- June 21, 2016
- Posted by Sabrina Hardy
Deep breaths are taken moments before hitting the trail air. Anxious worries are calmed shortly after we start weaving through the trees. A 1,400-foot elevation gain and three miles of trekking into the backcountry liberates us from any societal stressors. Breaking the chains from the world of clocks is one of the steps of learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Standing in a sea of trees in the backcountry can tend to leave us feeling so small and vulnerable. These are the moments we breathe in and allow nature’s nurturing roots to grasp onto our vulnerability and let it shine in our strengths and weaknesses. During this time, we have the ability to create stronger connections and bonds with our
work, environment, and the ones sharing these moments.
- June 06, 2016
- Posted by Ian Davidson
While most people who use that trail will never see or think of those walls helping to hold those switchbacks, I have gained a new appreciation for the structures on trails and the time and effort it takes to build them.
- May 19, 2016
- Posted by Celia Schwenter
Snow falling, cold feet, grey and white skies. I hadn’t been expecting snow. Not that it upset me, I was actually quite excited because it added an extra challenge to our camping and saw training, not to mention an extra element of badass-ness. “What did you do last week?” “Oh, the usual with MCC, cut down some trees with a chain saw in the snow.”
- April 26, 2016
- Posted by Becca Waldo
March came in like a lamb and is heading out like a lion. Daily snow showers and cold in the past weeks came on the heels of balmy weather. Late February and the early parts of this month teased us with sunny days, warm temperatures, and rapid snow melt. The mid-winter thaw got us GY FCLs chomping for the bit for some fresh air and exercise. As Ishmael might say: we were looking to drive off the spleen and regulate the circulation.
- April 18, 2016
- Posted by Isaiah Tanner
I am amazed by the way time passed during these first few weeks. We started work only three weeks ago. I’ve asked a few of the Youth Crew Leaders how long it’s felt to them. Two months, maybe three months. What about the MCC experience has thrown off our internal clocks?
- April 08, 2016
- Posted by Susannah Tuminelli
The combination of careful dedication towards producing quality work, and encouraging members and leaders to develop and grow as the season progresses has created for me, and for countless others, a world in which anything seems possible. I have seen in myself and in my co-workers the light that comes back to people’s faces when they get off hitch. And you have to admit, who can’t help but feel a little badass when they’ve got dirt covering them from head to toe, after days of swinging tools and living in the beautiful forests and mountains of Northwestern Montana?
- March 29, 2016
- Posted by R. Claire Guest
A rite of passage is sometimes a ceremony, sometimes an experience that makes tangible a journey from ignorance or childhood to maturity and wisdom. The Selway is a sacred hitch for the Western Wildlands region; it’s kind of the testing ground for each new batch of leaders. In the culture of our particular region, I would go so far as to argue it is a rite of passage.
- March 10, 2016
- Posted by Nyssa Prowell
The ink dark sky spills forth pools of glittering stars
I’m a single puff of breath under the vastness
Looking up the hill towards our cabin I hear faint echoes of laughter
Warm light hums from inside
The immensity and deafening stillness of the night
Contrasted next to the fullness of being in the good company of others
Shocks me into a state of gratitude
I take a deep breath
The fullness of the moment draws me in
Listening to the sounds of the icy lake crack and warp
Watching the twinkling sky
The occasional murmur of voices reverberating down the hill
And then I let the moment pass
Turning on the heal of my boot
I understand that Montana already has a piece of my heart
We’ve only just begun our season, but I’m happy to be exactly where I am.
- March 03, 2016
- Posted by Rebecca Winch
I stood underneath a huge Douglas fir. My heart was pounding - not metaphorically, seriously trying to pound its way out of my chest. My knees were shaky and I was sweating. This tree was over 50 feet tall, and I was about to cut it down with a chainsaw.
- February 18, 2016
- Posted by Megan Marolf
Our season as Crew Leaders in the Greater Yellowstone area started with an icebreaker, as all AmeriCorps programs do. Rock, paper, scissors shoot, and the winner got to ask their opponent a personal question. This was just the beginning of getting familiar with each other over the course of our week-long orientation that started in Bozeman, our home base for the next year, and mostly took place at a cabin nestled in Big Creek in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
- January 21, 2016
- Posted by Cruisin' Susan
As the MCC’s season is starting to wrap up, waves of preemptive nostalgia have begun to wash over me. As a crew, we’re pushing through a bit of a hump. Some of us have had a harder time staying productive and on top of our game. However, through some careful communication, we’ve been able to stay on track, and remind each other that we’re almost there!
- January 12, 2016
- Posted by Marguerite Leoni
Every time my pick dug into that soft easy soil I could not help but feel like I was chipping away at the Great Pyramid of Giza.
- December 15, 2015
- Posted by Jessica Lee Richardson
A poetic reflection about my time with the Montana Conservation Corps.
- December 13, 2015
- Posted by Mary Ward, Youth Expedition Member
Our mission was to locate and capture the hidden metal snakes (old fencing wire) that were coiled beneath cloaks of grass and moss, waiting to strike their unsuspecting victim.
- December 01, 2015
- Posted by Calysta Santacroce
...just as the Cheshire Cat appears in the sky giving Alice hope, I hope that one day, myself, or my fellow MCCers, may materialize themselves into a position of influence for potential improvements in grant appropriation for more compelling work in the beautiful Wonderland of Glaciers.