My name is Janiya Battle and I am from Washington DC and a part of the City Kids Wilderness Project and I've been in the program for five almost six years now. I've become an intern at Mad River for career exploration and I was put onto this internship by my lovely organization the City Kids Wilderness Project. I've been in Jackson, Wyoming from June 16 and will be leaving August 7 th after my 21-day horse-packing trip with NOLS, and I absolutely love it here. This is my sixth year in Jackson and my first year here as an intern, so far, I've interned at a feminist boutique called Roam, went whitewater rafting, been to the movies and of course went camping. My experiences here in Jackson have been amazing and not to the mention the beautiful pictures I got of the scenery here. Jackson, Wyoming has literally become my second home and I'm always looking forward coming here in the summer. In Jackson, I stay at the Broken Arrow Ranch in Hoback and spend the calming and quiet nights in cabins with other interns / friends of mine.
When I came to Jackson, Wyoming for the first time ever in sixth grade, I was so nervous and shy, but I never got homesick. I think that was because I felt at home already even though I wasn't used to the area or to the people that greeted me so warmly. As I grew up throughout the summers here and my time in City Kids, I've developed responsibilities, work-related qualities and I learned new things about myself every year. This year I was a JCL, Jet Camp Leader, on the ranch for little kids who are starting out just like me. I've looked out, cared for and watched them break their city shell within the two weeks they were here. And now, I'm interning at Mad River where I've white water rafted more times than I can count. I loved it every time I came and the guides here are amazingly hilarious. Their staff teams are so loving and caring that they will help out with anything you need. Now I'm getting the chance to intern here and see how the process works and help give other people and families the same experience I got every time I came with my City Kids family.
Some might be wondering if I miss home or DC when I come out here every summer and to answer those questions it's yes. I get homesick a lot but my friends and family communicate with me a lot and send me cards and gifts, not to mention when I'm down, my friends here with me in Jackson always find a way to cheer me back up again. Some things that I appreciate here in Wyoming that I don't get too often see or appreciate in DC is the scenery and how quiet it is here. I have so many pictures of the lakes, mountains, hills and sunsets I can make a thousand scrap books. In DC, it's a very busy city and there's a lot you can do but not enough space to do it. Washington DC is a great tourist attraction which is why I love it but it feels different in Wyoming because there's more space to breathe and more things to go see and hike. So from Washington DC to Jackson, Wyoming, I encourage you come to Mad River and go whitewater rafting and to spread the word about the City Kids Wilderness Project.