By Allison Lahl, Berkeley Center
I am happy to report that CIP Berkeley’s first overnight trip was a success! Mitchell, Scott, Spencer, Stefan, and I enjoyed a lovely weekend in Arnold, CA with the Environmental Traveling Companions program.
On Saturday, we went to Bear Valley, where all the students received a cross-country skiing lesson. Some of the students were old pros, while others were completely new to the sport. Regardless of their experience or skill level, all of the students really enjoyed skiing and had a great time exploring the trails.
Stefan and Spencer were brave enough to try the more difficult trails at Bear Valley with some of the ETC guides, and they loved it! Mitchell and Scott opted for scenic trails closer to the base of the mountains, which allowed them to enjoy some carefree play in the snow, including a friendly snowball fight.
On Saturday evening, the students enjoyed socializing with the ETC guides and another group comprised of students and staff from Friends of Children with Special Needs. The night was filled with lots of good conversation and fun games. Scott assembled a Black Jack game that went on for several hours, while Spencer and Mitchell learned more about themselves and others through a lively game of Apples to Apples.
On Sunday, we took a beautiful hike through Big Trees State Park and learned all about the giant sequoias. We saw the remains of one of the oldest sequoias, which is over 1500 years old! Its stump is so big that it has even been used as a ballroom dance floor and bowling alley!
During the last part of the hike, the ETC guides had everyone walk quietly by themselves, which allowed us to really take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of our beautiful surroundings. Many of the students considered this peaceful and relaxing hike the perfect end to our trip.
Overall, it was a safe, smooth, and enjoyable trip. The students are already looking forward to CIP’s next overnight adventure!
View all the photos by clicking below
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