After The Trip

Participants were asked to try to sum up their experience on Teens Westward Bound with one quote! Here they are:

“TWB has taught me how to take a step back from the mainstream and just enjoy the simple things in front of me.” – Kacie Barrett Mooresville, NC

“Meeting new friends is really easy and makes the trip 10 times more fun.” – Andrew Prachar Gastonia, NC

“I have no idea, where life takes me.” – Felipe Moda Mooresville, NC

“TWB has taught me how to be more open to do new things.” – Jessica Turney Cherryville, NC

“Teens Westward Bound has been the most rewarding ‘leap of faith’ I’ve ever taken.” – Brogan Brown Irmo, SC

“I will never forget trip and I will also never forget the people.” – Abby Copeland Mooresville, NC

“I loved TWB so much I have so much fun making new friends and experiencing new things.” – Kristina Vaher Belmont, NC

“I didn’t understand what past participants meant when they said they had 81 new family members, but now I get it.” – Lillie Griffin Mooresville, NC

“I may hate tortillas now, but I sure do love this country.” – Camryn Ray Whiteville, NC

“Don’t pack to many clothes or you will have 18 holes in your bag.” – Bryce Curtis Gastonia, NC

“Who would’ve thought I’d be home sick after I got home.” - Camryn Bernhardt Mooresville, NC

“I’ve never been so excited, happy, and sad in such a short amount of time.” – Winston Wise Cherryville, NC

“I could never have imagined that there were such incredible things in my country that were just under my nose.” – Bennett Estes Charlotte, NC

“Take it seriously, live in the moment, waste no opportunity.” – Richard Fernandez Kings Mountain, NC

“Stay positive and push through because the experiences and the people are worth it.” – Laura Parris Jonesville, SC

“TWB gave me 81 friends, 23 days, and 7 mentors that can never be replaced.” – Logan Swain Stokesdale, NC

“TWB makes me feel like the master of all elements because we conquered air, wind, fire, and water.” – Jordyn Burrell Gastonia, NC

“It was the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me! Definitely an AMAZING experience!” – Cayla Gregory Union, SC

“I met my new amazing family in 23 days and not a single moment disappointed me.” – Jenna Bright Union, SC

“I had an incredible journey and have met many, many new friends.” – Cole Frederick Knoxville, TN

“TWB taught me to be independent while also working with a team.” – Jenna Trantham Mooresville, NC

“TWB gave me a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see our beautiful country and I could not imagine passing that up.” – Bailee Keller Gastonia, NC

“I never knew sprinklers could bring people together and make them a family.” – Cody Haigler Pageland, SC

“TWB is an unforgettable experience and it has forever changed me as a person.” – Seth McCachern Mooresville, NC

“Great reminder of how good home cooking is.” – Timothy Sellers Mooresville, NC

“My heart grew 2 sizes and my family grew by 81.” – Cameron Thomas Belmont, NC

“The last few days of the trip are the worst because you realize the best experience of your life is ending.” – Tanner Hester Whiteville, NC

“It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey.” – Nate Craven Gastonia, NC

“23 days, 81 best friends, 6 amazing counselors, and 1 legendary motor coach operator, but I don’t think any participant can count all the moments of joy.” – Gia Lash Huntersville, NC

“It’s an adventure of a lifetime.” – John Gray Blount Cramerton, NC

“TWB was an amazing experience to find out who I am as a person also what having true friends mean!” – Alicia Hutchins Gastonia, NC

“This isn’t something you can google only experience and that’s what makes it such a life changer.” – Aubrie Miller Beaufort, SC

“You’re going to be tired, but don’t take it for granted because you won’t get an experience like this again.” – Carly Kurtiak Gastonia, NC

“You will never get an opportunity like this anywhere else, it truly changed my life.” – Mackenzie Wright Mooresville, NC

“My TWB experience will surely change my life, it certainly has already changed the way I think about other people.” – Lizzie Love Laurinburg, NC

“TWB the best way to know you’re cared for and loved.” – Alaina Wallace Laurel Hill, NC

“It was our family at home getting us through TWB, but it’s our TWB family that gets us through life.” – Rylee Roller Laurinburg, NC

“Words can not describe the past 23 days.” – Griffin Law Raleigh, NC

“It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life.” – Ashlee Hamrick Kings Mountain, NC

“From the trains in Georgia to the sprinklers in California, TWB has given me so many friends and memories that I will love and cherish forever.” – Tyler Sellers Laurinburg, NC

“I really enjoyed this trip and it was the greatest experience of my life.” – Logan Mantooth Gastonia, NC

“You really find yourself and get to meet 81 new friends while doing it.” – Jada Prichard Eden, NC

“TWB has been the best experience of my life and the people I met, I can’t imagine living without.” – Mary Anna Chewning Mount Holly, NC

“Teens Westward Bound is a 23 day life changing experience where you not only get to see our beautiful country but you get to make 81 new best friends.” – Katie Bowyer Gastonia, NC

“82 people, 23 days, 14 states all led to one deep appreciation of one’s home, one’s country, others, and oneself.” – Alexandria Marsicovetere Indian Land, SC

“TWB gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel across the country with 81 friends and 7 awesome leaders.” – Sara McCarthy Indian Trail, NC

“TWB as become my family and I will never be able to repay this family for all they’ve done for me and for shaping me into the person that I am today.” – Callie Matthews Lexington, SC

“The best experience in my entire life.” – Lillian Sumner Beaufort, SC

“The trip changed me for the better and meant more to me than anyone could imagine.” – Rylee Gaus Mooresville, NC

“TWB has given me a new family and unforgettable adventures!” – Natalie Tillis Rockingham, NC

“I never realized you could make 81 friends so fast.” – Tristen Brock Union, SC

“TWB has opened my eyes to so many things and has been the best experience ever.” – Kenley Hazel Roxboro, NC

“TWB has made me so much stronger than I could ever imagine.” – Mary Helen Alford Newberry, SC

“There is nothing greater than the amount of beauty TWB allows you to see.” – Bailey Sloop Laurinburg, NC

“Sorry dad, the camera did nothing justice, except maybe New Orleans.” – Nicole Fortin Mooresville, NC

“TWB is a discovery of the country but more so of your own self and the people around you.” Kristina Sellers Mooresville, NC

“TWB is a life changing trip and I wouldn’t trade eating sandwiches, sleeping outside with bugs and 81 new best friends for anything in the world!” – Maddie Cabe Mooresville, NC

“TWB was an eye opener for me. It gave me a chance to see a glimpse of God’s glory, and realize that there’s more out there for me than my small hometown.” – Emma Parson Indian Trail, NC

“TWB has opened my eyes to many different things and has made a huge impact on my life.” – Taryn Jenkins Cherryville, NC

“God has given us an amazing gift and I can’t believe we have such an amazing opportunity to soak it all up.” Caroline McCrorey Mooresville/Huntersville, NC

“I came on this trip to prove 1 could go off by myself and make it alone, but what 1 found is that you’re never truly alone.” – Caleb “Crispy” Bozard Barnwell, SC

“TWB provides an answer for all your uncertainties, a journey for your wanted adventures, and most importantly family, a home for the days you feel unloved.” – Mikayla Wright Mooresville, NC

“Seeing America was lit but the friends I made on TWB are litter.”  - Sarah Bass Elon, NC

“I am so thankful for this opportunity to see America and make 89 new friends.” – Baylee Willis Bessener City, NC

“As someone who was worried about going on the trip, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.” – Lucas Bonomo Mooresville, NC

“No matter how right you pack your bags, going home after TWB will still leave you with a heavy heart.” – Sarah Whalen Louisville, KY

“I was shy. I didn’t start expanding till the end.” – Liza McIntyre Laurinburg, NC

“TWB was the best experience of my life, it’s a really unique experience to travel the country with 80+ strangers and become best friends within 3 days.” – Ashley Weinsten Charlotte, NC

“TWB is such an amazing experience that I wish everyone could go on and I wouldn’t want to be with any other group of people.” Leah Mosher Abbeville, SC

“The trip of a lifetime is beyond an understatement.” – Nick Richard Mooresville, NC

“The trip opened my eyes to see so many unique aspects of this country and life in general.” – Ian Stines Dallas, NC

“23 days away from home may seem impossible but with 82 new friends anything is possible.” – Blessid Snow Charlotte, NC

“There really isn’t anything ever you will experience that is like this trip. It is the trip of a lifetime.” – Olivia Kafer Roxboro, NC

“TWB is the best place to make new friends and be yourself.” – Kirsten Tevepaugh Mooresville, NC

“TWB is life changing and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.” – Anderson Crowder Gastonia, NC

“This trip is the best experience that anyone could ever dream of having.” – Caleb Mann Oxford, NC

“Much love.” – Allie Temple

“Listening to the stories from past participants nowhere near encompasses how amazing the trip and the people/counselors on it are.” – Sarah Royster

Day 23

The Grumpy’s are here for the final day of Teens Westward Bound Trip 1 2017.  Describing these past 23 days for each group has been hard, but we think our job is the hardest to capture and summarize the last day we say goodbye to our new friends. 

Today we woke up for the final time as a group of 82 at 6:00 am with our final “Good Morning Sunshines” from Dallas Godbold.  For all vehicles this morning (and the rest of the day) we were not to sleep and fulfill all last moments with each other.  Before making our way into Tennessee for our final Wal-Mart stop the vans and bus jammed to many of our favorite tunes from the trip such as “American Pie”, “Don’t Stop Believing”, “My Wish”, “Life is a Highway”, “Lean on Me”, and “Catch and Release” (one of our new favorites thanks to Eugene). 

We made it into Tennessee for our final Wal-Mart stop for our cooks to by us breakfast and lunch.  Many of us, with this being our last Wal-Mart stop, went ALL OUT!  Griffin Law bought a sleeve of 13 doughnuts, Tyler Sellers bought a box of 6 cinnamon rolls, Emma Parson bought a 2-liter of Dr. Pepper, Logan Swain and Kenley Hazel bought their second pint of Ben & Jerry’s on the trip, Jada Prichard bought both an entire hoagie and a pineapple, Mary Helen Alford bought four red velvet cupcakes, and numerous people bought muffins (keep in mind, this is all before our breakfast).  For a change for a traveling breakfast, we had a choice of  “Colossal Crunch Berry”, “Tutti Frutti”, and “Cinnamon Toasties” with milk and to reduce spills, we used Styrofoam cups. 

As we continued on our travels, getting closer and closer to home, both the bus and vans had some bittersweet moments.  On the bus many people were passing around journals as if they were yearbooks at the end of a school year, while the vans were listening to many of our favorite TWB tunes as we crossed the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  Shortly after crossing into North Carolina we stopped at a rest area for us all to relieve ourselves (by day 23, the girls have finally figured out how to make the line move faster).  These last few hours are bittersweet, as we all continue to say our goodbyes, listen to our favorite tunes, nap on each other (shhh…don’t tell the counselors), and share our last peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

We are now at our last rest stop in Troutman for our groups to finish our final jobs before pick-up at Mallard Creek.  Dopey’s are doing their final bus cleaning and your very own Grumpy’s are writing the final blog.  This time at the rest stop is bittersweet; we may not miss these rest stops across America, but we will miss the people we stopped at them with. 

This is the Grumpy’s for the final signoff.  We promise we aren’t grumpy; we just have mixed feelings about the next 4 hours.