Goodbye is Not Enough

By: Phil Hough

The mood around the FSPW office today is an odd mix of sadness and excitement. Lauren Mitchell, whom we have often referred to (with affection) simply as “the intern”, is working her last day with us today. But, like a true Friend of Scotchman Peaks, she’ll volunteer for us this Saturday morning doing outreach, then she sets off on her next adventure! Goodbye hardly seems to cover the moment or the range of things that need to be expressed.

Over the summer Lauren become a valued member of the FSPW community. More than a staff member working for intern wages and producing results we will be proud of for years to come, Lauren has become a friend and impacted our lives in a very good way. Her excitement and fresh perspectives have engaged and inspired many of us. She has set a very high bar by which we will measure not only future interns, but our own efforts throughout the year.

We would like to keep her, to hire her full time, or even part time, but the real job of a 20-something is finding themselves and this involves letting go. That doesn’t mean we have to like it. But we do accept it and marvel with Lauren at what might lie ahead. We all realize that this day is less an ending than it is a moment of transition for us as well as for Lauren. We are all growing up and moving on, including our organization.

“Brandi” is playing in the background, and once again the sailor is about to leave the port he occasionally visits for his true love – travel and adventure. It seems fitting for Lauren whose siren call is the sea, but who will in the meantime settle for general travel adventure. Oh to be 20-something again with so many new experiences ahead! What else could explain leaving the paradise of north Idaho and Northwestern Montana for counting dead trees in South Dakota as winter fast approaches?!?

Of course, South Dakota will be just one more port in the journey Lauren is on. We hope she’ll return to the “port” of Sandpoint, if even just for a brief visit, sometime in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we hope you will join us thanking Lauren for all she has done this summer, wish her safe travels on her journey and help to keep her in our hearts. If you want to do this in person, join us at 1:30pm Laughing Dog Brewery for a potluck and to raise our glasses to Lauren. Goodbye, Bon Voyage and Fare-Well!!

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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

He has hiked the "triple crown": the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest trail (twice). He has also paddled the length of the Yukon river. Phil's love of wilderness guides him as he works to save the incrediblly wild Scotchman Peaks, one of the last and largest roadless places in northern Idaho and western Montana.

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  1. Now hold on there a minute, Phil! As sorry as you are to see Lauren leave, we’re twice as happy to see her come to SD to count our dead trees. Your loss is our gain, and a little gloating is in order. Welcome to South Dakota, cousin!!

  2. I met Lauren ‘way back in her high school days’. Coming to Bath NY as the called pastorate of the Presbyterian Church, I had the honor and privilege of getting to know Lauren, even having her as singer in our ‘Church BAND”. She can sing too. I know what it was like saying good-bye, but also get to see her back home, though less & less and I too have followed, via Blogs, her world-wide adventures. God bless you Lauren. Knowing you is wonderful, following your travels I love, be safe, & warm, at your next place. Blessings, Pastor Doug

  3. Thanks to all of “The Friends” who have become Lauren’s family in Montana and Idaho!! We have enjoyed learning about the Scotchman Peaks, Heron,MT, Sandpoint,ID and the surrounding area through Lauren’s experiences. It has been an incredible adventure for us and many others who have followed her blogs and the pictures posted on the FSPW website. We will continue to keep as a favorite!!!!

    Lauren, we love you!!!!

    Mom and Dad

  4. We are grateful that through Lauren we have new “friends” and extended family in New York! Thank you, Eleata and Mark, for your interest and support. We all wish Lauren well on her journey and know you were with us today at the Laughing Dog Brewery in spirit!

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