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Tori Bailes

Tori Bailes, 15, of Rupert stands fourth from the right with a group of Girl Scouts in Costa Rica.

RUPERT — A 15-year-old Girl Scout completed a 15-day course with Outward Bound Costa Rica last month.

The course, called “Catching Waves” gathered scouts from across the country to learn how to read waves, tides and current in Costa Rica.

Tori Bailes of Rupert learned how to surf in the warm water breaks of the country’s Pacific coast and on rainy mornings, she played games and built relationships with the other girls.

Her father, Tony Bailes, said it was an opportunity of a lifetime for his daughter. The experiences enriched her life and she met a good friend while on the trip.

“She really enjoyed herself,” her father said.

The trip extended from the end of June into July.

“I feel like I’ve known these girls forever,” Tori Bailes said in a statement about her fellow scouts.

Her father said he had complete confidence in his daughter traveling with the scout group to another country.

“They had it all organized and they were never on their own from the time they entered the plane to when they got back,” he said.

When the girls weren’t catching waves, the scouts participated in beach cleanups at Domincalito and Uvita. The also learned about coastal development, overfishing, tide pools, traditions, culture and ecotourism.

The group ended their adventure with a day of whitewater rafting on the Pejibaye River known for Class III and IV rapids. The next day they took a zip line tour through the rainforest canopy and a tour of the capital city, San Jose.

“Outward Bound Costa Rica’s courses, like the one Tori participated in, create environments that allow for personal and leadership development through challenges, group effort and cross-cultural understanding,” Jim Rowe, executive director of Outward Bound Costa Rica, said in a statement.

Since 2006, the program has partnered with the Girls Scouts to offer destination trips for scouts in Panama and Costa Rica. The trips allow the girls to see the world and meet fellow scouts across the nation while challenging themselves through adventures in new settings.

Outward Bound Costa Rica was founded in 1994. Activities include surfing, diving, backpacking, rafting, rappelling, sea kayaking and service projects along with cultural experiences through homestays with local families.

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