Recently, Bobbi & I headed to Joshua Tree National Park to celebrate the National Park Service turning 100 years old, and also to go on an old fashioned camp-out sponsored by Coleman. The camp-out was not open to the public and tickets weren’t sold. It was a gift to 60 at-risk youth from the Boys & Girls Club of Yucca Valley.
This was their first ever camping trip, and not only did they get a chance to sing campfire songs and roast smores with their own personal singer-songwriter entertainment from Los Angeles, go rock climbing and hiking with big shots from the National Park Service and hang out with my Bobbi (added benefit right?), but Coleman also donated all the gear afterwards, along with a $30,000 check to the local Boys & Girls Club. It was a great experience, and I was so excited I was able to cover it along with many other ideas for volunteer tourism in my latest Special Interest Guide for Afar: Travel for Good.
Although I write these guides frequently for Afar, having covered everything from Wellness to Photogenic Journeys, this was the most rewarding guide I have curated so far. Those of us who get to travel, whether for a living or a hobby, are so blessed, and giving back is something I think is so important.
On a side note, I was also able to cover the Humane Society of Grand Bahama in this guide, which is the animal rescue that saved my Bobbi for me. If it wasn’t for Bobbi, and her ability to adapt to, and act calmly, in situations usually stressful to dogs, I would be much more limited in my ability to enjoy my travels.