Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Adventure :)

So... I found out on Monday that they shut down the Valle Vidal (Vi-yay Vid-all). That's the name of the area that covers Seally Canyon, and 2 other camps. Because we are not on Philmont property, we are a part of the Carson National Forrest, they have control over who uses the land, and have warned us for a while now that we might be kicked out

New Mexico has been going through a terrible drought, and with the 4th of July so close, they decided to close down the Valle early.

I was "on days" saturday, sunday, and monday, and found out the news on Monday night. News travels fast! And I had a lot of people saying, "Hey! Did you hear that you lost your job? Where are you going to go?" I found out today: I am assigned to a camp called Head of Dean, more commonly known as Hod. It's a challenge course/team building camp. It's near the base of Baldy Mountain (Philmont's largest mountain), and I hear it's really pretty. All of my fellow staff members have been telling me how lucky I am, so I am very excited to see this place!

I'm also sad that I'll have to leave the Valle, it has become home for the past month, and I am going to miss my staff family. We have all been sent to separate camps. Luckily, me and two other of my staff are within 4 miles of eachother, so we'll try to visit each other.

Me and the Seally Canyon staff spent yesterday and most of this morning packing up, taking inventory of everything we were leaving in the yurt, and mostly saying goodbye. We debated where we would get sent to, and how long we would be there. We meadow crashed (spent the night under the stars) in our little meadow behind the yurt, just talking and looking around at our little camp. We will miss it :(

Hopefully the ban won't be long. In the past, they have closed the Valle before July 4th, and then reopened it the 9th. However, the drought is EXTREMELY bad right now, so they may close us down permanently.

Oh well. It's like two jobs/adventures in one summer, right? I'm excited to meet new people, and see more parts of Philmont :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Have Photos!

So I don't have that many. I can't upload mine with the reception here, so these are picture's my CD took.

Here's the rattlesnake we found last... week. I can't keep track of the days of the week. This 9 days on 3 days off thing totally screws up my mental clock.
Anyways, we ate it. Normally we shouldn't kill a snake, but it was right in the middle of our camp, and we felt threatened. By the way, it tastes like really tough chicken.

This is my CD's hand, next to a bear print we found down the road from us. Yet I still haven't seen a single bear! I haven't even heard one. Only seen the prints.

Home Sweet Home! This is the mongolian style yurt. This is where we spend the majority of our time. We read, sleep, cook, eat, and occasionally get some work done. See the ridge in the backround (picture don't do it justice)? I love hiking up there. It's the only place to get reception, and it has a gorgeous view of Badly and Little Costilla, the biggest mountains around here.
This week I experienced teaching crews! It was nerve wracking at first, but becomes a routine after the 3rd time. We have a few different kinds of crews coming through: Rayado Crews (otherwise known as Rowdy crews) and the regular crews. Rowdy Crews are made up of a group of random sign-ups, who are out here for a 21 day trek, sometimes hiking over 200 miles! The other crews are venturing crews just like mine back home, here for about 10 days. Occasionally we get a scout who came to Philmont with his crew, did a 10 day trek, and then decided last minute to stay behind and join a rowdy crew.
We teach them a lot about SAR clues, and then I usually teach them first aid, we teach them how to litter carry, and then we put them through a final scenario. We while they are being taught litter carry, I am usually in the yurt with one of their advisors/rangers, giving them fake head wounds and broken legs. Then I hide them. Simple as that! It's a fun program, and I enjoy seeing how each crew works together.
That's pretty much it for this week! I'll update in 12 days :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Seally Canyon

I'm back from my first week at Seally Canyon! I won't lie, it was a very hard week. I have basically been put into a new family, and I'm having to learn what everyone is like, and how best to interact with them everyday. I know what you're thinking, "Welcome to college life!". Except that in college all my roommates will smell good (hopefully), and wear clean clothes everyday.

I'm liking my fellow staffers more and more everyday, and I know I will enjoy spending the summer with them. We have a fellow Texan, a guy from Michigan, another from Pheonix AZ, and my CD (Camp Director) is from Virginia, so we have a good mix. They all love talking to me about the church, and I'm surprised by how much they already know.

So for the past week we have been settling in. Filling out orders for missing things, rearranging and organizing the yurt (a yurt is like a mongolian Teepee), and working on our summer program. We've also been exploring our Area of Responsibility. Every camp has one. In the event that a crew or camper goes missing in our AOR, it will be our responsibility to go searching for them. So we've been getting to know the lay of the land.

I got to know the lay of the land VERY well on saturday. Holly came up to visit on Thursday, but she had to be back for work by noon on saturday. One of our staff was going to take his 3 days off that day, so it was decided that Holly and him would go together. I was pretty nervous about when I would take my days off as well, because I would be travelling to the bus turnaround by myself, and I wasn't too familiar with the trail. So I decided to go with them, just so I could get a feel for it. OH. MY. GOSH. Biggest mistake ever. It's a forever long hike, and I had to go there AND back. We started at 5 a.m., and I got home around 6 p.m. 27 miles total. TWENTY-SEVEN! I hiked a marathon! Though I felt like a huge idiot for going all the way with them, I must admit, I feel pretty accomplished. But I'm never doing it again.