Caribou! Berkshire Teen Trail Crew 7/13/08-7/18/08

As week three rolled around the Berkshire Teen Trail Crew headed to Mount Greylock State Reservation and greylocked in for a beautiful week of bog bridging (native and non-native), checkstepping, ultimate charades and pancake
pandemonium. Brian and Dena led a crew of nine teens, including seasoned veteran Alexander ‘Supertramp’ Jones, working just south of Wilbur’s Clearing on the AT.

We kicked things off Monday by getting down and dirty on some check steps and replacing some rotted out and worn down bog bridges. Berkshire Field-Coordinator Connor Young guest starred Monday’s work day and taught some of the team how to prepare trees for native bog bridging. Theo Chimes, one of our participants from Pennsylvania took a particular liking to this aspect of the work, commenting in his evaluation, “The most enjoyable part for me was feeling like a lumberjack.”

One particular challenge the crew faced was finding rocks in a thick section of woods where there were very few available. The task was difficult, but not impossible, and the crew eventually found enough rocks to build 3 substantial check steps, and slapped in a few useful step stones to boot. A grand total of 10 new bog bridges were installed, some significant drainage clearing was accomplished, and the crew had a blast working hard and finding ways to use what was and wasn’t around them to improve a trail in need of repair.

As for camp life, this week’s crew was no slouch in the fun and pigging out department. Tuesday night before dinner, Dena introduced the crew to a game that would steal and takeover minds and hearts of the crew. Ultimate Charades, in a nutshell; first round taboo, second round charades, third round word association, you get one shot, one chance, and if no one gets it, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. The boys took on the girls in a best of three series that ended with a little too much shouting ‘caribou!!!’ not enough sleep, no losers and ten huge winners.

Friday morning, Brian learned a valuable lesson that every camper, and pancake maker should make mental note of. NEVER ADD BOILING WATER TO PANCAKE MIX OR YOU WILL RUIN EVERYTHING! Friday morning the crew was very giggly and a little sleep deprived, and ready to go to town on some blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes. The first half hour or so of the pancake making attempt was filled with hatred, confusion, and tears. There was some talk of whether or not we had somehow confused pancake mix with instant mashed potatoes. I kid you not, these pancakes were more like gooey chocolate chip mashed potatoes (which actually sound delicious right now, but were highly disappointing at the time), and the gang was not pleased, to say the least.

After the pancake mix cooled down, and everyone chilled out, the pancakes began to look like actual pancakes, the wild blueberries were busted out and the result was something like heaven. The teens rejoiced, the leaders breathed a deep sigh of relief, and the week three trail crew packed up their gear and hiked back into reality victorious.