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This 14-day adventure offers teenagers from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to explore our coastal waterways via kayak, go expeditionary backpacking, learn primitive camping skills, and form incredible new friendships with a cohort of peers.
The journey begins in San Francisco, where we spend our first day bonding as a team, playing ice breaker games, and settling in to the course mindset. We then travel to Tomales Bay and learn the fundamentals of sea kayaking – how to use a rudder, paddle in coordination with a teammate, and how tides and currents affect a boat’s motion. During this training time we spend our evenings in the coastal town of Inverness, tuning into our environment and learning about the California ecosystems and watershed. The group then embarks on a 5 day/4 night adventure on Tomales Bay, spending each night on a secluded boat-in beach campsite. Upon returning from our sea kayaking adventure, we spend another 5 days and 4 nights backpacking the coastal bluffs and serene forests of Point Reyes National Seashore, a jewel of California’s park system and an attraction for tourists worldwide.
Participants meet in San Francisco and begin the day with a welcoming introduction as we meet the teammates that we will be spending the next fourteen days with. We will learn play ice breaker activities, do goal setting and travel to Point Reyes National Seashore, where we will be spending our next two weeks. In the evening we learn how to set up tents and cook outdoors, and hold our first nightly council circle.
We spend our first day in Tomales Bay State Park where we learn the stove systems and camp procedures, as well as spend the day exploring local beaches and getting to know our course mates.
We learn the fundamentals of sea kayaking – how to use a rudder, paddle in coordination with a teammate, and how tides and currents affect a boat’s motion. We put our new skills into action as we kayak on the beautiful waters while exploring the diverse flora and fauna of the local coastline. We pack up gear and food and embark on an expeditionary paddle to explore the heart of Tomales Bay. We pack a fleet of kayaks full of everything we need to spend the next four nights: tents, stoves, clothing, food, sleeping bags, etc. We take time to connect to the nature around us and reflect on our relationships with each other and the earth. We learn to live simply and close to nature, spending our nights sleeping outdoors and our days learning the primitive skills of kayaking.
The last leg of our trip takes us backpacking along the unparalleled coastline of Point Reyes National Seashore. Hiking along this beautiful landscape will be our final journey as we navigate the coastal bluffs, flat grasslands, and riparian ecosystems intertwined along the seashore. The challenge of backpacking and carrying only our essential needs gives us the opportunity to gain confidence and feel empowered, as well as the solitude to reflect on our experiences. We will spend our days learning about the environment, while evenings will be spent cooking together, enjoying ocean sunsets and gazing at the inspiring views of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Graduation Day! This is a potluck gathering in San Francisco. We invite our friends and family to watch a slideshow of our adventure, and share with them the highlights of our journey and the lessons we have learned. Afterwards the group will say their last goodbyes and farewells, and each student will return to their homes with their guardians.