Story by Kayden Nordquist. Photos by John Ratzloff.
“One of the best groups to ever come”~ Will Steger
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They say time flies when you are having fun. But I can tell you this — time howls past when you are working hard together to achieve the same goal. As apprentices in the last 30 days, we have completed four huge stone masonry projects that involved moving and setting millions of pounds of stone and natural elements. We couldn’t have done it without the help of the masters, Ian McKiel and Jim Sullivan.

Nothing can compare to the sense of accomplishment I get when I see the projects we have started and completed in such little time. From the first week I think people in this group worked themselves into a funk. We worked our backs off building the sitting wall so quickly that we all were fairly worn out and in funky moods due to our newly acquired sunburns.
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Towards the end of the first week it seemed as if everyone was starting to become irritated with each other. The anger quickly passed when we realized it was from wearing ourselves down, and we had three weeks left to work with these people, so being irritated with anyone wouldn’t work.

The more I look at what we’ve done here in 30 days, the more it blows me away. Construction here at the Steger Wilderness Center has been ongoing since 1989. The longer I am here, the more I am realizing our mark on this historic building by being apart of one of the many construction teams that has worked on building the Center over the last 27 years.
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I noticed a lot of changes in the apprentices in the time we spent together. The apprentices have grown in many different ways in just 30 days. Even not knowing who these people were in the beginning, I see that most have taken the time we have had here to reflect and really find their true selves, being that everyone this summer is fairly young, and I feel this is one of the first opportunities they have had to do so, including myself.
end of june group

As the apprentices are bidding us farewell and beginning their next journey wherever it may be, I am also beginning mine as a resident here at the Will Steger Wilderness Center.
Farewell Apprentices.
Until next time~
Kayden Nordquist

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