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New Recruits Take the Black

"Working with the Rovers I found a great group of people doing extraordinary things in beautiful places." -Adam Mackiwiez, Rover Recruit

Joining the Rovers has always been a journey for every person that chooses to enlist and wear "the colors." Starting every April, a select group of recruits begin that journey with 2 consecutive weekends of training and continue on to their apprenticeship afterwards. The reasons for joining are always personal to that individual, and that individual is always unique, bringing with them their own stories and history.

Nate Lau hails from Manhattan and is a content director for a digital media company who also teaches Kung Fu on the side. "I was very impressed with the thoughtfulness that went into the workshops and making recruits feel welcome." he said. "I wanted to work alongside devoted experts and learn skills that I wouldn't normally be exposed to — I got both, and a weekend full of joyous toil."

This years trainings took place at the Mianus River Gorge Preserve in Bedford, NY. The first weekend focused on allowing the recruits to become acquainted with each other and the site as they learned leverage skills and stone splitting and shaping.

"I was hooked from the first rock I split! said Doug Brown. "The opportunity to give back to the trails that I have enjoyed is why I enlisted, the fun, challenge, and friendships will keep me coming back!"

By the time the second weekend of trainings rolled around the new recruits were ready to meet the rest of the crew and participate in one of our full crew trips. Folding into the larger team effort, the recruits were split up into groups where they learned rigging and stone setting.

Ron Roussell showed up ready to work and brought his own experiences to the table. As a 39 year construction veteran for the railroad industry, he fit in quick. "I wanted to be a with like minded people who leave a place better than how we found it" he said. "The senior crew members were excellent at sharing their trail building knowledge and made it safe and fun!"

Also in the mix with this years class is Bob Ricci, a returning crew alumni who is taking the workshops to re-certify his active crew member status. In his own words, "it’s my way of giving back to the community by improving our parks with structures that will outlive me, and doing that work with the greatest bunch of people I know."

We're excited to welcome these new (and old) members into the fold. Stay tuned to see what they get into as the season progresses!

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