As we begin the new year, I wanted to express my appreciation for your continued support of Sacred Rok’s mission. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 9 years since we took our first camping trip with a small group of foster youth from Merced and started creating our circle of those who appreciate education, nature’s way.
With your investment, we have expanded our work to include young people involved with Merced Probation as well as youth-serving community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Merced Youth Council, Uplift Family Services, and others. And, with your support, we have found ways of staying connected with young adults who are no longer with these services.
One of the young men who we worked closely with while in probation has continued to come up to Yosemite. We have been working together through mutual respect to promote our common understanding of nature as a healing place. This has proven the potential of a long-term relationship. While incarcerated he joined Sacred Rok in over 13 trips, and now he continues to work with us, helping us to shape our message.
In his own words, “Life is too short to be sitting in a cell for the rest of your life. It might be a slow progress but if one kid changes, he tells his friends, and then they are interested in it. I was talking to a friend who was having trouble and ready to give up on life, and I told him that I’ll go on a hike with him in Yosemite, and he’ll change his mind.”
Here is a picture from several days ago getting some spring water. The water has provided key significance about the flow of life and has brought meaning to appreciating the elements of nature.
Ron Kauk - Executive Director