In September, members of the Green Team had an amazing experience participating in Groundwork USA’s National Youth Summit at the Grand Canyon, serving as Youth Ambassadors for their Cincinnati trust. The first day was spent traveling to Phoenix, Arizona, where Youth Leaders and Ambassadors from almost all of Groundwork’s 20 national trusts met for the first time.
The next day, they drove four hours to Kaibab National Forest, where they set up camp. Then it was straight to the park to hear from the Executive Director of Groundwork USA about the importance of the work the youth are engaged in. Then, they learned how Groundwork USA plans to survey the youth about the impact that Groundwork has had on their lives. After these discussions, the youth hiked to the rim of the canyon. This was a very special occasion, as those who had not seen the Canyon before were led, with their eyes closed, to behold its grandeur at one moment. The day finished with dinner and a campfire.
The third day was filled with educational programming for both the Ambassadors and the Leaders. The Ambassadors learned about basic construction math, writing a compelling personal narrative, and how to use fasteners in construction. The Leaders learned about basic construction, using a grid system on a construction site, and facilitating the Green Team surveys. After the hard work of learning, the groups split up to enjoy the Park’s offerings and the sunset over the Grand Canyon.
The final day was an adventure day. They split into three groups to experience the Grand Canyon in different ways: a hike, a short bike ride, or a long bike ride. Each was difficult, but offered amazing vistas as a reward. After, they were rewarded with showers, dinner, and a last campfire.