Storrie Student Crew’s Sierra Summer

Our Storrie Student Trail Crew gives 16 to 18 year old high school students the opportunity to learn and practice trail and life skills each summer. The program is a partnership between the Mount Hough Ranger District and SBTS who employ youths to work in the Storrie fire footprint from Bucks Summit to Lassen. Students received payment for their work along with the experience of living in wilderness Monday through Friday for the four weeks of the program.

Ben, Miles, Brandon and Caleb working an armored creek crossing

This year, we had students from Portola, Graeagle, Quincy, Crescent Mills, and Oroville who worked on sections of the Pacific Crest Trail through the scenic Bucks Lake Wilderness. Beyond the trail stewardship experience, the crew received visits and talks from the Plumas Audubon Society who educated the group on wildlife management careers as well as the Pacific Crest Trail Association.  The Mt Hough Fire Crew also stopped by to share their experiences and educate.

Success! Gale after completing her first rock check step

Another key component of the Storrie crew is encouraging personal growth and acquiring life skills – setting goals, facing their fears, learning project management, responding to group dynamics and overcoming challenges to succeed in life. Working hard in the dirt, learning, tending to blisters from their daily 5-mile commute and cooking for a dozen people was all part of the experience.

Clearing the path

In total, here is what they accomplished in their four-week adventure:

  • Days in the Backcountry-22
  • Miles Hiked-99
  • Drains-28
  • Check Steps-44
  • Check Dams-8
  • Turnpikes-2
  • Armor Creek Crossings-2
  • Corridor/Tread repair- 12 miles
  • Unsmashed Fingers-98
  • Blisters- 12
  • Horribly long game of Uno- 1

Mandy and Autumn’s tending to Blister #8

On their program evaluation forms, students shared the following:

  • “This program helped me step outside my comfort zone, learn to work better with a team, and I got new friends.”
  • “This program taught me so much about myself along with doing awesome work and getting paid.”
  • “It’s incredibly empowering and the everlasting friendships are priceless.”
  • “It’s a fun learning experience were you can meet some pretty cool people.”
  • “I learned a lot and made some great connections and even felt comfortable stepping outside of my comfort zine. My understanding of trails, teams, leadership greatly improved. I had so much fun and I really never was bored or wanted to go home. The leaders are incredible people.”
  • “I learned so much being here and I feel like the program helped me grow in a lot of ways.”
  • “It’s a good workout, useful to the community and it’s a very fun job.”

Rock rollin’ to armor this trail section

Thanks to Autumn, Aaron, Brandon, Ben, Caleb, Gale, Lacy, and Miles for working with us this year. We look forward to next year’s program!