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What a Summer It Has Been!

Updated: Sep 10, 2023


Rafting the mighty Youghiogheny was a smile-inducing highlight of the first-ever Wilderness Kids All-Girls Summer Trip!

Waterfalls. Bike Rides. Whitewater Rafting. Laughter. Learning. Rock Climbing. New Friendships. Wild Horses. Caverns. Summits. Great Lakes. Beaches. Tree Climbing. Rainstorms. Smiles.


Those are just a few of the many, many experiences of our Wilderness Kids students this summer as they have adventured from the expanses of Lake Erie to the cool forests of Grayson Highlands, the heights of West Virginia to the beaches of Assateague.


If a photo is worth 1,000 words, then let's simply share 40,000 words with you here about the life-enriching experiences our students have had this summer. As always, thank you to our donors and volunteers for your generosity, our parents for entrusting your extraordinary children with us, and our students for giving your all on the mountainside and in the rivers, in the sun and the rain, and in the community you build together with us.


Sherando Lake & Raven's Roost

Clockwise from Top Left: Students relax after summiting on the Humpback Rocks Trail in GW National Forest; Sandra (13) rappels down the wall at Raven's Roost; Josiah (13) stands in the light of another student's s'more!; Ben, Ronmy and Carlos (13,14) help prepare dinner; the students hear a talk from a park ranger; Paris and Ben (13) enjoy time at Sherando Lake.


Shenandoah River, Whiteoak Canyon & Luray Caverns

Clockwise from Top Left: Alexandre (12) cools off in the falls at Whiteoak Canyon; students enjoy a short, bumpy, and fun waterslide; Program Director Lizzie and Aimar (13) relax on the Shenandoah; the group paddles down the Shenandoah ahead of a rainstorm; Adil (14) takes a moment's rest; Josiah (13) paddles bow in a canoe on the Shenandoah; Ben gets ready for a big bit of s'more back at the campground; Aimar strikes a pose in front of a reflective pool at Luray.


Grayson Highlands


Clockwise from Top Left: Parvin (13) says hello from the trees; Xavier nears a beautiful waterfall on the Cabin Creek Trail; Josiah (13) chills at the campsite after a bit of soccer; the group strikes a pose with the Patriot, mascot of James MadisonUniversity, where we stopped in for students to check out future college possibilities; Luis (14) and a wild pony at Grayson Highlands; the gang enjoys a moment of Jenga at the campsite; helmeted up and ready to head out on the 17 mile beautiful Virginia Creeper Trail.


The Big Schloss & Trout Pond

Clockwise from Top Left: Kingston (12) and Xavier (13) enjoy the view from just shy of the Big Schloss summit; Celebrating atop Big Schloss; Alexandre (12) and Juan (13) happy to summit; a panorama from near our campsite (click); taking time to journal and record our thoughts; the gang after a night on the mountain; posing with the beautifully reflectively background of Trout Pond; Alexandre trying his hand at fishing; friendship.


Presque Isle and the Youghigheny River (our All Girls Trip!)

Clockwise from Top-Left: Rebekah (16) and a fuzzy alien at the campsite; Sandra (13) and Trip Leader Jasper paddle Lake Erie at Presque Isle; Parvin (13) flashes a smile as she checks the coolness of the water; Sandra and Lubi (12) set camp; enjoying the shores of Lake Erie; craft-time at the campsite!; Sandra and Lubi on a bridge at architect Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece Falling Waters; an image of Falling Waters--perhaps the next great architect is in this very group but they did not know it was a possibility until this day; Lizzie and - who knows!? - sporting a funny face mask; Lubi braves the rain; a beautiful waterfall in Ohiopyle State Park; catching a talk from the park ranger.



Assateague Island - stay tuned...still to come!

Row by Row, Left to Right, starting at top: Alexandre, 12, hangs in the trees; Ronmy, 14, and Juan, 13, chat on the sand; a wild horse enjoys the dunes; Alexandre and Xavier, 13, strike a pose with the horses; Vaughn and Paris, both 13, wash up dishes at camp; Juan shows off a friendship bracelet he's made; Rebekah, 16, holds a crab during our sea kayaking exploration; Ronmy and Lubi, 12, admire a crab shown off by our kayak guide; and Juan and Ronmy inspect their catch.


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