Jessica Boettner – Fall 2015 Post Reflection (Summerville)

I loved my time at James Floyd State Park in Georgia. Trail maintenance was a blast, and it felt as if the other volunteers and I were a family. I have volunteered with the Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement before doing gardening work, and I feel the knowledge gained from that helped me on the trip. I am in the Presidents Emerging Leaders Program which has taught me about what it means to be a leader and a follower. In the program, we have a lot of group projects and team building. Without this group practice, I do not believe I would have been as good of a worker. This is important for a strenuous trip because when people become tired they become irritable. Staying positive and happy is crucial, and my APSU experience helped me achieve this.

This trip has changed the way I look at trails. I do not think I will ever see a low limp on a trail and not think about how I should cut it out of people’s way. I was shown what hard work is involved in trail maintenance and how much I love cleaning up trails. It adds a new level to hiking, and I will continue doing trail maintenance volunteering. Also, singing makes everything all the more fun. While doing trail work, we would come up with lyrics that matched rap music. For example, “Lop, chop, and drop it.”

I really needed this trip; this semester has been stressful. The mix of relaxation and stress-releiving physical activity was perfect.

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