Ever dream of blasting off into outer space? There’s a camp for that.

This summer, two Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana enjoyed a six-day Space Academy experience at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. While there, they joined other Girl Scouts in learning how to command a space shuttle and training to solve space mission challenges.

“My Destination experience inspired me to see the world differently, like how cool it is that we can travel out into space or walk on the moon,” said Maya Chandarana, a 12-year-old Girl Scout Cadette from Lockport, Illinois.

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Maya buckles off for a simulated spaceflight mission.

The Girl Scouts also learned firsthand the importance of communication and teamwork as they experienced simulated spaceflight missions and trained on astronaut simulators, including the Multi-Axis Trainer and 1/6th Gravity Chair.

“It always seemed like only men were astronauts, but after seeing a woman speaker that was a Girl Scout, I knew I could do anything,” Maya said.

Kyra DeNormandie, also a 12-year-old Girl Scout Cadette from Lockport, agreed.

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Kyra smiles for the camera in her astronaut uniform.

“My destination experience also inspired me that we girls can do anything we set our minds to,” she said. “Space Academy inspired me to set my sights higher than just Earth or to the moon. It also inspired me to incorporate my other interests, to launch me into history books.”

As a result of Space Camp, Kyra now has aspirations of not only being one of the first women on Mars, but perhaps the first to perform a musical on The Red Planet.

“I can do experiments on how gravity and movement affect our voices and bodies,” she explained. “Maybe I will revolutionize the way we understand The Red Planet and ourslves because of Space Academy.”

Both girls were excited to make new friends as well.

“It was also really cool to see so many girls from all over the world together,” said Maya.

“My destination experience let me connect with Sister Girl Scouts from around the globe. This alone made me see that Girl Scouts reaches people from all over the world and brings us together,” Kyra reflected. “I am so happy to be a part of that. While I know I may never see any of those girls again, I will never forget their faces and all of the memories we made together.”

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Kyra tries on an astronaut spacesuit.

According to Girl Scouts of the USA, more than 35,000 trainees complete Space Academy every year and go on to become scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers and even astronauts.

To learn more about space camp, click here. For more information about other Girl Scout Destinations, including  Our Cabaña in Cuernavaca, Mexico next year, click here.

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