We all signed up for this program expecting four weeks of trail work – something that we all love doing and feel really passionate about. There had been whisperings of an alternate third week, but we didn’t expect it to be anything as interesting as our week turned out to be. This week offered us the opportunity to learn about other sides of the AMC that we might not know about and might never have the opportunity to see.
|Enjoying Dinner at Mizpah Hut|
We started the week off with a trip to Mizpah Hut and the Nauman tent-site. The hut crew was so excited to have us there and they gave us a full tour of the hut, even showing us places where visitors aren’t allowed to go. We got to eat some incredible hut food and were able to speak personally with the Hut Field Supervisor and learn about the daily life of a hut crew member.
|Catching Frogs at Lost Pond|
|Mapping Plots with Research Department|
We spent the next day with the caretaker of Nauman helping him with some trail work and also learning about what his job entails. We even got to see how the composting toilet works, which might sound gross but is actually insanely cool. After everything is composted, you can touch what used to be poop – that’s pretty sweet, at least to a bunch of trail crew kids.
We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning to an exciting day with a naturalist who took us to Lost Pond where we caught frogs, weird bugs, tadpoles and some worms and learned about them and their part in the ecosystem. After lunch, we headed over to Wildcat and met with some Teen Wilderness leaders who brought us over to a waterfall, told us about their jobs, and had us participate in some leadership activities.
Thursday was back to trail work, but not just any trail work – felling trees. We went out to our final week’s location and learned how to properly and safely fell trees. Felling trees is really satisfying work, and hey – we got to swing axes. That doesn’t happen everyday!
Friday marked the end of our week, but we still got to meet with the research department and collect data on plant species. The research department then uses that data over the years to see if climate change is affecting the plants native to the areas. It was really nice to help them out, especially with how important it is to learn about the effects of climate change.
This week of alternate programming provided our crew with so much knowledge on the AMC that none of us had before. As the leadership crew, most of us want to work for the AMC in the future, and this week showed us that there is more to the AMC than what is in front of us at Dodge. It widened our horizons, got us to thinking about our own future and what work we might want to do, but most of all it was just a really, really fun week.
Labels: Trail Work, White Mountains