Costa Rica & Panama Service Challenge

Go back to Destinations

Helping the World, One Community at a Time

Ages 12-14 Ages 15-18 International Outdoors
About the Trip

Gain compassion for diverse communities and cultures and expand your horizons through exciting adventure activities.  Earn over 45 hours community service.

“The experiences I had were once in a lifetime… If you are dedicated, you can make a difference.”

- Gianna, 2013 Girl Scout

“Courtney said it was the best destination she has ever participated in (and she has done six others).”

- 2013 Girl Scout Parent

Experience a tropical adventure while making a difference in a unique cultural setting. 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. Past year’s participants have earned up to 65 hours of community service.

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 Jose with a visit to a local 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 adventure, facilitated by discussions and meetings woven into all course activities. Explore how the challenges you meet in and out of the Costa Rican waves help you confront the challenges that life presents.

“My daughter conquered fears and did many things she would never have dreamed that she would have the courage to accomplish! She loved saving the baby turtles and making friends from all over the country and around the world! This was a life-changing trip that she will never forget!”

- Rebecca, 2013 Girl Scout Mom

Where You Go

San Jose, Costa Rica

What to Know

Interest in community service and cultural exchange

Spanish language skills and willingness to learn very useful

Ready for a physical fitness challenge

Comfortable in the water (for whitewater rafting day)

A good team player

The Dates

Session 1; June 21, 2014–July 5, 2014; $2,050

Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the event.

Session 2; July 5, 2014 – July 19, 2014; $2,050

Must be 13–18 years old at the time of the event.

What to Bring

A packing list will be provided upon acceptance

Valid current passport

You will need a tetanus vaccination before arrival

The Cost

$2,050. 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 for a visit to the local market.

Girls may be eligible for a $500 scholarship made possible by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project. Contact Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound School for more information and other Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound School scholarship opportunities.

$200 deposit will be due immediately upon acceptance. (It's part of the event fee, not in addition to it.)

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

Please be aware that Outward Bound Costa Rica’s offices are located in Costa Rica. Your application will be forwarded from our Miami post office box. You will receive an email from Outward Bound Costa Rica once your application has been received. Therefore, do not send a self-addressed stamped postcard with your application.

Download Application Forms
Destinations Girl Application 2014 PDF Destinations Girl Application 2014 DOC
Outward Bound Costa Rica Scholarship Form
Contact Information

Girl Scout Liaison
GirlScouts@OutwardBoundCR.org