During the last week of June, four high school students from Grace traveled to the Noble View Outdoor Center in Russell, MA to partner with the Appalachian Mountain Club for a few days of trail work.
What makes trail work a worthy service trip? As Episcopalians, we hold that caring for creation is a key part of our responsibilities as Christians. In our diocese, we have even added a sixth question to our Baptismal Covenant: “Will you cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect and restore the beauty and integrity of all creation?” to which we respond, “We will with God’s help.”
Grace helped construct a new section of trail at Noble View, making the trail safer, more ecologically sustainable by increasing its resistance to erosion, and more accessible for the thousands of people who walk the trails each year.
We also were trained in Leave No Trace outdoor ethics by a certified Master Trainer. While Leave No Trace is a secular program, the values that it espouses were a great launch point for further discussion about creation care and why we spent a few days working hard in the heat with very heavy tools!
I can’t wait to bring another group of teenagers to Noble View this year, and if their final feedback about the trip was any indication, I think I’ll have a few repeat volunteers!