So much for packing a bag lunch for a field trip. Eight-year-old Allison Zuckermann brought a sleeping bag and a toothbrush to the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City Friday night.
Borrowing on the theme from the 2006 movie “Night at the Museum,” Zuckermann joined 10 other girls from Commack’s Troop 2334 and 135 other Girl Scouts from Bellmore, Plainview, Syosset and Jericho for a sleepover.
“It was really fun. I loved the climbing wall,” said Zuckermann, a third-grader at John Mandracchia Intermediate School in Commack. “The broadcasting stuff [a simulated News12 facility] was just like on TV.”
After an activity-filled night where the adventurers explored and made their own crafts like bubble wands, the girls set down pillows and blankets, and slept among exhibits.
Troop 2334 curled up in caves near simulated tree roots with live fish swimming in tanks in the “It’s Alive” room.
“They said it might get cold,” said co-group leader Tammy Smith, “but we were fine and slept pretty well considering all the excitement.”
That excitement included exhibits with toy themes. Where hazelnuts, clumps of clay and animal knuckles used to serve as toys many years ago, the Girl Scouts earned “toyologist” status as they explored PuzzleArt or made teleidoscopes – kind of kaleidoscopes with a lens.
Many of the leaders felt the girls responded well to the hands-on experiences. The museum has hosted more than 3,500 Girl Scouts at sleepovers in the past six years.
“Where else are you going to be able to find so many accessible, safe and age-appropriate projects?” said Troop 2334 leader Keri Zuckermann.
The troops usually are busy with community service programs, like Troop 2334’s effort to collect old eyeglasses for the needy. But Friday night provided more of a bonding experience.
“It was an opportunity to eat a few meals together, meet other troops and share it with the moms, too,” said Zuckermann.
Not everyone slept through the night, but Zuckermann added, “If you wanted to sleep, you should stay home.”
Pictured: Girl Scouts from Commack check out one of musical instruments at the Long Island Children's Museum Friday night during a sleepover.