I am the project leader for the wonderful 2014 SCA WildCorps crew. I am indeed no stranger to the SCA, but when I arrived to Ridgecrest back in September, the desert life was a new and exciting adventure for me. I have been able to take advantage of the nearby sights, bouldering opportunities, and can’t get enough of the sunrises and sunsets out here.
I started my Outdoor Education pathway back as a National High School Crew Leader for The SCA, and started to fall in love with the idea of having the great outdoors as my classroom. I was given opportunities to join SCA leader teams, and then began leading AmeriCorps teams. It has been quite an adventure as SCA has sent me to MS, GA,(twice!) WV, (twice!), TX, KS, VA, NJ and now CA. Throughout these seasonal gigs with The SCA, I have also worked at an Outdoor Education Center in the great Adirondacks of New York, and worked at an Outdoor Alternative High School in the beautiful state of Oregon. Sitting in a canoe on a pond with fifth graders in the Adirondacks, building a bridge with high school students in Mississippi, or journaling at the top of a mountain in Oregon for a high school English class… all of these adventures as a teacher have helped defined me as a person and as a developing leader.
Last year I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a part of the wonderful Hurricane Sandy Relief Team for the SCA. This was the first attempt that SCA made to help clean up after the hurricane came through. Here, our leader crew focused on tree removal with chainsaws and general trail maintenance on both hiking and biking trails. Our crew went around to 6 different state parks in New Jersey during the 14 days. I felt accomplished in doing my part to help the general public after a major natural disaster.
I am looking forward to the desert life this year with the WildCorps crew. I am hoping our team can really make a difference in the communities we work with as we travel around CA doing various projects. We will be given the unique chance to partner with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in several spots around CA to do some specific trail work, desert restoration, and help promote and prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
I am also looking forward to immersing myself in this area. It has baffled my mind so far, with the endless mountains in my backyard, and unobstructed views of the bright stars at night. I have come to the desert with quite an open mind, and I plan to fill it with new skills, knowledge and experiences!