Name: David Logan Chapman
From: Sioux City, Iowa
School: North High School
I volunteered in many different places. Volunteering is extremely important to me and always has been. The area I have chosen to write about is the Environment. I volunteered in the Big Horn Mountains National Forest building trails. I have been involved in environmental volunteering my entire life as my mom is a naturalist at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City, IA. This made me very interested in the task of building trails in a national forest. The trip that I took was with a group called Eagle Claw and it was associated with the Boy Scouts.
The trip was ten days long and we built trails for a total of 25 hours each trip we took. I went twice so I got 50 hours of building trails altogether. Building the trails really wasn’t easy. We had to find an area of the forest where there weren’t trails, and start building. To do this, we had to hike quite a few miles into the middle of the mountains. Backpacking is difficult if you’ve never done it before. There is no running water and you must bring all your materials out there with you. We had to cut trees out of the way, trample the path, build places for horses to be tied to, and make sure the tail was safe. Cutting trees out of the way was one of the hardest parts, but pulling the huge logs off the trail was even more difficult. I think the biggest challenge of them all was figuring out how to work with the people I went out there with for ten days. It seems silly, but it’s hard to work with someone who you don’t jive perfectly with. I’m glad that it was a leadership training camp as well, so we did a lot of activities to get to trust each other.
The most satisfaction that I’ve ever had in my life, is knowing that people are hiking trails that I made. I think it’s the most amazing thing in the world. Of course, they don’t know that I made the trails, but I know that I did and that makes me beyond proud. I feel great about doing that for society. I’ve learned in the process of the Eagle Claw trip so much about myself and about the environment. I know now that I need the environment and it needs us. A lot of invasive species are taking over our countries national parks and forests and we can’t let that happen. I’ve learned that I am truly my best self when I am in nature. That is the best feeling in
the world and I’m so happy that I discovered it.