An update from the U.S. Explorer
Welcome back U.S. Explorer Parents!
The road to the end continues, as we are heading to our last stop in San Francisco. Instead of looking back on what we are going to miss and what we could’ve done differently, we are always thinking to the future and how we can make the best of such little time left together. As we head to our last point of destination we embrace the relationships we have formed, and take on new activities with optimism.
We departed LA early in the morning and headed to our campsite in Lake Tahoe. Today it was Allison’s birthday! She got on the bus, which had been beautifully decorated, to everyone singing Happy Birthday! After a little while, we introduced a trip competition, and the theme revolved around the idea that Westcoast needed to cut one of the comedy clubs from their trips next year. The trip members were informed about the two choices between the Second City Comedy Club we saw in Chicago, and the Improv club we recently experienced in LA. The staff put on a fake debate between the two options and got everyone very excited about the competition. Captains for team Improv were Matt L and Britt and captains for team Second City were Ray and Alex. We arrived at our campsite and were reintroduced to one of our previous campsite managers Matt. Yet again, the trip members impressed him with their tent setting up skills, and Patrick’s crew started cooking one of our favorite campsite meals, taco night.
After our delicious dinner, the two teams split up into their respective locations and began working on the creative aspect of the competition, which was the song and skit. Matt J’s enthusiasm and creativity helped team Improv create their song. Matan and Alex’s awesome rapping skills helped their team design their song. After this activity, we all sat around the picnic tables and enjoyed some birthday cake, and after Allison blew out the candles every started chanting “cake in face!?”Allison happily obliged and shoved her face into the icing! Shortly after, Scott was inspired by her act of messiness, and decided to lunge his face into the second cake!
After a sleep in, we woke up and headed to the beach for some excitement on the lake in the form of water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing! Once we arrived, the trip members enjoyed some free time to tan and relax on the beach or in the water. Soon after, Lauren split up the trip members into different time slots as to when they would head out on the water. Between the groups, those who were not on the water began to eat BBQ burgers and hot dogs, the perfect meal for a beach day. As trip members returned from their time on the water they all raved about how nice it was in the middle of the lake and how much the enjoyed their activity. Megan was thrilled after she attempted water skiing. Before we left the beach, Eric and Justin L helped start a volleyball game with some locals who were eager to get a game going.
We left the beach and made our way to Woodwind Cruises to sail along the middle of Lake Tahoe. The boat was two stories and had a comfortable area inside to sit, and lounging areas both at the back and front of the boat. The scenery was like nothing we’ve seen before as we engulfed between trees and beautiful mountains. The breeze was perfect, and the water was crystal clear. Josh introduced himself to the boat Captain, and was taking photos the entire time! That evening we returned to the campsite for our last dinner of chicken, steak, and salmon. Our busy day made us so hungry, and we wolfed down the food in no time. Shortly after dinner we had an exciting relay race.
The relay race consisted of different stations that trip members were positioned at, and it works as race of who can finish each task first. Once one task is accomplished that person who finishes runs to tag the person at the next station. The captains moved from station to station cheering everyone on and even participating in certain challenges. Some of the challenges included mummy wrapping someone in toilet paper, the egg toss, and a push-up competition. Intensity was high as the lead changed back and forth throughout the race. Jonah, Andrew, Phil and Brendan had a messy time trying to feed each other pudding with their eyes closed. Max and Brendan faced off to find 8 M&M’s in a bowl of flour without using their hands! Their faces looked hilarious when they finished. With the final race of passing an orange from neck to neck through each team member, the Second City team came out on top!
To end off the night, we all sat around the fire pit and the staff members judged our creative work before determining a winner. Both teams presented their songs, raps and skits. The Superman skit from Who’s Line Is It Anyway inspired team Improv’s skit . The Second City team had choreographed sketches designed to make light of certain bus situations between staff members and hilarious moments from individual campers. They also put a creative twist on the Blue Man group! Lindsay played the role of Hannah when she got covered in banana, and began screaming in fake fear! Both groups demonstrated how much effort they put into this aspect of the competition, and after a difficult decision between the staff judges, it was Ray and Alex’s Second City team that was rewarded with the title of trip champions! We ended off the night relaxing and sharing stories by the fire pit over some delicious s’mores and late night snacks.
None of us can believe there are only 3 days to go on our 40-day adventure. San Francisco is a beautiful city and our time there will be amazing. Our hopes for the next three days is for everyone to become closer than they ever thought possible before departing on this trip, and to enjoy the remaining activities to the fullest of their abilities.
FEELIN’ FINE ON TRIP 9!
The Westcoast Blogger