As the Canoemobile headed east for Great Outdoors America Week (GO Week), we had the opportunity to start the week off with a bang with Project SEARCH George Washington University in Shenandoah National Park, located about 75 miles outside of Washington DC. We experienced beautiful scenery, great companionship, and, of course, good food. Here are some of the highlights from our overnight, as told by our staff:
“For dinner, the group made personal pizzas. With an array of meats, vegetables, and cheeses, each person could go through the food line multiple times and make specialized pies according to their tastes. The perfectly cooked ingredients and melted cheese was a great pick-me-up during the cloudy weather. You can read more about tips and tricks for cooking while on trail by browsing our food blog, Wilderness Kitchen.” – Ashley Pethan, UWCA Program Coordinator
“On our way out of Shenandoah National Park, we took a leisurely cruise along Skyline Drive overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. We stopped at a visitor center to have lunch on a patio that had a beautiful overlook of the cloudy mountains. After lunch, we ventured into the gift shop found this black bear stuffed animal. Without hesitation we drew together for a photo and were lucky enough to capture this shot. This was the last picture of our participants, all together, from the trip. What a wonderful group!” – Brian Clarke, UWCA Intern
“It was a pleasure to work with Project SEARCH in DC, a group I had worked with previously on an overnight canoe trip last fall. Among all the faces, I was excited to see Avion, a young man with an infectious smile. He punched my shoulder to signal we were buddies and he was excited to see a fellow African American working in the outdoors. As an intern with Project SEARCH, it was apparent that not having a job yet was on his mind. I wanted to make sure Avion and the other interns weren’t thinking about that daunting task on our overnight experience.
On our hike, Avion and I talked about the idea of never giving up and relating this hiking experience to his reality, such as the strenuous sports he plays. It wasn’t until he said, “I really like it out here” that I realized he was enjoying himself in the wilderness. To make things better, after our trip we were contacted by Emily, their coordinator, and informed that Avion received a job in food service. I love it when a good story comes together. – Ron Griswell, Trail Guide
We love hearing the stories our guides bring back after spending time on trail. To read more about our trail guides, you can visit their staff bio pages by clicking here.