Who were all of those young people on the southwalk of the George Washington Bridge on Sunday, November 13, 2011? They were Girl Scouts, of course!
The girls held a “bridging” event to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Of course, this isn’t the only way the George Washington Bridge is helping them celebrate. The GWB, which is the world’s busiest bridge, is being lit green for nearly the entire month.
Anyway, around 2,000 scouts bundled up to take in the windy but breathtaking view of New York City, the Palisades, and the Hudson River. They seemed genuinely excited, albeit cold. While the Girl Scouts were on the southwalk, the regular pedestrians and cyclists were rerouted the usually closed northwalk.
In addition to the scouts (and their family members) walking across the bridge to the New York tower and then back to Fort Lee, there were all sorts of activities set up on Martha Washington Way, which was closed for the day. The events included dance lessons from the main stage, a crafts tent, tents from the Hudson River Museum, Liberty Science Center, and New York Liberty, plus bouncy castles and a rock wall.
The day was capped off with speeches from Helen Wronski, president and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northern NJ; Mark Sokolich, mayor of Fort Lee; Kathe Donovan, Bergen County Executive; Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority; and Mary Pat Christie, first lady of New Jersey.
At one point, while walking up the ramp to the bridge, I saw some of the scouts clasping their hands over their mouths in genuine horror and going “Oh my!” and turned around to see what they were looking at. WARNING: POSSIBLY GRAPHIC CONTENT.
– Evan Bindelglass