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Springfield Girl Scouts Volunteer in Costa Rica and Panama

Springfield teens Meghan Holub and Danielle Triebwasser were two of 23 girls selected from across the nation to participate in a Girl Scouts Destinations program in Costa Rica and Panama where they assisted community projects in remote indigenous villages and contributed to conservation efforts protecting endangered sea turtles along the Caribbean Coast.

“I enjoyed working with the turtles the most,” Triebwasser said. “I felt as if I was truly contributing to the conservation effort.”

Triebwasser, 17, and Holub, 16, from Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital recently returned from Outward Bound Costa Rica’s Service Challenge destination. On this 14-day course, the girls dedicated their time to two major service learning projects, focusing on both community and conservation-focused efforts in Costa Rica and Panama.

Triebwasser, Holub and their group began their experience in Costa Rica by working on the local rainforest reserve located behind the Outward Bound Costa Rica rainforest base. The group of 11 grabbed their tools and went to work. While digging trenches to aid in water run off the girls learned about the importance of preserving and maintaining biodiversity of the land.

After finishing up on the reserve the group set off to a small indigenous village in the region of Talamanca to help paint an elementary school. Throughout their time in Talamanca, the girls interacted and learned from the local elementary students and community, practicing their Spanish and learning a few words in the village’s indigenous dialect, Bribri.

As Holub reflected on her time in Costa Rica and Panama she said, “I enjoyed my time in Panama working with turtles and the whitewater rafting. It was a once in a lifetime trip that I will never forget.”

For their second major service learning phase, Triebwasser and Holub and the girls traveled to Panama for a multi-day project dedicated to the conservation of the endangered sea turtle population. Located at the San San Pond Sak wetlands, the girls helped maintain the habitat of 375 sea turtle eggs, performing night patrols aimed to protect mother sea turtles laying eggs and safely releasing newly hatched baby turtles into the wild. While working on the project, a local marine biologist taught the group about this region’s endangered species, their habitats, and the local ecology.

Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has been partnered with Girls Scout 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.