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.
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!