It wasn't exactly a country outing, but 57 Girl Scouts went on a camping trip very few people will ever top.
They camped out Friday night on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building and even got a late night visit from movie monster King Kong, known for his climb up the landmark edifice when it was still the world's tallest.Although a cloudy evening obscured usually spectacular nighttime views of Manhattan, the girls didn't seem to mind as they played games, sang songs, pledged allegiance to the flag and recited the Girl Scout promise.
And the girls, mostly from the city's boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, were oblivious to the rainy, busy streets 1,050 feet below as they arranged sleeping bags and blankets for the night.
Some people are bothered by ants and other bugs on camping excursions, but 9-year-old Lenata Bristow was unconcerned by the insectlike things she saw.
"I looked down and everything looked like bugs," she said as she looked out of an 80th-floor window before the girls went up to the 86th-floor observatory.
Stephine Knight, 9, presented an urban perspective on the merits of sleeping high up in the 102-story building that would be lost on people whose idea of camping out is a bit more down to earth.
"Out in the country when we went one time, we could get lost," she said. "It's nice here and it's a big place."
The idea to camp out high in the Empire State Building was the Rev. Frank Rafter's. He's been the unofficial chaplain of the Empire State Building since the mid-1960s. The building opened in 1931.