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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