The Rest of Day 1

Yesterday’s post on Orientation Day 1 was just the officially scheduled activities.

But, wait! There’s more!

Corpsmembers already in the CCC are supposed to report to orientation with three sets of uniforms. But remember, a large portion of Backcountry CMs are direct hires through AmeriCorps. They don’t have any uniforms to bring. All of those AmeriCorps CMs need to be properly outfitted with uniforms and boots. Where do they fit this in?

Anywhere they can.

The process actually starts on Arrival Day, or maybe we could call it Day 0. A stockpile of uniforms are on hand in a designated supply area at Placer. Each crew will spend some time in this room outfitting CMs who need uniforms. This will not be completed on Day 0. Some time will be needed on Day 1 to complete the process. On Day 1, crews and CMs will fit this in wherever they can. As paperwork is completed, a group from the crew might be told to go over to supply and finish outfitting. They might be able to squeeze some time in after Vehicle Procedures. There will be less time for this by the end of Day 2, so it needs to be completed by the end of Day 1.

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Have you noticed that all of the uniform shirts have patched on the sleeves? There will be at least one CCC patch and an AmeriCorps patch. Arriving CCC members might have more patches, such as a center patch representing the CCC center they came from, a crewleader or specialist rocker, or any of several special program patches.

Guess what? The shirts don’t come with these patches already on them.

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Yes, a sewing kit is on that list of essential items that every CM is expected to bring to Backcountry.

Another detail taken care of between Day 0 and Day 1 is the Crew Library. Literacy is a big art of the CCC Corpsmember Development program. CMs will be required to read and write during their time in the Backcountry. To promote reading, each crew will have a small library. CMs will select books out of a pool to take with them over the summer.

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To make sure that the first crew through doesn’t skim the best, and the last crew doesn’t have to settle for old chemistry books, each CM can only select one book from the pool on their first trip through. After all of the crews have been through the library, everybody will have other chances to select more books.

In and around and among all of this activity, something is happening. CMs are getting to know the other CMs on the crew. People who have never met are having to work together towards a common goal. Crewmembers are learning each other’s personalities. They are learning what qualities each member brings to the mix in building a crew. They are learning what skills each other has. They are learning who they can count on to drop a joke at just the right time to boost morale. They are learning who they can count on to drop a joke at the wrong time, and they are probably starting to think of ways to help that person overcome that challenge.

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Six Backcountry Trail crews are being forged.

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