Sunday, March 31, 2013


After our fun filled week of being cabin leaders, we've had a very relaxing weekend. Our team leader went to go hang out with other team leader near by so we are all by ourselves! :) We went to Applebee's 2 nights in a row and went to big boy last night, went to see a movie, had campfires and just hung out.

At the campfire last night we heard coyotes in the distance. Pretty soon we heard them from both directions of where the fire was. As time went on, they kept getting closer and closer. Thankfully we didn't encounter them and that is the closest I would ever like to hear them. :/

Yesterday one of the barn staff also offered to take us horseback riding! My horses name was Clu. He reminded me so much of Mr. Tush it made me miss riding. Hopefully we will be able to ride more as time goes on! :)

The maintenance guys were burning some of the fields that had invasive species so that was really cool to see them burn where we were working.

Next week we are back to pulling invasive species out. It will be nice to get back to doing what we started.

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What a week!

We just finished our first week as cabin leaders! It was very tiring but really fun as well. I was paired up with one of my team members and we were in charge of 12 girls for 4 days! The kids that are coming are from schools so all the cabins know each other which is good and bad. Definitely a different experience from summer camp but still as good!

My cabin was the sweetest of girls and we had no problems at all!! Everyone else on the other hand had quite a handful.

As much as we all liked the change of pace, I think we might want I get to pulling and cutting buckthorn and honeysuckle for a little longer. :)

I would post a picture of my group but for liability reasons I am not allowed. :(

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Still chopping away!

This week has been super cold here in Michigan! Thankfully we had meetings and other things that kept us inside for some portions of our days.

We are still hard at work removing invasive species around camp. We have to keep moving places where we are cutting because our brush piles are getting quite overwhelming. Unfortunately we won't be able to get a wood chipper for the next couple weeks. When we walk down the trails where we are working it is a wall of honey suckle bushes and trees hat we have chopped down. I got I use the chainsaw again!!

A highlight of my week has been being able to use the log splitter. I forgot to get a picture of it but the picture of the half circle of wood shows the diameter in how bi of logs we were splitting. It's amazing how easily it can chop that huge tree. I also thought this log was interesting because it has a tree inside of the tree. That inner circle just fell right out.

Last night was our first outside fire and our first fire since the alarm went off. The smoke vent was broken and needed I be fixed. The nice weather yesterday allowed us to have a fire outside but it still got pretty chilly on the walk back to the house. Hopefully this Michigan weather will stay nice so we can have more comfortable fires outside!

The picture is one of the many battle scars I have gotten this week. My legs are all bruised up from log splitting and my arms are all cut up from dragging honeysuckle out of the woods.

Next week we get to be cabin leaders so that will be a nice change of pace from removing invasive species. Can't wait to have a relaxing week!

Monday, March 18, 2013


If you haven't already seen on my Facebook, I recently got my hair cut by one of my team members! We agreed that if I let him cut my hair, he would let me shave his beard. There is a video of him cutting of my hair on Facebook. Surprisingly, I actually like my hair! He left is mustache like that for a day to show the campers and then shaved the rest of it off.

Another exciting thing that happened this weekend was we were having a fire, in the fireplace of the house when the fire alarm had to go off at 3am! Mind you, we have had fires every night since we have got here and have had no problems. Don't know what happened but after and hour of standing outside the fire department came. As we are all sitting in the van, the alarm is going off and the fire department leave. We had to call our project sponsor at 4am to get a code to shut the alarm off. Oh, and the best part is, the fire department couldn't find where our house is so we had to drive alllll the way across the lake to get them from the other side! Needless to say, thank goodness we have the day off today for all of us to sleep in!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Punching' the clock

We arrived in Michigan Monday evening and started working the next day. Tuesday we had orientation and training on their specific tools. Wednesday morning we toured where we were going to be working at and started removing the invasive species that afternoon. We are removing honeysuckle, and buckthorn. We have made about 8 huge brush piles in the course of two days. Today we had to move some of the piles we made to a more open area so we can put it in the chipper. Of course where we had to move them, was way across the field. That took up most of the morning. Yesterday I was able to use the chainsaw to chop down some stuff and today I used the brush cutter! Both make me sore and it is an extremely good stress reliever. :)

The place we are staying at is like a house with separate sides for girls and boys. On each side it's kinda like a camp cabin with, Bunk beds and a bathroom with showers. There are also two sitting areas one on the main level and one in the basement with a dire place that we are using tonight :) and a pool table. Where the house is, is where the camp used to be so everyday we have to drive around the lake to the cafeteria and worksite.

All in all, I am enjoying myself very much! So nice to be able to do some work!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week in a nutshell.

So it's been a while since I posted and I apologize but my weeks of training are pretty boring. This was the last week of CTI (core training institute) and surprisingly is has come and gone! This week has mainly been meetings upon meetings upon meetings to prepare us for the next 7 weeks. I was trained in chainsaw training and am one of 3 people on my team who can operate a chainsaw. I hope we won't be doing this too long cause my arms were sore from using it for like 10 minutes. Can't imagine using it for a whole day. I will definitely get a workout from that!

Friday we had our induction day. We are officially in the program and can drive the vans without our team leader. Woo hoo!!! Mom and dad came out for the ceremony so it was really nice to get spoiled by being driven everywhere. It only took us like 2 minutes to go to dinner in to versus 20 when we have to walk!! I'm sure they enjoyed see David, Devin, and I together. I'm sure it's quite a sight.

Today is my last day in Vinton so we already have the van pack up and we will be leaving tomorrow morning after room and kitchen inspections. The plan is to arrive around 4 pm!

That was pretty much my week in a nutshell. Nothing too exciting. That stuff will come this week. :) can't wait to get out there and start working.

The first picture is David, Devin and I in our "formals" for our induction ceremony. I also sang in the AmeriChoir which sang the national anthem before the ceremony. The other picture is in the Vinton high school. Tractors must be cheaper than a car. Can't imagine how long it takes them to get to school.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Exciting day!!!

Today after sleeping in, David, Devin and I lounged around in our room all afternoon. We worked on our teams trifold poster we have to have for our induction ceremony on Friday. These are just pictures of all our team members and a description of our first spike, which we found out today!!!!!!!! After being lazy, we decided that we were going to go for a run. A team member of Devin's team came to run with David so we wouldn't be slowing him down. :) Thankfully Devin and I are at similar fitness levels so we were really good running partners. I feel like I am already becoming more fit cause I was able to run pretty far!! It surprisingly felt good to run. :) After our run I had so much energy, we were thankfully finding out where our spike was soon.

Alright, enough waiting, I will be heading back to Michigan for my first spike! My team leader sent us on a scavernger hunt all around campus and we finally ended up in the auditorium and he was playing "im going to jackson" :) We will be working at YMCA camp storer in Jackson, Michigan for 7 weeks! We will be doing land management, building trails, removing invasive species and doing camp counseling for 2 weeks. We will be staying in cabins and they are providing all of our meals for us. No cooking for 7 weeks!!! W have mostly every weekend off so I will probably be giving my team a tour all around Michigan! I'll let y'all know when I'm home to visit!!

The pictures are of us having fun at a nearby store. Devin and I bought those hats! The country girl in us couldn't resist! :) The photo in front of the house is my team at our mini spike worksite. The dumpster is pretty much full from all the drywall we pulled off.