And They’re Off!

After a busy week of training, orientation, and educational activities the crews have flown the coop to their respective workcenters, bunkhouses, and campgrounds. With everyone out in the field, its time to recap orientation week.

The week started out with everyone arriving and settling into Moraine Park Campground. After a day of logistic, paperwork, and gear distribution, all crews dove right into the training activities. It started with First-Aid/CPR training from the National Park Service. For those already trained, we got out into the field to help clarify the trail to the William Allen White Cabin and clean up at Glacier Basin Campground Amphitheater.

Four volunteers use shovels and a pickaxe to dig in a field
RMC-CC Members work on the trail leading to the William Allen White Cabin
Group of people posing in front of a scenic mountain landscape on a sunny day.
RMC-CC Members above Moraine Park

The next morning brought everyone back to the Field Institute to prepare for driving agency vehicles with the USDA Forest Service leading a Defensive Driver training. Before the USFS employees arrived we were able to get in a quick icebreaker to warm up for the day. In the afternoon, the crew leaders took the helm and instructed their crews on LNT practices, back-country essentials, environmental hazards, and workplace safety.

Group of people chatting and stretching in a parking area
A Morning Game of Ninja

A group of people playing a game outdoors

Reid, Boulder Crew Leader, teaches everyone how to pack and pack.
Reid, Boulder Crew Leader, teaches everyone how to pack and pack.

On Thursday, we were all with the National Park Service trails staff learning about trail tools and basic maintenance tasks. With thirty-six of us on the trail, it called for a lot of tools and, in turn, a large tool cache during lunch. To finish up the training, the crews spent time on the popular Lawn Lake Trail learning about drainage structures on trails and how to maintain them.

A row of shovels with wooden handles leaning against a wooden rail
Lunchtime tool line during Trails 101 day.
Men in a forest, one digging with a shovel while the other watches
Galen, Red Feather crew member, demonstrates how to dig and maintain drainages on trails.

On Friday, the crews spent the day with local historian, Jim Pickering, to learn the ins-and-outs of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Parks development and establishment.

A group of people attentively listening to an elderly man holding a clipboard in a forested area.
RMC-CC learns about the history of the region from Jim Pickering

Saturday was National Trails Day! What better way to send the crews out into the field than a volunteer project with the National Park Service, Conservancy staff, and members. We spent the day benching, clarifying corridor, and repairing/installing log checks on a trail leading out from Upper Beaver Meadows.

A person digs a trench in a forested area using a shovel
Margaret, Kawuneeche Crew Leader, installs a log check on National Trails Day
A man in outdoor clothing kneels by a rock, examining the ground with gloves on
Gus, Rawah Crew Member, collects duff to clarify trail corridor.
Volunteers work to maintain a dirt trail in a forested area
RMC-CC’s National Trails Day celebration with Conservancy Members.

A large group of hikers posing in front of snowy mountain peaks

Man with a pickaxe standing beside a dirt trail
RMC-CC National Trails Day Project: Before
A dirt trail lined with fallen branches leads through a grassy field
RMC-CC National Trails Day Project: After
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