November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 2:42 pm

Group-In-CheerI have come to realize that outside of my family, I have never truly been on a team until now.  The Forest Service way is very team oriented and full of structure that supports a group philosophy.  This is a good thing and a lesson that I have been reflecting on daily.  The structure of the agency is efficient and directed, yet I am amazed how the staff works with tremendous kindness and encouragement towards one another.  In my family we call this working with a happy heart and I witness this within the Forest Service crew daily.

One of my favorite people on the tour team is Albert Pena.  A Forest Service staff member out of Springerville, Arizona, Albert is a whiz at all things mechanical.  He is a true people person and always a delight to be with.  He has been charged with keeping the tree moist and is often the person called upon to get inside the giant trailer, which is totally dark and spray a fine mist of water throughout the inside.  This is a messy and somewhat perilous job as you can’t see your way around.  However, the pungent scent of the blue spruce is there to keep him company.

At the end of each morning briefing, where we review our daily schedule, Albert leads us in a group cheer of sorts.  He gives us a word, perhaps the name of our next destination that reminds us why we are on this grand adventure.  This big send off fills me with a tremendous amount of pride and hope for the day ahead.  At the end of our month-long tour when I return home to my real life who is going to lead me in a morning cheer?



United States Forest Service