Last week came in like a lion and out like a lamb. All thirty crew members joined the six crew leaders for a week of training and orientation and then left after a whirlwind of activity for their respective locations.
After a day filled with people checking in on Monday and picking up their gear and uniforms, Tuesday started with a morning in the office with orientation activities, team-building exercises, and preparation for the season.
In the afternoon, the Conservation Corps was fortunate enough to get new boots to kick off the season (pun intended). A big thank you to the Warming House for their continued support and generosity in making sure the Corps is comfortable and prepared for a summer season on their feet.
On Wednesday, we had the USFS come in to guide a Defensive Driver training to ensure everyone was prepared to drive federal vehicles this summer. After a morning in the classroom, the National Park Service helped facilitate a trails training in Rocky Mountain National Park. This involved tool use, work safety, and the basics surrounding trail maintenance. A big thank you to our USFS and NPS partners for their help on Wednesday!
Thursday started out with a history class led by Estes Park Historian Laureate and Conservancy Board Member, Dr. Jim Pickering. Dr. Pickering helped place the Conservation Corps in the historical legacy of stewardship work and land protection in the Estes Valley.
When the crew returned from their time with Dr. Pickering, the crew leader stepped in to lead some specific training surrounding preparedness in the back-country, team dynamics, camp cooking, and Leave No Trace.
Friday morning, we completed our crew pictures for the season and then the crews went off to complete their internship requirements surrounding goal-setting and self-evaluation.
On Saturday, the crews hit the field for their first day of trail work on National Trails Day! The project was in Moraine Park Campground on a livery trail. With 41 total volunteers, we were able to help the Park decommission hundreds of square feet of social trail, install over a dozen log checks, and help retread nearly 100 feet of eroded trail surface!
With Training and Orientation Weeks behind us, the crews are heading out into the field for their first week of work alongside the National Park Service and USDA Forest Service. Stay tuned next week for updates from the field!