Eighteen students from Lake Stevens, Granite Falls, and Marysville, traveled to Colorado Springs, CO to join other youth from across the US to help restore land devastated by a couple of recent major fires (Waldo Canyon, 2012 and Black Forest, 2013). Organization of local projects and activities was performed by Catholic Heart WorkCamp which brought together youth from communities like Fayetteville, AR, Spring, TX, and Acton, MA to name a few. Other service projects that the youth worked on included flash flood mitigation, light construction, painting, gardening, and helping out with daycares and a soup kitchen.
In stepping forward to participate in this mission, the youth were responding to the Catholic Church's call to help protect the environment as Pope Francis touched upon during his inauguration (March, 2013): "I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be 'protectors' of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment."
The group departed on June 28th and returned on July 6th. On their way home, they stopped at Moab, Utah for a day to visit Arches National Park and take a Hummer Tour. The mission trip is primarily funded by an auction in April that gets wide support from local businesses and the community at large.