Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Let It Go" as rewritten by Samantha, The Journey Continues 2015

"The branches sway on the mountains today
Not a human to be found
Two hours into my solo
And I'm starting to find me.
The river flowing like the blood that's in my veins
I don't know how to feel
Will I be the same?
Just keep it in
Don't let them see
Be the person I think I'm s'posed to be.
Conceal, don't feel
Don't let it show
But why not grow?
Let it go, let it go
Learn the power that I wield
Let it go, let it go
What's the point of a useless shield?
I don't care what the world might want
Let the river flow
The silence echos through the trees into the ground
My soul is spiraling in trees and bushes all around
And now I'm seeing that whole world from where I stand
I'm never going back
This is who I am
Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
My fear is finally gone
I don't care what the world might want
Let the river flow
This solo ain't too bad after all."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Thank-you Letter to Donors, Coming of Age for Boys "Isaac"

Thank you for not putting your money in stocks or bonds or gold but in the next generation of American youths. Your donation towards this life-changing trip has made me go from a needy boy into a motivated young man ready to embrace the responsibilities left for me by past generations. Global warming, economic collapse, water shortage, and energy crisis are the problems that lie looming in our world's future. It is only because of programs like these that young people are given the tools to combat and eradicate these problems. By donating to Journeys, you are shaping young men who will in turn shape the world.

Isabel Yueh, Call to Adventure 2015

This camp is one of the camps where you instantly make friends in the car ride over, and your friendships strengthen over all the hardships and troubles and experiences that every person in the group experience. One of my favorite moments was when we found a dead crow and decided to bury it in the sand. We all worked together and made an amazing grave. We didn't even know this crow or how it died, but we felt like it was the right thing to do. At the same time we said good bye to the beach and all the animals on the beach.

This camp experience has changed my future, and I am definitely going back next year. I will never forget my friends that I made on this trip. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sit Spot Poem, Becoming a Young Woman 2015 "Delaney"

Listen closely and you will feel,
no longer hearing through your ears, but by your heart.
You must understand their circumstances
before understanding their story.

Listen closely and you will feel them inside of you.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Adventuring into Middle Childhood by Rachel Rothman, Apprentice Journey

“The heart of childhood, from seven to eleven, is the critical period for bonding with the earth.” – David Sobel

The southeast corner of the Olympic National Park is an amazing and sacred place. It is full of majesty and wonder. Captured best by the statement of a wise camper as we gazed up at the mountains: “This is the purple that I see from home,” referring to the Olympic Mountain Range when we looked to the west.

The Apprentice Journey began here. Leaving base camp, seven kids ages 8-10, two other grateful guides and I, shouldered our backpacks and set off on our mile and a half hike to what would be our home for the next two days. As with any Rite of Passage journey, the trials and tests we encountered and surmounted were abundant. 

Less than 100 yards from our base camp, we had to shift backpacks and redistribute gear, and then watch as a water bottle took a lonely leap over the bridge. After rescuing the busted bottle, we continued on our way. Our trials continued too. The next half-mile met with weariness from carrying backpacks (to be expected!), a few wasp stings (ow! quickly remedied), and a stumble, resulted in a stunning, but luckily not wounding, experience.  We reached our destination three hours later tired, uncomfortable and hungry. 

However, we had made it to camp! As we dropped our packs and began to explore our new environment, something amazing happened. A shift took place from the feeling of the “grind” of hiking to the absolute wonderment of our surroundings. Once again I marveled in the present-ness of childhood — it took no time to immerse in the wonders surrounding us. 

Over the next two days, we saw all kinds of wildlife, played in the water, and connected with each other and the earth. We supported each other when the distance of family or the “attack of mosquitos” proved to be too much.

The rite of passage into middle childhood is grounded in the world of wonder, nature and family. What a gift it was to watch these beautiful 8, 9 and 10 year olds adventure into middle childhood with strength and grace — a blessing I’m glad I was able to witness and share. Hope fills me as I venture into the future with these souls, our next generation of leaders.

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” - David Sobel

Monday, October 6, 2014

Becoming a Young Woman 2014 "Thalia"

Becoming a Young Woman is our 1-week, retreat-based coming-of-age experience for girls

Here is what Thalia (13) had to say about Becoming a Young Woman 2014:

At Journeys I met amazing people.
People I never would have met otherwise.
My group leaders were amazing.
They told us stories and taught us songs.
On my solo I got to do a lot of writing.
And I got to just think about who I was after my week at Journeys.
I loved every moment of it.
I hope that if you're about to embark on your own Journeys quest, you will too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Up for the Sunrise: The Journey Continues 2014

(The Journey Continues is our 1-week high school aged trip)

After some days in the wilderness, priorities and pleasures will have shifted from normal day-to-day life. That must be part of the explanation for why a group of teenagers and their two leaders would agree to get up at five in the morning and hike through the chill to watch the sunrise from a mountaintop.

It was our last morning together. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone was up for such an adventure after all the uphill hiking we’d just done. But off we went through the slowly brightening dawn up to the summit of Blue Mountain, in the NE Olympics, and found an eastward-looking viewpoint that was sheltered from the bitterly cold wind. It was a clear morning but for some haze hanging in the Puget Basin in front of us. Our timing was perfect. After sitting quietly together for about ten minutes, all of a sudden a brightness emerged through the haze, a startling pink. As it rose and grew, it outlined the ridgeline of the Cascades, previously invisible in the hazy sky. It was one of the most interesting sunrises I’ve seen, and we all sat ooh-ing and ahh-ing for a while before getting up to take some pictures.

As I reflect on this experience, I wonder: what were we saying, with our bodies and souls, when we chose to hike up there to watch the sunrise? The sunrise is yet another thing usually taken for granted, rarely given much consideration. But to all of us it seemed the fitting thing to do. Watching the sunrise gives me a sense of looking into the future, into possibilities. I often have an instinct to see it when some transition or transformation has been afoot, when things feel new and fresh. And even moreso, to see it from the peak of a mountain gives a sense of incredible expansiveness. On our last day together, as we looked ahead to life back home, the sunrise lent us a sense of fullness, completion, and a window into what was coming next.

In a way, it’s reassuring to know that there’s such a rich experience to be had in simply taking in this basic (though from another perspective, miraculous) everyday occurrence. So I suppose that one thing we were saying was that we wanted to show up for the simple but dramatic events woven into our days and really take them in. That we wanted to seize the moment and come away with a unique memory and story to tell. What else is there? 

Submitted by Cameron Withey, guide, The Journey Continues 2014