How Did Being By The Coast Make You Feel?

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This past weekend, our Outdoor Explorers took to Point Reyes National Seashore for a communal coastal experience. The group enjoyed lunch, solo time, and team building activities on the beach. Pre/post survey results showed 93% of students felt an increase in their relationship with the coast and/or a strong sense of belonging to the coastline after participating on this trip.

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Hear from our Outdoor Explorers on how the beach makes them feel! 

“I liked being at the beach and finding rocks. It was pretty fun being on the coast” – David, Outdoor Explorer

“Relaxed and at ease” – William, Outdoor Explorer

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“It made me feel at one with nature” – Justin, Outdoor Explorer

“I felt closer to nature and good positive energy” – Julius, Outdoor Explorer

“It made me feel happy & it gave me a sense of belonging” Marianna, Outdoor Explorer

“I felt very calm and relaxed” – Cece, Outdoor Explorer

“It was soothing, just staring at the ocean and hearing it” – Ashly, Outdoor Explorer

“I was very relaxed while I was sitting at the beach. I did not feel stressed and all my worries flowed away like the ocean waves. The beach waves were beautiful and peaceful” – Hillary, Outdoor Explorer

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“Good, it was really relaxing” – Munachi, Outdoor Explorer

“I haven’t been to the beach in a bit so I really enjoyed it” – Katheline, Outdoor Explorer

“I liked seeing the ocean, it made me feel happy” – Jaiden, Outdoor Explorer

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“It made me feel inspired” – Carson, Outdoor Explorer

“It made me feel relaxed, I wouldn’t mind doing it again.” – Ayden, Outdoor Explorer

“It was really calming” – Andrew, Outdoor Explorer

Thank you to the California State Coastal Conservancy for helping us provide coastal experiences for our youth. We and the students appreciate you immensely! 

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RELATIONSHIPS | ADVENTURE | CONFIDENCE 

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Bonding through Challenges and Coastal Views

A35AEB38-0829-4870-B5DD-7049D0890DA4This past weekend, a team of eighteen outdoor explorers braved the rainy morning and set out on a coastal hike along Point Reyes National Seashore Association. Participants were lead by Point Reyes National Seashore Association staff Brandon and Isaac, who were extremely knowledgable about the area and great “tour guides.”

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The team met up at the BART station from all over the Bay Area. Unfortunately, BART had a system-wide shut down which complicated students morning plans but together the group stayed positive and kept a solutions mindset. While staff drove to opposite sides of the bay to pick up stranded students, the group was able to play lots of icebreakers and get to know one another. We headed out a bit later than planned, but it ended up working out great. Right as we arrived at Point Reyes the clouds separated and the sun came through, welcoming us to explore our coastline.

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Many of our participants experienced hiking for the very first time, with many other students paying their first visit to Point Reyes. The group participated in team-building trail games throughout the hike and slugged their way through big puddles and mud. Throughout our walk, we even got to see Tule Elk and learn about the history of conservation efforts in the area. Before no time we were on the beach breaking for lunch!

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Participants had some free time on the beach, and most of them used it for solo time. After relaxing, the group joined together again for an “active” game that required students to sprint across the sand! It was a blast getting to play games together and get closer as a team.

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On the way back to the vans, the students participated in a solo-hike where they were asked to reflect on their experience and what about the day they can take home with them. It was great to escape the city and the rain, and our team was sure great for the opportunity.

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Upon arriving back to the van, the group was presented with yet another challenge. This one indeed took teamwork to overcome. Both of our 15-passenger vans were stuck in the mud and required all hands on deck to be pushed out. While this wasn’t ideal, it ended up being a great bonding activity, and it took no time before we were laughing about it together.

Check out what our Outdoor Explorers had to say about the day!

“I really like the Point Reyes trip, I really liked the hiking, the people there, our guides were awesome too and I had a lot of fun being there getting muddy. I found it a great opportunity to just get out there and go somewhere I’ve never been too. I plan to visit it again for the hike and all the sights to see it was great.” – Eduardo, Outdoor Explorer

“I think that this trip was a great experience and it really helped me to relax since I didn’t have to think of any of life’s stresses while I was there. It was super fun and the little games we played were fun as well. Overall I had an amazing time and am looking forward to more trips.” – Cece, Outdoor Explorer

“I enjoyed the trip very much and it was an eye-opening experience. I’m glad I got to make relationships with other Earth Team interns and meet new people who have a passion for the same things as me. Being in nature and going to the beach made me feel at one. I’m glad to have been able to go on this trip, and I am excited about the upcoming trips.” – Justin, Outdoor Explorer

“Today was a relaxing and nice day. It was nice to be away from technology and the modern way of living. I enjoyed being out in the outdoors.” – Elly, Outdoor Explorer

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“I enjoyed going to the beach and finding those cool rocks. I had a lot of fun today on this trip.” – David, Outdoor Explorer

“Although it was rainy at first and when we got there the sun was coming out which made me more excited to hike. The hike up was muddy but fun!! I got to meet a lot of the other kids and it was cool to get to talk to them while on the hike. The beach was pretty, I found some cool rocks and a seashell and it was really beautiful. Walking back to the van was tiring but very fun the view was really beautiful and I got to hang out with my friends which was fun” – Kathy, Outdoor Explorer

“I had a great time today on the hike at Point Reyes. I was prepared for the worst because I brought multiple jackets and raincoats but I was happy that we ended up with pretty perfect weather. I really liked that we got to see the elk and I’m pretty sure I saw a whale tale which is pretty cool. Overall it was super fun and I have a new place on my list of favorite places to hike. Also, I got the experience of pushing a van out of the mud which I’d never done before.”  – Jaiden, Outdoor Explorer

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“I thought that this trip was overall a really fun experience. It was fun to get dirty and wet from all of the huge puddles and mud. I really liked going to the beach because it was very calming. I think that I bonded more with the people on this trip. I really liked our tour guides. They were really nice and fun to talk to. The hike itself was a challenge at times especially going uphill. I liked that this trip challenged me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and have fun” – Andrew, Outdoor Explorer

“This was simultaneously the worst and best experience of my life. I enjoyed the hike because I got some exercise but it was extremely uncomfortable to have my shoes filled with water, mud, and sand. Next time I plan on having better shoes” – Kaitlin, Outdoor Explorer

“I had a really good time hiking in point Reyes today. I learned more about the natural history as well as the beauty of Point Reyes itself. While I really enjoyed speaking to new people around me from different schools, sometimes I think nature it best taken and absorbed at one’s own pace. Being in a group can be sort of challenging with multiple stops. I will definitely be returning to point Reyes as soon as I can” – Ariana, Outdoor Explorer

“The hike was a cool experience. It was way cooler being in a muddy environment, despite my shoes and socks getting soaked.” – Carson, Outdoor Explorer

“I thought this trip was pretty good, I had a good time with the games we did and appreciated all the food you bought us. Even though the whole Bart thing messed up our schedules overall this was a good experience and I look forward to my next trip” – Ayden, Outdoor Explorer

“I learned about hiking today because I finally got to do it. I met new people and talking to them was nice. The entire experience was very calming and I had fun.” – William, Outdoor Explorer

“I enjoyed the Point Reyes Hiking Trip. Despite my feet getting a couple of blisters, I really enjoyed the hike because I was able to befriend a couple of interns and experience hiking for the first time. I felt at peace and relaxed, especially while I was at the beach. I didn’t have any worried thoughts.” – Hillary, Outdoor Explorer

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“I wish I would have experienced hiking in the rain but it was fun. I enjoyed going back to Point Reyes” – Ashly, Outdoor Explorer

“The trip was unexpectedly fun. I had a great time bonding with my friends. My favorite part of the trip was the bonding game we played while walking up the hill. I enjoyed this game because it allowed me to connect with people that I did not know and people from my school whom I know but do not talk to. Overall, the trip was great, and I want to sign up for the Tahoe Trip.” – Munachi, Outdoor Explorer

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“Overall the hiking was really an amazing experience. I was able to establish closer relationships with my friends and establish new acquaintances with the other fellow interns from other schools. Also, I was able to feel a new sense of energy when I was exposed to nature. It definitely fun and I enjoyed the food that was provided. Thank you so much!” – Julius

“I had a very nice, relaxing and bonding time, I made connections and look forward to the next trip” – Marianna, Outdoor Explorer

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RELATIONSHIPS | ADVENTURE | CONFIDENCE 

 

An Adventure Along the Coastline

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A group of ten Outdoor Explorers spent their president’s day week backpacking along Point Reyes National Seashore. The group spent four days on trails overlooking breathtaking ocean views, encountering wildlife of all sorts!

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Each day, individuals had leadership roles including navigation, cooking, scrubbies, journalist, and one of the best of all, NATURALIST! This individual was in charge of calling out all the beauty of the surrounding area, bringing attention to the diversity and uniqueness of the coastal habitat. Here are just a few of the critters we saw along the trail.

One of the best parts of the trip was when the group set up camp in time to go explore the beach during sunset. Participants climbed through rocks, jumped over tributaries, searched for seashells and crabs, and much more. Through some tide exploration, the group was able to see things they have never seen before! This included sea urchins, sea stars, giant crabs, and more.

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Here are what a few of our participants had to say about their experience with the coast! 

“Backpacking by the coast made me feel at home like I belonged there.” – Outdoor Explorer

“I was so relaxed when I saw the coast, I never get to see it in person” – Outdoor Explorer

“Being by the coast made me feel safe, calm, and energized. It made me want to appreciate it more and share it with others.” – Outdoor Explorer

“Visiting the beach made me feel REALLY good. I felt so calm, relaxed and happy. Like a little kid again” – Outdoor Explorer

“Being by the coast made me feel really peaceful and it made me appreciate the natural things in life more.” – Outdoor Explorer

100% of participants reported feeling a greater sense of belonging to the coast after this backpacking trip.

Thank you Coastal Conservancy for your generous partnership that provides our youth the opportunity to have life-changing experiences along California’s coastline.

RELATIONSHIPS | ADVENTURE | CONFIDENCE

Our Youth Reflect on their Backpacking Experience!

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A group of ten of our Outdoor Explorers spent their President’s Week backpacking Point Reyes National Park. The students hiked nearly 20 miles throughout the four-day trip. Collectively, the team shared struggles and celebration, making for a unique and meaningful experience.

Hear from what our Outdoor Explorers took away from the experience!

“I really enjoyed this trip a lot. It challenges me in more ways than one, but it also made me think a lot and reflect on some of the choices that I’ve made and some of the things I do. It made me consider the person I am as a whole and really really think about the parts that frustrate me. I’m really glad I went because I was able to learn a lot about myself. I feel like I overcame some mental stuff I wasn’t even aware I was dealing with. It was really special. Also, I made a ton of awesome friends and bonded closer with people I already knew. I feel lucky” – Outdoor Explorer

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“ In the beginning, I was really scared and unsure of how the trip would go and whether I’d get close to my peers and be quiet. However, as time went by, I got to know everyone, and I was really glad to see everyone getting along and being so welcoming and easy to talk to. The experience was great, and I will miss those four days, I loved seeing all the views, and though the path and trails to get to our campsites were extremely challenging, it was all worth it when we see the views and settle down to talk. The long hard trail was also worth it because it was on those trails where we got to know each other more and become better friends. It was also in those trails where we learned about ourselves more. As for me I learned how to be more patient and considerate to others. I also learned how to open up and learn how to make tents or tarps and become a better camper. Overall, this trip has taught me a lot and I Will take it with me.” – Outdoor Explorer

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“I came to this trip not knowing what to expect. I was anxious; I couldn’t help it. I come here trying to find what needs to be found. The hikes the walks even the hardships were worth it. We sit there finally getting along and reflecting on what happened and coming together. The day I sat there at the ocean watching the sunset I knew I found what I was looking for. Thank you.. Earth Team for this experience.” – Outdoor Explorer

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“I think the trip was amazing. It taught me that I have many more things to see/do and it taught me more about myself, thank you so much for giving me the chance to do this if I didn’t do it with y ‘all I don’t think I’d ever do it, it was great, thank you” – Outdoor Explorer

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“I really enjoy the trip. At first, I was really nervous about it since I barely knew anyone who was going, but after getting to know everyone, I felt better. Everyone was just so happy and positive; it just makes you feel great. Being with everyone walking and talking seeing the beauty of Point Reyes was such a positive experience. Even if one of us was down, we bring it right back up. I’m just so thankful for everyone that was there to be there.” – Outdoor Explorer

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“This trip taught me that I could overcome obstacles with the help of people. I am scared that I can’t do everything by myself. However, I don’t know how to ask for help sometimes. I feel like I am weak if I can’t support myself. I know I won’t always know what to do and that I will have to ask for help because it can be the difference between success and failure.” – Outdoor Explorer

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“Backpacking with my peers was so much fun! Everyone was so encouraging, and that helped me get through the hard times during the trip. I didn’t like how we were rushed, but I think that I made the best out of the situation and that I was patient. I also loved the views. Like I said before the view and feeling you get once you reach the top is a feeling ill never get tired of.” – Outdoor Explorer

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“Well, this trip was one of the best trips I’ve had in a VERY long time. The peace & quiet was the best, gearing the waves crash and coyotes howl was AWESOME. Thank you so much for this experience; it will for sure do something like this in the future and try to bring more people into it.” – Outdoor Explorer

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“The trip overall was amazing, and I loved the new experience I had. The people were so open and easy to talk to, and the food was amazing. The instructors were strict, but I know it was with good intention. Keep these experiences open for everyone else please!” – Outdoor Explorer

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“This trip was one of the best backpacking trips I’ve gone on so far. With meeting people from different schools and doing crazy 8 mile hikes. Thank you for coming and having fun.” – Outdoor Explorer

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Thank you to Outward Bound for providing great expertise and support on our journey!

RELATIONSHIPS | ADVENTURE | CONFIDENCE