We at Costa Rica Explorations believe that an international trip, which can be cross-cultural, service-based, and adventurous, will help Girls Scouts achieve their leadership development faster and stronger. Why?
A well planned International Girl Scout Trip program will expose those girls to a very different reality from their own, and it will lead them to learn and to experience tolerance, acceptance, empathy, admiration, and respect for differences. At the same time, they will have the opportunity to serve a community as they have fun, learn new skills and make new friends, and maybe even learn and practice a new language.
Costa Rica Explorations is an experienced, committed and creative student travel experience that not only believes in the power of meaningful travel but also creating meaningful and significant projects that Girl Scouts seek out, so international cross-cultural, service-based, adventure programs, like Costa Rica Explorations, should unite and help members of the Girl Scouts be even better and stronger agents of positive change.
A Girl Scout Trip, a significant step to help them take lead of their own lives
It takes bravery and initiative to travel internationally independent of your family. Even if you are going with your friends, at this young age an international trip could be scary, but the programs that we organize at Costa Rica Explorations and the philosophy behind the Girl Scouts can only encourage the girls to conquer their fears and make the most out of their trip.
The difficulty of the trip will not be in spending several nights away from home and family, because they most likely already do that. It is also not about being challenged with activities and projects while they are away, because every part of Girl Scouts is about reaching the next goal.
What makes an international trip with a Girl Scouts group such an enrichment experience is that the girls will face the regular challenges they are used to in a completely different cultural setting. They will have to learn about how people live differently in different parts of the world, and how being aware, respectful and even appreciative of those differences can help us become better human beings and agents of positive change.
But that international trip program must be designed the right way. It is vital that the Girl Scouts leaders partner with travel experts at the destination country that not only know that country up-side-down but also that have the same spirit of service and the same desire of making a difference as the Girl Scouts do.
Costa Rica Explorations is an experienced travel agency capable of organizing a fantastic trip for your troop. Through team-building activities, cultural immersion homestay experiences, and personal reflection, the girls are given opportunities to discover who they are as individuals, count on each other as a group and gain confidence and leadership skills together as they understand a different culture from theirs.
A Girl Scout Trip, showing the girls the world to take the lead in their own world
At Costa Rica Explorations we pride ourselves in organizing fun trips for students that include service-learning experiences. We believe that a meaningful journey should involve the possibility to make a difference for others, as well as allowing the students to learn not only about cultural difference, tolerance, and empathy but also about nature and our planet.
Organizing a Costa Rica Girl Scout Trip should, even more, include some kind of service-learning experience, but this service experience will stretch their learnings further, letting the girls see how they can make a positive difference in a community that needs it, but that is far from home. They should be able to realize through that experience that they can bring it back to their local communities and make a double difference! The hope is that they gain confidence and skills to become leaders of their own community and that they also understand that maybe we are not so different and that cultural differences don’t change much of what human beings around the world need to thrive and be happy.
How will a Girl Scout Trip to Costa Rica tackle the five key ways girls thrive within the Girl Scouts program?
If you are a Girl Scout leader, member or parent, you already know that Girl Scouts’ programs have five key objectives:
- Develop a strong sense of self
- Seek challenges and learn from setbacks
- Display positive values
- Form and maintain healthy relationships
- Identify and solve problems in the community.
The trips we design for students to visit Costa Rica are in total synergy with these goals.
Through lots of individual and group reflection about their daily experiences during the trip, students can develop an even stronger sense of self. And by including a lot of adventure activities in the trip program, the girls will find themselves in front of many challenges, and they will definitely have setbacks to learn from.
Many of our trips include carefully selected homestays, and by adding those in your Girl Scout trip to Costa Rica, you will allow them to showcase and to learn even more positive values. A lot of teamwork is required during the service and adventure activities that should be included in your trip itinerary as they will help them form and maintain healthy relationships not only within the travel group but also with the community that hosts them during their trip. And through the service work that they will donate to that host community, they will learn and practice identifying and solving problems that affect their homestays’ community, but that could also be effecting their own community.
STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship during a Girl Scout Trip to Costa Rica
A visit to the country of Costa Rica through a trip organized by Costa Rica Explorations is the best playground for girls to find what interests them and develop these interests during their stay in Costa Rica.
They can experience Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) while they are amazed by Costa Rica’s biodiversity and its environmental commitment to protect it. It could be just by taking a hike inside one of the many national parks that cover 25% of Costa Rica’s territory, or by engaging in an environmental science service project inside a national park or even at a local farm in their host community.
And if we talk about experiencing the outdoors, all of the adventure activities we have mentioned so far will inevitably be surrounded by biodiversity. Think whitewater rafting in pristine waters of a Costa Rican river; rappelling down a gorgeous waterfall; birding in a mangrove forest from a boat; or taking a long and amazing hiking inside the rainforest, alongside a green-lush beach or crossing hanging bridges that let you be at canopy level.
During their service activities, whether they are for the people or for the nature of Costa Rica, they will develop and improve the life skills that the Girl Scout program already teaches them, but in a completely different setting that will allow those girls to understand the world better and therefore their own realities.
If we talk about entrepreneurship, imagine engaging your troop into fundraising for the Service Project donation or for the trip costs. If students start a year before they can fundraise their entire trip, and not only feel like successful businesswomen, but also develop a great sense of ownership of their trip experience.
Planning your Costa Rica Girl Scout Trip, where to start?
You’ve already started to answer this question! By taking the time to read about why we at Costa Rica Explorations think you should host your Girl Scout troop in Costa Rica, you have already found not only the destination for your International Girl Scout troop trip, but also the perfect in-country partner to help you design the ideal trip for your girls to thrive.
We have already provided many reasons why you should consider a Girl Scout Trip to Costa Rica, but let us add one last thing. Our company believes in mentorship too, and while we won’t necessarily have your girls meet with Costa Rica’s first lady, we will allow them to meet amazing female mentors from their host community that are making a difference in their homes and their communities, one little but firm step at the time.
Mónica Quesada is an award-winning photojournalist from Costa Rica who loves to show off her country! That is why she has also worked as a photography tour leader since 2007 and she has been the leader of volunteering programs since a very young age. You can see her work at www.mqcphoto.com.