by Patricia “Pipa” Elias, ’02, ’03, ’05
I always get excited when I’m carrying my SCA water bottle and someone says, “I was an SCA too!”
At first I’m struck by the coincidence as we quickly strike up a conversation about how the experience changed our lives; however, when I think that in 50 years nearly 50,000 people have volunteered for SCA I realize that bumping into another alum is not an impossibility. This year, as we celebrate SCA’s 50th Anniversary and address the future of conservation service it is clear that we must rely on this huge group of alumni to continue taking action to change the planet.
Not by chance, last month I had the privilege of meeting ten SCA alumni for the first meeting of the 50th Anniversary Alumni Council. These exceptional alumni were selected from a group of over 60 applicants to work throughout the year to represent SCA to their communities and re-engage alumni across the country. The Alumni Council will connect local alum at service events, social events, and other community actions and, in turn, increase the impact of SCA locally. Some examples of what you may see council members doing is taking time to visit current crews and interns, promoting conservation education, recruiting for SCA, and connecting alumni with other local service organizations. Finally, the 50th Anniversary Alumni Council will draft a vision for a permanent SCA Alumni Council.
The Alumni Council consists of 15 recent SCA members who have volunteered for this commitment. Council members come from across the country and have experienced SCA in various ways. You can check out the council members' mini-biographies  on the SCA website.
Throughout the year you can stay connected with your local Alumni Council member and all of SCA’s 50th events. The 50th Anniversary Webpage  has information about local and national events, and you can e-mail Mary Margaret Sloan  to receive contact information of a council member in your area.