“The last week with tSB was just mind-blowing because I never saw it coming. The whole Mt. Hood trip… It seemed impossible that the program could end soon because I had just developed a huge bond with everyone in the program, and for it to end the following Sunday just seemed so unfair. tSB changed me for the better, and to have something so amazing in my life, I just didn’t want to let it go.”
Leonard Tran (‘11 Prophet)
Lovefest, the most bittersweet time of year, when tSB has ripened and come to a complete cycle; the Mt. Hood retreat, tSBEAST showcase, and final Graduation all celebrated the end of a beautiful 2011 year.
How can we condense all of the amazing stories we had made into one blog? Well, to start off, the tSB gang packed together bright and early last Saturday morning at Youngstown, snow and sleep gear in tow. After filling up several mini vans to full capacity, the long journey to Mt. Hood began as soon as the last tSB van rolled off of Youngstown pavement.
Some vans slept the entire way, and others, (shout out to Amanda’s Party Van!) partied their way to Oregon. The team regrouped for a pit stop in downtown Portland, where food carts lined the perimeter of an entire block, varying from Vietnamese yums to Ethiopian cuisines. With goodies in hand, tSBers spread themselves out under leafy shades in the nearby park. “I feel like I’m in tSB city. Everywhere I turn, I see a tSB person, and I’m like ‘Oh hey’”, said mentor Lulu as she strolled across the park. Tummies filled, we hopped back into the minivans and made a beeline for the mountains.
The Huckleberry Inn! Deliciously brisk mountain air circulated in our city-bred lungs. Most of the vans made it to the inn, but news came that Josefino’s van (which had all the food and art supplies) had broken down! “Even though we were set back there for about 3 hours, at least we were with family! We made the best of it and had a fun time trying to get out of a rut. There isn’t anyone else I’d rather be stranded in the middle of the road with,” said Peer Leader Jonathan. Eventually the van was back up and running, thanks to the squad that stayed behind to help!
The first day of the retreat was spent connecting, eating, sharing, and loving. Karaoke, art projects, skateboarding, basketball hooping, cards games, Gundam-building and many other activities took place before dinner time. After we bloated ourselves with healthy foods, the lights were dimmed, candles lit, sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets lined the floor to set a safe and calming ambiance. One by one, each tSB youth sat in the center of the circle and received love and gratitude that was well-deserved. A perfect way to end a night.
The next morning everyone was up and ready to shred the gnar! Helloooooo Mt. Hood, we have missed you! With all of our gear on, tSB headed up and shared our last few, sweet runs together on the mountain.
Mt. Hood was a beautiful experience. It bonded community as family and created safe spaces.
“It was fun! It helped me realize that I have a group of people who will always support me,” said Prophet Kimberly. We created positive memories and supported each other during personal hardships. “They are moments that I will hold with me forever,” said Snowboard Intern LaQuan.