By: Sarah, Girl Scout
Everyone was “wowed!” when I told them I was going to camp and hike for two weeks in California’s Yosemite, Sequoia, King Canyon, and Joshua Tree with Girl Scouts this summer. However, saying it out loud didn’t really prepare me for the adventure ahead of me. I knew I liked camping and backpacking, but this was my first long camping and backpacking trip. Not only was I nervous about this being my longest camping and backpacking trip, but I was nervous about hanging out with seven strangers (five other Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts and our two adult chaperones).
Luckily, we had the chance to meet each other a week before the trip at Amy’s Ice Cream. We all listened and looked at the map Gabby “Marigold,” the Outdoor Specialist for Girl Scout of Central Texas, spread out in front of us. Although I stared at the map, I’ll admit I had a difficult time trying to envision what was on it. I could tell right away that Gabby and Amy, the other adult chaperone, were enthusiastic about this trip and it put me at ease to finally see the faces of my travelling companions. I was worried everyone would be older than me, but it turned out I was in the middle of the group, age-wise. I’m an eighth grader, and three of the other girls were in seventh grade, one in sixth, and one a sophomore in high school.
We all met a week later at the airport and flew out west to meetup with Gabby and Amy, who met us with the suburban, which we later named “Wallace.” I can’t pinpoint the exact moment our group of seven strangers became a troop, but I felt like I was on this adventure with my Girl Scout sisters.
I think the best thing Girl Scouts teaches is “Be A Sister to Every Girl Scout.” There seems to be a misunderstanding on TV that when you put a group of females together, you get meanness. That can’t be further from the truth! The Girl Scout law on sisterhood emphasizes how similar we all are, despite our differences.
My trip companions and I became a family. Maybe this happened by listening to each other snore in the car, or shopping together for groceries, helping each other cook and wash up, or poking each other awake. Maybe it was the experience of seeing a bear near the camp site or helping each other carry gear when we were tired. There were plenty of eye rolls, inside jokes, and laughs as well as quiet spells, surprises, complaints, and whines. It might be that these shared experiences helped us grow into friends and family. When the trip was over, I went home with great memories and friendships.
Today, if you were to ask me, “would you recommend doing a high adventure trip?” My answer would be “Yes!” You will not only learn a lot about camping and hiking but, most importantly, you’ll learn to form bonds with other’s you’ve never met before. You’d be surprised how much you’ll love it!
Ready to take off to your next adventure? We are now accepting Destinations applications! Destinations are hosted by GSUSA for girls who are 12 and older. With over 30 different trips to choose from, girls are able to visit the places of their dreams with other Girl Scouts from across the country. Italy, Costa Rica, or Mongolia are just a few of the Destinations to which girls may apply, and they may apply for up to four trips in a year!
On-time Destinations applications along with two references are due by December 1, 2019. Applications submitted after this day will not qualify for any GSCTX financial aid. Hurry! Apply today.
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