Help Rebuild Reefs in the Gulf

Always wanted to do something to help after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but didn’t know what to do? Well now is your chance!

More than six months after the oil spill called attention to the Gulf, The Nature Conservancy (our immediate past president, Ed Pease, serves on their board too) continues to expand and accelerate their ongoing restoration efforts there. Building on the oyster reef restoration begun last year, the Conservancy is working with partners in Alabama to kick off the 100/1000 Restore Coastal Alabama project. This living shoreline project will create reefs that will protect 100 miles of shoreline and create 1,000 acres of marsh.

On January 22-23, 2011, the Conservancy will be laying the first ¼ mile of new oyster reef just north of Helen Wood Park in Mobile Bay, an Alabama state-owned, city-managed park. This is the Conservancy’s first large-scale restoration project in the Gulf since the spill and they and their partners need as many as 2,000 volunteers to get the job done. Participants will stand shoulder to shoulder to move 23,000 bags of oyster shells weighing approximately 10 lbs. each from pallets on the land to create the living shoreline. This labor intensive work will allow volunteers to get their hands dirty on a restoration project and experience first-hand the power of communities working together to restore Mobile Bay and beyond in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Conservancy’s would love to have as many volunteers as possible, but please note that volunteers will be responsible for their own expenses. Because of the nature of the work, volunteers must be at least 14 years old.

More information here:

Photo courtesy and © Beth Maynor Young

2009 Philbreak Application

This March you will have the opportunity to spend part of your Spring Break in the backcountry of Philmont Scout Ranch. Philbreak gives you the chance to meet Scouters and Venturers from around the country and learn all about the various staff positions that would leave you with an entire summer’s worth of Philmont memories.

If you are a registered Scouter between the ages of 18 but not yet 26, is there a better place to spend your Spring Break than Cimarron, New Mexico?

Two sessions will be offered in 2009, running from dinner Monday to breakfast Friday:

  • March 9-13
  • March 16-20

The cost is $100.00 and includes all on-site meals and accommodations. Participants are required to be registered with the BSA in their local council and be between the ages of 18 and 26. Arriving PhilBreakers can catch a shuttle from Albuquerque to Philmont on either that Friday or Saturday. More details in the application.

At Philbreak, you will work alongside other talented Scouters who are making positive changes for the future. Your goal will be to do meaningful service projects for the Ranch and build your understanding of conservation and the outdoors. By taking advantage of the facilities at the Philmont Training Center for sleeping accommodations, you can focus our efforts on service, building leadership skills, and gaining invaluable forestry and conservation knowledge.

When you arrive at the Ranch, you will be greeted by a highly trained staff and immediately immersed in the spirit and program that Philmont has prepared. By day you will give service, by night you will enjoy fellowship with other participants and deepen your understanding of our surroundings. When you leave, you will be tired but fulfilled by this unforgettable week-long adventure.

Come to Philbreak when Philmont’s peaks are still snow-capped and witness the Ranch like it can’t be seen during a summer trek. This opportunity is limited to small number of participants you need to apply as soon as possible.

2009 Philbreak Application

Camp Tiak Service Project

Recently several Members took a trip to Mississippi to help clean up a Scout Camp following Hurricane Katrina. Below is an excerpt from a story by Diana Kampa you will see in an upcoming issue of the High Country (I think) and some pictures:

I was lucky to be one of nine current staff members who drove from the Ranch to meet the other eleven in the work crew, who hail from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and the Washington, D.C. area. An astonishing 15 of those 20 people were a part of the 2005 Summer Staff. The two-day drive from New Mexico was long and slightly cramped, due in part to the 6 chainsaws and other assorted pieces of equipment we piled into our rented 15-passenger van. In spite of space constraints and bumpy southern highways, we arrived at Camp Tiak in high spirits, eager to begin the difficult work of clearing away hundreds of trees around the roads and waterfront.