Tag Archives: “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Caroline,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

This summer, my troop and I completed the Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge. After almost three years of working to earn the funds, we finally had enough and couldn’t wait to travel to Costa Rica. We had a really amazing time, except for all of the bugs.

Once we arrived, we spent two days at base camp, just outside of the capital. After that, we took a seven-hour car ride into the rainforest. We all thought we were getting close to our destination, only to find that we still had to cross a river, and hike uphill. We brought with us many of the supplies that we needed for our service projects, including paint, cement, and tools. We had to carry all of our stuff up a hill. Finally, we had a break.

For the next three days, we worked on our projects, which were repainting their lunchroom, fence, and bathrooms. While we were in Talamanca, we also played soccer with the local kids and swam in the river. The river was bright blue and looked like it came out of a travel magazine.

After our time in Talamanca, we crossed the border into Panama and traveled up a river for a while to arrive at San San Pond Sac, a remote area that helps protect sea turtles and Mantatees. On our first and last nights there, we were able to release baby sea turtles into the ocean. That was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to partake.

During the day in Panama, we stayed inside where there were no bugs and talked, made pineapple marmalade, and played on the beach. To further protect the wildlife, we also cleaned up the beach. Finally, we left Panama, crossed back into Costa Rica, and spent a day at their rainforest base. At last, the trip was over, we had to say goodbye to all of the amazing people that we had met throughout the trip, and went to the airport.

If I were to do the trip again, I would pack more bug spray, and lots of longs sleeves and long pants (not because it was cold, but to protect me from the bugs). Overall, this was an outstanding experience, and I would recommend it to every Girl Scout.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica & Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Margaux,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

While on this life-changing experience to Costa Rica and Panama, I was able to have an eye-opening two weeks with some of the best people ever. Not only, the people on the trip with me, but all the kind and inspirational people we met along the way. I was able to put myself in a whole other world while on this trip. I was able to not just learn about other cultures, but be able to live in it. Cultures that consisted of fresh plantain mornings, soccer afternoons, and rice and bean nights.

When in Talamanca, I feel I became a completely different person. I became part of the Bri Bri’s community and everyday lives. What I found the most different from my hometown was the feeling of community in being able to work, welcome, and entertain with one another. They didn’t even ask if we wanted their help, they automatically rolled up their sleeves and assisted. Every morning, we would start our service, weather it be painting, more painting, or carrying sand to make new stairs, the Bri Bri helped. They welcomed us with open arms and not just in letting us in, but having us join their family. We were complete strangers to them, but without any hesitation they lended a hand. That and they had no hesitation in kicking our butts in soccer.

It was also crazy to see how happy the Bri Bri were. They had practically nothing, but were always smiling. Before we were even ready for breakfast, the school kids would be outside playing soccer. So different from the United States, we will wake up, do our own things, and possibly meet up with people later, sometimes through a screen. That is what we call being a community. In Talamanca, the first thing they do is saying hi to, not just their community, but their family.

In the United States, we have the ability to have everything we want, but we are always still so downcast. Going to Talamanca made all of us so happy. We knew that the work we were doing wasn’t self beneficial. We had a cause that wasn’t going to be spent the next day. It was earned in the work, the smiles, the laughs. Knowing that we were changing the lives of people that didn’t even know our names. It’s impossible to learn what people like the Bri Bri lives are like, you have to experience it. Thank you so much Look Wider for helping me in opening my eyes, and looking wider.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Lucy,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

The summer of 2018 I had the opportunity to go on a life-changing trip to Costa Rica and Panama for a service challenge. I was able to go on this trip thanks to the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship. As a 13-year-old Girl Scout, this trip was a big deal to me and has changed my life and understanding of the world in many ways.

I am from Steamboat Springs, which is a small town with not a lot of diversity. This trip was a big deal for me because I got to experience so many different cultures from all around the world. Not just from the people who lived there, but the people who went to the same course I did. That was many of the great things I learned during my trip to Costa Rica and Panama.

One of the other great things I learned on my trip was about food. We got to try different dishes that I have never eaten. It was another way we got to experience their culture. In addition to eating local foods, we got to learn how to cook them. We got to help in the kitchen and learn new ways to cook things. For example, over a fire or with different ingredients than we would normally use.  It was very educational.

One of the most memorable things I remember learning is about all of the biodiversity in Costa Rica and Panama. They had many different types of wildlife from little frogs and lizards to manatees and leatherback sea turtles. As a part of trying to save the sea turtles, we got to learn about them, their life cycle, and many other facts about them. We also got to learn a lot about manatees which was also very educational.

On Outward Bound Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge, I learned and experienced many things that many people can’t in their lifetime. This trip was very life-changing and I know I will remember it for the rest of my life. Thank you “Look Wider” for for the scholarship, which helped me go on this life-changing trip.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Alison,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

The Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge was the most rewarding and life changing trip I’ve ever had the opportunity to go on. Now that I’m home, all I think about is the trip, almost as if it never ended. I think about what I did, how I felt, and the friends I’ve made.

Before the trip, I was extremely worried about making friends. I didn’t think I would make any friends, so part of me just went into loner mode. I thought to myself, “When everyone starts forming cliques, I’ll detach myself entirely.” The trip came closer and closer, while that main worry grew larger and larger. I’d had plenty of bad experiences at camps, but I figured I shouldn’t go in with expectations. To stay neutral, I thought about myself making amazing new friends, and I thought about everyone hating me. This balance somehow kept me from worrying too much. But, the moment I got into the van with everyone else, I got such a bad feeling. It was just the sheer act of seeing the actual people going on this trip that made me feel uneasy.

The first night was the hardest, because it was the adapting time. I just wanted to go home, until I realized that all those actual people were the kindest, most genuine, most beautiful, funniest, and most amazing people I’d ever met. I can’t even express through words how they’ve helped me. They were all so unique and I still can’t believe that I got the chance to know all of them. Each and every one of them made me feel special, and it feels amazing knowing I’m in the Girl Scout sisterhood with them.  Over the trip, we met many more amazing people and did so many amazing things. In Talamanca, the BriBri community surprised me. I didn’t know how people with such seemingly hard lifestyles could be so kind and helpful in their community and so welcoming to strangers. It felt so good to know that the BriBri were very appreciative of our help, but it felt even better that I was helping such a kind community. In Panama, it was really cool for me to see all the kind people in San San Pond Sak that were taking the initiative to help the sea turtles and manatees, especially to see how committed they were to this cause. I really enjoyed being able to participate and help them.

Over the course of this trip, I experienced the most amazing opportunities and met the most amazing people. I am extremely grateful to have gone on this trip and to all who helped me go on it. Now that I’m home, I will try my hardest to help everyone on Earth take the time to learn about one another. Maybe then, all of our problems would disappear. Maybe if everyone was together like the BriBri, generous like the people in Panama, and kind like the girls on the trip, we wouldn’t have many problems. So I’m asking that you’re open, because if you’re open, your life could change for the better. I know that after this trip, I strive to be kinder, more helpful, and more open every day. If you welcome someone in like everyone on this trip did to me, you will be welcomed and you’ll have hope and happiness for the world and its people.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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Apply NOW for a “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Kathleen, from Centennial, traveled to Mongolia.  Krista, from Fort Collins, visited Sangam World Centre in Pune, India. Allie made lifelong friends during an adventure in Costa Rica . All of these trips and many more have been made possible thanks in part to the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships.

Older Girl Scouts who dream of traveling the world and meeting their Girl Scout sisters should apply today for the 2018 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships.

Requirements:

  • Trip must be sponsored or endorsed by Girl Scouts of the USA or the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
  • The scholarship is for “girl” members only (based on WAGGGS guidelines – between the age of 12 and 30 at the time travel is completed).
  • The scholarship supports only individual girl, not troop, travel.
  • The scholarship should support international travel, although a compelling domestic trip may be considered.
  • Girls who have earned (or are working toward) a Girl Scout Highest Award will be given preference.
  • Recipients must agree to share stories and testimonials about the trip after their return to inspire girls to pursue similar adventures.
  • Must meet all application deadlines. Funds must be used for travel in the year in which the scholarship is received.
  • Must be a member of Girl Scouts of Colorado Girl Scout Council.

Apply here: www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/forms-and-resources/scholarship-application.html

The “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are meant for individual girl travel. They’re made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year. Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel and girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

Look Wider Scholarship Flyer

Eloise Golden honored by international Girl Scouting organization and HRH Princess Benedikte

 

 

Submitted by Rae Ann Dougherty, GSCO Board Chairperson

Metro Denver

Golden

Girl Scouts are found in all corners of the globe.  It is special to be a part of a Movement since it supports every girl and any girl.

What is the largest number of Girl Scouts you have had the privilege of being with at one time?  Your troop? Your Service Unit? A Camp?  Imagine being with 10,000 “sister” Girl Scouts at the National Convention!  It is powerful and inspirational.  As a member of Girl Scouts of the USA we are amongst 3 million American Girl Scouts.  Furthermore we are amongst 10 million, and counting, Girl Guide and Girl Scout “sisters” from 150 countries around the world.  As we work together #ForHerWorld, we witness budding leaders being developed as they make the world a better place.  It is phenomenal and potent!

These were the aspirations and dreams of one of our sister Girl Scout Leaders from Grand Lake in Grand County, Colorado, Eloise Montoya Golden, before she suddenly passed away in May 2015.  Eloise become a devoted emissary of the importance of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), as well as the value of that instant international fellowship that comes with being a Girl Scout.  While I worked closely with her, she often expressed a yearning to become a Member of the Olave Baden-Powell Society (OB-PS), but never had a chance to formalize her plans.  One of her dreams was finally fulfilled when she was posthumously presented the international Girl Scouting recognition of an OB-PS Membership in Memoriam by Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Patron of OB-PS, at an international Girl Scouting meeting in London, England.

Eloise began Girl Scouting early in life as a member of USA Girl Scouts Overseas. Later she became a mother and was thrilled to watch her daughter, Tanya, and friends develop and mature through the Girl Scout program just as she did herself. (Tanya is a Gold Award Girl Scout.)  Eloise had a lust for life and loved reaching out, encouraging people everywhere to feel the same way.  In addition to her magical singing voice, she will be remembered for her happiness, inclusiveness, and loving spirit.  Once the Global Girl Scouting bug bit she made a lasting impression on thousands of girls and young women from over 50 countries, staying in contact with many of them until her passing. I estimate that she personally touched or connected with over 15,000 of our Girl Scout and Girl Guide sisters from all five WAGGGS regions during her 50 years as a member of our Movement.

Internationally Eloise served on the Friends of Our Cabaña Committee, volunteered at the Young Women’s World Forum (YWWF) 2011; she was Girl Scouts of Central California South (GSCCS) Chaperone to the Girls’ World Forum (GWF) 2012; she chaired the GSCCS World Thinking Day events, and served as USA representative to the inaugural Arts exChange program at Sangam in 2014. The capstone was when she was able to co-host Gillian Clay, the granddaughter of Lord and Lady Olave Baden-Powell (First World Chief Guide of WAGGGS) at the 2014 Girl Scout National Convention.  Eloise felt the work to advance the Movement is an honor and joy as it is so rewarding.  All proved to be special times for her!

As one of the most fervent ambassadors for Girl Scouts, Eloise would passionately and spontaneously speak about how important Girl Scouting is and how much it has changed and improved the lives of so many young women.  Along the way she witnessed the magic and significance of Global Girl Scouting.  The importance and value of an international sisterhood caught her like an uncontrolled wildfire.  She wanted everyone to understand the importance of it all.

Are you interested in discovering our international sisterhood through Girl Scout travel?  Opportunities abound whether it is to travel to one of the five World Centers maintained by WAGGGS or attend an international event hosted by one of the member countries.  Furthermore if you are a young Colorado women traveling independently in the Girl Scout world, the Look Wider International Travel Scholarship is available to assist your exploration.

Eloise Golden’s OB-PS Membership in Memorial recognition ensures her aspiration that WAGGGS the long term sustainability of Girl Scouts umbrella entity continues.  Eloise would wish that the understanding of different cultures, leadership development of girls and women (of all ages), peace through the international sisterhood of Girl Guides / Girl Scouts would continue while advancing girls and women of all ages to achieve their dreams, #ForHerWorld.

Sky Hi News from Grand County shared news of Eloise’s recognition with the local community. http://www.skyhinews.com/news/eloise-golden-gets-posthumous-honor-at-worldwide-scouting-event/

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The Olave Baden-Powell Society (OB-PS) supports and promotes the development of girls and young women through the global Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement.  The OB-PS is to the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (WAGGGS) as the Juliette Gordon Low Society is to the Girl Scouts of Colorado.  Becoming a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society is an easy way to support the Girl Scouts of Colorado.  While a planned gift of any amount enrolls you in the Juliette Gordon Low Legacy Society, undesignated bequest of $10,000 or more automatically becomes part of Girl Scouts of Colorado permanent endowment—a truly lasting legacy! http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/planned-giving.html

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Adventures of a globetrotting Girl Scout: Inspirations for traveling abroad  

Submitted by Anna B., 2017 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship  winner

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Hi! I go by my camp name Simba. I have been a Girl Scout for 18 years since I joined as a Brownie. Being a Girl Scout has given me the chance to go to camp, cultivate outdoor skills, and travel abroad. I actually really discovered my love of traveling through Girl Scouting. Since that first amazing trip with my troop to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilmanjaro, I have been finding ways to see the world. Luckily, Girl Scouts as a part of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) has access to the to their very own world centres. As a beneficiary of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship, my most recent trip was to Sangam World Centre in Pune, India.  For four months, I was the program/marketing and communications intern. I highly recommend traveling through Girl Scouts, with your troop, or as an individual to the world centres or elsewhere and here’s why:

  1. It’s is totally possible to travel half way around the world (or farther)!

It is hard work to raise the money to go on even small trips abroad, but don’t forget about cookie sales! It took me four years to save up for my first trip. With the help of the “Look Wider” scholarship as well as receiving a travel stipend from WAGGGS for being an intern/volunteer, this trip to India was totally funded! The world centers have many scholarships available for their programs, so don’t forget to ask about them when doing your research.

  1. The challenge is worth it.

Stepping outside your comfort zone is hard and for most people traveling to India, a culture that is so different to ours in America, it is outside their comfort zone.  However, it is so rewarding when you learn to navigate that cultural experience and guide guests through it. I got to lead groups on tours of Laxmi Road, an older part of Pune. The first time I successfully guided a group through the markets and streets (without getting lost), did not lose anyone in the crowd of the line bazaar, and got on the right busses to get back to Sangam, I felt very gratified. It doesn’t sound too hard, but when you don’t speak the same language as those around you and can’t read the street signs, there is definitely an added challenge.

  1. Meeting Girl Guides and Scouts from all over the world

I was so inspired to met Guides and Scouts that truly dedicate themselves to WAGGGS and making the world a better place. A friend that I met at Sangam from Sweden will be on the Swedish delegation for Roverway and the WAGGGS World Conference. I met a Guide from Albania, which is not yet part of WAGGGS, who was sent as an ambassador to learn more about WAGGGS as they work on applying for membership. Living with me at Sangam, there where people from the UK, Canada, Rwanda, Belguim, Australia, Sweden, Senegal, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan and South Africa. There is also an incredible team of local staff at Sangam that looked out for us, answered all our questions and made us incredible food!

  1. The chance to build and work on professional and leadership skills

While at Sangam I was the program/marketing and communications intern. My background is in program for summer camp, but I knew nothing about marketing and communications. I can now make videos for promotion, use social media to update our fans about the goings on at Sangam, and use other creative platforms to tell people about upcoming events. I definitely saw participants gain leadership skills in the short times that they were at Sangam thorough working as a team on planning and delivering programs for Sangam’s community partners. There is always something to learn.

  1. Building confidence

I was really impressed with the volunteers I met when I first arrived at Sangam.  How easily they negotiated getting a rickshaw and delivered  Sangam programs to participants! I found out later that they were both shy and nervous when they first started. I never would have guessed from how confident I saw them. I also saw many of our guests gain the confidence to venture out on their own after being helped with how to get the bus or a rickshaw!

  1. The opportunity to join your global Girl Scouting family

Many people where surprised when I told them I would be in India for four months, but I knew that I was going to a new home. Having volunteered at Pax Lodge (London), another of the world centres, I already had a family all over the world, some of whom I have visited. Sangam was no different.  Everyone was so generous and inviting. Many offered up their homes after having know me for only a few days. I can’t wait to continue to travel by visiting my guiding friends.

  1. Earn your Sangam When We Shine challenge badge!

I have never met a Guide or Scout who doesn’t love a good badge. At Sangam, it was so fun to swap badges and see how unique and creative that badges from other places where. I used them to decorate my room at Sangam and remind me of the many groups of people I got to share memories with.

  1. Working side by side with Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world to make the world a better place for everyone

Sisterhood at Sangam is not just between Scouts and Guides, but strives to include all women and girls everywhere. Working with Sangam’s community partners we established a wider community of women. As a volunteer, I loved taking Sangam participants to work with the community partners, the enthusiasm with which they planned their activities and after a slight hesitation, jump right in to teaching them. A group of girls from Malaysia were a bit wary when they learned they would mostly be working with boys to do some painting and gardening at a school. By the end of the day everyone was laughing and taking silly selfies together!

  1. The possibility to celebrate Girl Guiding and Scouting traditions

I happened to be at Sangam for World Thinking Day! The Baraht Scouts and Guides of India hosted us for a ceremony in the morning involving lots of songs and games. We planted a tree in honor of this year’s WTD theme, GROW! In the evening we connected with people all over the world through live streaming our ceremony on Facebook. It was so special to know that so many groups were celebrating WTD with us and thinking about us. We were thinking about them!

  1. You may even get to go to a wedding!

A staff member at Sangam got married while I was there and the Sangam family was invited to go to the turmeric ceremony before the wedding. It was so much fun to celebrate and experience this unique tradition and cover each other in turmeric! If one of your friends are getting married, you should recommend them these rose gold wedding rings.

  1. Trying new things

You won’t know if you like it until you try it! Whether your challenge is trying new foods, going for a hike or abseiling off a tower, these opportunities abound.

  1. Learning new things about the world

Here are a couple of things I learned: In India, a queue looks more like a crowd. Europe doesn’t have Mexican food and therefore many Europeans haven’t had a quesadilla before. Canadians sometimes say things like sauce me a pen and, eat spicy beans and fuzzy peaches.

  1. Visiting world heritage sites

In my experience, they are better in person! I had a chance to travel some outside of Pune.  The Taj Mahal!

  1. And friends that you will have for the rest of your life

I miss them! Luckily we have reunion planed for 2019!

Hopefully you now feel inspired to travel. I am happy to help out. I can come talk to your troop about planning a trip abroad or answer questions about traveling to a world centre.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved atgirlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado Girl Scout travels to Mongolia on the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Submitted by Kathleen B., 2017 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship  winner

Metro Denver

Centennial

My name is Kathleen, and I became a Girl Scout in first grade. It started out with cute little badges that my mother helped iron on my vest, selling cookies, and planting flowers in front of our elementary school. That’s the image that comes to mind for most people when they think of Girl Scouts, and so many people are surprised when I tell them that I was a Girl Scout in high school. Their confusion quickly turns to jealousy once I start to describe the incredible adventures I went on as an older Girl Scout. I still earned badges, sold cookies, and volunteered in my community, but I also went rock climbing, white water rafting, and ziplining. I even got to volunteer at a panda base in China through ATS Destinations. Now, in my last summer of being a girl member, I embarked on another journey across the world, all the way to outer Mongolia.

So what does one do in Mongolia? Well, you know the saying, “When in Mongolia, do what the Mongolian do.” And in Mongolia, they ride horses. Before we could do that, however, we learned archery. The professionals showed us how it was done first. A boy barely older than us galloped by at breakneck speeds, the horse flying over the yellow grass. With a quick motion and a sharp twang, an arrow suddenly sprouted from the center of the target. I gave it a try with both feet on the ground, the bow master showing me how to grasp the string with only my thumb and finger. Everyone got a turn, but only a few arrows actually pierced the stack of hay. After an hour and a half of practice, we had to keep moving so we could start the best part of our trip: the horseback riding.

When our group arrived at our host family’s group of gers, or yurts, there were around 20 horses waiting for us. They weren’t the horses we would be taking on our week-long trek, we were told, but we could use them to learn how to ride. I was given a dark brown horse with a black mane. Mongolians don’t give names to their horses, but I ended up calling that practice horse “Blue”, since his harness was a bright cyan. Once the stirrups were lengthened to accommodate my long legs, I was shown how to hold the harness in the Mongolian fashion and which commands Blue responded to. I started out slowly, clutching the reins so tightly my knuckles turned white. The Mongolian horses moved in a way I was not used to, but I could feel the strength practically radiating from the small horse. We rode until dusk, going as fast as we wanted. It was exhilarating. The horizon stretched on endlessly, blue sky reaching down to brush yellow hills, and my horse yearned to meet it.

The next day, we loaded up our trek bags and drove to where we would start our trek. On the way, we stopped to try fermented mare’s milk, a traditional Mongolian drink. We also saw falcons and vultures up close, and hiked Turtle Rock, an enormous rock formation that looks like a turtle. By the time we got to the new horses, I was already exhausted, but I was excited to start our trek. I was given a new horse, one I decided to call “Buzz”, for his short mane. We crossed the river, water rushing over our boots and splashing up to hit our faces. We trekked through a forest for an hour when suddenly it opened up into a vast, open plain, with rolling hills and thin, winding dirt roads. I rode alongside the other girls in my group, chatting away and singing. Sometimes, I would ride next to one of our Mongolian guides and pester them with questions about their country and their experiences. My favorite part was out midday break, where we could lay down by a stream or in some shade, and eat lunch. It was usually the same, mutton stew and bread, sometimes rice. It was surprisingly filling, and occasionally we would get Mongolian candy as a treat before getting back into our saddles and starting again. We stayed with host families half the days, eating delicious meals and learning about the culture out on the steppe. The other half of the days, we camped out wherever we settled down for the night, and hung out with our guides and each other. Despite my aching legs and sunburned face, I was having the time of my life. Still, I was relieved when we said goodbye to our horses and our guides, and made our way into the city.

Once we were done touring the giant statues of Genghis Khan in and outside the city, we went into the National Museum to learn more about the history of Mongolia. I never knew how much I didn’t know about that part of history until I went into that museum. It made me wonder what else I was missing when it came to the history of people around the world. We also explored Mongolian culture through a concert that showed all the different traditional music and dances. I even cried during one of the performances. It was wonderful. I kept thinking back to it even as we split up into groups to go shopping in the city.

On the long plane ride home, I leaned back in my seat, exhausted. I had only been in Mongolia for a week, but it felt like days. I scrolled through the pictures I took on my phone, each one another memory that I’ll cling to for years to come. I came to a picture of the Mongolian horizon, wide and empty. There were no fences, no barriers. It was free.

Americans consider themselves a free people, but I have tasted a different kind of freedom, where the sky never touches the earth. I came back from Mongolia with a better understanding of my own life and a different perspective of the world. All because I am a Girl Scout.

There are more opportunities as an older Girl Scout than people can even imagine. I was able to get scholarships and financial aid from Girl Scouts and Look Wider. I seriously encourage all of my fellow Girl Scouts to go on Destinations, see more of the world, and look wider.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved atgirlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

Boulder Girl Scout explores Greece

Submitted by Molly M., 2017 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship  winner

Northern & Northeastern CO

Boulder

Traveling around the world has always been a dream of mine since a very young age. When I came to a realization that I am growing up, and becoming more independent, traveling became a priority. For my parent’s honeymoon, they traveled all around the world for a whole year!  I just finished my senior year of high school, and I will be heading off to Fort Lewis College next year. It was decided that it was time for me to have my own experience unique to myself. I decided to join the “Greece Sea Kayaking” Girl Scouts Destination Trip.

Greece has been a place my parents have spoken highly of, and I thought the trip in itself looked incredible. I was able to use most of the money I have saved up in my Girl Scout account from selling more than 600 packages of Girl Scout Cookies for the past seven years, and I also worked on saving money from my job, working as a shift lead in a local ice cream store. The “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship has helped so that I didn’t have to dig into my college savings that I also worked hard to earn.

We arrived in Kefalonia, Greece after a long day of traveling on June 22, 2017.  We started our kayaking adventure bright and early the next morning. We kayaked for six-days straight, covering about 100 km around the coast of Kefalonia and crossing over to Ithaca. We camped three of those nights, and stayed in nice hotels the other two nights. For me, this trip wasn’t far out of my comfort zone because I have gone on many multi-day rafting/camping trips in Colorado. However, for other girls it was different. Some girls on the trip had never camped before. This allowed a leadership position for me. I was there to help with efficiently packing camping gear for other girls, warding off bugs, and helping with cooking and cleaning more. Each girl had their own unique skills, and personality to add to the group, which made us work well as a team.

Between all the girls, we have all agreed to stay in touch after this trip.  Each girl had hugely different personalities, which came together perfectly. We got to partner up with somebody new in the kayaks and tents every night, so I was able to form personal connections with each and every girl. It was interesting to see how different each girl was. Some had huge personalities. They would tell you exactly what they were thinking all the time.  While some girls were more shy, go with the flow kind of people.  Some were super positive, and some were more negative, especially when it came to trying new foods.  Each girl was completely different, but when we were put in this group, we all got along so well.  We had this vibe in the group that I have never experienced before.  A few of the girls with big personalities would crack some hilarious jokes, and we would all add to them and laugh about them. We formed many inside jokes between all of us. There was never any time in which any girl felt left out, or there was any drama between the girls.  We all recognized how equal we were in this group, and respected and admired each girl’s differences.  We would often split up into groups of three or four girls, and we had girls that we hung out with more than others, but it never interfered with the group dynamic, there were no cliques that formed.  We worked together as a team, encouraging girls who got tired from kayaking, helping keep the negative ones to stay positive, and giving us some humor when we needed it the most.  Our group had a unique style, that I greatly miss, but is apart of my incredible memory from this trip! I would never had met this incredible group of girls if it wasn’t for our similar love and curiosity of adventure and traveling.

The guides were also beyond helpful and supportive, and it was exciting getting to meet them and know them better! The two ATS leaders, Christine and Gavin, were really great at introducing us in the culture of Greece, giving us enough freedom to roam around towns, but still kept an eye on us, and were always there if anything wrong happened. Our tour guides for the kayaking adventure were some of the coolest people I have ever met. Their names were George and Vanilla.  George was a Greece local, and was able to teach us about authentic Greek culture, while Vanilla was a fantastic kayaker from Sweden always coming up with games for us to play that included everyone and made everyone feel very important.

The last part of our trip was a day of exploring in 100-degree weather in Athens. We shopped for hours and then visited the Acropolis. The exposure to the different culture in the huge city was eye opening and exciting!

Eating the delicious Greek cuisine, discovering the clear blue water, and exploring the unique little towns of Greece are memories I will forever cherish!  It was hard saying goodbye to the friends I made, but I will never forget them. I’m so glad that this was my first adventure out of the country without my family, because I now feel more confident about traveling independently in the future. For I know, there will be many more adventures to come!

***

The “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

Colorado Girl Scouts receive “Princess Benedikte Award”

Submitted by Rae Ann Dougherty

Metro Denver

Denver

As Girl Scouts, we are members of a huge community of 10 million fellow Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 146 different countries around the world as represented by the blue and gold pin we wear on our uniform.  Additionally our Girl Scout Law ends with … “be a sister to every Girl Scout.”  The magic of that international sisterhood of Girl Scouting is experienced by many, including the recipients of Girl Scout of Colorado’s “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship, as well as the many individuals and troops across our state that travel to one of our many World Centers found across the globe.

Connecting and supporting this international sisterhood becomes a passion that once hooked, entices many to continue to advance the power of this spider web-like network.  As a result of the volunteer work and dedication of two of the Colorado’s Girl Scout volunteers, they were recently honored at an international Girl Scout meeting in London for their contributions.

Marlene Logan and Rae Ann Dougherty received World Association of Girl Scout and Girl Guides’ (WAGGGS) “Princess Benedikte Award” from the royal patron of the Olave Baden-Powell Society (OB-PS).

OB-PS is a global network of WAGGGS supporters, providing vital financial help to the international Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement.  At its core, the OB-PS Society is designed to provide financial support to WAGGGS to ensure a steady stream of income which funds its work, projects, and programs. This is similar to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Juliette Gordon Low Society. http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/planned-giving.html  (Both the Logan’s and Dougherty’s are members of GSCO’s Juliette Gordon Low Society.)

More than 1,300 individuals from 59 countries have chosen to invest in their commitment to girls’ and young women’s futures by supporting OB-PS and WAGGGS.  Each of these individuals believes WAGGGS and its work can change lives and influence the future for whole communities.

The honor was received recently at the annual meeting of the OB-PS meeting at Gilwell Park in London, England.  (Gilwell Park is famous throughout the world for its Scouting heritage, beautiful setting, and stunning range of activities.) Furthering the international sisterhood of WAGGGS, 150 representatives from all five regions of WAGGGS participated in this meeting.

This special recognition was presented to Rae Ann and Marlene by Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark.  Since its inception in 2006, less than 25 individuals worldwide have received this award.

Congratulations Rae Ann and Marlene!