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Mona Tolbert
(713) 292-0361

Girl Scout travels path of service with destinations trip to Costa Rica

HOUSTON (August 2010) – Girl Scout Ambassador Katie C. traveled to Costa Rica June 16-July 1 on the “Costa Rica Service Challenge” destinations trip. destinations are travel adventures for Girl Scouts ages 11-17 that take place all over the world and give girls chance to meet remarkable girls, develop leadership skills, gain confidence and enjoy valuable learning opportunities.

“I applied for this destination because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and this seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do that,” says Katie, a senior at Jersey Village High School this fall.

To go on a destinations trip, girls must submit an application, two personal references and an essay explaining why they want to participate in the event and what skills or talents they can contribute to the group. A limited number of girls are chosen for each destination, and no more than two girls from one Girl Scout council are chosen to encourage attendees to make new friends. After being chosen for a destination, Girl Scouts are responsible for raising the funds to go on the trip through selling cookies, money earned at a job or personal savings.

At the beginning of the “Costa Rica Service Challenge” destination, Katie visited the capital city of San Jose where she hiked in the dense rainforests and cloud forests. After several days of trekking and camping into some of most remote parts of the country, Katie lived with indigenous families, learned about their unique way of life and helped them with a range of the activities that allow them to survive.

Hiking out of the rainforest, Katie visited Costa Rica’s western coast, home to some of the best rafting rivers and surfing beaches in the world as well as more opportunities to make a positive impact though service. Here Katie spent several days learning how to catch waves, ride the rapids and help preserve the local environment.

Toward the end of the adventure, she braved the rapids during a day of whitewater rafting and experienced the vibrant culture of San Jose through visits to museums and a 100-year-old marketplace.

Girl Scouts were introduced to Costa Rica Outward Bound’s unique approach to outdoor education and personal development. Weaved into all activities were discussions and meetings about leadership. Girls explored how the challenges they meet in and out of the Costa Rican wilderness helped confront other challenges that life presents.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 72,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.

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