By Anna Machowicz
Our crew is based about 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities in Shakopee, Minn. We’re what’s known as a “satellite crew”— a crew based out of a host shop away from Corps headquarters in Saint Paul. With five crews based in the capital city and three out of Three Rivers Park District, that leaves the Anoka and Shakopee crews as true satellites. As it turns out, I had no idea we were lonely outsiders until about halfway through our term.
Our crew runs a little differently than others, and comes with its own list of pros and cons. Since we all live pretty close to the shop but away from each other, we drive to work separately, missing out on the benefits of carpooling that other crews are able to take advantage of. Being based out of a DNR shop with only one crew, we have access to equipment and tools that we may not otherwise have (or would have to share): pressure washer, air compressor, waders, etc. However, the other crews have access to resources we don’t: staff members on site, unlimited supplies of gloves and safety glasses, specific tools when they need them. On the other hand, we’ve made pretty good friends with the fisheries specialist at our shop, who has been a solid gold resource (and great friend) all on her own.
We’re usually close to our worksites, but it takes us forever to get to the cities for a project or Corps meeting. We aren’t expected to be social butterflies, but we’re forever missing out on the best party invites. We have friends on other crews, but we rarely get to see them. Our office manager sometimes brings in donut holes, but who knows — what if the other crews get better treats?! The list goes on and on.
Like a stellar satellite, we see things a little bit differently but I have to say — we really enjoy the view from out here.