Junior Mark Ortiz spent this past summer in the Appalachian Mountains. The trip was something Ortiz could have never imagined. The three week trip taught Ortiz a lot about himself as an individual.

The moment Ortiz and his group reached the campsite, they began packing hiking backpacks, and began hiking right away. The first week consisted of hiking and getting used to daily jobs. The second week of Ortiz’s trip started when they began to do white water canoeing. Ortiz says they spent day one on a lake, day two on a river and day three on the lake. Week three was the busiest for Ortiz and his fellow summer searchers. During that week, they began rock climbing and volunteering at a farm.

Very anxious for this upcoming summer, Ortiz hopes to go to a third world country and do volunteer work. For his next trip, Ortiz hopes to “do something that would benefit others and not just [himself].” Ortiz’s first trip taught him a lot about himself, and now he is looking forward to give back. For upcoming summer searchers, Ortiz recommends them to challenge themselves and push themselves to try something new and different on their trip. Ortiz says “it’s a very special opportunity and they should not let it go to waste.”


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