For the past 39 years I have taken thousands of students, friends, and others on backpack trips through the Sierras. I have planned a great backpacking experience for 62 middle school, high school, and college students for this upcoming summer. My program is designed to provide experiences in planning a backpack trip, physical conditioning, proper use of stoves, tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, footwear, map reading, first aid & safety, star watching, nature lore, fishing, swimming, campfires, and exploring the beautiful Sierra Nevada Wilderness.
To introduce young people to the beauty of themselves and nature in a fun, safe manner by taking only memories and leaving only footprints.
THE FULL STORY
BIRTH OF A LEGACY
In 1972, Eddie Lindros sat down with teacher friend, Dennis Bueker, who had taken a family trip to Whitney Portal in 1971.
They became interested in developing a summer school class called ‘Exploring California,’ that would culminate with a trip to the Sierra. Since Lindros had done some group backpacking trips with the Los Angeles Y.M.C.A., they began planning a group backpack trip to Mt. Whitney.
Taking 29 kids and a couple of other adults that first summer, they didn’t all make it to the top. However Bueker and Lindros learned some things that could be done differently to improve the trip. In 1973, they repeated the class & trip with 39 kids, and a higher percentage of kids were successful.
In following years there was increased interest in the program, so Poway Backpackers began hiking in Mammoth and Yosemite, because that area was more suited to larger groups. It is estimated that Lindros introduced backpacking to over 3500 people.
PASSING THE TORCH
1980 was a life changing summer for Scott Rinehart. It was the summer where a teacher actually wanted to hang out with him (and other students) outside of school. It was the summer that blew his mind with the awe inspiring beauty of a mountain lake, stream, and mountain passes. It was the summer that opened his mind to what a body can endure and accomplish. It was the summer that introduced Rinehart to his true self. Thirty-six years later the mountains of the Ansel Adams Wilderness and Yosemite National Park still draw Rinehart in like a high powered magnet.
“I never imagined I would become the steward of this amazing program. I enjoyed every aspect of it as a participant. I loved the added challenge of it as a leader. I wanted to help Eddie in any way I could behind the scenes. For near 20 years, I spent every day of my summer in Eddie’s backyard before, and in between trips readying equipment, packing food, fitting backpacks, and just doing anything that would help this man that gave so much of himself to everyone lucky enough to be around him. Eddie has truly shaped the man, husband, and father I am today so when he brought up his retiring I felt compelled to keep the program alive in his honor with the hopes of impacting young people the way the program impacted me. To this day, I still seek out and listen to his advice on all aspects of the program and life.”