Monday, September 16, 2013

Guest Post: Wyoming Wildlife Wonders destination

Each summer a handful of Girl Scouts from our Council travel to other parts of the United States - and the world - to experience one of Girl Scout's destinations. What's a destination? It's your passport to travel! Girl Scout Cadettes and older can apply to travel to the far corners of the world where they will meet remarkable girls, develop leadership skills, gain confidence and enjoy valuable learning opportunities to take action. GSSJC Girl Scout Makenzie U. traveled to Wyoming this summer and shares her exciting experiences in this guest post!

By Makenzie Uwe

My destination was Wyoming Wildlife Wonders. It was in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. It was my first time in Wyoming, and I have to say I was not disappointed. Wyoming is a beautiful state, with some of the cleanest air around, amazing wildlife and breath-taking views of the Teton Mountains and geysers at Yellowstone.

I stayed at the Teton Science School where the dining hall had the best view out of a window I had ever seen. It even beats looking at the setting sun out of an airplane window. That is pretty amazing. The view was of the main mountain in the center of the mountain range, and it was so cool to be eating great food, talking to amazing new friends and gazing out of the window, mesmerized.

Driving up to camp, I wasn't nervous. The camp seemed like just the right thing for me. On our hiking trips that we took, we learned about the different types of ecosystems and living things that survive in them. We learned how to keep our eyes out for wildlife that sometimes, others can’t see; like bears, for example. We knew they were out there, so everyone was secretly keeping watch for them. We saw many different animals and plants, including a bear. (Don’t worry; we saw it on the side of the road while we were in our cars.)

One day we went canoeing. We went out to the base of the Tetons to a long shallow lake called String Lake. It was almost a mile long and was carved out by a glacier. First my group went on a hike led by a park ranger. We hiked a little ways, then stopped to talk. While we were talking, a family passed by and told us they saw a bear that was on our side of the lake in the woods. We were a little frightened and kept an eye out for it. After we met up with the other group that was on the lake at the other side, (while we were waiting, we stopped and watched one of the canoes get beached in the middle of the lake, that’s how shallow it was.) we had lunch. They told us that the bear swam across the lake! Some of my friends were in a canoe, couldn't turn around and almost ran straight into it! It was amazing.

Half of our trip was in Yellowstone. It was a looong two hour drive to our campsite. But as soon as we got there, we had to go look for our spot that we wanted to set up our tent. Ten minutes into looking for a spot, a girl gasped and held her friend back. There was an elk right next to our campsite! It was grazing about 20 feet away. A couple minutes after that, someone spotted a second elk that was grazing right near the first. It was so cool.

The next day we hiked to Old Faithful. On our hike, we passed hot springs, geysers, mud pits and fumaroles. (It was cloudy that day and looked like it was going to rain, so it was also windy and cool – not good for walking by hot springs – but when we stopped hiking, we had a perfect view of Old Faithful. There was no crowd. Five minutes after sitting there, Old Faithful geyser shot up into the air! It was so cool to see this well-known geyser for the first time.

I would recommend this destination to anyone who loves the outdoors and nature. It would be perfect for them.