Girl Scouts offer global travel – and outer space training


BriaSloaneDestinations
Bria Sloane of Bolton, Vermont, got to train as if she were actually going to the International Space Station (L) and experiences the twists and turns of a multi-axis trainer at the Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama (R). She was participating in a week-long Space Camp trip through Girl Scouts of the USA. She is a Girl Scout Cadette with great interest in STEM fields. (Courtesy photo)

Bria Sloane of Bolton experienced life as an astronaut at Space Camp

BOLTON, VT – Girl Scout Destinations are the ultimate in adventure for individual girls who want to travel the world! Girl Scouts make friends everywhere, have life-changing experiences, and pack their bags with inspiring memories. This year, Girl Scouts from Vermont and New Hampshire are traveling to the Galapagos Islands, Japan, Australia, Europe, South Africa, and more. Bria Sloane, a Girl Scout from Bolton, Vermont, applied and was selected for a Destinations trip to the Space Academy in Alabama for an out-of-this-world experience at Space Camp. Bria represented New Hampshire in this program with Girl Scouts from across the country.

Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama, allows “trainees” to “experience firsthand the future of space travel and train to solve technically challenging anomalies in order to complete their space mission,” according to its website. Both adults and children can spend up to a week practicing teambuilding activities, leadership training, and engineering skills as they are challenged to work together on a simulated space flight mission.

Bria, who is starting eighth grade this fall, is a Girl Scout Cadette who has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and space. “It just sounded super cool!” she said. “So I wanted to do it. I decided to do it with Girl Scouts because it looked fun.”

She was surprised and pleased to find that the camp has a real space shuttle, a mockup of the International Space Station, and a multi-axis trainer. The multi-axis chair is like a human gyroscope, she said, which astronauts in the past used as part of their training. “I was fine, because your center of gravity stays the same the whole time,” she said, despite the device turning her every which way.

Simulating space travel and all that goes with it is a big part of the Space Camp experience. “We would be assigned a role, like a real job, and we would train for an hour and then do the simulation by ourselves,” Bria said. “If something went wrong, we had to fix it.” One simulation scenario was a trip to the moon and back. “So for that,” she said, “I was on the ground and would ask the spaceship how are you doing, how are experiments going, and things like that. And the other simulation that we did was a shuttle went up to the ISS (International Space Station), and then came back down. They have a mockup of the space station that astronauts train on. It feels very real!”

With 42 new badges just released by Girl Scouts of the USA, there are even more opportunities for girls to challenge themselves in areas like space science and robotics. Three new space science badges allow girls to explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspiring careers in space science – funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute.

“It was cool to see a lot of people all at one time who are all interested in STEM,” Bria said, happy to be surrounded by so many people with a common interest.

Destinations brings together Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts from all over the country for amazing summer and winter adventures filled with nature, culture, service, art, science, and more. Any girl in grades 6-12 can apply, and can become a Girl Scout just for the travel opportunities. See more about Girl Scout Destinations and travel at http://bit.ly/GS-trips

Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership. Girl Scouts fuels the female leadership pipeline -  80% of female tech leaders were Girl Scouts. Whether she’s building a robotic arm, coding her first app, packing for her first hike, or simulating a moon landing, a Girl Scout has an exciting array of choices to suit her interests at any age.


About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.