The Merced River is cleaner, thanks to the efforts of over twenty dedicated youth and college students last Saturday. More than seven hundred pounds of trash were collected in the Merced River Recreation Area, just outside of Yosemite. In addition to the standard tools of trash pick-up (bags, gloves, etc.), students used an inflatable raft to collect hard-to-reach waste and recyclables, including a large sofa. The participants also scrubbed spray-painted rock to return the river’s banks to their natural beauty. ARC partnered with UC-Merced’s Yosemite Leadership Program and Ethos Mariposa for the river clean-up. The event was organized by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy and the Upper Merced River Watershed Council. Let’s continue to preserve the Merced River!
At both our program sites, Yosemite and Truckee, ARC hosted very diverse groups in our summer immersion courses this year—from urban and rural California, from 12 towns, seven cultural heritages, and six languages spoken among the participants. Our teams were filled with many different personalities as well: the vocal leaders, the organizers, the jokesters, and the encouragers.
“I liked the diversity of backgrounds of each ARC student. I learned a lot about their stories and culture,” said one participant. Read More
Participating in the Adventure Risk Challenge program over the summer was an incredible experience. Having to start the course in the backcountry immediately made me feel uncomfortable, especially having to live with a group of complete strangers. One day I was in the warmth of my bed, and the next day, I was sleeping on a foam mat in a sleeping bag with the protection of a tarp tied to trees hanging over me. On top of that, I was surrounded by people I have never met before. I had no idea what to expect for the next few weeks, but whatever was in store for me, I begged that it was better than my first night. As the days went by, I grew fond of the backcountry and I adored what nature had to offer. As for the strangers, in an instant, they went from unfamiliar faces to my closest friends. By the end of the course, I no longer looked at them as I did in the beginning. I looked at each and every one of them as family.