Girl Scout Troop 6604 Make Lasting Memories Throughout Costa Rica and Panama


Four Girl Scouts and their parents from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois recently embarked on a 10-day adventure with us. On this unique course, the girls stepped out of their comfort zone through a variety of adventure activities—volunteering on service projects in Talamanca, travelling across the border to Panama, and participating in the conservation efforts of endangered sea turtles.

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In Talamanca, the troop lodged in the Alto Katsi indigenous community and began working on their service project—painting a local classroom. In their downtime, they had Bri Bri lessons, the indigenous community’s native language, with a local teacher Don Victor. The group formed close bonds with the people they met in Alto Katsi, and were sad to leave their new friends.


From Talamanca, it was onto their next adventure heading across the border and into the San San Pond Sak wetlands on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Here the Girl Scouts 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 hatchlings and perform night patrols to protect newly hatched sea turtles.

After a rich cultural experience in Panama, the group returned to Costa Rica to tackle Class II and III rapids on the Pejibaye River and visit a local organic coffee plantation and butterfly farm. To conclude their adventure, the Girl Scouts went on a city tour of San Jose and visited the local Artisan Market.



Each Girl Scout and parent on this expedition had an enlightening and transformative experience. We’d love to share a taste of what each one of them took from their time out on course, as well as brief letters from their instructors, Donna and Molly:



Becky (left) and Olivia (right)

Olivia: “I learned to be more independent and strong. This will help my future be better because I learned to do a lot of things by myself.”

Instructors: “You were so great at bringing out the best in others and always made everyone smile and be themselves. We encourage you to use your voice because what you have to say is important.”

Becky: “It was challenging, but well worth it! The course gives you life long skills and memorable relationships. I learned that I can go out of my comfort zone!

Instructors: “You are a hard worker and set a positive example daily of how to live and learn outside of your comfort zone. You are incredibly beautiful inside and out. Trust your voice and know that what you have to say is important and will be heard.”



From left to right: Nannette, Ashton, Anna, and John

From left to right: Nannette, Ashton, Anna, and John

Anna: “I learned that I can get attached to people fast. Even if we don’t speak the same language.”

Instructors: “You are incredibly spirited and bright. You were great at communicating and interacting with the local communities without speaking their language. Remember to slow down your pace so you have time to appreciate all the incredible experiences life has to offer you.”

Ashton: “We became a really close family. I also learned that I am a good cook and my future cooking will be way better than it was before I came here.”

Instructors: “You are strong and confident in your abilities. You are a natural leader, and a great problem solver too! Continue to think outside of the box and to explore new paths.”

Nannette: “It went beyond my expectations. It’s more than just an adventure to help others. It’s about learning who you really are. And stepping outside of your box. I will try everyday to allow my kids use what they have learned.”

Instructors: “You were willing to be a sponge and soak up all this experience had to offer and transfer it back to your life at home. You are a strong, confident, and intuitive woman. Listen to your inner voice and continue to reflect in your daily life.”

John: “It’s a very safe experience for novice travellers. I learned that my life is too rushed. I need to sit back and enjoy my time here on this earth. The locals have taught me happiness is what you make of it.”

Instructors: “You fully immersed yourself in the culture and made lasting friendships with people you could not speak to using your words. We so appreciate you consistently asking questions with a desire to learn to infinity! Stay curious.




Betsy (left) and Emma Jean (right)

Emma Jean: “It was life-changing, mind-growing, and out of my comfort zone awesome. I learned that I can still talk to someone without actually speaking their language. My favorite part was releasing 88 turtles in one night. It was so cool to know they all made it to the water. I was so happy to see them make it to the ocean.”

Instructors: “You are smart, out-going, and organized. You have a clear view of who you are and you stay true to yourself. You’re fiercely loyal to others and put their needs above your own. It is important to nurture yourself as well as others.”

Betsy (Troop Leader): “It’s a vacation that is mind altering, life altering, and a dream you never want to wake up from. We will never take a ‘regular vacation’ again!”

Instructors: “You are such a hard worker and open to new experiences. You learned to trust others more, and have an incredible capacity for love. Continue to ask questions to learn more about yourself and the wonderful world around you. ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.’ -Thoreau”



Interested in traveling abroad on a Custom Group?

Surf, hike, raft, scuba, kayak, and more on a Group Program with your students, family, friends, Girl Scout troop, or co-workers.

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 Contact our Custom Courses & Partnerships Manager at 800-676-2018 or by emailing