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Summer Youth Corps leaders rendezvous and volunteer with Will Steger

Current and former Summer Youth Corps leaders convened in late December at Will Steger’s homestead in Ely to volunteer and reconnect. The fourth annual Winter Rendezvous drew 18 people from New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, California and Oregon, as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin, who caravanned up to the homestead for a three-day stay. Steger uses minimal electricity and plumbing on his property, which includes numerous cabins, workshops, a “castle” (conference center under construction), sauna, storage buildings and gardens. Participants spent daylight hours hauling lumber, chopping wood, pulling nails and working on cabins. Evenings included games around the wood stove, saunas and jumps in the frozen lake. Steger led a tour of the property and talked about his formative life experiences and arctic adventures, offering his eyewitness observations about climate change and ideas about what must happen now to protect the planet.

Photos, from left: Ashton Stenberg and Nikki Rinehart pull nails from reclaimed lumber, group gathered on top floor of “the castle”, Keith Doane and Mares Anderson-Duggan on dish duty.