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Jesse's Story

Jesse's commitment

        The commitment I set my self to do is that I will always use cloth napkins when I can. I picked this commitment after the earth camp program because I do a lot of the other things that they did to help the environment. I will use cloth napkins more often by doing exactly what Amy did for us campers. I will probably get cloth and sew it into a napkin that I can easily access, wash, and use. Before I came to this camp I usually use regular paper napkins. Although I usually use paper napkins more than once and always try to use my hand to wipe my mouth instead, using a cloth napkin is the overall solution to conserving paper napkins.


Day 2

       On the second day of earth camp we went backpacking down the Canyon de Chelly. It looked much more gruesome than it really was. I knew it was only around 1.5 - 2 miles down so that gave me a lot of confidence to scale down the mountain before I actually started. The last time I went backpacking I had to hike around 6.6 miles with a backpack that weighed around 50 pounds and I got caught in a blizzard. I didn't make it and thats all I'm going to say about that. As we were walking down I was amazed by the different views of the canyon every time I went a couple steps down the canyon. The view was indescribable. After we made its down the canyon and set up camp I especially was wowed by Howard's knowledge of stories on how we are connected to the animals. Howard was a native that lived there and he was also our guide down the mountain. The thing that really caught me was his story of how we got our language from the animals.


Day 6 ( Jesse's Save) caution: ONLY 99.99% TRUE

       Today I was excited for the big rapids. After everyone was ready to leave I made sure anyone who wanted to raft could, so that I could ride the bigger rapids later in the day. I was really hyped to ride the big rapids that Lynn, our medic and Amy's husband, been ranting about; mainly because we kept asking him about how big the rapids get and where they are, so that I could ride them. After I got hydrated up, sunscreened up, and mentally prepared I had to wait. When i finally got on a raft I got paired us with one of the teachers from the Sonoran Desert Museum "Baby Daniel". He fell off the raft many times (1 to be exact but it seemed like he was always falling off the raft). The first time he was off the raft, he got off to smile (pee). Ulises and Luis, my compatriots on the trip, told me to paddle the raft away, and so I did. I saw fear and tears sprouting from Daniel's eyes, so I gave him my paddle to pull himself in. Once he got in the raft he got mad and pulled me into the river. The second time he fell off the raft we were riding some easy waves. As we were approaching the one of the biggest rapids called "cow swim" I heard one of our river guides Sam yell " hit it straight on, hit it straight on". As we crashed the first wave I felt its power twist our raft. I ducked a little to make sure the wave didn't get a full shot on me. I then started looking ahead to spot out any bigger rapids. As we were getting closer to the second wave I noticed that we were sideways. The second wave was one of the biggest waves I have ever seen and that would ultimately flip our raft over since it was sideways. I started paddling my heart out to turn the boat straight and hollered, "Daniel, stay straight!!, stay straight!!". I looked back and Daniel had actually fallen off durig the first wave. The thought than scoured through my head as I saw fear and tears squeezing out from Daniel's eyes. I can't let this raft flip; I am responsible for more than my own life. I am responsible for Daniel - a blessed young soul, a husband, and most important of all a Dad. I then made up my mind in my head that I will get both of us out of this pickle to safety, and I did. Although Daniel has never personally came up to me and said "Thank you for saving my life", I know he means it with all his heart. THE  MORAL OF THE STORY IS DON'T FALL OFF THE RAFT AND PANIC UNLESS YOU HAVE A JESSE TO SAVE YOU.


Velvet Ant

       On the first day of camp was pretty excited about learning some new things I didn't know about. I saw and learned the names of many different plants, bugs, and animals. What stuck to me was the things that really caught my eye. The first day I saw this weird bug that kept appearing over and over while me and my brother were setting up camp. I finally asked Amy, "what kind of bug this is?", and she said it is called a velvet ant. It looked like a regular ant that was enlarged. What was different about this ant was that the end tail of it was a bring colorful red. Its full back side was all bright red and it was beautiful. I really wanted to know about it at camp because it kept appearing over and over and I also wanted to know if it was a bug that I should be afraid of. Of course in the end I never found out, cause I was too busy trying to match the name with the ant in my head.


The Whole Journey
        This Earth Camp is truly something I will never forget. I learned a tremendous amount of info about John Wesley Powell, water resources, and how every thing we do as humans impacts the environment on this 12 - day Journey. Why this camp is so out of this world is that is doesn't only teach you history and earth science, but it makes you learn numerous things about your self. It is really an eye opening experience whether if its looking at the beautiful views of the canyon, learning facts about we impact the earth so much with the little things we do, or just learning things about your self that you never knew;
THIS CAMP WAS TRULY AMAZING.