The program culminates with a week-long camping and bike riding adventure across the state of Iowa. The youth have a chance to meet hundreds of people and visit dozens of towns; these interactions would likely not have been possible without the Dream Team.
The new friendships and life lessons will benefit these teenagers for a lifetime and the experience described below is what they can look forward to!
A charter bus carries the team to the start of RAGBRAI® where they meet the trucks carrying the bikes, tents, clothing and other equipment for the week. The team is well prepared for a week of enjoying the Iowa hospitality that only RAGBRAI® can bring. The team tent-camps in the main campground throughout the week. Some mentors are designated as campground hosts, and provide support to the team in each overnight town. They are responsible for laying out the campsite, and scouting out the overnight town for showers, food and entertainment.
On The Road
A daily food allowance is provided to each team member to be used for breakfast, lunch, and snacks along the road during the day. Each team member is responsible for tracking their food purchases throughout the day and providing that information to the campground host in the overnight town.
The evening meal is usually taken as a team, sometimes through arrangements with a local group, or within the campground. Showers for the team are either arranged through representatives from the overnight towns, or in some cases, through the portable showers operated by “The Shower Guys”.
After tents are raised, showers taken and dinner consumed, mentors and team members are then paired up and are free to enjoy the activities provided by the overnight town. On some occasions, the team may enjoy scheduled activities such as a movie night, swimming, or attending special events.
The Mississippi River
After a week of meeting the challenges of wind, hills, and weather, the riders arrive in the final town to celebrate five months of commitment and hard work. This is always an emotional time as the team joins in the tire-dipping ceremony at the Mississippi River, putting the finishing touches on a successful season. For many of the Dream Team, this experience will be remembered as one of the best experiences of their youth. Successfully completing RAGBRAI® is a great accomplishment for most adults! For the Dream Team youth participants, it’s even more special as it represents learning the value of preparation and achieving a stretch goal early in life.
“It feels good to accomplish something that big!” – Youth Rider