WEEK THREE: HANDS ON LEARNING
The first half of the Trailblazer Expeditioner’s journey has involved a lot of instruction, self reflection, and group learning discussions. This week we applied the skills and revelations.
After returning from Campout our expeditioners prepared for their Group Learning Project (GLP). The expeditioners planned on introducing trail building during a day long event to campers who were interested. They even came up with a game and a storyline that would make manual labor fun.
While they planned their GLP, the expeditioners fell into the typical camp routine with mentor hikes in the morning and activities in the afternoon. This was their first taste of routine camp life since they arrived and they relished in the opportunity to integrate with the campers and staff. They participated in woodworking, outdoor skills, mountain biking, bb skeet, music, and theater to name a few.
Six campers and four counselors signed up for the Fantasy Trail Building GLP! The group had a lot of fun rerouting the switchback to the Cave Trail. There were costumes, live music, hammock breaks, electric leaf blowers, and a celebratory cooler full of ice dumped over the TBX leader’s head. The expeditioners succeeded in their first leadership project with flying colors!
The next day the expeditioners helped build a wetland off the lake and got to work with different tools than they had been using for trail building. With the Cave Trail under their belt, the Mountain Bike Skills Trail soon to be finished, and their contribution to the Wetland project, they have truly made a lasting impact on Green River Preserve.
At the end of the week the expeditioners had a sweat lodge day with Senior Mentor, Star. One of the books that the TBX curriculum used was Black Elk Speaks, a coming of age story by a Lakota Indian. The sweat lodge was symbolic to the expeditioner’s right of passage from teenagers to adults. Star spoke of the four elements and the four directions and there happen to be four expeditioners. Stars are aligning at Green River Preserve.