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Jessica's Story


On the Green River the sun is completely and wholly unavoidable. You feel it’s potency from sunrise to sunset. Being in this heat for five days straight makes you extremely aware of it. At the Glen Canyon Dam we saw the power of the Colorado River being harnessed and it made us think, what other energy sources could be used so that in the distant future it’s possible that we won’t even need that dam? Being in Arizona, the obvious answer is solar power.

Three other earth campers inspired us by telling their stories about how they implemented programs to support the installation of solar panels at their school. Our small group was really excited about doing this, but then we realized how hard that project would be. We’ve decided to begin by building support for an environmental group, working in small steps for environmental sustainability to reach an ultimate goal.

Our focus is to have solar panels installed at our school, but we understand this is going to be a long term goal and by starting a club that has smaller and more achievable goals, we will be able to make this goal more attainable. We need to educate students about the recycling program at our school, raise awareness of water consumption and paper usage, support the use of native vegetation, use compact fluorescent bulbs, and eventually install solar panels. Because of these small and hopefully more successful projects, we will be able to gain the respect and support of the community. We hope that in the future, Catalina Foothills High School will be self-sustaining in its energy use and its eco-footprint.

7/17/09-Day 10

The final day has come and gone.

I am stressed and I know the rest of us are as well.

But, despite the stress from these shortening hours, the lack of sleep, and the never ending car rides, I am sad to see it go, because it means that our amazing adventure is coming to an end.  

As the car ride from the Grand Canyon to the Desert Museum drains on, I have an overwhelming feeling of sadness along with a strong sensation of hope. I look at the connection between these two feelings as if their relation was similar to that of a room with many doors.  Picture it like this; a dark empty space filled with a group of leaders, the only source of light, anticipating their chance to leave and save the earth from the frightening approach of destruction. The sensation of hope is the feeling shared mutually between all of these people; it is the doors in which they exit to save the planet from this evil.

Similar to that of the famous river guide, Bill Skinner, none of these leaders showed their fear upon their faces.  As they leave the room, people see their aura of leadership and follow, to work together to make their home a better place.

 I feel that this is the defining image that represents us being the “leaders for a shared planet”; the sadness being the destruction of this loving place in which we all share, and the room in which restrains us from trying to make a difference. The doors, on the other hand, are the many sources of hope and our newfound knowledge to this situation.  They are our actions and our thoughts.

If I should walk out those doors right now, the one thing that I would take with me is that…

We are the hope. We are the future. We are the world.






For the last night on the river, the guides held a talent show. The only twist was our attire; if we did not have formal wear (which, none of us had), we had to dress in togas (a.k.a. sheets). Everyone had a talent that they worked on, and then performed to us with the waters of Desolation Canyon running quickly behind them. This was one of the many times where everyone showed their true colors, and we all were able to appreciate the distance in which we had come, as a group and as a family. Later that night, we all shared our favorite and worst moments on the five day rafting trip, gave the guides “tips” (Which were more like sharing the qualities of a leader that we felt they possessed.), and then sang tunes to Sam's guitar. It was heartwarming and a moment that will not be forgotten...If only my family was here to share it withe me! 

Below, is the song in which Hannah and I shared with our fellow leaders on this crazy talent night.

Et Cetera
by Us
Dedicated to our river guides…

You, me and the river
We all will remember these times
            We’ve shared laughter
            And smiles
            And drama
            And miles, on the river, ooo
            We have rafter the green
            And struggled to see the highest mountain, ooo
            Etc, etc, etc.
Hey you, and you and you
Those canyon walls don’t look so friendly
Those clouds even swallow the blue.
Then we run for cover
From the sandstorms of the summer.
My eyes burn
My skin is dry
Sunburns make me want to cry,
But it’s worth it ‘cause;
            We’ve shared laughter
            And smiles
            And drama
            And miles, on the river, ooo
            We have rafter the green
            And struggled to see the highest mountain, ooo
            Etc, etc, etc.
Thank you for making this trip what it is.
Pushing us through the wind,
Through the rapids,
And through the journey together.
Etc, etc, etc…

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