This week we had a couple of special visitors to camp…Peter Lewis and Cheryl!
Peter brought his usual charm and inspiration. He joined us out on the sewer to see the project. He shared stories with us of his early days on trail crews. He did PT with us…but I do not remember any of his famous Chicken Push-ups!
Cheryl brought something new to trail crews. She was a licensed therapist, and the new idea was a professionally conducted group rap without any staff around. Every crew that Peter and Cheryl visited had this time with Cheryl. It was private and confidential. Nothing that was said in this meeting was reported back to Moose, Peter, or any other staff or sponsors.
After the season, I heard from friends on other crews that it was not always well received. A good friend of mine on the Kings Canyon crew told me the crew was firing on all cylinders and actually resented the intrusion by an outsider. Our crew, however…
The petty nitpicking and bickering that had been plaguing the crew had not stopped when we hit the Backcountry. The same behavior that had caused the flare up between myself and Rollie, and had made Erin go off on us in Tuolumne Meadows was still there. It was exhausting, and at times it made the great experiences we were having just a little sour. I know that the impending Camp Mather duel with Rollie was never far from my mind. It certainly impacted my relationships with him, and with those on the crew that Rollie was closest to.
We really needed that professionally conducted group discussion. I will not/cannot go into all of the details of that discussion, but I will say that Rollie and I were able to work out what had happened in that van on the trip back from Yosemite Valley that day. It was the first time I’d told anybody how sick I had been (Vic knew, but he didn’t talk about it). Rollie shared what had been going through his mind. That part of the discussion ended with my saying “So we can forget about Mather?”
Rollie chuckled and said, “It’s forgotten, man,” and we shook hands.
So while other crews might not have needed this sort of help, we definitely did. In fact, Wayne mentioned it in the crew journal that week:
I’m so glad that we’re doing this class with Cheryl. It really is helping this crew be a ‘crew’. I feel we all really care about each other a lot and that we are closer now than ever before. I hope this really lasts the rest of the season. I think it will. Just remember, don’t sweat the petty shit, just let it pass. So far all the conflicts have been petty. Let’s be a family & really enjoy what times we have left. Lyell (Peak) on Labor Day!