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Local Girl Scouts aid in Costa Rican sea turtle conservation

Piper Dutton (left) and Lizzie Schousek in Poas Volcano National Park near San Jose, Costa Rica. (Submitted photo)

Fifteen-year-old Hudson Girl Scouts Piper Dutton and Lizzie Schousek, members of the Girl Scouts River Valleys Council, completed Outward Bound Costa Rica’s Sea Turtle Retreat Destination, a 10-day course, volunteering in Costa Rica in conservation efforts to protect endangered sea turtles and pushing limits with unique adventure activities in the outdoors.

“It was an interesting and educational experience with ups and downs that I would repeat in a heartbeat,” Lizzie said in a news release.

“My Outward Bound Costa Rica experience was extremely fun and eye-opening,” Piper said in a news release. “After [this course] I feel more willing to try new things.”

On the shores of Playa Ostional, a beach on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast in the Guanacaste Region, Piper, Lizzie and their fellow Girl Scouts participated in a multi-day service project focused on protecting the sea turtle population.

Ostional is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. During their time in the area the group got the rare opportunity to witness an arribada, the mass nesting of hundreds of sea turtles as they lay their eggs.

The girls also gave back to the local community by painting a community center. The group learned about Costa Rican culture first hand while practicing Spanish and playing soccer with children and families in the region.

After returning to Outward Bound’s rainforest base in Costa Rica, the group stepped out of its comfort zone on a rainforest hike and toured nearby volcano Irazu and historic sites in Cartago. To finish up its adventure, the group ziplined through jungle canopies and visited the vibrant artisan market of San Jose.

“Outward Bound Costa Rica’s programs, like the one [these girls] participated in, create environments that allow for personal and leadership development through challenges, group effort and cross-cultural understanding,” Executive Director of Outward Bound Costa Rica Jim Rowe said.

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.

Founded in 1991, Outward Bound Costa Rica inspires leadership, compassion and responsibility through adventure-based wilderness experiences. Activities include backpacking, rafting, kayaking, surfing, rappelling, and scuba diving as well as cultural experiences such as homestays with local families. For more information, visit www.outwardboundcostarica.org.

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