By: Carson Jacobs-Forster
Overview: WHAT. A. RIDE. Though our time together in Wyoming and on the roads of the West has come to a close and we start to look ahead toward the uncharted opportunities of Virtual GAP Year, we can’t forget all that we accomplished and experienced in this final base phase. Since returning from our international trip, the Wyoming Warriors wrapped up their CWC classes, planned the majority of their final expedition autonomously, and continued to volunteer and adventure within their community and the surrounding area.
CWC: This base phase the Gappers finished their final class at Central Wyoming College, successfully completing their first full year of college classes! On their last day, they participated in mock job interviews, which entailed dressing professionally and being prepared for a variety of job interview situations and questions. Needless to say, they knocked them out of the park.
Ex planning: The Wyoming Warriors continued to plan their final ex with very little assistance from their mentors, helping them to gain an understanding of all the details, effort, and clear communication that goes into planning an epic trip. The 18-day trip had been broken down so that each participant was in charge of two full days, with a couple being in charge of three. For each day, they had to plan details such as where we would be that day, what activities we would be doing, and where we would camp, all while balancing necessary activities such as a backcountry trip, college visit, food buys, laundry, and showers to name a few. Though circumstances out of their control made it so the Warriors could not embark on the expedition, they should still all be extremely proud of the amount of planning that they accomplished and the quality of trip that they had produced. Some highlights would have included: a four-day canoeing trip on the Green River through Labyrinth Canyon, outside Moab Utah; a solo night (an afternoon, night, and morning spent spread out so they can’t see another participant) in the Petrified Forest National Park; climbing on world-class rock in Moab, and a visit to the highly renowned SALT Program at the University of Arizona.
Volunteering: Throughout this last base phase, the Wyoming Warriors continued to serve at their volunteer placements throughout the community. They also helped out around base. On the second to last day before their departure, the team worked for three solid hours helping to dig out a ton of wood from the deep snow it was buried in order to stack it inside where it would stay dry and accessible.
Adventures: The team spent their last few weekends having some great adventures together. On their first weekend back, the Warriors had a blast bowling at a fancy bowling alley in Jackson, Wyoming, doing their best to get as many strikes and spares as possible. The next Thursday, the team had the awesome opportunity to tour the National Military Museum located just outside town, months before it even opened to the public! One cool fact about the museum: they have the first gun fired that started the Battle of Bunker Hill. The final weekend, the Warriors attempted an Escape Room with a Cabin in the Woods theme, working on their communication and team-building skills.
Departure: On Monday, March 16th the decision was made that GAP Year could not continue due to Covid-19. With the ever-changing news, the order to social distance and no gatherings larger than 10 people, the group would all be heading their separate ways home. Parents were contacted and the team met with Tray and Annika to learn the news. Over the next 2 days, the participants packed their belongings and cleaned their rooms. The night before leaving the team played card games, celebrated with a pizza party and shared memories in the form of “hot seats”. At the evening meeting, the team celebrated Ryan’s birthday with some yummy cupcakes before saying their goodbyes.
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