By: Margret Krueger, Summer Youth Corps wilderness crew member
Cara Lahti, Conservation Corps Youth Council member
This year, 150 youth will participate in one of two Summer Youth Corps sessions, along with 26 AmeriCorps crew leaders, two swampers, two cooks and five head staff members. About 20 percent of participants will be deaf or hard-of-hearing. Corps members will travel to various locations to manage natural resources and learn about ecology, Minnesota history and American Sign Language. Youth crew members come from diverse geographic locations and this diversity makes the summer unforgettable; crew members will walk away with one of the greatest experiences of their lives.
Head staff, cooks, swampers and crew leaders are currently training and preparing for youth crew members to arrive on Saturday, June 15. Crew leaders train two and a half weeks before youth arrive, and work hard to be fully prepared for the upcoming summer. Leaders receive training in wilderness first response, leadership, risk management, trail building skills and more.
Head staff and crew leaders also go on a four-day spike before youth arrive. They typically work on projects in Sugarloaf Cove, Superior Hiking Trail and Tettegouche State Park. It's important that crew leaders and head staff are fully prepared to work hard and also have lots of fun during the summer program adventure. Jonathan Goldenberg, SYC program director said, "I am super excited to meet all the new youth crew members and introduce them to this very special program and place. I am equally excited to see all the returning youth crew members once again and watch them grow and reach new heights. With all the hard work Corps members are doing, this summer it will certainly be rewarding!”
About the Youth Council bloggers:
Cara Lahti is an alumna of the 2011 Summer Youth Corps and currently serves on the Conservation Corps Youth Council. Cara is excited for the different perspectives she will gain by being a Youth Council member as she interviews Summer Youth Corps crew members, crew leaders and program staff.
Margret Krueger will soon be a member of the 2013 Summer Youth Corps wilderness crew. The Wilderness Crew is open to returning Summer Youth Corps crew members and is usually based in Isle Royale National Park. This position requires a strong commitment and ability to withstand life in the backcountry. Crew members must rely on previous experiences with the Summer Youth Corps to prepare for the challenges ahead. The wilderness crew is a great opportunity to learn and have fun, and is a defining example of what the Summer Youth Corps does.