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New York City ICO Trip Report from Vimary Toribio

Sierra Club Outdoors Nation:

The following trip report and testimonial was written by student Vimary Toribio from NYC ICO, a new CatRock Sierra Club Youth Leader describing the recent leadership retreat which featured caving, hiking, rafting, fishing, and swimming the weekend of June 7 and white water rafting the weekend of June 28th alongside ELLIS High School.  

NYC ICO would also like to give a big shout out to Joey Yasgur who hosted the CatRock students and leaders at his home for the leadership retreat, and the Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks volunteers who joined us for rafting and helped support that weekend!

"My experiences on the first two Sierra Club Cat Rock trips have been amazing and each was one of a kind. The hiking trip was one of the longest and most challenging things that I have accomplished so far. However, it was a great experience to know that you had a team there to support you and for you to help support. If one of us needs to stop everyone else needs to stop too. Basically knowing the fact that you are going through such challenge with a team that supports you, made me want to not give up on the middle of the hike and keep going because they were my motivation. The view was truly beautiful - since I live in the city I sometimes forget how beautiful and relaxing can be nature.

 That same night we got to make a BBQ. The food was delicious. And not only was it good but we also used teamwork to make it so it made it taste even better. After that we saw a movie about leadership and teamwork called Coach Carter. The movie itself was really inspiring. It is about a basketball team that needs to learn that to be on a team, you need to support your teammates both inside and outside the game, because if one person fails, they all fail.

The next day breakfast was also divided to everyone to participate. After that, we went caving, Before going into the cave we had been playing some trust games. For some people it was hard because they had to overcome trust issues. But you have to learn to trust your team and know that they won't let you fall. Those activities helped when going to the cave because if one of us couldn't actually go up the rocks they would lend you a hand a push.

 We also had an incredible rafting trip. It was really a challenge to carry the raft to the river, but we figured out that we could switch sides if one of us got tired. Again, the keyword was teamwork. Also we got to actually interact with new people and learn about them and their lives while sharing jokes and laughing together, on a really beautiful river. We even saw a bald eagle! It was really fun to get closer to people I already knew and meet amazing new people.

Vimary Toribio 
Student Kappa International High School

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