Hostelling International Chicago

Cultural Kitchen for Girl Scouts

Cultural Kitchen

HI-Chicago’s wildly successful Cultural Kitchen program has been adapted for Girl Scouts. The program’s exciting curriculum empowers girls to study a foreign country’s culture, culminating in a meal prepared by the group that is shared with travelers during an overnight stay at the hostel. Girls can complete the Cultural Kitchen program with guidance from their advisor, homework and cultural learning activities at the hostel.

The Cultural Kitchen program is an exceptional educational youth outreach program of Hostelling International Chicago. Each year, it provides 600 young people with the opportunity to experience the world outside of their home communities.

Opening Minds

“Cultural Kitchen was an experience that I would love to do again. I got to interact with people from all around the world like England, Australia and Spain. I got to listen to people’s different points of view. My understanding of the world changed with this experience. I believe that if more people interact with people that are different and have different beliefs then they will be more open-minded and tolerant.”

Judith A., age 16

“The participation went way beyond our expectations. At twelve years of age the girls were able to go beyond their own comfort zone, not only by cooking in a large group, but also personally conversing with others from all over the world to reach not only our troop goals but personal goals as well. We would absolutely do this again. It is an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.”

Robbin Moyer, Troop Leader

Strong Educational Standards

The Cultural Kitchen program consists of three educational sessions that, together, reinforce state academic standards and goals. Additionally Cultural Kitchen is a recognized service-learning program.

The Cultural Kitchen Youth Outreach program provides Girl Scouts, ages 11 to 17, opportunities to:

  • Gain a greater understanding of the world and its people
  • Respect different people and cultures as they travel through their own communities, their lives, and our world
  • Strengthen their ability to communicate with others and work as a team
  • Enhance research and presentation skills
  • Become more open minded, caring world citizens
  • Experience the world of hostelling and travel while meeting people from around the world
  • Obtain a Hostelling International Youth Membership for Girl Scouts

What to Expect

Among the items and services provided by Hostelling International Chicago are:

  • All curricular materials including handouts and Passport to Adventure
  • Signage and sign-up sheet for dinner guests at the hostel
  • Food, facilities and equipment for Cultural Kitchen dinner
  • Support from education staff and volunteers
  • Group photos in a scrapbook
  • Breakfast

To ensure a successful and meaningful Cultural Kitchen, troops will prepare for their experience at the hostel by accomplishing the following at home:

  • Three troop meetings dedicated to learning about culture using the provided curriculum
  • Research on the country chosen by the troop
  • Preparation of a presentation on the chosen country to be delivered to dinner guests after the meal


The Cultural Kitchen program is a great way to discover the world with HI-Chicago. $25 per girl, plus the cost of the overnight, includes:

  • The program curriculum, group photo, scrapbook and Passport to Adventure
  • Shared dinner for your group with at least 5 travelers
  • Breakfast for your group
  • Discover the World: Girl Scouts Go Hostelling Patch

Who to Contact

For more information please contact:

Arielle Semmel

Educational Programs Coordinator

Email: Arielle Semmel

Phone: (312) 583-2226

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