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Girl Scout Tess Carella Helps Save Sea Turtles in Panama

September 18, 2013

 Tess Carella

Girl Scout Tess Carella, second from right, in Costa Rica. Photo is courtesy of Outward Bound Costa Rica.

Southbury Girl Scout Tess Carella has had the experience of a lifetime, traveling to Panama and Costa Rica as part of the Girl Scout destinations program.

She spent time studying the leatherback sea turtle population in Panama. She was based on the remote island of Solarte, located in the Bocas del Toro Province on the Caribbean side of Panama, where she dedicated her time to protecting the endangered creatures. Also, during her 14-day travels, Tess was able to scuba dive, learn about ecology and marine life, zip line through the canopies of Costa Rica, and visit the markets of San Jose. With practice, Tess passed her NAUI Open Water Certification training and is now scuba certified.

She was also one of twelve individuals to receive a scholarship for her work with the sea turtles, being awarded the Elliot Wildlife Values Project scholarship, a fund devoted to sponsoring Girl Scouts who dedicate a commitment to the environment and conservation.  
“The trip was a perfect combination of service, adventure, and learning,” Tess said. “It was something I will remember for the rest of my life. I tried different (and delicious!) new foods. I learned so many new things including wakeboarding, zip lining, scuba diving, and sea turtle and mangrove preservation—the list is endless! I also learned how to be a better leader as I discovered new things about myself.”

Tess participated in this experience via Girl Scout destinations, a travel program offered by Girl Scouts of the USA and in partnership with various travel organizations. Destinations are unique travel and learning opportunities for individual girls in grades 6-12. This particular experience was a part of Outward Bound Costa Rica’s Scuba & Sea Turtle Adventure Destination.

A list of available destinations will be available at For more information about Girl Scout destinations, contact Nancy Bajek at

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