This program was 70 days long and man, was I nervous! But as soon as I met my trip leaders and peers, all my nerves were assuaged — the positivity and delightful energy of the leaders and the curiosity and kindness of my peers seamlessly smoothed my transition. From canoeing to backpacking to getting my wilderness first responder certificate, the adventure was nonstop! I’ll cherish the moments of laughter, tranquility and even discomfort (I know that’s where I grew the most), and especially the amazing, beautiful views. As time passed, the group turned into family. We shared triumphs and supported each other through tribulations (long days on the trail, bad weather, someone having a bad day etc.), I knew that these people had my back. The trip leaders were incredible, helping both the novices and experts of the group push themselves physically and mentally. I know I have changed from this program — not only do I have a deeper appreciation and excitement for outdoor adventure, but I have found a sense of community and a family in the group I met. I cannot imagine my year without WALI gap, I feel so so fortunate to have found this program !!
p.s. do yourself a favor and sign up immediately :)
What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I think the most surprising thing I saw was more to do with our groups ability to push ourselves — specifically during a day on a canoe section. It was a really windy day, and we were pushing ourselves so hard against the white-capped river. We couldn’t stop paddling for a moment — our boat would either capsize, or we would lose a lot of distance. It was really tiring and difficult, but we were all in it together and fed off each other’s intensity. Through determination, and a LOT of rigorous paddling, we got through that windy segment and all felt so much relief!! It was an amazing moment of hard work and reward (I’m pretty sure we all slept great that night!).