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River Rafting-"Kodak Moment":
Chad, Katrina, Erick and K.Leigh are raft ready!
Clyde: The boat, full of smiles. K. Leigh shouting, "I love life! I love life!"
Erick: Boat, swimming with Chad. Me and Chad sharing my goggles.
Chad: Being on the river with Erick and my friends. Holding onto the front of the boat and we hit shoulders. Its fun swimming.
Teodros and Julia get all wet!
Teodros: The river rafting. I like being on the water, the bumps and waves and the guys jumping off the rock. Dancing and music at the talent show and burritos and pancakes.
Jamie: Singing and laughing loudly in the boat and sleeping out under the stars with everyone.
Brianna: Boat ride, playing at the talent show.
Yuka: My Dad and I hitting together on the bump.
Nori: I liked seeing the rocks over and under the water. The water is so clear and beautiful. Sophie in the water. Yuka's surprised face, so cold. Natalie, so comfortable and easy on the boat.
Bobby: Getting wet a lot. A lot! Dressing up for the talent show.
Sophie: Being on the water, swimming and when Alison made me pull the boat.
Natalie: Nature, my God, is like moon, stars, plants and trees. Being close to God.
Amy: This morning, when we were all packing our stuff, Chad was already taking his pack up to the cars. Way to be responsible for your own stuff, Chad!
Julia: Teasing with Jamie on the boat. Getting wet. Belly dancing with all my friends. Burritos and beverages.
Julia, K. Leigh and Katrina
ETC Guides said:
Pedo: I couldn't see Brianna or Natalie's faces, I just heard a shrieking joyous sound and saw bouncing up and down.
Riely, Teodros and Pedo
E.B.: Julia on the boat, K. Leigh's huge smile, Brianna's hugs, Yuka's smile, Teodros doing Fresh Prince, Bobby saying "More wet! More!," Natalie's song to the moon, Chad and Erick laughing, Katrina's dancing, Sophie getting dressed up and dressing everyone else up...
Riely: Yuka giggling over the rapids and for five minutes afterwards. Alison: Yuka giggling and everyone dressed up in their costumes for the talent show.
Lindsey: Such an amazing trip! There are eight million Kodak moments! Last night with all the costumes and all the dancing. My whole boat...everyone swam at least five times!
ETC Rafting Survey Results:
In the survey seven participants rated this trip OUTSTANDING and nine Strongly Agreed that they felt respected, safe, part of a team, learned new recreational skills, were physically challenged and practiced independent living skills. They also said the trip made them more interested in doing outdoor activities, gave them more confidence to try new things (we had four people who were river rafting for the first time!) and encouraged them to be more independent in their every-day life.
"I learned I can river raft. I like going on overnight trips. I can do it by myself," Brianna.
First timer rafters Brianna and Natalie.
"I am strong to paddle in the rapids. I can take care of myself," Yuka.
"I like being part of a team, camping with friends, swimming and dancing," K. Leigh.
"I liked rafting, swimming a lot, and dancing in the talent show," Chad.
"Singing, riding the waves and Riely (were the best)," Bobby.
"Rafting and being with my friends, sleeping in a tent with my dad," Katrina.
"I like going on adventure trips with my friends. Our PAL, Riely, was a guide," Teodros.
"I'm better at paddling than last time and I can lead my friends in belly dancing," Julia.
"I like swimming, rafting the bumps," Erick.
THANK YOU! A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THE PARENTS WHO ANSWERED THE VOLUNTEER CALL! You helped make this fabulous trip possible. We thank our two Dads, Nori and Clyde, for joining us and for driving. Thanks to our two Moms, Barbara (and sister Emily) and Terri, for driving and/or lending their cars. Thanks to our two Mom-substitutes Jamie and Amy (especially Amy who doesn't even teach in the teen/adult STEP program anymore!)for getting and keeping it all together.
Thanks also to Riely, our STEP Out Pal (and ETC's best new intern!) and Sophie our STEP Together Pal, and to all our ETC friends... for another excellent adventure on the river!
Mark your calendars for November 13th -KAYAKING ON THE BAY!
Also...parents...please attend our annual events such as the picnic. We were pleased to have some East Bay families but missed all the Contra Costa families who take advantage of our programs. Please support the larger community and organization by coming to DSC annual events!
ART EXPRESS Summer art class a delightful success!
Thanks to the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Club for helping to make this class possible. We painted, drew and designed and started a mural, danced, sang sign language songs, practiced calling a friend from class every week and had a karaoke party. Here's what some of the artists said they liked about the class:
Jennifer: It's fun. I enjoy the art and everyone.
Emma: I like meeting people.
Blair: It's my favorite.
Julia: I like it 'cause we have great PALS!
"KICK IT UP A NOTCH!" Chef's Corner
We like to cook, especially in the fall and winter. Besides our special Cranberry Raisin Bread for Thanksgiving we have become famous for STEP Out's Erica Jacob's Chewy Brownie Cookies. Thank you Erica (a.k.a. Martha Stewart) for the recipe (and for bringing the brownies to group)! Happy Holidays Everyone!
2/3 Cup Crisco All-vegetable shortening (or better yet, Butter)
1 � Cups firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 � Cups all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup unsweetened baking cocoa
� teaspoon baking soda
� teaspoon salt
2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz. package)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine Crisco or butter, brown sugar, water and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat eggs into creamed mixture. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix into creamed mixture at low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop rounded spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes or until cookies are set. Do Not Overbake! Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes. Place sheet of foil on countertop. Remove cookies to foil to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
"STEPpers draw their plans for the group"