Yesterday the high school leadership program (the program I co-lead) took an epic canoe trip in the Puget Sound! In the morning we all made up sack lunches, got all our gear together and had fun putting face-paint on and getting excited for the adventure ahead. We left around 10:30 - 11 am and headed out to a little island across water where we were going to eat lunch. It took us about an hour, maybe a bit more, to get there. The clouds cleared up a little bit and we had an awesome time exploring the little island, eating chips and sandwiches on the beach and enjoying the afternoon.
We left at 2 pm and after a little bit the wind and current started getting pretty strong and we were all getting separated. My boat was about halfway back to camp when we got stuck and were paddling for about 30 minutes without making any progress. There were two canoes behind us and we knew that they must not be making any progress either. We saw one of them head for the shore of the island closest to us and we decided to do the same. Two canoes powered through and made it all the way to shore after paddling for 2 and a half hours (amazing!). The rest of us had to be shuttled back to camp in the speedboat. It was such an awesome adventure! Those of us stranded on the island made a fire to keep warm and the last of us made it home by 7 pm. It was an unexpected turn of events but it was a really great experience! The highschoolers all ended up enjoying the trip and they bonded a lot through the hardship of working together to make it back to camp once the weather started to turn.
It helped me a lot too, because this role as a high school mentor has been a bit hard for me, just because I'm a more naturally shy person, so having a new group of people come each week makes it difficult for me to open up and feel natural with them. But in situations like the canoe trip I was so in my element. It drew on all my natural strengths and abilities and I felt like I was really able to be myself and it helped me open up with this new group! It was a perfect thing to happen. I had a blast!
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