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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 while participating in a high and low ropes course. 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 icebreaker games and goal setting at Fort Miley’s Ropes Course. In the evening we learn how to set up tents and cook outdoors, and hold our first nightly council circle.
We travel by van to Tomales Bay State Park where we are introduced to essential kayaking skills and techniques. We put our new skills into action as we kayak on the beautiful waters while exploring the diverse flora and fauna of the Point Reyes Peninsula.
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 to the unparalleled coastline of Point Reyes National Seashore. This beautiful landscape will be our final challenge as we navigate the coastal bluffs, flat grasslands, and riparian ecosystems intertwined along the seashore. We will spend our days backpacking and 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.