Suwannee River ASB with USC Upstate

March 1 – March 8, 2012

Well everyone, it’s that time of the year again in Florida where thousands of young college kids get their bird on, migrating south to warm weather, cold beverages and… community service? Well, maybe not thousands of college aged kids come down to Florida to serve, but 6 students from University of South Carolina Upstate joined the Florida Trail Corps team to remove damaged structures along the Suwannee River. The team, along with USCU students relieved some of their stress not by drinking themselves into oblivion. No, not at all, they chose to release all tension within their bodies by ripping apart a wooden gazebo and smashing a dam to pieces with sledge hammers. Nothing says spring break like taking a 10 pound double jack to a piece of concrete right?

We not only taught these awesome USCU students how to take apart large structures, but also how to move large pieces of debris using rigging equipment. Our good friend, Ian Barlow came down to visit along with a bunch of rigging equipment such as grip hoists, blue steel rope, blocks and shackles. With all of his knowledge, and all that expensive equipment, Ian demonstrated to the group how to set up rigging systems. It was really cool and involved learning lots of knots, climbing trees, and some muscle power. Utilizing these rigging techniques, we were able to move a bridge in one whole piece!

At the end of four days, it was time for the USCU students to leave, but not without a pizza party. I mean come on, it’s spring break, we at least had to feed them one day on a college diet. Thank you to all of the USCU students who came out and dedicated their precious time to help out the FTA and SCA. We really appreciated it!

P.S. We’ll let you know if Sean got a call from the waitress at Pizza Hut ;)

- Michael Marchetti