Finding Herself in the Wilderness: Autumn’s Girl Scout Destination Story

When you’re an outdoor focused Girl Scout, there’s nothing more exciting than traveling halfway across the country to one of the most beautiful national parks in the world! That’s exactly what Girl Scout Ambassador, Autumn S. from Leawood, Kansas did when she was accepted into the Maine Wilderness Destination during the summer of 2019!

Autumn applied for the Destination after learning about the awesome opportunities Girl Scouts offered for travel. Rather than preparing her answers separately, she sat down and completed the application and essay at once, really thinking about her answers and writing from the heart. “I was just in a writing groove and just did it all at once, I knew what I wanted to say,” Autumn said with a smile.

That passion ended up getting her accepted into the program and she traveled to Maine to meet up with 10 other Girl Scouts from around the country for a 12-day experience she’ll never forget. Over the course of the 12 days the girls camped at Camp Natarswi, a Girl Scout camp in Maine, sitting at the base of Mt. Katahdin. Autumn had two experiences that challenged her in different ways, the easier one being the ice caves that they ventured to. It was a short hike away and she had some great teambuilding experiences with that challenge because the girls had to help each other cross the ice.

The second adventure Autumn experienced was definitely a challenge – summiting Mt. Katahdin. Thanks to great staff leadership the girls were able to conquer the summit, with a fun little chant of “What are we going to do? SUMMIT!” along the way. Those staff members, especially Scrapper and Steve, helped her have a really amazing and empowering experience. “Looking back, I’m able to say, ‘wow, I really did that,’” Autumn said. In addition to those adventures, the group also got to go white water rafting and camp with new friends.

Autumn returned to KC with a new friend group (with an active group chat) and new confidence that has led her to new opportunities. “I applied for the Teen Leadership Circle at the Council and I’m not sure I would have done that if I hadn’t gone on the Destination,” Autumn said. She believes that this Destination experience helped her become a more confident person and encourages other Girl Scouts to give it a shot.

“Girl Scouts has great experiences that it’s hard to get anywhere else. With a Destination, there are so many trips, you can find what’s right for you. Just go and have fun. You never know what you’ll find,” Autumn said. Now that Autumn has had an amazing Destinations experience, her next big Girl Scout adventure is looking toward her Gold Award. She completed a Silver Award by painting chairs for Solace House and using funds she raised for this project. This Girl Scout is certainly going places! Thank you, Autumn, for sharing your amazing journey! Are you interested in a Girl Scout destination? The next application deadline is February 15!

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