Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Shizzle Masters are famous!

Thanks Nora for writing such a fab article about ARC. You all can check it out at:

Final Expedition in Sequoia starts today

Friday, July 27th, Day 27

“From small beginnings, they run their course; and once they have begun they cannot be turned back; thus it is with rivers, years, and friendships.”

Today we woke up at 6:15 a.m. like always but the difference is that yesterday we went to sleep at 10:40 p.m. We are going to Sequoia for 8 days, and I guess we are not taking a shower until we come back and the last time we took one was last Saturday the 14th. Nasty! We had breakfast, waffles, burritos from yesterday, coffee and juice. When we finished we had English class and finished our narrative biographies. Bravo! From there we hopped into the van, and we got comfortable because we have a 5 hour drive. On the van Jen showed us the newspaper with our pictures (we are famous). The Shizzle Masters were in the front page of the newspaper. Also we wrote letters to the other ARC members in Tahoe. They are worried about the evacuation, but we are going to calm them with our letters. For lunch we stopped at a park and ate sandwiches, like always. Jen and me ran to win the swings, while Ana and Tracy were playing on the slide and Ilse capturing the moment with Jen’s camera. Also Kenia, Engels, Cindy, Luis, Juan, and Gerald decided to play volleyball. Minutes later, Morgan and Laura arrived and we got on the road again. Inn the road people were talking about dog meat, commercials and MTV music awards, while Engles was so bored that he was singing the Backstreet Boy’s song.

ARC students save the world, again...

Thursday, July 19th, Day 26

“People often say that in democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote—a very different thing.”

Greatest accomplishment of the day: Everyone finished their projects for science.

Here's an example from Juan & Kenia:


One of the most visited places on Earth is our beaches. Millions of people like to enjoy the sites, the sounds, and the beauty of the ocean. Many of those people are unaware of how they are making a huge impact on it. The cruel reality is that we are killing ourselves by destroying our oceans.

One of the main issues concerning us is trash, but we are not making conscientious decisions about it. Animals like birds, sea turtles, fish, and other kinds of marine life are being found on the shores of our beaches, DEAD! They die because they mistake our trash for food. Most of the trash and debris is glass, plastic, metal, and paper.

A photo in the October 2005 edition of National Geographic showed a Laysan albatross chick with the following found in its stomach: cigarette lighter, pump-top sprayer, nut shells, shot gun shell, broken clothespins and hundreds of plastic bits. It died of starvation because its stomach was full of trash. “Starvation associated with marine debris is a significant cause of death in chicks that don’t fledge,” the caption stated. Locally, cigarette butts are the most commonly collected item on our beaches. According to www.surfrider.org, on September 16, 2006, 395 volunteers cleaned up Santa Barbara County beaches for three hours. In that short amount of time, they picked up approximately 1,158 pounds of trash and 764 pounds of recyclable material from our neighboring beaches, stretching some 30 miles along our coastline. A minute portion of all the garbage and debris that still remains in our oceans. Now, do you still think that a minuscule piece of trash is not an enormous problem?

The daily human activities not only impact the marine life, but your life too, making the ocean less enjoyable for us and more hazardous. For example, when swimmers or people are walking on the beach shores they can get injured by stepping on glass, cans, needles, or many other types litter. Divers and swimmers have unfortunately found objects that are dangerous to our health such as condoms, tampons, and hospital syringes. Isn’t that sad?

In addition, the reason we should care about oceans is because oceans provide important benefits for humans such as oxygen and food. Not only that, the ocean provides food and shelter for 97% of all life on earth, according to www.santabarbaraca.gov. We also should care because this is an important portion of life. It is our responsibility to try and mend what we have done.

However, a way to regulate the problem is by using the 4 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Refuse. Did you know that a fourth R(refuse) existed? The first “R” stands for reduce: reducing the amount of trash by not buying unnecessary objects that will cause plenty of trash, buy only quantities we really need and buy better quality items so they last longer. The second “R” stands for reusing: reusing products like plastic bags or anything that can be use multiple times over or maintaining items so that they last longer. The third “R” recycling: recycling plastics such as water bottles, glass, metal, and paper. According to the research done by www.beachclean-up.org, almost 90% of all floating marine debris is plastic, plastics that could have been recycled to make furniture, bottles, or insulation. And finally the fourth “R” refusing: refusing a styrofoam coffee cup by taking your own, or refusing plastic bags in the grocery store by taking your own bag, which will make a difference.

In conclusion, as humans we can make a difference, but we need everyone’s involvement. Some ways to support the oceans is by disposing our trash properly, always trying to recycle, practicing good house keeping, encouraging to pick up trash, etc. Remember that by just picking a simple wrapper of a granola bar or a cigarette butt, it will make an immense change on the ocean, you are saving the planet! And if you want to conserve our oceans, do it for your children, and the children of your children, and for the health of the marine life. Don’t think about it, ACT!

La basura en nuestros oceanos es un problema que no se a podido radicar, pero todo eso se debe a la falta de educacion de parte de nosotros. Nos estamos matando nosotros mismos. Al contaminar nuestros mares con metal, plasticos, papel y vidrios, estamos acabando con la vida marina como: algunos pajaros, tortugas marinas, pescados, y muchos otros mas. Estos confunden nuestra basura por comida, y como eso no los nutre, mueren de hambre. Con tan solo depositar la basura en su lugar, reciclando plasticos(con el plastico se pueden hacer muebles), educando a otros, o con tan solo recoger una pequena basurita como una envoltura de un chicle o una colilla de cigarro, haria una gran diferencia.

Adventures in Evacuation

Wednesday, July 18th, Day 25

“We do not see things are they are. We see them as we are.”

We woke up like always at 6:15 a.m. but in a trampoline bed. Whoa! Only girls because we are special and the guys slept under a kiosco while Laura slept on the ground and Morgan having fun in the tree house by himself. Everyone was awake while Morgan was snoring in the tree house. We were working hard to get our things done at 6:45 am. We were 5 minutes late because not everyone was helping to get the things in the van. When we wer ready to go to UCSB someone noticed that the van was stinking really bad because everyone is dirty and we all smell bad. It was really funny when that happened. Then we were riding on the van and Jen told us that we can choose our last three dinners because Kenia’s idea of making Morisqueta. We can all chose 2 more dinners. We were choosing and we decided to have chicken enchiladas and tacos de carne asada. Oh que delicioso. We all need to show up our self that we know how to cook so get ready Morgan, Jen and Laura. Then we got to UCSB and it was like always. Whoa! Not like our second day running in SB beach. Luis like always running really hard. Engles was running but had and interruption happened diarrhea came to him and he had it to run to the bathroom he told us that when he was in the bathroom the person that cleans the bathroom came and he opened the door and saw Engels poop. He was embarrassed but he noticed that he his not going to see him again, so then it was OK. Jen was trying to push everyone. Ilse like a track runner. Angela pushing herself to run more than anytime. Kenia like always running a lot and pushing everyone. Gerald helping everyone specially Juan because Juan weas trying really hard to continue to fun. Ana the track runner running normal because this is a piece of cake for her. Laura pushing Tracy and me because we had to go to the bathroom and we were behind everyone. Cindy running and trying to run more than last time. We went to the classroom and everyone was tired and we all started to read our independent books and at the end Engels was the first one to finish reading his book. Then we had to start our grammar class. It was fun because everyone was participating. Then we started to do our rough drafts of our interviews at first it was boring but when we saw that Jen was with sodas our lives changed. We all were happy. Then we started our science projects it was fun but hard then we got prepared to go to Sue’s house and ate dinner. Lasagna with salad. Yummm! It was delicious. We were eating and having fun. I was fighting with Engels but everything was a joke. Now we all need to run because we ate too much specially Kenia and Engels because they were fighting for the salad but we all know that always happens. Just kidding. Oh, I forgot! I saw a baby wearing sunglasses. It was so fun. He was so cute. Whoa! Good night!

Up, up and away!

Tuesday, July 17th, Day 24

Ropes Course at Camp Whittier

Thanks Ashley for being such a wonderful facilitator. The group definitely learned from all of the team-building initiatives. At the end of the day, each student had to climb to the top of the tower and jump for a personal goal. Going to college, building a better relationship with family, overcoming the fear of being a failure are just a few of the things they jumped for. What would you jump off of telephone pole for, knowing that you had to trust the team that was belaying you?

Evacuated from Sedgwick

Monday, July 23, 2007

Here's a challenge we didn't anticipate: being evacuated from the Sedgwick Field Station due to the Zaca Fire. No need to worry, though, the students handled it quite well. Who knew you could have so much fun with a 12-passenger van dance hall, complete with strobe light headlamps and bumbing music. Well done.

ARC Interview Day!

Many thanks everyone who participated in the ARC Interview Day: Brian Rapp, Tina Hasche, Lauran Eastman, Fabian Ojeda, Matt Jordan, Mike Delgado, Mary Jane Delgado, Darwin Richardson, Leslie Koda and Kori Soltz. We couldn't have done it without you!

Back at Basecamp

Sunday, July 15th, Day 22
“The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.”

We started our day but everyone was tired after a pretty exciting day of surfing. At 6:45 we got on our way to UCSB. Once there we started our physical fitness for 35 mintues. Everyone were pushing each other, good team work! After we were done running, everybody were all sweaty, but happy and with energy. After that we had grammar and CAHSEE class. We had oranges for snacks, mmm, que rico! We practiced the interviews with a partner, and everyone did it fast. Lunch then happened. We had sandwiches and grapes. We read the Phantom Tollbooth and then continued our science projects. When we finished our minds were all tired. During the ride back the science groups had to come up with a name of their project, but Juan and Kenia all ready had it, so it wasn’t a problem. The rest were thinking very hard but then God illuminated their heads and they started coming up with titles. Angela and Cindy’s title was “Wet today, Dry tomorrow.” I like it! Then Tracy and Luis came up with the name Clean + Oceans=Happy. Also Engles and Ilse got their title and it was “All floods down stream” and Gelald and Ana chose “Growing Problem.”

Gnarly Waves, Dude...Part 2

Gnarly Waves, Dude...

Thanks Chipper and Matt for hooking it up for us...if anyone needs super fun, super safe surf lessons, check him out at www.surfclass.com.

Saturday, July 14th, Day 21
“To overcome all evil with some good is good; to overcome evil with evil is evil.”

Today we woke up like always ready to start a new day. We started with the normal activities except that today we didn’t run because of the quality of the air. Jen teached us some yoga, she is an expert. Then we had a leadership class. We packed our stuff and we started our ride to Ventura. During the way we decided our menu for our final expedition. Finally we found our surf instructors and then we started to feel the emotion of being in the ocean. We talked about the ocean and waves, and then we put on our wet suit and we took the surf tables. We practiced for a while and then we went to the water. At that moment, the emotion was big as the ocean. Everyone passed a good time surfing, swimming, fighting with the waves, incredible. Then some partners had a chance to enjoy a great time in the water. Then we took out all the equipment and we loaded the truck. Jen went to return the equipment, during that time we read the book Phantom Tollbooth. Finally we returned to Sedgwick Field Station. In the way back, Engles, Angela and me played Scrabble and the rest of the team was sleeping. In the field station we had the chance to take showers, we all took showers. Then the pizza was ready. WE all ate pepperoni pizza and salad. That was delicious!

Last 2 days on Santa Cruz Island at the SC Island Field Station

Thursday, July 12th, Day 19
“Even the tiniest initial deviation from the truth is subsequently multiplied a thousand fold.”

Question of the Day: If you could change something in your life, what would it be?
Juan: Redoing kayaking again.
Angela: have sports ability.
Ana: not dislocating shoulder during volleyball.
Kenia: not having lost my first boyfriend.
Cindy: to come to the US when I was little to learn English.
Gerald: Change attitude.

Friday, July 13th, Day 20 HALF COURSE
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can change his life by changing his attitude of mind.”

Today is half course! It’s been 20 days that we spend together like a family.

Finishing "I Am" Poems on Santa Cruz Island

The students finished their "I Am" poems that were started on the first expedition in Sequoia National Park. Here are just a few of them.

Breaking the Cycle
by Engels Garcia

I am an ant
I advance without knowing
what obstacles are surrounding me.
I feel incompetent
cannot express my ideas
cannot communicate.

Challenging to get along
with people who have
a different way of life,
those who only care about themselves,
wish they could be more conscious.

But from far away
the fresh wind gives breath
sharing life inside of me,
giving me energy to soar
above my obstacles.

With blistered hands
I work hard to survive,
I sweat step by step,
just like a slave
working in the grape fields
endless, eternal rows
of dusty green grapes.

If my life ends
it is not because the Age,
it is the fight against
my Predators,
the destiny
trying to get out of the
cycle of slavery.

I am soul,
a ghost,
unfortunately I can’t survive
in this world

With pain
my work stings
without any progress,
I can’t find my colony,
my home.

I am victim
to my predators
who, without consciousness,
are killing
and my hopes to find
inner peace.


Open Your Eyes
by Kenia Lopez

Meadows that used to be lakes
remind me of the past,
memories that used to be wet.
I am a high summer sierra peak,
tears now dry.
The sunlight wakes me up
every morning,
and the night
covers me as a warm dark blanket.

The beauty of the sunsets
make me look like a Shooting Star,
A gigantic Sequoia pine tree,
strong, always alive.
A quiet butterfly,
shyness hugging me.

Horrible moments,
as black storms spread over my ridges,
flood my rivers,
my madness
hailing on my sisters,
sinful problems:
cold, black robes.

Magnificent as a high mountain,
strong, peaceful blowing winds;
calm as clouds;
and quiet as a rock.
Fresh, crystalline water against my skin,
free movements, dancing gently
gives me life.

My parents,
white glaciers,
enormous protectors,
educated me, supported me,
warned me, formed me!

My delicious landscapes,
the fragile and delicate
mountain Bluebell flower,
leaves like porcelain,
but strong enough to say, “I love you.”

The winter dresses me
with white freezing dresses.
Summer dresses me
with green pines and white firs.
Life is dressed beautifully
as long as you open your eyes.


Legacy Carved in Stone
by Juan Hernandez

I am a Glacier
Bound by no laws,
No Rules,
Free to see the world,
Strong & True.

I am a Glacier,
Seen no more,
But still here
A ghost,
Watching the world go by,
Washing the stain of blood shed past,
The blood and memories of those who
fought and died for us:
My world, my rivers, my land, the earth
beneath me.

Transformed by time,
Melted away in the world,
All you see:
Everywhere and anywhere you see.

But I have been forgotten by the world,
By the lies that surround me,
and by the lies I have created,
Lost in time,
and lost to the World.

Gentle at times,
Happy and smiling,
Always changing,
My thoughts, my mind & my emotions,
Always growing in size and in shape
Getting stronger in mind and spirit,
Always learning,
About myself and the world that surrounds me,
Wanting to change the world,
waiting to give shape to this world of
disappointments and regrets,
In anyway that I can,

Shedding my emotions to the world
every drop of rain,
Showing my worth,
Letting people see who I am,
My good,
My peculiar enthusiasm,
My bad,
My serious nature,
My flaws,
My beliefs,

Those who choose to believe in me,
The mountains and rivers who choose
To love and care for me,
To teach me…right from wrong,
to hold me…when I get fearful
or terrified,
And those who choose to bring me down,
Will only make me stronger,
For I am a Glacier, powerful & majestic,
I move with the might and the strength
of my family behind me and no one will
stop me.

I am a Glacier,
Looking toward the future,
Making my own path…and leaving my
legacy carved in stone,
Seeing the world for what it is,
Cold & hard,
But at the same time…inspiring,

The world is changing,
Never stopping,
And never will,
But I will leave my mark on this world
and into the next,

My words,
Stained with my Truths and the Fears of
this world,
Echoed in the wind.

Day 2 of Kayaking at Santa Cruz Island

Tuesday, July 10th, Day 17
“If anyone demonstrates to me and convinces me that I am thinking or acting incorrectly, I will happily change; for I wish to know the truth, which never caused injury to anyone.” Marcus Aurelius

Today we had an early wake-up at 6 a.m. because we had to be at the beach at 7:15 ready to start kayaking. We were in time and we had a nice warm up and 15 minutes later we inside the ocean in our kayaks. We had a small game of balancing on the kayak and paddle. Kenya and Anna were up and they were very confident. Engels stood up and was doing nice yoga (nice balance Engels!) but Tracey decided to stay down and watch Kenia and Ana fall. Then Luis stood up and Juan tried too, but both fell with a big smile. Ilse and Gerald were up but Engles gave them the chance to swim and enjoy the water. With the help of Morgan, Cindy and me stood up but we decided to stay sitted. Everyone was in chase of Morgan, but nobody got him wet. Later, we kept our way to see more caves. When we went back to the shore we took our gear off and said goodbye to Laurel and Shawn (our kayak instructors) with a big hug. We came back to camp and had snacks. When we were nice and dry we started our English class and we had our last rough draft of our poem. Then we had luch. Bagels with cream cheese, mmm. We started our science projects and they were about watersheds. After the class, we started our FREE TIME. Luis, Tracy, Juan, Ana and Ilse and Laura went to the beach while Cindy, Kenia, Gerald, Jen and Engles and me went for a hike and saw a wonderful view of the cliffs and the island.

Day 1 of Kayaking at Santa Cruz Island

Monday, July 9th, Day 16
“ Courage without conscience is a wild beast.”

Well today it wasn’t like a normal day. Today we wake-up in the morning we had breakfast then we got ready to start kayaking. Everyone was very anxious. Juan was very scared because he and I were the first ones to fall into the water. Gerald was tired and excited at the same time. Tracy was first scared but later as the instructor show her how to get into the kayak thing she was more comfortable. Angela at first she was very confident because she know how to swim and also she had done this kayaking before and later she was dizzy. Kenia was happy. Ilse was happy because it was her first time. At first she felt scared then we was excited to be kayaking. She felt inspired to do more kayaking. Cindy at first she was scared but later she was more comfortable. At the end every one finish the kayaking no one hot hurt that was the good thing.

Expedition #2: Channel Islands

Sunday, July 8th, Day 15

Angela our head honcho today told us we had 30 minutes to get our backpacks ready. But before that everyone had learned how to pack food and gear for our final. Then 2 hours later we had to be on the van ride to go to Santa Cruz Island. When we were in the van, everyone was excited to be in the boat, except Ana and me because we were scared. But when we got to the dock we ate our lunches really fast to get ready. So, we got into the boat and everyone was choosing their seats. I was scared but later I get used to it like Ana. We were pretty happy and we saw sea animals, especially dolphins and sea lions and a lot of birds…
Angela read the quote of the day and we started dinner. We were remembering when we started ARC and we were laughing about how we think that Luis was an instructor. Oh! I almost forgot. Before dinner when everyone was doing their own job a little fox peed on Gerald’s water bottle. It was so funny. And then after dinner we had to get our journals to start our first aid class with Morgan and Laura and we had 10 minutes to practice our presentations and after the 10 minutes Angela and Ilse presented about allergic reactions. It was really good and they acted like real actors, same as Kenia and Juan but their ABCS was like a comedy because they had a lot of humor. That’s just a summary about what we did today it was one of best days in ARC.

Rock Climbing Baby!

Just another day in ARC kissing mannequins & sharks

Pictures coming soon...

Friday, July 6th, Day 13
“Be good to yourself.” Benjamin Franklin

Today we discovered ourselves in our poems.

We all started off waking up at 6 a.m. to scrub toilets. We did our morning fitness. We ate breakfast and we were all happy we got coffee. Later the ones from Santa Ynez took a walk down memory lane when we passed our school, the best school ever. We learned CPR. We all laughed at the thought of giving a mannequin the kiss of life. After we all passed the test we went to UCSB. We met Scott and got to learn more about the oceans. Some of us thought the mannequin weren’t enough, so we decided to kiss the shark. Thanks to Cindy we all got Hot Cheetos.

Basecamp #1: English immersion at its best

Tuesday, July 3rd, Day 10
“A human beings is part of the whole, called by us “the universe.” Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Major discover of the day: to learn how to write in Japanese.

Greatest accomplishment of the day was to get through class with the heat.

Wednesday, July 4th, Day 11
“Originality does not consist on saying what no one has ever said before but in saying exactly what you think yourself.” James Stephens

Today in the morning we woke up live everyday, ready for a new day. We formed a circle and got into our physical fitness groups. We ran for 20 minutes and we did some kids of exercise, the invisible chair was really hard. Then we ate breakfast. In our English class we typed our poems. Then we ate lunch. We had our Science class and it was really funny. The major discovery of the day was the lesson about back injuries and the treatment and science class in the creek.

Thursday, July 5th, Day 12
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, but tradition, it breeds violence.” Jiddu Krish Namurt

Major discoveries of the day: The estuary is a wetland and wetland are very important and many people don’t care about it.

Accomplishments of the day: Going to the beach and UCSB.

Vocab word of the day: lethargic

Expedition #1: Backpacking in Sequoia National Park

Pictures coming soon....

Monday, June 25th, Day 2
“It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact, you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kid of music.” Ursula K. Le Gun

We started very early on the morning at 6 am. and with everyone cooperation we took breakfast. Then we started backpacking and then hiking. During the hiking everyone did a pretty good job. Everyone talking to each other, learning new things, and putting a big effort to get to the campsite. I think it was a hard but exciting day. And we are just starting.

Tuesday, June 26th, Day 3
“It is not the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellow man.”

Well today we woke up and groaned about how we wanted to go back to sleep. We ate, packed and we were on our way to High Sierra. We did our best on the hike and we didn’t get as tired as we did the first day. We had our first English and Science lesson at ARC today. Things seem to get easier everyday so far so I hope that it keeps going that way.

Wednesday, June 27th, Day 4
“Nothing to declare for we brought nothing into this world and it can be certain we carry nothing out.”

Today we started out pretty well. It wasn’t as cold as the other days. It started out as a good hike, but got harder as we progressed. We had a talk with a ranger and we were all lucky enough to see dried bear poo. We started on our way to Bear Paw Meadows and conquered the steep hills. I wonder what’s next.

Thursday, June 28th, Day 5
“Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.” Elbert Hubbard

Today we started pretty good because we were getting better. We are breakfast and later we had our English class. We wrote poems, then later we had to share it. After that we started hiking to our way to Lonely Lake. It was really hard but we made it, because it was all up hill. Then we get out off trail and we started hiking off trail it was really cool because we tried our best and we get to Lonely Lake. And then we packed out. Later we went to Lonely Lake and we took showers and it was really cold but we had fun.

Friday, June 29th, Day 6
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” Elbert Hubbard

What has been the hardest challenge in your life:
Luis: Coming to the United States.
Angela: Leaving my family and friends and coming to the USA.
Juan: Hiking.
Ilse: Coming to the ARC program.
Engels: Coming to the United States and leaving my family.
Ana: Losing a relationship because of someone else.
Kenia: Leaving family for one month.
Gerald: Leaving a part of his family in Mexico.

Saturday, June 30th, Day 7
“A friend’s eye is a good mirror.” Irish proverb

We woke up very early (as always), we got everything safe to go hiking without backpacks to Moose Lake. We hiked a peak we did not name (I hope next year kids give it a good name). Later, we went to Moose Lake and some us swam for a while. Next, it was time to have science class and we learned about watersheds. Also, we learned how to read maps and got to camp and got dinner. Yummy…

Sunday, July 1st, Day 8
“When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughs and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.” Thich Nhat Hanh

What is the best experience you had in these days?
Cindy: Knowing and meeting all of you guys.
Tracy: Getting to know everyone.
Angela: Getting to know new people and learn new things.
Juan: Swimming at Moose Lake.
Gerald: To know each other and discover new things about nature.
Luis: When we went to Moose Lake.
Kenia: The sunset, the full moon, and the stars.
Ana: How to cook in the wilderness.
Engels: to hike more than 11000 feet and see the view.

Monday July 2nd, Day 9
“You can’t have speech without thought, opinion without knowledge, judgement without evaluation. It is the enemy of true emotion and a clear vision of life. Sincerity, honesty and the simple expression of feeling offer a valuable bench mark to live by.”

Today was a very special day for all of my friends from ARC because we hiked out from Sequoia at 7:30 a.m. to the parking lot to see Jen. At 5:30 a.m. we didn’t want to wake up but we were all excited. Yeah! When we were leaving Emerald Lake everyone was practicacally running. It took us 5 miles to get to Wolverton. When we got there we unpacked our things from our backpacks and put dirty clothes in a bag. Boys and girls had their own bag of dirty clothes. After that we were waiting and everyone decided to do a little prank on Jen so Tracy pretended to be hurt but Jen didn’t believe us but it was really funny. Jen brought lunch for all of us it was DELICIOUS! Yum Yum. We packed everything and we were on our way to basecamp. While we were in the car jamming to some songs we slept for a while. Then we went to eat at at In N Out. It was good. We were excited that we were going to take a shower.

The Countdown Begins

Well, it's been nearly 40 days and we have accomplished so much. Updating this blog on a regular basis has not been one of those things, so here it goes, starting at Day 1, straight from the ARC Group Journal.

Sunday, June 24th, Day 1
“Enlightenment must come little by little, otherwise it would overwhelm.” Idries Shah

This morning we started out trip with everybody together in Santa Maria, California. After 5 hours of driving, we pulled into Sequoia National Park. The highlights of the car ride were waiting in line at the bathrooms and Jen doing 110 jumping jacks.
At Sequoia, the first thing we did was to blindfold 5 lucky students, who were led by 5 very competent guides through the woods. The students learned about trust and about taking care of each other. After we satisfied our growling stomachs, we headed down the trail to see the General Sherman Tree. Everybody was amazed by how huge it was! Now we are getting ready for our backpacking trip. We can’t wait to get going!