Local Scout Troop Treks Through Italian Dolomites
• “Shark Bait” leaves its mark during European backpacking tour.
Everyone knows that spaghetti is a classic dish with Italian roots. It graces the dinner table of many American homes and leaves people with full bellies and happy smiles.
I’m a member of Girl Scout Troop #12345, aka “Shark Bait” and we wanted to use this Italian food connection to our advantage. If it wanted to turn our dream of trekking through the Italian Dolomites in July into reality, the we would have to raise money.
The Troop worked harder to sell more Girl Scout cookies than ever before. And thanks to the connection of spaghetti with Italy, the we were able to host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser with hundreds in attendance.
When we told people that they could support their local Girl Scout Troop’s mission to go backpacking in Italy by simply dining on spaghetti, they smiled. People admired that a Girl Scout Troop was striving toward an astonishing goal.
Once we had enough money to get us there, we focused on training.
Backpacking in the mountains for six days straight is no easy feat, so we had smaller backpacking trips to prepare our minds and bodies for the journey ahead. It was the way television shows have multiple episodes leading up to the season finale. But our closing episode was one that would change our lives.
Trust me when I say I’m not being melodramatic. Our backpacking trip in the Dolomites is now a memory that we will never forget. The Dolomites are a UNESCO world heritage site and for good reason.
Even though we were only teenagers, we know this trip allowed us to experience one of the most beautiful places we will ever view in our lifetimes. Living in the greater Los Angeles Area, our days to are filled with noise pollution, less than clean drinking water, and a permanent layer of smog.
But in the Dolomites we were free to experience nature in its pure form. At one moment in the day our ankles would be tickled by flowers in meadows that we had never even seen before.
Next day we were throwing snow balls in July or standing on mountain tops (one of which had an elevation of 9,028 feet).
Journeying through forests allowed us to understand what it was truly like to be surrounded by nature. Gazing at glimmering turquoise lakes had us smiling, not only at the scenery before us but at each other.
One of the most important parts of our trip was that, together, we were Girl Scouts. As someone with no biological siblings, I felt a warm bond of sisterhood and friendship on the trip.
Even when we were fatigued from hours of backpacking, we could laugh and goof around. When we were supposed to be sleeping at night, quiet conversation and giggles filled the room.
Despite all of our training, there were moments toward the end when I wasn’t sure that I would be able to complete the trek. To dispel these feelings, all I had to do was look around me at my fellow Scouts.
We had gone across the world together, hiked mountains together and laughed through it all, together. Since we had accomplished what we did, I know we could do anything.
— Amanda Kalaydjian