Written by: Bree Travica, Courtney James, Brandon Ward, Ethan Kadake, Chad Ward, & Audrey Clavijo


The Kake TRAYLS Crew Contract and Mission Statement


In the first week of YCC/TRAYLS (Youth Conservation Corps/ Training Rural Alaskan Youth Leaders and Students) we made up a mission statement and a crew contract to keep us in line:

“Our mission is to make KAKE a more sustainable Southeast community by enriching our native and public lands through hard work and dedication. YCC/TRAYLS Crew serves our community while learning leadership skills by building a foundation for our future.” 

For our crew contract we used words like “open-minded” and “teamwork” to help set a positive example and to maintain good attitudes. We all signed to show that we follow the contract. 


Community Garden

Recently the city of Kake and our local teen center constructed gardens for communal growing and harvesting. One garden, the Kake Co-Operative, is located downtown and the other is across from the World’s Largest One-Tree Totem Pole. Each Friday we will volunteer our time to continue the building of garden beds and greenhouse structures, planting, and harvesting for local community members. 


Water Sampling 

With “Training Week” at a close, Thursday, we hopped on zoom to learn about water sampling with UAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Elizabeth Figus. Elizabeth and her partners taught us how to use gadgets to collect the water and test its pH level, conductivity, and temperature. Samples of the sea water from locations near Kake will be sent to a lab in Sitka for further testing. These results will allow us to further understand the purity of the waters surrounding Kupreanof Island. We practiced with local IGAP representative, Kevin Martin, to get used to the survey procedures. Our first day of actual sampling will be Wednesday 


How is COVID-19 Affecting Our Season?

Our season was cut short this year due to COVID-19. This required us to re-plan our season schedule and improvise many of our original plans. We decided to interview the members of the crew to see what they had to say:

Court: “I feel like we could’ve done more if COVID-19 didn’t happen. I feel like we would enjoy it more.

Chad: ”I was looking forward to the stream surveys & working on culverts surveys and many more things outdoors.”

Ethan: “It’s not easy because we’re stuck behind the computer screen talking to people and not in person.”

Crew Shoutouts!

A big thanks to John Peterka for our awesome new Sagebrush Dry backpacks- produced right here in Kake! Not only are the bags sleek, but they’re also completely waterproof– perfect for a rainy Southeast summer, even in the “Banana Belt”!

Launched in 2017, the Training Rural Alaskan Youth Leaders and Students (TRAYLS) Program provides hands-on experience with natural resource management technical skills and cultural knowledge while preparing youth to occupy leadership roles in their communities.  This year, TRAYLS and Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) programs are active in three Southeast communities: Kake, Hoonah, and Angoon.