Piper, a Girl Scout Cadette, is 13 years old. Like most eighth graders, she is chatty, loves playing sports and always enjoys being silly with her friends. What sets her apart from other eighth graders though is her relentless craving to explore the world. While she spends her days dreaming about far-off lands and the people she has yet to meet, she notices that her friends are typically more focused on things closer to home.
Luckily, a River Valleys staff member recognized Piper’s passion for adventure and recommended that she sign up for a trip with a unique organization called Outward Bound. Girl Scouts of the USA has a partnership with Outward Bound that brings girls together from across the country for service-learning trips. This program not only allows a safe way for girls to travel to other countries to learn and make a difference; it also encourages girls like Piper to push past their comfort levels and feed their passion for adventure.
Though Piper barely made the minimum age requirement for one of these trips, she was glued to her computer until she had all the information she needed to apply for an environmental trip to Costa Rica.
While Piper’s determination and work usually get her pretty far, a trip like this required a little something more—a scholarship to support the expenses. Piper’s mom wants to give her daughter everything she works toward, but with two younger daughters in addition to Piper, this trip wouldn’t have been an option without financial assistance.
Piper did everything on her own to get herself on a trip to Costa Rica. She did all the research, wrote her essays, got recommendations from her teachers and was accepted into the program. At 13, it’s uncommon to see focus and determination like this. Piper’s mom knows how lucky she is to have a daughter like her, and because of the support she received from Girl Scouts, she could say, “yes” to her daughter’s dreams.
When you talk to Piper about her experience this summer in Costa Rica, she lights up and readily shares all the details about breathing new life into a turtle habitat, painting a mural at a school and having warm conversations with local people. This trip has only fueled the fire in her to see the world and she’s already making plans abroad for high school and college.
When asked to describe her daughter, Piper’s mom’s eyes well up with pride. “She is a lovely, impressive young woman. When she knows what she wants, she goes after it.” Lots of girls like Piper have unique goals that may oftentimes seem out of reach, but with just a little boost from Girl Scouts, they are able to reach them and more.