She didn’t get a tiara, she got a hard hat. It didn’t happen in Atlantic City; rather, the Great Smokies. And it wasn’t a competition, it was a commemoration.
But on August 16, before a crowd of SCA members, alumni, and park staff, Sarah Logan Beasley was named the 50,000th volunteer in SCA’s 50 year history. A 16-year old high school junior from Tallahassee, FL, Sarah Logan joined SCA to help “save the world.” Once assigned to her crew, she admits she worried that she might not fit in, that her crew mates might be hardcore outdoor types, or what fellow crew member Sarah “Darla” Robbiano called “crazy, kooky people.” But those anxieties quickly faded into the Smoky Mountain haze.
As the team toiled together on the Deep Creek Trail, building turnpikes and foot bridges, they discovered they have much more in common than not. “I’ve found that I don’t need all of life’s stuff,” said Hillary Weinberg of Chappaqua, NY, as heads nodded in agreement. “This is how life is supposed to be lived,” stated Baltimore’s Daniel McGill. “Everything is magnified out here,” added Sarah Logan. “Happiness is magnified out here.”
And if nature didn’t do enough enlarging, things must have really turned gargantuan when an NBC News camera crew followed the volunteers one day as they wrestled with rocks and pounded their pickmattocks. The report also saluted SCA Founding President Liz Titus Putnam on the occasion of our 50th. See the NBC report video clip. 
Earlier this year, as SCA crews and interns took their summer positions, it became clear the 50,000th member would be on the Great Smokies crew. But which one would be No. 50K? Three weeks into their hitch, the crew members, who knew each other better than anyone else, were asked to vote and they nominated Sarah Logan to represent them.
“I just think it’s awesome that we have 50,000 volunteers,” she says. “That’s a lot of people. This experience has really pinpointed for me the importance of the environment, and I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”
For a closer look at Sarah Logan’s crew,  visit SCA’s blog, Conservation Nation.