Spring Break conjures images of partying teenagers and twenty somethings on beaches and boats with drink in hand. While spring break is a welcome reprieve from school and the responsibilities that come along with it, and a much looked forward to time of year for most college students, for some it leads to poor decision making or regression into old patterns. At Dragonfly we recognize the need for a break, especially as the sun starts to shine and we emerge from the winter. Our mission during this time is to help our students find new and exciting ways to safely experience spring break. We hope to offer them alternatives that will truly allow them to be fulfilled and refreshed as they return and continue their school year.
Dragonfly Transitions organized 3 separate trips this spring. One trip to San Fansisco, one to Santa Cruz and one to Bend. Oregon. Below are some words and images from those trips.
“Our first stop was at Alemany Farm. From their website, ‘Alemany Farm grows food security and educates local residents about how they can become their own food producers. We strive to increase ecological knowledge and habitat value, and to sow the seeds for economic and environmental justice’. We pulled up to the small lot next to the highway and piled out of the car not knowing what to expect. Our group meandered down a cobblestone path leading to a metal storage container much like the ones you see onboard a cargo ship.
We were greeted by a soft-spoken man with dirt staining his pants. After distributing gloves and tools he immediately put us to work. We were assigned the task of clearing and weeding an overgrown path on the hillside. Working between the apple and pear trees we began. It was slow going but we all stayed on task. After only a few hours we were all lined up surveying the job that we had just accomplished.
A few of us were selected to harvest Loquats from a few trees overlooking the farm. This required two people. One to monkey up the tree with what was essentially a pair of scissors on a stick and another on the ground with a basket to catch the falling fruit. The hour that I spent in that tree was honestly one of my favorites of the trip. I was able to look out over the farm and contemplate how we were impacting the lives of the people who enjoyed the produce from the farm. It was refreshing to be able to see our work at the end of the day. It was by far the most rewarding experience of the trip.”
“If there’s one highlight to pursue as a young adult, it’s exploring–new ideas, new places, new perspectives, and new cultures. One of the best ways to explore new things is by tasting what an area has to offer, and on the spring break trip to San Francisco, we were able to experience just that at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market.
Wherever you turned, you could find something exciting and new: a rainbow of a variety of fruits, chocolate-covered crickets, apple vinegar soda, flavored goat cheeses, just to name a few out of the many. There was no way that I could’ve spent enough time (or money!) there. Everyone, vendor and consumer alike, was full of smiles and eager anticipation at what the next person or tent would bring. The community drawn together by the love of unique eats and produce was unlike anything I had been immersed in before, and I hope I get to experience different markets and cultures throughout my life.”
“After the Farmers’ Market, we gathered at the heart of downtown San Francisco, across the street from the AT&T stadium, and signed in for The San Francisco Challenge. Here we hydrated ourselves, ate a little lunch, and put together our Despicable Me minion outfits. The goal of the afternoon was to participate in a costume themed scavenger hunt put on by the creators of The Amazing Race.
We were one of 700 groups that spread throughout the magnificently sunny city searching for answers to riddles. This event had even our shyest students coming alive with social curiosity and goal driven exploration! As we scrambled among shoulder to shoulder crowds, I found that the group began to naturally flow and stick together as a united front. This moment stood as a shining example of the importance, function, and ease that comes when working together towards common goals as a team.”
For our first major stop we headed south to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Located right on the water front, the aquarium seems to bring the ocean right in to the building and allowed for up close views of hammerhead sharks, jelly fish, sea turtles and some extremely playful otters. As we drove along the coastline, we kept our eyes peeled for whales and thought of the potential for the next day.
We had a short stroll down the beach from our house to meet up with our sea kayaking guides. After we launched, we paddled along the pier and encountered countless harbor seals. Some close enough to jump on the kayaks, some chilling on the rafters and others that seemed to be waving in unison or doing some form of weird aqua yoga. We pushed along past kelp forests and sea otters to slowly begin our return at just over a mile off shore. As we glided through the swells, several humpback whales crested the water’s surface with the infamous gasp from their blow hole. We sat in awe as their backs followed suit and we were able to see just how large they were!
We rounded out the afternoon with a couple hours at the beach. We buried Brenna in the sand and played football with another group of college students. It was a fantastic time and everyone became exhausted.
The next day we had a relaxed morning, but soon were strolling through 2 very well landscaped parks. We volunteered some of our time as a way to give back to the local community that so graciously hosted us this week. After a couple hours, both parks were litter free! Afterward, we headed to the “Mystery Spot”; some sort of anti-gravitational vortex. It was weird, but a lot of fun. There were a lot of optical illusions, but as a group it seems we may have figured out their secrets. Still, fun to experience!
In Bend we broke from the normal “Break” of beaches, sunshine and bathing suits. We journeyed from the red walls of Smith Rock to the depths of lava tubes in Boyd’s Cave.
We kicked off our trip with a 3.2-mile hike in Smith Rock State Park over a section called Misery Ridge. It was a beautiful day for late March and we had the added benefit of observing climbers scale the gorge walls. We learned all about the birth of Bend as a city and the unique environmental landscape during our tour into the lava caves. The High Desert Museum offered a change of pace as we strolled the exhibits. We escaped the snow to scale walls and boulders at the Bend Rock Gym. To treat our sore bodies we fed our souls with the culture that downtown Bend has to offer.
10/29 Family Workshop (virtual)
11/11 Parent Cohort Virtual