It is February and icicles still line the rooftops, but the SCA Manchester Community Program event season has already begun. The first SCA Manchester event was a roaring success. The location was selected to be Bear Brook State Park; this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the rare SCA NH Corps members unimpeded in their natural habitat.
The Manchester community program members piled into logo emblazoned vans on a blistery, blustery morning eager for adventure and conservation. After an hour long drive deep into the New Hampshire countryside the seven participating members and four leaders arrived at Spruce Pond Camp. After the standard formalities, the first item on the agenda was a facilities tour so the new members could see where all the magic happens.
The community program members were thoroughly impressed by the general lack of amenities in the residential cabins and had many inquiries as how it was possible to survive without the basic necessities of life such as: McDonald's, cable television, electricity, and 4G networks. Afterward, they attended their first environmental presentation of the year led by two SCA NH Corps interpretive interns, Dan Coale and Lily Cason.
Through the staggeringly informative and educational medium of felt-board short stories along with the articulate and imaginative contributions of the interpreters, the history of Bear Brook State Park came alive. The group then feasted upon exquisitely prepared gado gado and macaroni & cheese made with extra care, for as any good leader knows, the best way into a high schooler's mind is through the stomach. The event culminated in a final act of conservation as the crew set off on an interpretive hike into the untamed wilderness.
Luckily two knowledgeable SCA NH Corps interpretive interns, Jordan Sawyer and Kat Drago, led the group along the scarcely traversed Broken Boulder Trail. The interns were more than capable, weathering the wilds and dodging obstacles deftly while interpreting the seemingly indecipherable nature with ease. What appeared to be a nondescript fallen tree to the untrained eye was explained to be caused by a gigantic grazing moose. "You can tell it was about eight feet tall due to the height of these nibblings," Kat Drago says gesturing frantically to a twig above her head as she trudges fearlessly off the trail into thigh-deep snow.
Above Smith Pond stands a lean-to shelter scrawled with the names of park visitors over the years, this served as the mid-point of the hike for the group. Here, they warmed their bemittened hands and bescarfed faces over an open fire and discussed the affairs of the day over local (extremely local) Hemlock Tea and Hot Chocolate.
At last, a wonderful day had come to an end and it was time to return to Manchester and their lives in doors, however with a little luck, perhaps these students will continue activity in the program and become lifelong Earth stewards.
1 - The 2011 SCA Manchester Leadership Corps warm-up at the Smith Pond lean-to with Team Leaders Carly, Sean, Darin and Emily, and NH Corps Interpreters, Kat and Jordan.
2 - Evan checks out the winter flora and fauna with binoculars.
3 - On their hike back to the lodge crew members tried some snowshoeing.