Greetings from Yellowstone National Park!

We’ve done so much since our touchdown in the Jackson airport, it’s hard to believe we’re only getting started! In fact, just by our first van ride we saw bison, elk, and white foxes. And after a smooth first transition into camp lifestyle, we shared dinner and a warm fire that rose into a night sky, undaunted by the hazy light of the city.

 

During our orientation day we explored the Moose Visitor Center and were dazzled by its high quality exhibits and wonderful architecture. Outside we played noisy games that brought a whole lot of laughter to everyone’s faces. Then we set out on our first hike to Phelps Lake, where the Teton wilderness overtook us with its untouched beauty. After a scenic lunch on the overlook, we trooped back to yet another clear night sky at the Colter Bay campground.

 

Waking up early we began to prepare for our kayak excursion. Here we were able to check out the rustic vibes of Jackson, WY, grocery shopping and filling up our beloved van. After lunch in a nearby park, we embarked towards our fabled destination: Yellowstone!

 

After braving through a rainy night, tucked safely in our dry tents, we woke up before the sun could catch us and rode down to the launching point with kayaks in tow.  After a briefing, we took off onto the smooth and serene Yellowstone Lake. The water was so quiet we could see our own reflections before the surrounding forest embankments. Our trip proved long and strenuous, but by the time we reached our deeply nestled campsite, we were rewarded by blue skies and plenty of available firewood. Because we had arose so early we had plenty of time to pitch our tents, play games, relax, and tell stories, before the crisp Yellowstone night approached.

 

The next day we enjoyed a bit of time sleeping in, and a yummy oatmeal breakfast. We then secured our camp and launched out again onto the lake. After an enjoyable paddle we found a cool little sand bar where we were able to beach our boats and eat lunch. We hung around a bit, soaking in the rays and each other’s company. Here, we played a ton of get-to-know-each-other games which furthered our group bonds. We kayaked back, singing towards our campsite.

 

Today we awoke bright and early once again to conclude our awesome kayak adventure. We took long glides across the lake to reach our put-out point and saw several bald eagles along the way! The wildlife didn’t retreat however, for upon reaching our van trailer, we were greeted by a curious elk!

 

Our group is proving to be a tight knit family of friends, and each participant plays a vital role.

 

Ty is a natural born leader who does not hesitate to step in when help is needed. Not only is he enthusiastic about assisting fellow campers but often the counselors as well. He is full of fun energy that brings the group vivacity and happiness. We are excited to wee Ty’s initiative in our upcoming hiking trip.

 

Julian has a great sense of humor that the whole group can appreciate. Often times we find him cracking himself up which spreads contagiously. He has adapted well to a wilderness lifestyle, and proves to be adventurous wherever we go. There is sure to be plenty of stuff for Julian to dig his hands into in the upcoming week.

 

Ellen has a peaceful spirit that puts others at ease. At camp her inputs are insightful and encouraging, and during our activities she allows to calmness of nature to resonate within. She also has a healthy curiosity about the environment and the wildlife within it, and never fails to ask meaningful questions. There is plenty of more insight for Ellen to gain looking forward.

 

Evan is a child of the sun, and when we’re out on the water, a smile is always upon his face. During our games Evan is enthusiastic and energetic, and brings a lively exuberance to things that other can pick up on. Evan is a kindhearted individual that has the best intentions for everyone, and we are very pleased to have him along.

 

Craig is a joker, and a good one at that. He is always keeping things interesting with quip remarks and funny noises. It seems a cloud of laughter surrounds him wherever he goes! Craig says he loves the blank slate that nature provides, feeling now more open and free to be himself. Craig’s confidence is beaming and is sure to lead us into a good direction in the remainder of our trip.

 

Simms has proven his expert outdoors skills especially during our backcountry portion. When a situation arises Simms always has the appropriate solution. His aptness in the wilderness enables him to be a effective leader, one which everyone can rely on. We predict his knowledge and tactfulness will especially shine during our backpacking section.

 

Owen has shown confidence since day one—confidence in himself and confidence in others. He is never ashamed to say what he’s thinking, and usually that’s something extremely funny and entertaining. Everyone can appreciate Owen’s presence because it’s so natural and free flowing, and because of that drive the group is brought closer together.

 

Jack brings positive energy in everything he does. We can tell that he is genuinely sympathetic and caring of other people. In camp Jack is found making sure that others are feeling happy and secure. His positive attitude brings optimism to the group, and he has made friends with every person, making him a very valuable addition.

 

B. Gray has adapted very well to a camper’s lifestyle. He is enthusiastic about camp life and never has an issue with the challenges it may bring. His calm and collected nature brings reassurance to others in the group and allows them to relax in a wilderness setting. We can tell B. Gray is going to excel in the activities ahead.

 

Akane fascination with the natural world couldn’t be more apparent. On the trail she is seen observing every microcosm and wondering about every organism. At camp she asks insightful questions about the environment and never hesitates to get up close and personal with her surroundings. Akane is sure to be blown away by what’s in store.

 

Lindsay has done extremely well in all of our activities which inspires others to do the same. While hiking he was ahead of the pack and offered words of encouragement to those behind. While kayaking Lindsay was a effective motivator, and kept the paddling strong and rewarding.

 

Thomas is a wholesome member of our group. Never does he hesitate to step into a leadership role, assisting campers and leaders alike. He has shown a genuine character, positive attitude, and striking ambition. And on top of all of that he always keeps an open mind. Thomas is sure to lead the group towards great success in the upcoming week.

 

Reilly Grace has been very personable from day one, engaging everyone in light-hearted conversation. She is sensible and compassionate, and that makes others feel comfortable around her. She has also shown a pleasing curiosity towards her surroundings, never missing a moment to observe and absorb the wonderful Yellowstone environment.

 

We are very grateful for the experiences we have had, and look forward to those to come. The group is already working together with great fellowship, and we can’t wait to see where it leads us in this great and fascinating place.