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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

Welcome to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni’s official website. MCAS Iwakuni is the only Marine Corps installation on the mainland of Japan.
American, Japanese Girl Scouts play together

By Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Rubio | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni | April 25, 2014

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Katie House, Cadette troop leader, helps a Japanese Girl Scout answer a question during a “get to know each other” exercise at the Marine Memorial Chapel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 25, 2014. The Girls Scouts invited their sister scouts to a cultural exchange to foster friend and interact with one another.

Katie House, Cadette troop leader, helps a Japanese Girl Scout answer a question during a “get to know each other” exercise at the Marine Memorial Chapel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 25, 2014. The Girls Scouts invited their sister scouts to a cultural exchange to foster friend and interact with one another. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Antonio Rubio)


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Japanese and American Girl Scouts eat pizza they made at the Marine Memorial Chapel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 25, 2014. The U.S. Girl Scouts invited their sister scouts to a cultural exchange to foster friendship and interact with one another. The girls divided into teams and had to decide how they wanted their pizza made.

Japanese and American Girl Scouts eat pizza they made at the Marine Memorial Chapel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 25, 2014. The U.S. Girl Scouts invited their sister scouts to a cultural exchange to foster friendship and interact with one another. The girls divided into teams and had to decide how they wanted their pizza made. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Rubio)


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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --

Girl Scouts across the globe partake in various activities to help develop them into productive members of society, but how often do scouts get the opportunity to interact with other scouts from a different country?

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Girl Scouts invited local Japanese Girl Scouts to a cultural exchange aboard MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, April 25, 2014, to foster friendship and interact with one another.

“We invited Japanese Girl Scouts on base, and we asked them what they wanted to learn about American culture and they said they wanted to know how make pizza,” said Hyla Melloy, Girl Scouts programs chairman. “Our Girl Scouts love pizza so I think they were just as excited as the Japanese Girl Scouts.”

Melloy said the Japanese Girl Scouts haven’t been aboard MCAS Iwakuni in more than 20 years.

Despite a language barrier, the girls were able to communicate with something stronger: friendship. According to Lance Cpl. Kristen K. Kahalewai, Cadette Troop leader, the girls tore down the barrier, developed a working communication system and enjoyed one another’s company.

Kahalewai mentioned the importance of having interaction between nationalities.   

“Girl Scouts are supposed to be a global organization, but when you’re in the United States all you see is the U.S. aspect of Girl Scouts,” said Kahalewai. “You kind of think to yourself, ‘this is it, this is all there is to girl scouting; it’s an American organization.’ But to come to Japan and the Japanese Girl Scouts doing the same things we do, hold the same morals, enduring the same virtues, they’re able to relate on a global scale and not just as an American Girl Scout, but a Girl Scout being a Girl Scout no matter where she lives.”

Kahalewai said the Girl Scouts did this for the opportunity to interact with sister scouts.

“They did it for that self-rewarding feeling of knowing they could go out and meet new friends, no matter what language they spoke,” said Kahalewai. “At the end of the day, they parted ways with smiles on their faces, and as a troop leader, that made me feel really good,”

After all the singing, running and pizza eating, the girls visited the Zero Hangar to share a final experience together.

Imagefostering relationships ImageGirl Scouts Imageinteraction ImageJAPAN ImageJapanese Girl Scouts ImageLance Cpl. Antonio J. Rubio ImageMarine Corps Air Station Iwakuni ImageMarine Memorial Chapel

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