Tuesday, June 25, 2002

June 25, 2002: Last week we finished up work at Trail Blazers. We got the basement of the lodge painted, removed boulders and reseeded the lawn in front of the dining hall, finished the dishes in the boys' side kitchen, raked some leaves, removed old shingles from under the dining hall, removed a small wood pile (well, loaded it to be unloaded at the big wood pile).

Early in the week we did a team initiative. The task was to get everyone from one platform to the other, using the rope that hung between them. Once we reached the other side, Ashley gave us each a secret clue word about our next project. When we were all across and after the reflection, each of us acted out our cluewords and then put them all together to figure out the project. We will be couselors at a Girl Scouts Camp in New Hampshire!

Our last night was Thursday. We cleaned out Farmers and Chimney Corner and had to spend the night in the dining hall. The dinner was a special one in our honor, where the staff thanked us and we thanked them and there was lots of love. Later on we had a powwow in Farmers, where we sang a couple songs and played a couple games and reflected about our time at TrailBlazers. Good times.

Friday morning we all got up before dawn and drove up to the top of Sunrise Mountain to watch the sunrise. Unfortunately, the sun rose behind the trees and so the view was not nearly what we had hoped. But still, it was nice. Finally it came time to leave camp. We said our goodbyes to the staff and pulled off. We arrived in Perry Point to a lovely day and soon after left for grocery shopping. I was very excited to be back in the civilized world, with real walls and electricity and all that.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

06/16/02: Happy Father's Day!

This is the last week here at Trail Blazers. The staff has arrived, in droves, and so we no longer have any place to go for peace and quiet and alone time. It has been a difficult adjustment. For me, it has served to get me all the more ready and excited to get back to Perry Point. I am really looking forward to seeing the campus and my house and all my stuff (well, not all of it, but a lot more of it for sure), and all the other NCCC folks that I haven't seen for two months. This project really has gone quickly.

We have been living out in smallcamp for a week and a half. It is interesting, very rustic. All the rain we've been having has left several of my teammates' beds sopping wet, so it is also uncomfortable at times. We have to sleep under mosquito nets out there too. But for the most part we are in the dining hall or lodge, we don't spend much time in smallcamp except to sleep. And I've been surprised at how well I've been sleeping, which is a blessing.

In the past couple weeks, we have been very busy. We finished the lean-to that needed rebuilding. And it does look superb, I am very proud of our team. We also constructed a wash-basin rack, rebuilt tipis, painted the body and wheels of seven covered wagons, prepped smallcamps for staff training, cleaned the same buildings a few more times, raked more leaves, finished putting up all the canvas in all the smallcamps, got interviewed for a local paper (the article is pretty dumb, but hey, we were in the paper!), and more. It's been a fruitful project. I am very eager to find out what Round 3 holds in store for us.

I am also extremely eager for my visit home. In less than two weeks, I shall arrive at Sea-Tac International Airport, my home turf. It is going to be great to be in familiar land again. I look forward to the mountains and evergreen trees, and to exploring some of our beautiful natural wonders. Plus seeing my family and friends will be wonderful. I won't be driving back like I'd originally planned, so I'll have over a week to visit everyone and do everything that I want to do. Can't wait!

Only five days until Perry Point!!! And a mere four working days left!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2002

June 15, 2002: We successfully moved into Farmers and our hogans...just in time for a whole bunch of rain. Mostly it's been cold, rainy and damp at night, but we have somehow survived.
It's been a busy few weeks, the entire staff has arrived and our two fire guys are finally back with the team. We have been doing a lot of small-camp set up; tipis built, canvas up, mosquito net poles lashed, beds set, more raking. Seven covered wagons got painted and set up in various smallcamps for the campers to sleep under.

Eight members of Fire 4 participated in a ropes course element. Everyone was nervous and scared up there, but I am proud to report that we all did our best to overcome our fears. It was a lot of fun and we hope to do another element this week.

Only one more week at TrailBlazers! It is very strange to think of the project coming to an end. I think we've really gotten used to everything here, which is a testament to our adaptability. Everyone is looking forward to finding our next project and the quickly-approaching summer break.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

June 4, 2002: I can't believe it's June already, and that there are less than three weeks to the project left. Strange! Anyway, things are going pretty well.

Last week Fire 4 went to New York City! We were excited. The first day we spent around town. One group spoke to classes at a high school in Queens, and another group tabled at a high school in the Bronx. Both were successful. Later, everyone met up at the TrailBlazers headquarters in Manhattan, where the year-round staff (Craig, Mary Anne, Sherry, Cecilia and Dennis) spoke with us about their jobs and answered our questions about the way TrailBlazers works. They were very friendly and informative, and we really enjoyed talking to them.

We also had some time to play in the city, and of course we loved that. Some team members will be moving there as soon as they can afford it. We also want to return to explore more. Central Park and the Statue of Liberty are on the list of things to see. A lot of time was spent walking around Times Square, where some of us met interesting strangers and made a memorable t-shirt.

So far this week has been very productive. We are thrilled to report the completion of our first lean-to! I must say, it turned out perfectly. Fire 4 is very proud. We have been continuing to get all the small camps set up and ready for staff training. Wagons have been painted and so has the girls' side dock. Lots of things are getting done, and we are having a good time.

Tomorrow we move out of Chimney Corner and into Farmers (one of the small camps). I'll report back soon!

Sunday, June 02, 2002

06/02/02: My goodness I cannot believe that June is here. And that our NCCC term has been four months already. Time is so weird!

So yeah, it's been four weeks out here in the forest at camp, only three weeks left until our return to Perry Point and the week after that we have summer break. Everyone is excited to go home! Anyway, the project is going well. The past week and a half, the weather has finally warmed up, we no longer have to huddle under a pile of blankets and several layers of clothing at night. It's been lovely and warm and sunny. I am loving it. The trees and all the green is so wonderful.

This past weekend, Fire 4 went to New York City!! It was awesome. We spent a day doing work stuff--two groups spoke at high schools about AmeriCorps, and we also visited the TrailBlazers headquarters to speak with the full-time staff. They were so friendly and it was great to hear about their jobs and how it relates to camp. It was also nice because they are so thankful for all of the work we've been doing. That helps when the stuff here gets tedious and boring. What we do here really is important.

We had another day and a half to play, woohoo! We had such fun. Hung out a lot in Times Square, eating at McDonald's, walking around, seeing sailors and talking to strangers. Fun times. We didn't get much sleep, but who cares, it was worth it.