Learnin’ From The Best

Another CYCA camping trip has come and gone at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and the Corpsmembers have learned some new tricks, met some of Colorado’s finest youth corps members, and shared many a laugh. At the beginning of every summer, CYCA, or Colorado Youth Corps Association, puts on a crew leader training for all the summer crews running in the 10 different youth corps in the state.

Some of the best and most experienced volunteers come up to Golden Gate Canyon to lend their time and experience in teaching the Corpsmembers how to build and maintain hiking trails. One such volunteer is the legendary Steve Austin. Steve served as a radio operator in World War II, and has been building trails for longer than the Corpsmembers have been alive. He is perhaps best known for inventing a tool for moving heavy boulders, now called “The Rock Austin”. Steve has taught scores of Corpsmembers all the subtleties of building trails and rock walls, and has always impressed us with his breakneck pace up the mountain, carrying a heavy pack, at age 85. Most notable about Mr. Austin, however, is the quiet dignity and humility with which he carries himself.

On behalf of everyone who participated in the trainings, I would like to extend a special thanks to the CYCA staff and all of the volunteers who donated their time and energy to Colorado’s youth. They instilled in us a special respect for the land, modeled a professional attitude towards the work we do, and most importantly passed on the knowledge necessary to maintain and preserve such a beautiful place.

-Steve Lynch, Conservation Alumni Mentor

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