Stewardship Intern Training Week#1: 2010

Our first week of training has concentrated on leadership skills along with other professional development aspects that a well rounded trail worker would need to be successful in the field leading a crew.  It has been a very heartfelt week as many have come together to meet and train our 2010 Stewardship Crew.   We have been very fortunate to have a great deal of expertise shared with a very attentive audience.  To top it all off, I just got a new camera and have been on a mission to take as many group photos as possible, much to the chagrin of the crew.  Here’s a sample:

 We kicked off our trainings with Beth Ann Finalay from the Northern Vermont Resource and Conservation Development Council.  She spoke about conflict resolution using Miguel Ruiz’s book the Four Agreements for guidance and leading the crew in an activity that presented them with potential situations that they could find themselves in when out on the trail.  Great job Beth Ann!

Then we high-tailed it up to the Highgate Falls Portage in Highgate, VT where we met up with the Tim, Ben, and Joe Hille.  I called Tim over a month ago for his famous pizza recipe to include in our back-country cooking arsenal.   Tim has been chipping away at section paddling the NFCT with his son Ben and other members of his family.  He was planning on a few days of trail time for the same week as our training.  After our conversation he decided to tackle a good stretch of the Missisquoi in VT so he could attend a day of our training and present his recipes in person.  Now the crew has a great pizza recipe and has been turned on to the world of Quinoa (KEEN-wah).  Thanks again Hille’s and here’s the group photo:

We are glad we had an abundance of food and a good source of complete proteins because the next day began our water training.  Mark Moore owner of Outdoor Mentors worked with the crew for a day and a half covering paddle skills and flatwater/fastwater rescue.  Everyone had a blast and plenty of opportunities to learn and develop their paddling skills.  Mark did an amazing job of fitting in a tremendous amount of content in a very comfortable and laid back fashion.  Great job!


And of course the group photo:

Erin Quigley, 2010 NFCT Program Intern used her GIS skills to train the crew how to use the hand-held GPS units that Delorme donated to our program.  The Stewardship Intern Crew will be using these units to record trail and site locations along the trail.  This spatial information will be pivitol in allowing us to manage the NFCT effectively.  Thank you Erin and the fine folks at Delorme!

Erin Quigley shows the crew how to use the Delorme PN-40 hand held GPS unit.

To drive home the reason the NFCT exists in the first place we contracted John and Donna Moody of the Winter Center for Indigenous Traditions to present to the crew.  Both John and Donna possess a keen understanding of the Abenaki culture and history.  The Highgate Falls Portage presented the perfect back drop for a discussion on how steeped with sensitive and precious history the land and water corridors of the NFCT are.  We were all so glad that John and Donna were able to join us for lunch and continue telling us stories.  We concluded as a group that we would like story time with the Moodys every day.

2010 Stewardship Intern Crew with Donna and John Moody

With the help of some amazing  Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation, and Fish and Wild Life Service employees we proceeded to get all scientifical.  The Northern Forest Canoe Trail has been working with Aquatic Invasive professionals in every state the trail passes through to do what we can to educate paddlers and help prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasives.  We were very fortunate that Leslie Mathews was putting on a training at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.  We had the opportunity to learn how to identify many aquatic plants, focusing on invasives. 

Sam and Allison work to identify samples as part of our quiz

Rebecca Pfieffer, Staci Pomeroy, Ned Swanberg, and Julie Foley from the Vermont DEC shared their time with us to give us an amazingly comprehensive view of the wetlands and floodplains that we will be working in.  Once again we used the Highgate Falls Portage as our classroom.  We covered everything from riparian invasives to floodplain and wetland sensitivities and characteristics, to facilitating positively directed drainage.

Julie Foley points out Japanese Knotweed

Did someone say group photo?

I can not thank those who made this training possible enough.  At the end of the week I felt like a community had come together to share knowledge and help our Stewardship Interns prepare for their 9-week expedition.  I am very impressed by the expertise that we have out there and can say that we were all inspired by the passion that our presenters brought with them.  Very contagious.