Local Girl Scout travels to Central America to help endangered sea turtles

Local News

Hailey Hawkins was one of nine Girl Scouts selected to go on the trip

A 16-year-old Girl Scout from San Angelo has returned from a two week trip to help the endangered leather-back sea turtles in Costa Rica and Panama. Hailey Hawkins is one of only 9 girls in the U.S. — and the only one from Texas who went on the trip.

“They only selected 9 girls in the entire nation to go on this Costa Rica trip. I was the only person from Texas,” said Hailey Hawkins, a Juliette & Ambassador with the Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

16-year-old Hailey Hawkins recently returned from a two week scuba & sea turtle adventure in Costa Rica and Panama with Girl Scouts from all over the United States.

The trip was with Outward Bound Costa Rica (OBCR). Since 2006, Outward Bound Costa Rica has been partnered with Girl Scouts of the USA to offer unique and exciting Girl Scouts Destinations trips in Costa Rica and Panama. These trips provide young girls the opportunity to see the world, meet fellow Girl Scouts from across the nation and challenge themselves through adventure in unfamiliar settings.

The trip offered once in a lifetime opportunities to learn about the environment.

“We also got to go on some scuba diving trips. I got my advanced certification for that. That’s one of the reasons I really wanted to go,” explained Hawkins.

Aside from scuba diving , Hawkins also had the chance to work on a project to help the endangered leather-back sea turtle population in Panama.

“We went on night patrols. On one of the night patrols we found a mama turtle that was nesting. She was stuck so we had to dig around the bushes to help her birth the sea turtles,” added Hawkins.

Hawkins also did community service while on her trip. She says that cleaning up beaches opened her eyes to the amount of plastic that is thrown out and can harm our planet — and she wants to bring awareness to the problem.

“One of the major things I wanna put out into the community is don’t ask for a plastic straw. Bring your own metal straws so you help conserve the sea turtles,” suggested Hawkins. 

Although Hawkins has returned from her trip, she continues to make a difference.

She is working on earning a Gold Award. the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts.

“I’m working on my ‘Gold Award,’ which is on orphaned seniors. It’s called ‘Angels for the Aged.’ I’m taking orphaned seniors and pairing them with churches. Families in that church will adopt the orphaned seniors and send them mail once a month. It will help the orphaned seniors get some time with people other than the staff that work there,” explained Hawkins.

Hawkins has been a Girl Scout since she was 5 years old. She encourages all girls to look into becoming a Girl Scouts and says joining will bring them valuable life experiences and lessons. In August, the Girl Scouts will have a sign-up opportunity,

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