Girl scouts fill Blue Fox Drive-In

Girl Scout Hannah Salmons jumps aboard a space ship just outside of the Blue Fox Drive-In concession stand.   - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Girl Scout Hannah Salmons jumps aboard a space ship just outside of the Blue Fox Drive-In concession stand.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

“Time for lunch ... in a cup!” the ship’s computer announced.

Children, specifically the young ones, sat wide-eyed in the back of their family minivans watching as a small waste collecting robot embarked on a space journey that decided the fate of mankind. Young women taking refuge from the rain sat under tarps; some played card games while listening to the Disney film WALL-E from a boom box.

About 280 females attended Oak Harbor’s Blue Fox Drive-In last Saturday. They were part of 39 Girl Scout troops from as far north as Sedro-Woolley and as far south as Shoreline.

Drive-ins are rare these days, and the Blue Fox offered many girls their first opportunity to sit outdoors or in a vehicle and watch a movie unfold on a giant screen.

Parents and troop leaders brought chairs, blankets and sleeping bags for the girls to camp out. Their tents (some of them neon pink) were hedged along the front of the movie screen.

Despite a day of continuous showers, the rainfall broke around 7:30 p.m., 15 minutes before the pre-movie National Anthem and patriotic car honking.

The older girls, Cadette and Junior scouts, headed to the concession stand to order pretzels and popcorn for their friends. Troop 1445 from Oak Harbor took turns riding a quarter-operated space ship as the speakers above blasted WALL-E space sound effects.

“It’s fun for all of us to get together like this, and we don’t have to watch the movie. We can go to the arcade, talk and eat ice cream,” Hannah Salmons from Troop 1445, said.

The night’s double-feature also included the film Kit Kitteredge: An American Girl, about a young woman who grows up in the early years of the Great Depression.

Organizer Lisa Harkins, a service manager for the Central Whidbey troops, said most of the girls enjoyed the familiarity of WALL-E, after watching it several times in theaters. But the message, and the fact that Kit Kittredge was a girl, animated the scouts.

“It was a chance for kids to learn about the Depression era. The girls thought it was educational,” Harkins said.

This is the fifth year girls from across the Puget Sound have caravanned into Oak Harbor for the event.

Theater owner Darryll Bratt lowered the rate for the troops and even offered a pancake breakfast the next morning.

For attending, the girls were given enameled coins which can be used for charm bracelets. Attendance grew by 125 people this year.

“It’s great to see kids from all over the Puget Sound chatting, smiling and playing games,” Harkins said. “And we’re awaiting the day it gets so big that they have to shut the theater down just for us.”

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