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…..