by Kevin Hamilton, web team
SCA marked the occasion by hosting President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and former President Bill Clinton at a native tree planting project at Washington, D.C.’s Kenilworth Aquatic Garden, just minutes after Mr. Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. I was assigned to cover the event. Yah... just another day at the office.
I have been camping my whole life. I remember when I was seven carrying a small (which didn’t seem small to me at the time) daypack with a sleeping bag in it up the trail. My sister had the clothing for us. And my mom and dad- well, they had everything else. At the time, I thought I had the heaviest pack ever! I look back and think how amazing my parents were carrying all that weight so we could learn to camp and hike and be in nature at a young age. Those trips so affected me that becoming an SCA volunteer was a natural step for me. I cannot think what my life would be like without the summers of camping with my family and working for SCA. All those backcountry experiences and times with small groups doing our thing in the best places in the world.
I came to this project, this Grand Canyon Alternative Spring Break project with the same ideas: working hard outside, camping, being with people who care and learning more skills and gaining more knowledge. I have been an SCA member before and I just needed to get back into it.
by Molly Lundberg
Today was the first day of work. After a night spent singing around the campfire, the crew was eager for the hard labor. However, they first had to wait a bit longer, and decided to play a game. Leaping into each other’s arms to the tune of “Row, Row, Row your Boat” drew some interesting glances from passersby.
The morning was spent learning plant salvaging techniques that would be applied for the rest of the week. The crew donned their new, shvanky, neon-tangerine vests proclaiming their status as VIP’s (volunteers in park).
Lunch on the rim of the canyon with Alison, a park geologist, was highlighted by a summary of the basic geology of the area. She came equipped with a life-size condor model, a geologic timeline of the earth, and a passion for the fifth dimension of the canyon (that is, the spiritual significance that the canyon brings to the individual beholding it).
After lunch, the crew continued rescuing pinon, juniper, cliffrose, yucca, and many others. The volunteers saw their efforts come to fruition when all the rescued plants were gathered together. The field was covered with pots and flats of salvaged plants, ready to be reintroduced to their new, safer habitat. At day’s end, some crew members were fortunate enough to see one of the fabled condors soaring high above the canyon.
The crew’s accolades on this sunny day are surely a sign of good things to come.