MINNEAPOLIS — Of everything she experienced, the bison most intimidated Ava Vitali as she pitched her tent in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
“There were bison all around us, maybe 30 feet away. It was very nerve-racking, especially when we realized we were going to sleep there with the bison,” recalled the now-15-year-old sophomore at Como Park High School. “It might scare you a little at first, but it’s very cool to sleep outdoors overnight. You think, ‘Hey, I heard new things and saw new things that I might not hear or see in everyday life. I persevered and it made me stronger. I might even want to do it again.’ ”
This is exactly the type of experience the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys are hoping its young people will garner from its “Every Girl in a Tent” initiative.
The program, which has girls as young as 5 camping, aims to immerse them in the outdoors for the adventure of it, but also to teach skills and environmental stewardship. They camp everywhere from Minnesota state parks to locations such as the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone. Since the program’s launch in October, more than 350 Girl Scouts already have participated.
The full story is available at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.