A Look Back, While Looking Forward

Last year marked a big leap for the Jolly Rovers.

From our humble launch in 2011 to the achievement of our tax exempt status in 2015, our tribe of volunteers had grown from 12 to 36. Volunteer service hours sky rocketed as well, with each crew member donating anywhere from 80 to 600 hours in a single season.

These 100 days of trail work culminated in over 7,500 hours of volunteer service to parks and forests throughout the country; a value of close to $175,000 of charitable service in 2015 alone and over $450,000 since 2011.

We travelled further than ever as well, completing projects in 7 states and 14 parks. Roving from our home base in the Hudson Valley of New York, we trekked as far north as the White Mountains of New Hampshire and as far south as the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee - even managing to make it as far west as the hills of Texas.

For 36 volunteers with little to no funding, looking back at these numbers feels rewarding, but in the end, they still feel like numbers. I don't believe any of us think our success can be gauged by such metrics. The continued dedication to our obscure niche of volunteerism cannot even be gauged by the stonework itself. Compilations of completed project photos and tables of volunteer hours say one thing, in fact they say many good things; but I think they only address the byproduct of what truly makes us what we are.