Saturday, July 24, 2010

Call to Adventure!

Eight youth, ages 10 - 12, answer the Call to Adventure and help out the WA state beaches.

On day 6, of a 7 day journey, the group rigged a travoy to carry out aprox. 200lbs of garbage from Hole-in-the-Wall trail, near Rialto Beach! Great job everyone!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

BMW ("Burly Mountain Women") Throwdown

Burly Mountain Women from John LaGow on Vimeo.

by Erin, Maddy, Sophie, Aurelia, JoJo, Molly (Coming of Age Girls I 2010)

Pop it, Lock it, Boy that’s heavy it

Take it to the trail and start your adventure it

Take your wings to the sky, tell your feet good-bye

Walk up the mountain, “You see it?!” Fly!

Zig-Zag, ‘cross the trail

Know that you can never fail

When your heart beats

Can’t feel your feet

We keep going through rain and sleet! And a’

Zig-Zag step slide

Going through the snow I feel three times!

Chilled to the bone from head to toe

Throw it all together that’s how we roll.

We’re the BM – W’s!

We’re the BM – W’s!

We’re the BM – W’s!

Burly Mountain Women that’s how we roll!

Strap it, tie it, back-country-fy it.

Going to the beach to hike in the sand with it

Put your tarp in the sky

Tell dependence good-bye

Start your own fire, Keep it alive!

Zig-Zag, ‘round the seal

Off to our solos without a meal

Maddy faints, her whistle blows

Look how fast those mentors go! And a’

Uh-oh, tide rolls in

Looks like we might have to swim

We have to poop and when we do

We like to rate it 10 to 2.

We’re the BM – W’s!

We’re the BM – W’s!

We’re the BM – W’s!

Burly Mountain Women that’s how we roll!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Coming of Age Boys I, Summer 2010

Written in entirety by the boys of COAB I: Matt, Spencer, Logan, Grayson, Cy, Jonah, and Rohan.

Rite of Passage Journeys is something that we would recommend to anyone wishing for a unique and challenging experience. The coming of Age for Boys 1 was outstanding. Many things about it were challenging and a lot of the time we were ready to go home. But now in the end we can really see this experience has changed us for the better. We have gone through this with perseverance and courage. We have seen our fellow mentees grow and change.

We wish to tell our story about our trip:

Ropes Course and Hiking

On the third day we went to a ropes course which was a lot of fun because we had the chance to do so many things like the power pole (which everyone made it to the top), the alligator crossing, the balance table, and the tight rope crossing. It was a lot of excitement because we literally had each other life's in our hands, also on top of the power pole there is a secret message and everyone said yes except Nevada who said, "The jury's still out," and Matt said "No," and we got a quote from Cy who said "It's all fun and games until someone dies."

We saw a lot of wild life throughout our journey; bear, raccoon, eagle, elk and many other interesting animals. The scenery in the mountains were very diverse. There were many rivers, dry land areas, waterfalls, snow and many large trees, gorges, it was beautiful. The hiking was the largest part of the trip, not because it was most important, but because it was most time consuming. We hiked about 60 miles total and approximately 5 miles a day. Though the hiking was time consuming we were very comfortable on trail, and very quick. We hiked the hilly trail from 3rd beach, to Toleak Point (~7 miles) in under 4 hours, including lunch breaks. I would say our speed on trail made up for 3 hour average time to get out of camp in the morning.

The food served to us on the trip was pretty decent. Although the portions could have been bigger because throughout the whole trip we were starving and always talking about food (that we could only get in civilization). At O'Neil Creek Camp, when it was rainy and the mosquitoes were eating us alive, Spencer decided that he didn't like his Quinoa so he snuck it into Grayson's bowl (didn't work out too well). On the Fourth of July when we were treated to marshmallows, Matt went into a sugar high and couldn't stop laughing for hours!

Not so funny stories that you shall find funny (we hope).

John the poo magnet: So we woke up on our second to last day in the Enchanted Valley and one thing we notice as we eat breakfast is that the two mentors John and Jason look very unhappy. Jason comes up to the group and asks where the soap is; his tone and body language indicate that he is very, very unhappy about something. Matt, the water tender, runs to help him wash his hands. All the while, Jason starts to look even more mad. Later that morning we are called to a meeting around the campfire. The reason for their displeasure is Jason's hands and John's bear can, stuff sack, shoe, and hip belt were covered in human feces. Apparently someone had woken up in the middle of the night and needed to eliminate colon substance. In the mainstream camping world (in our experience) you are taught to shat behind a log while sitting on the log. In the Journeys program, you are taught to bury your feces at least 250 feet away from any campsite and water. None of us confessed, so we were forced to go sit in solo positions and wait for a mentor to come around and question us. Each one of the mentees was confident he had not done it. Still no one confessed. At that point, John came around and stated that he was not mad at anyone, and just needed to know whether anyone was feeling sick, seeing that it may have been a health danger. In the mentees opinion, it was intentionally placed there by someone outside of the group as a practical joke because there was an outhouse in the area open to anyone who needed to use it. The mystery goes still unanswered and will likely never be answered. P.S. John got his shoe back.

O'Neil Sucks: First night on the trail, we were forced to stop in O'Neil Creek camp, debatably one of the worst camping locations of the trip. It was hot, humid, in the evening cold, and there were always, always throngs of mosquitoes. There were more mosquitoes there than there were hippies at Woodstock. After our first day on the trail, we were all very tired. We sat down on a log and made merry. Then the bugs hit. We struggled to get the tarp up, mainly because of the bad work ethics of the two tarp people. When it was time for dinner, disaster struck. We were having quinoa. Now the thing about quinoa is that it is super absorbent, and it may not look like much in the package but it definitely could have fed twenty people with seconds for all. It started to rain, and the quinoa got cold and clammy. But the worst part was, we could not use any seasoning to make it taste better. One of our group had the bright idea of putting cinnamon and sugar. Did not end well. Arguing broke out near the end of the first serving of quinoa. Two of our group left for bed before the second serving, and for once there was thirds (we learned a very important lesson: be careful what you wish for). We all went to bed.

Cy crushes flute (written by Cy): Our group had just come out of the bunkers of Port Townsend and finished doing an activity to build relationships with people we despise. It was the end of the day, we were all looking forward for dinner, and I got careless. I walked over to the cooler to get to my water bottle. I jumped over a bag, did not judge the length properly, and an earsplitting crack rang through the bunker. At first I was confused, and then I was horrified. I had shattered Jason's cedar flute, the one he used for all of the rituals. My hands flew to my mouth and I let out a gasp. I anticipated Jason to start shouting and cursing. Jason was shocked for a second, but kept his head and forgave me. Then Lawrence (leader of the previous activity) told him he could fix it. Lawrence truly, truly saved my skin.

Port Townsend Ecovillage and Solo

At the Ecovillage, we all built drums and let them cure while we were out on our solo. After the solo we built drum sticks and painted our drums in very interesting ways! We were all surprised about how amazing the outcome was! Before embarking on our 24 hour solo journey we burnt childhood masks, thus symbolizing the burning of our undesirable childhood values. During the solo the weather was windy and cold, everyone wished for more clothes, we were all hungry and missed the comfort of home and family (which we appreciate a lot more now). In the 24 hours Matt envisioned a cougar eating three crows, and Grayson saw a goldfinch fly through his tarp. When the mentors woke Grayson up in the middle of the night to check on him, he thought his Camelbak was his sleeping bag. The following day the sky cleared just like our souls. We were all also hungry and slothful the whole day.

We all wish to thank Journeys and everyone who helped make this experience possible. Without you we may still be lost trying to find our way. With you we will be able to live our lives with more understanding of life and the knowledge to gain a firmer grasp on how we should live our lives.