Did you know that you can travel with Girl Scouts?! If you want to swim with dolphins, explore the desert, scuba dive with sea turtles, rock climb in Ireland or see Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace, we’ve got a trip for you! Traveling with Girl Scouts isn’t your typical vacation, on these trips you’ll make friends from all over the country while experiencing the Girl Scout leadership keys to Discover, Connect, and Take Action.
Girl Scouts of the USA released their list of 38 destination opportunities for the coming year including both domestic and abroad trips for Cadette Girl Scouts and older.
In addition to GSUSA destinations, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri is sponsoring trips to St. Louis and Savannah, as well as a European excursion for troops and individual Girl Scouts over the next three years.
Courtney Cooper, Girl Scout Alumna, just wrapped up her eighth and final Girl Scout destination trip this summer to Morocco before heading off to the University of Arkansas. She credits her multiple travel experiences with Girl Scouts for her chosen career path.
One of Courtney’s eight destination experiences included a trip to Peru when she was in high school. During that trip, she visited a local health clinic where a majority of the patients were being treated for malnutrition. “I always thought of nutrition being connected to the United States with obesity and junk food, not in a lack of food to eat.”
That one experience sparked Courtney’s fascination with health and nutrition so for her Gold Award project, she developed a health curriculum for Kindergarteners in Lawrence and created cookbooks for their families.
As a freshman at the University of Arkansas, Courtney is majoring in horticulture and public health. When she graduates, her dream is to work for a nonprofit that develops and manages community gardens.
Rachel Zimmerli from Overland Park, Kansas is 12 years old and want to be an astrophysicist when she grows up. When her mom, Jennifer, saw the opportunity for her to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, they jumped on it.
“My experience with Girl Scouts helped me feel comfortable with the program to be well monitored and be safe. It’s easier as a parent to make me let go. The opportunities that were available were established trips and I liked the fact that she would be with other Girl Scouts.”
While at Space Camp, Rachel got to bunk with other girls and make friends with the other nine members of her “Boeing” team. She served as Base Commander for a lunar base mission, rebuilt a satellite which had been hit by an asteroid, built and tested heat shields, flew in 1/6 gravity chairs, designed a modular lunar base, and visited Mission Control for the ISS at Redstone Arsenal…just to name a few things.
“[Destinations] really helps you open your eyes to the world. I‘ve never been to the east or west coast, I had never been to Alabama before and I finally got to go there. It gets you going places that you wouldn’t get to experience,” Rachel said.
According to Jennifer, “this experience has made an impact on Rachel’s life because it motivated her to sign up for pre-engineering and computers at school this year. This is a pivotal year for her to start making her own class choices, and she had the confidence to take her first step toward a STEM track because of Space Camp.”
“I would not be who I am without destinations, so I try to pay it back as much as possible because Girl Scouts has got me where I am and is who I am. I can’t imagine my life without traveling.”
-Courtney Cooper, Girl Scout Alumna