Costa Rica & Panama Service Challenge

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Gain compassion for diverse communities and endangered ecosystems while experiencing adventure activities. Earn over 55 hours community service.

13 14 15 16 17-18 2017 Culture International Service
About the Trip

Scholarships available for this Destination! See application below.  

Gain compassion for diverse communities and endangered ecosystems while experiencing adventure activities. Earn over 55 hours community service. 

 “It’s quite an amazing experience to get to know people from different cultures. I would recommend Outward Bound Costa Rica to a friend or family member because it is a life changing experience where you truly get to live the adventure.”

-Yasmine, 2016 Girl Scout

This course starts in the indigenous region of Talamanca, Costa Rica. While staying in a remote village, work alongside fellow Girl Scouts to support the local community. Service projects may include food distribution, creating a garden, painting, teaching English, building aqueducts and recycling projects. Learn about native customs, culture, language, and food engaging with the local community.

Next, you will travel across the border of Costa Rica to help protect the diverse marine life along the Caribbean Coast of Northern Panama. Learn about 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 possibly releasing newly hatched baby turtles into the wild. You may also participate in other service projects such as beach cleanups and/or trail preservation.

For the time 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 during a city tour and a visit to San Jose’s bustling artisan market.

Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has been hosting Girl Scouts from across the nation, honing its approach to experiential education for this unique program. Girl Scouts will be exposed to Outward Bound Costa Rica’s focus on both leadership and personal development throughout their courses, facilitated by discussions and meetings woven into all course activities. Explore how the adventure and service challenges you encounter in Costa Rica and Panama will help you confront the challenges that life presents now and in the future.

“[This course was] great! It was exactly as we had expected and we were very satisfied with the overall course experience.”

-Sarah, 2016 Girl Scout Mom

Check Out Our Other Destinations in Costa Rica and Panama!

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Learn about other adventure-filled Girl Scout destinations with Outward Bound Costa Rica on our website.

Where You Go

Costa Rica

What to Know

You must be 13-18 years old at the time of your trip

You must possess:

  • A sincere interest in community service and cultural exchange
  • Spanish language skills and willingness to practice with the local community
  • The spirit for a physical fitness challenge
  • A comfort level in the water (for whitewater rafting day)
  • The ability to be a good team player

Trip takes place in both Costa Rica & Panama. In Costa Rica, activities in San Jose, Cartago and Limón Provinces, with base camp in San Ramon de Tres Rios. In Panama, conservation service project takes place in the Bocas del Toro Province.


The Dates

Session 1: June 17, 2017 – July 1, 2017

Session 2: July 1, 2017 – July 15, 2017

Session 3: July 15, 2017 - July 29, 2017

*Note: Please be sure to specify which session(s) you are applying for when filling out your application.*

What to Bring

  • A packing list will be provided upon receipt of your deposit
  • A valid passport with an expiration date no less than 6 months past your day of departure from Costa Rica
  • A tetanus vaccination is required before your arrival in Costa Rica


The Cost

Program Fee: $2,345

Program Fee does not include airfare. You will be responsible for providing your own round-trip airfare to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO airport), as well as bringing your own spending money (recommended $200 per 2-week course.)

A $200 deposit will be due immediately upon acceptance. (It's part of the Program Fee, not in addition to it). The balance is due 30 days prior to the start of the course.

Girls may be eligible for a $500 scholarship made possible by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project. Please download the form on the right or contact Outward Bound Costa Rica for more information about this scholarship.

Download Application Forms
Destinations 2017-2018 Application Scholarship Application Form
Contact Information

Girl Scout Liaison