Camp Dodge 4-Week Leadership Crew

Written by Crew Member Ally Scholtz  7/8/15.

The Crew splitting up for work on Carlo Col
I can honestly say that participating in the 4 week leadership trail crew at Camp Dodge has been one of the greatest and most fulfilling adventures I have ever been on.  As a group we made a point of trying to get to know each other and “breaking the ice” on the day we arrived.  It became clear very soon after talking with my fellow 4 week crew that these next weeks would be a blast! The next day we repackaged the food and group gear and did some group bonding before heading to our worksite off the Carlo Col trail.

                The first day of actual trail work was a washout rainy day. The rain created a sense of urgency and we ended up putting in 15 check steps that first day. Not once did the group complain or get bummed out about the rain and mud. The next few days of trail work were spent working in smaller groups and getting to know every member of the group on a more personal level. The one common thread between all of us is that we all wanted to volunteer to give back to the outdoor community and help build trails. Later in the month it became clear that through volunteering and working on trails, we are really working on ourselves.

                Later in the week there was a definite shift in the group between relying on our leaders and trying to learn leadership skills ourselves. We all knew that we would be our own leaders on the fourth week and to prepare for this we began asking our leaders for more responsibility as well as backcountry cooking lesson.  Looking back now as the group fills out the food req, I feel so much more ready and prepared to help be a leader in the group than myself on the first day ever could have dreamed.  This is a definite perk of being a part of such a positive, motivated group of people, we motivate each other to be or best selves, we push each other out of our comfort zones, and most of all we learn from each other. Now on the 3rd week, we are all stronger and more prepared for whatever the world throws at us than we ever would have been if we had never had this experience. 

The Crew getting the Green Tech talk at Mizpah Hut
                Last week we all pushed ourselves both physically by carrying heavy logs and as leaders, and it definitely showed in the 22 check steps we put in near the Ethan Pond shelter.   Last weekend we all became wilderness first aid certified and this next weekend will all become Leave No Trace certified.  This week we have been touring different parts of the AMC such as visiting Mizpah Springs Hut, and talking to the caretaker of a campsite. Tomorrow we will be visiting the Mount Washington Observatory and hopefully chatting up some of the Pro Crew at the barbecue Friday night.  This week has really given me an idea of what the AMC does and has to offer as well as given me some more knowledge of what it means to work in the outdoors.
                Looking back on the first week it is amazing to see how much we have grown as a group as well as how much we have grown as individuals. Now because of this crazy 4-week leadership crew adventure I feel more confident in my abilities as a leader as well as more confident in myself as a person.  This experience has been the most fulfilling adventure I have had in the great outdoors, it feels so good to work hard and give back. I will be sad to leave at the end of next week but I will never forget the wonderful experiences I have had working with the AMC teen volunteer trail crew.