Our Very Own Superbowl Sunday Celeb

Alumni celebrity in the house! If you were on our California & the Canyons program in 2005, then you definitely remember Harley Morenstein. Harley is the main man behind Epic Mealtime, the offbeat and overly gluttonous culinary show that showcases colossal dishes like deep fried Mac & Cheese cake and Korean BBQ sushi. We like to think the inspiration for his Campfire Pizza was thought up on our program. His show has upwards of 6 million viewers and has hosted guest celebrities like James Franco, Seth Rogen and Arnold Schwartzenegger. This weekend, Harley will be featured in the Superbowl YouTube half-time show which will compete against Katy Perry’s live half-time performance.

Some of you may remember Harley’s older brother, Darren or “Dersh”, 9-year veteran Trip Director of Westcoast Connection / 360° Student Travel famedom. Between 2001-2008 Dersh directed the California & the Canyons, American Voyageur, On Tour European Experience, Eastcoast Encounter and Major League Madness!

Food, friends and football? What’s not to love?! Maybe if this post gets enough love we can convince Harley and the Epic Meal Time crew to visit a campsite near you this summer! Check out the article here and have an awesome Superbowl.

The Westcoast Blogger


Best Job In The World: Laura A.

Name: Laura A. Nickname: Brose Occupation: Instructional Coach (I help teachers become better teachers) Years working for WCC/360°: 4

Where can we find you when you’re not working? On the tennis court or at the dog pound.

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon? Hiking the Appalachian Trail

What’s your favorite place to travel and why? Anywhere I haven’t been!

Best travel memory? Last summer on the Florence Pre-College Enrichment program we discovered a cafe with the best pancakes EVER, not pasta, and then strolled through the streets of Florence laughing and singing.

If someone dumped out your bag right now, what would they find? Gummy bears, at least one pair of sunglasses, dog treats, flips flops, and a mini bottle of Tabasco hot sauce.

You’re stranded on a deserted island… What are the 3 things you bring with you? Bob Marley’s Legend album, my dog, and a fishing pole.

Runners or flip-flops? Flip Flops (obviously, see below pic)

Favorite WCC/360 activity? Playing Ninja on paddle boards!

The one item you always pack and never use is: A travel guide haha.

The item you always wished you’d of packed and would always use is: Zip-loc bags

Funniest thing a trip member has ever asked you? “Can I drive the bus?”

What is the last book you read? Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My weirdest phobia is: Opossums absolutely terrify me.

My hidden talent is: Baking pies. I won first place in a baking contest for my Dutch apple crumble pie and had my name on the town’s welcome sign.

Favorite quote? “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

To have the best job in the
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Just 30 Days Until Pitchers & Catchers Report

For some of us up in Northern climes it’s hard to realize that spring training is just around the corner; in just 30 short days pitchers & catchers will begin reporting to their clubs in Florida and Arizona to start the process to be in game shape for another great season. And what a season we have coming up, here are some of the more interesting stories going on around the league:

• For all participants on Major League Madness, this is the first year in their LIVES that Derek Jeter won’t be donning the pinstripes and taking his familiar position at Short Stop. Even for this Blue Jay fan blogger, it’s going to be different not having The Captain leading the way for the Yanks.

• The Milwaukee Brewers are kicking off a strange promotion: The Timeless Ticket. For only $1,000 you are guaranteed a single seat to ten future Brewers games. From home openers, to game seven of the World Series, to that Wednesday afternoon game in August that you simply MUST attend…

• Some of the “timeless” elements of baseball may be disappearing in 2015. A committee has made recommendations for the following changes which will be tried out by select non-Major League teams at some point this season. There is no commitment to adopt these proposals, only to try them out. The recommendations include:

o Hitters must keep one foot inside the batter’s box at all times barring exceptions like foul balls, wild pitches or if the umpire grants him
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Best Job In The World: Danny S.

Name: Danny S. Nickname: DSchizzle Occupation: Math teacher at a boarding school in Switzerland Years working for WCC/360°: 2015 will be my 11th summer

What’s your favorite place to travel and why? I have been to Nepal several times over the previous years and it’s so alive with colors, tastes, smells, giant mountains, and wonderful people. I also love Costa Rica and Switzerland, of course!

Best travel memory? Trips to national parks in the Western U.S. with my family when I was young cemented a love for the outdoors and travel for me from a young age.

If someone dumped out your bag right now, what would they find? My must have travel items are: my razor scooter or Penny board, a trucker hat, a pair of sunglasses, my camera, passport, and journal.

Winter or summer? Honestly, I’m a summer boy for life: long days of sunshine, living out of my backpack, strange foods, new languages, new friends.

Runners or flip-flops? I feel like the expected answer is flip-flops, however I love to be on the move when traveling, and runners are much more versatile. I love going on runs in new countries!

Funniest thing a trip member has ever asked you? In the Galapagos Islands, my group straightened my hair. It was not a pretty sight.

My weirdest phobia is: I don’t own a cell phone and I am allergic to both chocolate and caffeine.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you? I think Andy Samberg could do me justice.

Best ever WCC/360 memory: Honestly 10
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Discover Portugal

Let us open your eyes to all that Portugal has to offer on our enriching Backpack Spain & Portugal trip; one of over 30 incredible programs offered in Europe this summer. The cool infograph below will help to wrap your head around the basics but if you just can’t wait, check out the trip page for all the details or give us a call. We can’t wait to discuss it with you!

- The Westcoast Blogger

#CampTShirtDay 2014

On Tuesday November 18th campers, parents, staff and alumni will wear their favorite camp gear and submit photos on Twitter, Facebook and for the first time…Instagram! After the 2013 campaign exceeded expectations with 10,000 + participants and two hours of trending nationwide on twitter — CRAZE Interactive–Camp Craze is estimating 15,000-20,000 participants this year!

International Camp T-Shirt Day helped to raise $3,000 towards Sandy Relief in 2012 and $6,380 supporting SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education) in 2013 and in 2014 – CRAZE will be opening up fundraising and support to participants.

“We love Camp T-Shirt Day and what the event has done for camps across the nation” said David Goldberg of CRAZE Interactive–Camp Craze. “It all started with the simple idea of having campers, staff and alumni wearing their favorite camp gear and sharing their camp pride and spirit on social media; it really has turned into a world-wide holiday which really shows the power of camp!”

CRAZE released a few changes to #CampTShirtDay on Tuesday which allow participants to contribute to causes they care about. “Camp T-Shirt Day is really about a love for camp; but it has turned into a charitable event that more and more people want to be a part of each year” said Mr. Goldberg.

CRAZE hopes this move extends the message to get behind causes we care about; particularly our campers. Each year we find that even the smallest of participants can make a difference and it’s a powerful message that CRAZE hopes can rally even more people
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Community Service Series: Hola, South & Central America!

This past summer, 360° students proudly completed 33,068.5 hours across all of our dedicated Community Service programs, which is the equivalent of 3.8 years! This first instalment of our summer 2014 Community Service blogs will focus on our visits to South and Central America. Here is just a small glimpse into some of the life-changing experiences we had during our time in these regions.

Costa Rica

With the help of the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation, travelers worked with youth in La Carpio, “The Village of Hope” teaching English classes, doing art projects, and playing soccer with the kids. While taking part in beautification projects in the village, a group of 360° students noticed a large hole in a local woman’s home. The group actively coordinated with supervisors to acquire building materials, and was able to erect a new wall in its place.

In Monteverde, travelers worked with coffee co-ops in the community planting rice and beans, while other groups lent a hand on the hillside planting trees to prevent erosion of the mountain. In the poverty stricken town of Flamingo, groups took a three day long stay and spent time with families in need. In one instance, an elderly widow and mother of three, was brought to tears after seeing how a group had painted her neighborhood in lively, bright colors, rejuvenating the spirit of the local culture. For these underprivileged residents, even the smallest of gestures can go a long way in the community’s overall wellness and quality of life.


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How To Survive A Family Vacation

So grandma forgot her passport, David and Alex won’t stop fighting over the iPad, you accidentally packed the ear plugs you can’t live without in your checked luggage and you haven’t even boarded the plane yet! Traveling with family is an enriching, amazing and challenging experience. Read these tips to keep everyone smiling in those photos and bonding over your shared adventure…

Choose a destination Stop searching for the ideal place that will make everyone happy and focus in on a destination that allows for the family to be together for some activities and split up as needed.

Keep it simple Don’t focus on seeing and doing everything in one week. Instead enjoy the destination and immerse yourself and your family in the culture of the country you are visiting.

Wide-open spaces Remember that just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you have to be glued together the whole time (in fact if you want to make it home alive, it’s best if everyone can have some solid ‘me’ time).

Mix it up Just like you don’t have to be together 24/7, it’s also great to spend time in smaller family groups. Have a girls afternoon walking around town looking at artwork and getting ice cream while the boys try their hand at sailing. The next day, switch it up and spend time with another member of the family. This special time allows you to bond over new shared experiences.

Get a little uncomfortable So you’ve never surfed before in your life. There’s no better time to step outside your
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Submit Your Entries! 2014 Photo & Video Contest

Dear Westcoast Connection / 360° Families,

The deadline for our annual Show Us Your Summer photo and video contests is September 14th, 2014.

Here is your chance to win many prizes including a prize valued at $1,000 ($500 and a $500 voucher towards a future WCC/360° trip)!

Details are below.

 Good luck!

Photo Contest

There is a prize of $50 for each photo selected for our brochure and a $250 prize for the winning photo entry. The top 10 photos selected by our Directors will be posted on Facebook for voting by the public. The photo with the most votes will win our grand prize of $250!

By submitting photos your name will also automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of five 50$ iTunes gift cards.

Photos selected for use on our website or Facebook page are not eligible for prizes.

All entries must be received by September 14th, 2014.

Video Contest

We’re looking for the best trip recap! Put together a creative montage (no longer than 4 minutes) highlighting your summer experience. Use all of your photos, videos, and anything else that you’ve acquired. Be creative! Add captions, testimonials, transitions, sounds, music… anything that you can think of to make your video stand out!

The grand prize winner for our “SHOW US YOUR SUMMER” video contest will win a prize valued at $1,000 ($500 plus a $500 certificate for travel in 2015).

Our directors will narrow down the selection to the top 5 videos. After that, we will post them to our Facebook page and let YOU decide the winner!

Official Rules of “Show
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Rock Me Mama Like a Wagon Wheel- California and the Canyons

We rode through the Sedona Desert in style. Our pink jeeps shimmered in the hot sun as we cruised around enjoying the beautiful scenery. Zack B had a good chat with one of our tour guides and Grant even knew some of the info about the gulches before the tour guide could explain them! Justin, Annie, Jordan, Sophia, Vivian and Lexi rode together trying to attract animals with their bird calls, making their tour guide burst out into laughter. That night we made our way to Dave and Busters where we played games and got to buy some cool things with our prize tokens.

On our final day in Scottsdale, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory, and then soaked up the sun by the beautiful pool. Jess, Sammy and Jacob E started a game in the pool that had everyone racing and cracking up laughing! We concluded our adventure with a banquet and dance that no one wanted to have end.

So there we have it; just as quickly as we made new friends, the end draws near just as fast. These past few days have been bitter sweet, But there’s no doubt that Jacob E will never lose touch with his buddies Jacob S and Evan, nor will Annie forget about the hilarious and silly things that spew out of Jordan’s mouth. We won’t forget the swag Justin brought to the group, or Lexi’s you-gotta-be-kidding-me face when someone says something truly hilarious. Jess and Sammy will never stop giggling. Jackie and Kiki’s voices
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