In May, we went to River Ranch, a Girl Scout Camp in Carnation, Washington for our 10 day training program with the Student Conservation Association. We started our training by learning about the SCA, member expectations, the safety protocol that we will be following, and rules and regulations. For 3 days during our training we worked with Aerie Wilderness Medicine, and became certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid. Everyone loved working with Aerie and seemed to grasp a lot of information in the short amount of time we were given. We also took a refresher course in safe driving and learned about vehicle maintenance. Some of us did not have much experience under the hood or changing a tire, so this training was very helpful!
The Army Corps of Engineers arrived at the end of our training to prepare us for our summer internships. We spent some time learning the background of the Army Corps of Engineers, the importance of the information that we will be collecting, and the expectations they have for us. We were introduced to some cool features of Google Earth and were trained in roadside interviews. We all really enjoyed the extreme scenarios that they set up for us, to help us prepare for every situation that we may encounter this summer.
One of our favorite parts of the training was all of the new people we were able to meet especially our fellow Kansas team members. The training brought together Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Use Survey Interns from across the country, as well as other SCA programs like trail maintenance crew and fish tracks.
We all really enjoyed our free time spent with other interns. On our day off a group of ACE VUS interns climbed Mount Si. The 2.2 mile hike brought us to beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. During our free time, we gathered with our newfound friends for the best card game ever, Mafia. We, also had a night where we learned contra dancing. Our amazing Kitchen Manager, Raven, introduced us to contra dancing and lives in Kansas. Hopefully, she will bless us with her skills and teach us some techniques as well.
The Kansas Crew can’t wait to begin our work with the Army Corps of Engineers and to have the opportunity to contribute to the management of these beautiful lakes in the region. We are excited to get involved with some great conservation projects in the surrounding communities and lakes while taking the opportunity to explore Kansas.