By Alexandra Dailey
Every girl needs to have her own taste of adventure at some point. Step away from home and experience a new place, culture, and way of life while meeting new people along the journey. The Girl Scout Destinations program facilitates such experiences. The Destination trips take place all over the country and even overseas. On these trips girls expand their leadership skills, improve their self-confidence, and also learn valuable lessons about themselves and others.
Last summer Gabby Gafford, a GSNETX Real Girl Honoree, and Chelsea Priscak both were accepted into and participated in the Oxford Leadership Youth Program – Find the Leader Inside Girlz, traveling to New York for their Girl Scout Destinations trip. Gabby and Chelsea, along with several other fellow Girl Scouts and chaperones, stayed at Stony Point Retreat in New Jersey for the Leadership Program before heading to the big city. “During the Leadership Program, the exercises required me to do a lot of self-searching and examination of my inner self, to understand who I am and what type of leadership skills I possess,” said Gabby. Such analyzing and examining of one’s self can be exhausting, but it surely did not wear out Gabby, Chelsea, or the other scouts too much because they kept busy seeing all they could of the Big Apple (and of course doing some NYC shopping)!
The group toured the city, setting their eyes upon and visiting landmarks such as Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Broadway. “My favorite experience in New York was attending the play Phantom of the Opera,” said Gabby.
The girls also spent time at the GSUSA Headquarters, where according to Chelsea they “…even…received a special message from Anna Marie Chavez (Chief Executive Officer of GSUSA) herself!”. Chelsea enjoyed her time in New York so much that she’s applied for two more Destinations trips this year! “It was so incredible and so much fun!” said Chelsea.
This is an experience and opportunity that surely neither Gabby nor Chelsea will forget anytime soon. Being able to see a different part of the country, tour the large, colorful city that is New York, and of course make new friends while growing and becoming stronger scouts and women is an experience that they will cherish forever. For more information about Destinations, visit www.gsnetx.org/destinations.