By Jenny Sandbo, Y.E.T.I. Volunteer
Sadie grew up in Oak Harbor, Washington. So, when students from Highline High School Adventure Club planned a winter camping trip to Deception Pass State Park, it felt like going home. A familiar place full of great childhood memories.
“Yeah, let’s go camping in November! …they totally roughed it. It was great!” Sadie laughs.
The students decided together to what to do on their camping adventure. They hiked rocky trails overlooking the water. They explored beaches and discovered a variety of sea creatures, like anemones and crabs. They saw porpoises!
In the evening, they relaxed at the beach and watched the sun set. It was a trip full of fun and quiet reflection.
“One of the things they decided on their own was that they were going to leave their phones in the van…they really wanted to disconnect and decompress” Sadie is proud of her students for setting their devices aside and choosing to be in the moment.
Sadie is a Program Coordinator with Y.E.T.I. She was first introduced to Y.E.T.I. when she was working with ASB (Associated Student Body) students at Highline High School in Burien, WA. She wanted to help her incoming student officers connect as a team by taking them on a backpacking trip. A co-worker who had been involved with Y.E.T.I. as a board member suggested she reach out.
Soon, Sadie was helping students set up an adventure club. When the school year ended, Y.E.T.I. offered her a job. Now Sadie works with students in after school programs and occasionally assists with weekend adventures.
“I tried a bunch of new things this year…I had never mountain biked.” Sadie explains, “This year was my first time ever snowshoeing”.
On her first mountain bike ride at North SeaTac Park, Sadie and a student (who was also a new rider) practiced together. On the next cycling trip, they were both feeling confident about exploring the trail.
Sadie is encouraging her outdoor club students to take greater ownership of their adventures, giving them the tools to plan their own trips and build their outdoor community. Her goals include creating a safe and accessible space for all students to discover and enjoy the outdoors.
“Two words that come to mind when I think of my kids on trips…joy and confidence!” Sadie shares, “They’re like, where are we going today? And then they fly out of the van!”
Youth Experiential Training Institute (Y.E.T.I.) connects students in the Seattle area with outdoor experiences. Through the generosity of our donors and partners, YETI provides essential gear like boots, snowshoes, and mountain bikes, along with trained guides, to get kids into nature equitably, safely, and have a great time.
View more stories at The GRIT.