Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One thing about having a lot of time on my hands from not having a full time job, means that I have lots of time to bead. I've finished so many projects that my jewelry collection is expanding greatly. You can even look at pictures of all of my various finished projects in my picasa photo album (link located on the right). In fact, I even have enough time to make Christmas presents for many different people.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've now, finally, finished my first day of work on Tuesday, and it was lots of fun. There are 14 kids, some of which we pick up from school and bring back to the church. So I'm going to be working Tues, Thurs, Sat, and occasionally Sundays. The schedule with the kids is pretty easy, they have snack time when they get there, then they do their homework and play for awhile, then it's reading time, and at they end they do arts and crafts. It's a pretty cool program and I really like the other two women I'm going to be mainly working with.

Repairs on the house are going really well, I finished staining the deck and we should be having the stone put up on the house while we're gone for Thanksgiving. And of course I'm going to be in Charleston for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So I've spent all day staining my parents deck. I haven't gotten very far, just the top part, and I've already gone through at least 7 gallons of stain. I get to try to finish it tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever I finish. I just know that I'm going to need more money to be able to buy more stain, because we only 3 gallons left and our neighbors said that they use at least 25 gallons, and his deck is much smaller than ours. So needless to say, I'm going to be staining for quite awhile.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I got to watch my first Clemson football game this season, and Hooray! We beat FSU 40-24. It was awesome! I even busted out my Clemson pants, since I can't find any of my Clemson shirts. Hooray for a Clemson win!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today was a very good day in the state of Oklahoma.

I managed to finally get my driver's license for only $25.50, not expecting that. I also got a job offer, for a job that I interviewed for at a local Presbyterian church. For that, I'd be working for 3 hours in their afterschool program tutoring and playing with local kids. I've also registered for an EMT course at Oklahoma City Community College to start in January. And I have my library card, which I got well before my driver's license. Even better, I have a girl's night out planned for this Friday! Hooray! I'm finally going to have people to hang out with.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I've made it through my 10 month internship and am in Oklahoma City with my parents for the time being. The last week in NH was lots of fun, filled with 3 days straight of cleaning everything in site including, the vans we used for 10 months, the lodge/office/bathrooms/kitchen, my summer cabin, my winter cabin, and the roofs of all of the winter cabins and summer cabins with new roofs. It was really sad to have to clean up everything and everywhere we'd lived for the last 10 months, but we made sure to make it so that the new people coming in in January would be happy with where they are now living. We even went on searches for pieces of wood to stock pile for them, like the people before us did. I do have to say that the best day ever was Commencement/my last night. Commencement was sad, of course, but we all got an NHCC '09 hat, a NH patch, and a letter that we'd written to ourselves at the very beginning of our internship. Then we had an awesome dinner, all the "other" people left, and the drinking began! The majority of us all stayed up until at 2am drinking, hanging out, and singing randomly together. It was amazing! And there are now pictures uploaded of at least my time at Umbagog, if not also my last night in NH.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've now officially completed all 4 of my hitches and only have a week left in New Hampshire, *tear*. But to update you on my last hitch. I was at Umbagog State Park in Errol, NH. It's really far north, and amazingly beautiful! When I get to OKC in just over a week I'll be posting lots of pictures, but I don't have time to do that now when I have so little time left here and very little time off during the day. The major highlights of this hitch:
*The Bull Moose Restaurant and Lounge, our local watering hole that was just under a mile walk from the campground that we were staying at. It was awesome!
*Abraham, Onyx, and Champ. The dogs of the guys who worked at the park and who were there whenever they're owners were there. It made laugh that much better
*Commuting to work sites on a pontoon boat, basically the best commute ever!
*Seeing moose!
*Seeing bald eagles!
*Red foxes!
*Fall colors on the lake
*Everybody getting together from all the crews for one big party down at White Lake State Park
*First snow of the year, and working in it
*Having to drive an hour in either direction to get any sort of cell phone reception
*Trumps, everywhere we went
*Heated cabins when it was really cold outside
So basically this hitch was awesome! And I would love to go back to that place, if I ever get the chance. Everybody was so nice and it was just so beautiful, and I was living on a lake for a month.

So now I'm in the middle of our rec trip, which is pretty fun so far. Today we hiked up a small mountain called Mt. Kearsarge and then went to a corn maze/ice cream place. That was pretty awesome. Tomorrow we're heading down to Lowell, MA to hang out for the day and Sat we're going to a rec center to play games inside.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monadnock and SPNHF

I have less than a week left in my hitch, and I'm enjoying my last day off, which is much deserved. We finally finished a bridge in McCabe forest for SPNHF out of natural lumber, so a rustic bog bridge. The only bad thing that happened, besides the bugs, was that both of chainsaws broke the day we were going to start canting the logs to flatten out the logs and actually make it into a bridge. Thus, we had to do all of the cuts that were 2 inches apart on 2 17' logs by hand, with a bow saw. Luckily, our site contact, came to visit us and bought us two more bow saws, which made things go a lot faster. We're really proud of that bridge, but it took forever and the bugs were horrible. Not having a chainsaw literally added on a day and a half of work. But it's done, and we got to get pizza afterward with the gift certificate our site contact gave us.

We also had yesterday off, and so I hiked up Mount Monandnock, the most hiked mountain in the country, and the second most hiked in the world. It was lots of fun, and I really enjoyed hiking the second half by myself to the very top. It was very peaceful. I took a ton of pictures, which will go up once I'm done with this hitch and not on a library computer. Tomorrow, we go back to work, and we'll be putting together another bridge for SPNHF that will probably only take us a day to do, and then they're going to find us more work to do. But in the meantime, on Saturday, we're going to go back Heald forest and work with Bart on clearing more blowdowns from the trail, which is always lots of fun. We worked with him last Saturday, and totally wore him out, because we're used to working all day, and he normally only works half days. We would be totally cool with only working a half day this Saturday, and then chilling out elsewhere for the rest of the day.

I'm really excited for my parents to be coming up to NH between my next two hitches, and especially beading with my mom on Wed and Thurs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I just got done with my first 8 straight days of my third hitch, and so far we've worked in two different sites, one in Concord and one in Wilton (Heald Forest). It's been tons of fun. We've built two bridges, did one trail reroute, and fixed another bridge. Some major hightlights of the past eight days:
*Temperature drops the first night in Heald
*Swimming in our underwear in the Connecticut River during our lunch break
*Jumping stones to get across the river while we were building the bridge in Heald
*My first backcountry camping experience, and all that entails
*Jim falling off the bridge and into the water, because we sat on the edge of boards that weren't nailed in
*Flying the stringers for the bridge, which were old telephone poles
*Watching a group of runners come through with 5 dogs, and watching the dogs try to decide whether to use the stones to cross of to just jump in the water
*Getting dumped on Saturday, and having to still cross the river with no bridge, when a lot of our rocks were underwater
*Working 8 days straight, and then getting 2 days off for all of our hard work.

I'm going to work on putting pictures up from the first week, so check them out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I'm now on my summer break for 9 days in Oklahoma City. It's a whole lot hotter here than it is in NH, but my parents house is awesome and the lake makes everything better. Some of the highlights from my month in Pawtuckaway are:
*Eating dinner in the van because the bugs were so bad
*Renegade, our friendly skunk walking through our campsite at random times of the night
*Finding out that you can't effectively paint when it's really humid
*Finding out we had the wrong color paint, and the new paint takes a solid 2+ coats to cover anything
*Dinner at the beach on the lake
*Running into the water when we knew it was getting ready to storm and then having to get out 2 minutes later when the lifeguard realized it was thundering
*Belting out random 90's songs with the radio very off key

After this hitch, I found out that I'm going to be co-leading one of the next hitches, which is really exciting. Especially since I just applied to lead in the high school program through SCA for the summer. For that position, I would lead with another person 6-8 high school students for about a month at a time. That would be pretty fun, I think, and I finally got everything done with my application. But now off to lunch with mom and Nicole then looking at floors for the house.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

All Corps

So I'm back from All Corps from Hawley, MA. It was really awesome and I had so much fun that I didn't sleep as much as I should have. But the highlights were:
*Contradancing for hours on end
*Jumping in the pond after contradancing
*Meeting lots of awesome people!
*Going to a peat bog
*Hiking to the top of Crawford Ledges and seeing two dogs up there and some climbers
*Swimming at the local "beach" and entertaining kids by jumping off the diving board
*$1 ice cream cones
*Dominating the talent show with our musical abilities
*Rocking the All Corps Challenge and bringing home the horns!
*Rocking the log walk during the challenge and being the only team not to fall off.
Basically, All Corps was awesome and we won, so that makes it even better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hitch 2

I'm currently in the middle of my second hitch at Pawtuckaway State Park where I'm painting buildings fun colors, like brown. Some of the highlights of the first week are:
*Getting free food from an AA event
*Getting free food from two different camp groups
*Running into the lake when we know it's thundering just to be made to get out 2 minutes later because the lifeguards realize it's thundering
*Finding out we have the wrong color paint for our main building
*Knowing the difference between Cabot Redwood and California Redwood paints
*Becoming a member of the Fugly Strokes
*Watching loons pop out of the water at random times
*Eating dinner in the van because it's too buggy to eat outside
And now I'm off to All Corps in Mass for 3 days, won't that be fun!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Americorps recognition day

I spent all of yesterday at Hampton Beach on the Seacoast of NH. It was amazing and full of speeches, free schwag, free food, the ocean, and sun. I came back with full belly, a new americorps mug, and a nice sunburn. I totally forgot all about putting on sunscreen the entire day. It was not good, and I'm paying for it now. But at least I had fun. I've also been working on applying for jobs after this SCA position. So far I've applied to High Trails near Big Bear, CA in the San Bernandino forest. I'm pretty psyched, and hopefully will be interviewing with them next month after my next hitch when I'll actually have constant cell phone and internet access. I'm pretty psyched right now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pictures from Saint Gaudens

I've posted some new pictures in a new photo album on Picasa. There's a link on the side of my blog, so everybody should check it out. There are pictures from where I was camping and the work I was doing in Cornish, NH. And now I'm off to enjoy my 4 days off.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

St. Gauden's National Park

I've finished my first week working in St. Gauden's National Park and it's been lots of fun. We're camping out in the Blow me down Mill house (I think that's what they said it's called) and it's absolutely gorgeous. Our view is off a large green lawn, the Connecticut River, Mt. Ascutney, and a bald eagle that likes to perch on a dead snag right on the river. It's absolutely amazing! We don't have access to the big house, but we do store our food in the pool house that's right next to us. The only thing that sucks is that our tents in full sunlight and we roast in the them. We have to keep our rainflies on, because it rains at least a little bit each night, but not enough to really cool us off. The highlights of this week have been:
*Cutting down a large hemlock (~26 DBH) after it got hung up in other trees (it took us 3-4 hours total to get it down.
*Watching one of the logs we had cut roll down the hill towards all of our belongings and tools (it didn't hit them, a downed log stopped it)
*Running three large and heavy logs down a high line to stop #1 slowly, but safely.
*Showing up at an SCA building opening ceremony and not knowing ahead of time if we were going to be welcome, and then walking away from it with 2 giant containers filled with meat that we couldn't possibly eat.
*Getting invited to a dinner party at the house of a lady who works in the park.
*Adventuring with Kacie to find access to Connecticut River and in the process rescuing a crayfish, discovering and feeling stinging nettle, walking through a cornfield, and walking up a hill and attempting to avoid the patches of poison ivey
Luckily, I have not gotten a rash from poison ivey yet, but I still have 3 more weeks here and it is all over where we're camping and working. It's pretty crazy.
I've taken lots of pictures up here so far, both of us working and where we're living, so those will go up when I get back from this hitch. I'm currently in the Lebanon, NH public library using their internet on my day off.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Second Clean up hitch

We're about halfway through this hitch now, and it's been lots of fun so far. I've participated in 1 volunteer event and helped to organize another one so far. The first one was in the White Mountains, which a group of high school seniors, who wanted to do a service project with SCA during their senior week. That was lots of fun. We cleaned up campsites by picking up any trash we found, cleaning out the fire rings, and "downsizing" all fire rings to a manageable size for backcountry camping. It rained the entire time we were there, and of course none of us thought to bring an extra pair of clothing with us to change into when our clothing still got a little wet, even though we were wearing rain gear. The next event was one that our group planned entirely. We had about 25 City Year interns come out and help to clean up various trails in Bear Brook State Park. That was lots of fun, because in order to plan the event, we had to hike all of the trails in the park, so we knew what needed to be done and where. It was pretty sweet, although it also rained for the majority of the day. One of the best parts during that event, was when we were eating lunch at Smith Pond Shelter, and we watched the sun breakthrough the clouds over the lake. It was pretty awesome. For the beginning of this week, we've worked on various projects around camp like creating new raised garden beds and planting our whole garden with over 100 plants that a local farm gave us in exchange for us doing manual labor for them on random weekends. We've also worked on organizing and inventoring parts of the toolshed for hitches that are coming up and sharpening tools that are in the toolshed. I'm pretty sure that that's all that I've done recently, but it's been alot, and really tiring. Tomorrow we're going to go back over to the school I taught at and doing a workday outside with our students putting in and reviving the butterfly garden. That should be really fun, and it'll be awesome to have it over with finally. Then we have the Great Parks Pursuit on Sat that we're volunteering at and then we get Sun and Mon off, which will be amazing!!!! I also got a new sleeping bag, it's a wiggy bag, and it's awesome!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alot has happened since the last time I posted. I cut my hair really short, kept it that way for a week, then shaved it all off for St. Baldrick's. I've also been out camping for the past two weeks. The first week, we were camping at Charlestowne, NH where SCA headquarters in located. Then this past week we camped in Greenfield State Park in NH and worked on cleaning up campsites from the ice storm in December, before all of the campers arrived Friday. We were still working on cleaning up campsites when campers started arriving Friday morning, but we managed to get all 252 sites cleaned up enough for people to camp on them. It was pretty impressive. I spent 12+ hours raking trying to clean up the campsites, and to have them up to the fire codes (clear out 8ft from all fire rings in all the sites). It was lots of fun, and I loved camping with no hair, because it makes your mornings go so much faster. Plus, people can't tell whether or not you've showered recently, so I looked cleaner than most people, even though I didn't shower until the morning after we got back. For our next hitch, I'm going to located at Bear Brook, so I get to stay in my own cabin for the majority of the time, unless they're working on the roof of my cabin, which I hope will happen.

I'm attempting to upload more pictures to facebook from the past month, but it's going very slowly. I might go to the library tomorrow to upload a bunch of pictures, but we'll just have to see how I'm feeling. I currently have about 10 pictures up, but working on more.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So one of our LNT instructors is really sick, so our trip was canceled. We're still going to go hiking and camp overnight, but we won't be able to get the certification for awhile, if ever. And we didn't go to the Whites to do everything like we were going to do. Instead, we're just going to go camp on Smith Pond, which isn't very far from where we currently live. At least we're going hiking and camping though, I guess. I'm also going to be camping on Smith Pond this weekend with Hannah and Bear, because Bear wants to test out his primitive survival kit, but wants a back up incase something happens.

This Friday, I'm going to teaching at a beading party at my teacher's house. It should be lots of fun, and I'm glad that I now have somebody to bead with up here. Now, I'm just trying to kill time until 10 when we're going to helping out the interpreters with their nature hike they're going to do with the kids that are coming tomorrow.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My conservation season training began last Wednesday with grip hoist/rigging training. By the end of the three days, we had created an aerial system that transported rocks from the top of a hill to the bottom, by lifting them up and then belaying the rocks down. It was pretty cool. I also learned how to climb a tree just using slings that I put up myself and an arborist's ladder with a rope you flip up the tree to keep you from falling. Today, I've been learning about the basics of chainsaw maintenance and preparing for my leave no trace backpacking trip tomorrow. We're driving up into the white mountains then meeting our trainers and backpacking in about 2-3 miles while learning about the leave no trace principles. After Wed, I'll be a certified leave no trace trainer. Which means that I will be able to teach other people about the leave no trace principles.

Just a reminder, I'll be shaving my head May 15th for St. Baldricks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

After having a very rough week lesson planning and what not, I'm really looking forward to spring break and not having to think about working for awhile. Even though we replanned our lesson at about 10 last night when we were teaching at 7:45 this morning, the lesson went well, I think. One of my group members feels the lesson went horribly and is in an awful mood. But whatever, we only have one more lesson and then it's Earth Day and then spring break in SC!!!!! I'm super psyched about that. Tomorrow at school, I'm going to go down to the teacher's lounge and make a copy of our teaching portfolio so that I can have one for myself. My boss said that it would be handy for me to have, not only as a reference, but also for if/when I start teaching. I'm pretty psyched. I feel like we did a lot of good lessons, and that it's a lot of good material. I'm going to try to take pictures of my cabin this weekend and post them on facebook, but I'm hiking to find a lost shelter Sat, so I don't know how much free time I'll have.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I slept in my summer cabin for the first time last night, and it was awesome! It got down to at least 32 last night, but I was pretty warm wrapped up in my sleeping bag and blankets. I'm stoked about it all now. It's really nice to only have one other person in the cabin with you, so that you don't get woken up constantly by other people coming and going.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Summer Cabins

I have now moved out of my winter cabin, and into a summer cabin with Hannah. It's a pretty awesome cabin. There was a decent sized hole in the edge of the roof, but we fixed it with some plastic to keep most water out. There's also no wood stove in it, so we'll be chilling in there, literally, during all the nights to come. It's going to be pretty awesome. Tonight's our first night sleeping in it, and it's going to be amazing, if just a little bit chilly.

Thanks to everyone who has donated to St. Baldrick's. I'm half way to my goal, but not quite there. Our group goal is $1,000 for 7 people.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

St. Baldricks

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be shaving my head in order to raise money for childhood cancer research. For anyone who is interested, you can either go to http://www.stbaldricks.org/ and search for me by name or you can click on this link: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/shavee_info.php?ParticipantKey=2009-349004.

Other than getting everything together to shave my head in May, I am also getting close to finishing my 9 weeks of teaching in the school and will be going on Spring Break shortly, end of April. I'm looking forward to the break and ready to start doing conservation season work.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This past week was my first full week back teaching after going through WFR. It was pretty tough. The beginning of the week was decently slow and laid back, like it normally is, but the end of the week got pretty crazy. Thursday we had to teach starting at 7:45, so I got up at 5:30, like normal. But we ended up leaving a little later than we planned, and so we were really rushed once we were at school to get everything done we needed to before class. And we didn't totally get everything done, but we made do and changed around what we were going to be doing slightly to make everything work. Afterschool, we forgot that the van schedule had changed, so we went to drop off our van at Beech St school for another group, and then we were going to walk to Salvation Army. But when I looked at my phone, I had a bunch of missed calls from camp. Apparently we weren't scheduled to go to Salvation Army on Thursdays anymore. But since we thought that, we were still in town and could pick up the group that was cooking that night and didn't have a ride home. The reason they didn't have a ride home, was because that morning one of the vans slid into the gate to get out of the park and so was out of commission is didn't come into town that day. It wasn't that bad of an accident. The van was going about 5mph, and was trying to stop on ice, which wasn't happening. Also because of the accident, some of the teaching teams had to make up lessons from Thursday on Friday. So we had to leave early again on Friday, and I had to get up at 5:30 yet again. Normally I get to sleep in until at least 6, if not a little later on Fridays. But everything went well on Friday, and my team came home to cook dinner, which was awesome! Then I went to bed at 10 because I was so tired.

FYI to those who I haven't told yet: I'm participating in a fundraising event for St. Baldricks Foundation, a group that raises money for kids with cancer, and I'm going to shave my head right before conservation season. So anybody who donates money to this will get a picture of me with no hair, and those who don't, won't.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

WFR, cooking, and other stuff

I haven't posted in awhile, but that's because I've been really busy going through Wilderness First Responder training. That was an intense class that lasted for 9 days. It was crazy and so much fun! I learned how to do many things, like how to make a splint with some branches, a triangle bandage, and an ACE wrap. It was awesome! It makes me want to take more courses like that. After that was finished we had a day of camp projects, and then my team had to teach on Thurs to make up for a snow day that we had like two weeks ago. It was pretty intense. But then we got a three day weekend, which is what I'm currently enjoying. I was supposed to go camping in the White Mountains for the three day weekend with another girl, but she fell and hurt her butt and can't carry a pack. So of course we couldn't go. But it would have been awesome to get to just hike in and be able to camp wherever we wanted to since everything is basically closed down for the winter. But we're going to go winter/snow camping later on, we've already decided. Other than that, the only thing I've really been doing is learning some new recipes. Today I learned how to cook stewed tomatoes, and then used it as a sauce to make a pizza. It was really yummy, especially for my first attempt at cooking. The stewed tomatoes are really simple to make, they just have to cook for a long time.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Teaching, farm, fun games

This week our lesson had to focus on how we used water everyday, but in an abstract way. So not just looking at drinking water or using for cleaning. My team decided to make a game for our students to play. The game was called the Flow, and it had different types of water uses incorporated into it. The uses ranged from the everyday, like showering, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, to more complex ideas, like the amount of water that is used to make the food you eat, the clothing you wear, and different things you can buy. I was totally sure on how the students would like it, but they all really liked it. I was told in my last class that it was wicked awesome. It also got them thinking about how water is used, and how it's being polluted in different ways. I got a lot of good questions, especially when I would tell them that you use 22 gallons of water for every 5 minutes you take a shower. Some of the classes couldn't decide whether you were winning the game if you had the most water or the least. I told them that everybody won with this game, and that nobody lost. Of course, they still gave each other crap if they chose an option that used a lot of water. They also really enjoyed getting to measure the water into their jars as they went around the board. We were also told today that we were the best SCA group that Mrs. Signor had had in her class. They said that the entire time we were in the class we had the attention of all the students, and there were a lot less behavior problems when we were there than at other times. That makes me feel really good, because I feel like our lessons aren't even top notch, and that there's a lot more that we can be doing with the students.

Last weekend, I went to the Nelson farm with a large group of people from Bear Brook. It was really fun, because we're trying to set up a relationship with this farm where we donate our time to helping them with everything they need help with, and they supply us with some fresh vegetables when they can. We already got some cress from the farm from last weekend, which we used to cook with all this week. The owner of the farm, Shawn, needed the bed of cress pulled up, and told us that we could keep any of it that we wanted, and we took two giant bags full home with us. It was really awesome! I can't wait to go back again, but I'm not sure when that'll be. I'm thinking of going back Saturday, but I had a really tough week, and we start Wilderness First Responder Monday morning, and we don't get another break for 2 weeks when we get a 3 day weekend. It's going to be intense, but I'm so excited about it.

Yesterday, nobody went into schools even though the schools were open because we had a Bear Brook State Park snow day. The night before, one of the vans got stuck on a hill in the park, and so no vehicles could get out until the van was moved. After picking up the people from the van, they determined that it was going to be pretty tough to get the van moved, so that night they called a snow day for the next day. That was really nice because it gave my team more time to work on our game/lesson, as well as giving everybody a chance to sleep in and relax in the middle of the week. We had a giant snowball fight in the morning where I got pummeled with snow/ice balls. It was lots of fun, but I'm definitely completely bruised from all of the snowballs hitting me at crazy speeds.

Currently, I'm killing time in the Manchester Public Library between school and teen night tonight, which doesn't start until 6:30. My team and I are going to go get some food before teen night, since we won't be getting home until 11/11:30 tonight. It's going to be a crazy long day. Luckily there was a 90 minute delay today, so we didn't leave camp until 7:30 and not at 6:15, like we originally planned. Although, this did mean that we had shorter classes today at school, but we got to have a hot breakfast and didn't have to rush to get out the door like we would have needed to.

I have posted new pictures to facebook.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Week Teaching

I have just survived my first week teaching 8th grade science. It wasn't too bad. The students seemed to really like the game that we played and everybody seemed to be able to relate to at least one fact about each of us that we talked about. In fact, there's one student in my class who recently moved to NH from Charleston, which is really crazy. So that everybody knows, I figure that I'll go ahead and post my schedule for the weeks that I'm teaching:
Mon - in camp all day basically, doing camp stuff like cleaning and meetings
Tues - full day of planning, basically a free day
Wed - Salvation Army 3-7 (tutoring and Kids Cafe)
Thurs - Teach 7:45-12:50, then Kids Cafe at Salvation Army every other week from 3-7
Fri - Teach 8:30-2:00, then Teen Night at Salvation Army every other week from 6:30-10:30
The times when I'm in town, but not teaching or working at Salvation Army, I'll have phone reception and will more than likely have my phone on.

This past week, my group went to Teen Night on Friday instead of Kids Cafe on Thurs. It was really fun, because some of my students were there, and I schooled all of them in Guitar Hero (a video game for those of you who don't know). They're all really excited that I won't be coming back for another 2 weeks, because they claim they're going to practice and then beat me when I come back. But we'll just have to see how it goes.

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous! I went on a hike yesterday with Stephanie and Youn. It was so pretty! We climbed trees, and fell into snow that went up to our hips. But we didn't see any wildlife, though there were a fair number of tracks, especially deer tracks. I can't wait until it's warm enough that I get to see wildlife. One of the guys saw a moose recently while he was driving through the park, and I really want to see one too. In fact, when Youn and I were driving back from doing our laundry yesterday, we drove really slow and looked around for a moose the entire time. But to no avail.

I'm really psyched about my second week of teaching, because we're going to be doing a lot of small group discussions, and we get a short day on Friday, since it's an early release day. Which is really going to help my teaching team out, because we're cooking for the entire camp Friday night, which is also our Friday the 13th party. We're trying to think of different things to cook, but haven't really come up with anything yet, and we need to get cracking on it. Speaking of food, I've been cooking some really good food recently that I thought I'd share. Sweet potato burritos are really good. The way that we cooked them, was to cut up sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions, then cook all of them together in a skillet (of course cook the potatoes first since they take longer). Then put all of them together in a burrito with some cheese, tomatoes, and whatever else you may want on there. I also made this really awesome dish called something like Papas Mohatas. That is just layering Cornbread, then black beans, mashed potatoes, and topping it with shredded cheese. It's really good.

I hope that everybody is having a good time in their various places, beause I know that I am and want everybody to have a good time when I am too.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


So, it has been determined that I have superficial frostbite on two of my fingers. I was kinda retarded on Monday when it was really cold, and was helping to back someone up in one of the vans with no gloves on. So my hands got really cold, and then I helped to pick up one of the seats that go in the vans while my hands were still really cold and still wasn't wearing any gloves. So, the two fingers that touched the metal on the seat that had been sitting outside for awhile, have minor frostbite or cold burns. I talked to Mike about it, and he said that cold burns are just minor or superficial frostbite that will heal. So two of my fingers look like they've been burned, which they have, and hurt pretty bad when I try to pick things up with them or any kind of pressure is put on them. Luckily, this is my only injury up here minus some bruises from playing soccer and other fun physical activities.

Tues I went to meet my teachers and go through training at Salvation Army. It was really nice to be able to meet our teachers, even though it was kind of jumbled and there was some miscommunication at some point along the way. So we only got to really talk to one of the teachers, but we did get to sit through both teachers classes. After that, we went over to the Salvation Army to go through our training and then to actually volunteer after the training. Between the training and when tutoring began, we played a big game of soccer with just the SCA people who were there. That was lots of fun, and really nice to actually do some physical activity. Then we went to do tutoring, only to find out that there were about twice as many tutors as students. So, we ended up just messing around and playing more games until set-up for Kids Cafe started. Kids Cafe was awesome! I sat at a table with eight kids and another SCA member. They talked about a lot of different things, and weren't afraid to talk to us about whatever was on their minds, or to ask us questions about ourselves. I'm really excited to go back there next week, or possibly tomorrow for teen night.

Yesterday, we had a snow storm, and classes were cancelled. So everybody spent the day at camp planning and getting ready for teaching next week. My group has managed to finish everything we need to have to teach our first lesson, and to plan our second lesson. I'm really proud of us, and the work that we do. I'm really excited to get to teach next week. I can't wait!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Pictures

There are now three new albums posted on facebook, so check it out. There are snowboarding and snowshoeing pictures up. It's pretty awesome!


I'm trying to load pictures on facebook at the moment, but it's taking a really long time, and because of bandwidth restrictions, I can't upload pictures at camp. So I'm currently sitting at Pizzareia Uno trying to upload my pictures while trying to not look like an entire mooch, and eating a cup of clam chowder. I currently have 10 more pictures up, and I'm going to try upload as many as I can before I have to go.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Afterschool program

Today we found out that my teaching team is going to be teaching on Thurs and Fridays. We also found out that we're going to be doing the Salvation Army afterschool program. For that we will be doing tutoring, leading a club, and helping with kids cafe every Wed and every other Thurs. Then every other Friday, we will be helping with Teen night. I'm sure that tutoring and leading a club are pretty self explanatory, but I'll explain more about kids cafe and teen night. Kids cafe is a safe place for youth to have dinner and spend early evenings with trusted adults (I am considered an adult in this situation). For this, we have dinner family style, were an adult sits at either end of the table, and then there are about 6 youth eating at the table with us. We're supposed to set a good example for them, and just talk to them and get to know them. I'm pretty excited about that. Then Friday night is teen night, where the Salvation Army hosts a safe place for teens to hang out at night. There they are able to hang out and have fun with friends while not getting into trouble. Some weeks they have a dance, other nights they do other fun things that I haven't been told about. We're going to be learning more about this next week when we go through the training for it. My group and I have finished finializing out syllabus for the nine weeks we'll be teaching. I'm really proud of this, since none of us had ever done this before. It also gave us the freedom to change things within the syllabus if we wanted to, but we didn't really. Just created goals and objectives for each lesson.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

MLK day and my birthday!

Monday was my birthday, and it was a pretty good day. We went to Portsmouth, NH (on the coast) to participate in a day of service. At breakfast, Bre gave me a card that she had made for me for my birthday, it was really cool, and she was the first person to say happy birthday to me. The morning we spent listening to speeches and then going on a march through the town of Portsmouth. It was pretty fun. In the afternoon, we went out to the seacoast and did a beach cleanup of a 1/3 of a mile stretch of the beach. We didn't find very much, but we did have a very interesting activity that happened later. Four of the guys I live with decided that they were going to get into the water. So, they stripped down to their boxers and ran into the water, then ran right back out. It was pretty hillarious. Especially since we had some other volunteers with us who didn't know that this was going to happen. Everybody tried to get me to go in too, but I didn't particularly want to have to ride back with wet underwear for the hour and a half drive back to Bear Brook. Some of the girls are talking about taking a trip back there this coming weekend and doing it. But being more prepared than the guys were. I might go with them if they do. After we got back from Portsmouth, we had spaghetti for dinner, and the dirt cake for dessert. Everybody loved the dirt cake. It was awesome! Then, I got a present from the majority of the group, which was a hemp necklace with a purple shell on it that they had found on the beach that day. It's really pretty. I'm also getting a neckie at some point from Phil, but production of those has slown down (neckies are balaklavas, or something like that).

Tuesday, I drove in the snow for the first time ever. We had to move cars so that the spots could be plowed since it snowed this weekend. And Robin was helping Sue in the kitchen making bread and dinner and whatnot, so she gave me her keys and asked me to move her car for her. I did it, and only got stuck in the snow once, but Bear pushed me out of the snow. It was pretty cool. I also fixed a tear in my pants yesterday by sewing up the hole using fireline, and then putting an iron-on patch on the back, using my woodstove as the "iron". Although, I have now managed to tear those pants again, and will be patching them again tonight.

I have now found out my teaching team and what grade I'm going to be teaching. I'm really excited, because I'm going to be teaching 8th grade with two really awesome guys. We're the only 8th grade teaching team, so it's going to be harder for us, but we're all really excited. Now we're just trying to come up with a service-learning project to do with the students. But first, we have to know our curriculum, which we're going to finding out tonight, since we're going over it with Marlee.

Everything is going really great up here! Lots of snow, and lots of playing in the snow. I particularly enjoyed playing line-tag on the lake today. That was lots of fun. Pictures are going to slow going up because of the way our internet works here, but I'm going to do my best since I have lots of cool pictures.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The first major test of Herald

Last night the temperature got down to -21, and Herald worked beautifully. Of course, that was because we finally actually had people getting up during the night to make sure the fire kept going. So our cabin was about 50 this morning, which was kinda cold, but pretty freaking nice. It also helped that the comforter that my mom got for me came yesterday, so I was nice and toasty in bed.

Today, we went to the Massabesic Audobon center to learn about how to use Project Wet and Wild. It was really informative and I had a lot of fun. And I'm crazy glad that it's the weekend. I definitely need a break and more sleep. Mainly more sleep I think. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be going to Portsmouth to hang out and then Sun I'm going going to Andrews farm to do laundry and go sledding. I'm pretty excited!

It's off to watch V for Vendetta by the fire while it's 8 outside.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sledding and other adventures

This weekend, I got to go sledding, and it was so much fun! We got about a half a foot of snow so that we have about a foot and a half of snow on the ground now. A group of us got together and walked up to the water tower behind our lodge and went sledding for a couple hours. Lots of pictures were taken, and lots of fun things happened. One of the best things that we did, was to attempt to snowboard using one of those orange plastic sleds. Nobody was too successful, but everytime I fell, I managed to fall into the sled and I kept on going down the hill. It was sooo much fun! Afterwards, a group of us made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, basically from scratch. It was so good.

This week we started education season training. This is making me even more excited to start teaching. I really can't wait, and I can't wait to find out what grade I'm going to be teaching. In about 2 1/2 weeks I'll be in the classroom teaching.

Monday, we did our first community meeting and REAM. REAM is our extreme clean, where every cabin cleans a certain section of the commons area. The different sections that get cleaned are the office, kitchen, dinning hall, and bathrooms. My cabin had the bathrooms, which is apparently the easiest to clean, and so we were finished well before the other cabins were and got to move Herald into our cabin. As we walked him over to our cabin, we sang different songs to honor his moving into our cabin. He definitely kept us warm at night, but we found out that when first lighting him, the fire alarm is going to go off because of all the smoke he releases. He also doesn't last the entire night, but we're warm for most of the night, and then the cold just kinda helps us get up and going faster, I feel like.

Tomorrow we're going to go to the Manchester public library, where we're all being issued library cards for the time that we're here. I've also found a couple of other people who are interested in Antioch, and I think we're going to have a mini roadtrip over there to check it out together.

Anybody whose address I don't have, feel free to send it to me and I'll try to send you a postcard at some point. At the moment I have a lot of cards and am trying to send them out to people, but I only have like 5 people's addresses. I don't even have my dad's, that I know of. So please e-mail or something your addresses to me. My e-mail address is stephd.19@gmail.com

Monday, January 12, 2009

Facebook Pictures

Here's a link to my facebook album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2228922&l=658bb&id=12702255

I'll post the links to the albums as I make more.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Here are some select pictures that I've taken over the last week. There are more pictures posted on facebook, or will be soon. I have a really slow internet connection here.

This is the cabin that I live in.

This is the entire group of people that I'm living with

This is a group of us at the bonfire from last night. The girl standing on the log (next to me) is Christina, and Hannah is standing next to me.

That's all the pictures that I'm going to post right now, but definitely check out facebook for more pictures.

Harald, bonfire, stuff

A lot has been going on up here in New Hampshire.

I've been working on a wood stove to replace the one that doesn't work so well in my cabin at the moment. The stove that's currently in my cabin is too small to be able to fill with enough wood to last the night and to heat our largeish cabin. Someone always has to get up multiple times during the night to refill it just for us to have hot coals in the morning. The stove that we're working on is named Harald, because that's what it says on the front of the stove. I've worked on sanding it down, fastening the top down, and sawing metal pieces to put in the bottom so that we have an area under the fire to feed the entire fire with oxygen. It's been lots of fun.

Last night we had a bonfire beside the frozen lake, and it was awesome! A lot of the people here play instruments, so we had music going almost the entire time. In fact, we have lots of music going the majority of our free time. It's really awesome! Last night was so much fun. It was fairly cold out, and by fairly cold, I mean it was really cold, but we were dancing around and had a big fire going, so everything was really nice.

Everybody here is really nice. I really like Bre, we kinda started bonding on the bus ride back from airport, and now we live in the same cabin so we hang out alot. In fact, a group of girls are going shopping in Concord today to get some necessities. Thank you Nanny and Owen for the Dr. Bonner's soap, it's amazing! I was my long underwear in the shower with me whenever I shower (which is something like every 2-4 days). Since I have 2 pairs of long underwear, I wash one pair in the shower with, let it dry, and wear the other pair until I shower again. It's a really good system, and allows me to go longer without having to do laundry. I'm thinking of starting to do that with my socks too soon. My outer clothing gets a little dirty, but not really smelly, so I don't feel like I need to wash it as often as the clothing that's against my skin. Everybody here has basically decided that all of us smell, and we all wear the same clothing over and over again until it's really nasty, so it doesn't matter to us anymore.

I've gotten an invite to go on a weekend trip to Maine one weekend to visit some of Bre's friends and to just get to see Maine. I want to go to Vermont and visit the family that's living there, but I don't remember their names or have any of their contact info. It would be lovely if somebody, like my dad, would provide me with this information.

Not a whole lot else is going on, just the normal with orientation and winterizing people's homes yesterday. I promise I'll post pictures soon. Possibly tonight since I need to charge my camera.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Went on a three hour hike through the snow and woods today. Am completely exhausted and my pants are completely soaked. Waiters would be a wonderful thing right now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Days

I am now in Allenstown, NH. I flew in on Sunday afternoon, with both of my planes being delayed so that I had no layover whatsoever in ATL and I had to run to catch my second flight. But, I did meet Stephanie in the ATL airport before my flight. That was really nice, because then we met up once we landed and got our luggage together and were completely lost together. It was really nice.

I'm living in a cabin with 7 other girls, and it has electricity. Which basically means that we get lamps in our cabin, but still have to keep up with a woodstove. Unfortunately, the woodstove that we currently have in our cabin is really small, so we can't load it with enough wood to keep our cabin hot all night. But that means, that I have gotten to work on repairing another woodstove that's a lot bigger. We basically finished the woodstove tonight, but we still need to find some more metal pieces to put along the bottom as a type of grate thing so that we can provide air to the fire in a better way, as well as protecting to bottom of the stove from warping anymore that it currently has.

I really like everyone so far and I can pretty much remember everyone's names. There are 14 girls and 12 guys living here right along with 2 male and 2 female staff members.

This week is just orientation week, so we've been learning about how everything in camp works and what we're going to be doing. Today I learned assisted with removing the debris from a tree that fell on our field during the ice storm. And then I collected all of the small pieces of wood that were chopped from this tree and wheeled them up to my cabin so that my cabin can stay warm until we get the bigger woodstove. It's about a 5ish minute walk to the main cabin from my cabin, which isn't too bad. But it's mainly uphill. And learned today that it is really hard to wheel a wheelbarrow full of wood uphill. Especially when you don't have gloves on. At one point, I just abandoned the wheelbarrow in the middle of the road and walked to my cabin to get some gloves.

I'm going to take pictures this weekend of where I'm living, and I'll try to post them as soon as I can. It's like living in a winter wonderland here. Everything is covered in snow, there are no lights really, so you can look up and see the stars, when you can find an opening between all the trees that are around us. It's really pretty. I do get cell phone reception up here, and try to turn my phone on at night, although sometimes I forget. The one thing that I really want up here though, is one of those hats with the ear flaps or a hat that I can tie onto my head so that it doesn't fall off during the night like my current one is. Other than that, everything is going really well here. And it's getting close to my bed time (which is like 9 since I get up at 6:40 everymorning) so I'm going to go to bed. I'll try to post again soon.