Monday, April 19, 2010

Old Rag Mountain Stewards Training

No hiking this weekend, as we spent the entire weekend at the Big Meadows Ranger Station participating in training for Old Rag Mountain Stewards (ORMS).  ORMS is a volunteer program on Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park.  Most weekends in the spring and fall, you will see orange-shirted Mountain Stewards working on Old Rag, talking to people, giving directions, educating visitors about Leave No Trace principles, and providing assistance if necessary.  This will be our third year volunteering with ORMS. 

We spent the weekend reviewing wilderness first aid, running practice scenarios, and going over Leave No Trace principles, among other things.  Especially with first aid, practice is so important.  Every time we run scenarios, whether on a training weekend like this or on the mountain, I learn something.  Practicing together also makes the group work better together on the mountain.

The great thing about the training weekend is getting everyone together.  Each weekend on Old Rag, we work with a few other stewards, but the entire group rarely gets together as a whole.  In addition to all of the training for the weekend, I think we all had quite a bit of fun.  Everyone brought something to eat and we had a huge feast Saturday night.  Old Rag Mountain Patrols cooked steaks for everyone and it seemed like there was a contest (which was too close to call) between several of the stewards for Old Rag's best brownies. 

More information about the program is at the Old Rag Mountain Steward blog.

Back to the woods next weekend.

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