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Beaverton teenager takes a meaningful summer vacation

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Beaverton's Carmen Reddick works in Costa Rica this summer


Beaverton 16-year-old Carmen Reddick’s summer vacation was a little different than most of her peers.

While many area teenagers spent their summers playing sports, working part-time jobs or traveling to see family or on vacation, Reddick wanted to make her time away from school more meaningful.

Reddick, a Girl Scout from Beaverton, completed the Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge Destination with Outward Bound Costa Rica. During the 14-day course, Reddick contributed to two major service-learning projects and pushed her limits with adventure activities.

“My trip was completely amazing and different,” she said. “I will forever remember the places, the food and the people.”

Reddick and her group began their time in Costa Rica by rerouting water flow in a local rainforest reserve located near Outward Bound Costa Rica’s rainforest base. Next, she and her group set off to a small indigenous village in the Talamanca region to help paint an elementary school. The group interacted and learned from the local elementary students and community, practicing their Spanish and learning a few words in the village’s dialect. They learned the traditional way of making chocolate from the cacao plant as well.

In Panama, the Girl Scouts worked to protect marine life while helping with a sea turtle conservation project. Reddick helped to build habitats, catalog nests and monitor turtles on patrols.

Carmen and her fellow Scouts rounded out their adventures with a day of whitewater rafting on the Pejibaye River and a zip line canopy tour through jungle valleys.

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

Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has 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.