Staff Stories – The Flood of 2013: Caroline Grundy, Assistant Instructor
“Since August, I have served as an Assistant Field Instructor: It was exciting to transition from support staff to program leaders. The Fireside teachers and parent chaperones provided an amazing support system and we could not imagine a better group to be “stranded” with. As a team, we cooked meals, set-up environmental learning stations, led team building activities and outdoor hikes, and held indoor campfires. The students were able to learn and have fun despite the natural disaster occurring all around them.
Some highlights of the experience was to see the reaction of the fifth graders when they were told they were leaving Cal-Wood via helicopter. After a teacher informed them that the President of the United States signed an order to pick everyone up, the students responded: “President Obama is coming to pick us up?!” Of course it was the National Guard who came to our rescue, but the students were just as thrilled. Many of the children crossed out the “‘I Went’ to Cal-Wood with my School” on their t-shirts and wrote “‘I Survived’ Cal-Wood with my School,” which the National Guard members happily signed. The Fireside students truly had a once in a lifetime experience and were well-aware of it, asking “Will you be telling other students about our school forever?!” The answer: absolutely.
Now in Boulder, the devastation to homes, lands and lives has become shockingly apparent. Thankfully, the students are safe with their loved ones, but it is frustratingly sad that Cal-Wood had to be left stranded with so much reconstruction work ahead. I have always felt grateful for landing a position with Cal-Wood and have witnessed the passion that drives the organization’s mission. Having experienced that enthusiasm, I am positive that we can rebuild Cal-Wood and continue to connect children to the Colorado mountains.” –Caroline Grundy, Assistant Instructor