Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 18, 2021
We are so excited to be the inaugural group for the Florida: Marine Wildlife Initiative this summer! We have begun bonding, laughing and getting excited to start service.
For some of us, it was a very long travel day. After some delicious spaghetti dinner we got oriented for what to expect, and we feel totally ready to take on this Florida heat as well as the many incredible adventures ahead!
We can’t wait to start service tomorrow and get some beach time soon!
*Not pictured – Charlotte who was still in route to Home Base. She will be featured in upcoming blog photos.
-Desiree, GLA Director
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 19, 2021
We started our day with a one complete student group, awake at 7:00am. We showered and then went downstairs for breakfast. We kicked off the day of new experiences with a drive to Mote Aquarium for our first day of learning and community service.
We split into two groups, where one would head to the aquarium first and the other to the Save our Sea Birds to start.
Our group first viewed all different types of exotic birds. Our guide told us why the birds were there and what they were doing to help release them back into the wild.
We then were showed the many ways in which we could help in a meaningful way. We started service by weeding and clearing out different bird preservations. We then grabbed some shovels and loaded the whitest sand I’ve ever seen into a cart, before applying new sand to the preservations and raking it out. We were getting the holding units ready for any birds that might arrive and will now have a safe space to recover and get well.
After lunch my group went to the aquarium, where we saw lots of cool animals and were able to pet the sharks and stingrays. We then drove back to Home Base to shower off. After showering we did a group project about a Florida Bill and what we would add and change based on the greater good of all people.
After, we had dinner and watched a presentation on the seven elements of human security. Once the presentation wrapped, we all went to bed because we had to be up at 5:00am the next morning to go learn about turtle watching and prepare for the new adventures ahead!
-Joel B and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 20, 2021
We woke up early to go investigate turtle tracks on the beach. After looking at some turtle eggs and learning how to identify and mark a nest, we went to the bird sanctuary to learn more about sea turtle nesting habits. We even got to hold a real turtle shell!
After lunch we were allowed to have some free time at the beach, which was the highlight of the day. We played in the water and on the beach at the volleyball nets.
After a while at the beach we went back to Home Base to have dinner. Once we all were done eating, we got together and watched a documentary about the effects of climate change on coastal creatures and habitats.
After the documentary, we had a mentor group meeting and talked about what we were feeling and our insights into what we learned from the documentary.
We were eager to prepare for bed after a long day in the sun, and are ready for another day on-program tomorrow!
-Aiden and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 21, 2021
Today we had a later start to the day- waking up at 9:00am. We headed to Caspersen Beach to carry out our service project: collecting and removing materials that could potentially cause harm to the sea turtles.
We also got to do some searching for shark’s teeth as this beach is famously known for finding them. After a couple of hours of walking around the sandy shores, we made a pit stop to have lunch. Afterward, we took a trip in the van to the beach.
Once we showered, we headed to downtown Venice to do some shopping and exploring. We were excited to get ice cream from a parlor and sat under a gazebo looking at all the phenomenal scenery!
After dinner was finished, we had a lesson from Kate about different types of pollution. From there, we broke out into mentor groups and got to meet more people through some leadership activities.
Around 8:30pm we checked and tried on our snorkeling gear for the next day and fixed our headlamps so they had red felt covering the lights. We learned that red light will not scare the turtles, which will allow us better viewing opportunities!
-Brooke and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 22, 2021
Today was a day where many people tried things for the first time. Some of tried kayaking or snorkeling for the first time. Others were experienced at these water sports but all had fun!
We went to Liquid Blue Outfitters for kayaking and snorkeling adventures in the brackish water (a mix of fresh water and salt water).
When we kayaked to the place we had gone snorkeling, we looked at different types of grass such as shoal grass and turtle grass, which had varied in amounts of epiphyte (also known as an air plant, it basically grow on other grass plants for physical support and has a moss-like feel).
We returned to Home Base exhausted from a day of adventure and recuperated by having dinner, playing cards and enjoying a round of frisbee. We ended our day learning more about each other during an activity called Common Ground, with our new mascot “Tito the Turtle.”
-Cassie and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 23, 2021
We woke up at 7:00am, had breakfast, and then we got in the van to go meet a biologist named Mike. Mike took us on a fascinating walk and was telling us about the different types of mangroves and what effects they have against tropical storms and hurricanes in the nearby coastal region and its habitats.
After the walk, we did service at the small beach area next to the hike, and then we got into the car to go to Siesta Key beach.
When we arrived at Siesta Key, my first thoughts were about how white and powdery the sand was! It was so bright it was almost hard to see. We got into the crystal clear water and we hung out with friends. After around an hour, we got back into the van and ate lunch at Home Base.
After lunch, we showered and had some time to relax. We spent our time downstairs and got to watch a bit of the France v. Portugal group Euros match (soccer).
We continued to work on our “Be the Change” projects before dinner and went to bed early as we had to get up early the next day for our swimming with the manatees!
-Reid and the GLA Team
PLEASE NOTE: On Friday, June 25th, students and staff will be leaving in the morning to begin their overnight campaign trip. During this time, please be aware they will not be able to charge their phones and may not have cell service. Our ability to receive new blog updates may also be delayed until after the overnight excursion is completed.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24, 2021
We woke up at 6:30, had a 2 1/2 hour car ride where we all were asleep. Today was the day we were going to swim with the manatees! INCREDIBLE! We got to the manatee tour, put on wetsuits, and split into 3 different groups. Each group was sent off to different locations in the bay where we looked for manatees. When we found one we got into the water and looked at them up close!
You had to be very still when near the manatees as they frighten easy. We also learned they are pretty blind! Afterward, we got lunch and then had ice cream. We headed back to Home Base and shared our environmental projects. We had pizza for dinner, and packed for camping before heading to bed.
-Gatsby and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25, 2021
Today we got to sleep in late and woke up around 11am and packed for our camping trip. We left around 12:30pm to catch the ferry that would take us to the campsite at Cayo Costa. When we arrived, we rushed to put up the tents because it had briefly begun to rain!
After the skies cleared up, we ate hot dogs and hamburgers while walking along the beach. We played frisbee and looked for seashells. While watching a beautiful sunset, we did mentor activities and finished the night with s’mores!
-Desiree and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26, 2021
Today was a pretty chill and relaxing day. We woke up from camping to a bit of cool weather and immediately went to hang on the beach. The grill was fired up and we filled our bellies with oatmeal and leftover burgers. As we slowly began break down our campsite to head back to the mainland we were welcoming the warm sun!
We returned to Home Base, checked back in and got ready to have our dinner out at a local spot called Fresh Kitchen. Everyone was so excited! Since it was our last night all together our Leaders had us do one final activity. This activity was to show those we appreciated for all different reasons and to begin to say goodbye.
A few of us had to be up for some early flights but we all said goodbye, smiling and hugs all around!
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27, 2021
Today started early with students beginning to head home. Many came out to say farewell to the few who are starting their journey while it is still dark out!
While we are all sad to be parting this was a trip to remember. Safe Journeys to all the students and we had so much fun!
-The GLA Team