Connecting Girl Scouts to Local History, Art and Nature at Hill-Stead

by Rachel Culter, Education Specialist and Resident Artist

In recent years, an incredible partnership has been growing between Girl Scouts of America and Hill-Stead! Our beloved cultural hub’s education team has been offering them a bevy of activities to help the Girl Scouts work towards or earn their badges. This fall, several troops visited the House Museum, where they learned about its history and found inspiration in founder Theodate Pope Riddle’s story. Then, they sketched, painted, and hiked the scenic landscape.

On an unseasonably warm November day, we watched the Girl Scouts run with glee through the meadow behind the historic home. This particular Girl Scout Troop’s itinerary was to hike to the Pond Trail, searching for natural objects to paint a “moody” piece. Then, after a short break, the girls learned to paint a watercolor landscape inspired by Claude Monet’s “Grainstacks, White Frost Effect.” This painting hangs in the Museum’s Drawing Room. The Brownies, our youngest GS visitors, took part in the program, creating bright and colorful renditions of the Farmington countryside.

Another visiting troop learned about the other Impressionist artists in our collection and used pastels to create a Scenic drawing. An older Junior Girl Scout Troop took part in the “Playing in the Past” program. The girls learned about Theodate’s childhood and discussed what it would be like to live as a girl in the early 20th century. Then the girls made paper dolls with outfits inspired by Theodate’s wardrobe.

More troops have signed up to visit the grounds this year. We are excited to welcome them and explore all that the museum has to offer! If you are interested in learning more about our girl scout program, please visit our Girl Scout Program Page or contact me at or (860.677.4787)

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