P-CREW Reunion 2017 was a fresh wave of air as P-CREW undergoes preparations for program expansion to 4 crews in 2018. Alumni are the heart of the program and continue to positively influence the future of P-CREW.
On the first evening in the hostel, the group sat around the main living area of our bunk house and had an intensive question-and-answer session over resume building and cover letters. The group was particularly interested as many are applying for or thinking of college scholarships and summer jobs in 2018.
Point Reyes Hostel hosted our group of 14 alumni and 3 leaders through the Great Hostel Give Back program and allowed P-CREW two free nights in exchange for 4 hours of community service. P-CREW combed the beach and campsites as we explored the trails and shoreline of the area picking up trash along the way. The group broke into teams of three and recorded what they found as we enjoyed the sand in our toes, the sun on our faces, and random puppies coming up to say hello. Throughout the trip, the group picked up roughly 350 pieces of trash!
That night, the group went on a night hike to the beach where we took a moment to sit in silence, listen to the waves and feel the connection to the environment around us. The moon was so bright each person had a moon shadow on the sand.
Point Reyes National Seashore is a scenic haven nestled between the ocean and rolling hills north of San Francisco. Wildlife such as elk, coyotes, hawks, and sea life like harbor seals, sea urchins, mussels and more are found on the regular. For the third year, Point Reyes has been the location of the P-CREW alumni reunion. The 2017 reunion saw amazing weather with sunny, warm days comfortable enough for a dip in the ocean, and clear nights with a bright moon; a welcomed surprise for the end of December.
The group’s last full day was spent backpacking into the park. The trail followed the coast line at the beginning, and reunited with it at our camp 5.5 miles down trail. Further along, we came upon a waterfall that fell on to the sand 20 feet from the ocean. Going the other direction from camp brought us to a handful of small ocean-side caves. Of course we brought headlamps and were mesmerized by the minerals in the rocks with their shimmery, sparkly appearance.
After hiking 11 miles and a well-deserved dinner, a robust game of P-CREW Jeopardy was played to test the memory, knowledge, and nerves of the alumni as some questions were nearly impossible to answer. Certain questions brought up interesting stories from different sessions and years of P-CREW as we had 2 years and three different sessions represented. The game served as a stepping stone into deeper reflection on individual P-CREW experiences.
As the group prepared for the end of the adventure, we reflected on the experiences of the reunion and time spent in P-CREW. New friendships were formed, old ones picked up where they left off, and passion for community and environmental stewardship was reignited. Each person shared one thing they took away from P-CREW that will stick with them forever. Hearing such positive statements and witnessing the effects of the P-CREW program on participants is rewarding, rejuvenating, and inspirational for the program and the leaders. Sierra Institute staff is excited to discover what the future has in store for our alumni and P-CREW in 2018.