Pine Grove YCC youth offenders assembled and distributed pine boughs for the holidays.

Pine Grove YCC youth offenders assembled and distributed pine boughs for the holidays.

Many thank young offenders for helping save homes during fires

Story and photos by Claudette Perrin, Youth Correctional Counselor
Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp

Christmas boughs helped bring in the cheer this holiday season as Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) youth and staff traveled far and wide to seek out, collect, assemble, deliver and hang hundreds of Christmas boughs.

Youth Correctional Counselor Omar Hill, along with veteran staff Tom Menley, and PGYCC Fire Fighter Training Crew youths tied each bough as it was handcrafted with sprays of pine branches, two giant sugar pine cones, and topped off with red bows.

Then, youths along with YCC Claudette Perrin, loaded up boughs to deliver and hang in various local communities. This year, the importance of giving fell on the devastated towns of Mountain Ranch and Rail Road Flats along with other less affected communities of the Butte Fire such as Glencoe and West Point.

With Santa Hats in tow, Pine Grove’s first stop was the Mountain Ranch Post Office, where recently the Postmistress and a local person had lost their homes to the fire, and showed appreciation for the much needed cheer to their community.

Other Mountain Ranch establishments such as Sender’s Market and the Community Club were decorated and then the crew loaded up and headed to the next town of Rail Road Flats.

There, the owner of the General Store pulled all four youth into her market to thank each one personally for the firefighting work they completed near her home. She stated that they were instrumental in saving her property and neighboring properties and had pictures of the youth battling the fire. 

The Rail Road Flats Community Center was decorated for their upcoming Christmas Event along with the Post Office.  As the crew moved along and hung boughs in Glencoe, the Postmistress said the boughs brought the Christmas mood to their little town and others will not be able to wait to start decorating for the season.

The final stop for the day was West Point, where Main Street and local businesses were lined with boughs and bows. Local business owners came out of their shops to thank the youth for everything they had done for them over the summer and are still doing today.

CAL FIRE Captains at the West Point CAL FIRE Station received a bough on the way home to the Pine Grove camp.

Pine Grove YCC firefighters would also like to extend a warm and cheerful thank you to the dedicated communities of Ione, Jackson, Plymouth, Pine Grove and Volcano, who picked up their boughs and hung them themselves as a festive annual Christmas tradition.

Below is a video from last year’s making of Christmas decorations by youth at Pine Grove:

See the video at mms://FDCMEDIA/OPEC/2014/PINE GROVE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.WMV

See the YouTube video

(Editor’s Note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)