by Megan Allinger, ’07
Last August, Sarah Logan Beasley from Tallahassee, FL was named SCA’s 50,000 volunteer in a celebration at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This summer, Sarah journeyed to Alaska with another SCA crew and she was happy to tell us about the experience.
Megan Allinger: Where exactly were you located?
Sarah Logan Beasley: Six days of the week we were camped next to Nome Creek in the White Mountain National Recreation Area, about 2 hours north of Fairbanks, and on our days off we’d go back to Fairbanks and spend the night at the Fire Barracks on Ft. Wainwright.
MA: How familiar were you with that area prior to going on your crew?
SLB: I had a good idea of what to expect as far as terrain because I met another alum at EarthVision [SCA’s recent youth-in-conservation summit] who had worked on the exact same trail last summer, and she gave me a really good explanation of the tundra and MUD.
MA: What were you nervous about before starting?
SLB: I was mostly anxious about 24 hours of sunlight, since the sun doesn’t set for most of the summer in Alaska. It worked out just fine though, and now that I’m home, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day since it gets dark every night!
MA: What was the most fulfilling experience?
SLB: The most fulfilling experience for me was having survived the first day of our recreation trip. We had driven 85 miles into Denali NP, and then continued to hike about 6 more miles up a super steep ATV trail. It was a beautiful, sunny day, but it was HOT. I helped make up the caboose of our line of hikers, along with crewmember, Margaret and my crew leader, Ashley. When we finally reached our campsite, which turned out to be the perfect spot with an excellent view of Mt. McKinley, we all celebrated!
MA: What were some things you learned?
SLB: I learned how to be patient when your trail of mud wanted to suck the rubber boots right off of your feet!
MA: What was the most challenging experience you had?
SLB: The most challenging experience for me was saying goodbye to all of my crew members and leaders who had become family to me.
MA: We all have expectations of what we will gain from our SCA experiences but always seem to get so much more out of it. How were your expectations exceeded?
SLB: After my last crew in 2007, I didn’t think I could ever be that lucky again when it came to the people I would get to live, work, and sing with every day. However, this expectation was definitely exceeded, because I seemed to hit the jackpot a second year in a row, and was surrounded once again by a group of individuals who are all extraordinary people.
MA: What would you share with someone applying for an SCA internship or crew?
SLB: I would tell someone who wanted to apply about the “SCA family.” My crew and I decided that it’s really a small world when it comes to the SCA, due to all of our connections with each other through past crew leaders and members. This made our conversations all the more meaningful to each other when we shared stories about this person or that person.
MA: Are you ready to go back to Alaska?
SLB: I am so ready to head back to Alaska!
Photos, from top: Sarah at basecamp; Sarah (fifth from left) and crew; Sarah and crewmate Katie Racette
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