Alumni Archives: Memories From the Field

1969 Olympic National Park Crew

We recently asked our alumni to tell us their SCA stories, and did they ever! We were so moved by what they had to say that we want to start sharing them with you. Each month we will add a new one as well as link to those that have been highlighted on our social media feeds. Check back often to learn more about what your fellow alums had to say about there SCA experience and time since.


1969 Moon Landing

“I was at Mt. Rainier from July 9–28, 1969. We built a shelter cabin by Nickel Creek. It was my first time camping, something I had always wanted to do. On July 20 we sat around the campfire, listening to the moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s moon walk on a transistor radio, while staring up at a full moon. During the last several hundred feet of descent, we compared the distance to the height of a 212-foot tree we had been taught to measure the previous day. Even though this was happening 240,000 miles away, we felt very connected. I still have my two SCA patches…and my journal—items I treasure very much.”

—Charlie M., ‘69, Mt. Rainier National Park

Missing Woodstock for Olympic National Park

“August 13 — Early in the morning a Forest Service man took us to see a small logging operation. We saw the heel boom load a few trucks and watched the jammer pull the logs up the hill. On the way back to Port Angeles we stopped at a campground on Lake Crescent for lunch. We went swimming in the Port Angeles city pool and walked around town a little. Back at the museum we had a talk by a state game protector. We had a great dinner, but missed the sand, fir needles, wood chips, and all the rest of the trail spice. A quick drive up to Hurrican[e] Ridge to see the view up the Elwha River basin and the sunset, and then back to the museum. Jack and other officials gave talks thanking us, and making our heads swell up. Jack forgot to sign our certificates so we gave them back. We hated to see the last day of our trip end. All the guys here have become buddies that we’ll remember forever, whether we ever see or hear from them again. And the girls (Nancy, Wendy, Diane, Lulu, and Leandra) have become almost like sisters (unfortunately). This program really served its purpose in that it impressed on us the real value of parks and people. Thanks to All Involved.”

—Roger J., ‘69 Olympic National Park Crew

Family and Nature

“Growing up in Montana, I applied for Hawaii and other exotic sounding places. As fate would have it, I ended up being asked if I would like to serve in Glacier Park, MT. My SCA experience gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore the beauty of my backyard. It was extra special because my grandmother who was one of my best friends passed away a month before my SCA experience, and I always attributed this unexpected placement as one of her gifts to me. As a teenager in the midst of body image and confidence issues along with grieving the loss of my grandmother, SCA was just what I needed. It allowed me space in the wilderness to process my personal loss and taught me beauty lies within strength.”

—Jessica G., ‘99, Glacier National Park


If you’re like most of our participants, SCA is but one major step in your journey as a lifelong conservationist. Connect with SCA alumni and find advice and inspiration to keep you moving toward a healthier planet.