A troop of Girl Scouts from Texas has a camping trip story they'll never forget.
In a frightening scene caught on cell phone video, a group of girls from Troop 114204 frantically swam to safety when a massive alligator started heading toward them in Lake Raven at Huntsville State Park.
The encounter happened on Sept. 9 as part of an overnight camping trip. No one was injured, and officials closed the swimming area for the remainder of the day.
"I was thinking, this is the day I die,” one of the Girl Scouts, Ava Miller, 11, told NBC Houston affiliate KPRC. “It was moving faster than us or about the same.”
The alligator, estimated to be 14 feet long, was being considered for removal from the lake by officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The TPWD has removed nuisance alligators before, and it said attacks on humans are rare, according to its website.
Scout leader Nichole Glenn helped bring the girls to safety by getting between them and the alligator.
"I always say that I love them to death," she told KPRC. "I always say I would do anything for them. Now, I definitely know I would do anything for them."
The girls have jokingly nicknamed the gator "Karen," but did learn an important lesson in the encounter.
"I was close enough to get hurt," scout Erin White told KPRC. "And I didn’t even know it was there. So I should probably focus on my surroundings more."