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.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Today our Utah adventure together actually began in Colorado! We welcomed each participant as they came through the small, calm gates of the Grand Junction airport, and had a pizza lunch as we played cards and began to get to know each other.
We were coated with the warm dry air as we brought our belongings to the vans, embarking on a scenic drive across the CO-UT border, with the sprawling plains reaching out to the mesas and mountains beyond. We couldn’t mistake rolling into Moab once we saw all of the towering red rocks! Our home base quickly began to feel like home, as we gathered in the common area, to the smell of fajitas cooking from our fantastic chef, Ivy.
We answered some get-to-know-you questions, talked about why we are here and what we’re excited for, and went over the game plan for tomorrow: to jump into our service day in La Sals National Forest! There’s already a tangible sense of the camaraderie and excitement building for our near future days together.
We eagerly await the arrival of two more students not pictured, braving plane delays and landing at midnight tonight!
Goodnight from Moab,
Eva (International Director) & the GLA Utah crew
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Lucas and Alex
Before I tell you about our day today, I feel I need to recap our first full day in Utah. On our first day we drove up to the La Sal National Forest and began work on a fence to keep out wandering cattle! Yes, you read that right; in the mountains around Utah ranchers are allowed to let their cattle roam. Building the fence helps keep them from polluting beautiful water sources, like Warner Lake. After our first full day up in the mountains we came back to our homebase to relax, play boardgames, and get to know the people who we will be sharing this incredible experience with for the next week. For dinner that evening we had some amazing stir fry cooked by our amazing Chef Ivy! After dinner we did a leadership activity that helped us get to know more about each other, and then went off to bed to rest up for the next day.
When we woke up the next day we got ready to venture out back into the Mountains of Moab to continue building our wonderful fence. After getting done with another day of hard work we went down to Ken’s Lake to take our swim test to be allowed to swim in deeper waters. After that was completed we went to one of Moab’s most decorative and historic places which was Mill Creek, where we swam through most of the currents and climbed the rocks. After enjoying some swimming and rock climbing we went down to the local grocery store to get some snacks to have for our upcoming Colorado River Water Rafting Expedition. We then had another delicious dinner which consisted of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread, and salad! Overall these two days have been a blast and hope that the upcoming days are even better! Thank you for reading our blog!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Max and Emily
Today we started off the morning, after having a great breakfast, by driving up the mountain to the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Today, instead of working on fences aimed at warding off cows we spent our time clearing out four different sites on which we made and placed picnic tables onto. Creating these four recreational areas was hard work, but was very rewarding. First off, clearing out a space and making it look clean and nice leaves you with a sense of accomplishment, and satisfaction. Secondly, making these recreational areas helps give the public the chance to experience, learn from, and give respect to nature. This is really important nowadays, as we are seeing an ever growing disconnect from nature. Overall, our service work was challenging, but very rewarding and important.
For the second half of the day we went to the Arches National Park as a group. We hiked along a gorgeous trail with many scenic views and lots of gorgeous massive red rock and sandstone formations. At the end of the trail we saw the popular Delicate Arch, which could fit our entire group of 16 under! The hike now holds many funny and happy memories for me that I cannot wait to reminisce on in the future. After our hike we had dinner in the park and watched the sun go down. During the sunset we talked about our highs, lows, and learning opportunities. My (Emily) high of the trip so far was the hike, I said I had not had any lows, and I learned so much about the aspen trees from the La Sals. I am so excited for the rafting portion of the trip, we leave tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Today ends our 10-day adventure in the southwest, as we say our bittersweet farewells and students board their planes home.
We spent the last 5 days out of range of wifi and cell service, in the full embrace of the Colorado River and its surrounding canyons. Everyone was given the chance to learn from our experienced river guides how to paddle captain a raft, and in different crews students all set up the camp spaces, including cooking full, delicious meals in our mobile camp kitchen! We even celebrated a 17th birthday on river with some mid-trip cake. We learned all about how the Colorado Plateau was formed, and how the river water affects local cities and tribes, enjoying a new campsite and landscape each night as we rafted downstream. Another highlight was the starry skies–our guide Heidi took the time to teach us all about the constellations and Milky Way above us.
On our fourth day on river, we rafted over the Colorado-Utah border, admiring the natural features and the hand and footholds carved on the mountain by indigenous people. The next day was our whitewater day, where we navigated the incredible, powerful class III and class IV rapids of Westwater Canyon! So much excitement and stories to last a lifetime.
We splash-battled our way back to the boat ramp after lunch, and everyone looked forward to a nice rewarding shower back at our hotel for the night before departure!
We closed out our trip with one more desert sunset, reflecting on how this trip has changed our perspective, and appreciating the new friendships we’ve made.
More pictures to come once we empty our waterproof cameras!
Eva & the GLA Utah family