Last week all of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy – Conservation Corps leaders arrived in Estes Park for a week of icebreakers, meetings, and leadership trainings. Each crew’s leader and assistant leader had an opportunity to practice their communication skills with a blindfold tent building ice breaker, got a chance to learn about their season from the USDA Forest Service or National Park Service supervisor, and prepare for crew member arrival. Clint Mitchell, Fort Collins Crew Assistant Leader, recounts the week below:
With wet heavy snow falling just days before arriving in Estes Park, CO, it seemed like summer was nowhere to be found. However, the warm summer sun was just behind a few clouds and would come out more and more as the week went on.
On Wednesday all the crew leaders met at the historic Chamberlain home. From there, we made our way to the Field institute for some ice breakers and to get the season’s gear allocated. With the season’s gear set aside, it became a lot easier to look beyond the snow and see the great season ahead of us.
Thursday was a day to have questions answered. After a “riveting” morning of defensive driver training each crew leader and assistant crew leader met with their USDA Forest Service or National Park Service representative. In our meeting, Rebecca and I, found out that we would be working and housed in the town of Fort Collins, rather than Red Feather Lakes, due to some damage to the housing at Dowdy Lake.
Friday morning we were lucky enough to have a warm sunny morning. So we took the opportunity to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. We made a 6 mile loop on the Cub lake trail, where the 2013 Estes Park Crew repaired a few retaining walls damaged during the Fern Lake Fire the previous year. The trail looked to be in great shape after their work, and the hike gave everyone a good change to get back in the mindset of looking at trail structure. The hike was a great opportunity to get acclimatized and take in some great views before crew members arrive and each crew gets established in their respective work areas. Following the hike, we did some exercises to brush up on our communication skills. Now, we have the weekend to enjoy a little time relaxing in the Chamberlain house before the crew members get settled in for another great week in beautiful Estes Park.