Favorite Volunteer Memories of 2021
As 2021 comes to a close, we asked volunteers to share some of their best moments on trail with us. From learning new skills and self-reliance to rejoining the volunteer community, we're thrilled to hear what you remember from this year on trail.
As 2021 comes to a close, we asked our trail maintenance volunteers to share some of their best moments on trail. From learning new skills to connecting with the volunteer community, we loved hearing about what you enjoyed on trail with us this year.
Learning New Skills and Accomplishing Something big
This year, thanks to everyone's efforts toward public health and safety, we were able to increase our work party capacity. This meant we welcomed more people to our work parties, and our crew leaders and assistant crew leaders could share their knowledge with even more new volunteers. Volunteering taught you new skills and helped you try out new experiences this year, like camping out for the first time.
"As a new volunteer, I have a lot to learn. Fellow volunteers and crew leaders taught me so much (how and why to use tools + techniques)." — Jessica R.
"[My favorite memory is] doing my first dispersed camping by myself, then going to the work party the next morning." —Chizuko H.
Dane Schmick and his dad spent Father's Day volunteering so they could learn a bit about what goes into trail maintenance. You can check out this video Dane made to memorialize the experience!
Meeting new people
Every year, volunteers note that the people you meet on trail are a huge part of what makes volunteering great. 2021 was no different. Photos from this year's work parties are full of smiling faces and plenty of you said the crews you worked with made the trip special. Whether you were finding a community of people you click with or simply getting to spend time with new people after an extended time solo, we're thrilled to provide that opportunity.
"[My favorite volunteer memory is] our first LBGTQ Volunteer Vacation." Lucie J.
"After so much time alone indoors, it has been soul-filling to go out on work parties with the best people." — Ashley V.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
Of course, getting to spend a day (or 8) rolling around in the dirt is a major reason y'all like volunteering. The feeling of accomplishment at the end of a day of trail work is hard to beat, and this year trail maintenance crews accomplished a LOT. From completely removing a bridge so a new one could be installed, to singlehandedly wrestling a pesky root out of the trail bed, you put in a ton of sweat equity this year, and had a good time doing it.
"We completely ripped out a bridge at Deception Pass State Park in preparation for a new one to be installed." —Linda R.
"Particularly proud of this root I fought on frog mountain." —George P.
Hikers appreciate your work, too. And so do other volunteers and crew leaders!
"Every time I hop on rocks across a stream, I pause to appreciate the volunteers who keep our trails in good shape." —Jenny L.
"It was perfect. Great crew, great project." —Crew Leader Todd D.
Want more? We put together a compilation video and a slideshow to showcase just a few of the thousands of memories you made on trail this year.