Manresa

Day 7 - Grey Bears, Camp Kennolyn & Manresa SB

The day is August 8th 2019, we woke up at a mere 5am (the crack of dawn, as Josh beautifully put it) for our volunteering opportunity at Grey Bears, and this took place at the early time of 7:30am. After our early morning wake up and our 40 minute bus ride where everyone decided to take power naps, we arrived at Grey Bears to pack brown bags for delivery to home bound seniors and community members in the Santa Cruz area. We were met with smiling faces and a hot breakfast which consisted of scrambled eggs, fruit salad, bacon and sausage, with some pastries on the side and some coffee of course. I personally chose some fruit salad and bacon. Swiftly after breakfast we were thrown into the swing of things. 

There were tables lined along the spine of the warehouse with copious amount of produce and canned chicken noodle soup. Crates of each produce were stacked on pallets along the walls. Brown bags were being filed in an assembly line along the tables, with said produce and soup. My primary job was swapping out crates of onions and potatoes while bags were filing down the line at the speed of light. All of the other volunteers were nice, lovely and helpful. After an hour of shuffling and rushing onions and potatoes onto tables, we got two thousand brown bags packed and ready to ship. We were later given the opportunity to pick some items of food donated from local establishments or farms, so we all stocked up on “freshies” as Katie Nardi likes to put it. 

Our drive to Camp Kennolyn was short but sweet. We were met with smiles by the kitchen director (Lindsey Johnson) and the Assistant Camp Director (Samantha Townsend Bundy). Samantha led the group tour.  From the parking lot, we were given the opportunity to use a slide instead of the stairs, of course most of us took the slide over the stairs. At the bottom, there was a concrete path leading to the main camp ground, where we saw western frontier themed buildings in a little village. We were also taken to the stables where they kept a plethora of horses. They were super chill and we got to pet a couple. Then we were invited to stay for lunch, where we had barbecued pulled pork sandwiches accompanied by raspberry jello. After departing with some cool Camp Kennolyn stickers, we made an even shorter ride down to Aptos, CA where we all got ice cream at Marianne’s Ice Cream Shop, I personally got the single scoop with chocolate chip and it was super good I would highly recommend. 

After about 20 minutes of driving and 30 minutes of troubleshooting our parking we finally arrived at Manresa State Beach and set up camp. Generally the camp sites were small, cozy, but no places to set up a hammock :(. The sites had great showers and beach access. The beach was the best part of camping at Manresa, it was sandy and calming. For the most part I just played in the water and got cool slow motion videos of waves crashing against themselves and the beach. 

—Calvin, from Lakebay, Washington

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