February 16th 2011
UrbanTrekkers love the journey; whether trekking through a foot of snow while participating in our January Outdoor Leadership training with zip lines and vertical towers or kayaking on the Assateague Bay alongside wild ponies. This past Saturday was no exception as we loaded up the Trekker Bus and headed up the turnpike to New York City for an urban adventure.
There were thirty of us, students and mentors, Trekkers all, as we boarded the Staten Island Ferry. The free ferry over to Manhattan has to be one of the best travel deals going anywhere. In spite of the cold, biting wind, the students stood out on the bow deck to view the Statue of Liberty and the amazing New York City sky line. This urban adventure was full of first-time experiences for many of our new and younger students; first time to New York, first time on the ferry and first time riding the subways. It was also the first time I led thirty Trekkers through the canyons and caverns of the “Big Apple” - yikes!
I’ve canoed with students alongside Alligators in the Everglades and set up camps next to fresh bear tracks on the Appalachian Trail, all of which pales compared to herding 30 people through the ferry and subways of New York. Whether hiking a wilderness trail or trekking across 42nd Street, teamwork and leadership skills are a must. Maps and routes, itineraries, clothing check list as well as finding an affordable place to eat in Manhattan all contribute to a good day out. Designating a point person and “sweeps” that will bring up the rear are further essentials to a safe and enjoyable outing both in the city and in the wild.
Students got the chance to ice skate on the outside rink at Bryant Park, eat at a Mexican Restaurant, and hike through Times Square, ride subways and the ferry and spend the day in New York City. All this and we didn’t lose a trekker! God is good.