Meet the Youth Conservation Corps!

The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) arrived in Juneau on Friday, June 12! The corps will be working on Admiralty Island for four weeks this summer, helping with various community and conservation projects. The crew consists of four 15-16 year olds from across the United States. The Corps met up in Juneau where they were greeted by Kevin Hood, the Wilderness Program Manager for Admiralty Island National Monument, and myself. After a few safety sessions, shopping for food and getting the crew outfitted for work in the rainy (albeit, it has been unbelievably sunny since the crew arrived) Tongass National Forest, we said our good-byes to Kevin and loaded the ferry to Angoon, where the corps will be based out of for four weeks. 

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The crew on the MV Leconte, riding from Juneau to Angoon 

The Sitka Conservation Society (SCS) was born when a group of citizens worked to designate a Wilderness Area north of Sitka to protect the area from logging. To excite people about Wilderness, the SCS founders understood that people needed to experience the landscape to form a connection to it and ultimately to be motivated to protect wild places. The Youth Conservation Corps works to continue connecting people to wild places by bringing youth to Wilderness Areas, exciting them about Wilderness and ultimately encouraging them to become advocates of conservation. We live in an age of environmental crisis, and in order to live more responsibly with the land, there must be a shift in the way we view natural areas. By bringing youth to an amazing Wilderness Area in Southeast Alaska, we are working not only to create stewards of the environment, but we are also working to form stewards of their communities and themselves.

 

Now, let’s meet the crew!

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Name: Breeze Anderson   Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska

Why did you choose to work with the Youth Conservation Corps?

I thought it would be a good opportunity to see a different part of Alaska that I have never been to, and I thought it would be great to help with conservation projects.

 What are your first impressions of Southeast Alaska?

It is so different from what I was used too! It is so green and so pretty!

What are you looking forward to most during this time? 

Helping out with community and conservation projects. I am also excited about meeting all these new people and hearing their stories.

 Give three words to describe how you are feeling right now.

Amazed, Happy and Yarrow

 

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Name: Jaxon Collins     Hometown: Tenakee Springs, Alaska

Why did you choose to work with the Youth Conservation Corps?

I like nature, and this gave me an opportunity to spend time in a really nice place in Southeast Alaska. I also really wanted to help preserve nature, especially in this area.

What are your first impressions of the Youth Conservation Corps?

It is extremely rewarding and doing a lot of good work to help out communities and natural areas. 

What are you looking forward to most during this time?

Getting to know my crew as we help to preserve nature and work with the native community of Angoon.

Give three words to describe how you are feeling right now.

Calm, Surprised and Awestruck

 

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Name: Elizabeth Crawford    Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Number of times on a plane before YCC: 0

Number of times on a boat before YCC: 0

Why did you choose to work with the Youth Conservation Corps?

 I’m really big on conservation work in general, and I have wanted to work on a conservation project for a while. My mom saw an email, and we thought this would be an awesome opportunity to help on some conservation projects.

What are your first impressions of Southeast Alaska?

It’s beautiful here, and this may seem weird but this place kind of seems like home to me, even though I arrived less than a week ago.

What are you looking forward to most during this time?

Working to help the community of Angoon out as much as possible while I am here. 

Give three words to describe how you are feeling right now.

Zen, Happy and Tired

 

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Name: Travis Maranto   Hometown: Sealy, Texas

Why did you choose to work with the Youth Conservation Corps?

I chose to work with the YCC because I wanted to make a difference, help the community and help the untamed wilderness because it does so much for us, but we need to do our part to help it in return.

What are your first impressions of Southeast Alaska?

The overwhelming untamed beauty that is Admiralty Island amazes me. This will be one of the most amazing summers that I will ever have.

 What are you looking forward to most during this time?

Helping out the community and exploring Admiralty Island as a group.

Give three words to describe how you are feeling right now.

Content, Relaxed and Untrammeled

 

Currently, the group is working in Angoon helping the community with a few projects. The main project is constructing a community greenhouse. The group will also help work to protect the beautiful Kootznoowoo Wilderness on Admiralty Island, by helping with cabins and trail work around Lake Alexander and also by surveying and treating invasive plants in Whitewater Bay.

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Jaxon and Breeze working on setting the greenhouse foundation

This will no doubt be an amazing summer for the YCC and myself, and stay tuned for more pictures and posts on the YCC group!


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