February / 2018

Welcome to ETC's 2018 Season!
Notes from  Diane Poslosky,  Executive Director

I am thrilled to report that 2017 was a banner year for ETC and we are so grateful to all of you--our partners, volunteers, donors, and friends--who helped to make it possible!  We are absolutely delighted to begin the 2018 ETC season, with so many o pportunities  to share brilliant adventures with our participants!

ETC launched the New Year with an outstanding Winter Guide Training for 12 fabulous new volunteer guides. We welcome them to the ETC family and thank our skilled trainers for helping with Guide School! We have a full season planned up at Bear Valley and Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Pray for snow!

In other ETC program news, I am thrilled to welcome and introduce you to two bright and talented new members of the ETC team. Daniel Berger, who hails from New Zealand and is a seasoned River Guide and Instructor, joins ETC as our new River Program Manager. Spending time with Reese Hodges and a number of you in late fall, Dan has good grounding in the program and is ready to take the reins.

Coordinating ETC's upcoming Make a Ripple Gala--is Emily Ford. Emily just returned to the United States from the Maasai Steppe in Tanzania where she helped develop an environmental education program for children. In the summer she will be transitioning to the River Program to work with Dan and coordinate environmental education.

We hope you will join us for ETC's Annual Make a Ripple Gala on Saturday, April 28th at the spectacular Cavallo Point Lodge! We have a magical celebration in store for you--and this event raises crucial scholarship funds to address the 
cost barriers that limit access to the great outdoors for 
under-resourced youth and people with disabilities. 

We also have some exciting Shared Expeditions plannned for 2018. Come join us for kayaking in Baja, the Channel Islands, or Lake Tahoe for an unforgettable adventure.

Here's to a season that delights and invites all of us to get outdoors in community and to celebrate, cherish, and protect the environment and world we share.

With gratitude,
Diane Poslosky
ETC Executive Director
In This Issue
ETC makes the joy 
and challenge of outdoor adventures accessible  to people with disabilities and under-resourced youth, inspiring  self-confidence, connection to nature, and stewardship of 
the environment.


Mark your Calendar & Save the Date!

Environmental Traveling Companions 
Make a Ripple Gala

Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 5:30 - 9:30 pm 
Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito, California

If you have auction items to suggest for this year's Gala, 
we would love to hear from you! Please contact: Emily Ford by phone 
(415) 474-7662 x14 or  email .
Make a Ripple & Make a Difference!
All proceeds from this event  help to make the great outdoors accessible 
to  people with disabilities and under-resourced youth.

ETC's 2018 Winter Program Hits the Slopes!

Kicking off the new season, ETC's 2018 ETC Winter Guide School in Bear Valley, CA in January was an outstanding success!  O ur fantastic team of trainers prepared a group of twelve fabulous new volunteers as ETC Winter Guides through Inclusion and Disability Awareness Training, human guiding, and adaptive equipment and gear!  Many new volunteers had never skied before--and were thrilled to learn to cross-country ski and join the ETC family. The  fun, laughter and the majesty of big trees and snow will long be remembered by all! We are looking forward to a fantastic Winter season!

Meet Daniel Berger
ETC's new River Program Manager!

Hi! My name is Daniel Berger and I am humbled and very excited to step into the role of River Program Manager at ETC!  I am from the North Island of New Zealand, 42 degrees below the equator.  It is hard to grow up on a subtropical island in the middle of the South Pacific and not be drawn into what nature has to offer. My childhood was spent dedicating every spare moment to surfing, fishing or playing  on local rivers and estuaries.
Working in the field of Adventure Education has enabled me to explore some unique places with amazing people! I have had guided on many of New Zealand's rivers, been an Outdoor Educator on Great Barrier Island and a Kayak Instructor and Program Manager in the Bay of Plenty. I also have a history with the American River here in California, having worked on the North, Middle and South Forks as a guide for many seasons!  During my studies in Outdoor Leadership, I developed a deep passion and understanding of the outdoors and how to integrate diverse populations into a broad range of environments, specializing in paddle sports. I look forward to applying my past experience and to learning from the extended ETC family to fulfill ETC's mission.
We are heading into another great season and already have a solid crew forming! This includes Emily Ford, ETC's new River Education Coordinator! We both cannot wait to meet all of you and get to know you better. I encourage you to reach out to me over the next few weeks either through email, phone or in person and touch base about your availability and interest in the 2018 River Program. I would love to hear from you all!
Join ETC for a Sea Kayaking or Whitewater Rafting  Adventure in 2018!

If you are with an Agency and you would like to schedule a trip with us in 2018, you can learn more about ETC's exciting Sea Kayaking Adventures and book your 2018 trip by contacting Program Manager, Oren Frey

To schedule an ETC Whitewater Rafting Adventure on the South Fork of the American River, contact Program Manager Daniel Berger

If you are individual or a group of friends and family, our 2018 Shared Expeditions offer a fantastic opportunity to explore remote and beautiful 
paddling destinations,  all with the accessibility, beauty, and fun that comes with an  ETC adventure. 

2018 ETC Shared Expeditions:

Meet Sofia Botero
ETC Youth LEAD Program Graduate 
and Fellow

"My name is Ana Sofia Botero and I attend Vintage High School in Napa, California. My family emigrated from Colombia when I was two years old in order to provide my older brother and me with an education that was simply unattainable in Colombia at the time. I love to dance and express myself through movement.
On ETC's 14-Day Young Women's Course, we experienced sea kayaking on beautiful Tomales Bay followed by an even more breathtaking backpacking trip in Pt. Reyes National Seashore and Drakes Bay.
My goal on this course was to become more vulnerable and open to new ideas. 

I started to reach my goal by asking everyone's name on the first day and getting to know everyone. I challenged myself every day by trying to truly be myself. 
I surprised myself in the backpacking portion when I would not let myself give up.
On this course during our solo time, I sat on the warm sand and for the
first time in my life I looked out at the ocean and wasn't just excited to go swimming or to tan. I simply sat there and listened to the waves and felt an overwhelming peace.
I also learned about the negative impact that humans have on the environment, whether it's through extensive fishing in endangered areas or littering.
Through the Youth LEAD Program, I gained an immense new and special relationship with nature that will be with me the rest of my life.
I have never felt more free to be myself."

Sofia took part in our 2017 Youth LEAD 14-day Young Women's  course and has since joined ETC as a Youth LEAD Fellow. In October 2017, she partnered with another YLP Fellow, Lizbeth, to race a double kayak in the 35th Annual Sea Trek Regatta  (photo, above, right), and to help out with the Regatta, a benefit for ETC. 

We congratulate Sofia and all of ETC's Youth LEAD graduates and 2017-18 Fellows on all of their accomplishments!  ETC's Youth LEAD Program provides life-changing
outdoor experiences for diverse groups of youth from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our Mission in Action
ETC makes the joy and challenge of outdoor  adventures accessible to people with disabilities and under-resourced youth, inspiring self-confidence, connection to nature, and stewardship of the environment.

A highlight of ETC's Winter Program is a visit to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, home of a spectacular grove of giant Sequoia
ETC's 2018 Winter Program trainers and new volunteer guides gather at a giant sequoia.

ETC Eco Spotlight:  sequoiadendron giganteum

by Emily Ford
You may have heard tall tales of the voluminous sentinels known widely as the giant sequoia. It's true, their trunk can weigh as much as 15 blue whales, and one stump from 1852 was used as a dance floor. They live up to 3,500 years   
old and have been known by local tribes as the Ancient Ones for time immemorial.
Unlike us, they continue growing throughout their entire lifetime, reaching the
(somewhat controversial) status of the largest living organism on Earth. They can only develop such mind-blowing mass with the nourishing waters of melting Sierra snowpack. Enjoy the snow during your next ETC cross-country ski trip, but also thank it for nourishing our friends in nearby sun-lit groves.
And if it's a low-snow year like this one, wish for fog, because these trees have 
aerial roots near the top (up to 300 feet high!) to soak up moisture in the air. Wow!

This eco-spotlight is brought to you by Emily Ford, ETC's new River Program Education Coordinator and Gala  Coordinator! After finishing a BA in Environmental Studies and Geology from Whitman College and a Masters of Education in Environmental Education and Nonprofit Leadership at Western Washington University, Emily is excited to share nature and great adventures with ETC's participants and volunteers!