Imagine lying down blindfolded in a clearing along the flowing Colorado River. You feel the grass under your hands and the cooling ground on your back. The air is crisp and you breathe deeply and let it fill your lungs. You hear the flow of the water, the howl of coyotes, and the chirps of crickets. You are still blindfolded. Ten minutes pass, and the entire group of 19 Green Teens from LBJ, Eastside and Travis High Schools lay in complete silence. When given the prompt to take off their blindfolds, they are awed. Above them is a clear sky, lit by a three-quarter moon. The constellations are in full view and look down on the teens as they look up at them. Fifteen minutes have now passed and the group is still silent.
As Austin was enthralled with the hustle and bustle of the SXSW festival, Keep Austin Beautiful’s Green Teens travelled to Colorado Bend State Park for a three-day camping trip.
They hiked along the springs which feed the Colorado River, swam and fished in the river, explored caves, cooked for the group, spotted bats, deer, cave crickets, ravens, and heard coyotes. Each night they built a fire and gathered to tell stories, eat s’mores, and even play the harmonica.
Here is a reflection that Kedreona, a senior at LBJ High School, shared with the group after a reflective “sit spot” activity after the last hike to Gorman Falls at the end of the trip:
“I don’t think I ever want to go camping again because nothing can compare to this trip. This trip was the best trip ever… I actually got to explore and do activities with like-minded people who love the environment as much as I do. Thank you, Kelly, Alecia, Ilya and Brent for making my last year in Green Teens amazing, especially with this trip. I got to meet kids from other schools with whom I had things in common. I got to hike and see beautiful scenery. And most moments weren’t awkward – you know those awkward moments when you meet other people from different schools and you are like, “Ummm, I don’t know what to do with her” – which was the one thing I was afraid of. I wish the best for all of you; since, I am graduating and some of you are leaving as well. Green Teens and Keep Austin Beautiful are awesome.”
Green Teens camping trip made possible by generous donations from our program sponsors and Inkind donors:
Green Teens Program Sponsors
Green Teens Camping Donations