Through Girl Scouts, every girl is able to discover the G.I.R.L. within—whether she is discovering her love of robotics, finding her voice as an activist, or building physical and mental strength as an outdoor enthusiast.
Troop 5133 has scaled mountains from California to Alaska, camped in remote locations, explored multiple national parks—and they’re still in middle school! Cadettes Nathalie, Camille, and Taylor [pictured below, from left to right] share how Girl Scouts has paved the way for a lifetime of curiosity and adventure.
How can one troop change perspectives about what girls are capable of accomplishing? That is a question we have been answering from the beginning. Throughout the years we decided we wanted to take trips that we couldn’t do with friends or family. So, we started traveling to amazing, high-adventure places, like camping and hiking in Denali National Park in Alaska.
“When I joined Girl Scouts I didn’t think that I would ever climb to the top of mountains, go kayaking through sea caves, or see the total eclipse,” says Nathalie. “I feel so lucky and privileged to see what I have seen, and to be a part of this wonderful troop.”
However, we couldn’t just jump on a plane and start adventuring. It takes small steps. So, we started taking easy hikes and overnight camping trips. When we realized how amazing just ONE easy hike could be, we expanded our horizons, traveling to more distant places like Mammoth, California. When we finished the Mammoth trip, we had a thirst for thrill and adventure. It was then we took our first large trip to Yellowstone, where we hiked Mount Washburn [photo above], saw bison, elk, a bear, and wolves.
We thought there wasn’t a chance we could take a more awesome trip than that. But we were wrong. The year after that, we took another camping and hiking trip to Oregon and Northern California, specifically Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic Park, where we climbed Lassen Peak. We ended up seeing a sight that left us speechless: a total solar eclipse. It’s impossible to explain the awe we all felt.
Camille adds, “In Crater Lake, my favorite memory was jumping into the lake. It took me a while to finally jump in, since the water was very cold with temperatures in the 50s, but I faced my fear and jumped.” Talk about being a risk-taker!
While on this trip, we were inspired to take it to the next level and visit the most adventurous place we could imagine: Alaska! We started planning the trip while we were driving home from Oregon, researching the best national parks and most amazing places to visit. We knew this would be expensive, but we were motivated. We sold many boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, as well as magazines and candy through the fall product program, and hosted a troop yard sale, to eventually earn enough money to make it to Alaska this year.
It was the most magnificent place we had ever laid our eyes on. We camped and hiked at Denali National Park, one of the largest national parks in America, and Kenai Fjords National Park. Covered in completely different terrains, each one was as beautiful as the other. The hiking was amazing because there are few trails in Denali—so you just get off the bus and start freely hiking anywhere you choose!
“The thing that I love most about being in this troop is that when I thought I’ve done it all, I end up trying something new that’s even more fun and challenging,” notes Taylor. “The key factor in my enjoyment in these activities is that it was done with my amazing sister Girl Scouts. I have so many great memories with each and every one of them. I have seen more than most at this age, and will remember my trips forever.”
We are beginning to plan for our big summer trips in 2019 and 2020: In 2019, we will be traveling either to Yosemite National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, or Bryce Canyon National Park; in 2020, our destination will be either Iceland, Kauai, Switzerland, or Banff National Park in Canada.
These last few years have been extremely inspirational to our whole troop and we hope to inspire many others as well. However, this doesn’t happen in one day. There are cookies to sell and trails to hike! So start planning, Girl Scouts!
Stay tuned for the second part of our series, where Troop 5133 gives tips on how to transform your troop into rock-star adventurers!