Getting Wild with the US Forest Service
Every North Cascades Wild trip is special, from the deep bonds formed in new communities of friends to the service projects to studentsâ€™ self-discovery and leadership development to views of glacier-capped mountains seen from sweatily climbed mountain peaks to learning how to canoe to the close connections students feel to public lands by the end of their adventure.
But North Cascades Wild Trip 3 was something completely new and different. After completing twenty successful North Cascades Wild trips in the Ross Lake area of North Cascades National Park, Trip 3 ventured out July 19th through 30th for twelve days of canoe camping, backpacking and service projects in a new location for us in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
What was so special about our North Cascades Wild trip on Baker Lake and in the Mount Baker NRA? Here are some of our favorite moments:
Laughing hysterically while playing â€œBobby Go Peepâ€ and other team building games with our Forest Service friends. Especially Martineâ€™s amazing MOOSE song that we will never ever get tired of!
North Cascades Wild seeks to connect students to public lands through service work, leadership development, community building and sense of place, thus inspiring participants to become citizen stewards of the environment and their home communities.
Together with the Forest Service, North Cascades Wild Trip 3 built four tent pads, placed three fire rings, constructed three picnic tables, deconstructed two dilapidated tables (one built by the CCC in the 1930’s!), planted twenty native plants, canoed almost fifteen miles, backpacked and hiked nearly twenty miles, taught and led twenty Kulshan Creek neighborhood students in service projects and changed seven high school participants’ lives for the better. We laughed harder than we have in a long time, got sweatier and dirtier than we ever thought possible, enjoyed incredible “eye candy” views for twelve days and gained memories that will stay with us forever.
One student from Mount Vernon said it all when she stated, â€œAt first I didnâ€™t care as much. But now seeing how beautiful it is out here and seeing how some people treat it makes me want to help protect it.” Another student from Deming remarked, “I learned that I am a stewardship person.”
We would like to extend our warmest gratitude to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for their support in helping make this program successful. Thank you – we can’t wait to do it all again!