Cindy Hartman – “Eha Wee” (2008)

Cindy has been with us now for three years. She has served as vice president of program and is currently our health and safety officer. You’ve heard of the presidential aides who always are by the president’s side with a briefcase with the nuclear launch code. Cindy is always around with a red and black backpack; our first aid kit.

Cindy, as many of you already know, comes from a big family, one that has sent us four members, three of whom are still active in the crew. Her duties over the years in watching over her siblings have given her the ability to solide into a leadership role easily. And when it came time to choose who would lead her group in Montana last summer, the group chose Cindy.

Her intelligence, friendliness and sense of responsibility have made her someone who can be counted on as a leader. And she cares about those around her, reflected in her desire to one day become a physician’s assistant. But there is, of course, another side to Cindy that has been very well documented. You see, I can’t talk about her, I can’t even think about her, without mentioning her sense of humor.

Anyone who has looked at our crew’s photo pages on our website will see her face in all sorts of poses. My favorite is our 2005 caving trip, in which she and Laura are both holding glow sticks beneath their noses while piuckering their lips, a crew classic. Even in a more serious shot, a grouop photo of four very dirty crew members, you can see the fun popping out of Cindy’s eyes. And if you know anything about Cindy, it is that she likes to have fun.

On the Haunted Forest trail last year, she was the torture queen administering lashes or something to some of her fellow crew members, a role her colleagues said she enjoyed a little too much. At our last costume part, Cindy played a perfect senior citizen. Made me feel spry.

When it came time to choose a name for her, she certainly was eligible for ‘talks too much.’ I understand that there was an unconfirmed report from the Glacier National Park rangers that whenever she, Christine and Rachel were walking through an area, great herds of wildlife moved into other parts of the park.

But I will always remember Cindy for a gift she has, that of laughter. I can hear her giggles ringing in my ear long after a meeting or a campout. She loves to laugh, a reflection of a happy heart. And it is a gift, not only for her but for all those whose spirits are lifted when they are around her.

So tonight Cindy it is my honor to give you the Sioux name Eha Wee, which means, ‘Laughing Maiden.’


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