In their own words...
“I have been going to the Hands Across the Border Celebration off and on since the early 1970s. First as a brownie, then a girl guide in Canada.
I moved to the states and had 2 boys. My family continued to participate in the celebration. I feel this is a wonderful opportunity for both countries to get together!
I still enjoy it and so do my boys now ages 17 and 23 (Eagle Scout). We have been going since they were little.
I hope the tradition continues so that I may attend with my future grandchildren. Thanks for all the memories.”
— Sandy, 2016, Peace Arch Alumni
TESTIMONIALS FROM 2014 SURVEY
"I have taken GS troops from both SW and SE Washington to Hands Across the Border. The troops have ranged from Junior to Senior. I have also taken Daisies and Brownies accompanied by a parent that came with our older girl troops. It was always a great experience for the troops I took."
"My daughters and I were very sad when we learned the Hands Across the Border event had been canceled. "Please bring it back. I loved it as a child."
Fun, educational, phenomenal!"
"As a volunteer for Whatcom Girl Scout, this event is a wonderful international event, is missed. This opportunity for youth to get to know our Canadian neighbor is priceless. Let's bring it back.
Our first time at this event was 2012. Little did we know it would be the last! Once experienced, we were sad we had not taken advantage of it before! Our world NEEDS more events like this, not less..."
"Hands is wonderful such an experience Bring it back for the next generation."
"At a Hands Across the Border celebration, my 10-year-old daughter learned more about friendship with our American neighbours in one day than months of book-learning could ever do."
"I really enjoyed exposing youth in my Cub Pack and Scout Troop to an "international experience." It was great to meet some American Scouts, trade badges and learn that they were just like us!"
"I would love it if this event was reestablished and the youth of our community had the opportunity to enjoy it. Thank you for putting this survey out there to find out what people feel about it. Have a great day!!"
"For years this event was the highlight of my girl scouting experience. I loved getting to know new cultures, troops from far away, and visiting the border of another country. As an adult, I see how this experience shaped who I am. I am attending graduate school this fall to study international policy, the many celebrations I attended at the Peace Arch with my girl scout troop definitely sparked my interest in being a global citizen."
"I attended the Hands Across the Border in 1979 as a girl scout. We took the train from Tacoma to Blaine. It was easily the most memorable event I attended as a girl scout. I remember being in awe that there were girls from another country, just like me, attending the same event."
"It is an amazing feeling to see USA and Canada interacting and sharing a common PEACE. I was able to share this with my children and came as part of the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. With so much war and negative events happening... this was a GEM the World should be sharing".
"My absolute FAVORITE Girl Scout memory!!!"
'It is awesome witnessing and sharing and exercising peace between our two countries. It is a youth example of peace to the world." "At the last GS training, I went to a week ago we were lamenting the loss of Peace Arch."
"I've taken my troops (25 years as a leader) and have organized busloads of troops from my area to the Peace Arch celebration! It's ALWAYS been so worthwhile to make international friends as we swapped patches and handmade items. One year, the peace arch trip resulted in an exchange with my troop and a Canadian Girl Guide group. We traveled to Canada to stay at their camp and the following year; they traveled to us. Took turns hosting each other! Wonderful memories at the ARCH!"
"This was an important event for us to close out our regular school year activities. The girls loved planning the trip each year and doing something different each time. They really miss this opportunity to meet with other Scouts and Guides."
"From the planning of the trip to getting on the bus and spending the day there, it's an all-around memorable experience. Being a part of Hands Across the Border is very special to us."
"I've never attended before because I moved here three years ago. I heard about hands across the border too late to attend and then it was canceled. I was very disappointed."
"It was an excellent experience as a youth and I believe it helps to broaden horizons and open up your world view. I always looked forward to meeting people from Canada and try to figure out our similarities and differences. It is important as a young person to see that people who you believe to be so different from you, really aren't that different at all."
"I would be thrilled to see this event come back."
"Love the State Troopers and RCMP in uniform lining the Arch, the youth are so inspired by that; it's awe-inspiring for them that someone in full dress uniform would come out for their day."