28 days ago, fifteen teenagers met in a circle on a patch of grass in front of the University of Anchorage in Alaska. Though some had known each other prior, most trip members had never met before. That all-too-familiar initial akward silence had quickly dissipated through our ice breaker games and van rides! Within no more than a day or two, Westcoast Connection’s Hawaii-Alaska trip had come together through humour and song.
From river rafting on Alaskan rapids, to ocean kayaking, to dogs on sleds and the friendships we built at the Boys and Girls club, our first few days of activities in Alaska set the tone of what was to become an incredible month of travel, adventure, risk taking, and camaraderie. Indeed, our journey climaxed in Maui with our last two days of activities. The snorkel cruise was an instant hit! Jess, Dori, Maddie, Stevie, and Emily were particularly fond of snorkelling, claiming that it was the funnest activity on the trip. Some spent most of their time in the water chasing fish and admiring the plethora of colored coral, while others enjoyed catching some sun rays on the boat deck. Lourdes and Evy enjoyed some well deserved rest and relaxation as they lied down on the bow of the boat and tanned.
Surfing the following day was met with no less than the same enthusiasm that our group had during the snorkel cruise. Eval, Cael, Noah, Jordan, and Eric were quick to catch on and take to the waves, while Stevie, Dori, and Ashley rivalled the boys with their natural grasp of the sport. Matt and Alex also had a blast racing each other on the waves and enjoying the scenery.
After our last two incredible days in Maui, we were already off to the airport to say our goodbyes. It was an emotional time for all of us as we reminisced on trip highlights. On behalf of all the staff of the Hawaii-Alaska trip, I’d like to thank all of the kids for their continued effort and enthusiasm throughout our amazing adventure. The kids we met in Alaska on June 28th 2014, were not the same kids that left Maui on July 24th. We have witnessed incredible growth in all of our trip members. We invite you all to continue to leave your comfort zones and take risks. As you can all attest to, these two things are very conducive to learning and growth. Have an incredible rest of the summer! Snohana everyone!!!
The Westcoast Blogger
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