- Family Weekend: Oct 24-26, 2014
- 2014 Family Weekend
- Yosemite National Park: Crane Flat and Yosemite Valley
The 2014 Family Weekend was a great success!
10 WildLink alumni from all over California brought their loved ones up to Yosemite National Park for a fun-filled weekend of hiking, shared meals, and merriment. For the first time in WildLink's history, we had an alumnus from our very first year, 2000, return to the park with his two sons and one of their friends!
The first evening, participants got to know each other a little and enjoyed the new Ken Burns documentary, "A Gathering of Spirit."
On the second day, the group headed to Yosemite Valley. Once there, they split up into three hiking groups. One went up the challenging Yosemite Falls Trail, where they took in impressive vistas 1000 feet off the Yosemite Valley floor. Another group crawled through some rock caves and took time to enjoy the Merced River...one participant even immersed herself in the frigid waters! The third group participated in a service project, cutting down conifers to help fire management crews and restore the area to its prehistoric ecological practices. They also painted watercolor portraits to take home and remember their time in Yosemite.
That evening, as heavy rain began to fall all around, the families and friends joined each other in the dining hall for a story about a jumping mouse overcoming great challenges to chase his dreams, followed by games and hot chocolate by the wood burning stoves.
Sunday morning, we said goodbye to one another, each group to discover their own adventures in the park and to share their wonderful experiences with friends and family at home.
"It's a new experience for someone that is not familiar with this. I had an amazing time. I've never done anything like this before." -Angie
"I've only been to Yosemite and its wilderness through the WildLink program and it has been one of the best experience. I appreciate everything the programs have done to give students (especially inner-city youth) the opportunity to connect to the natural world." -Emily
"I will continue to educate friends and family on the outdoors. I strongly believe you have already helped me by giving me the opportunity to bring family and friends into the great outdoors!" -Arturo
"My experience with WildLink was thrilling and exciting. I got to really interact with wildlife and I had an amazing experience." -Melissa
"It reminds me that I'm just one part of this big world. Nature is beautiful and powerful. Every tree is a piece of history and has stories to tell. We just have to take the time and listen." -Rosemary
"Programs in WildLink reconnect people with nature and by doing so, they learn to be more responsible to take care of the environment...the program encourages and gives youth the motivation they don't get from a monotonous city." -Jose
"It was a great experience exposing youth and in this case adults to all that our protected lands have to offer. " -Josh
"I'm leaving with joy and happiness." -Benjamin