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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Into the Californian Outback!

Into the Californian Outback! 1

No better way to start off our journey to Lake Tahoe than rafting in the South Fork of the American River. Our thrill-seekers tackled some exciting rapids, punctuated by a refreshing dip in the river. The rafting gave us some unbelievably scenic landscapes that left the trip members in awe!

Next, we started our road trip towards our campground on Lake Tahoe. We drove through the peaks and valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with breathtaking views. Endless mountain ranges with snow on the peaks, rows of towering trees and endless streams and waterfalls on our way up. Our group couldn’t get enough of the view. By the time we got to the campsite, our tents were all ready for us, and we enjoyed a delicious make-your-own fajita buffet prepared by our amazing trip members under the guidance of our campsite manager. We ended our first day at camp with a campfire and delicious s’mores.

We started the day off early in the morning, greeted by the fresh air and morning dew. With the sun shining bright and a cool breeze on the water, we made our way to our own private cruise on the lake. The afternoon was filled with activities on the beach for soaking up the sun. Tubing, wakeboarding, and water-skiing on Lake Tahoe was like nothing else. The lake splashed us with a cool and refreshing mist. After a day full of adventures, we ended the night with a legendary WCC talent show. There were outstanding musical performances, motivational speeches, and a comedy show to end the night with laughter.

The next stop is Ventura for a couple of days of camping amongst the palm trees. Our campers gave the Canadian staff a quick little history lesson during our daily morning show on the bus ride to Ventura. After a long day down the Californian freeway, we arrived at our campsite where the celebrations were just getting started. What better way to celebrate July 4th than with a good old fashioned BBQ. We headed off to Ventura beach the next morning where we got to have fun in the waves, kick back and relax in the sun.

Welcome to the City of Angels!

Universal studios was an absolute blast. We got a special tour taking us through 400 acres of all of our favourite Hollywood movie and television sets. From the “Desperate Housewives” neighborhood to the “Jurassic Park” jungle, the studios had everything you could imagine. Fully built towns identical to New York City, studios for filming “America’s Got Talent,” and even an airplane crash site for a Tom Cruise flick. We even got to go through multiple super realistic 3D simulation rides for unreleased movies, which gave all of us a taste of what goes into the production of a film. For the rest of the day, we enjoyed exploring Harry Potter land and the rest of the amusement park, finding our favorite characters along the way!

Our second day in Los Angeles was spent at the world famous Disneyland. The campers were running around to take pictures with their favorite Disney characters and exploring all the different theme parks. Not only did we get to snap some pictures with Mickey Mouse and Aladdin, we got to go to the brand new Star Wars Land, which recently opened its doors to the public. We all got to experience one of the best interactive simulation rides, where we actually got to control the ride! 

The following morning, we got up early to volunteer and help out the local communities of Los Angeles. We went to the local food bank to help package food and beverages for those in need. We packaged over 4000 meals, and it was a very humbling experience when it was all said and done. After a rewarding morning, we made our way to some famous landmarks such as Rodeo Drive and Hollywood to walk the strip. For our final night, we went to one of the most hilarious comedy shows, and it had all of us tearing up in our seats. 

We’re on our way to San Diego!

We kicked off our first day in San Diego by visiting one of the largest zoos in North America, the San Diego Zoo. Not only were there animals from North America, there were also animals from Asia, Africa, and even the North and South Poles. While checking out different animals, we saw Stephen Curry! The 3 time NBA champion had been spotted by our campers while he was visiting the zoo to celebrate his daughter’s birthday with his family. The entire group was starstruck by one of the best players to ever play the game, only steps away! We then had a tasty meal at Liberty Station before ending the night with a competitive game of laser tag.

Our final day in California was spent at Encinitas beach. A gorgeous beach with bluffs behind and above, and a perfect day to take a refreshing dip in the water. There was no better way to end our stay in San Diego than a relaxing day at the beach, where we even got to get some surf lessons! We all squeezed into our wet suits to tackle the waves of the Pacific Coast and everyone had an absolute blast. There were a lot of tumbles to start off, but by the end we were all riding the water back to shore. 

The Westcoast Blogger

Want to experience an amazing summer in Cali? Check out our 21-day California and the Canyons teen tour. To browse all of our summer programs, click here.