“The most incredible thing was realizing the impact we could have after 48 hours or less with a group of individuals. Seeing children and parents excited to share their new skills and get excited about the outdoors is incredible.”
Janessa Palmer was part of the summer ‘I Can Camp!’ program. As an I Can Camp! instructor, she traveled to over 16 Minnesota State Parks throughout the summer. From Scenic, Itasca and Tettegouche State Parks, all the way down to Whitewater and Forestville/Mystery Cave State Parks, Janessa taught camping basics such as tent set-up and how to build a fire. One of her favorite parts of being an instructor was making educational programming for participants. She studied and developed programs on owls, trees of the north woods and more.
One of her most memorable experiences was doing a bit of stargazing with some campers and teaching them how to identify Jupiter and Mars in the night sky. After pointing this out, one of the mothers said, “I’ve now seen three planets in one day. How does it get better from here?”
Currently, Janessa is finishing up her degree at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This fall she is very excited to join the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center’s Naturalist training program. “I’m hoping to get some experience and move on to a Master’s in Environmental Science. I know that I wouldn’t have even thought of this if it hadn’t been for Conservation Corps.”