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Check out my other blogs: Sow What Journey http://sarahsowwhat.tumblr.com www.100actsofgreen.org As a homeschooling Girl Scout I am often doing my Journey's as part of my school work. Which means that I have to plan and implement them myself. I have been asked to share this with others. My first blog was with the Senior Sow What Journey. Since I plan to earn 5 other Journeys -- this will be the site for all information.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Iceland and Ireland - What I did this summer

The fall means back to school and in my case, back to troop. I can’t wait to tell all of my friends – Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts about my summer.

There is no secret that I am a very active Girl Scout – they see me in January and February selling cookies with my sister. As a high school student, they ask me, “Why?” Here is my why …
Hiking four mountains in seven hours, learning about Vikings in a home made of turf, experiencing a different culture and meeting new friends. This June and July I was fortunate enough to experience all of these. Girl Scouts helped me get there. Through a program called Destinations, I was able participate in two different trips, one to Ireland and Iceland.

Destinations is an initiative through Girl Scouts of the USA to help girls go on national and international trips. This initiative is a three-part process. Every Destinations has an application and every girl that goes on the trip is chosen out of many others, due to their application content. Every application is reviewed by a selection committee.
What they look for includes:
1. What does the girl already know about the destination they choose?
2. Will the girl most likely bring something to the table that the others wouldn’t?
3. Does the girl have connections to the destination beyond just the desire to go?

After the selection, you have to fund. There are multiple ways to fund for the trip.
1. Part-time jobs
2. Cookie sales – this is what a cookie can do. I used the proceeds from my cookie sales to fund my summer trips.
3. Scholarships – For some Destinations, you can apply for scholarships.

Ireland Multi-Sport Adventure
This trip was just that. We went rock-climbing and backpacking, all-day hiking and took a canoe trip to an island 30 minutes off the coast, Salt Island.
Going on this trip was a great experience. I got to see Ireland through an explorer’s eyes. This trip was about pushing yourself to your highest and to figure out what you can do, physically and mentally.
What helped me to participate fully on this trip was being a part of our council’s High Adventure Team, which backpacked, rock-climbed and hiked regularly. Through the High Adventure Team I learned tips and techniques that helped me to excel on this trip.
My favorite part of this trip was the mountain-biking. I had never mountain-biked on this scale before. We did courses and trails in the woods with logs, trees and natural divots as our obstacles.

Iceland Exploration
This was a trip with a history and geology twist to it. What was unique about this trip was that my mom went to Iceland when she was 15 and did some of the same things on her trip, as I did on mine.
Before I went, I touched base with my environmental geology professor from ACC, who gave me more resources on the environmental aspect of Iceland. We went on all-day trips to waterfalls, valleys, museums and hot springs.

My love for the environment helped me to coordinate an activity for this trip. I planned a tree-planting with Icelandic Scouts and with the Girl Scouts on this trip, we planted 103 trees.
The Girl Scout cookie program allowed me to develop skills that I can use in all areas of my life, including my role with Keep America Beautiful – Youth Advisory Council, City of Pflugerville Parks Commission and as the youth director for Discover Green. I am more confident in who I speak with and understand goal-setting and planning. Both of these were key in the successful international tree-planting I coordinated as a part of the trip.

All of these experiences are the outcomes of understanding that all girls who want to be Girl Scouts should be given that opportunity. We need more adults to lead the girls in Pflugerville and in Central Texas. To get involved contact the council office at gsctx.org or pecantrail.org

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