It's hard to believe Michaela Zimmerman, at 13 years of age, not only lives in China as a member of USA Girl Scouts Overseas, but is ready to travel 8000+ miles to get to Costa Rica for this summer's Rainforest River & Reef Girl Scout course.
She explains, "This would give me a great opportunity to go [to Costa Rica] and learn about their country, their culture, and their rainforests... because I am a very eco-friendly person who loves the outdoors... and interested in learning a lot about it.... I want to experience Central America.... Some of my friends are from there. I want to experience its culture, history, environment, and archeology.... I think it would be nice to meet some other girls that are Girl Scouts around America and the world.... Since we will be doing a homestay I think this is a great time to use my Spanish and practice it. This will help me in my school next year and with my communication skills. At the homestay, I would also like to learn about the Costa Rican culture and about their foods...."
Michaela has lived in China for eleven years, seven of which she's been active in Girl Scouts. She travels (including places like Thailand), cooks, kayaks, hikes, camps, plays piano, acts, and scuba dives. Not just that, "Michaela is a natural leader," says her Western Academy of Beijing principal. This is evident in her role as Vice President of Student Council and as the creator of a school play. "She is a good role model for others... and is able to quickly determine the strengths of individuals and utilize these in what works best for an ensemble," explains her drama teacher.
As all Costa Rica Outward Bound courses require each student to fulfill the role as leader (called a "cacique") for one of the days on course, Michaela will transition into this role quite nicely.
"Overall I think that this camp is a very good chance for me to see the best of Costa Rica and to have fun with other Girl Scouts."
*The Destinations program, on behalf of Girl Scouts USA, is a chance for members to participate in enriching travel and adventure opportunities, ages 11-18. Girl Scouts must apply through their respective Councils. Applications consist of an essay explaining their ambition to attend, two recommendations describing her as a qualified participant, and a general Q&A portion.
Costa Rica Outward Bound has been a Destination location for more than five years. In 2010, there are four Destinations for ages 13-18: Underwater Explorers, Rainforest River & Reef, Service Challenge, and Catching Waves. Click on the studio2b links on their respective crrobs.org pages to find the applications.