Discovering Nature and Public Service in the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps


by John Jimenez, Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps

My teacher, Mr. Hearne, showed my class a flyer for a summer job with the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. I was interested because the pay was pretty good — but there was a problem.

Mr. Hearne said, “If you like being outdoors, you should sign up; but if you don’t like being outdoors, don’t sign up.” That definitely discouraged me. I didn’t like being outdoors; at least I thought I didn’t.

I had never been camping. I never hiked. I never swam in a lake.

I remember the drive to our first park – Tuscarora State Park. I was riding shotgun with one of leaders, Marie, and I asked her if we were going to see any wildlife.

She said yes, but I shouldn’t worry about it. A minute later, a deer crossed the road. It was my first deer! The most wildlife I ever saw in Brooklyn was a pigeon, or maybe a squirrel.

I saw so many beautiful things that I would’ve never seen. I saw…


Student Conservation Association