Time Passing By

  • 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?

Hiking up to our worksite

We’re the Lucky Ones

  • 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?

Taken by Philip Dobesh

Selway Leader Hitch

  • 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.

Lake Como Illustration

Lake Como

  • 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.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Saw

  • 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.

Learning to Trust in Each Other

Breaking the Ice at Big Creek Cabin

  • 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.

Mules and a Cabin

7 Sparrows in a National Park

  • 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!

Makoshika, the Underdog

  • 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.

Take a walk on the wild side!

When the Coyotes Howl

  • December 15, 2015
  • Posted by Jessica Lee Richardson

A poetic reflection about my time with the Montana Conservation Corps.

The Herd

A “Boring” Day

  • 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.

H-Brace and Fencline

In the Wonderland of Glaciers

  • 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.



  • November 18, 2015
  • Posted by Merlin

We are still gaining from this program, just in ways that are different now and that change all the time.

Building bridges takes E.N.E.R.G.Y.

96 Ounces of Pasta!?

  • November 16, 2015
  • Posted by Amanda Aldridge, Crewmember

Not only is the amount of food I’ve been consuming on hitch exceeding my expectations, but what we are consuming is more than anything I ever thought possible. Thai noodles in peanut sauce, burritos with all the fixings, chicken bowls, homemade pizzas, and sushi. Yes, I said sushi.

Group shot outside the station

Airplane Mode Will Set You Free

  • September 28, 2015
  • Posted by Connor Adams, Crew Member

Being the central node of a wilderness area, all employees are subject to the same rules that govern wilderness areas across the country. No machines, no power tools, no wheels, and the ever-present injunction to leave the area as “untrammeled by man” as possible and conducive to “solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.”

Took a pic with the plane.

Fire on the Mountain

  • September 28, 2015
  • Posted by Connor Adams, Crew Member

“What’s the status on the Bone Creek fire?”
“Spreading slowly, doesn’t look like much of a threat at the moment.”
“The MCC crew is at Scott Lake, just a mile north of that drainage.”
“Affirmative, they’re in a safe spot for now, but we’ll keep an eye on the fire and move them if we need to.”

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