Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians and our Oak Ridge service unit were honored to host a delegation of Japanese Girl Scouts recently. The trip was eight years in the making, with the goal to develop a deeper understanding, in both Japanese and American girls, of the cultural differences and basic similarities of all people. The girls lived together as one big international family for a week, from July 28 through August 3. The 12 Japanese girls and chaperones are from Naka, Japan, Oak Ridge’s sister city. Naka was devastated by the 2011 nuclear disaster and is still recovering. Girls from Naka last visited Oak Ridge in 2006, and this latest trip is possible because of fundraisers in both nations. Japanese Girl Scouts applied to earn their place on the trip hosted by the Oak Ridge Girl Scout service unit in cooperation with the Oak Ridge Sister City Support Organization. Highlights of the trip included visits to iconic Oak Ridge sites, an elaborate and beautiful formal tea ceremony, a service project at Oak Ridge Library and a day spent at Camp Tanasi.