Two Grand Canyon Youth alumni high fiver over a pile of brush Service project pandemic pickup

Staying Engaged During the Pandemic

Staying Engaged During the Pandemic By Jordan Robinson GCY expeditions are on pause, but we’re still working hard to connect with young people and our broader community. Like many of us, young people are experiencing the trauma of a global pandemic. It has changed their plans and the world they will inherit with disconcerting and…

Grand Canyon Youth Field staff director Jean-Philippe rowing a green hard shell kayak

Mental Health First Aid

Let’s Talk About It: Mental Health First Aid By Jean-Philippe Clark Jean-Philippe Clark is GCY’s Operations Director. He originally came to Grand Canyon Youth in 2007 as a youth himself. Inspired by the water, the people, and the experience he decided to simply never grow up. Now years later, he still finds his home sitting…

GCY Guides on Boat Smiling

Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward: The Alumni Scholarship Fund By Kate Aitchison Kate Aitchison is an artist whose work focuses on human interventions in the natural landscape and a river guide for Grand Canyon Youth and Canyon Expeditions/Explorations.She is a GCY alumni and a lover of beauty and wild places. She is one of the founders of…

The JEDI Council

The JEDI Council: J(ustice) E(quity) D(iversity) I(nclusion) By Omar Martinez Omar Martinez was born in Nicaragua at the tail end of a revolution. His family immigrated to the U.S. when he was four years old. After pursuing a brief stint in aspiration of professional soccer glory, he quickly realized his talents were better suited to…

Grand Canyon Youth Guide Smiling

Being More IN it

Being More IN it: Lessons on Embracing Discomfort From a 17-Year-Old By Somer Morris I never get tired of telling this story.  It was the moment I realized the power of Grand Canyon Youth. On this particular morning, on the Esplanade Ledges  at Sheer Wall camp in Grand Canyon, my eyes opened to the important…

Grand Canyon Youth guides drinking coffee from a large pot

Cowboy Coffee and Campfire

Cowboy Coffee and Campfire By Madeline Friend Photo by Maddie Friend. My clothes smell of cowboy coffee and campfire on another river morning when everything is the same and more different than it has ever been.    _____   I step onto my boat the one caked in sand and grins held together by technicolor…

Grand Canyon Youth participants working with a scientist

UBMS

Building Skills for Science and Life on the San Juan River By Tory Syracuse Northern Arizona University’s Upward Bound Math & Science (UBMS) program supports high schoolers who are potential first-generation college students. According to Director Mark Despain, “UBMS focuses on working with students from five high schools in northern Arizona. Most of our students…

Grand Canyon Youth participant rowing a boat

Humbled by Nature

Humbled by Nature By Lauren Pacheco “On my first GCY trip, as we were going through a rapid in the snow on the Upper San Juan, I remember thinking how much I wanted to be at home under a blanket with my dog, but I pushed through the day. Looking back, those uncomfortable moments are…

Thank you, Alison!

Thank You, Alison!For the past five years, Alison Holland has shared her passion for the transformative power of the river through her position as Operations Director, working with guides and preparing gear for expeditions. We will miss her and wish her well in her new endeavor. We hope she’ll be back to row kids down…

The Park Prescription

The Park Prescription By Annette McGivney Several weeks ago, while walking past the neighborhood park, I was shocked to see the playground equipment wrapped in yellow caution tape.    “Was someone murdered right here on the merry go round?” I wondered.    But then I realized the tape was just another desperate response to this…