Camping Adventures!

On Sunday, at 7:30PM, my fiancé and I made a last minute decision to go on the camping trip we planned one month ago. Earlier in the morning on Sunday we decided we were not going to be going because the weather forecast showed nothing but rain, but then it got to be later in the day and the rain had disappeared. I didn’t want $26 dollars and our smores supplies to go to waste, so we drove up to Red top Mountain and spent the night.

We pitched the tent in the dark, my flashlight died, we roasted weenies, burned marshmallows (okay, that was just me), and we woke up to a beautiful autumn view on Lake Altoona. I forgot how much I enjoy camping and we will definitely be doing this again, but maybe with friends! Camping is such a cheap and rewarding leisure activity; it is also a nice way to unwind if you feel you’ve been spending too much time around technology, work, and the general stressors in life.

65º F

It has been raining since yesterday afternoon and it was finally cold enough to truly snuggle into my sleeping back last night! I turned off the window unit for A/C in the lodge for the first time since arriving, too.

I have written over 20 letters at this point in the past 24 hours to various friends and family back in Georgia and elsewhere. I will send those out tomorrow. I also sent an email to a stranger asking to be pen pals, so I’ll keep everyone posted on that.


My unit leader is currently 3.5 hours away; he is coming to spend the day tomorrow working with us and checking up on the general health of the team. We cleaned the lodge and made sure to plan a filling meal at least for tomorrow night- I doubt that he will be eating with us tonight seeing as they probably won’t arrive until 9pm.

Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing painting the dining hall if the weather holds up, but if it does not, then we will be cleaning the inside of the dining hall and the recreation hall.

The rest of my night will consist of getting dinner and watching the Golden Girls!

T minus 26 days

It hard to believe that we have less than 4 weeks here. My team is already over halfway done with their ISP required hours. For those who do not know what an ISP is: Independent Service Projects are volunteer hours outside of NCCC that are required for graduation. They are often done with local animal shelters, parks, or festivals in the area. While they are required, they are a lot of fun and you get meet new people and learn new skills.

So far, this week has consisted of more brush clearing and laying gravel. We use the tractor on site to transport the gravel. Unfortunately, we are only allowed to drive on the low speed and I so desperately want to pick up the pace.


We should be finishing those trails today, and we will begin new projects: cleaning out the camp library, taping parts of the dining hall that will be painted tomorrow, and clearing more brush in areas unknown to me. We also have PT today, so I think we will do a round of ultimate frisbee for that.

My unit leader is visiting camp on Monday, so that should be fun. The Delta STL is also coming and I am personally very excited to have another TL in my vicinity.

I must say, the mosquitos and other stinging/biting wildlife have upped their game in the last week. I have so many bites on me and then this appeared on my ankle one morning:


I haven’t really done anything about; I’m just leaving it alone. I also cut my other ankle on a broken chair in the office, so my feet are having a fantastic time. Especially when I pull thick wool socks and heavy work boots on over the bites and cut.

I have not heard any more news about the flooding in the Carolinas, so I am assuming that we are not getting pulled; however, we are still on standby. Round 2 or 3 will be a disaster for us probably, per our request. I think we should get the Round 2 Project Slate in the next month, so I have that to look forward to…


July 16, 2018

First of all, happy 19th birthday to my sister!!

I have been on two adventures since the last time I wrote. On July 13th, we had chainsaw training in Canton, MS. We learned basic maintenance, operation skills, and general safety concerning chainsaws.

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This past weekend, all the team leaders (myself included) took a mini trip to New Orleans. We stayed in India House Hostel; it was super close to the trolley and the overall vibe of the place was very welcoming, communal, and open.

Today, we helped clean and move materials at a Habitat for Humanity house location here in Vicksburg. I thought we would do more building, but I guess there wasn’t enough time.



We still had training today, and we learned how to input our hours as well as our future corps members’ hours. We went over all the forms we are responsible for, and holy mess, it is A LOT.

We only have one week until the members get here. We move dorms on Friday; I am assuming we will be organized by unit. I hope we find out where our possible projects could be this week as well… a teammate said their unit leader revealed the Virgin Islands, Connecticut, and 2 local Vicksburg projects as options for us all. I’m definitely excited!

July 11, 2018

Today, we had Diversity Training ALL DAY. But, it was super informational and a positive experience. We didn’t disclose as much personal information as we did previously while doing the Hands of Peace exercise, but it was still a good discussion.

We began with introductions and getting into small groups to discuss each others names, the history of our names/how we came to be named, and any nicknames we have/had had.

We moved to different exercises, such as a revised version of the Privilege Walk and acting out group scenarios we may encounter on or off Spike. For example, something we may encounter is a sponsor who likes to assign jobs according to gender; men do heavy lifting and outside work and women may be assigned to keep tools organized or fill out forms and other paperwork. Additionally, we may come across corps members who have not been exposed to certain things that they may find as a shock to them; it is up to us to facilitate a healthy group discussion about anything like that.

The only time we got a little personal was with our units; we shared some aspects of ourselves that were below the surface/things no one can see just by looking at you such as your religious beliefs, your role within your family, your education level, or what have you.

Overall, I enjoyed the exercise, and I think it’s a great start to an open discussion with people who want to learn more about other different types of people.