Girl Scouts love to travel—from the field trips they take as Brownies to the global adventures they go on as teens—they love exploring different places and cultures.
This year, four Girl Scouts from Northeastern New York: Winter, Kaitlyn, Sierra, and Keirsten (along with adult chaperone Jamie) had the opportunity to travel from London, England to Lucerne, Switzerland as part of the Girl Scouts travel program. They join 30 other Girl Scouts—adults and girls from across the country—on a trip designed just for Girl Scouts through EF Tours. On an EF tour, girls play an active role in the planning and tour process. Taking on responsibilities and being engaged in the process is a powerful way to gain leadership skills that will benefit them long after the tour has ended.
Winter, Kaitlyn, Sierra, and Keirsten were able to fund the trip using Expert Entrepreneur and other product sales funding and well as money earning activities. Planning in advance helps to make the payment of the trip much more manageable.
The Girls kicked off their trip flying out of JFK international airport. They spent three days in London where they took a trip to the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone, one of the most important historical objects in the world and the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs. Their stay also included walking tours of London, Westminster, and Windsor Castle.
From London, the group traveled to Paris via Kings Cross station—stopping for a photo op by the famous Platform 9 3/4. In Paris, the Girls toured Notre Dame Cathedral, had the option to take a river cruise down the Seine, spend a day and Disneyland Paris, and toured Versailles while learning about the French Revolution. They also celebrated France's World Cup win!
In Switzerland, the group stopped by Our Chalet, one of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centres. Located in the Swiss Alps, Our Chalet is the first WAGGGS World Centre and hosts year-round activities such as leadership seminars for families and friends of Girl Scouting. The Girls participated in a pinning ceremony before leaving for Lucerne where they toured the Lion Monument and Kapellbrücke.
This Fearsome Foursome heads back to the States with new memories and friends alike. But beyond sharing experiences, these go-getters learned to take healthy risks. Just like in Girl Scouting, we want girls to use travel as a way to build their skills in the following areas:
- Goal Setting: The first step is for girls to set the goal of an international trip and figure out how they are going to accomplish this goal.
- Decision Making: Girls will need to agree on what kind of trip they want to take, and then decide together where and when they want to go.
- Money Management: Girls learn important financial skills including budgeting and financial literacy. They can set a budget for the tour, taking into account things like tips and activities not included in the itinerary.
- Business Ethics: Planning the money-earning strategy is a great way to learn valuable business skills and enforce how the girls are honest and responsible in every business activity. Business ethics also reinforce the positive values each girl is developing as a Girl Scout.
- People Skills: Learning how to talk to, listen to and work with all kinds of people is such an important life skill. Girls will develop these skills before tour through money-earning events and promoting the tour with other Girl Scouts. On tour, they will interact with different cultures, perhaps in a different language, strengthening their communication skills and global awareness.