My name is, Ashton Barker. I first heard about the SCA 2 and a half years ago. My step mom who works at a nature facility told me about it, and at the time I just thought it would be a pretty cool experience to go to another place, and meet some new people. So without really thinking about what it might do for me in the long run I signed up for a high school trail crew in French Creek State Park. I was there for a month, and before I went there I had never really done this kind of work before. I mean I hated work period. I didn't think that would change upon going there. For the most part it didn't until I left, and realized that I missed the work. I didn't appreciate it until I was gone. So for 2 years I thought about how I might have wasted that time I had by being bitter about the work, and thought about that experience alot. I realized that it changed my life. My perspective of myself, the world, and nature. I gained initiative when I left there. So about 9 months ago I was talking to my step mom again, telling her that I was unsure about what to do next, and she mentioned the SCA again. This time around I knew that it was a transformative experience, and welcomed it with open arms. I applied right away, and when I got no responses by email I called the headquarters, and got some feedback from those people. The lady I spoke with basically told me what my chances of getting into each crew was, and advised me to apply for some more. A couple weeks after I spoke with her I got an email from, Zac Ballard, who told me he'd like to set up an interview with me. Before the interview I thought long and hard about why I was applying for this program. What changes I wanted to make in the world, and what experiences I'd like to get out of it. I also thought about how it would help me grow as a person, and I truly believe that it really has helped me alot. I've gained so much more confidence since I've been here. I'm thinking about my future these days, and I'm not afraid of the unknown anymore. The SCA is a huge reason for that. I love the ADIRONDACKS!!