Reaching for the Stars: Girl Scout Destination – Alyssa R.

As a Girl Scout, you learn to shoot for the stars and excel in your passions. Girl Scout Senior, Alyssa R., a 10th grader in Olathe, KS, decided to go for the stars in an exciting Astronomy Destinations experience during the summer of 2019! Alyssa met 9 other Girl Scouts from around the country in Oregon to find out what it means travel like a Girl Scout.

Alyssa began her Girl Scout experience as a Daisy Girl Scout in North Carolina before moving to Kansas City and joining the troop she’s still with as a Junior. “For me, Girl Scouts lets me meet a wide community of people who all think differently,” Alyssa said – something that has helped her see other perspectives throughout her life. One of her favorite things about being a Girl Scout has been the outdoor and STEM experiences she’s been able to have – including a rock climbing camping adventure in Arkansas as part of one of our council trips. That led her to wanting to explore more with Girl Scouts and she soon found that a Destination would be the best option.

The application process was one that Alyssa prepared for and later found out that her preparation and thoughtful answers helped her get accepted. “The staff talked to us about our essays and gave us back what we wrote, then told us that we all put in more than the basics, which helped us get selected. We put in why we wanted to do it, why we were interested in astronomy and a STEM career,” Alyssa said. This experience helped her get a taste of what college applications will be like and now knows she has an edge after hearing about what stood out to the staff.

After being accepted, Alyssa made her way to Oregon and toured the coast, which included a stop at Seaside Beach. The group arrived at Pine Mountain Observatory for STEM activities and camped for 5 days Deschutes National Forest. Over the course of 9 days, in addition to camping, the girls did constellation walks, volunteered at two public observation nights, learned about wavelengths, performed several experiments and even went white water rafting! Overall, the experience let her try new things, meet new friends and get a feel for what a career in astronomy might look like.

During the Destination, she met Girl Scouts from all over the country and they still have a very active group chat. She also walked away with a new appreciation for her passion for astronomy and the confidence of travelling without parents or friends. “A Destination is a great thing to experience at this age since it’s nice to learn to travel without parents or friends to rely on,” Alyssa said.

She would encourage other Girl Scouts to “find a Destination that interests you…and just go for it!” Her biggest tip is “[…]be truthful in what your interests are, express interest [on the application] and proofread your submissions,” said Alyssa. We love those tips and know they’ll help other Girl Scouts rock those Destinations applications – and maybe some college or job applications too!  Thanks, Alyssa, for sharing your awesome Girl Scout Destinations experience!

Are you interested in a Girl Scout destination? Check out some of the awesome places Girl Scouts travel and get ready for the next round of the application process!

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