As girls get older they really love to travel and see other parts of the country and world. Planning a trip with a Girl Scout troop is wonderful because the girls get an opportunity to do so much more than they would with a trip offered through the school. They get to budget, fundraise, plan, learn about the places they’re going to visit, organize and make compromises. I honestly think it’s one of the most useful experiences you can give them in high school!
This page is going to take you through the planning, budgeting and fundraising process that my ambassador troop #5152 followed from July 2010 to July 2011 to take a trip to Boston, to walk the freedom trail, see some colleges, do some sight seeing and then go up to Maine, where we volunteered at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with life threatening diseases and their families. If you would like to see how it really turned out, you can read about it and see some of our photos on the blog that we kept during the trip: http://girlscouttroop5152.tumblr.com/page/8
Purpose of trip: Ambassador Troop #5152 is planning to volunteer at Camp Sunshine on Lake Sebago in Maine this summer. Camp Sunshine is a camp for children with life threatening diseases. July 3-8 we will be serving children with brain tumors. We will also take a few days before camp to explore the great city of Boston and visit some colleges. This trip marks a celebration of 12 years in Girl Scouts together. We’re going to combine service and exploration and have FUN!
Planning: The troop has been planning and dreaming and saving for this trip for the past few years, ever since middle school when we bridged to Cadettes in San Francisco. The destination has changed several times but the goal was always the same. Work hard to earn silver and gold awards, get community service hours to put toward college and then celebrate by traveling again together. The girls have brainstormed and researched about the places that we’re planning to go. We’ve earned money each year to put toward the trip by leading a Songfest each year and doing workshops on Bridging in San Francisco for younger girls and selling cookies. We’re still refining the plans for this trip as our money earning projects this spring add to the budget but we’ve saved enough to pay for all the transportation and basics. Whatever we continue to earn will go toward some of the optional things we’d like to do.
Progression: Troop 5152 has been together with the same leadership since kindergarten. We have grown in courage and confidence together. We had our first campout in tents in my backyard and now my girls lead encampments. We’ve traveled all over the county and up to San Francisco and to Los Angeles. We’ve been on buses, trains, horses, autos, ferries, bikes and airplanes. They’re great at reading maps and at decoding public transportation. We stayed in a hostel in San Francisco and we’ve arranged to stay with a host family in Boston.
Spring 2008 Filed Activity Approval with VSC Julie – intention to travel summer 2011
Spring 2009 Troop took World Travel 101
July 2010 Contacted Camp Sunshine about volunteering summer 2011
July 2011 Troop developed tentative itinerary and budget
August 2010 Filed another Activity Approval with Kirsten Kessler & VSC Mia destination Camp Sunshine
August 2010 Parent Meeting to save the date & general trip info,
September 2010 Led Sunnytrails Songfest
September 2010 Secured host family in Boston, (my dear college friend and a cousin who are both willing to let us stay at their houses)
September 2010 Troop continuing to research and refine itinerary & travel plans
October 2010 Wrote & sold cookbook based on encampment Outdoor Gourmet
October 2010 Participated in nut sale
November 2010 Turned in camp applications
November 2010 Troop wrote letter to Plimoth Plantations (11/20)
December 2010 Caroling for Eastlake Shopping Center
January 2011 Troop refined itinerary and budget based on plans
January 2011 Parent Meeting to go over planned itinerary and budget, get legal names and birthdays for making flight reservations parents paid $100 each toward trip
February 2011 Participated in cookie sale
February 2011 Camp acceptance and finalized dates of our session
February 2011 Gave presentation to Rotary Club Chula Vista
March 2011 Sent Sandy Sultz Activity Approval and info
March 2011 Ran a troop garage sale
March 2011 Purchased airline tickets
March 2011 Made rental car reservation
March 2011 Purchased additional trip insurance from council
March 2011 Make safety and risk management plan, Get Transporting Girl Scouts and Accident form
March 2011 order 9 x 7 day MTA passes
April 2011 Make Emergency Contact List (In-town Contact #s, AC phone #, lodging numbers)
April 2011 Make Contacts List for Leaders (emergency numbers at destination – police, fire, hospital, roadside service numbers AAA, auto insurance #s, travel arrangement phone numbers bus, airline, camp numbers, council emergency numbers pg 17 of Let’s Go)
April 2011 got maps from AAA of Boston and Maine
April 3, 2011 Troop Meeting collect signed permission slips, girl and adult health histories/camp health forms, permission to give medication and confirmations, work on itinerary, sports day and encampment plans,
April 2011 Make In-Town Contact list (all girl and parent names + all phone #s, emergency contacts + phone #s) AND put all the lists together for AC, In-town contact and leaders
April 2011 Send copies of permission, transportation plans, health histories, safety risk management plan, detailed itinerary, proof of insurance to Activity Consultant Sandy and to In-Town Contact Monica
May 2011 Contact the Janet at Plimoth Plantation confirm our plans
May 2011 Figure out how we want to post updates on tumbler blog http://girlscouttroop5152.tumblr.com/page/8
May 2011 make college tour reservations at Harvard, MIT, Boston College
May 2011 Sold 8 more cookbooks at Chili Cook off
June 3-5 2011 Run Brownie Daisy Encampment and cook all meals
June 6 2011 go over safety, meals and Camp Sunshine Packing List (pg 16 Let’s go) with the girls. Packed a “demonstration carry on suitcase”
June 6th 2011 family trip orientation: firm up drivers to and from airport (Tracy, Monica and Bob) laminated emergency cards, packing list, itinerary, emergency contact list on excel, Tumbler info, sign photo release for plimoth and girl scout registrations, t-shirt check, , Give Monica in-town contact list.
June 2011 Contact Rotary Club about sharing photos on July 15 when we come back
June 2011 make checkbook register to keep track of expenses
June 2011 Check and Print EmergencyCards for the Girls – (leaders cell #s, troop cell numbers, in-town contact, lodging numbers, general itinerary) laminate
June 2011 Get updated red cross certificates for lifeguards Lizzie and Carolyn scanned
June 2011 Make plans with Haley’s friend for pick up and contact
June 2011 Make packet for other adults with: Itinerary, emergency numbers, accident report, emergency procedures
June 2011 make leader tool kit: permission & health packets for all, accident report, emergency contact numbers, emergency procedures, reservations & confirmation numbers, permission for medication, , lifeguard letters, tumbler info, safety mgmt
Recipes, grocery list, brochures, maps and books
June 2011 Make sure we have girl scout t-shirts for all of the girls to wear
June 2011 check on additional car insurance/check rental car coverage
June 2011 Put together first aid kit and “fix it” kit with safety pins, needle and thread, scissors, pen and paper, trash bags & zip bags, handi wipes, duct tape,
June 2011 take out a little cash for the trip and some change for tips, toll roads and lunches
June 2011 Print final itinerary, walking tours, ipod tours and budget sheet,
June 2011 send final itinerary to Sandy, share tumbler address
June 26 2011 3-5 Go to Gold Award Ceremony together and to Kerry’s House for celebration party!
June 2011 make sure camera, ipod and phone are charged. Clear memory of camera & phone camera
June 2011 pack up in 2 carry-on bags
June 27 2011 Fly to Boston
July 3-8 2011 Camp Sunshine
July 8 2011 fly home to San Diego
July 2011 collect photos from the girls
July 2011 make scrapbooks of our trip
July 2011 Evaluate and debrief with girls and families
July 15th 2011 Friday lunch meeting, Give presentation to Rotary Club about trip
July 2011 Post info about the trip on the website
July 2011 Complete Let’s Go budget worksheet for 11-12 financial report
Carol’s house 6/28-7/1, Mary’s house 7/1-7/3, Camp Sunshine 7/3-7/8
Look for information and photos from our trip on URL http://girlscouttroop5152.tumblr.com/page/8
Each girl in the troop took a different part of the journey to research and plan. They looked at maps and guide books, read restaurant reviews and got prices on everything so that we could make adjustments while on the trip if we needed to. They were excellent tour guides!
(High Tech last day June 22, Gold Award Ceremony June 26 3-5pm then dinner at Shannon’s house, print boarding passes)
Monday June 27th 10:45 pm, Meet at Casillas at 7:30pm to load bags and drive to the airport, (Monica, Tracy and Bob drive) leave San Diego on the overnight flights United 300 and 354 $3735.20 RT (purchased 3/09/11) Insurance $77 through girl scouts (purchased 3/17/11)
Tuesday June28th 9:10 am arrive Boston.
rent our car/van: ($164 from Thrifty FFPX1R, holds 5 and 5 suitcases) & gas $100 (reserved 6/12/11) Carol will drive 5 in her car. Look up email@example.com on Carolyn’s iphone to access all the maps for driving.
- Carol will bring bagels for breakfast
(Colleen) Drive up to: Salem: (map 1) Follow Rt. 1A North, from airport. (30 min) Park at Museum Garage on New Liberty Street across from visitor’s center $12/day ($1.50/hr) each, $24 total max (park in garage, meter maids are fierce here. Meters are .50/hour but must move car every 2 hours or get $40 tix)
- House of Seven Gables – National Park Guided Tour: Includes a guided tour of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (The House of the Seven Gables), a visit to the Nathaniel Hawthorne House, the Counting House, the Colonial Revival Gardens, and the waterfront. (Colleen got a special deal of $6 for the girls and $9.50 for adults! = $70.50 )
- Lunch at Fish Derby 215 Derby St Salem, MA 01970-5127
- The Cat, the crow and the crown, Laurie Cabot’s shop 63 Wharf Street Salem, MA 01970-5140 (978) 744-6274 lauriecabot.com (Modern witchcraft, all the ingredients for spells sold in little kits, interesting shop)
- Salem witch trials museum 19 N. Washington Square or 1 A N, near the common near visitor center (Colleen found $3.25 student rate!! = $33 if we go after noon at the top of the hour.)
- Woodman’s Lobster Shack (Map 2 – Route 133, Main St., Essex, M., Tel. (978) 768-6057). “Woodman’s get most of the glory as it is arguably the first clam shack in the country, and keeps it reputation alive by serving wonderful fried clams and lobster.” Onion rings: $11.50/qt, fries $8.50/qt, fried clams $42.95/qt, strips $26.95/qt, 5 lobster rolls to share @ $19.50 each, (or get a few boiled lobsters and some steamed clams – market rate) about $190 total.
- or Moultons Seafood, Medford 178 Winthrop St Medford, MA 02155 – great fried clams, clam chowder, great seafood! Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.Closed Sunday and Monday. Woodman’s is a bit out of the way but more “authentic”
- Drive through Lexington along the Paul Revere route (Map 3 – Rte 95 to 2A for approx. 2.5 miles. Bear right onto Lexington Road. Continue for approx. 3 miles to Concord Center. Take a right onto Monument St. Parking for North Bridge is 0.5 miles on the right To North Bridge Visitor Center 250 North Great Road, Lincoln MA (for mapping) visitor center open 9-5pm grounds open till sunset. (Explore Concord, Hartwell Tavern, Lincoln, Walden Pond all in the area)
Camp Sunshine Grocery List $100 for 5 breakfasts, snacks and 1 dinner,
Stay at Carol’s house in Concord:
Wednesday June 29 Pack some sandwiches and snacks, Drive to Plymouth MA, Directions: (Map 5 – Take Route 93 South to Route 3 South. Take exit 4 (Plimoth Plantation Highway) off Route 3. This is a left exit. Continue on Plimoth Plantation Highway for approximately 1 mile and take the exit for the museum. At the end of the exit ramp turn right, and proceed up the street for 20 yards. Turn right at the sign for the museum into the driveway. At the stop sign at the end of the driveway, cars and campers should turn left and park in our main lot or overflow lot. Buses, RVs or visitors with handicapped plates should turn right and park in the bus parking lot.
- Plimoth Plantations. If we volunteer for one hour they’ll give us free admission for the day! (saves $220).
- Lunch at Plimoth food from Wampanoag and English colonial traditions? $20/meal x 5? = $100 and bring sack lunches to supplement
- Mayflower II (I think this is included too, we’ll drive down to look at it and Plymouth Rock anyway),
For Mayflower II:
From Boston take Route 93 South to Route 3 South. Take exit 6A off Route 3. Follow the exit ramp to the right, which puts you on Route 44 East (Samoset Street). Stay on Route 44 East (Samoset Street) and cross Route 3A (Court Street). You are now on North Park Avenue. Continue on this street to the small rotary. Take the first right onto Water Street, and go straight about 5 blocks or 1/8th of a mile until you see the ship on your left. Metered parking is available on the street.
- (Amanda) College Tour – Drive by Boston College (Map 7 – rte 3 N, to rte 93S, to 95N, to rte 9 E/Boylston St/Worcester St. Toward Brookline, left on Hammond, Right onto Beacon St.) and to Wellesley College (Map 8- Central St. Wellesley, if we’re done really early. Visit Brandeis (Map 9 on South Street, Waltham and they have a pdf file that I printed (http://www.brandeis.edu/admissions/visiting/SelfGuidedTour.pdf) for a self guided tour that way we could take our time or speed things up if needed, have a snack on campus?
- or Concord Museum or free at MFA after 4-9:45pm
Drive to Carol’s. Cook dinner at Carol’s house (homemade clam & fish chowder and crusty bread??)
**Watch DVD of the movie “Little Women”
Stay at Carol’s house:
Park at David’s work (Map 11) $30 for one car (other is free) take the T into the City
7 day pass on MTA is $15/person or $135 for the week
- (Haley) Freedom trail free: Boston Commons & Frog Pond, State House (Old Statehouse 2 floors of great exhibits), Beacon Hill, Commonwealth Museum, Old Granary (Paul Revere, John Hancock, Mother Goose or King’s Chapel Burying Ground Cemeteries (Revere, Winthrop, Dawes), great film at the Park Service Building,
- Old Union Oyster House $28 for oysters on the half shell to share,
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace eat late lunch 9 x $15=$135, Maybe Durgin-Park (baked beans, brown bread, corn bread), or buy lunch and take it out to the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park next to the Marriott, opposite the New England Aquarium. Boston Harborwalk (free ipod audio tour at http://www.audisseyguides.com/ ), Fort Point audio tour??
- Revere House $3.50 & $1
- Old North Church, Copps Burying Ground, Italian North End shops on Salem Street, and canolis Mikes, tiramisu from Modern Pastry 257 Hanover St. or other Hanover Street Cafe: $3 x 9 = $27. Galleria Umberto Rosticceria 289 Hanover (btw Richmond and Prince St) cash 10:45-2:30pm
- (Briana) Take ferry from Long Wharf to Charlestown Navy Yard
- *USS CONSTITUTION, Bldg. 5 Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA 0212
SUMMER HOURS April 1 to October 31* Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm Guided tours start at 10 am and continue every half hour until 5:30
- and walk to Bunker Hill/Breeds Hill (great view of Boston, USS Constitution) *Bunker Hill Monument 43 Monument Square, Charleston, MA, 02129, 617-242-5641 Summer Hours(July – August): 9am to 6pm, Cost: Free, A 221-foot monument commemorates the site of the first major American Revolution battle. The Last climb begins 30 minutes prior to close.
- Take bus 92 to bus 7 and walk to Taste of New England, 300 Northern Ave, Platters..$50 for 12 lobster rolls… 617-345-9799 (take them on the sailboat with David?)
- picnic on a sailing ship Sail with David out into the harbor to watch the fireworks!
- Or New England Clam Chowder/Seafood Chowder at No Name $10 x 9 = $90, or Legal Sea Foods clam chowder and French fries..$10 x 10 = $100, Barking Crab 88 Sleeper St. (btw Northern Ave and Seaport Blvd reservations 617 426-2722, Pizzeria Regina 11 ½ Thacher St at Margin St. or Sultan’s Kitchen 116 State St. at Broad St., or James Hook Lobster 15 Northern ave, Morse Fish 1401 Washington St.
- 9:15 Spectacular Fireworks at Fan Pier 2 Seaport Lane, Boston 02210 (end of sailing expo)
T to the car, Drive to Concord (do laundry?)
Stay at Carol’s house:
Friday July 1
Drive into the city drop off bags at Mary’s house downtown Map 12 (40 min) Drop the girls and Carol downtown at David’s parking spot and I return the car to Thrifty (Map 13 – 15 min) (take bus to airport and SL1 bus to south station to red line to Harvard sq. 60 min). [Mary – The kids have gymnastics camp that day starting at 8 so one of us will be driving them over there at 7:45 but the other will be here. I won’t need to leave for work until just before 9. You should have no problem getting a meter on Gloucester St at that hour or across Beacon St from our building. We have 3Q beds, 2T, plus a queen air mattress]
- (Lizzie) T to Charles St. Station, Walk along Charles Street: stop at Black Ink – 101 Charles St. walk through Beacon Hill Mount Vernon Street and Louisburg Square, to Old State House and down past Cheers (Maybe Carol & girls do the tour of Beacon Hill and walk to Charles St station) Beacon Hill walking Tour and Beacon Hill walking Tour-reverse
- (Amanda) All meet at Harvard at 10am (#1 in National Ranking, Economics and Political Science) has a student-led tour on July 1 from 10-11 am (that’s the first tour they have of the day). its a historical tour so we’d get the history of the college, some general info, and insight onto the student experience there.
- (Shannon) Explore Cambridge & Harvard Square (Harvard (rub statue for good luck, 3 lies) free ipod campus tour and one printed in notebook, campus store for Harvard t-shirt $17 (or Walmart) Harvard Square walking tour
- Harvard Museums free for the girls: Shackler (best of all 3 while under renovation)Natural History-glass flowers
- Widner Library – Gutenberg Bible and early Shakespeare (only with someone with Harvard ID)
- Mr Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers 1246 Mass Ave. $10/burger x 10 = $100 cash only! Get onion rings. Ice cream at JP Licks 1310 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 or Lizzy’s 29 Church St. (grab and go sundaes for 5 $25) Other: India Pavilion 17 Central Square at Green St. lunch buffet $8, Redbones best bbq 55 Chester Somerville
- 3pm MIT tour (#7 in National Ranking) Walking tour available if we don’t hit it at this time.
- (Arlington St. T stop) Boston Gardens, swan boats, 10am-5pm $2.75 x 10 = $27.50, there is a walking tour too
- Self guided Back Bay Walking Tour down Newbury Street: Copley Square, galleries & shops, Filenes Basement, International Poster Gallery 205 Newbury, sugar Haven penny candy 218 Newbury, Johnny Cupcakes 279 Newbury, Life is Good 285 Newbury, Second Time around 176 Newbury St. Newbury Comics 332 Newbury St. Louis Boston 234 Berkeley
- Cook dinner at Mary’s house or Dinner at Copley Market Tue Fri 12-6 $8 x 10 = $80 (Haymarket Farmer’s Market Friday and Saturday) or Legal Seafood at Prudential Center off Boylston Street, or Jasper White’s summer Shack. Or Café Jaffa 48 Gloucester st btw Boylston and Newbury st. or Dean and Deluca 239 Newbury and have a picnic,
- Top of Pru Skywalk Observatory 10am – 8pm $10 each = $100, (watch the sun set)
- Trinity Church duck in and see the Christ in Majesty window
- Children’s Museum 308 Congress Street just $1 after 5pm -9pm (green line Copley to Park to South Station) or New England Conservatory free concerts http://necmusic.edu/calendar_event/2011-6-30 evening at the opera 8pm
Spend the night at Mary’s house
Saturday July 2
eat famous Fenway franks or other ethnic snacks $50, Kenmore Square Walking Tour
Sausage Guy The Sausage Guy on Lansdowne Street is the street vendor dining gold standard (if there is such a thing). For more than a decade, this one-man show has been serving up his “secret recipe” sausage to the Fenway Faithful, ball players, and celebrities alike. Around $2-$7 will get you that trademark sausage in original, Chinese style (think spare ribs), or garlic and cheese flavors. Look for The Sausage Guy on the corner of Lansdowne Street during ballgames, and Mon-Sat, 10 p.m.-midnight or Zaftigs Deli 335 Harvard St btw Babcock and Stedman,
Ankara Cafe Named for the capital of Turkey, this tiny Kenmore Square nook serves many authentic Mediterranean meals: the feta-topped Greek salad ($5.50) or the baba ghanoush pita ($6.50). Gourmet pizzas are also a hit with local students, but it’s the frozen yogurt ($4) that got them hooked. Ankara offers more than 60 flavors, including kiwi or Fig Newton. 472 Comm. Ave., Boston. MBTA: Green Line to Kenmore. 11 a.m.-midnight, daily (617) 437-0404. In Kenmore Square here are some restaurants;
UBurger: Bite into one of the freshest burgers in the city, containing absolutely zero additives, preservatives, or fillers. The fries are hand-cut using real Idaho potatoes, cooked to perfection in zero trans-fat vegetable oil. To top it all off, complete your meal with one of UBurger’s popular frappes, using real local ice cream and traditional New England syrup. Kenmore Square 636 Beacon St. Boston, MA 02215
Halal: This simple neighborhood eatery and favorite takeout spot offers traditional Indian cuisine without the frills but plenty of flavor. Dishes include lamb vindaloo, palak paneer and chicken tikka masala. Halal is known for its quick deliveries and heaping portions. 736 Huntington Ave (between Francis St & Calumet St) Boston, MA 02115
- 11-noon The British invade Boston march up King Street to the common
- Explore anything we didn’t see June 30 or July 1st, maybe harbor walk or fort point?
- Brattle Bookshop 9 West St. Boston
- Dinner in Chinatown $5 x 9 = $45 Moon Villa 19 Edinboro St, Beach St is main drag in Chinatown. Dim Sum Hei La Moon 88 Beach St. China Pearl 9 Tyler St 2nd floor Boston, MA 02111, explore theater district
- Christian Science Reflecting Pool and maparium
- 7-8:30 Fife and Drums in the night at the Old Court house 45 School Street free
- Disco on the Plaza
Sunday July 3rd – Travel to Camp Sunshine
Take a taxi (hello taxi 617 783-8294)(boston cab dispatch 617 536-5010)(top cab Phone: (617) 266-4800)~$12 each for 2 cabs to the bus at South Station by 5:15 (5:45am) or the airport (5:55am) (12 minute cab ride, leave by 5am)
Take the bus up to Portland, 5:45am to 7:55am $45 round trip 9 x $45 = $405
free Shuttle to camp 9:15-10:15 Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 207-655-3800 settle in our rooms
Volunteer meeting 11am
Families arrive 3-4pm
Camp Sunshine, 35 Acadia Rd, Casco, ME 04015, 207 655-3800
Friday July 8 Camp Sunshine Ends at 9am, Leave after breakfast and saying goodbye, shuttle to Portland, When you get to Portland walk to the “Old Port” area along Commercial St. very cute part of town.
bus back to Boston 10:30am arrive at 12:30am, 2 single ride tickets per person ($1.70 x 2) x 9 = $30.60
lunch at Faneuil Hall, 9 x $10 = $90 Tall Ships come into the harbor! Meet up with Carol to return pillows and towels, sunscreen and bug repellant and meet up with Megan, Haley’s friend, we will be meeting her at Quincy Market. Head back to the airport around 3pm.
4:45-10:31pm Fly back to San Diego Continental 383 and 1717 (picked up by Marissa, Kerry and Tracy) meet parents at Casillas around 11:30pm
|26Gold Award Ceremony||27Fly to Boston 10:49pm||289am arrive
Sleep at Carol’s
|29Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower, colleges, Sleep at Carol’s||30Freedom trail, North End
Sleep at Carol’s
Beacon Hill & Back Bay, Sleep at Marys
|2Fenway Park, South End,
Sleep at Marys
|3 Bus to camp 5:45,11am volunteer meeting,
3pm families arrive
Bus to Boston, fly home 4:45
Books to Read: Perty, Ann. Tituba of Salem Village. Henry D Thoreau, Walden. Robert McCloskey, Make way for Ducklings. Luisa May Alcott, Little Women. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables. “Paul Revere’s Ride” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Movies: The Social Network, The Brink’s Job, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Love Story, The Perfect Storm, The Proposal, shutter Island, Knight & Day, The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, The Great Debaters, Good Will Hunting, Mystic Riber, Fever Pitch, Blown Away, The Verdict, Glory, The Witches of Eastwick,
Rain Plans: Copley Place (enclosed upscale mall), Kennedy Library, Science Museum or wear ponchos and get wet!
Old John Hancock Bldg: steady blue, clear view; flashing blue, clouds due; steady red, rain ahead; flashing red, snow instead!