GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN — For more than half a century, Grandfather Mountain has celebrated the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and the tradition continues Saturday, Sept. 18, as the Linville, North Carolina, nature park hosts its annual Girl Scout Day.

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.

Fifty years later, scouts will return to Grandfather for a mountain’s worth of outdoor fun.

“Grandfather Mountain is the ideal place for the girls to not only meet other Girl Scouts, but to also get outside to enjoy nature and the unique ecosystem featured here at Grandfather,” said Lauren Farrell, interpretation and education programs coordinator for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park.

Activities include nature hikes, an interactive “Animal CSI” exercise, weather exploration, a keynote speaker presentation and habitats tours.

The fun starts at 11 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. Reservations are not required for Girl Scouts, troop leaders and accompanying family members.

For more information on Girl Scout Day, call the Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Office at (828) 733-4326, or email naturalists@grandfather.com. To see a complete schedule, visit grandfather.com/event/51st-annual-girl-scout-day/.

The nonprofit 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, or visit www.grandfather.com.

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