More classroom. EEO training. EEO is Equal Employment Opportunity, and they are the rules that govern discrimination. Not everybody comes to the CCC, AmeriCorps, or the Backcountry program having experienced a diverse workplace. The CCC might be the first place that some CMs have ever had to work closely with people of other races or beliefs. Not only will they be working among diversity in the Backcountry, they will be living it, too, in very close quarters. EEO training might be the first time that some people have ever even considered that living in a diverse group might have its own special set of dynamics. This training covers Federal and California law that covers diversity.
CMs will also have a Writing Workshop on Day 3. Literacy is an important part of the program. Not only are books provided to read over the summer, but blank notebooks are provided that CMs will be expected to write in over the summer. This class gives CMs some guidelines for capturing their once-in-a-lifetime experiences over the following summer in words on paper.
This is the day that the crews finally get to spend the day outside. The only job they have to do today is hike with their crew. Carrying all their gear. All day. This is the final shake down before they hit the road for their work projects. This is where they find out if everything they have to carry fits well in their packs. This is where they find out if their boots are quite fitting well. This is the day where they get to experience the required hiking pace of three miles per hour with a load.
The crews pack their crew gear into their vehicle in the evening of this day.
This is the day that their journey gets real. They break their tents down in the morning and pack them. They eat breakfast and clean up the kitchen and showers/toilets one last time. Then they hit the road for their trial season.
And they’re off…
Orientation takes place during the last week of April. These crews have spent the last five months learning how to build and maintain trails in some of the most beautiful places in California: Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, Stanislaus, and Inyo National Forests, and Big Basin State Park.
Next week is Debriefing, signaling the end of the 2017 Backcountry Trails season. I will be there, and will bring you some stories of that celebration afterwards.
We will end today’s post with a gallery of final scenes from the 2017 Backcountry Orientation…