There is nothing quite like exploring a part of the world you’ve never seen before. It is exhilarating, inspiring, and life-changing. This summer, Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors from across the United States had the special opportunity to do just that: adventure in India for two weeks on the The Culture of India Destination trip!
Together, these girls experienced the sights, sounds, and culture of Pune, Delhi, and Mumbai, and connected with sister Girl Guides (WAGGGS) and international community partners. It was a trip they are sure never to forget!
Contribution by Lucianna A.
Taking on this once-in-a-lifetime experience was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I expected the culture to be very different from mine, and it was absolutely beautiful in my eyes.
Upon arriving in Mumbai, we had a lengthy ride to Sangam World Centre in Pune, about five hours! When we arrived, it was around breakfast time, so we started the new day perfectly and had a very calm and relaxing evening.
Once we were settled, we took a tour of Sangam and the neighborhood of Pune, which was very helpful throughout our stay. The next day, we split up in groups for our first challenge—the Wadi Challenge, and spread out to find landmarks throughout town. Later that day, we took a class in Hindi where we learned the basics of the language, like the Hindi alphabet and numbers. We later participated in an amazing Zumba class, which was probably my favorite activity at Sangam!
We also had the opportunity to paint and embroider Indian art, and later we rode rickshaws throughout Pune and ate outside of Sangam!
Together with the Girl Guides, we met with the Nivedita Guides, Sangam’s local Girl Guide unit. We played games, taught each other songs and dances, had a celebration dinner, and played WAGGGS Jeopardy!
Our last few days in India were spent with our community partners at Sangam. We learned about the organizations Sangam is affiliated with, and why they are partners. We later had the chance to explore Pune for the Pune Leadership Challenge, and finished the day with a proper Maharastrian Jevan, an Indian feast.
Our few days in Delhi and Agra were relatively short, but we did many activities. We admired temples and mosques, visited an elephant sanctuary, and saw one of the most magnificent structures on earth, the Taj Mahal.
This was my second Girl Scout Destination trip, and traveling to India was the furthest I have traveled away from home. I loved that the trip was girl-led and with the guidance of our mentors we were able to choose our own adventures and feel independent. I developed life skills such as money management and communication between new people. Overall, this unique trip positively changed my attitude and opened my eyes to see situations and cultures around the world other than my own.
Traveling to India with Girl Scouts this summer has brought me a love for travel greater than I have ever had. I will never forget the memories and friendships made on this journey.
Go With All Your Heart
For Girl Scouts, traveling is more than just an awesome adventure; it is an enriching, empowering experience. Being brave enough to explore different cultures is just a part of what makes Girl Scouts well-rounded citizens of the world.
We hope to encourage other girls to push their boundaries and venture into the unknown. Get out there, and learn how you can travel with Girl Scouts!