Last week all of the crews returned to Estes Park for our final week of the season. The week was filled with wrap up activities, career development, and bittersweet feelings.
To kick the week off, the Corps was all hands on deck for the Annual Conservancy Member Picnic on Saturday, August 6th. At this event the Corps plays a critical role in set-up, take-down, and picnic logistics. Fortunately, its not all work for them. They all get a chance to interact with members, staff, and donors of the Conservancy, enjoy delicious barbecue, and present their experience. Despite the dreary conditions, it was a great day.On Sunday, the crew were back out in the field for their last day of work. This time they were joined by Conservancy members and the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers who were guiding the project. We worked on the upper section of the Lion Gulch Trail, which was heavily damaged by the 2013 floods and continues to be closed for repairs. The work consisted of establishing new trail tread, clearing corridor, and constructing retaining walls to hold in new trail. With Monday as their only day off, many of the crew members took advantage of the opportunity to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. The leaders were occupied by the incredible opportunity to summit Longs Peak via the historic Cables Route with the Colorado Mountain School. For most of the remainder of the week, the crews invaded the Field Institute for a days of resume building and reflection writing, with two exceptions. On Wednesday, we partnered with the National Park Service to lead a Junior Ranger Day on Leave No Trace. And to finish out he week, the Corps hiked “CCY” in Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate the successful season.
With the season all complete, I am left with a quiet office wishing to be back on trail with these thirty-six inspiring young people. Now onto reading their reflections and compiling our end-of-season portfolio and stats. Stay tuned for our annual slideshow and report!
-Geoff Elliot, Conservation Corps Manager