- May 30, 2017
- Posted by Carolyn Bennett
This March I went to South Dakota for the first time! It was our first hitch of crew leader training, and I was pretty excited to get out there and work. Our week included a lot of valuable time practicing our chainsaw skills cutting down prickly Russian Olive trees. These invasive plants are persistently growing along irrigation channels in the Belle Fourche area, and we were working with the Bureau of Reclamation to stymie the invasion. We were lucky to team up with a bunch of kind, local professionals willing to share their knowledge, their heavy machinery, friendly conversation, and even a few pizzas with a bunch of enthusiastic MCCers.
Now, when I think back on our visit to the South Dakota plains, somehow I don’t focus on the hurricane force winds that mangled our tents, the frozen fingertips on dark mornings, or the inch of snow that accumulated on our first morning. I don’t even focus on the warm, summery weather later in the week, the tasty dinners, or the beautiful sunrises and sunsets (though those were all pretty great!). Instead, I appreciate South Dakota most because we all went through it together. All sixteen crew leaders, our roving crew leader, and two field coordinators got to work, eat, and relax together in a new place. In this way we built a community, one that I am pretty darn proud to be a part of.
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