\Madeline Engblom, a 13–year-old member of Girl Scouts of the USA from Escondido recently embarked on a 15-day Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure course with Outward Bound Costa Rica (OBCR).
Alongside Girl Scouts from all over the country, Madeline travelled to Panama to participate in the conservation efforts of endangered sea turtles and to explore the archipelago of Bocas del Toro while learning how to scuba dive.
In the San San Pond Sak wetlands, on the Caribbean coast of Panama, Madeline and her GSUSA group participated in a multi-day service project to help the endangered leatherback sea turtle population, working with local biologists to build habitats, catalogue nests, measure, weigh and release hatchings and perform night patrols to protect mama turtles as they lay their eggs.
Madeline and her fellow Girl Scouts then traveled to the remote island of Solarte, located in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, where they learned about the area’s diverse ecology and exotic marine life. From the island basecamp, Madeline and her group earned their NAUI Scuba Diver Certification and participated in a once- in-a-lifetime night dive through bioluminescent waters and tried their hand at wakeboarding.
“Outward Bound Costa Rica’s programs, like the one Madeline participated in, create environments that allow for personal and leadership development through challenges, group effort and cross-cultural understanding,” said Jim Rowe, executive director of Outward Bound Costa Rica.
Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has been partnered with Girl Scouts of the USA to offer unique and exciting Girl Scouts Destinations trips in Costa Rica and Panama. These trips provide young girls the opportunity to see the world, meet fellow Girl Scouts from across the nation and challenge themselves through adventure in unfamiliar settings.