In honor of International Day of the Girl 2016, we asked photographer and international guide Christine Armbruster to share her experience introducing girls and young women to the extraordinary experience of worldwide travel and adventure.
Next time you see a Girl Scout selling cookies, ask them what they are raising money for.
You might hear that it’s a fundraiser to go to a local camp, a troop trip, or you may hear an answer that you are envious of — sea kayaking in Greece, trekking in Patagonia, horseback riding in Mongolia. Dream trips most adults think are impossible to see through. But these Girl Scouts are 14 to 18-years-old, with more passport stamps and adventure stories than many adults I know. It pays to stick with Scouts.
These travel opportunities are called Destinations. Experiences designed exclusively for older Girl Scouts, Destinations offer international trips to six continents (and we are currently working to make it seven).
I work for a company called ATS Destinations, one of the largest Girl Scout trip providers, with a specific focus on being active and embracing the outdoors. Walking on glaciers in Iceland, a fifty mile hike circumnavigating Mont Blanc, bikepacking in Denmark — this is what we do. And it is exclusive for Girl Scouts.
Standing at the bottom of the only intact dormant volcano in the world, I had a girl turn to me and say, “I would like to try traveling the world by myself. I think I am ready.”
It’s like graduation day. The moment one of my Girl Scouts realizes that she has seen more than most adults, has more adventures under her belt than the average person, and yet she is still just a teenager, is the moment she realizes her potential to take on the world — no matter what it throws her way.
Why is this important, and important to highlight on the International Day of the Girl? Because not only do these Destinations encourage girls to get out and see the world — they teach them to see it in a different light. Destinations also teach girls to see themselves in a different light, by pushing them to explore their own mental and physical limits.
So next time you see Girl Scouts selling cookies, ask what they are selling them for. Then buy a few extra boxes and encourage the young girls you know to get out and see the world for themselves.
Christine Armbruster is an instructor for ATS and a commercial photographer focusing on the outdoors. To visit her work visit her website and follow her on Instagram. To find out more about these Destinations, visit http://www.ATSdestinations.com.