After the Trip! TWB Reflections

TWB Reflections!

The Trip 3 participants gave the following quotes about their TWB experience this summer:

“I am so proud to live in this amazing country and so honored to travel it with my best friends!” – Harrison Parrott

“I went into the trip expecting it to change my perspective, and left with a changed life.” – John Durkin

“Who knew only 23 days could form such a great feeling of appreciation for our land and the people in it.” – Baylee Bonner

“Like nothing I’ve ever experienced…in a good way.” – Cat Chapman

“I’m really glad I did this.” –Molly Church

“TWB teaches you to embrace life’s most precious moments and how to make each day extraordinary.” –Nicholas Mullis

“TWB will change your life in an indescribable way.” –Ethan Oxendine

“This trip makes you fall in love with your country, make long-lasting friendships, and unforgettable memories in just 23 days, all I can say is its amazing!” –Rachel Sealy

“This trip is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.” –Wilson Moore

“Life changing.” –Garrett Duque

“TWB has taught me to always be myself because everyone else is already taken.” -Hannah Uglehus

“TWB is a life changing experience that I wish everyone could experience.” –Sophie Butler

“It is an understatement to say that all the long drives and crazy adventures will be worth it to have a family as great as your TWB family.” –Ashley Blum

“One of the most exceptional experience I will ever have in my life.” –Chris Bowman

“TWB taught me that your background doesn’t matter, we can all be family.” –Vanessa Posada

“There are truly no words that can fully describe how beautiful and breathtaking Gods creations are.” -Alyssa Powell

“Everyone told me TWB would be the best thing I would ever do, turns out they were 100% right.” –Morgan Little

“Teens Westward Bound is a trip of a lifetime where you get to form 81 friendships with new people and travel our beautiful country.” –Leslie Coffey

“TWB was lit and I love all the new people I met.” –Wyatt Austin

“Will change how you see everything, especially people and how they are all family.” –Cody Ballard

“Teens Westward Bound is so much more than a 23 day out West, it has taught me to live in the moment, be confident in myself, and meet the most amazing 80 people.” –Hannah Sherman

“TWB is the most memorable experience of my life with friends that became my family.” -Holly Skipper

“I wouldn’t trade this experience and my TWB fam for the world.” –Callie Bryant

“TWB is the best decision of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” –Mary-Charlotte Dusel

“I hate Kansas.” –Lizz Byrd

“The most accepting and relatable you’ll meet!” –Aidan Spelbring

“I made family, not friends, America is the most gorgeous place I have ever seen.” –Hannon Herring

“TWB has not only allowed me to travel the country, but meet 80 new best friends who are all there for each other.” –Alex Slaughter

“Best thing I’ve ever done, 10/10 recommend.” –Makenzi Stiles

“I would not have wanted to experience this amazing country with any other group of people.” –Genevieve Fortier

“TWB emphasized the importance of individuality and self-love, and this family I’ve made has helped me cope with and recognize this realization.” –Casey Kellogg

“I am so thankful for the past 23 days making new friends that God blessed me with, experiencing all America has to offer.” –Lilly Beth Glenn

“These past 23 days changed my life for the better!” –Madison Price

“It’s not the places that you see, but the people that you meet that makes TWB unforgettable.” –Kate Williams

“While the places you see are amazing, the friendships you form are just as valuable.” –Benjamin Campbell

“This trip truly changed my life for the better!” –Carsyn Parrott

“It has made me live in the moment, instead of worrying about the future.” –Sianna Gutschick

“Seemingly a scary trip that was way out of my comfort zone ended up being the best experience of my life.” –Ainsley Butler

“”Words cannot describe this experience, but I am forever grateful for it and the people I shared it with.” –Emma Schieck

“Live every single moment to the fullest.” –Dallas Cobb

 “I’ve been to see things that I never thought I would see with some of the funniest people I’ve ever met.” –Vivian Cline

“This has been the trip of a lifetime!” –Caroline Royals

“This experience definitely changed my life in so may ways with better perspectives on situations and so many new family members and friends.” –Emily Beck

“Definitely worth the 23 days of summer.” –Matthew Whalen

“You definitely will not regret coming, trust me.” –Avery Walker

“TWB is a life changing experience. You never realize the small things you are thankful for until this trip.” –Gracie Hester

“TWB is a trip of a lifetime!” –Mary Lewis Johnson

“By fare the best experience of my life; it’s like having a (huge) second family.” –Morgan Edwards

“You will truly learn what it means to ‘live’ on TWB.” –Emma Roby

“TWB is one of the best trips I’ve been on and I loved every day of it.” –Claire Carter

“TWB is truly an experience that changes lives and makes a forever family.” –Virginia Griffin

“TWB has opened my eyes to a new perspective on life and people.” –Lauren Pollock

“TWB has showed me what it means to live in the moment.” –Caroline Harris

“TWB has made me realize that you have to live in the moment and never take anything for granted.” –Sarah Tolbert

“TWB has helped me grow as a person, and I will remember this amazing experience for the rest of my life.” –Kelsey Smith

“TWB has opened my eyes and allowed me to live each day to the fullest.” –Lily McGrath

“Teens Westward Bound is a trip of a lifetime where you gain 81 new best friends while seeing America like never before.” –Ashlyn Rhyne

“TWB has changed my life. It has taught me so many things – like to live in the moment, appreciate the things and people around you, and just enjoy life.” –Hana Blair

“TWB opened my eyes to the beauty God gave our great country, and the beauty He gave to the people surrounding me.” – Payton Dyksterhouse

“This trip gave me 80 new awesome friends and I would not want to change that for anything.” – Margaret Gourley

“TWB has pushed me out of my comfort zone and given me so many great friends and memories.” – Paige Hudson

“TWB has given me a greater appreciation of all the small things in life, while showing me the beauty of the country we live in.” – Brandon Cool

“I’m shocked at how much I opened up and talked, so truly anybody can make friends on TWB.” – Brandon Ruff

“TWB has taught me to focus on living everyday like it’s your last with your 80 new best friends.” – Annagrace Gibson

“TWB has been the trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to go.” – Anna Mitchell

“TWB teaches you to learn about yourself, grow, and make so many great friends, it’s truly unforgettable.” – Claire Irving

“TWB was an unexplainable experience and the only way to understand how amazing it is, is if you get out there and do it.” – Will Bradley
“TWB is truly a trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful for all my new friends and amazing memories.” – Kate Brennan

“TWB is where you see great places and meet people that are even greater.” – Christian Arthur

“The views were everything I could ask for.” – Bailey Tindall

“Dope!” – Kendrick Messerich

“TWB has not only opened my eyes to the magnificent beauty of this country, but also to the beauty and significance of embracing who you are.” – Abby Brown

“I highly recommend this trip because it separates you from all the lies we get trapped in with social media. It also gives you a chance to meet new and different people along with amazing monuments. Every place means something different, it all depends on you.” – Mikayla Brumbles

"TWB has taught me to take in everything. Live in the moment instead of worrying about what's next." - Gillian Walter

"Today is my moment and now is my story....I'll laugh, and I'll cry, and I'll sing!"

Day 23- Return

Day 23 - The Return 

Today we woke up bundled in our sleeping bags next to our best friends for the last time. Many of us stayed up late (early) with tarp talk and even playing a hilarious game of truth or dare. Some of us were just reaching our REM cycle as our favorite directors (Dallas and Katie) blasted “Good Day” from the speaker. Next up on the playlist included “Wake Me Up” and of course the iconic “Dead Puppies.” We truly will miss their creative wake up calls! They also played one final “Birthday Hooray” song for Genieve’s birthday!!! HAPPY 17th BIRTHDAY GEN, WE LOVE YOU!

We started gathering our belongings and taking them to the bus where Joseph opened the bay for the Bashfuls to load our duffles. Everyone else helped clean the area of trash and the famous KFC bucket hats that were laying on the ground. After making sure our campground was left sparkling clean we headed to one of our favorite places…WALMART! The Sneezy group shopped for our final meals of TWB. We took advantage of the free time in Walmart one final time finding random food items to buy including chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, donuts, energy drinks, and candy. After our quick stop, we got in our vehicles and continued our quest back to North Carolina. The vans and bus were lively with jokes and sing-a-longs once we devoured our delicious cinnamon rolls. The counselors informed us that there would be no napping on the vehicles today, which we did not mind because we wanted to spend as much time as possible with each other. After stretching our legs at a rest area in NORTH CAROLINA, it started feeling real that we would be seeing our family and friends so soon.

As we headed back home a service light on the bus came and on Joseph (the Legend) safely got us to the exit ramp of the highway. We found out that a new bus would be coming to the rescue and we discovered a park nearby to hang out in while we waited. At the park we organized our belongings, cleaned out the vans and kitchen trailer, and had all our wonderful gifts we purchased returned to us. While various jobs were being completed some of us played on the playground, threw the frisbee, and even gathered under a shade tree for a sing-a-long.  Once everyone had the chance to look through the lost and found, we gathered together for a few last words from Grant and the counselors. They handed out papers with all of our names and numbers on it so our TWB family could always stay in touch. The counselors also presented Genieve with a birthday gift of Tennessee souvenirs since we traveled through its wondrous mountains on her special day. She was given two pom poms and two cups since she is a twin of course! Shortly after, the new bus and Joseph arrived! We had a moment to say our very emotional goodbyes to each other before traveling the last hour and a half to our FINAL stop.

When we arrived at Mallard Creek we were filled with so many emotions. We were thrilled to see our friends and family but also sad to say goodbye to our TWB family. We sang, “This Land is Your Land” and our personal favorite “Today” one final time. We then gave many hugs as we were reunited with our loved ones.

Our last Walmart stop!

Hanging out under our shade tree 

Getting ready for a quick meeting

A few more songs with Grant while we waited for our other bus

Potential last hugs :(

Dallas giving Genieve her birthday gifts!!

We made it home!

A note from the counselors:
Thank you parents, family, and friends for checking in with us each day and following along with our journey. We truly felt and appreciated your prayers every single day. We were blessed with 80 amazing teenagers these past 23 days. We could not have dreamed of a better group to spend our summer with. Participants, we love and adore each one of you! Each of you made our trip truly unique and special. We hope that you will look back on the blog often and be reminded of all the wonderful memories we made together this summer. We are so proud of you all and we are already missing you!! Y’all are so amazing and we can’t wait to see what incredible things each one of you will accomplish. We love you to California and back.   

Hugs and high fives,
The staff (AKA the DREAM TEAM)