Girl Scouts' Destinations Lake Erie Exploration

Girl Scouts Learn Lake Science in Epic Lake Erie Islands Exploration

Girl Scouts Carmen, Theresa, Adriana, Erin and Charlotte island hop on Lake Erie—in-between catching fish for scientists to study and leading a beach clean-up—all in one day!

Girl Scouts Carmen, Theresa, Adriana, Erin and Charlotte island hop on Lake Erie—in-between catching fish for scientists to study and leading a beach clean-up—all in one day! 

This July, a group of eight Girl Scouts from across the United States met in Northern Ohio for an unforgettable weeklong experience full of outdoor adventure and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) discovery—some of Girl Scouts’ favorite things! Part of the Girl Scout Destinations program, the ultimate adventure for girls ages 11 and older, the Lake Erie Islands Exploration was one for the books for these courageous adventure lovers.

The life-changing experience was made possible by Girl Scouts of North East Ohio in partnership with Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory, a freshwater biology research and science education center located on its own island in Lake Erie.

Hear from some of the girls about the fantastic experiences they had living on an island and learning all about science!

“It was a great opportunity to explore the world of marine biology, a future career option of mine. We were presented with numerous opportunities to have hands-on interactions with local aquatic animals and organisms. We did kayaking, snorkeling, herpetology labs, fish dissection, and riding a shock boat. We also had the opportunity to meet many awesome people that work with Lake Erie and learn about what they do. I really enjoyed this Destination and recommend it to anyone thinking of a job in the marine biology field.”

—Marley, 15, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

“At first, I was concerned about this Destination because I didn't want it to be too serious; I knew it was based on biology and educational activities, and I didn't want to be sitting in a classroom or only observing some of the activities. I was completely wrong about what I assumed it could be. The entire Destination was hands-on and so much fun. We got the chance to test the lake's water with tools on a research vessel and use a troll to catch fish, which we later got to dissect. We took a trip to Ohio’s mainland and looked for macroinvertebrates in a river. We also got to go to a farm and hold chickens and hang out with goats! I loved snorkeling in the lake and fishing in the evenings, and being a part of a beach cleanup felt really good. I made so many good friends from all across the country, and I learned so much that I can take back to my own ocean in Massachusetts.”

—Kate, 15, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts

“I have had so many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities! I dissected a fish and got to see its heart mimic my friend's heartbeat. I looked at plankton under a microscope and collected water data that was sent and used in a research lab. I have learned a lot about countless invasive species and their impact. I am so happy I chose this trip!”

—Charlotte, 15, Girl Scouts River Valleys

“The Lake Erie Exploration Destination quickly became a highlight of my summer. Not a day went by in which we were not tackling new challenges. We did lake kayaking, fish dissections, chicken holding, macroinvertebrates capturing, island snorkeling, shock boat fishing, beach cleaning, glacial groove gandering, fossil hunting, boat riding, badge earning, and island exploring. A couple activities, like snake handling and fishing, we did multiple days because they were our favorites. We laughed a lot, bonded, and made memories. I could not imagine a better way to spend my summer, learning about a new place with new friends. Oh! There was one really bad thing—saying goodbye.”

—Carmen, 18, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington

Anyone feel like going on a Girl Scout Destination right now? We know we do! What an incredible way to discover new places, jump into unchartered challenges, learn a ton, and make awesome lifelong friends.

Learn more about this Destination and many others today, plus how you can apply to go on the trip of a lifetime! New trips are announced every fall. Apply now for summer 2018!