By: Ryan Pellerin
Here in Hawley the time is passing fast. The ten month members are already over their half way mark and the five month members are settled in, feeling at home. Being together everyday we are bound to have a ton of laughs and friendships that will only grow stronger. When there are twenty six members you are sure to know everyone, but do you really know them? Now that Hitch season has rolled around and we are all spread throughout the state of Massachusetts doing service, and in crews of five members, it makes for a different perspective.
Each hitch you are a part of a five member crew where you will venture off to a state park or forest. Serving together to complete anything from signage and blazing or a rock staircase or timber bridge. Staff makes up these crews of five members so you won’t know who you are with until it’s posted on the bulletin board. When posted, all twenty six of us try to pack in shoulder to shoulder to read who we will be serving with for each ten day streatch. You may be with your closest friend, or you may be with someone you don’t talk to that often. That’s what is unique about Hitch. Not only the service you accomplish together, but the bond and friendship you create with one another.
Heading into Hitch three I have had two hitches where I was able to serve with people that I wasn’t that close with. But when you serve, camp, eat, and laugh with those other members for ten days, that all changes. These people that you felt you didn’t know, become amazing friends whom you start to share moments and memories with. Whether it be completing projects together, laughing to the point you’re all tearing up from laughter, or just having a great time with them. You’re creating memories and a friendship with all the other members that you are spending the five to ten months with.
One of the best things is seeing the trail work you have done together. Feeling accomplished, happy, and knowing that the trail users will appreciate everything you have done. While you’re working hard to complete a serive project, this time will pass quickly. Have a great work ethic, make memories, and enjoy every minute you get with all of the members you experience this chapter of your life with. Because I know for me, that in the future I will reminisce on these moments and will miss every single person from this program.