Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Operation: Urban Challenge Day 2 Mission: Bike 2 bajillion miles!

After a long morning of curriculum (a.k.a. Mark, Tom and Jen stumping us with impossibly mind-boggling ethical dilemmas), we enjoyed a delicious taco bar for lunch at the hostel!

Our Urban Challenge started with a super-duper challenging puzzle which gave us the option of either

1. Heading down to rent bikes first, then going to the Courthouse Square

2. Going to the Pioneer Courthouse Square first, then biking

Turns out, we met up with the other groups almost immediately and were rarely alone as a team. Our afternoon consisted of renting bikes and exploring the city while learning how to successfully navigate the big city. We crossed lots of bridges and got to ride along the beautiful Willamette river. On the bike ride, we took funny pictures with statues and playground equipment as well as stopping at a huge fountain and running through it. It was amazing until we had to put our running shoes back on. Most people went in all the way (literally blasted with water from head to toe) and those who held back were chased down and given a big wet hug. :)

Our geography was put to the test when we had to name the countries of about twenty-five flags outside the World Trade Center.

At the Pioneer Courthouse Square, each team purchased a postcard where they wrote a letter to the NLC Class of 2014, among other cool tasks. Most teams found themselves tight on time and faced a 7-12 block sprint back to the hostel. The goal was to get home by 5:30, but the first place team arrived at 5:26. The other teams arrived at 5:33, 5:37, and we were all together again by 5:54 when the final team reached the hostel.

Our crazy, exhausting, but fulfilling and fun day closed with a barbeque hosted by the hostel. Many of us enjoyed the awesome musicians who performed at Open Mic Night. Our very own Gwen Umbach was the MC. Cooper, Dean, Robin, Hannah, Gwen, and Andi gave a fantastic rendition of "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus.

A huge thanks to Jeni and Ed Sammons for all they have done for our trip so far. They won't be joining us for the remainder of the trip, as tomorrow morning we will be off to Union Station bright and early, heading to our next unknown destination!

Stay tuned for further adventures as we continue to our next location!

With love,
NLC 2013

recorded by Hannah, Meg, and Cassidy

P.S. Happy 25th Anniversary Mom and Dad! Love, Japhet

Various Photos from the trip

Monday, June 28, 2010

Portland By Train, Trail, Tram, Trolly... and Foot!

Today was packed full of activity and surprises. It started with a huge breakfast of pancakes and bacon cooked by our wonderful food committee. With full bellies we made the two block walk to the park and read the whole lesson as a complete class. Then our fabulous adult leaders handed us our first clue; our Portland Urban Adventure began!!

First Adventure: Travel by Train!
We figured out clues to find our next destination. After walking to the MAX station and completing various tasks we hopped on the MAX and made our way to the Washington Park. Here we had more challenges to complete and these clues led us to our next section.

Second Adventure: Travel by Trail (a.k.a. a lot of walking!)
In the far distance, we saw a radio tower. After deciphering a code we discovered this was our next destination. Then we made our way on a long and gorgeous scenic route. This led us to what seemed like the top of the world. It was a park filled with historical monuments and plaques. Here we used our creativity to make a rhyme using the names of the monuments.
Our trail journey continued on road until we reached the point where it was down hill from there, literally and figuratively!

Third Adventure: Travel by Tram
We thought Portland looked beautiful at ground level but it was even more terrific from an aerial view in the tram. We took many pictures and our ride was over too soon.

Fourth Adventure: Travel by Trolley!
At this time we enjoyed a relaxing ride back to our hostel. All of us had time to spare and we stopped to get ice cream as a reward for our hard work.

Detour along the way:
Somewhere along this journey we all had a road block. We needed to conquer the three story, multiple roomed Powell's Bookstore. We searched high and low for a Science and Health in which we placed a note for the next team to find. It was really cool that even though we were competing against each other we were still supporting each other along the way.

We all convened back at the hostel and had a great recap on last years curriculum presented by the wonderful Andi, Gwen and Denali. Then Mark, Jen and Tom introduced this year's curriculum: Ethics. We had a very in depth conversations on questions that were posed to us and these discussion were continued into dinner and more. With growling bellies, we ventured one last time into the city for the day and ate at restaurants of our choice. The rest of the evening was relaxing before bed time.

Sweet Dreams!!
- NLC Class of 2013

By: Shelby Barner, Jess Faunt, and Amy Hollshwandner

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Work Hard, Play Hard

Wow, what an exciting first day! The beautiful morning started out with a few of our NLC runners taking a 3-mile jog throughout the city of Portland, Oregon. Breakfast was at 8:30. By 9:30 we were lovingly driven to the Tenth Church of Christ Scientist of Portland for an amazing sunday school service. The church was well prepared for our large group of 19 kids, and we were split into 4 different sunday school classes. After some great discussions during sunday school, we headed over to the main church for our NLC overview presentation. The presentation started with the lively rap we wrote about CS at Adventure Unlimited last summer, and also consisted of 30 second highlights of our program. After taking questions from the audience, we enjoyed a hearty picnic of delicious sandwhiches and fresh fruit on the front lawn. The weather was absolutely perfect!! It was around 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

When our bellies were full, we decided it was time for a dessert of inspiration. The church was holding a lecture given by Marecil DeLacey about the basic concepts of Christian Science. Then we had a question and answer session with our genius practitioner Tom, who is more awesome than words can describe. After this, we evaluated ourselves as leaders, and chose a few main leadership qualities we would like to work on the following year. Then, we got to find out more about our trip!!! What we've been waiting for!!

We discovered our groups we would be with for the next two weeks; coincedentally, they were the same people as our sunday school classes! We then picked out team names; The Toy Box, The Apocolipse, The Emoticons, and The Fresh FruitAge. We are SO excited to finally know who we will be traveling with! Finally, we got some playing time at the end of the day. We drove down to the river and had dinner as the sun was setting. What a gorgeous view we had as we played frisbee in the park and pet numerous dogs.

Then we were off for another adventure to the skate rink! No, not skateboarding, and not ice skating either; it was the old school lace up roller blading time. This was a blast as well as a challenge, as many of us had never skated before. We worked hard all day and got our reward. Work hard, play hard. That's how we roll.

NLC 2013. nightynight.

-Gwen Umbach, Denali Marsh, and Robin Marquand

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day One of Timbuktu

Just kidding! As most of you know, we're actually in Portland, Oregon. This is Robiny, Cooper, and Jordan reporting from our first Hostel. As each NLCer arrived at his/her airport they were handed a clue. This clue held the key to his/her future. We each landed at the Portland, Oregon Airport with instructions to get our bags and head to baggage claim 2. Every NLC person who stepped towards baggage claim 2 was greeted with a chorus of "hello! I've missed you" and multiple hugs. As soon as everyone had got there we got on the MAX (public transportation) and wound through the downtown streets of Portland to our Hostel. We went to a park where a woman told Tom (our practitioner) how our love was visibly evident and asked if we would be there more so she could continue to bring her son, knowing he would feel our love and be influenced in the best way by us. After the park we reviewed some of our class goals, personal goals, definition of adventure, general rules, etc. Now we'll head to bed and look forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow will include church, a presentation, a lecture, more review and roller skating. Tune in tomorrow for a new group of people telling you more about it. Good night!

Friday, June 25, 2010


In less than 24 hours we'll be in the unknown location together! I believe that's all there really is to say. We're excited!