The Center for Discovery Coastal Team Challenge 2019

Nate and Craig, and their partners, Autumn and Sam, are the very definition of grit. Strength, determination, resilience and most importantly, trust in each other.

Together, TCFD residents and staff kayaked 16-nautical miles along a sometimes stormy southern shore of Long Island. Team “Discovery”, as they called it, was one of just eight teams in the 2019 Coastal Challenge, which is part of the World T.E.A.M. Challenge events all around the country, including the New York event – Adventure Team Challenge – held each year at The Center.

They all began their adventure on a cloudy August morning off of Patchogue Beach Club. The weather challenged them from the beginning, as the skies darkened, the clouds grew heavier, and the wind strengthened. Eventually, they were faced with steady rain. The surf grew rough too, breaking over their foot-powered Hobie Mirage Oasis kayaks.

But, they persevered and Nate later said the rain made it more fun. His partner, Sam, the Director of Recreation Therapy at TCFD, said the trip overall: “… helped to fill that need that we all have, to feel challenged, perhaps a bit uncomfortable, nervous and then to overcome and complete the journey…nobody ever writes about the trips where everything was easy and went according to plan. The challenges are what makes it memorable.”

After lunch the skies cleared and Team Discovery cruised their way to Smith Point County Park to camp, eat a barbecue dinner, and listen to live music around the campfire alongside the other teams. The next day, they awoke to more clouds and threatening skies as they shoved off shore on their final leg of the challenge. No steady rain this time, the sun prevailed and the waters remained calm.

Team Discovery made sure they completed their voyage – together – crossing the finish line at the NewPort Beach Club in East Moriches with smiles brighter than the afternoon sun.

Sam mentioned that both Nate and Craig were “confident and well prepared.” They had trained for several weeks at Morningside Park, located in Fallsburg, NY. A special thanks to TCFD staff members Sam and Autumn, as well as Kara and Rob who were also on the trip to lifeguard and provide ground support.

As for those smiles, they haven’t faded yet! Until next year…

For more information about supporting our annual Coastal Team Challenge, please contact Richard Humleker, Vice President of Development, at