|Dates:||June 26 – July 9|
July 13 – July 26
|Grade||7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th|
(Students Grouped According to Age)
Learn More About Us
You May Also Like
- Homeless Outreach in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District
- Volunteer with Rangers in Yosemite National Park
- Build Trails around Stunning Lake Tahoe
- Learn to Surf on Marin County’s Gentle Waves
- Experience Exhilarating Whitewater in California’s Gold Country
- Explore and Hike the Stunning Landscapes of the Sierra Nevada
- Visit San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf
- 30 Hours Community Service
San Francisco Homeless Outreach
Despite efforts to eradicate homelessness in San Francisco, the numbers continue to be staggeringly high, including close to 900 unaccompanied children. In an effort to contribute to the health and well-being of this underserved population, we partner with nonprofit organizations to reach out in any way we can. Serving meals, organizing donations and conversing with patrons, we aim to make their life a bit easier while gaining perspective and knowledge throughout our service. After completion of this service, we use our new skills and knowledge to create, plan and carry out a homeless outreach project of our own. Not only do we spend the day helping others, but we leave with the tools and ability to bring this project home after the trip and implement it in our own communities around the world.
Experience the bounty of California’s most magical landscapes through exploration and meaningful service on this two week adventure. Share a smile and a meal with the impoverished of San Francisco as you serve and provide support for the homeless at St. Anthony’s Foundation and GLIDE. Explore the splendors of Yosemite National Park while working alongside park rangers to maintain this beautiful landscape. Swim through the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, inflatable kayak down thrilling rapids and learn to surf at one of Northern California’s most enchanting beaches as you soak in the warm summer sun. Trek across the beautiful iconic Golden Gate Bridge and explore the wonders of San Francisco. Take a journey this summer that will not be forgotten by you or those you serve!
Service in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area
St. Anthony’s Foundation and the Glide Foundation help the impoverished of San Francisco rise above their current circumstances through free meal, clothing and technical job training programs. These programs, offered 365 days a year, are an integral part of helping alleviate poverty and suffering for people of all ages. We spend time with these organizations sharing meals, smiles, and stories with these children, men, and women, as we brighten their days, and our own!
Working together as a group, we also learn how to start our own food outreach program that we can use to bring back to our hometowns.
Discover San Francisco
No trip to the Bay Area is complete without spending an afternoon exploring the famous sights of San Francisco. We make sure to visit the ever popular Pier 39, ride a cable car up the steep hills, wander through Chinatown and admire the view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
While in the Bay Area, we also take a day to surf at a world famous break and play in the water of the Pacific.
Explore Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park was one of our first National Parks and is well known for its waterfalls. We spend three days exploring these famous falls, the dazzling granite sites of Half Dome, and beautiful valleys while taking the opportunity to cool off with a dip in the picturesque Tuolumne River.
As a group, we have the rare opportunity to be involved in a service project with this amazing park. Whether we assemble picnic tables, build campsites or work on beautifying trails, we can be proud to give back to this national treasure.
Lake Tahoe Basin
Lake Tahoe, where California and Nevada meet, is the gem of the Sierra Nevada. We spend three days working and playing hard! Joining the Truckee Donner Land Trust or the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, we build trails for future generations to explore. We also have plenty of time to explore the lush pine forests, clear rivers, and sapphire blue lakes which make Tahoe a premier destination.
Whitewater Kayaking on Cache Creek
Traveling through California’s Central Valley, we find ourselves at the hidden treasure of Cache Creek. Tumbling from the lush coastal mountains, Cache Creek is the perfect place to play in the summer heat. Here we learn to safely navigate our inflatable kayaks through classic Class III rapids during this exciting day on the river!
“Isabel had the most amazing time on the trip. She made wonderful friends, loved the group leaders, and was emotionally moved by the community service projects.”— Parent of Isabel Z., Sea Cliff, NY
“Margo said the best part of her program was the day she collected tickets at the soup kitchen and got to talk to everyone who came through the door.”— Parent of Margo S., Bala Cynwyd, PA
“I don’t know how I survived without my child for two weeks but I did so mostly because every time we talked or I read the blogs, saw the photos, she was so happy!”— Parent of Shayli K., Deerfield, IL
“On this program, I have met people from all over, with whom I will keep in touch with for years.”— Ethan M., Summit, NJ
“An amazing experience; I met life long friends.”— Margo S., Bala Cynwyd, PA
“I think Tyler has had a great accomplishment, going on his own, experiencing a much rougher form of vacation than he’s ever experienced but it was so successful for him that I think he’s gained greater confidence and independence.”— Parent of Tyler O., Pleasantville, NY
“This program changed my life!”— Shayli K. Deerfield, IL
“He loved working in soup kitchen and had great experience understanding what it means to give and how people felt about receiving help. The tenderloin was an eye opener for Oliver.”— Parent of Oliver M., Montclair, NJ
“The California Service Program was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The Leaders were so nice and enthusiastic and everyone in the group became like my second family.”— Michelle K., Foster City, CA
“I thought this program was a blast and everybody should go on the California Service Program!”— Mirabela W., Fort Worth, TX
“I learned that I can change someone’s life with simple acts of kindness.”— Isabella Z., Sea Cliff, NY
“This program has opened my eyes to much regarding the homeless. It has taught me to the less judgmental in general.”— Sophia S., Brussels, Belgium
Group Journal Excerpts
Below you will find several Group Journal excerpts, written by ARCC students during their California Adventure and Service Program:
ARCC helps the California natural environment!
As I am writing this I am sitting in the white ARCC van with 14 other people. We just got back from a hike/helping clear non native plants from the hills of California 🙂 At first I was nervous that I wasn’t going to do as well as the other campers, but I proved myself…
City Day in San Francisco
A few days ago, our service work at the Glide homeless center started early in the morning and proved to be a very humbling and powerful experience. Our day continued as we explored San Francisco, including Fisherman’s Warf, and some super cool looking seals! We then took a trolley to China Town and had a…
GLIDE Foundation Service
Hey guys! Today was an amazing day full of eye opening experiences. We woke up at 5 15 with the very loud owls. We first went to GLIDE foundation, a good kitchen in San Francisco. Everyone was picked for a different task such as collecting tickets and serving food. My job was to hand out…
Loving Lake Tahoe!
Monday was spent primary on the beautiful beaches of Lake Tahoe. We swam and played games all day long. It was our first totally relaxed day, and while it was fun, it did prepare us for our service with the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail. We built trails next to Heavenly Ski Resort in Nevada for…
Our Last Few Days
Ahoy! The last leg of our journey proved to be amazing. It began with a beautiful drive along the shore of Lake Tahoe through Tioga pass to Yosemite! It was a long drive but it was worth it because along the way we saw an amazing sunset in Nevada and stopped to dine on the…
Reflections on Our Two-Weeks
Upon arrival everything soon becomes shared. We share tents, responsibilities, and experiences. We share all these once-in-a-lifetime adventures and see out-of-this-world views and sights, helping out as we go. All of our experiences are unforgettable, but the times where we bond the most are those in-between moments. The long car rides, unique games, and intimate…
San Francisco Treat
We took a cable car from where we were at Glide up the giant hills of San Francisco to Aquatic Park. We walked out to the end of a long wharf where we had a view of Alcatraz, the city and even the Golden Gate Bridge! Rafaela and Matt surprised us with ice cream from…
What is the packing list for this program?
Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the trip’s activities, length and climate. Please click here to view the California: Urban & Wilderness Service packing list.
What is the weather like in California?
Summer weather in Northern California can vary greatly. Expect warm weather throughout the itinerary (80’s to 90’s). Some areas can reach into the low 100’s. The coastal areas can be milder and in the mountains the days are generally warm, but the evenings can sometimes be chilly. All throughout the state, you may encounter fog (San Francisco), high heat (Cache Creek), chilly nights (Lake Tahoe) or afternoon storms (Yosemite.) Daytime temperatures can be as warm as 100°F and nights as cool as 40°F.
What are the service projects like?
ARCC has been operating programs in California for several years, and we have built relationships with a variety of individuals, small communities and organizations who enjoy hosting ARCC student groups. On this program, we prepare and serve food to homeless communities in San Francisco, build trails in Lake Tahoe, and work alongside Yosemite National Park Rangers to help conserve the natural habitat.
Where will we sleep?
You will sleep in tents in National Parks, State Parks and beautiful private campsites. All campgrounds are “front-country,” meaning you will be close to the group van at every site. All campgrounds have restroom facilities and running water for cooking, washing hands, etc. Many campgrounds have showers on-site as well. You will sleep in groups of 3-4 in tents supplied by ARCC. Please make sure you check the California Service Clothing & Equipment List and remember to bring your own sleeping bag and pad.
How will we travel?
Each group will travel together, with their two leaders, in a 15-passenger van. If you would like to bring music for these rides, feel free to bring a music player or CDs. If you bring an iPod or MP3 player, make sure to bring a radio adapter, as most of our vans do not have a MP3 jack. In San Francisco, we use public transportation and our own feet to see the sights.
What is the food like?
The group will work together to create each menu and prepare the meals throughout the duration of this trip, with occasional outings for local cuisine.
Vegetarians and medical dietary requirements (i.e. allergies) are catered for. It does help if we are informed of this prior to departure date.
How much spending money should I bring?
We suggest bringing spending money of roughly $75/week. Most cash should come home, but you will want some personal money to pay for airline baggage fees at the airport, souvenirs/gifts, laundry, extra snacks and emergencies (lost items, clinic visit, etc.). A small amount of cash and ATM cards usually work best.
Do I need some sort of ID to travel?
If you are traveling to California from somewhere in the United States and are under the age of 18, airlines do not require photo identification. It is a good idea to travel with a picture I.D. if possible, but it is not necessary to bring a passport. A school identification card with your photo on it is best, but a library card or credit card with your name on it is also helpful. If you are traveling to California from somewhere outside of the United States, you will need to bring your valid passport.
Do I really need to bring a backpack, or can I bring a rolling suitcase on this program?
Although you will not be doing traditional backpacking on this trip, it is important that you bring a backpack as your main piece of luggage. Throughout the trip the group will be navigating through airports, on and off buses, up and down stairways, and taking short hikes on unpaved paths. The group will be able to move much more efficiently if everyone is carrying their belongings on their back.