Daytona Parks Speaks About Her Experiences in Scouting, NASA, and More.
Daytona Parks might be a familiar face if you have been to Woodruff Summer Camp sometime in the last few years. Since joining camp staff in 2018, Daytona Parks has served on the Aquatics staff, Adventure Zone, and is now in her second year as Program Director. The Atlanta Area Council and Woodruff Scout Camp are incredibly fortunate to even have her on staff as she was originally intended to be at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas continuing her Pathways Internship with NASA.
A Physics student at Georgia Tech, Daytona was accepted into the NASA Pathways program and spent the fall of 2022 in Houston working in the Mission Systems Division at Johnson Space Center. There she was involved in several projects for the Artemis program – two missions that will eventually land the first woman and person of color on the Moon. Daytona has two more semesters working in Houston before she graduates – one of which was intended to take place this summer, but Woodruff has always held a special place in her heart.
She received special permission from NASA to enjoy one final summer on camp staff before returning to complete her internship – and to the Scouts thinking about joining camp staff, just imagine how incredible the experience must be if Daytona picked us over NASA!
Daytona got her start in Scouting when she joined a Venturing Crew after seeing the fun her brother was having in his Scout Troop. She found time to balance her several extracurriculars and enjoy the exciting activities that venturing had to offer. She learned how to sail, climb and rappel, and she had the opportunity to go to Philmont!
Beyond the adventurous activities, Daytona grew as a leader in Venturing, becoming her Crew’s President and eventually being elected President of the Atlanta Area Council’s Venturing Officer’s Association (VOA). She applied those talents as a leader during her time on camp staff and quickly ascended to the Program Director role. She credits her time in Venturing, the summers spent on camp staff, and her many mentors for encouraging her to always reach for the stars.