Monthly Archives: May 2014

Camp Sacramento

I’ve finally come to terms as to why I haven’t posted about my time at Camp Sacramento yet. You see, to write about Camp Sacramento, I have to start at the beginning, which means I have to relive a certain… incident. It all started at Camp Tamarancho, I woke up before everyone else, packed my sleeping bag, and dropped it next to the van to be packed later so that I could go eat breakfast. What I didn’t realize was that little critters might decide it was a good idea to crawl into my very tightly packed sleeping bag. So, we packed the van, said goodbye to the place and people we had grown to love, and headed to Camp Sacramento. We arrived, got a mini tour of the camp, explored South Lake Tahoe, and went to bed after a very long day. As usual, I was the first to wake up. Half awake, I went to get out of bed and noticed something long and brown on the floor. I put my glasses on, it looked like a snake, I didn’t believe it, so I decided to take a moment to wake up. But, the more I woke up the more positive I was that a three foot snake was spread out on the floor next to my bed. Fun fact about me is that I am severely afraid of snakes, so finding a snake next to my bed freaked me out quite a bit. I didn’t want to make it move, so I quietly phone called my teammate in the next room who likes snakes, but with no service I got no reply. So, I decided that despite the early hour, I had to risk waking everybody, including the snake, up. So, I yelled for my teammate. Once I convinced her that yes, there was truly a snake in my room, she got up to help me. Once we determined that it wasn’t poisonous, she set out to catch it. Her first attempt made it escape under my bed. So, we had to prod it with a broom to get it out, she was able to grab it, and we threw it out the door, and into the snow. Poor thing had no clue what it was getting into leaving warm Marin County. If this snake’s still alive, it’s endured three snowfalls so far, quite different from the 80 degree weather we were experiencing in Marin County.

Besides my animal encounter, things here at Camp Sacramento have been going very well. Most of our work consists of fuel reduction. This means that we are trimming trees to limit the chance that fire can catch from one tree to another. It also means that we are cutting down dead trees and trees that are growing too close together, meaning that the remaining trees can grow healthier. I’m enjoying the work here, partly because it’s in a beautiful location and mostly because the staff is incredibly kind. We leave this Friday and I know everyone is sad to go.

Our next and final round will be at Camp Zanika in Washington. We’ll leave for that in the beginning of June, finish mid July, and then I graduate from AmeriCorps July 24th. I’m falling asleep at my computer right now, but I will try and get a more detailed post up before we leave for Camp Zanika. Oh! One final note though…. congratulation

CONGRATULATIONS TO BRIAN AND ELYSE!!!! A little over a week ago I got to fly home for my brother’s wedding. It was beautiful and fun and perfect. I’m so happy for the newlyweds. And, of course it felt good to be home for a bit, mom’s cookies and anchor cake might have helped too…

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Long overdue update

I am currently writing this flying over Pennsylvania on my way to Reno, heading back from my brother wedding so that I can go back to work. Now, you might wonder how I got to this point from my last blog post. And here it is…

 

After leaving Camp Taloali, we spent about a week in Sacramento to complete debriefings from our last project, briefings for our next project, and specialty role training. During this transition, we had a decent amount of free time, which allowed us to prepare for the trainings and paperwork, as well as to explore Sacramento a bit. I was lucky enough to take part in a Service Project in Sacramento. One morning, we headed out around 6:30am in order to volunteer at a 10k/5k race. My job was to make sure all the runners turned where they were supposed to, and to cheer them on a bit.

 

They was AmeriCorps NCCC works is that our ten months of service are split up into 4 rounds. With each round, you leave on “spike” which is the project you will be working at. Some rounds have multiple spikes, such as my second round when I went to Northwest Trek and Camp Taloali. As well as my third round, which included Camp Tamarancho and Camp Sacramento.

 

We spent about a month at Camp Tamarancho, which is a boy scout camp for the Marin County boy scouts outside of San Francisco. The camp has multiple camp sites which range from clear ground to raise a tent, to cabins. Boy scouts rent out camp sites over the weekends and there is a day camp throughout the summer. Our first day, we were just proud to have made it up the drive way (an extremely narrow, windy, unpaved road on the side of a cliff) (to give you an idea of how windy and steep, Camp Tamarancho is is part of the mountains where mountain biking was invented and races are still held there). As time went on, we became comfortable with the work and thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff. We spent much of our time completing fuel reduction, which means chopping down dead or hazardous trees and then burning the big pile of wood we create. We also removed invasive species (scotch broom ): ) and completed some carpentry work. Our site sponsor was great at giving us each a project to lead or complete on our own. My project was to replace the camp’s rattlesnake box. See, Camp Tamarancho has a rattlesnake population. The snakes are shy by nature and would prefer to just lay under a log and not be bothered, but if you step on them by accident or threaten them, they will bite. So, when the staff finds a snake too close to kids they will move them somewhere safer. So, with the old box falling apart, I was able to copy the design and build two new boxes. Other carpentry projects included preparing lumber so that boy scouts could turn it into picnic tables, building bunk beds in some of the cabins, and make a compost box so that the camp can start composting.

Other than work, we were able to explore the area a bit. We went to Muir Woods and saw the redwood forest, completed a service in the Presido helping with a YMCA race, completed a Global Youth Service Day project in Oakland sprucing up a community garden, and explored Marin County.

 

As much as we loved Camp Tamarancho, on May 3rd it was time to move one. So, we got in the van and headed to Camp Sacramento, outside of South Lake Tahoe.

 

To be continued…..