Posts Tagged ‘Girl Scout Travel’

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The Adventure of a Lifetime!

November 11, 2014

By Mikayla S., Girl Scout Senior – Troop #49

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines Adventure of a Lifetime

Not many people have the opportunity to spend two weeks in a foreign country without their parents.  I am one of those few people.  From holding newly hatched baby sea turtles, to scuba diving a shipwreck, to ziplining through the canopy, my two weeks in Costa Rica and Panama were by far the best two weeks of my life.  I made so many amazing friends, who I still talk to daily.  I was immersed in a culture very different from the one back home in the United States.  Most of all, I did so many new things many people can only dream of doing.

There is something quite special about holding a newly hatched baby sea turtle.  They are so small and fragile, yet so full of energy and movement.  Their small eyes are not even open yet, and their flippers flap wildly in the air.  One second, they are clambering out of their nest and the next, you are watching them scramble down the beach into the ocean.  For these small hatchlings, everything is an obstacle; driftwood, grass, animals, large piles of sand, big waves, trash, etc.  You become so attached to them in the few minutes you spend with them, it is hard to know that only 1 out of 1,000 will survive.

The other highlight of my trip was the scuba diving.  Under the water’s surface is a world unlike no other.  Underwater everything is bustling, but everything is so quiet.  The only thing you can hear are the animals munching on coral and the bubbles that float up when you exhale.  Everything is peaceful and you can float above everything and just be an observer.  The colors are so vibrant, between the tropical fish and the tall coral.

This experience, which was a Girl Scouts destinations trip, was by far the best of my life.  I made new friends, that are now more like my sisters.  Saying goodbye to them was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that they, and the amazing experience I had, are once in a lifetime.

 

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Gift for Change: A Visit to the Sangam World Center

March 21, 2014

By Linda Roberts, Co-Leader, Girl Scout Troop #243

WAGGGS session participantsThis past winter break, I was lucky to travel to India with 4 other members of Girl Scout Troop #243.  We are a Senior and Ambassador troop with Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines based in Chapel Hill.

The first half of our trip was spent at beautiful Sangam, the WAGGGS World Center in Pune, India. We were joined by 16 other Girl Guides from the UK, Ireland, and Australia for Gifts for Change, a session devoted primarily to community service.

Our first service project was to help with a dental camp that was jointly sponsored by Sangam and Green Tara, an agency that serves teen girls in 15 slum areas around Pune by teaching them life skills and trades. We ran healthy sessions like how to brush your teeth and good nutrition while two dentists provided checkups for the 100+ girls who attended. We also toured some of the homes of the girls we met at Green Tara, which was an amazing experience.

We also joined Nehru Bal Sangh for a half day march through Pune with 900 young adult Indians in support of “Save the Girl Child,” a movement to improve gender value and opportunities of girls.

Riding an ElephantPartnering with a local community center, our group also helped to host an annual Christmas party. We made endless amount of paper snowflakes and hats, played duck-duck-goose and parachute games with local children until we were dizzy, and did quite the aerobic rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas song!

We took an auto-rickshaw ride to a main shopping district to buy material so we could have a custom sari or punjabi suit made. Once made, we all donned our new outfits for an Indian afternoon complete with mehindi (henna body art), badminton, rangoli (Indian sand art), and other games. The afternoon was capped off with a Maharashtran dinner feast!

Since we visited over New Years, we all attended a rockin’ New Year’s party at Sanscruti, a local cultural park where we feasted, danced all night, watched puppet shows, native dancers, and saw fireworks at midnight.

After tearful goodbyes, it was time for the 21 of us to part ways. Our quintet flew to Dehli and we transitioned to being tourists. All in all, it was a magical trip where we not only got to share our talents, but we learned so much as well. I encourage everyone with a traveler’s sprit to visit this wonderful World Center.

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