Always close, 18-year-old Emily and her sister, 15-year-old Haley wanted to go on an adventure before Emily headed off to college this past August.
The Stewartville, MN sisters found that opportunity through Destinations, a travel pathway that allows Girl Scouts the chance to go somewhere new, do something different, and meet new people. Emily traveled to Australia through Destinations in 2012 and knew she wanted to share this type of trip with her sister.
The girls discussed what they wanted in an experience and decided on community service, serious beach time, and the opportunity to earn a scuba certification.
They found the perfect fit with a Costa Rica and Panama Destinations trip that offered them the chance to work with local residents and learn about wildlife.
Skills that the girls had learned as Girl Scouts helped them a great deal on this trip, from building a fire to interacting with people from different cultures. Scholarships covered nearly half the cost of Emily and Haley’s trip, minus spending money.
The girls spent their off-time zip lining through the forest canopy, wake boarding, and watching exotic wildlife like manatees and sloths. Their personal highlight of the trip was achieving their scuba certifications, which allowed both girls to test their limits and develop new skills. Emily says an hour underwater feels like only 10 minutes, and the experience is something she’ll never forget.