Girl Scout Destinations: Horseback Riding in Kentucky

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As Girl Scouts, there are so many ways to have fun, try new activities, and explore the world. The ultimate adventure program, Girl Scout Destinations sends girls on journeys far and wide, encouraging them to participate in outdoor activities as well as cultural excursions.

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Maya, third from left.

Cadette Maya T., age 11, went on a horse-themed Destination to Kentucky last year—and enjoyed her experience so much, she’s going to Space Camp in Alabama this summer! She tells us about her trip and why other girls should apply for the program.

What did you learn during your Destination adventure?
I learned that without my sister and my family, I can meet new people on my own. I am a little shy, and it isn’t always easy meeting new people. Our Destination group was small, so we all got to know each other well. I learned that I do like horses, but that I don’t necessarily need to keep going horseback riding. On the trip, the other Girl Scouts helped me with my fear. I also learned that I live in a very different part of the United States. There were lots of farms in Kentucky and I liked that.”

Tell us more about your Destination, Kentucky.
“We stayed in the dorms at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. That was lots of fun. We also visited several equine centers/places in Lexington, like Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland, Ashland, and Thoroughbred Park, among others. We visited the Lexington Mounted Police at their horse rehabilitation center and two Girl Scout camping properties in the area. For our service project, we helped with a vegetable garden for a women’s shelter and we even went to a Lexington Legends baseball game.”

How did you prepare for your trip?
“First, I asked my sister [who’d previously gone on a Destination] what to expect, what to pack, and how to get ready. I asked my mom (who’s also my Girl Scout leader) to arrange a day for me to go horseback riding (because I never had been before), and I made my SWAPS. At a cookie rewards event, I met Abby, another GSGLA Girl Scout, and told her about the Destination. Abby applied and got in. So our parents arranged a play date where I would visit Abby, ride her horse, and spend time with her before the trip. I felt better that I knew someone else.”

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Why did you decide to apply for another Destination?
“I applied because I want to experience the fun of it again, learn more about myself and other Girl Scouts from around the United States, and learn about space. Science isn’t my favorite subject, but I love The Big Bang Theory. I want to know more about space to better understand it. I am scared to try all the machines, but it might be fun with all the other Girl Scouts there to help me.”

Why would you recommend Destinations to other Girl Scouts?
“Destinations are a great learning experience and at the end of it, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and others. I think other Girl Scouts should go on Destinations to explore something new they are interested in and to meet new people. In a safe place (because there are Girl Scout staff with you), you get to learn and be independent without your family at an early age.”

Kudos to risk-taker Maya for trying horseback riding and traveling to another state! Want to try high-adventure activities, meet other Girl Scouts, and learn about a new community or culture? Learn more about Destinations and apply today!

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