On August 27, 2016 – over 60 volunteers from Lo La’Qam Geela Lodge and Crater Lake Council in Oregon converged on a very meaningful service project within their own council boundaries. Working with 10 members of Crater Lake National Park and the National Park Service, their task was to re-establish the Pinnacles Park Trail. In the 1900’s, the trail served as the original entrance to the park, but was eventually closed in the 1970’s.

The one mile trail may be short in length, but repairing and rebuilding it was no small task. The 60 person work crew lead by arrowman James Alexander and Park Trails Supervisor Jennifer Gifford was faced with making this trail completely ADA compliant, meaning that people with disabilities are able to maneuver freely and comfortably while using it. In order to comply with the standards, anything preventing the trail from being 3-4 feet in width had to be removed. When fallen trees are in the way, this can be a very tough task.

The group of willing volunteers met at the Pinnacles Park trailhead at 8 am on August 27th to begin the project. As soon as all of the registered participants had arrived, their meeting commenced with a safety briefing and tool usage demonstration. After a thorough and informative discussion, the volunteers broke into four teams. One team worked to remove large fallen trees and logs that made the trail difficult to travel. The second team constructed drainage ditches to prevent washouts from erasing all of their hard work. The third team was tasked with flattening the trail and spreading the gravel to keep it that way. The fourth and final team used cutting tools to extend the trail in order to comply with the required specifications.

As the teams worked diligently to complete their duties, the trail appeared noticeably better, and the participants became noticeably fatigued. The entire contingent took a much needed and deserved lunch break at noon. This allowed them to get out of the sun, enjoy fellowship, and discuss each team’s progress on the trail. When the teams embarked on the second half of the day, the temperature had reached a sweltering 90 degrees.

The volunteers worked quickly and efficiently for the rest of the day to complete the reconstruction of the Pinnacles Park Trail. At 3:30pm, they gathered yet again to assess the results of their labor. After inspecting and reviewing each team’s effort, Lo La’Quam Geela Lodge’s trail re-establishment project was completed.

After many months of meeting, logistical planning, and dedicated cheerful service, this project was a tremendous success. This work day could not have been as successful if not for the 60 participants and park support who spent their day working arduously to improve this trail for those who will use it. The project was a perfect example of the significant positive impact that scouts can have on our pristine outdoor areas.