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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Handy In Cali! – California Community Service


Hello Family and Friends of California Community Service CA2,

What a whirlwind first three days! Our California Community Service trip started out with a bang last Monday, with everyone arriving safely and on time at the airport. We settled into our rooms at the University of San Diego and met our new friends who we will be spending time with for the next three weeks. We met our trip director Renee and the other two leaders Sandi and Peter. Then after freshening up and having a great dinner, we went out for the highlight of the night to Cozmo Bowling! Alli G brought her game face and impressed her competitors with scores in the 70’s. But no one could surpass Danny who finished the night with a top score of 109! The craziest move of the night award went to Agathe who bowled three strikes in a row – XXX (also known as a turkey!). Everyone was pretty tired as we made our way back to the dorms, but nothing could stop the conversation that Sara and Beatrice struck up in the van about One Direction. Those two really found a connection and are our in-house experts on 1D.

The next morning we went to Mission Beach to cruise the boardwalk on our rental bikes. This was our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean and relaxed beach life of California. Jake helped navigate the group by taking a position up front and after a biking adventure, everyone made it back safe and sound to the rental shop. In the afternoon, we had our first introduction of the California waters at Coronado Beach, and sprinkled each other with drops of the Pacific California waters in a competitive relay race. Isabella led the Palm Tree team and Kiana headed up the Starfish team. The tie came down to Sandi and Peter, and with the help of her team cheering her on, Sandi brought home the gold! And it really was gold, the sand that is – there were billions of specks of gold in the sand that made the beach glitter in the bright sunshine.

In the evening we visited Seaport Village, a shop commons on the waterfront. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream was the first stop, and then the group perused the shops until a sword swallowing street performer showed up and shocked the group by swallowing a three foot sword! Gavin made us all laugh as he wore the red fez hat he bought at a specialty hat shop. Some of the girls nick-named him Abu after the monkey in Aladdin 🙂

The next day began our first day of service at Habitat for Humanity, and the entire crew entered with eagerness to help move and organize doors, and paint the racks in the warehouse a bright yellow. Sam worked at dismantling the door handles and hinges from the doors so that they could be resold. Hailey, Kristen and Nicole showed their strength by lifting the doors and moving them inside to be organized in the warehouse. We don’t exactly know who started it, but Allie C and Maddy were victims of a paint war that broke out while painting the metal racks… They may still be trying to wash off the remaining paint. Rebekah showed her leadership skills by organizing a game of mafia and the group loved it. Aliza kept the group spirit alive when necessary in the afternoon hours.

We ended the night with a great debrief where everyone shared their highs and lows of the day. The group seemed to really bond that night during a thrilling game of Werewolf led by storyteller Peter. The number of townspeople slowly dwindled as the werewolves devoured them one by one each night. We were shocked that our own trip director Renee was actually in fact a werewolf! Erica tried to warn us as her role of the Little Girl who could see who the werewolves were in the night, but she was eaten before the rest of the townspeople started to listen to her.

It has been a busy first few days, and we are just getting our feet wet with our service work. We are putting our hearts into doing our best, and that has been helping us get to know each other better. We will be doing more service this week with Habitat for Humanity, as well as with the Boys & Girls Club. We can’t wait!

Until next time….

Sandi, Renee, and Peter

Biking in Cali



Have we piqued your interest? Explore our 10-day21-day or 28-day tours and community service projects for teens in California. Start planning your own adventure with Westcoast Connection. It will be the travel experience of a lifetime!