I Love My Crew

  • August 09, 2017
  • Posted by Ivy

My favorite part about Montana Conservation Corps so far is probably my crew. We are made up of very well balanced individuals who all seem to complement each other very nicely. It feels good to be working beside people who truly care about what we are working on and aren’t just working for the paycheck. Our crew, The Banana Fam, became very close on our first hitch in Red Lodge. We spent 9 days working through different weather conditions; the cold and the heat, rain and shine. We even woke to little snow piles one day. But the most rewarding experience about working with a crew for me is hiking in and out of a work site.

For this particular work site the hike was not quite 2 miles. This hike went through a few streams, up some major hills, and over rocks. And the entire time, everyone was chatting and singing and playing trail games. The hike into the workplace is early and cold and everyone is ready for a day’s work. Still sore from the day before but refreshed from a good night’s sleep. Songs are sung and games are played out of excitement. But the hike back is a different story. The hike back is where everyone bonds because everyone is absolutely exhausted and running on fumes. Songs are sung and games are played in order to keep everyone moving and aware. It is usually cold and some of the days rainy. Every muscle in your body is screaming for you to stop and take a break. But in front of you is your crew leader who is singing “Earth Wind and Fire” and behind you is one of your crew members who is talking about their life, and to your left is a forest and to your right a ledge and all you can do is try to stay conscious and walk. You then realize that you know all the lyrics to the “Earth Wind and Fire” song your crew leader was singing and that you know your crew members life story and understand them a little bit better. You know that if you stop, your crew will stop with you.  You realize that every member is holding and pushing each other up. You realize you know every tree, stump, rock and ledge on the new trail. And on the last day of hitch as you are hiking back to your rig to go home, you are struck by this overwhelming bittersweet feeling. The 9 days passed so quickly and the first hitch of many is over. You bonded with amazing and hardworking people, and created something remarkable. You are hiking on a brand new trail that you and your crew created.  And you know that you share this feeling with every person in your crew.

You feel as if the new trail you created with your crew is your baby. You feel proud and never want to leave it. You have a personal connection with every person that will ever walk that trail, whether they know it or not. You are sore throughout your entire body but it’s a good soreness. You and your crew are all exhausted and covered head to toe in dirt.  But all of this represents the long and tiring 10 hour work days. It represents civic engagement. It represents your accomplishments. It represents Montana Conservation Corps. It represents you and your crew. It is conservation work. It is an accomplishment. It is a trail. And it is mine and my crews and yours and ours and everyones. And without even realizing it, you are back at the rig and loading up to leave.


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