Education: University of Michigan in History
Working: Teacher at the Modern English School in Cairo, Egypt
Medical Certification: Wilderness First Responder
Inspiring a love for new environments and the outdoors, our middle school adventure and community service trip in California combines introductory travel and environmental service work for students who have completed grades 6 through 8.
We begin our adventure by exploring San Francisco. We see all the beauty this city has to offer and take in the Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, and Fisherman’s Wharf, to name a few highlights.
He enjoyed the independence and the camaraderie and appeared rather emotional about having to say goodbye. As a parent, I love the fact the he got to experience these things under the guidance of a program that I felt that I could trust.” - Carla R., Parent of a California: Pacific Sun Alum
We grab a paddle, hop into a big yellow raft, and have some fun on the American River. Then it’s on to Yosemite National Park, where we explore the valley in the shadows of Half Dome and El Capitan. While in the Eastern Sierras, we volunteer with Friends of the INYO to preserve mountain trails and tackle meaningful, science-based and collaborative conservation projects.
Lake Tahoe is next, where we soar on an aerial course and paddle board or sea kayak. We then travel to Half Moon Bay, a safe environment for the beginning surfer, where we walk through the basics. After all that, feeling pretty spectacular, we head back to San Francisco to close our adventure.
Keep scrolling to learn more about our middle school adventure and community service trip!
America's favorite city is so beautiful, exciting, diverse, and cosmopolitan that you can always find something new to see and do. The list is endless, and includes major attractions like Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area begins where the Pacific Ocean meets the San Francisco Bay. All in all, it is the largest urban national park in the world, a whopping 76,500 acres of land and water that includes 28 miles of wild coastline.
In this cathedral of redwoods, the residents are as high as skyscrapers. Mt. Tamalpais State Park surrounds the woods and offers hikes with breathtaking mountain, ocean, and San Francisco views.
Time to grab a paddle, hop into a raft, and enjoy some wet, wild, and adventurous fun on the South Fork of the American River. Don’t let names like Meatgrinder, Troublemaker, Satan’s Cesspool, and Dead Man’s Drop scare you!
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has gained popularity as one of the best human-powered activities and fits any skill level. There’s no better way to get on the water and experience the sweeping mountain views and clear blue lake.
Enclosed by near-vertical, mile-high cliffs covering 761,000 acres and laced with waterfalls, granite cliffs, hiking trails, crystal clear streams, and climbing routes, the dramatic geology of Yosemite Valley is among the country’s finest scenery.
Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and some of the most striking coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay offers some great surfing and is a stone’s throw from San Francisco.
A few California sea lions began hanging out on Pier 39′s K dock after the earthquake hit San Francisco in October 1989. By January 1990, the boisterous barking pinnipeds came in droves and completely took over, much to the exasperation of Pier 39′s marina tenants.
#9 High and Low Ropes Course
Navigate rope swings, cross wobbly bridges, traverse tightropes, zip to the next platform, and land delicately (and safely) on a cargo net, all the while surrounded by nature.
Environmental Community Service with Friends of the INYO. Projects consist of trail maintenance, trash removal, cutting logs, and other needs in the area.
A Certificate of Community Service indicating the total hours worked and a Presidential Volunteer Service Award will be issued upon successful completion of the program.
Explore: San Francisco, Pier 39 Seals, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Forest, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, Marin Headlands
Whitewater Raft: American River
Ropes Course: Lake Tahoe
Sea Kayak or Paddle Board: Lake Tahoe
Bike: Yosemite National Park, Sierra National Forest
Hike: Glacier Point
Surf: Half Moon Bay
6 - 8
While in the Bay area, we sleep in bunkbeds in a hostel. The remainder of the program is spent camping in tents. Showers are available; however, we shower every three to four days to conserve resources and support sustainability. Bathrooms are flush toilets at the hostel and a mix of flush and latrine while camping.
San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Join in on the fun! Check out #PacsunRLT for a behind-the-scenes look at photos from past participants and leaders.
All arrive in San Francisco, CA.
Explore the best of San Francisco. Visit Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, ride the cable car, and see the Golden Gate Bridge.
Head across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods, home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. Hike in Mount Tamalpais State Park and gaze down at the city, east toward the Sierra Nevada and west over the Pacific.
Raft on the Class III American River, a California classic.
Explore the famous Yosemite Valley on bikes, spotting climbers high on El Capitan and Half Dome. Partner with Friends of the INYO to restore Eastern Sierra trails and take part in meaningful, science-based and collaborative conservation projects.
Kayak or paddleboard the crystalline waters of the nation’s largest alpine lake, hike in the Sierras, and test your limits on a high and low ropes course.
We catch the basics from some of the best instructors in the country, then test our skills on California waves. We celebrate our adventure with a memorable final banquet.
Head back to San Francisco and say goodbye before catching flights home.
The Road Less Traveled does not require any vaccinations or immunizations to travel with us, other than an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years).
If you’d like to receive an emailed copy of this program’s day-to-day calendar, please give our office a call anytime between 9am and 5pm CST at 773-342-5200, and we’ll happily send you one!
It is imperative that no one make any travel arrangements until RLT provides instructions for specific arrival and departure time windows. Those details are typically released in mid-spring.
Families are individually responsible for booking their own airfare to get their student from home to the starting destination on the first day of the trip, and from the ending destination back home on the last day of the trip.