Conservation Leadership School

After ArrowCorps502 everyone returned home to the monotony of work and school. No one, however, was able to forgot the extraordinary experience they had had the past summer. In October 2011, ArrowCorps502 was the main theme of the T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge Annual Banquet. Many of the key contributors to the event were recognized, and ArrowCorps2014 again became a topic of discussion. As neither the Lodge nor Council were in a position to sponsor an official training event, in December Crew 502 was chartered by Cascade Leadership Challenge to continue ArrowCorps502’s tradition of service. Predictably, many of Crew 502's charter members were key project leaders who couldn't seem to stay away, but a few were newcomers ready and willing to learn. The crew's yearly superactivity was to be Conservation Leadership School, a weeklong training forum for youth interested in conservation service. Every year there was not an ArrowCorps project, CLS would provide training and experience for new and returning youth and adult leaders. By the time came to plan for 2014, there would be a core group waiting in the wings with the experience and resources to make it happen.

Each of the two weeks of CLS, held August 25-30, 2012 and August 25-29, 2013, was designed as a model ArrowCorps project. During a week on the trail, participants learned the basics of wilderness engineering, practiced tool safety, handling, and care, and worked extensively with small-group leadership dynamics. They also received intensive training in Leave No Trace and first aid, and were briefed on the rich and evolving history they were rapidly finding themselves part of.

Over the course of two years, CLS participants completed much-needed projects at Carbon River, Owyhee Lakes, Ohanapecosh, Tipsoo Lake, and White River. Some of the projects had been passed over in 2011; the need for others had become evident in the interim. All allowed us to see new areas that we hadn’t yet visited. In addition to trail projects, on our days off we were able to see a few of the area's gems, including Sunrise and the Grove of the Patriarchs. Crew members built fences, painted fences, installed culverts, and renovated campsites damaged by winter storms. At Ohanapecosh, a maintenance ranger bet us $20 we couldn’t move a two-ton log with hand tools. Ten crew members with timber carriers proved him wrong.

The conclusion of CLS 2013 meant that ArrowCorps2014 was less than a year away. Trusting in our experience and in each other, a new generation joins the old. together, these volunteers again stand ready to give back to the national public lands we all enjoy. With a new project comes the opportunity to write the next chapter in our collective narrative, and when our time comes we will be ready.

Read on about ArrowCorps2014.