Girl Scout Turned World Traveler

There’s a time in every adventurer’s life where they begin to identify themselves simply by the term “traveler” – maybe it’s an epiphany of sorts, in a foreign country that feels like home. Or, perhaps it’s an evolution of your identity to describe all the amazing traits you’re proud of – being curious, being authentic, being open-minded. For me, it was a combination of the two, a natural transition into a confident, worldly person – an outcome I attribute to the experiences I had throughout my childhood. Experiences and opportunities that I had because I joined Girl Scout troop 5432 (no, I didn’t make it up and yes, we had the coolest troop number in town).

Fast-forward twenty years and here I am, working for Club Adventures as an Associate Marketing Specialist, helping launch a global line of Girl Scout-inspired trips for adult women in partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA. I’m excited to share  three ways being a Girl Scout led me to where I am today as a traveler, and how you can explore the world with Girl Scouts and Club Adventures.

Rachel in the Galapagos

The Girl Scout Mindset

Some of the most influential times in a young woman’s life happen in her childhood. I didn’t realize what a profound impact being part of an organization like Girl Scouts had on me at the time, but looking back now, the ideas they embody (like inclusion, leadership, curiosity, and determination) being introduced to me at such a young age pushed me to have the confidence to start traveling abroad when I was just thirteen. At every campfire or volunteer event, I was meeting other girls and women who were outspoken, responsible, self-assured, and kind. They were role models for me as I searched for who I would become. The common thread? They all loved to travel. I remember looking up to some of the older girls in my hometown and hearing their stories of hiking in the Swiss Alps while staying at World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centre, Our Chalet. I remember how different they seemed when they returned home, and I wanted to know their secret (spoiler – it’s the post-trip glow).

Rachel climbing a wall on a Girl Scout trip

Cookie Time

Maybe I’m different in this regard, but cookie season to me was never truly about the cookies (Samoas®, please forgive me). In my ten-year-old mind, it was time to start planning my next adventure. Cookie season let me dip my toe into budgeting, and how my troop could use the funding we received from the Girl Scout Cookie Program to explore the world. We’d set some aside for donations and volunteering, but my mind was always focused on where we could go and what we could learn. I’d calculate exactly how many boxes of cookies I’d need to sell for a hotel room in Savannah, Georgia, to visit Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace (the founder of Girl Scouts), and then one day we finally went! This early experience with fundraising and budgeting led me down a long road of bake sales and selling artwork to fund my first trip to Europe, and again three years later it would fund my adventure throughout the South Pacific. These were the life skills I needed to continue checking off new countries each year into my twenties and hopefully for many more years to come.

Rachel holding a horseshoe crab on her troop’s visit to Savannah, Georgia

Difference Is a Superpower

The most important lesson I learned in Girl Scouts is that your differences – both your own and others’ – are your greatest strengths. It taught me to accept others and keep an open mind, which would be reinforced time and time again throughout my travels. But, most of all, it taught me that everyone has something to share, and differences can often lead to an even greater experience. Cross cultural exchanges are one of the greatest gifts of travel, and by embracing differences you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a destination for an infinitely more rewarding adventure.

Rachel with a giant tortoise in the Galapagos

Where You Can Go Next

While crafting these tours in partnership with Girl Scouts, we made sure to bake in plenty of Girl Scout-inspired experiences. Explore trendy Charleston and Savannah with an exclusive biscuit-making class and an after-hours event at The Birthplace. Or, head to Morocco to explore the maze-like medinas and roast s’mores over a campfire in the Sahara. Maybe you’re looking to visit the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centre, Our Chalet – we’ve got our Italian Lakes and Swiss Chalet Adventure too! Last, but certainly not least, you can visit the breathtaking Galápagos Islands to snorkel with sea lions and turtles, and connect with your fellow travelers over a dessert and chat with your Girl Scout host (this trip is sold out for this year – but join the waitlist now!).

If you’re in the Girl Scout community, you’ll always find a like-minded friend wherever your next adventure may take you. So, embrace the Girl Scout mindset like I did as a child. Step outside your comfort zone, connect with locals, and explore this incredible world we call home. See where you can go with Girl Scouts and Club Adventures here.

Rachel Jordan is the Associate Marketing Specialist for Club Adventures. In her role, she manages the implementation of comprehensive marketing strategies, while continually enhancing the strength of the Club Adventures brand. Rachel is also an avid traveler and blogger and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development. She continues to expand her comfort zone by exploring as many new cultures and destinations as possible.