In 1986, I was a nervous 7th grade Cadette Girl Scout applying to attend my first Wider Opportunity. I completed my application and found three references. On interview day, I put on my Girl Scout uniform, was driven to the Girl Scout Office, and nervously answered questions about why I wanted to attend National Center West in Wyoming to ride horses for two weeks. Seven months later, I was boarding a plane for the first time and by myself, hugging (and probably crying) my family as I walked though the gate (back then your family could see you to the gate).
For the next five years from 1987-1991, I attended five Girl Scout Wider Opportunities. In 1987 and 1988 I traveled to Wyoming to ride horses. In 1989 I went to Topeka, Kansas for a volleyball camp at the University of Kansas. In 1990 I hiked part of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In 1991 I studied marine biology in San Francisco.
1987: Wyoming, Morgan and I
1988: Wyoming, Freeman and I
1990: White Mountains, New Hampshire
1991: San Francisco
Girl Scouts gave me the foundation for a curiosity about the world and a love of travel. As an adult, I studied abroad in England (University of Nottingham) and South Africa, earning my Master’s from Rhodes University in South Africa. I have visited 29 countries and have lifelong friends around the world.
Since leaving high school, I have been a volunteer for Girl Scouts. I was in Campus Scouts in college, assisted with a Girl Guide troop for a year while I studied in South Africa, volunteered at events, and in 2007 took a group of girls to the WAGGGS World Centre Our Chalet in Switzerland (read that blog!).
Since 2012, I have been volunteering with GSGCNWI on the Global Action Volunteer Team. Our team works to make sure that girls learn about global issues, and we share our love of travel to help inspire girls to see the country and the world. Girl Scouts can still apply to Destinations (formerly called Wider Ops when I was a girl) for travel all around the world. It’s an especially important time for girls to stay connected and educated with issues that effect girls around the world.
Our Global Action Volunteer Team logo!
One of my bucket list items has always been to visit the WAGGGS World Centre, Sangam, in Pune, India. This summer I finally have that chance, as a chaperone on a GS Destination to India. This trip is for the girls, but I am beyond excited to experience a new country (my #30!) as they do. We will visit Pune, Delhi, and Agra (Taj Mahal!) over the next few weeks.
The girls (and one chaperone) fly in from all around the US, and we will meet in Chicago Sunday to start our journey together. Our local girls have planned some activities in Chicago for Sunday & Monday, and then we are off to India Monday night!
I hope you will follow my blog and instagram as we go on this journey to India!