Three Aiken Girl Scouts have been selected to participate in what the Girl Scout organization refers to as “destinations” – domestic and international travel experiences that can last anywhere from two days to three weeks.

These trips enable Girl Scouts to develop their leadership skills, gain newfound confidence and participate in unique learning opportunities while having fun with other girls from across the country.

Most destinations choose less than 20 girls from across the country, a very selective process. This is the first time three girls from Aiken have been selected to participate in the same year.

Abigail Miller, 16, is going to Hollywood, Calif., for the Hollywood Dreamin’ destination, where she will learn about filmmaking from young Hollywood professionals. She and 17 other Girl Scouts will assist with writing, directing, producing and editing a short film that will be submitted to the Los Angeles Digital Film Festival. She will get the chance to work with professional actors and learn what goes on behind the camera.

Caroline Miller, 13, is going to India for the Incredible India destination. She and 15 other Girl Scouts will spend 12 days traveling around India. While on her tour, she will visit the Sangam World Center and take part in a service project; she will also visit the Taj Mahal, Mumbai and old Delhi.

Mina Krohn-Vernon, 15, is traveling to London and Paris to celebrate the New Year. She will spend a week in London, staying at Pax Lodge (a World Center) and tour all that London has to offer. Then she and 17 other Girl Scouts will travel by train to Paris for a whirlwind two-day tour.

Krohn-Vernon will also celebrate her 16th birthday on New Year’s Eve in London.

“The destinations that these girls are going on can truly change their lives,” said volunteer Patti Bennett. “We had one volunteer from the forestry service helping at an event who said that the travel experience she went on as a Girl Scout had helped to shape her career choice. It’s just so different to actually see and do all the things that are written about in the textbooks.”

Much of the travel expenses for the trip are borne by the girls and their families. Therefore, the Aiken Girl Scout Service Unit is holding a 5K Run/Walk as a fundraiser to help with the costs. The event will be held on Sept. 20 at Citizen’s Park and includes a one-mile Daisy Dash for the younger set.

A 5K training program is also being offered in conjunction with the event. The training program will meet three times a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays) and begins on Monday.

The $25 training fee includes race entry.

“In effect, the training program is being offered for free,” according to Katie Miller, event coordinator. “We invite the Aiken community to participate in our 5K training program and our Make New Friends 5K to support the amazing opportunity these girls have been given and to help make these trips possible.”

More information is available on Facebook by searching for “Make New Friends 5K” or by contacting Katie Miller at 803-502-0247.