Septoberfest (Member Training)

This September-October (Septober), five crews gathered in Great Falls Basin for seventeen days of Restoration corps member training. Great Falls, fondly known as GFB, is the site of a natural waterfall in rainier seasons and is surrounded by majestic mountains and rock outcroppings. Natural shade from the rocks provided welcome respite from the unrelenting sun that was present most of the seventeen days. Over the seventeen days, crew members from the five crews (Jawbone, Rands, Owens Peak, Golden Valley, and WildCorps) lounged, ate, hackeysacked, hiked, sang, and learned soso much! During the first six days, members got to know each other and the DRC well. They received training in the Leave No Trace principles, restoration theory and tool use, and participated in a community workshop. Over the course of two days, members and staff teamed up to restore three hill-climb incursions, acquainting members with the sort of work they will be doing this season. Finishing our work was incredibly satisfying and exciting, and we are filled with anticipatory energy for the coming season. After a day of rest and some hiking and visiting our local movie/truck commercial set (Trona Pinnacles National Monument), the crews began their Wilderness First Responder course. The nine-day course prepared members for dealing with everything from femur fractures to spider bites, and gave them lots of screaming practice as actors in scenarios. Members provided treatment as care providers in many scenarios, including one situation at night with real live rattlesnakes and 2 mass casualty incidents with lots of fake blood and only a couple fake arrests. Seventeen days may not seem like long, but we accomplished an awful lot and had a ton of fun. Fond memories of Emily’s delicious cooking, sports and games, body art, jam sessions, late night laughter, and beautiful stars will stay with us. Though we’re glad to leave the Port-a-Potties and 17-day body odor behind, we’ll miss our second home, the Basin. Despite how sad we are to be separated from our extended family, we’re all looking forward to our first hitch and getting out to Jawbone again!