Sleeping with the Fish at the Florida Aquarium!

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Last month Kenzie's Girl Scout troop got to spend the night at the Florida Aquarium! Their troop did so amazing with cookie sales that this was one of the activities they decided to spend their money on. This was an amazing experience for the girls! I am so excited to share it with you. Big thanks to my sweet friend, Erika Johnson, for these amazing photos of the girls.
We arrived at the aquarium at 7:00pm, when the aquarium closed so we could see some amazing behind the scenes peeks! We dropped off our pillows and sleeping bags and played some games while waiting on the rest of the group to arrive. 

 After a quick review of the rules, they got to go on a tour of the Wetlands. The girls got to see and learn fun facts about the bids, alligators, otters, and snakes!
Our next adventure was a sea turtle rescue! The girls got a lesson on the different types of sea turtles and what makes them all unique. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of sea turtles! After that, they got to go into another room and "rescue" a turtle. They brought it to the table, made observations, measured the turtle, looked at x-rays, and determined if their turtle was healthy to be released. The girls completed a record sheet that the actual professionals complete when doing a rescue. 
 After a pizza snack, we went back inside the aquarium to check out more behind the scenes fun. We went on a tour of the aquarium kitchen and saw all of the different foods the animals eat and how they all have unique diets. 

 By 10:30 we were all exhausted! We grabbed our belongings and headed to our location to camp out for the night. I was so excited when I saw that we were sleeping in the room with the large tank. Getting to watch fish, sharks, and turtles swim around you all night is an absolutely amazing experience! 
The weekend before the sleepover, the girls had a tie-dye party and decorated pillowcases. They were all so excited to see their finished project before they went to sleep!
 The next morning we had to be early risers to get a few more things packed in before the aquarium opened. The girls ate breakfast and headed off to learn about snakes.
Next stop was the touch tank where the girls got to feel slimy sea anemones, spikey urchins, and star fish. 
They also got a chance to touch sting rays and jellyfish!

 This was such an amazing learning and bonding opportunity for the girls. It is something Kenzie (and I) will always remember. 

Photos by Erika Johnson
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