For some, spring break begins with moving into a posh hotel room in Florida and settling in for a week of tanning- but for the SCA spring break group, it began with a late-night arrival at our campground, fumbling around in the dark introducing themselves to people they couldn’t even see. The first-night dinner, sesame noodles with tofu or chicken, was amazing. But the freezing toes, hand washing in ice-cold water, and late-night serenade by wild coyotes, doubtlessly made some wonder why they hadn’t chosen the beach.
But the next day, after team-building games that thawed their toes, they made the trek to the grand canyon- and it became evident why they were all there. Thoughts ranged from “this ain’t real” to “it’s too big to comprehend.” All agreed that it looked like a picture. The group got introduced to the rim’s ecology through a plant walk, reveling in learning the names of mutton grass and ponderosa pine like the environmental geeks they are. A trip to the greenhouse introduced them to the work they’ll be doing for the week. All feel humbled and grateful to be part of this project, getting to know this magnificent place, and are looking forward to getting to work tomorrow.
Stay tuned for photos as soon as the internet connection gods smile on us.
American Eagle Outfitters announced today it is offering an AE Better World holiday gift card program to benefit its three charity partners, Jumpstart, Big Brothers Big Sisters and SCA. Ten percent of the purchase price of each AE Better World gift card will be shared with us and the other two nonprofits.
SCA alumnus and hip-hop/blues crooner G. Love describes his 1990 SCA experience at Yellowstone as “magical” in the November issue of Best Life magazine. [full text quoted below] The article asks 40 “of the world’s greatest adventurers” to share the secrets of their most significant travel experiences.
Other personal tales come from oceanographer Phillippe Cousteau, Jr., filmmaker Werner Herzog, and author Bill Bryson. The feature isn’t yet posted on the magazine’s website, but here’s G. Love’s story.
All last spring and summer, SCA high school summer crews worked to reclaim abandonded lots in Pittsburgh.
Their first job — clear the lots. Wading through knee-high Japanese knotweed they removed bricks, rotting timbers and trash, making pile upon pile of debris that City workers hauled away. Then they rotatilled and planted thousands of sunflower seeds having learned that the plants would put nutrients back into the soil and soak up chemicals and spilled oil, while producing seeds that could be converted to biofuel.
This past Saturday, the crew members came back to the Larimer Community for the day to harvest their bountiful crop. By noon, there were masses of sunflower seeds filling five gallon buckets and a spirit of celebration as community members and the high school students got ready to feast on the barbecue underway in the beautiful new field.
The SCA participants were part of a Green Jobs Initiative that is a coalition of SCA, GTech, The Larimer Community Action Team and Pittsburgh State Agricultural Services. “The project provides green job skills, life skills, and access to the green economy,” explained Tamica Mickle who manages the project for SCA.
Traveling long distances, some crew members had to take three buses to get to work, and they did work, hard, as the results show. Would they do it again?
“I was a boy all last summer.” Shawna said, “I wore boots and jeans every day and I loved it. And I’m real girly, too.” Then she added, “I’m getting all my friends to do it next summer.”