• Expedition: Sep 14-19, 2014
  • Venture Academy
  • Yosemite National Park: Lyell Canyon

Venture Academy set forth on an adventure into Yosemite Wilderness! Following a trail along the Tuolumne River led them into Lyell Canyon for four days of adventure, relaxation, connection and fellowship. Setting up a base camp near the shore of the river allowed the students to really get to know the canyon and form connections with the place. It also allowed for some great day trips to work with the National Park Service to remove illegal campfire rings, and to climb to the top of Potter Point overlooking Lyell Canyon. It also gave lots of opportunity for some good ol' fashioned river time relaxation and play. From pushing through challenges together and learning the skills of backpacking, to gummy bear stories, games and campfires, Venture Academy blazed the trail of growth and learning on this WildLink adventure to be remembered.

9/15/14 Monday
Today we did our first hike. It wasn’t much but we did get to go out there at least. We did the helium pole activity which wasn’t difficult but very irritating. After that we did skits on how to leave no trace. I believe we all had fun. We then arrived to eat lunch. We shortly after started to pack our gear, it was a two hour process but we managed. In the afternoon we went to the auditorium to the astronomy seminar but when we got there we all made an executive decision to leave to Curry Village instead.

Helium Pole

Lowering the magic helium pole!


Chatting with Yosemite Ranger Shelton Johnson.

9/16/14 Tuesday
Today we did the big hike. It took us 4½ hours to get to our campsite. The hike wasn’t too bad but I was definitely tired afterwards. After we got to the campsite we set up everything and Emily and Deeps started to cook dinner. We had beans, cheese, and tortillas for dinner. After that we played games and told stories. Then Deeps taught us the technique of brushing our teeth and the safety guidelines. Then all of us went to bed.

Water girls

A refreshing mudbath during the hike!

9/17/14 Wednesday
Today was a great bonding day. It was mellow and we played games like “camouflage” and helped clean Yosemite campsites, correcting them. I am glad to have spent such quality time with this family today. From learning more about each other and meditating to skipping rocks and laughing, it is an experience I will never forget. Especially when we drew pictures or nature and just relaxed with no arguments. I love every one of my friends and peers. Thank you!

Campfire Removal

A little campfire ring removal to give back to the park.

9/18/14 Thursday
Today was an amazing day. All of the day consisted of hiking. We went up to Potter Point; unfortunately, Christian and Shelby couldn’t go along with Nick and Deeps. They stayed back at camp and went to the river The rest of the group went on and hiked up to get to the top of Potter Point. It took us awhile to get to the top, but we did it. When we got to the top we had animal crackers and jerky. That was our motivation to get to the top. When we came back down it was a lot faster and easier even though some of us slipped, but not too bad. When we got back we were reunited with Christian, Shelby Nick and Deeps. We all went to the river together and skipped rocks. Tonight is our last night and we’re having tortellini and smores for dessert; it was an amazing trip.

mountain top

At the top of Potter Point! 10,732ft above sea level.

9/19/14 Friday
Today is the last day of this WildLink trip. I feel bitter sweet about it. I know I’m going to miss this place. I will never forget the experience I had at this National Park. I’ve become close to the people who came with me on this trip and we all have learned new things over this week. Today we also did a 45 minute solo walk while walking back to the car and that solo walk was great. It was mind free and I really liked it.

Trail photo

Tough and we know it!

j and n

Jeremy and Nic in the spirit of teamwork.

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