Relying on determination, support and humor

Eliot Brett
Eliot Brett

My forearms were burning as I swung the double-jack down on the rebar. We were nearing the end of a 10- hour day on the Missisquoi River in northern Vermont. It was our second week of training in early June, and we spent the day transforming a steep hillside into a river-access point, complete with cribbed stairs, a side-cut trail and wooden steps down to the water. This day, like many others this past summer, was exhausting. I was mentally and physically drained by the time the final rebar was pounded into the crib stairs. Stepping back moments later to see all we had accomplished I was filled with a new energy. Energy that would carry me through to the next day, be drained by the end of it, and then return again as we completed project after project.

What we accomplished this summer, from rerouting trails in 90-degree heat to paddling stacks of lumber miles up stream in the rain, has changed my outlook on what I believe a group of people can do. This stewardship crew was one of determination, support and humor. These three ingredients are what allowed us to accomplish all that we did this summer. We pushed each other, helped each other and always laughed through the discomfort a job like this brings. When looking for a job I wanted an experience that would challenge me, bring me to new places and surround me with great people. That’s exactly what the NFCT gave me.

Apply to be part of the 2019 Stewardship Crew. Deadline March 1

Read More from the 2018 Stewardship Crew

Sacred Waters by Christin Cohee

The Places You Go and the People You Meet by Lauren Kelm

A Summer Well Spent by Sam Righi

Support the Northern Forest Canoe Trail by donating to the Mission Fund.