arc Adventure celebrates another successful year with Claremont McKenna College and Occidental College. Just last month, both colleges introduced their incoming freshmen with better college orientations by adding an adventure twist. During these orientations, upperclassman offered advice to students on how to get acclimated to their new surroundings… But most importantly, new students got to bond and familiarize themselves with the support available at college. What better way to enhance the orientation experience than by showcasing the wonderful views and activities right on along California’s shores! arc Adventure provided access and activities to our 4 favorite locations: Emma Woods in Ventura, Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, El Capitan Beach in Santa Barbara, and Sycamore Canyon in Malibu. A few days spent in these idyllic locations made lasting memories and friendships.

Two Colleges, Four Outdoor Adventures

Claremont McKenna College

CMC students going to Emma Woods and Crystal Cove started their adventure at Tower 6 on Santa Monica Beach with surfing, led by Marion of the Surf Bus Foundation. Marion and her team of surf guides taught CMC to surf, boogie board, hand plane, and details of the ocean only a marine biologist, or a pro surfer like Marion, would know. Simultaneously, the CMC students going to Sycamore Canyon began their trip at the historic Stoney Point where Cameron “Kiwi” Wu setup 3 easy but challenging 5.5-5.8 routes on the shaded Mozart Wall.

Senior Adventure Guide Temo Helenes and his 2 Support Guides Ryan Virgil and Anai Loera led their 23 CMC students to Emma Woods in Ventura, where they camped and bonded on the beach. The students enjoyed a relaxing bike ride on the path to Ojai and hiking to the enchanting Rose Valley Falls. One camper described the trip as “Xanadu”! We could not agree more as we scouted this amazing place of magnificent beauty. A special shout out to Anai Loera who got the most shout outs from all the trips. Your support, foresight, and friendly disposition made you #1 in Claremont’s book.

Senior Adventure Guide Nelson Prieto and his 2 Support Guides Chris Maes and Zhareen Bulalacao led their 23 CMC students to Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach. The students enjoyed snorkeling with bright orange Garibaldis in the clear waters of Shaw’s Cove, hiking to the historic Dripping Caves of Aliso Woods Canyon, exploring the winding Crystal Cove campgrounds at night, catching a few rays of sunshine on the beaches of Salt Creek, and wrapping the adventure in a bow by eating ice cream sandwiches at the “Top of the World.”  The students loved the Crystal Cove adventure describing it as “exhilarating,” “intimate,” and “zealous.” The arc Adventure team packed quality camping meals that would make a 5-star restaurant look dull. Have you ever had an orange brownie made in a makeshift oven by Nelson?

Lead Adventure Guide Drew Preedeedilok and his 2 Support Guides Cameron “Kiwi” Wu and Carlos Moreno lead their 23 CMC students to Sycamore Canyon. After their trip to the legendary Stoney Point, the climbers called Sycamore Canyon home. The arc Adventure team led CMC students on a mountain biking expedition into the Santa Monica Mountains, hiked adventurous sections of the Backbone Trail, enjoyed their time relaxing on the coastline, sliding down the sand dunes in Malibu, and bonding over campfires stories. According to their campers, the trip was “awesome!” And we don’t doubt it! A never before feat was succeeded, as talks of a three-tiered hammock surfaces. Truth or Fiction? We need pictures to prove it.

Occidental College

Adventure Guide/LEAD Assistant Director Brenna Johnston-Kosher and her 2 Support Guides Andrea Alvarez and Robert Hall lead their 26 Occidental students to the mountains of Santa Barbara where they went rock climbing at the notorious Playground. One camper described the trips as “Campalicious!” Rave reviews came back for the team of Brenna, Andrea, and Robert as they showed Occidental the best of what arc Adventure has to offer.

Guided group tour tent camping set up overlooking the Pacific Ocean with Occidental College | arc Adventure

Just across the way, Lead Guide Venisha Jeff and her 3 Support Guides Tanya Beatty, Matthew Kelly, and Rosendo Ortega lead their 26 Occidental Students on a neighboring trip to the beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara. They enjoyed 2-day trip kayaking on the blue Santa Barbara Harbor and basking in the warm sunshine. Both camps joined together to enjoy a bountiful dinner and bonded while the sun set on the ethereal horizon. Occidental ended their night sharing scary stories over a campfire, eating s’mores at El Capitan Campground, and then sleeping soundly under the starry California sky.

Our Staff Go The Extra Mile

A special shout out to our Adventure Guide of all Guides, the woman behind the curtain, arc Adventure Assistant Director, Naomi Sanchez-Prazak! It is an ambitious task to run 5 multi-day/multi-sport camping trips in the same week. She pulled off a logistical miracle without major hitches as she supported all 5 trips in some form or fashion. Need kayaking for one day and biking the next, Naomi delivered. She actually delivered a camp stove at 3:00am to one site after theirs malfunctioned so that the unknowing students would be guaranteed warm pancakes (gluten free, we have that option) and bacon (turkey bacon, we have that option, too)! Thanks Naomi, for all your hard work and taking care of the minor and major details only your unique experience can identify. It definitely provided better college orientations for these two schools.

Thanks to all the Adventure Guides for all the hard work. There were many great reviews from the colleges about their professionalism, knowledge, and excitement for what they do. We are proud to have such an elite team of individuals to represent the Leave No Trace cause and the arc Adventure mission. Here’s to many more trips to come!

Are you interested in have a better college orientation? See all of our adventure options and contact us to plan your trip!

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