GIRL SCOUT DESTINATIONS

Experience an unforgettable adventure with fellow Girl Scouts from across the nation! Our destinations courses in Costa Rica and Panama will give you an opportunity to visit remote rainforest villages with family homestays, serve indigenous communities, scuba dive among the colorful coral reefs of the Caribbean Ocean, protect the region’s fragile ecosystem, and catch waves on famous warm water breaks. Immerse yourself in a new language and culture while discovering your inner strengths and creating life-long friendships.

Our destinations courses are open to current members of Girl Scouts of the USA. Girl Scouts must apply to participate through the GSUSA Destinations program and be between 13-18 years old at the time of course.

LOOKING FOR A LIFE-CHANGING ADVENTURE WITH YOUR GIRL SCOUT TROOP?

Beyond our destinations program, Outward Bound Costa Rica has welcomed Girl Scouts troops from across the nation on customized courses to meet their group objectives. From sea turtle conservation projects, to cultural family homestays, to learning how to surf, we can collaborate with you to build a memorable and unique troop experience in Costa Rica or Panama.

Contact our Group Programs & Partnerships Manager for more information on how to design a troop course.

APPLY NOW!

Girl Scouts must first submit a completed application to be considered for our destinations program. Please be sure which specify which session(s) you are applying for and to rank your preferences (1 being your top choice) if you are applying for multiple destinations and sessions with Outward Bound Costa Rica. You originally will only be accepted to one destination with Outward Bound Costa Rica but can later be considered to attend additional destinations once you enroll.

Girl-Scouts-Download-A-Destinations-Application
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For early applications (deadline: December 1, 2013): All acceptance notices will be emailed by January 16, 2013. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we will be unable to answer any questions related to your acceptance status before this date. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Note: Deposits for early application acceptances are due no later than February 1, 2014.

New applicants welcome on a rolling basis! Once first round acceptances are announced, we accept Girl Scouts for our upcoming destinations on a space available basis. Contact our Girl Scout Coordinator to learn more about course availability and how to submit your application. Please note that late applications must be sent via fax or email to ensure a timely arrival.


ALL DESTINATIONS

RAINFOREST, RIVER, & REEF

RAINFOREST, RIVER, & REEF
AT A GLANCE

DURATION: 14 Days

DATES: Session 1: 7/5 – 7/19; Session 2: 7/19 – 8/2

TUITION: $2,050

ACTIVITIES:

  • Rainforest Trek: 3-4 Days
  • Cultural Homestay: 3-4 Days
  • Beach Phase: 3 Days
  • Community Service: 1-2 Days
  • Whitewater Rafting: 1 Day
  • Ziplining & City Tour: 1 Day

COMMUNITY SERVICE: 1 Day

GIRL SCOUT PROFILE:

  • Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the course
  • Sincere interest in language and cultural exchange
  • Good team player
  • Prepared for a physically demanding challenge. You should be ready to backpack 2-10 hours per day with a full size (35+ pounds) pack for 7-9 days.
  • Intermediate-level swimmer who is comfortable in the water (for rafting and beach days)

COURSE REGIONS: Costa Rica (San José, Cartago, and Puntarenas Provinces)

DOWNLOAD PACKING LIST (PDF)

RAINFOREST, RIVER, & REEF

Whether you’re trekking through the lush tropical cloud and rainforests, rafting down whitewater rivers, or zipping through the canopy, you will discover your strengths on this unforgettable adventure! On our Rainforest, River, & Reef course, you will immerse yourself in the culture with traditional family homestays, give back with a day of service, and experience everything from exploring a world-renowned beach to visiting the vibrant, bustling artisan market of San José.

After gearing up at our rainforest base camp in the mountains, the journey will begin with a multi-day hiking trek into one of the most remote regions of Costa Rica. Hike and learn about wildlife and the local flora and fauna while gaining insight into the mysteries of the rainforest and the people who live there. Experience a variety of homestays with local families – learning about their language, culture, and overall way of life and helping them with some of their traditional activities such as harvesting and grinding sugarcane, making tortillas from scratch, and playing soccer with local children. Challenge yourself physically by participating in fun activities including an 80-ft waterfall rappel!

Next you will find yourself at Manuel Antonio, an idyllic Pacific Coast beach where you will spend your time spotting monkeys, sloths, and tree frogs. Finish out your experience by braving the rapids while whitewater rafting, ziplining on a canopy tour and experiencing the vibrant culture of San José during a city tour.

COSTA RICA & PANAMA SERVICE CHALLENGE

COSTA RICA & PANAMA SERVICE CHALLENGE
AT A GLANCE

DURATION: 14 Days

DATES: Session 1: 6/21 – 7/5; Session 2: 7/5 – 7/19

TUITION: $2,050

ACTIVITIES:

  • Community Service: 6-7 Days
  • Sea Turtle Conservation: 4 Days
  • Whitewater Rafting: 1 Day
  • Ziplining & City Tour: 1 Day

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION: (PDF)

COMMUNITY SERVICE: 10 Days (Est. 60-65 hours)

GIRL SCOUT PROFILE:

  • Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the course
  • Interest in community service and cultural exchange
  • Ready for a physical fitness challenge
  • Spanish language skills and interest very useful
  • Intermediate-level swimmer who is comfortable in the water
  • A good team player

COURSE REGIONS: Panama (Bocas del Toro Province); Costa Rica (San José, Cartago, and Limon Provinces)

DOWNLOAD PACKING LIST (PDF)

COSTA RICA & PANAMA SERVICE CHALLENGE

Our Costa Rica & Panama Service Challenge gives you an exciting opportunity to experience new cultures through service projects and adventure activities. On this 14-day course, you will dedicate your time to assisting with community projects in an indigenous village in Costa Rica and to protecting the unique and fragile ecosystem of Panama. Meet other Girl Scouts, expand your cultural awareness, and leave Costa Rica and Panama better than you found it.

You will begin your first major service project in the indigenous region of Talamanca, Costa Rica. While staying in a remote village, you will work with your group to support the local community. Projects may include food distribution, garden building, painting, teaching English, building aqueducts and recycling projects. Learn about native customs, culture, language, and food while making an active contribution to the community.

For your second major service project, you will travel just across the border of Costa Rica to protect the diverse marine life located along the Caribbean Coast of northern Panama. Learn about and protect Panama’s beautiful and interesting ecosystems while working on a sea turtle conservation project. Assist with local conservation efforts through activities such as nightly patrols, cataloging nests, habitat creation, and (hopefully!) releasing newly hatched baby turtles into the wild. You may also participate in other service projects such as beach clean-ups and/or trail preservation.

When you are not engaged in service projects, experience an action-packed adventure while braving the rapids on a day of whitewater rafting, zipping through the treetops on a canopy tour, and soaking in the vibrant culture of Costa Rica’s capital city of San José with a visit to a local artisan market.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE THROUGH GSUSA!

15 scholarships worth $500 of financial assistance, available to select participants. Fill out a scholarship application.

SCUBA & SEA TURTLE ADVENTURE

SCUBA & SEA TURTLE ADVENTURE
AT A GLANCE

DURATION: 14 Days

DATES: Session 1: 6/21-7/5; Session 2: 7/5–7/19; Session 3: 7/19-8/2

TUITION: $2,050

ACTIVITIES:

  • Scuba Diving: 5 Days
  • Sea Turtle Conservation: 4-5 Days
  • Whitewater Rafting: 1 Day
  • Sailing Tour: 1 Day
  • Ziplining & City Tour: 1 Day

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION: (PDF)

COMMUNITY SERVICE: 3-4 Days (Est. 16-24 hours)

CERTIFICATIONS: Scuba Diver or Advanced Scuba Diver Certification (National Association of Underwater Instructors). Participants under 15 will be eligible for junior scuba diver certifications.

GIRL SCOUT PROFILE:

  • Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the course
  • Sincere interest in conservation and cultural exchange
  • Good team player
  • Intermediate-level swimmer who is comfortable in the water
  • Both beginner & advanced scuba divers welcome!

COURSE REGIONS: Panama (Bocas del Toro Province); Costa Rica (San José, Cartago, and Limon Provinces)

DOWNLOAD PACKING LIST (PDF)

SCUBA & SEA TURTLE ADVENTURE

Our Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure course will spark your sense of adventure and passion for learning as you discover new depths and gain compassion for the marine life that inhabits the tropical waters of Panama. You will not only explore the crystal clear Caribbean Ocean while scuba diving but will also dedicate time to protecting and learning about the region’s diverse marine life through a meaningful conservation project.

You and your fellow Girl Scouts will spend the majority of your time exploring the beautiful archipelago of Bocas del Toro in northern Panama. In the Caribbean waters, you will have the opportunity to become scuba certified, learn about the diverse coastal ecology, snorkel with colorful reef life, and wakeboard and kneeboard. Additional activities may include sailing on a catamaran, a bike tour of one of the local islands, and limestone cave exploring.

Learn about Panama’s exotic wildlife and ecosystems while assisting with conservation efforts including nightly patrols, cataloging nests, habitat creation, and (hopefully!) releasing newly hatched baby turtles into the wild. You may also participate in additional service projects that include beach clean-ups and/or trail preservation.

Begin and end your adventure in beautiful Costa Rica, where you’ll see the sights during an unforgettable canopy tour ziplining from tree to tree in the mountains of the Central Valley region.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE THROUGH GSUSA!

15 scholarships worth $500 of financial assistance, available to select participants. Fill out a scholarship application.

CATCHING WAVES

CATCHING WAVES
AT A GLANCE

DURATION: 10 Days

DATES: Session 1: 6/21 – 7/1; Session 2: 7/19 – 7/29

TUITION: $1,560

ACTIVITIES:

  • Surfing: 5 Days
  • Community Service: 2-3 Days
  • Whitewater Rafting: 1 Day
  • Ziplining & City Tour: 1 Day

COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS: 2-3 Days (Est. 8-14 hours)

GIRL SCOUT PROFILE:

  • Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the course
  • Sincere interest in language and cultural exchange
  • Good team player
  • Prepared for the physical challenge of surfing
  • Intermediate-level swimmer who is comfortable in the water
  • Beginner surfers welcome!

COURSE REGIONS: Costa Rica (San José, Cartago, Puntarenas, and Guanacaste Provinces)

DOWNLOAD PACKING LIST (PDF)

CATCHING WAVES

Catching Waves is the surf and service adventure of a lifetime! Experience a variety of water and beach-based activities against the backdrop of Costa Rica’s tropical beauty. Learn about surf dynamics and philosophy as well as about the unique coastal ecology of the country’s Pacific Coast.

Our instructors will provide detailed and holistic instruction about how to read waves, tides, and currents. They will give group and personal instruction on surfing – from the first time you stand up on a board to when you catch your first wave. When not surfing, you’ll participate in fun beach activities that may include playing volleyball, soccer, yoga, and jewelry making.

While staying at your beach campsite, you will also participate in cultural exchanges and small service projects that will benefit the local community. The projects will depend on the current needs of the region, but activities may include painting, recycling, teaching English, or environmental restoration projects.

Enjoy adventure activities including a day of whitewater rafting, a day of ziplining on a canopy tour, and a chance to visit an artisan market in Costa Rica’s vibrant capital city of San José.

VENTURE & VOLUNTEER IN COSTA RICA (WINTER SESSION ONLY)

VENTURE & VOLUNTEER IN COSTA RICA (WINTER SESSION ONLY)
AT A GLANCE

DURATION: 9 Days

DATES: Session 1: 12/27/14 – 1/5/15

TUITION: $1,450

ACTIVITIES:

  • Community Service: 5-6 Days
  • Whitewater Rafting: 1 Day
  • Ziplining & City Tour: 1 Day
  • Additional Adventure Activities: 1-2 Days

COMMUNITY SERVICE: 5-6 Days (Est. 30-40 hours)

GIRL SCOUT PROFILE:

  • Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the course
  • Sincere interest in language and cultural exchange
  • Good team player
  • Intermediate-level swimmer who is comfortable in the water (for whitewater rafting day only)

COURSE REGIONS: Costa Rica (San José, Cartago, and Limon Provinces);

DOWNLOAD PACKING LIST (PDF)

VENTURE & VOLUNTEER IN COSTA RICA (WINTER SESSION ONLY)

If you are looking to spend your winter break engaged in a truly meaningful, culturally-rich service experience, our Venture & Volunteer destination is the course for you!

This December, venture to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and immerse yourself in the traditions of an indigenous village where you will work on service projects to support the local community. You will also explore Costa Rica’s natural wonders while whitewater rafting, zipping through the treetops on a canopy tour, and visiting the vibrant artisan market of San José.

Your adventure will begin with your stay in the remote, culturally rich region of Talamanca. There, you will learn the ways of the indigenous Bribri population, whose beliefs revolve around conservation and environmental protection of their lush, natural reservation. Work alongside these communities on meaningful service projects as they teach you about their local customs and traditions, including their local indigenous dialect and cuisine. Projects may include food distribution, garden building, painting, teaching English, building aqueducts, and recycling projects.

When you are not engaged in service projects, test your tenacity while braving the rapids on a day of whitewater rafting and zipping through the treetops on a canopy tour. Finish up your trip by experiencing the vibrant culture of Costa Rica’s capital city of San José, with a visit to a local artisan market.

CLICK FOR ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

SAFETY

HEALTH & MEDICATIONS

FOOD, WATER & SPECIAL DIETS

PACKING

TUITION & FEES

TRAVELING TO COSTA RICA

SAFETY

For over 70 years, Outward Bound worldwide has provided high impact, life skill, and leadership development adventures. We are the industry leader in identifying risk and managing risk in wilderness areas. Risk is part of everyday life, but with our exceptional risk management systems and well-trained professional staff, we continue to be the industry leader.

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HEALTH & MEDICATIONS

We only require an up to date tetanus vaccination for course participation. There are no required inoculations to enter Costa Rica, but, we encourage students to check with their physician for recommendations of optional inoculations and health precautions. Most young people in normal health and physical condition can successfully complete an Outward Bound Costa Rica course.

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FOOD, WATER & SPECIAL DIETS

We are able to accommodate a variety of dietary requirements including vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose intolerance and nut allergies. In most areas of Costa Rica, it safe to drink water directly from the tap. While on course, students are directed to safe water sources by their instructors. Some students opt to treat all water during international travel.

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PACKING

We have compiled comprehensive packing lists for each course, which are listed under the course description and also emailed to a student once he/she has enrolled. A common misconception about Costa Rica is that it is always hot. Many course regions are almost one mile above sea level, where it can get quite chilly at night. Students will likely encounter rain showers while on course, even during Costa Rica’s dry season.

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TUITION & FEES

Tuition includes all room and board, technical gear, course activities, and in-country transportation. Airfare to/from Costa Rica is not included in the listed tuition cost, nor are personal supplies and equipment (including surfboards for advanced surfers).

We accept tuition payments by credit card, check, or wire transfer. Full payment is due 30 days prior to course start.

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TRAVELING TO COSTA RICA

Students must book travel dates to coincide with the start and end dates listed for their course session(s) and fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport (Airport Code: SJO). We recommend scheduling an arrival time prior to 2pm as course activities usually begin early the following day.

Our staff welcome students upon arrival. We use our own private transportation to shuttle to and from the airport on arrival and departure days.

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