by Nancy Wilson, Regional Director: Southern Front Range
Have you ever hear the expression “each one, teach one”? It refers to the fact that when we learn something new, from a book or a class, we might learn it. But, when we have to teach our new knowledge or skill to another person, that’s when we REALLY LEARN. Last summer I visited a camping trail crew from Mile High Youth Corps – Colorado Springs and watched them do exactly that.
The “Post to Parks” program was a partnership between sponsors at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Mile High Youth Corps – Colorado Springs. The park wanted to bring young people from military families, who seldom have a chance to leave the base, into our National Parks. MHYC wanted to show these youth all about a really great summer job opportunity and show them why they love working at the Corps. The MHYC crew (ages 18-23) spent a week mentoring younger youth (14-17) from Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado Springs. They taught them the same skills that they had been learning all summer as a crew: trail building, tool safety, noxious weed mitigation, Leave No Trace camping, and many of the interpersonal skills that enable a team to form and accomplish great things. Melanie Weber-Sauer who was the MHYC Crew Mentor said, “It has been really great to work with the kids from Ft. Carson, a lot of them seem eager to learn about the outdoors and the national parks. It has been great for us, it gives us a chance to exercise some leadership and repeat some of the knowledge we have learned this summer.”
All the hard work (and fun) that was done on the project just received national recognition. The “Post to Parks” project received the Land Conservation Project of the Year award at the Corps Network Conference in Washington, D.C. last week. Cool. The hope is that more parks and corps with get together and see the benefits when “each one, teaches one.”