Three innovators from our council set out on a Girl Scout destination to Space Academy this summer! Molly, Jenna, and Katie might’ve gone to the same camp with an extreme love for space exploration, but all three came back with different takeaways and experiences on their space missions.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I hoped to go more in depth with what I learned in school in a new environment,” Katie said.
For most of the girls, this was their first long trip away from home, and Girl Scouts was able to push them out of their typical troop traveling comfort zone. Each girl prepared in different ways for their trip!
“I thought it would be really helpful to look over my past school notes and brush up on current relevant events in the news to make sure I was ready for a tough week at the Space Academy,” Molly said.
Once the girls arrived, they all noticed how cool it was to be surrounded by Girl Scouts from all over the country, some from around the world. “Everyone brought swaps from near and far, I thought that was a cool Girl Scout tradition that we kept going,” Jenna said.
“It was neat learning how everyone had a different perception and experience with space exploration based on where they were from,” Molly explained. “The Girl Scouts from New Zealand were near iconic landmarks that I had never seen. Even though we all see the same sky at night, Girl Scouts from all over were surrounded by different Space Museums than I was.”
On the second day of Space Academy, the girls went through lesson and mission training. Each girl got a specific role to play that they trained for. Molly was a Module Commander, Jenna was a Mission Specialist and Katie was in Mission Control. “Mission prep was a very big deal. It was how we got to figure out how our simulations would actually go and the lingo we needed to learn. Understanding screen operations and commands while following a script was very difficult,” explained Katie. One of Jenna’s favorite parts of her first day was making rockets. “We had to use general supplies found in our kit to learn more about the physics behind space, it was so neat!” Jenna remarked.
The third day was completely filled with simulating their mission! “They really set us up to succeed. It would have been hard for us to completely fail, with how much prep we did. We learned so much,” Katie said excitedly! Molly read through her journal and remembered how cool it was to work with Girl Scouts for this mission. “The difference in working with Girl Scouts during our space mission was that we all really wanted to learn. In class, people get frustrated too early, but when I worked with Girl Scouts, we were open communicators, learned how to adapt and tried harder to get along. I liked that,” Molly laughed.
Days four and five mimicked the same activities on the previous days, and the girls got new roles for their new mission! “The second mission went MUCH smoother,” Jenna remembered, “we had adjusted and knew how to better handle space anomalies.” Jenna was in Mission Control this time, Katie was the Commander, and Molly was a trained GNC (a weather specialist).
Each girl had their own unique experience as well that was slightly different than the rest. Jenna got to meet a female astronaut, Wendy, who had previously held records for trips to space and LOVED that it was a woman who held these records. Alternatively, Katie got to meet the founder of Space Academy during their graduation. She received a book and was able to have it autographed! Molly’s favorite part was realizing that a career in STEAM, specifically space exploration, was very possible for her someday.
All the girls expressed their desire to go on another destination in the future!
“We just love Girl Scouts because no other organization for girls has grander travel opportunities like this organization does,” Becky Blankenship, Katie’s Mother, said.
What an empowering experience! These innovators are certainly well on their way to a world of more travel possibilities, learning about new careers along the way!
2019-2020 Girl Scout destination programs are being added through September. Check them out and submit your application to our council by Nov. 15 to be included in the first round of consideration!