Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The trails have been blazed and cut

The day started off with a hearty breakfast of Pop-Tarts and dried fruit to energize the participants for their arduous day of work ahead.

The participants then proceeded to hike to their work sites for the day.  The amount of work done today was phenomenal, over 6,000 feet of bench was cut today alone.  This just proves that  the cheerful service that these arrowmen have come together to provide will not only affect these trails but the hearts and minds of the ones who have worked on these trails.

After coming back to the West Virginia National Guard Armory a patch auction was held to benefit a local charity.  This week's charity helps people get back onto their feet by giving them a place to live with positive reinforcement all around them so they will most likely not relapse onto bad habits.

The path auction brought in a lot of money for a well deserving charity and  the crews are building amazing trail, it is only fair to see what this week will do because they keep doing amazing things at every opportunity they are given.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 4 is starting strong


Lodges from across the country have come from all across the country to finish out the SummitCorps service project in Week 4.

The check in process went really well with no problems and all the guests excited to be here for their week of service then fun.

The Opening show went off without a hitch, the guest speakers included Captain Jamie Bowen of the West Virginia National Guard, Rap Capp ( the National Committee Chairman), Jonathan Hillis (2011 National Order of the Arrow chief), Dwayne Fontenette Jr. (the 2011 Southern Region chief), the Adult Incident Commander, Matt Walker, and the Youth Incident Commander Samuel Bellomy. 

A special presentation of the night was when Captain Jamie Bowen gave Jonathan  a coin  which represented his unit in Iraq which had been taken to war and come back.

One of the quotes of the night given by Matt was that "No one leaves horizontal!"

The day began with a successful first Week 4 deployment of buses to the work sites

The day started off like every day should, ea complete tool talk to ensure safety is kept 1st in all the work sites

As the participants got off the bus, coming back to the armory they were greeted by smiles, high-fives, ice-pops, and even stickers for their helmets.

One of the events that happened today was crew photos, these will be posted later in the week on www.photobucket.com/SummitCorps2011

One of the new things at the Mountain Man exhibit is that they had a brand of the NRX symbol so participants were able to brand things of their choosing to remember SummitCorps

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday is fun day!

Today was a great day.  The food was not Philmont food, the activities did not just include trail building or cutting back slope and even though thunderstorms pestered us all afternoon the show still did a wonderful job in the drill hall.

With today being recreation day all of the guests had a chance to get out and do something fun for all their hard work in the past week.  Many of the guests did whitewater rafting on the New River Gorge National River.  The ones who did not, had activities that included maountain biking, rock climbing, and even zip line. All of the guests had a blast not only at their activity but also building theur bonds of friendship with the people they had just met.

After the activity all of the guests went over to a lake where a pig roast was held for OA members only.  The pig roast included a whole pig along with various sides to help supplement the glorious taste of the pig. 

Once all of the guests had been fed the staff got a warning for thunderstorms and directed all of the participants to inside the armory where it is safer from many more of the elements. 

As the old saying goes "The show must go on" this holds especially ture for shows.  They must be "Rigidly Flexible" and be able to help others around you at all times.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The service is done now onto the FUN!!!

The last day of service for Week 3 is done! They have given blood, sweat, and more sweat to the New River Gorge National River Craig Branch area.

 They have built thousands of new feet that the National Park Service can use to better serve the public's thirist for outdoor adventure.

yellow flags include special messages from the National Park Service, they can include positive remarks or improvements needed for the trail

The participants came back to camp  for a movie night, lodge flap painting, and even a I-Corps vs Wiatava ultimate Frisbee game (which I-Corps won).  With a night of catching up about the work week the participants are ready to move on.

Now the participants are excited for  their recreation day.  Whether it be whitewater rafting, mountain biking, zip line, lake adventure, or rock climbing.  These participants have had some of the best times of their lives bonding, building, and growing to be better people.  Now it is time for their time at SummitCorps to end with a bang of fun and adventure or a small taste of what  the Summit will offer in the future.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We keep on rocking and rolling.

With only the last work day ahead of us, we are all pumped to blaze some amazing trail.  The participants have all had a blast on the trail and off the trail.

On Tuesday a patch auction was held where over 3,000 dollars were collected.  All of that money goes to local charities in the southern West Virginia area. 

Today a campfire was held in camp.  At the campfire a light mixer was held where certain guests were pulled down to the stage to tell a story with the story ball.  The story ball is a ball of string that is multicolored, when you reach the end of one color the ball gets passed on to the next person to continue the story.  Some of the stories they came up with included rafting, outer space, and boy scouts.

After the campfire  ice cream and cookies  were served as a treat to the participants for a job well done so far.

With the last day ahead of us we can only have high spirits to what we can accomplish.

Monday, July 18, 2011

We are ready!

The first morning of work started off with a cheerful attitude and a Philmont breakfast before loading the buses.
As transportation staff guide guests onto the buses, the water coolers are loaded into the back of the buses.  Many faces were smiling as they boarded, ready for work.

One of the challenges on the first day is to find the work location on a map, then trek to this completely foreign location.
The first thing that every crew leader did was a tool talk to make sure that every guest knew how to use and store the tools.

One of the challenges of today was to transplant a rare orchid that was in the middle of the trail. 

As the work day continued, the guests built some amazing trail that will last lifetimes.  For program this evening, a mountain man display was in full effect.  The National Park Service, National Guard, and even a blacksmith were here to show off what they do and how it is relevant to the New River Gorge area.  Crew photos were also taken, they have been posted on www.photobucket.com/summitcorps2011 

With the first day over, the crews now feel like they are getting a hold of what they need to do and soon we will see miles of trail being built by Week 3.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The future is in our hands

The Week 3 guests have arrived at the West Virginia National Guard armory and they are more pumped to build trail than you can imagine.  They completed the check in process this afternoon.  This includes the Medical check, Crew assignments, Crew leader check-in (information handout), Safety issuing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), Contingent pictures, and then finally Orientation given by the I-Corps.

The guests kept entertained by the recreation staff while they waited for their leader to return with information on what to do.

One of the important things that happened today was that the crews met their crew leader (I-Corps member) for the week.
Captain Bowen relaxes with the I-Corps on their couch that they bring to the opening and closing gatherings.

The Week 3 Youth Incident Commander addresses SummitCorps about how thankful everyone is of the work they will be doing to help this area of the country.

Everyone left the opening show ready to wake up early in the morning and get to work with their brothers.