On Thursday, June 22nd, Interns from San Lorenzo High, Antioch High, Alameda High, Oakland High, Albany High, and Alhambra High joined together for a Summer Camping trip to the beautiful Bodega Bay area! This trip was unique to some of our past outings, with a total of 15 participants creating a closeness and unity within the small group.
The day began with an intriguing visit to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Shelter in Petaluma, CA. To begin, interns received a short educational presentation about the organization and the variety of ways they strive to achieve their mission statement; the dedication to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, and the promotion of appreciation of wildlife through educational outreach programs.
Next, interns participated on a tour of the property, where they stood eye to eye with bobcats, cougars, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, learning about each animal’s story in becoming a permanent part of the Wildlife Rescue family. In addition, interns learned all about what types of environments these animals need to thrive, and how humans can help facilitate the protection of these wonderful creatures.
In our Earth Team program, we try to emphasis the concept of leaving places “better than you found it”. Interns did just that as they closed up there visit at the Shelter by assisting staff with the pulling of weeds throughout the tour site and spreading mulch in the pathways. Out team was appreciative of the opportunity to give back to an organization that does so much for our beloved local wildlife.
After the Shelter visit, it was time to head to the beach! Interns camped out at Doran Regional Park and got the sweetest of campsites right along the shoreline. After working together to set up camp, interns enjoyed a few hours relaxing, playing, and exploring the coastline of Bodega Bay.
Soon after is was time for dinner! Interns worked together cutting up and preparing all the ingredients needed for “Tin Foil Dinners”, a camping tradition new to all of our intern participants. Once everything was ready to go, interns piled loads of veggies and whatever else they wanted into a tin foil wrap and placed it in the scolding coals of the bonfire. While food was cooking, interns played a variety of group games on the beach to past the time. Food was finished shortly after and it stood out as an unanimous highlight from the camping trip overall!
To end the night, interns enjoyed S’mores over the bonfire playing card games and other interactive games like Mafia. In addition, interns split up into groups where they came up with skits that had to do with our coast line, safe to say the skits were extremely entertaining! HAH!
Interns finished off the trip early Friday morning after packing up all their goods and saying farewell to the beautiful view. Participants were asked “What do these trips mean to you?”, here is what our interns had to say..
“These trips mean to me that I’m able to do things that I love. That means that I’m able to leave my crowded house and help my neighborhood and make the world a little better than I was given it. They mean that I can slightly change our world. “
– Jeremiah, Antioch Intern
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“This was the first time I ever went on a camping trip and I enjoyed it. I loved setting up the tents and cooking the food with a campfire. Overall, I had an amazing time.”
-Jessica, Alhambra Intern
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“These trips teach me a lot. Before Earth Team I was not interested in the Earth. I thought it was dull and boring. But joining Earth Team I learned more about the Earth and it really opened me up. Also in Earth Team I learned to be more social and not shy anymore. I can actually talk to people.”
-Marco, Antioch Intern
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“During these trips I can always go home and continue to tell stories , it’s a great way to communicate with people and come together to restore areas or even just enjoy each other’s company. These trips are definitely something I look forward to.”
-Gabby, Antioch Intern
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“These trips mean a lot to me because they show me that there really are other young people out there that care about environmental issues”
-Julian, Oakland High Intern
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“These camping trips are incredibly important to me because it allows me time away from my chaotic life to appreciate nature. When camping I was reminded of the importance of protecting our precious ecosystem at all costs. Being away from city life and seeing nature in its rawest form along with a group of like minded people who are dedicated to environmental preservation and sustainability was very empowering.”
-Naliyah, San Lorenzo High Intern
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“These trips give me the opportunity to take a break from all the stress I have at home. I also get to meet new people, and make a visible difference in the world (cleanups, restoration) while having a good time. Earth Team is a cool little niche that I like being a part of.”
-Anica, Albany High Intern
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“These trips are a fun way to get outside during the day and forget about the civilized world.”
-Jacob, Alameda High Intern
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“Being able to go on these camping trips gives me the opportunity to meet people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I want to continue going on these camping trips because I truly had fun during the two days I went camping.“
-Destin, Alameda High Intern
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“These camping trips give every person who has gone or not gone camping the opportunity to meet new people. These trips also include new places to visit and help. Being able to go to these kind of trips are always a blessing. I wish I can always go to trips with everyone like this.”
-Glenn, San Lorenzo High Intern
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“Earth Team camping trips are meaningful to me because the bonding activities allow me to connect/meet other interns. The Bodega camping trip is definitely a great way to disconnect on social media and enjoy the nice weather. I am impressed of how Jenna handles every situation efficiently and making sure that everyone feels comfortable. It was also nice meeting interns that I have not seen before as well as seeing familiar faces. My favorite part of this trip was trying new camping foods and playing new games”
-Julia, Alameda High Intern
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“This final camping trip – without being dramatic – meant the world to me. This was an extremely fun trip that will be memorable in my whole Earth Team career. I joined Earth Team in my junior year and have had so many fond times and this was the perfect way to end it (unless there’s alumni events!). This is my 3rd camping trip with Earth Team and this is by far my favorite because of how little people there were. It was so intimate and I was able to talk to every person who came to the trip and have conversations/make jokes. Also the games were easier and less frustrating to play. Finally the food, o mah gahd, it was so tasty. Best dinner I’ve had in a long time!! It was so much better because it was an authentic camp fire cooked meal.
With two divorced immigrant parents, I never went camping growing up in the U.S. and never had the chance to set up a tent and sit around a campfire. This trip makes me feel more in touch and have a personal connection with the environment. I love Earth Team and I love Jenna!!!!!!!!! <3″
-Jessica, San Lorenzo High Intern
Thanks for reading!
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