Southeast Youth Corps Introduces Their First-Ever AmeriCorps Conservation Crew: the Bobincas

Article, written by Corpsmember Joe Sherman, appears on Southeast Youth Corp's website.

The week started for the first ever Americorps SYC crew with a drizzle of rain, but our spirits were not dampened at all! Under the stalwart guidance of our trusty leaders Randolph “The Rock Man” Hudson and Ellen “Aces” Baker, we spent the first part of Monday morning at the office going through training and basic orientation. Sarah, Molly, Taylor, Joe, Josh, and Vicky are our names, and we soon joined together under the team name “Bobincas,” a name which will hopefully live on into legacy. The crew lost no time in meshing well, and upon arriving at the work site and meeting the delightfully soft-spoken and enthusiastic Ranger Bobby Fulcher, the heartbeats of all of us were quickly elevated by the prospect of beginning work, and later with the physical efforts demanded of us.

Our primary task all week involved shifting large stones to create a rock staircase down which nature enthusiasts might trod for generations to come. The Rock Man called it a “hundred year staircase,” and we all soon learned the precision and detail that such a task required. Ranger Bob pointed out that such staircases are reminiscent of the Incan stone wonders of Machu Pichu, and thus the name Bobincas was born. There were several core components for the corps to incorporate into the hillside corporeity, namely creating more than just a little “crush” by crushing small rocks into smaller rocks, “rock-shopping” for the stones that had the correct dimensions and features for each section of the staircase, moving the stones from their various locations via rock sling, teamwork, and brute force, and the actual act of using crush, rock bar, double-jack, shovel, and pick mattock to securely set the stones in their new homes among their new stone friends.  

Many highlights of the week were experienced, not least of all the morning stretch and exercise circle, the verbal distribution of local lore by Ranger Bob, and the formal expulsion by the Rangers of many trespassing wayfarers who had bypassed the “Park Closed Until July 1” signs. We installed thirteen steps in total, rerouted a creek, and helped delineate trails. All of us drastically increased our proficiency with this particular form of landscape architecture, as well as our skills with the sundry tools involved in it’s realization. Team Bobincas has set a firm foundation for the remainder of our 8-week program, a foundation as strong as the keystone steps on our Incan escalator.