â€œMotivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.â€? - Ben Franklin Statement of Purpose The 4-week Wilderness Crew, an important component of the Summer Youth Corps, maintains the overall mission and goals of Conservation Corps Minnesota. The purpose of this position is to provide an opportunity for youth to continue building experience in the field of conservation and to provide additional learning opportunities. Four weeks of the summer will be spent in backcountry locations where the members will work, learn, and play. Structured leadership development opportunities for the crew members are built in to the work schedule and educational activities throughout the summer. At the end of the summer the youth will have enhanced backcountry camping methods, conservation techniques, understanding of environmental issues, and leadership skills.
Congratulations! You are on your way to experiencing one of the most memorable summers of your life. The Conservation Corps can be challenging because you will work, live, and spend time with eight other people during the summer. The challenge comes from stepping outside the comfort zone, meeting new people, learning to live and work with different people, and having the experience of a lifetime. This “How To” book is intended to provide you with the general philosophy and basic nuts-n-bolts details of how the Wilderness Crew 4-week position operates. A lot of material is covered here so that you can have a successful summer. This being said, it is impossible to cover all situations your crew may encounter. Part of the reason you were hired was for your ability to figure things out. With this guide, support from staff, and you and your crew’s ability there is no doubt that you are in for a fantastic experience.
The Wilderness Crew 4-week operates with two Crew Leaders and six crew members. The one project will take place on Isle Royale National Park which might mean spending more time in backcountry locations than a first year crew member would. Safety, planning, organization, energy, and creativity become essential components to a successful experience. Wilderness Crew plays an important role in the overall program and will be seen by new crew members as something to aspire to. Throughout the summer you will work closely with your crew, project sponsors, and other Conservation Corps staff members. It will be important to maintain open communication, offer each other support, and remain flexible. All of these things will help your crew be successful. One Assistant Director will be your point of contact on head staff. This means that they will be involved with your crew’s initial training and they will check-in with you throughout the summer to provide support, offer perspective, and share your good stories. While on the island, you will be out of contact with the Assistant Director due to your location. A Wilderness Crew Member (WCM) is: a hard worker, a positive example, inclusive of others, dedicated to the corps, encouraging, able to bring out the best in others, and able to share the best of themselves.
Conservation Corps highly encourages letter writing to parents and friends. Please note that e-mail access is not available during the program. Stamps and envelopes should be brought with you at the beginning of summer. Phone use is not available while on Isle Royale. Youth will call home before and after living on Isle Royale.
Mailing address (Mail received during the first week of the program may be hand delivered to youth on the Island, otherwise youth will receive it the last day): Name of Youth St. Croix State Park St. John’s Landing/Conservation Corps 35130 St. John’s Landing Rd. Hinckley, MN 55037
You are expected to remain in the program for the entire 4 weeks. Weekends are spent with the crew doing recreational activities, resting and laundry if available. Parents/guardians may not visit the base camp during the summer (only at the start and end of the program). In the case of emergencies, arrangements can be made for youth to go home and return to the program when they are ready.
You will receive a weekly stipend of $210 for 37.5 hours of work each week. After completing all check-in procedures upon arrival at camp, you will be enrolled in our payroll. Youth will receive one check at the end of the program and a second check 1 or 2 weeks after the completion of the program. Checks may be delayed if you do not bring appropriate identification cards to check-in. IMPORTANT — You will not be paid for work days and hours missed. Also, the second paycheck will be sent home unless site director is informed to keep it
If you are receiving a ride to the base camp from your parent/guardian you must arrive at St. Johns Landing, in St. Croix State Park between 1:30 and 3:00 pm on the start day of the program. Lunch will not be provided on this day. Once you arrive, we will make sure all hiring paperwork has been properly signed and all documentation has been received. Shuttle: If you are signed up to take the St. Paul Shuttle to St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park in please arrive at the Conservation Corps Central Office at 12:30pm. Lunch will not be provided on this day. Once you arrive at the headquarters we will make sure all hiring paperwork has been properly signed and all documentation has been received.
Parents/guardians are invited to join us during the last day for a lunch and award ceremony. Parents and guardians should arrive at St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park at 11am and can leave with their son or daughter between 3 and 4pm. Parents who would like to join but do not have transportation to St. Croix State Park can meet for a parent shuttle at 9:00 am at the Conservation Corps Central Office. Please RSVP to Jonathan Goldenberg by July 7th (session 1) or August 10th (session 2) to make sure there are seats available. Parents/guardians not able to attend the lunch and award ceremony should plan to pick up their son or daughter between 3 and 4pm at St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park or 5:30pm at the Conservation Corps Central Office in St. Paul. **The following page includes a map and address for St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park and the Conservation Corps Central Office in St. Paul.** I learned a lot about myself and the skills that I have. I've made friends with people I probably wouldn't have known otherwise. I enjoy being outside more. Theo M. -
Conservation Corps Central Office: 60 Plato Blvd. E. St. Paul, MN 55107 You and your parents/guardians are responsible for transportation to and from St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park or the St. Paul shuttle. If your parents plan to drive you to the base camp, it is required that every vehicle driving to St. Johnâ€™s Landing purchases a group daily permit ($3 per visit) or an annual state park sticker ($25 one-time fee). The Conservation Corps has a shuttle available from the Twin Cities to the base camp at the beginning and end of our programs. If you are planning to take the shuttle at the beginning of the program, please contact Jonathan Goldenberg at (612) 300-0557 by June 8th, 2013.
St. Croix State Park is located 15 miles east of Hinckley, MN.
Wilderness Crew: Program Starts — Tuesday June 11th, 2013 Program Ends — Saturday, July 13th, 2013
The Wilderness Crew has unique responsibilities in addition to the policies and procedures of the Summer Youth Corps. Safety The Wilderness Crew will be in backcountry project locations. These locations provide experiences that few people get to have. However, in these remote settings the safety of the crew takes on even greater importance. Three things each person on the crew must do are: 1) Think “Safety” during all parts of the day 2) Follow all Conservation Corps safety policies 3) Know emergency evacuation plans Doing these things will foster a “Safety First” attitude within the crew and provide a piece of mind by knowing what to do in the case of an emergency. It is also important to talk with the project host about any safety concerns that are common or unique to the area. Be aware that the project host may not follow all of our safety policies, but it is imperative that we still follow our safety policies. The project host may have additional requirements depending on the type of work and project location. Daily Responsibilities Encourage, show, and build respect on crews and with all crew members Show flexibility and openness to different points of view Take initiative/show ambition Show an eagerness/willingness to learn Work to the best of ability on all projects Use tools safely and act in a “Safety First” manner Identify potential safety hazards and bring to the attention of the crew leaders Help maintain clean and organized campsite and worksite Practice “Leave No Trace” camping principles Communicate daily with your crew leaders: Be clear, understood, open, consistent, and timely. This will help everyone perform at a high level Report to the Crew Leaders and Assistant Director Other duties as necessary Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost
At the Conservation Corps, supervision of youth participants is a top priority, and we have a firm policy to ensure youth have the opportunity to safely engage in positive activities and carry out their responsibilities as crew members. Our philosophy is based on our mission statement, which ensures that every youth participant has the opportunity to engage in service-learning and environmental stewardship opportunities while performing conservation work.. We work together as a team to ensure that youth participants gain self-confidence, enhance work skills, and develop healthy behaviors. However, persons who are unsupervised may not have the same potential to get the most out of this experience. Our supervision policy has two leaders in place for each crew of six youth. Crew Leaders will not be able to constantly supervise all youth at all times. However, Crew Leaders must set out clear expectations for behavior. Furthermore, Crew Leaders and youth are responsible for knowing the whereabouts of crew members at all times. Crew Leaders must know the location of all youth at all times and be able to communicate quickly in the event of an emergency. Youth must know the location of the crew leaders at all times and be able to communicate quickly. The standard measure of this range is shouting distance or within eyesight. If for some reason the youth must be away from the Crew Leaders and are out of communication distance, they must: be with two other youth, tell one of the crew leaders where they are going, and establish a return time. Every person has the right to expect to have a safe and positive experience. By working together as a team to provide adequate supervision, we can help ensure that all youth participants and summer staff have a great summer with Conservation Corps Minnesota.
Working on a crew with the same 8 individuals for 4-weeks can be challenging. This act of learning from the experience often happens through reflection. Keeping a journal of your experience this summer will help you to continue learning about yourself and your abilities. Here are some ways to do that: Daily Notes: Take a few minutes each day to write down successes, letdowns, things youâ€™ve improved on, and skills to continue to develop. Weekly Themes: The EA Coordinator will provide you weekly themes to include in your reflections. Take some more time to think about these things and put your thoughts down on paper.
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Safety, Fun, and Getting’ the Job Done!” Cheers are always fun (“Motivation” & “Hoo-Rah”) “Hey, nice job!” “That water bar you put in looks really impressive!” “You can do it. I know you can.” “If we work together we can do it.” “I’ve never thought of it like that.
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Tell me more.” “MCC, a community, that is we.” “Safety, safety, safety.” “Work hard. Play hard.” “Yee-Haw!!” “Thanks for a great day!” Don’t be afraid to teach and learn. Be specific with feedback. Build each other up. And … remember to smile!
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~Thoreau
Ferry leaves in the morning. for your 6 1/2 hour ride. All the youth need to go into the ferry office to give their names (or have a list ready) for the ticket info. Your Crew Leaders will check the return ticket date with the ticket agent. Your crew will pack a lunch for the Ferry ride. You will probably get off at Mott Island to meet Buzz (your contact). Leave your additional Duluth packs at Mott Island. They have a cooler where you can keep it. Let Buzz know which day you will needed it.
Packing Personal packing should be done with a CL present to make sure the everyone has the appropriate clothes and belongings. Remember to divide up the common gear as well (water filters, cooking utensils, etc.). When you arrive at camp, your whole crew will pack all the food you will need for your time on Isle Royale. Your CL’s will provide you with more information when you arrive. Mail Mail service is available on the island. The pick-up and drop-off dates depend on when the ferry service is. The method of getting mail from your site to the ferry will vary depending on your location. Ask your crew leaders for information specific to your site when you arrive. Splitting the Crew It is common for a crew on Isle Royale to get split. This happens because of camping restrictions, project locations, and National Park Service (NPS) staffing. This is an acceptable approach and some simple practices are needed: If your crew needs to split, each crew leader will have a first aid kit and all information necessary for contacting the other crew if needed. Maintain a similar work and education schedule. This consistency will make it easy to bring the crew back together.
One of the first responsibilities of The Wilderness Crew is to learn about responsible backcountry living. More than other crews, you must constantly be aware of how your actions impact the environment while you are camping, working, and hiking. The following information should provide useful guidelines to the Corps expectations. This information will be shared, along with “Leave No Trace” principles, with the crew during the first few days of the program. You will receive training in the necessary skills to ensure that you understand why these practices are important. Spike campsites are designated in order to accomplish a nearby work project. Whenever possible, the spike campsites are located in areas that have already been impacted such as established campsites, former log landings, or day-use areas. It is important to minimize the impact on the site while the crew is spiked in the location. Keep in mind that it may not be possible to align with all “low impact” standards as one would on a personal backpacking trip, but these do serve as useful guidelines to aspire to. As always, crews are required to follow the policies of the project host organization. (adapted from VYCC)
Use only biodegradable soap and limit the amount of soap you use (no soap is allowed on Isle Royale). Never wash bodies, clothes or dishes directly in lakes or streams. Use a “gray water” pit to dispose of soapy and dirty water. Dig a pit about two feet wide by two feet deep and fill it with medium size rocks When you pour waste water in the pit it will fill up but gradually seeps into the surrounding soil. Food particles (as well as forks and knives☺) should be retrieved from the gray water pit. It is not a garbage nor a compost pile. For one night stays, do not dig a gray water pit. It is better to find a natural drainage area or to use the “broadcast” technique after first removing any large food particles.
“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn.” ~Unknown
Here are some things to keep in mind. Choose an area where your presence will not have a lasting impact. You should be able to disguise all traces of your presence (area with minimal undergrowth to clear, etc.) when you leave. Use established campsites where available. Camp at least 200 feet away from lakes, streams, and swamp areas unless there is already an established campsite. Be aware of safety hazards like standing dead and rotting trees. Do not put nails in trees. Tie rope around to trunk or a sturdy branch instead. Know the emergency evacuation route and plan. Keeping in mind the golden rule for crews of, “Can we return this to the way it was when we arrived?” encourage the crew to be inventive in creating a comfortable site. The site should remain simple, organized, and clean. At the same time, encourage the crew to design an inclusive environment of “community areas.” For example, an area might utilize existing stumps and logs to serve as a cooking and eating area. Such amenities not only make life more comfortable, they are an outward sign to visitors that the crew enjoys life in camp and are committed to the experience. Remember to disassemble and return anything you have put together before breaking camp.
In many backcountry areas it is still possible to have a campfire. Here are a few guidelines to observe: Never make a fire if it will take longer than five minutes to find plenty of dead wood on the ground. Never break branches from a living tree whether the branches are dead or alive because you may leave an ugly scar and hurt the tree. If you make a fire, keep it small. Never make bonfires. They are unsafe and unnecessary. Use established fire rings if available. Never use rocks, as the black soot is impossible to rub off. Gather only enough wood for your needs. If you are in a campsite for several weeks, be sure that you forage for dead wood over a wide area so you don’t take all the dead and rotting wood necessary for other forest life. If you are unable to have a campfire, you can substitute a lantern or candle. When extinguishing the fire, pour water in a circle starting from the outside and working in. Stir the coals to ensure all get wet.
Every crew should have adequate maps (topographic) that cover the travel and worksite areas. All members should have adequate skills for reading those maps. Travel plans and evacuation routes should be clear to all members before beginning the hike. Conservation Corps crews always travel in a group. Members should be able to see and communicate with the person traveling in front and behind them. The crew structure is the greatest asset to assure member safety, and we cannot compromise the autonomy of the crews. Everyone should know the location of the first aid kits and they should be easily accessible. For very short hikes, solo travel may be acceptable, but arrangements must be made to assure safety – radio contacts, check-ins or arrival times clearly established, etc. This is at the Crew Leader’s discretion.
Plan ahead. Try to catch the weather forecast before your crew heads out. Be prepared for varying weather and temperatures. Remember that we often work around Lake Superior conditions can be very different from further inland. You should be prepared for rain and cold weather at any time of the year. Always pack raingear. Lightning is common on hot summer afternoons. If you see lightening while on the work site: Do: Squat down with your feet facing downhill, keep your hands off the ground, sit on something dry and non-conducting (i.e. sleeping pad). Avoid being the tallest object near a body of water. Get out of the water and off wet ground. Get away from objects that conduct electricity (tent poles, pulaskis, etc). Disperse the group so that everyone is not affected. That way someone can provide first aid in the event of a strike. Watch for hair standing on end, listen for high pitch zinging sounds; these indicate that a strike is imminent. Stay alert to weather patterns; most weather in our area comes from the west and moves east. Don’t Don’t stand under the only tall object in the area. It is better to be under a group of trees. Don’t stay at or near peaks or ridges. Head to lower ground quickly. Don’t hide in shallow caves.
If someone should be injured while in the backcountry, your first priority is to give them the immediate care that they need. Obviously, your response will depend upon the severity of the injury, but if medical attention is required, immediately radio your project host and advise him/her of the situation. Be sure to give them your exact location. They will then be able to send help. If the injury is severe enough to require immediate evacuation, it will probably be by helicopter. Do not move the victim, but find the nearest location where a helicopter could land (a good thing to look for upon first arrival to an area). Have the crew members prepare the site; this may include clearing the landing zone and/or lighting a small signal fire. If the injury doesn’t require immediate evacuation but does require further medical attention, arrange evacuation with the sponsor. Have a contingency plan. Before you enter the backcountry, you should meet with your crew and project host to form a plan. What will your response be if someone is injured? Everyone on the crew and the project host should know the plan.
Ideas for Encouraging Safety: Morning “Water Toasts” with a safety theme. (“Here’s to safety, fun, and getting the job done!”) Give recognition to someone who made a safety conscious decision. Be SuPeRB!!! Spacing, Pacing, Rhythm, and Balance!!! Have a morning safety dance just for fun! Model safe work habits.
Food menu for the Wilderness Crew will be decided by your crew during training. One thing that doesnâ€™t change is that it is important to eat nutritious food. Food for the crew will be purchased by the crew before getting to Isle Royale. You will take all you need for the spike when you leave, thus reducing complications with refuels. Perishables will be purchased by the crew leaders (using Corps funds) while on spike. On Isle Royale the crew will have access to the National Park Service food ordering system though we recommend bringing all food at the beginning of the project.
MEAL PLAN for 1 week: Wilderness Crew Only Serving Size = 8-10 people
4 spike weeks total
# of Meals per week
Oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts, raisins
Granola and Dry Milk with fruit (dry or fresh)
Malt-o-Meal with dry fruit and fixings
Pancakes with syrup, PB, chocolate chips
Total # of breakfast
# of Meals per week
Crackers, cheese, salami, tuna, mustard **
Pita, hummus, GORP
Tortillas, PBJ, tuna, cheese
2 Total # of lunches
** depending on spike, fresh veggies may be packed Dinner
# of Meals per week
Alpine Spaghetti with garlic, parmesan cheese, butter/oil
Hearty Soup (Bear Creek) with biscuits
Black beans and tortillas with cheese
Chili & corn bread (cooks choice to add canned corn & rice)
Total # of Dinners
Some of the critters you’ll encounter during the summer will be those brave enough to wander into your camp. Raccoons, mice, porcupines, and squirrels will be the most common; occasionally a moose or bear may be seen. Although it is incredibly exciting for crews to observe the behavior of these creatures, it is important to protect you food for several reasons. Wild animals should remain wild. Allowing them to eat human food could be disastrous, as they may become dependent upon that food source and not forage for their own natural foods. Having a bear problem, or even 25 little mice running around, could decimate your food supply, forcing an unplanned refuel which may take a while to reach you. Methods of Food Protection Prevention is the key to a critter-proof camp. Keeping a very clean camp is essential. Never leave food or dirty dishes sitting out after meal time. Never allow people to keep food in their tents. Holes will be nibbled in tents or backpacks with food in them. Your crew should be aware that you and they will be financially responsible to for any damage to tents or Conservation Corps equipment due to neglect. Use containers with tight fitting lids to prevent raccoons or bears from getting into your supply. Use plastic bags that are wellsealed to reduce food odor and prevent spilling. The following items are useful for food protection: A van ☺ 5 gallon buckets w/ tight fitting lids Coolers Bear boxes Coolers Rope (50 feet minimum) Ziploc bags Plastic containers with lids
Water is your most precious resource in a spike camp. Ensuring that the crew has a constant supply of clean, filtered water is one of the primary responsibilities of the Crew Leaders. All members of the crew should have two water bottles to use. Never run out of water. The crew will have water filtration systems to use for collecting and purifying water. Even as such, it is important to find clean water sources to draw from. Choose areas with moving water, such as creeks and streams, or draw from larger lakes. Avoid drawing water from small, unmoving sources such as the edge of a pond. Dehydration, the result of not drinking enough water, can be a dangerous and even life threatening situation. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure all members of the crew are drinking enough water throughout the day.
(From By Michael Hodgson, Adventure Network, 1999) One of the most obvious, but perhaps under appreciated means of staying healthy involves washing the hands after bowel movements, before attending to wounds and always before preparing food. Rough percentages indicate that between 25 and 40 percent of all foodborne illness can be traced to the hands. For maximum clean, but not 100-percent bacteria removal, use hot water that is almost too hot to touch, between 100 to 120 degrees F. Soap up and work the lather into the skin and under the nails for at least thirty seconds. Rinse thoroughly with hot water again. Re-soap, re-rinse and then dry. Drying is perhaps one of the most overlooked and yet most important steps since washing alone will leave some bacteria suspended in the few droplets of water clinging to your skin, enhancing the possibility of a chance migration from skin to food and then...use your imagination. Of course, in the backcountry, hot water is a rare thing indeed, unless you are packing copious volumes of fuel. For wilderness use when hot water becomes a luxury, it is recommended to use of a germicidal soap or anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. Follow the method outlined in the previous paragraph for cleaning. Tips for staying germ-free Do not share bandanas, toothbrushes, razors, water bottles, eating utensils, etc. Wash and air dry all community kitchen gear. Keep anyone who is ill or appears to be ill away from the cooking area. Wash your hands before preparing meals and every time after you go to the bathroom. Purify all drinking water via water filtration, chemical treatment or boiling. Do not allow everyone to stick their hand into a bag of trail mix. -Shake the mix into open hands instead.
Preventing Infection Going without a shower for days on end has more than just aesthetic implications. It could nurture Candida and result in a yeast infection, one of the most common afflictions to strike women on extended wilderness trips. The possible causes of a yeast infection, in addition to poor hygiene, include use of antibiotics or birth control pills and vaginal cuts or abrasions from tampons or intercourse. Yeast makes its presence known with burning and/or itching in the vagina. The best treatment, of course, is prevention. Wash the vaginal area daily. If you’re infection prone, wear cotton underwear; synthetics promote the growth of bacteria. Allow the crotch to air dry by wearing loose-fitting clothing.
A Happy Bladder If you’re susceptible to urinary tract infections, take special precautions to prevent one on wilderness trips. Drink plenty of water to flush your system. Relax when urinating so your bladder empties completely. Carry ciprofloxacin tablets (sold under the name Suprax) or some other antibiotic for treating urinary tract infections. If an infection occurs, do not intake juices with high concentrations of sugar. Remember these points Wear tampons instead of sanitary pads, if possible. Use unscented sanitary supplies. Wash regularly with unscented baby wipes. If menstruation flow is heavy, bring a little squirt bottle to clean yourself. Bring changes of clean underwear and/or wash your undies frequently. “Frequently Asked Hygiene Questions” (by Andrea Gabbard From Adventure Network) Q. How do I dispose of tampons when I’m in the wilderness? A. First of all, glad to hear that you’re not letting your menstrual period get in the way of having a great outdoor experience! Follow "pack it in, pack it out" guidelines for all trash: take along extra garbage bags (I prefer Ziploc baggies) and put your used tampons or sanitary napkins in there, then carry them with you and dispose of them properly when you’ve returned to civilization. This may sound yucky, but think of it this way: how enjoyable would it be to inadvertently uncover someone else’s used sanitary stuff in the wilderness? Best to take it all with you. Q. How do you stay clean after a long day on the trail and no shower or water source in which to bathe? A. The easiest way is to take along a supply of baby wipes. Pack them in; pack them out. I usually ration myself four per day: two for morning, two for night. One is to wipe sunscreen off my face, the other is for "private parts."
There is a brief training period for your crew before you depart on your spike. It is imperative that the time is used effectively. The Crew Leaders and Head Staff will facilitate the training. These days of training are important; also realize that much of the learning will happen while on spike. The following is a list of topics to cover with the crew. Conservation Corps Rules and Expectations – It should be clear to crew members that all of the policies apply to them. The expectations of working hard, making decisions that will benefit the crew, and looking to grow are all still in effect. Crew members should also know that they are being held to a higher standard and what they did in previous summers is a good base to grow from, but not a level to stay at. More is expected of Wilderness Crew Members because they are capable of doing more.
Emergency Procedures – While evacuation and taking shelter in the backcountry is more challenging, it is still possible and a plan is in place for it. It is important that you understand the plan in the case of an emergency. Things to cover are: thunderstorms, tornados, cold weather and prevention of hypothermia, and examples of evacuation plans. Group Process and Team Dynamics – Groups go through basic phases related to their interactions with each other and overall performance. These phases are: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Knowing this theory can help the crew evaluate where they are at throughout the summer and come up with plans for improvement. Using group initiatives early on will help to develop an atmosphere of trust, unity, and open communication. Conflict Resolution — As up-and-coming leaders and as crew members about to embark on a 4-week projects together, a training on resolving conflict can be a valuable resource. Conflict resolution builds folks as leaders and, if learned and practiced, will reduce the chances of having an interpersonal conflict become serious while in the backcountry. Skills to cover include: active listening, dialogue v. debate approaches, the DESC model of communication, “sandwiching” feedback, and the use of “I statements”. The crew should also reach consensus on “ground rules” for handling conflict. Canoeing and Water Safety – Wilderness Crew projects can be in locations where travel by water is required. A hands on training about canoeing skills and water safety will help the crew prepare and approach these situations with a “safety first” attitude. Canoeing skills include: paddle strokes, portaging a canoe, use of PFDs, rollover situations, and stabilization techniques. Water safety topics are: required “buddy system”, staff member present, no jumping or diving, and identifying safe entry and exit points. Site Specific Information – Background information about the location including history, ecology, current use, and writings can be used to orient the crew to the location and build a framework for future learning. The assistant directors can provide the resources for this. It is also important to cover information about the work project, the camping location, and people who the crew will be in contact with. Leave No Trace – Many members of the crew will be familiar with these principles, however it has probably been a year since most have used them. A detailed refresher course will help to bring everyone up to speed. Gear Sorting and Packing – Experience with backcountry travel will vary among members of the crew. Time will be set aside to pack as a crew. This will ensure that the crew has everything it needs and that members do not have items that are extraneous. All of the group’s cooking and camping materials will also need to be divided amongst the crew. Map Reading – All crew members should be able to read a map and identify the campsite(s) and worksite(s) they will be using, along with major routes of travel in the area.
The crew’s personality will develop throughout the summer. However, much of the tone will be set in these first few days at Ojiketa Regional Park and the in the first week of your spike. Make sure to set a tone that is consistent with the philosophy of the conservation Corps: hard work, learning, community, and fun.
Personal Items 1 Warm sweater or sweatshirt (preferably not cotton) Long underwear top and bottom 1 winter hat Gloves or mittens 1 pair of fun/relaxing pants 1 pair shorts 2 t-shirts 4-6 pair underwear 4-6 pair regular socks 2 or more pair wool/heavy weight hiking socks Brimmed Hat Swimsuit 1 pair of work pants Personal Protective Equipment 1 pairs of safety glasses * 1 pairs of gloves * Work boots – broken in ahead of time 2 work shirts * Belt or suspenders Camp shoes Sandals to air out feet 2 or 3 water bottles (bright colors) Headlamp or flashlight Pocket knife Raingear Sleeping bag Feminine hygiene bags (Ziplocs) Medications (possibly motion sickness medication for boat ride) Duct tape Compass Watch (cheap water resistant watch) Small amount of money Books (1 or 2) Games and cards Adventure Book (small journal) Sunglasses Toiletries Sense of humor * = Items provided by Conservation Corps
Crew Items (Provided by the Corps) Rope for clothesline Rope for tarp Tarp to cover small things 3 working stoves 2 cook kits 6 large MSR white gas bottles 1 gal of extra gas 1 med cooking pot and lid Spoons (10-12) Plastic bowls/mugs 4 bandanas for setting food on 2 large bags to store cooking equipment Kitchen Gear (Provided by the Corps) Propane/pack stove Re-sealable plastic bags Food storage containers Pots with lids (2/5/11 qt) Propane bottle/white gas Mixing bowls Water jugs Water filter, iodine Plastic cutting board Knives Kitchen matches, butane lighter Tarp (10x20) Can opener Scrub brush Dishtowel Toilet paper Coffee pot Spatula Rubber scrapper Wooden spoon Garbage bags Ladle Stove repair kit Large skillet (maybe a Western one!)
Selecting appropriate clothing for backcountry work and travel takes some consideration, but ultimately will pay off when your pack is light and your body is comfortable in a myriad of conditions. Crew members will be advised to bring certain types of clothes, however not everyone will be able to bring the ideal items. The idea is to produce the best selection with the given options. Here are some things to consider. Physiological Considerations Select clothing which will allow the crew members to maintain a stable body core temperature, dissipate excess body heat and moisture, and protect themselves from the elements. General Principles of Clothing Selection 1)Clothing should be roomy and comfortable. Select clothes that allow for reasonable freedom of movement and clothes that allow for unhindered blood flow (avoid tight elasticized cuffs around the wrists and ankles) 2)Clothing must keep the wearer warm. Some layers must be capable of providing the wearer with “insulation” (i.e., dead air space which creates a thermal barrier between the body of the wearer and the colder environment). Also select items that can be layered to allow the wearer to respond to the changing environmental conditions and levels of exertion. Clothing should be able to insulate even when wet. 3)Clothing should keep the wearer dry. Inner layers of clothing should be of materials which absorb minimal amounts and wick excess moisture away from the skin. Protective layers of outer clothing (e.g., rain gear and such) should repel moisture to maintain the effectiveness of insulation underneath. 4)Clothing must be dependable. Zippers, buttons, stitching, etc. should be of heavy duty quality that will hold up. 5)Clothing should be versatile and have multiple uses to minimize pack weight. For example, shorts can double as a swim suit, a long underwear top as a night shirt, etc. Clothing Material Characteristics Wool Advantages: good insulator, retains warmth when wet, will dry via body heat while being worn, relatively cheap to purchase, tightly woven materials cut down on wind penetration. Disadvantages: coarse fibers may irritate skin, can shrink if washed or dried at high temperatures, difficult to completely dry heavier weaves, doesn’t compress well. Cotton Advantages: very comfortable in warm weather, cheap to purchase, easy to wash in all temperatures. Disadvantages: absorbs water readily, doesn’t insulate when wet, doesn’t insulate well in general, heavy when wet, slow to dry, will mildew under constant wet and humid conditions, major contributor to hypothermia when wet or damp.
Synthetic Fibers Synthetic fibers can fall into three categories: insulating fabrics, insulating fills, and shell fabrics. These fabrics are used as undergarments, outer garments, and external shells. Advantages: very lightweight, absorb virtually no water, conserve heat very well, dry rapidly while being worn, feel comfortable against the skin, non-allergenic, less prone to mildew than natural fibers, come in a variety of weights/blends/colors. Disadvantages: relatively expensive to purchase, will melt or burn readily when expose to sparks or flame, insulators without shells offer minimal protection from the wind, pick-up and retain body odors readily, some may not withstand abrasion well Fabric Blends Fabric blends are a combination of nylon, cotton, wool, polypropylene, and other fibers. Advantages: when constructed properly can combine the best qualities of each fabric. Disadvantages: when constructed improperly can combine the worst qualities of each fabric. Breathable Waterproof Fabrics These are fabrics coated or bonded with microporous membrane which keeps the rain out but lets the smaller water vapors escape. Advantages: allow body moisture to escape, prevents external moisture from penetrating the garment, stops wind penetration very well. Disadvantages: expensive to purchase, durability varies but often not up to trail work durability, do not breathe after dirty.
As you prepare for your summer of Wilderness experiences, look ahead to the wonderful opportunity you have. With a positive attitude, a willingness to try new things, an acceptance of living without all the normal comforts, and taking in everyday as a once in a lifetime opportunity, you will discover more than just an Island. You will learn about yourself, your peers and leaders, and about the beauty of the world around us. This may be your only summer like this in your entire life. Enjoy! - Peace be the Journey -
If you have any questions or need more information please contact: Jonathan Goldenberg Summer Youth Corps Coordinator 617-686-1205 (Cell) 651.209.9900 ext 27(office) 612-300-0557 (Camp Number) 320-284-6000 (Back-Up Camp Number) -orEric Antonson Program Director 651.209.9900 ext 11 Conservation Corps Minnesota 60 Plato Blvd. E, Suite 210 St. Paul, MN 55107 www.conservationcorps.org â€œConservation Corps has helped me realize being you is all you need to be and shouldn't try to be anything less. The work projects help promote the message of taking care of the earth and the feeling that people can come together to make a difference. Iâ€™ve made amazing life long friends at CCM and feel safe in the open and inclusive environment CCM provides. Tyler R. Youth member 2010, 2011
â€Ś carrying on the tradition and legacy of service learning and youth development