Community Living


By: David Fink

Community is the backbone that supports the SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps. For the past five months we have been serving as educators in elementary schools across Western Massachusetts teaching environmental education lessons along with our 17 other Corps members. Beyond the classroom, we have been living together in a bunkhouse in Kenneth Dubuque State Forest, we have been sharing our stories about how our day at school went over community dinners every night, and we have even been singing and dancing while doing dinner dishes with each other for these past five months. To fulfill our service here in Hawley as a lone individual would be an experience completely foreign to what we do now. My lesson on opossums wouldn’t have been the same if not for a suggestion from my Corps members to play of a great game about the opossum’s ability to play dead. Even my Saturday morning pancakes wouldn’t be the same without the generosity of my Corps members who love to share their maple syrup. Now that is a beautiful community.

Just a few weeks ago marked the end of education season and a shift into conservation season where we will be doing trail work across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to shifting the focus of our service, we also had 7 new Corps members join our community to make it a group of 24. The thought of having a bunch of new faces join us in our community brought a wide variety of thoughts and emotions. Some of the more social individuals were ecstatic, the more shy members were a bit nervous, but overall we knew we would welcome these new comrades seamlessly into our group. I can now say five weeks after our new friends have joined us, it has been a delight for each and every one of us. Our service and our dynamic thrives on having fresh, new ideas and perspectives. With 7 new personalities, 7 new thinkers, 7 new perspectives, our community has increased its capacity to provide successful service to our country. And best of all, we have 7 new friends to share our maple syrup with.