Dynamic husband-and-wife team Allen and Ruth Ann make “giving back” a central part of their lives. Working with the Forest Service’s Passport in Time program since the mid 90’s, the Whites are especially drawn to volunteer opportunities involving history and the outdoors. Allen remarked, “For years, I was able to hike on trails maintained by others, visit historic places maintained by others, camp in campgrounds maintained by others, and now that I am retired, still healthy, willing, and able, and now the master of my time, I have enthusiastically joined the ranks of the “others,” those folks who give of their time, our most precious commodity, to help preserve bits and pieces of our history and culture.”
Upon discovering HistoriCorps, Ruth exclaimed, “We were excited to have an additional group of like-minded folks to work with. The motivation comes from an interest in history, especially the history of the United States, which led us to various archaeological and paleontological projects. Initially we were drawn to work on hiking trails; we’ve worn out several pairs of boots backpacking and hiking America’s wilderness areas, and rebuilding trails was our way of “giving back” for all the joy we’ve had using them. Along the way we were drawn to historic restoration and pretty much got “hooked” on it. We’ve met such interesting, enthusiastic people, been to places we wouldn’t have seen on our own, and experienced a good feeling knowing we have saved bits of American history for future generations.”100_3535 (2) - Copy
During the 2013 season, Allen and Ruth Ann participated in three HistoriCorps projects. Ruth reflects on her experience, “The Baehrden Lodge in Colorado is a fantastic structure and promises to be a special place in visitors’ memories; the Farmer Cabin north of Durango represents a cattle ranching culture that has mostly faded away but should be remembered; and the Little Brooklyn Guard Station represents another time mostly gone by that is special to our national forest history. All three projects have been very well managed by HistoriCorps professionals, the meals provided have been delicious and ample, and other vigorous volunteers let us know we’re really not nuts, as some folks our age seem to think!”
“We plan to continue doing projects as long as we’re physically able and look forward to our next HistoriCorps outing,” Ruth said. The HistoriCorps team is proud to have joined the ranks of Allen and Ruth Ann’s illustrious volunteer history, and we can’t wait to see what the 2014 season has in store for them!