Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors and… Bears?

For 48 years, Grandfather Mountain has celebrated the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and the tradition continues Saturday, Sept. 22, as the Linville, N.C., nature park hosts its annual Girl Scout Day.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 15, the special day was rescheduled for Sept. 22, due to projected inclement weather from Hurricane Florence.

On Girl Scout Day, all Girl Scouts in uniform and their troop leaders are admitted to Grandfather Mountain for free, while discounted admission is available for family members joining them.

The tradition started in 1971, when Grandfather Mountain “adopted” the Girl Scouts. The scouts returned the favor by adopting Grandfather’s mascot, Mildred the black bear, even presenting her with special pins to celebrate her years with the organization.

Forty-seven years later, scouts will return to Grandfather for a mountain’s worth of outdoor fun. This year’s event focuses on birds, although its scope has something of a wider wingspan.

“Grandfather Mountain is a great place for Girl Scouts because of the easy access to outdoors, museums and animal habitats,” said Amy Renfranz, director of education and natural resources for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “In a single, well-planned visit to Grandfather Mountain, scouts can do activities that allow them to earn badges, like EcoLearner, Good Neighbor and other plant and animal badges.”

With the bird theme, however, scouts can choose from such programming as birding and make-your-own-wings arts and crafts. There is also a service project component. This year’s is being coordinated in partnership with the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy and will see scouts participating in a watershed cleanup.

The fun starts at 9 a.m. with check-in at the park’s Nature Museum, and the event concludes at 3:30 p.m. with a closing ceremony. To see the full schedule of events, visit https://grandfather.com/events/48th-annual-girl-scout-day/.

For more information on Girl Scout Day, call the Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326, or email naturalists@grandfather.com.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325.