Mt Lebanon Magazine

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Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Mt Lebanon Magazine

The official magazine of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania

the final frontier

Mellon Middle School eighth-grader Josie Dougherty guest blogs for lebomag about her adventures at Space Camp.

As kids we all dream of being a firefighter or a teacher or an astronaut. Sadly, many of those dreams just won’t come true. Most of us will go on to be something that our kindergarten and first grade selves had never even heard of.

Once in a blue moon, however, someone will get to live their childhood dream. I am one of those few. I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten. So many people hear the words “Girl Scout” and think “cookies!” (Don’t worry—I do too!) But Girl Scouts is so much more than that. It’s about crafts (which I don’t like very much), and camping (which I love). Sure, we earn badges, but it’s mostly about adventure, helping our community, trying new things, and having opportunities we wouldn’t have here at home. There are Girl Scouts in Mt. Lebanon that have gone to Switzerland and others heading to Costa Rica. There are Scouts that have done projects that have made a difference in our community, like the Peace Garden near the library. And there are Scouts, like me, who want to learn more about what I can do with my love of math and science.

During the mid 2015-16 school year my mother found a Space Camp application form through Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA). Together we filled out the application forms to see if I could get into Space Camp. The first time I sent my application in, I was not accepted. Even though I was disappointed that I had not gotten in, I still really wanted to go.

The next year I updated my application and and edited my essay with all of the new writing techniques I’d learned in seventh grade. This time not only was I accepted, but my mother was, too (they needed Girl Scout leaders to chaperone the trip). I found out in school one wintery day when two teachers that wrote me recommendation letters, my mother, and father surprised me by bringing a Lego spaceship and a space book into school and making me guess what I had just accomplished. When I found out I let out a high pitched squeal that must have been heard throughout the entire school.

Mellon student Josie Dougherty

Once I knew I was accepted to the Girl Scout Space Camp program, I read up on all of the details. I am one of 50 to 100 Girl Scouts in the country who will be participating in this camp. I will be attending Space Camp from June 25 though July 1 in Huntsville, Alabama, and I’ll be learning about space, spending time with other girls who also love STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities, and bonding with my sister Girl Scouts from across the country. Other than that, I have no idea what to expect. I hope that I will get to go in the anti-gravity chair, lead or participate in a mission and pilot a simulated space flight. But, for now, I am just really excited living out my childhood dream of being an astronaut at Space Camp. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back!


  1. Author’s gravatar

    Love your article, Josie! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventure.
    Mrs. Sabol

    1. Author’s gravatar

      I don’t think that Josie ever saw the comments under the original blog post – I’ll point her in this direction this weekend when she has some down-time! – Bonnie

  2. Author’s gravatar

    Wow, Josie! I’d love to hear about your trip.
    Mrs. De Micco

    1. Author’s gravatar

      I don’t think that Josie noticed that people could comment on the original blog post – I just noticed it tonight! I’ll have her check this page over the weekend. She did write a follow-up article all about what happened at camp and Mt. Lebanon Magazine posted it to facebook/the website today. Thanks! – Bonnie

  3. Author’s gravatar

    I enjoyed reading this, Josie! Congratulations!

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Jeanne-Marie – I don’t think Josie knew that there was a comment section on the Mt. Lebanon page – I’m sure she’d love to see that you wrote and I’ll point it out to her this weekend. (First week of school- it’s a bit crazy around here….)

  4. Author’s gravatar

    Josie–How was your Space Camp adventure in Huntsville, Al? I wish I had seen this article before you went as my niece is an aerospace engineer at NASA in Huntsville. She graduated from West Virginia University in Aerospace Engineering. Her area of expertise is in the Rocket launch which is where she spends most of her time and effort. She also is part of a team that designs living quarters for the astronauts in space. She’s 29 and hopes to go to space herself. I tell you all this because your dream can come true! I live here in Mt. Lebanon too.

    1. Author’s gravatar

      That is AWESOME! I’m Josie’s mom and I don’t think that she realized that there was a space to comment on this website. I’ll show her your message this weekend (first week of school gets a little crazy around here). Josie did write a followup piece to this and Mt. Lebanon Magazine posted it today. Thanks! – Bonnie

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