It’s time to wrap up our 15th year of ESCAPE, put a bow on it, and take a break for the summer. It was a year of new surprises, new exposure, and new resources. We dodged the weather on some trips, and got pelted by rain and snow on others. We saw a bobcat for the first time, watched the fog roll through the Golden Gate, returned to Año Nuevo, Alamere Falls and Yosemite for the 15th time, and drove our usual 1000+ miles.
I’ll remember this year as a smaller group, but with a very regular core of kids. There were about 15 kids that went on at least 8 of the 9 trips. We averaged about 25 kids on the 9 trips. We had much lower teacher participation than in the past, so we relied more on other sources for chaperones. And there was an unusually high ratio of 7th to 8th graders. I’ll attribute that to our irregular presence at DeJean, and the lack of personal contact with students there on a regular basis. This remains a challenge as Jason and I roam the district in our new positions.
My favorite quote of the year was “You owe me battery percent”.
Some final updates:
- The year-end slideshow video that summarizes all of our trips is on our YouTube channel here:
- Our website is back up, after several years in the dark.
- Hit us up on Instagram if you haven’t already. Online it’s here: ESCAPE Club on Instagram or on your mobile app, our handle is “escape.club”.
- We have a few smaller t-shirts left over (smalls and mediums), and water bottles as well.
It would be a tall task to try to thank everyone who contributed this year. We have so many who donate faithfully every year, and several more who began giving this year, or made a special contribution. We are so grateful for your sharing in our mission. Special thanks goes to my dad, Stan Iwawaki, who hit the pavement and recruited several new donors this year. And along with those who give financially, we equally appreciate the chaperones who donated their time–eight hours or more–on Saturdays. This doesn’t happen without them. Also to our wives, Nicole and Mel, who hold down the fort at home while we romp the countryside with the kids every month.
I do want to say a final thank you to Dr. Sylvia Greenwood, who will be leaving as principal from DeJean. Her unwavering support over the past five years has made it as easy as it can be, despite all the district hassle and paperwork. We will miss her.
I am grateful again to be able to serve alongside Jason, without whom my head would spin and explode from all the planning, decisions, hurdles, and challenges. It is a special person to do all that he does, yet crave none of the credit or attention for it.
We remain humbled to be able to serve and have some small influence in this community. We are grateful to God for the opportunity, for the capacity, and for the resources. We’re energized from this year, and are looking forward to getting going again in September.
Thanks for all your kind words of support and encouragement, and we’ll talk to you in the fall! Go watch the video!