Girl Scouts in Oregon and Southwest Washington are making quite the splash on the international and national stage! This past month, girls, volunteers and staff have participated in Girl Scouting at the global level or have made progress on planned national and international trips.
The Travel Volunteer Team is excited to announce that four Girl Scouts have been selected to receive the Girl Scouts USA D-Pass Scholarship! These scholarships are provided by Girl Scouts USA to help girls attend Girl Scout destination events. The 2013 recipients are:
- Alexandrea Moon of Aumsville, Oregon who will be traveling to Alabama to attend the Advanced Space Academy. Alexandrea will get to train like an astronaut, experience engineering challenges, shuttle mission and trainings, simulators and a chance to use her skills at the Area 51 Leadership Reaction course.
- Emily Rushing of Jefferson, Oregon who will be traveling to Georgia to participate in Adrenaline Rush. She will get to try white water rafting, mountain biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, zip lines and more.
- Allie Kehret of Keizer, Oregon who will be traveling north to the San Juan area to learn about kayaking, who and what else lives in this special habitat and how as a team they can live together and survive in the outdoors.
- Elizabeth Rushing of Jefferson, Oregon who will be traveling to China to volunteer at one of the most progressive panda centers in the world. She will be helping to ensure the survival of this endangered species while performing community service projects and helping with panda research projects.
Congratulations to all of these recipients and look for more information about each of them in future blog posts!
Rhianna Taniguchi was selected by Girl Scouts USA to represent our national organization at the 8th Annual Helen Storrow Seminar at Our Chalet in Switzerland. The seminar welcomes over 30 women from around the world to discuss environmental issues and leadership development. She spent time attending personal develop sessions and discussing topics such as the current condition of our planet, global warming and climate change. She was also able to explore the building, go snowshoeing and sledding. As part of the program the representatives are all developing action plans for their local communities, regions or nation and are being provided with step by step planning guides to effectively turn their visions into reality. To read more about Rhianna’s adventure, check out her national blog post: http://gsuniv.org/globalexchange/2013/03/18/leading-for-a-greener-future-from-the-swiss-alps/
Finally, Sarah Johnson, Director of Girl Leadership Experiences, had the opportunity to speak with a group of participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. These visitors are part of more than 5,000 international visitors who annually visit the United States as part of this professional exchange program. The program allows current and emerging foreign leaders to experience the United States first hand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.
This is the third time GSOSW has been asked to sponsor a discussion with international visitors from this program. This group included visitors from Bahrain, Ghana, Israel, Macedonia, Mauritius, Palestinian Territories, Saudia Arabia and Vietnam. The group learned about Girl Scout, our history, program delivery model and outcomes. They talked about how Girl Scouts has been able to sustain as an organization for more than 100 years and how the organization and delivery has changed throughout the time. The group discussed organizations in their home countries that support youth development and how they might be able to use some parts from our model to reach more youth.
The discussion included a tour of the Portland Service Center and a trip to the Girl Scout store for souvenirs.
“This opportunity means a great deal to the council and to me as the sharing of ideas and how we can globally make a difference for girls will have a huge impact. The more we can encourage girls to travel and participate in programs that develop leadership the more progress will be made and our futures will be that much brighter,” Sarah Johnson said.
After the discussion, the visitors had the opportunity to help with an event sponsored by SOLVE where a group of Girl Scouts were volunteering, which was a great way to reinforce what they has learned about our program and how girls lead and give service in their local communities.
For more information about how you can travel with Girl Scouts please visit: http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/events/travel