Staying true to our on-going relationships, two groups of four Boys and Girls Club youth returned to continue enjoying the adventure of being in Yosemite. One group which came first in March for the snow storm decided to wait until the snow melted before braving the elements, and they got to play in Tenaya Creek under Half Dome.
The other group that first came in February enjoyed a day under El Capitan at the river on a sandy beach. For both groups, even after just their second trip, it confirms for me the importance of continued relationships that connect us. We learn from each other every time we get together.
The probation guys also returned twice. Their first trip was spent observing the river along the Lower Merced Canyon.
From there, we went to the top from the backside of a 1,000 foot cliff to consider the perspective of looking back down on the river.
Interestingly enough, we ran across the Yosemite Search and Rescue team taking time to practice their rescue techniques, including Jesse McGahey the climbing ranger. Jesse has been part of our collaboration. He has helped Sacred Rok to join in with the Park Service and the Yosemite Conservancy on some trail work to fix some of the approaches up to popular climbs where erosion has become a problem due to years of a lack of care-taking.
So the following trip found us working in the Cascade Falls area – we put in a few good hours reshaping the trail building steps with rock work so that it would better endure the traffic – the guys worked hard.
It was a great exercise in working together, and that felt good. To top it off, we celebrated by then going down by the river to have a picnic that Katie prepared.
We were also fortunate to have a Mariposa middle school group of five come up.
This came about after being invited to give a presentation back in February where I showed “Return to Balance” and shared stories of my life spent climbing and its symbolic lessons. Their teacher Karen and I talked about arranging a trip to Yosemite in May or June. I didn’t hear from her for a long time and was wondering what might have happened. After months she emailed me saying she was sorry to say the middle school would be closing due to budget cuts and they wouldn’t be able to do the trip. I called her and told her that it wasn’t necessary that the school be involved in getting the youth up here and that we would be happy to fund the trip. She was so happy and thanked us for staying positive. It made me feel good that we at Sacred Rok could say yes.
I must thank everyone for the help you have given Sacred Rok and it’s against-all-odds approach where we feel it’s time to remember what it means to be human and work together for the future of all life. When we say Education Nature’s Way, we really mean it — bringing the young people to one of the most beautiful places on Earth is about inspiration, education, healing and the search for the wisdom of nature and our place as human beings. Nothing lives without water. Yosemite in spring and throughout the year is a display of the beauty and Sacred reality of water.
We feel that ongoing relationships with our young people will help us all to develop together, making better sense of the reality of Nature and to become truly educated into responsible, compassionate, caring human beings! From our experiences it’s interesting to imagine where these ongoing relationships will lead us as we creatively engage in conversations and generate possibilities such as connecting youth to work in the park. I feel that at Sacred Rok, one of our strengths is to grow organically, and so we appreciate hearing from you about what you think, and how you might participate.
Note: The trips with the Boys and Girls Club are funded by a grant from The North Face Explorer Fund and United Way of Merced County. The probation trips are funded through a flexible grant from Clif Bar. The Mariposa middle school trip was funded by your generosity. Thanks for the support!