Congratulations to Charlotte B., an Arvada Girl Scout! She has been awarded the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship for a trip to Costa Rica in December 2016. To learn more about Charlotte’s trip and her experiences as a Girl Scout, please read a selection from the essay portion of her application.
The first reason that travel is important is that it allows the person to have more life experiences through experiencing different cultures. If you travel to different places you have possibility to be able to understand more cultures, more languages, more religious views, and so much more. You get to learn these things first hand through experience by actually seeing how and what built up the foundation, and what created their culture. By talking to the people that live there and what happens there. I learned this from when my family went to China. When we talked to our guide and he or she helped us learn more about the history and the more that we learned about them as a people living in the modern world, we also got to experience more about the culture. We tasted more of the authentic cuisine and learned more about the Chinese and Tibetan people than anyone could ever learn in books. We ate mixed meat intestines and they were pretty good. We saw people eating pigs hooves. I learned that what we might think is gross, they would view it as a delicacy. Another way that I learned travel gives you life experience through culture is from my Girl Scout trip last summer to California. We saw multiple different types of art across the state. It was cool to see how each city in California was represented by different art forms. An example would be in San Francisco, they had the spray paint art and various street crafts while in Cambria at Hearst Castle, there was classical watercolor and acrylic art hanging in the castle and marble statues everywhere. We asked a local on Coronado Island where to find good food to eat and he sent us to an authentic Tacqueria in the barrio which served beef, pork, chicken, intestines and brains. It scared most of my troopmates but I trusted our leader and we bravely marched in, waited in line, and had a fantastic meal and a fantastic story to go with it.
Traveling can help you learn more from experience and to grow your life skills. Traveling has helped me learn more about myself and how responsible a person I can be by stepping up my leadership skills. It has allowed me to have a little bit more freedom in what I did and what I could be responsible for. Whether I have been camping with my troop, traveling across the state, or visiting another state with my troop or traveling out of country with my family, traveling has helped me to grow in small ways and big ways. From the very beginning with first grade camping to this past summer in California, we were allowed to choose all the clothes that we wore and had to make sure that it matched the weather plans. “Be Prepared” is a great motto when it comes to weather. If I’m on top of a fourteener or a day at the ocean, “Be Prepared” for all types of weather. An example was in Sequoia National Forest. We hiked into the wilderness area with our backcountry gear for four days. It was really sunny in the beginning of the day and the girls believed that it would be nice throughout the day and we just wearing shorts and a hoodie and then half way through the day it turned to cold weather with hail and rain. We were all really cold and we learned that we needed to be more responsible and check the weather the night before and the morning of. We were glad we had tons of camping experience to help us to be prepared for changes. Another example would be only using public transit in San Francisco. Our leaders left the rental cars at the airport and for four days, we only used public transit. I had done this all over China and I knew what to expect. However, it was a great experience for my troopmates to learn how to read bus maps, ferry maps, and train schedules. Even learning how to buy train tickets was new to them. My sister and I patiently taught them one at a time how to do it. It was great to teach a new skill and to keep it girl-led. Lots of girls said they had the confidence to travel or go to college outside of Colorado after that trip. And experiencing Travel can only give you that confidence. Confidence to go and explore. Confidence to learn new skills. Confidence to make a difference in the world.
What experience, skills, knowledge and other attributes can you bring toward this trip?
I have strong leadership skills as a result of leading my troop campouts, trips, and events. My troop is girl-led which enabled me to lead others on a regular and consistent basis from a very young age. I was also selected to my school’s Leadership Team out of 500 students. I am one of 15 students that make all the leadership decisions for my school which include social activities, fundraisers, field trips, and more. We are constantly doing team building exercises and given tasks to help us think outside of the box in terms of solving problems and conflict resolution.
I have a can-do attitude and am a positive person. I have enough common sense to know when it is better to reorganize your thought process versus sticking through something to very end. Sometimes you need to have tremendous perseverance to get a job done or to see it through a rough patch. Sometimes you need to take a step-back and reorganize your thoughts. I think I have enough common sense to do both and when to make the right choice.
I am interested in STEM-based learning. I excel at science and math, and to be able to combine some of these skills at the sea turtle retreat will be fun. I can’t wait to see the turtle laying their eggs.
Please share anything else we should know about you to consider you for this scholarship.
My plan is to have fun and learn a lot about sea turtles and Costa Rica while I am there so I can come back and talk to other girls and Girl Scouts about my experience. Traveling and learning new things is vitally important. It is important for other girls to know that they can achieve their dreams. If I can do it, so can they. I want to help educate others and this is the perfect opportunity.
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 atgirlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.