| Andrew Miller

STRIVE Prep — Federal Students Explore the Mystical Wonders of Nature on White Ranch Overnight

STRIVE Prep — FederalCAP Students from STRIVE Prep — Federal headed out on their annual backpacking trip last Wednesday and, as usual, it was a blast! The kids got a chance to play outside and immerse themselves in the mystical wonders of nature. Scrambling around on rocks, acting, Oreos, and night hiking were all components of this epic adventure!

The journey began at the West trailhead in beautiful White Ranch Park, where the group trekked 1.5 miles in on the Sawmill Trail to their home for the night at Sawmill Campground. From there, the real fun began as the adventurous crew set off to explore the campground and scramble up multicolored rocks up to a gorgeous mountain vista. At this scenic location, the group took time for reflection and meditation as they participated in their first sit spot. Everyone had a chance to tap into all five of their senses and fully experience the beautiful harmony occurring all around them.

STRIVE Prep — FederalBack at camp, there were a multitude of activities happening simultaneously. Some campers partook in building a shelter while others collected rocks and sticks to create an artistic masterpiece. Another creative bunch constructed a whole village of characters out of pipecleaners. Eventually, the festivities came to a close due to a more pressing desire—dinner. The crew worked together to create a delicious meal of rice, beans, veggies, and tortillas. Afterward, they cleaned up as a team while learning all about how to leave a minimal impact while cooking and wrapping up meals.

After dinner, the campers congregated to play a game of charades, which quickly turned into an impromptu improv extravaganza. There were dragons, gumdrop monsters, presidents, and astronauts picking flowers in space! When everyone returned to their normal human form, they broke out the Oreos and decided to have one last adventure before closing down for the night. The campers grabbed their headlamps and headed out into the darkness for an exciting and slightly spooky night hike. At the end of the hike, everyone circled up to share their gratitude and reflections about the adventure-packed day. The group carefully walked back through the darkness to camp to curl up in their cozy sleeping bags for the night.

STRIVE Prep — FederalThe following morning, the explorers started the day with another peaceful sit spot. Afterwards, they had a tasty oatmeal breakfast, packed up camp, and gathered one last time to learn about the important principles of Leave No Trace. With their newfound knowledge and sense of adventure, they strapped on their backpacks and made their way back down the Sawmill Trail. Back at the van, the group had one last meal together and took time to share their insights and favorite parts of the trip. Overall, it was an incredible expedition that will not soon be forgotten by this amazing, adventurous group from STRIVE Prep — Federal!

Written by CI Instructor Alex Simonian

See more photos from the trip here!

Categories: Program News, STRIVE Prep

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