Friday, July 22, 2011

The Valle Reopens!

I think I have finally settled in to HOD. I have the course nailed, and I'm taking about three crews out a day. I give a bajillion porch talks a day, answer questions, talk with Advisors, go on camp site checks, call in to Health Lodge when we have a sick camper, and I clean. A LOT. Life at HOD is extremely busy. We are up at 6:45 every morning, taking crews out on the course as early as 7:30, and we don't go to bed until at least 10:30. It's a long, tiring day. Not only is it draining because of all the walking, it's hard mentally. We have to be paying such close attention to the kids on the course, analyzing and figuring out what the crew needs help with the most. By the end of the day, I'm exhausted. Yet I manage to have so much fun! I love talking with the scouts and advisors and hanging with the staff.

So it only seems natural that now that I have settled in completely, they are yanking me out again! I found out this morning that the Valle Vidal is re-opening, and I am going to rejoin with my old staff at Seally Canyon! I'm pretty excited. I have missed my SC staff immensely, and I'm looking forward to a more relaxed schedule :) As of right now, all of the Valle Refugees (that's what we call all of the Valle staff who were scattered to different camps like me) are getting in today, we get one more day off tomorrow, and then on the 24th we go back to our camps in the Valle.
In other exciting news, I got to spend the last two days with Mom and Dad! They came and picked me up from HOD, saw me facilitate a challenge course, and meet the other staff. Then we went to base, took a Villa tour (a tour of W. Phillips summer home), ate in the chow hall, and went bear gazing.
Yesterday we saw Harry Potter 7 in Toas. Oh. My. Gosh. It was amazing! The best HP movie I've seen. I cried. A lot. We also took them on a fun day hike, just so that Dad can say "I've hiked at Philmont".

I cried when I first saw them, and I cried when they had to leave again. But I'll be seeing them in less than a month. Can you believe how quickly the summer is going by!?

I can't wait to go back to Seally! I'll post again in 9 days :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Head of Dean is AWESOME! I love the staff. And the scenery. And the program. I just love it all! There are a total of 9 staff members, we are situated at the top of Dean Canyon with this beautiful view of the Colorado Rockies out in the distance. If I look hard enough, I can even see the general area Seally Canyon is in.

I definitely miss Seally. I miss the staff there, I miss taking my afternoon naps for sure. However I don't miss having to boil water for dishes, or having to do them in plastic tubs, and I definitely don't miss going without a shower for 9 days. At HOD, we have reception, running water, HOT water, and showers. It. Is. Amazing. It is also extremely busy. At Seally, we would generally have 1 crew a day. At HOD, we have 11 to 12 crews a day.

For the first couple of days I stayed around the main cabin, I would check in crews, give Porch Talks, answer questions, help with dinner, etc... Then they let me go with the experienced staff to see how a challenge course was run. By day 5, I was taking out crews all by myself :) SO fun. It was really scary and hard at first, but now I love it. I'm mostly there for safety, and to analyze how the crews work together during challenges, and see what I can help them with team/communication-wise.

Wednesday night we had a bit of a scare: Around 9 p.m., a crew advisor noticed "some organge stuff" out in the distance. Oh. Crap. It definitely was a fire. We fortunately had a conservation work staff staying with us over night, so we had lots of staff to help with the mayhem. We got maps, figured out the coordinates for the fire's location, and radioed it in to Base. Two camps had to be evacuated, one of them came up the canyon to us. That night we had around 25 crews camping with us. Everyone was up until about 3 a.m. helping evacuate. We had so many staff that were on days off, just visiting other camps, that volunteered to help. It was amazing! Felt like a military operation. It was a long, hard night, but by noon the next day, we had everyone back on schedule and back on the trails.

Saturday morning me and Holly and several other Trading Post people summited Mt. Baldy. 12, 400 feet, baby! It was super hard, but totally worth it. I still haven't quite recovered from the whole thing.

Tomorrow I go back to HOD for another 9 days. Then Mom and Dad come visit. YEAHHHH!!!!