Story of the Week 7/16/15

New Trail, New Staff, and the Start to a New Year of Service

by Caitlin Miller, Group Outreach & Education Coordinator at the Green Mountain Club

When it comes to heavy trail work, I’ve always felt a bit in over my head. Even when I was caretaking for the Green Mountain Club (GMC), before I became their VHCB AmeriCorps member, trail work was never my forte. However, as the entirety of GMC staff - seasonals and office staff alike - gathered in the trailhead parking lot to complete our new Long Trail relocation, I was feeling excited to get my hands dirty. The relocation was the northern section of our new Winooski footbridge opening.

When I transitioned from seasonal to full time, I began to learn so much more than I expected about the GMC, land easements, the inner workings of a non-profit, and agency partnerships. My supervisors were always ready to include me in different projects so that I could gain a broad perspective on the organization. I was able to sit in on committees, board meetings, have a hand in partner projects, and more. While I was always very excited to have these opportunities (the level of responsibility I was given is a big part of why I’m signing up for a second term) I’m always overjoyed to get back to my first GMC passion - being on the trail.Caitlin, Trail Work

The trail project we would be tackling that day was especially exciting because it was part of our Winooski bridge project and trail relocation. And to add to the excitement, some of our office staff would be joining the field staff for an “all hands on deck” work-palooza! After trekking up to the work site, we split into groups for a our work projects and the excitement really began. I swung a sledge hammer with field staff and our business manager. I dug drainages with our executive director. And I cut new trail with our field supervisor and membership coordinator.

For me, the day was a nostalgic blend of old and new: trail work and office colleagues, old friends and first season co-workers, good old Long Trail trail work and a new relocation. I felt that the whole day really summed up my service at the GMC as a combination of people and skills I’ve come to love, mixed with new learning opportunities and a new position to navigate. The whole day left me even more excited to start a new year of service with the GMC. Another year to watch myself, my connections with co-workers, and the trail itself evolve and grow.

VHCB AmeriCorps is a program of the
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

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