• Expedition: Apr 12-17, 2013
  • Venture Academy
  • Yosemite National Park: Hetch Hetchy

Venture Academy students "ventured" in to the wilderness of Yosemite National Park for a four-day exploration through history, ecology, leadership, adventure, geography, geology, and reflection. They participated in an ascent of LeConte peak, the removal of many improper fire rings, and trail clearing along the Tiltil Valley trail. The group called themselves "Yum," for their voracious appetites, and they bonded over the varying weather conditions and through numerous games of "Waaa."

Saturday, April 13, 2013
Sunny with a breeze
2 ½ miles

Today has been our 2nd day here at Yosemite National Park and we have been staying at Crane Flat. It was also our first day of hiking and that was about 2 ½ miles so it wasn’t bad at all – the only thing was getting used to the high altitude. We went to the watch tower and the scenery there was amazing – there were snowy mountains and a lot of trees! Tomorrow is when we’ll be at Hetch Hetchy and that’s going to be amazing.

Group walk and talk

Students get to know each other and their educators on the first day.

Sun. April 14, 13

Today we started our journey to the campsite. It was 6 miles to get here and there was some challenges and we had lunch on the way to camp. Once we got here we set up camp and they showed us how to go poop in the wild. It was fun and going for the first time was king of weird, but most of us made it. We also passed some waterfalls and got misted. It was cool and looking back at the dam and seeing how far we were.

Group on dam

The group is about to head out on their journey, starting at O'Shaugnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We had a long day with a lot of things to overcome and things to learn from. While we were hiking our team got together as a family, we all worked for the same goal and we achieved it as well. The road was long and there were some hard feelings from some of us but when we got at the top we found out that it was worth it and that a trip with such experiences as this one is priceless. We started from the bottom!

Guys move log

Students move logs to clear a trail.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Weather: Windy and clear.
Activities: Cleaned fire pits at camp with Lissie, cleaned up some obstacles on the Tiltill Trail.

Today we met up with Lissie and cleaned up fire pits around camp. After we went on the TilTill trail and cleaned up some trees in the way of the path. We learned about what stewardship was. Stewardship is taking care of something. I also learned that stewardship is not only taking care of the environment and wilderness, but it is taking care of each other. When you help others and take care of them you get the greatest feeling. There is so much reward in serving a place or someone without asking for anything in return. Helping restore and preserve Yosemite is remarkable. I don’t ask for anything in return from Yosemite. Yet, it gives me the quiet of the morning. It lends me strength form the water waterfalls. I find ho in the sunset. I find excitement in the 10 minute snowstorm. And the stars and moon light my path. Being out here with my teacher, counselor and classmates has been an experience I will never forget and treasure for the rest of my life. Not only did it bring me closer to Yosemite and the wilderness, but God decided to bless me even more and allow me to become closer to these amazing and kind people. I’ll always remember the stories we’ve shared and how I was able to learn every person’s laugh and see their smiling faces every day.

I want to thank my teacher Ms. Fugazi and my counselor, Jeremy for choosing me for this trip. And most of all, thank you to WildLink for providing this amazing experience for me and my classmates.



Team "Yum" was treated to many beautiful wildflowers along the way, including this lupine.

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.