See what the students thought about their recent trip to the Yosemite Institute......

"One thing I learned about myself on this trip would be that it is important to challenge yourself because if you don't, you'll miss out on half of life's greatest adventures.  I was hesitant when I heard about the challenge hike, and my first thought was no way!  I can't imagine what would have happened if I decided not to go.  Naturally, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  After all, the most difficult decisions in life are never easy."

"This trip significantly changed my life.  For the first time, I skated around an ice-skating rink without holding onto the rails the whole time.  I learned to let go, and not to worry about falling.  I learned to be free, and not care about what might happen, and live in the moment instead.  I feel proud of myself for doing that.  As John Muir says, 'In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seek.' I sure did."

"One thing I learned about myself is that I can achieve almost anything if I apply myself."

"The most memorable part of the Yosemite trip was the hike to the top of Yosemite falls.  Although part of the reason was the fact that I had a lot of fun with my friends, more of it was the sights along the path.  For example, every time there was a clearing when I was able to see over the edge, I couldn't help but say, 'Wow!'  The views were incredible and it was amazing to see this type of nature from such a close, uncorrupted point of view."

"My most memorable moment was probably looking over the waterfall.  It was truly magical and I felt so proud that I hike up that far.  It was so majestic looking and the view was spectacular."

"I really learned to open up and enjoy others company.  At first I was afraid that I wouldn't make friends with the other girls in my cabin, but my cabinmates and I really bonded and we talked for hours on end."

"I had a lot of fun in Yosemite and it really helped me bond with the rest of the small learning community."

"...what I really learned is how to enjoy the beauty around me and see the true beauty of the world"

"Everyday I got to experience nature at its finest with an expert leader and some of my classmates.  I grew closer to my peers and friends while hiking with my group."

"I found that if I have the support of others I had the strength to support them too.  I could be calm enough to lead them to the top of a mountain or the end of a cave, and they could lead me if I needed them too."

"One thing I learned about myself in Yosemite is that if I push my limits I can do things that I never thought I could."

"One thing I learned about myself was that I am able to accomplish big things, even without the comfort of my best friends.  For hiking groups, I was separated from my two closest friends.  I was really upset and figured I would have a lot less fun.  But instead I ended up getting to know the people I was with, whom I didn't know very well, a lot better and become more independent.  I can to realize that I don't always need the support of my friends, even though it's nice having them to lean on."