Destination: Mission Impossible - My Family Travels

When I think of Mission Impossible 2010, the most outstanding feature that comes to mind was my amazing experience with 27 Girl Scouts from all over the United States and my five crazy counselors. Spending two weeks with these amazing women helped me to realize that the most important part of discovering yourself is having someone to discover yourself with. From realizing how much you value certain things in your life (toilets that flush, running water, electricity, even cell phones) and learning to live without them, to trying new things that you never would have thought possible, to facing your fears while several stories above the ground held up by a rope and some clips, these girls were by my side encouraging me as we all encouraged each other.

One of the most challenging aspects of the trip was accepting views or statements (true or false) that you may or may not agree with. I know firsthand that our counselor was attacked by flying turkeys… Yes, turkeys do fly – but none of the other girls believed it! Also, when my half of the group (Operation Orange – we were the orange group) did low ropes, we did the course blindfolded. Some girls didn’t want to trust their spotters and really had to blast through the barrier that they had set for themselves. During high ropes, several girls had an extreme fear of heights but still managed to step over that obstacle and still had a lot of fun.

When Operation Orange went on their four-day road trip around Michigan, we learned some valuable things about each other… When ten girls and one counselor are on the road for 5+ hours each day, we resort to singing songs on the radio at the top of our lungs (and off-key the majority of the time), screaming “Meijer!” every time we passed the trademark Michigan grocery store, and losing “The Game” every time one of us called “yellow car!”. I (along with several other girls and counselors) also discovered that sand really hurts when you slide down a sand dune on your backside after wiping out on your sand board. Needless to say, we were all sore after that first day at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Some of us (not me, thank goodness!) had a very difficult time on the trip when we were attacked by butterflies–As it turned out, one of the girls had an irrational fear of butterflies. In turn, I was the one who freaked out whenever there were mosquitoes nearby–at the end of the two weeks, I had 123 bug bites. (Yes, I counted.) We all got good and dirty when we took a creek walk that ended at a clay hill which we all slid down, but we washed off in Lake Huron. Many of us played Tarzan when we climbed a tree like arborists – except not as quiet as arborists would have been!

There were funny moments when we had our “chill day” and some bumps and bruises throughout those two weeks, but in the end we had formed some neigh unbreakable bonds that stretch from coast to coast of the United States. In the end, I never would have traded this trip for something closer to home with plumbing and lights – These girls have touched my life and I am so glad I met them. So next time you are wondering whether or not something is too far out of your comfort zone and you think you can’t do it, here’s my advice: Don’t even think – just take that leap and you may never know what you will find.

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