Row Row Row Your Boat" with our guide.
We then went back to our Jailhouse Acommodation and filmed a fun little video which depicted us as Jailhouse Prisoners. Soon we will be heading back into town to see a very popular impromptu play at The Court Theatre! We are very excited to be here and the weather is looking up!

Best Wishes

Troop 7221 & 7212

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:13 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Update June 21, 2009

Hello again from New Zealand!

Well were are finally here in the north island. It was a difficult journey over. We took a train to the fairy! That was exciting, but not so much the fairy ride. Three of us got sick on the boat and the rest of us felt just as nausous! We were all extremely glad to finally see dry land again under out feet. The fairy had taken us to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Its is deffinitely a BIG city! None of us were very up to anything that night except for going out to dinner. Seasickness is not the best feeling... but today was so much better. We started out by visiting the Weta Cave. It is a special effects studio for movies such as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. It was very interesting to see how much effort is really needed for a film to be successful. We then traveled on to see the government building called the "Beehive." We took a tour and learned about the parliment proceeding for New Zealand. After lunch we headed over to the Te Papa museum. We learned a LOT about the Mauri culture and still enjoyed ourselves. And finally only half of us went to the Wellington Zoo. The other group headed back to the hostel, worn out, to take a nap before dinner. The zoo was so much fun; seeing all the different animals! We even got to see a Kiwi bird! Our journey so far has been so much fun! We have meet so many new people who have all been extremely kind to us. Today we ran into a lady from La Crosse... small world I guess. Tomorrow we fly to Rotorua and we are all glad we're not traveling by boat anymore.

The kiWI girls

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:31 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Update from June 25, 2009

Hello again!

Sorry we haven't written in a while. We haven't had any working computers. It's been a crazy past few days. We flew in a tiny airplane from Wellington to Rotorua. It had a capacity of only 20 people! but the up was we ALL had window seats AND isle seats!

In Rotorua we had a relaxing afternoon at the Polynesian Spa and then we headed out to a Mauri culture dinner. That was fun! We learned about the native culture and saw them dance. Then we ate an amazing dinner that was cooked in the ground, just like how the Mauri's use to cook. That was a long night, but it was a TON of fun!

In the morning we took a walk around Rotorua and saw all the Geothermic hotpools. We found a playground that we had to stop by and play on. That was a BLAST! Too bad it wouldn't fit in our carry-on, or we would have brought it back home. Wow! That town smelt pretty bad and we were all glad to leave even though it was a beautiful city!

On the 24th we visited the Agrodome. This is where we could do all the "exciting" activities the locals brag about. First we went to a hilarious sheep show where we saw cows being milked, sheep being sheared, and dogs jumping sheep... yes DOGS jumping SHEEP! After the sheep show we headed out to ZORB!!!! Haha that was fun. We were stuffed into a giant 'hamster ball' that was filed with some lukewarm water and then we were off.... rolling down a hill. AHHHHH!!!!!! It was CRAZY, but so much fun. We HIGHLY recomend zorbing, if you are even in New Zealand, or Tennessee.

After that long day we drove to Wiatomo Caves where we would soon be Blackwater rafting. We all woke up bright and early to another frosty morning, just to get ourselves into yet another wetsuit and jump into a FREEZING COLD cave. It was a once in a life time experience and the glow-worms really do glow on the cave celings.

After hot showers and warm soup we were off again. Up at the very north of New Zealand we experienced a LONG tour across Cape Reinga. We saw were the 'oceans' meet and drove across the beach. That was...different. We were taken to some sand dunes were we got to CLIMB up them and then slide down, just like sledding only on sand and it was extremely difficult climbing up the sand hills.

And right now we are currently at Paihia reading for bed and for another long day tomorrow.

Troop 7221

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:20 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Dated June 27, 2009

Hello again,

Yesterday, we went on another boat tour, we were supposed to swim with dolphins out in the ocean if we saw them. We were very unlucky and did not see any whales, dolphins, or seals. =( However, we did get to see the hole in the rock, which is a big rock in the middle of the ocean that has a hole in it. Pretty neat, and also self explanitory. It was fairly wavy and windy, and we had another sick one. Val has decided not to become a sailor! Good thing too!

After our boat cruise, we drove to Omapere, and we had some more bad luck. The nighthike Kauri forrest encounter that was scheduled for tonight has been canceled due to the Mauri guides being sick. Tomorrow morning, we were supposed to drive to Auckland, we will be doing that, however we will be leaving a little later, the Night hike has been arranged as a day hike, that will still allow us to view the massive Kauri trees, they really did their best to accommodate for us.

We ended up going on the day hike today. We saw some MASSIVE kauri trees, they were 4,000 years old, and others not quite as old. It was amazing. They were so wide, and so tall. Mostly wide though. they were Fabulous! After the walk, we had some more lovely driving by Kay and we drove to Auckland. Along the way, we stopped for lunch, and also at a Kauri store where you can buy things that they make out of the Kauri wood. very cool.

Tomorow we will be flying out of auckland to FIJI!! We are hoping to get very tan in that one day since it has been soooooo cold the majority of this whole trip! thats all we have to update for now, and we look forward to seeing everyone back in the states!

Troop 7221

Re: Girl Scout Trip to New Zealand #1

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:21 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Dated June 28, 2009


We are so excited to say we are in Fiji, it is amazing here.
Yesterday, we flew out of Auckland, and landed in Fiji at about 4:00 p.m.

We got to our hotel, on the beach, and settled in, then we realized, that there is a fire show. So we found a seat and watched that. VERY entertaining, they danced w. fire torches, and it was awesome. we loved the whole show, and some of us even got up and danced with them. also very entertaining haha!

Today, we fly out of Fiji at 10 pm, and plan on laying around on the beach, and soaking up all the sun that we missed out on while in New Zealand. We might take part in some activities that our hotel puts on today as well.

We are looking forward to an awesome day, and we will see you all soon!
Troop 7221