The intensity of the summer season is what all camp staff live for: the arrival of an eager, fresh-faced new staff; the long days of training; the ever-changing excitement of daily life while trips are out in the field; the glowing change you see in students and staff at the end of their summer experiences. While trips are in the field, anything is possible. Three a.m. mountain time and a European airline cancels a flight and you’re up, talking to parents, figuring out an easy solution, assuring leaders and families it’s all going to work out just fine. “Normal” people wouldn’t love those moments, or multiple months of being on your toes–but I do. It’s the middle of the night and you need me? Here I am! Ready, willing, assuring, and helpful. It’s incredible. It’s like having hundreds of children all over the world at once, and you love every single one equally! Watching as all of your hard work from the previous year comes together in a summer of life-changing fun for all involved…there is nothing as gratifying and exciting as that. But, then, seemingly all of a sudden … it sneaks up on you…. and the summer is over. The last students fly home, the leaders drive off into the sunset. No more nights on call, no more running into students at the grocery store carrying flats of two dozen pastries. What do you do then…? Well, here at WA, we close the office, and we go on vacation!
What, you may ask, does the WA office do when it has time off? Go on an adventure together, of course! This September, Fan (our Western Coordinator), Jeff (our Rocky Mountain Coordinator), Geoff (our International Coordinator), Shannon (our Admissions Director), and Adrian (our Staffing Director), flew down south for some R and R in Nicaragua. We summited a volcano (and Shannon swam in the crater’s cold water!), we bathed in a tropical waterfall lagoon, we gorged ourselves on fish and tropical fruits, we watched hundreds of sea turtles lay eggs by the light of the moon, we deep-sea fished, we surfed, and we even saved a sea turtle from being choked to death by a plastic fishing net! It was some an epic team-building. Turns out, when a group of people who plan adventure trips for a living travel together, the journey is nothing short of ideal.
To all of the WA families, students, leaders, subcontractors, and friends who made this awesome summer happen, thank you. We hope you all enjoyed your journey as much as we enjoyed making it happen. Every moment was exciting and rewarding. Still, sometimes you just need to travel until you hit an ocean breeze and can hear the palm trees rustle. Feel free to peruse some of our photos below!