- April 15, 2011
- Posted by Claire Muller
Our introduction to the concept of ‘the crew community’ was textbook. It pretty much epitomized everything MCC is all about. After 8 days in the woods, we had had ample opportunities to get to know each other. We had struggled to set up camp in the pouring rain together, we had shared about our lives while hiking to work each day along a wild and scenic river, we had been digging in the dirt all day, side by side and singing non-stop, and we had been hanging out and laughing in the evenings while huddled around our soggy campfire.
All of those opportunities for group bonding come pretty standard with every MCC hitch (except—hopefully—the rain). What really drove home the feeling of family and community was how our last day in the woods unfolded. During breakfast, we heard wolves howling up on the ridge. Oatmeal and coffee were on the ground with a clatter as we raced to a little clearing, trying to catch a glimpse of the magnificent animals. We stood in a line, all howling together, and they responded to us! We were our own little wolf pack. Out on the trail, we still had lots of retread to do. All hitch we had been working on mastering the moving of dirt, so by now everyone had a pretty good idea of how retread is supposed to look. So, we morphed into a ‘human centipede’ and changed the way we did things. Instead of each person having their own little 10 foot section of trail to start on and eventually perfect, we worked together to cover a lot more ground a lot more quickly. Each person moving down the line took off a little bit of dirt, until by the end of the line, the last person had only to add the finishing touches to make a beautiful trail. We were fast, we were efficient, we were working together as a seamless team. It felt good. Then, back at camp after a long, comfortable, rewarding day, the other mini crew of Field Crew Leaders, who we hadn’t seen in over a week, met up with us. Seeing our friends was fantastic, but an influx of new people really highlighted how tight we had become as our own little crew of self-proclaimed ‘Misfits.’
We sat down to have our PLACE discussion, where we were introduced to the concept of ‘the crew community’ and given some structure and some space to explore the idea. The conversation was frank and poignant; we had had a powerful day and a wonderful hitch. After all, just that day we had been our own little howling wolf pack and a dirt-eating centipede of efficiency and solidified as a team of ‘Misfits.’ During the discussion, we really opened up and shared how important we have become for each other of the course of only 8 days.
Who could ask for more? MCC is about so much more than just trail work. It’s about family.
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