ARC rocks |

ARC rocks

Adventure Risk Challenege students summit more than mountains together, learning teamwork and personal responsibility.
Courtesy photo |

The ARC summer course is in full swing, bringing participants together from varied cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.

This group is full of strong and good-natured go-getters. They have tackled the biggest challenges facing them with a sense of adventure and a can-do attitude.

During their backcountry expeditions, the ARC 2013 cohort has been learning how to become a team and work together efficiently. For many, this is the first awareness that teamwork is an important skill in life. They are learning how to look out for each other, support each other, and do things as a group instead of individuals — a skill not commonly taught in our society.

On the ropes course, they quickly moved through the obstacles until they came to one that required a good deal of planning, teamwork and communication. They had a difficult time completing the challenge until they stopped the element, talked as a group, and strategized.

Once they decided to work as a team, there was no stopping them. They completed the element in 15 minutes after their previous hour of trying. Mike Selby from Project Discovery, the ropes course, said, “This is the best ARC group I have seen in the 10 years I have partnered with ARC.”


On July 30, near the course’s culmination, ARC participants will present The Power of Ten: Voices of Youth—personal poems that courageously speak to their past challenges, their insights, and their hopes and dreams for the future. The Power of Ten will demonstrate the impact of hundreds of transformational moments they have experienced: summiting a mountain peak, trusting the rope to hold you while climbing, or spending 24 hours solo in the wilderness.

Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee will host this community celebration for ARC’s 10-year anniversary, with a welcome reception, 5:30-6:15 p.m., including complimentary wine and appetizers from award-winning Stella restaurant, as well as music by Steve Giovenco. The keynote presentation by Keoki Flagg will address adventure travel, pursuing a passion, and what can be accomplished beyond our perceived limitations. Seating is limited. To reserve your spot for this free event, visit

The Voices of Youth event is ARC’s gift to the community. Thanks to the generous contributions of community partners, ARC has secured a $10,000 challenge grant, so every dollar donated will be doubled. Please attend with the intention of some level of support, to continue ARC’s positive impact into a new decade.



By Jose Gonzalez

I am a caterpillar

I just awoke from my long dormant sleep.

My vision, blurry at first, like a baby who has just opened its eyes.

I do not know what to do.

My whole life has been a blur

Like a dream that I grasp, but slips slowly and gradually out of my grip.

I was never truly happy.

I had a black hole inside, sucking the life out of the people I met.

But consuming away at everyone’s expense

I would blow up at my little brother.

Mentally hurting him inside

I consumed his garden of happiness.


I stumbled upon a leaf.

This particular leaf had a name

ARC is what they called it.

40 days is a long time from home, but it was the break I needed.

You see, I fed upon this simple leaf.

I sank my teeth into my first bite

I felt safe gnawing on this leaf and proceeded for another

This one for my messed up relationship with my father

The next bite was for my mother, who I always seemed to distress

I carried on with the feast, every bite for every mistake I’ve made.

I became a fat caterpillar

I learned that my mistakes defined me

It is after every bite and every mistake that I realized

I have gorged

I am done with my way of life, and who I used to be.

I no longer want to have the weight of being a disobedient boy on my shoulders.

I no longer want to make my parents mad, because of my absence from home.

I no longer want to make my family feel unloved

It is only with this realization, that I felt the need to change.

I quickly attached myself to a stem, and gave it time.

I nap.

After so much time I embrace my past

It engulfs me and takes the form of a cocoon

I doze for seconds, minutes, hours, and days

I know that my past will shape me,

But the time has come

No longer a fat caterpillar,

I become a magnificent butterfly

My eyes cringe open, but no longer is my vision blurry

I am anxious and break free of my cocoon

I thank the time for what it has done and begin to fly

I take my last glance and wave goodbye

To my past that was attached to my stem and set sail.

Thanks to ARC, my leaf that I fed myself upon

It gave me the spark to start my transformation

I left behind my cocoon because I no longer need my past

But I now have wings

Wings that will carry me farther than what I know

Wings that will help me flutter into college

Wings that will help me travel around the world

I am now confident enough to climb my life mountain.

Strong enough to reach my goals, which are placed on a high summit

I know that if I should fall

I will not fall hard, but rather catch myself

Thanks to these wings.

This poem will be featured at the Power of 10 event. To donate or learn more about the program, visit

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User