GAP Year – Base Phase 7

by Andrea Wackerle

By Annie Egelkraut & Carson Forster

Saturday 3/9: Saturday was a day of learning, entertainment, and of course, sleeping in. After breakfast, the Stargazers attended Theresa’s Life Skill on applications and had the opportunity to work on applications for schools and jobs, continuing to finalize their future plans after GAP Year. After lunch, they took on the important task of planning the upcoming expedition, splitting into groups to tackle sections such as our backcountry, volunteering, and college visit portions of the trip. Later that evening, they traveled to Riverton to watch an entertaining production of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, put on by the CWC theater department.

Sunday 3/10: Sunday was full of recharging, including meditation, reflection, exercise in the sun, and a little bit of planning. After breakfast, the team had a chance for personal time, which they used for personal and spiritual reflection. The Stargazers then moved into more expedition planning, continuing to narrow down the activities they hope to do. Following a refreshing lunch, the team went to town to do laundry and to enjoy a sunny evening in the park, full of basketball, walking next to the river, and fresh air.

Monday 3/11: On Monday, the Stargazers were busy and productive. After a tasty breakfast, the team attended a Life Skill on transition planning and had the opportunity to get some quality work done on their transition plans. After lunch, everyone had a chance for some personal time, before diving into more expedition planning. Once they had planned for a couple of hours, the team got some wiggles out by playing hide and seek or walking laps around base.

Tuesday 3/12: After breakfast Tuesday morning, the Stargazers attended an important (yet kind of scary) Life Skill on Public Speaking and Presentations, which provided a great starting point for the team to begin working on their end of semester presentations. Following presentation work, the group loaded up in the van to head to volunteering, getting dropped off at their respective placements. Afterward, they had the chance to work on their exercise goals at the gym which provided a great way to close out the busy day before dinner.

Wednesday 3/13: Wednesday was a long day spent away from base. An early morning wake up was followed by breakfast and a beautiful drive to CWC, with antelope visible sporadically near the roadside. After a productive day of class, the Stargazers made the trek over to Riverton to food buy before dinner and evening meeting.

Thursday 3/14: Thursday began with a Life Skill, taught by Theresa and Grant, concerning problem solving and perseverance. We spent the larger part of the day volunteering at our placements in town, followed by an hour of movement at the gym. Thursdays, on base, are pretty routine for us around here which is pretty appreciated. We had our dinner, evening meeting, wrapped things up for the day, and headed off to our beds.

Friday turned out to be a full day filled with progress! The Stargazers spent the first part of their day deep cleaning personal and group spaces and wrapped the morning up with a Life Skill, taught by Grant, on Active Listening. After lunch, the team was able to enjoy an hour of personal time – some read, worked on homework, or worked on transition plans, while few took naps and journaled. Several hours of hard work and dedication were put into expedition planning after some rest was had! The team finished up the evening with a trip to the gym, in town, before calling it a day and wrapping up the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday were quite enjoyable for the team! On Saturday, they hung out in Jackson for the day and saw Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats play a show that evening. Sunday, the team did some more cleaning in personal and group spaces, cleaned out the trailer, and worked on transition plans and on the expedition plan. The day wasn’t all serious and hard work – St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated with Butter Beer, handcrafted by Olivia!

The following week was jam-packed, pretty routine, and very productive! Monday began with a Life Skill, lead by Annie, on Healthy Eating! A couple of the Stargazers had to volunteer this day, while others spent most hours of the day diving deep into expedition planning. Of course, after volunteering the team headed to the gym for a movement hour! Tuesday was quite similar – beginning with a Life Skill, taught by Carson, followed up by time working on some of the finer details of the expedition plan, volunteering, and a visit to the gym. Wednesday was brutally early for most of the team! We finished up breakfast, packed our lunches, and were in the van before 7:00 am! This was the second day the team had at CWC before finishing up classes for the year! We food bought, that evening, at the Walmart in Riverton and headed back to base for a warm crockpot meal. The team began the next morning with another Life Skill, this time taught by Nicole, that focused on Emotional Intelligence. The team spent an hour having personal time before heading out to town for another day of volunteering. Some Stargazers didn’t have volunteering scheduled for this day and, instead, spent their afternoons working on their homework, transition plans, journals, and budgets. After an hour at the gym, the team got back to base to enjoy another easy, delicious crockpot dinner! Friday began with our team meeting with Nicole and was tier check-in day! In between check-ins, the Stargazers deep cleaned and worked incredibly hard to finish up their transition plans.

After a long week – finally, the weekend came around! Saturday was a neat start – breakfast was served at 8:30 but was not mandatory for the team to show up! This was the ultimate morning of sleeping in! While some enjoyed Theresa’s pancakes, others enjoyed the opportunity to stay under their blankets just a little longer this morning! The team met up at noon for lunch and spent the rest of the day getting lots of work done! The team was determined to work hard because they would be going to Jackson on Sunday morning. After more cleaning on Sunday morning, the Stargazers did, indeed, head off to Jackson where they wandered the Square and sat in the most incredible hot springs, on the Snake River, in the middle of the snow!

The team jumped back into working hard first thing on Monday morning, picking back up their weekly routine: expedition planning, transition planning, volunteering, movement hours at the gym, and class on Wednesday. Wednesday, the team got to practice two different interviews at CWC and all did incredibly well with them! This was the last class at CWC and was such a bittersweet goodbye! Most of the team did not have volunteering on Thursday and were able to finalize the expedition plan! After finishing the plan, the team checked all of the gear that would be needed for the next two weeks, packed their items, and packed the trailer!

Friday morning – they were off!! The team will be back in two weeks with exciting news and fun stories to fill our ears with. Stay tuned…

Happy Trails!