It is February and icicles still line the rooftops, but the SCA Manchester Community Program event season has already begun. The first SCA Manchester event was a roaring success. The location was selected to be Bear Brook State Park; this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the rare SCA NH Corps members unimpeded in their natural habitat.
The Manchester community program members piled into logo emblazoned vans on a blistery, blustery morning eager for adventure and conservation. After an hour long drive deep into the New Hampshire countryside the seven participating members and four leaders arrived at Spruce Pond Camp. After the standard formalities, the first item on the agenda was a facilities tour so the new members could see where all the magic happens.
The community program members were thoroughly impressed by the general lack of amenities in the residential cabins and had many inquiries as how it was possible to survive without the basic necessities of life such as: McDonald's, cable television, electricity, and 4G networks. Afterward, they attended their first environmental presentation of the year led by two SCA NH Corps interpretive interns, Dan Coale and Lily Cason.
Through the staggeringly informative and educational medium of felt-board short stories along with the articulate and imaginative contributions of the interpreters, the history of Bear Brook State Park came alive. The group then feasted upon exquisitely prepared gado gado and macaroni & cheese made with extra care, for as any good leader knows, the best way into a high schooler's mind is through the stomach. The event culminated in a final act of conservation as the crew set off on an interpretive hike into the untamed wilderness.
Luckily two knowledgeable SCA NH Corps interpretive interns, Jordan Sawyer and Kat Drago, led the group along the scarcely traversed Broken Boulder Trail. The interns were more than capable, weathering the wilds and dodging obstacles deftly while interpreting the seemingly indecipherable nature with ease. What appeared to be a nondescript fallen tree to the untrained eye was explained to be caused by a gigantic grazing moose. "You can tell it was about eight feet tall due to the height of these nibblings," Kat Drago says gesturing frantically to a twig above her head as she trudges fearlessly off the trail into thigh-deep snow.
Above Smith Pond stands a lean-to shelter scrawled with the names of park visitors over the years, this served as the mid-point of the hike for the group. Here, they warmed their bemittened hands and bescarfed faces over an open fire and discussed the affairs of the day over local (extremely local) Hemlock Tea and Hot Chocolate.
At last, a wonderful day had come to an end and it was time to return to Manchester and their lives in doors, however with a little luck, perhaps these students will continue activity in the program and become lifelong Earth stewards.
1 - The 2011 SCA Manchester Leadership Corps warm-up at the Smith Pond lean-to with Team Leaders Carly, Sean, Darin and Emily, and NH Corps Interpreters, Kat and Jordan.
2 - Evan checks out the winter flora and fauna with binoculars.
3 - On their hike back to the lodge crew members tried some snowshoeing.
The SCA Manchester Conservation Leadership Corps members arose long before dawn to attend the 9th Annual Northeast Organic Farming Association's Winter Conference in Exeter, NH. This event brought home the themes of conservation and sustainability by focusing on something we can all relate to: what's on the dinner table! The volunteer work for the day began right away with Team Manchester helping to unload vendor materials from vehicles and set them up for the Green Market Fair. In addition to doing environmental education in the children's area and preparing the cafeteria for lunch, crew members were able to attend sessions, watch films, and meet local farmers and green producers. After a busy morning members were able to sit down for a well-earned organic feast with the conference's world-famous community potluck lunch. The whole day turned out to be a great success for Team Manchester. The crew enjoyed getting work done and having free time to explore their interests in a professional atmosphere.
1 - The SCA Manchester Crew and Team Leaders after a great day at the NOFA-NH Winter Conference.
2 - Crew member Mihn-Tam (Mia) explores the Green Market Fair.
Our second Saturday Event consisted of a beach cleanup at Jenness Beach followed by a visit to the Seacoast Science Center. We arrived at Jenness Beach to meet Patty, the Program Coordinator, for the Blue Ocean Society. She gave a short explanation about the Blue Ocean Society and how it relates to marine conservation, as well as how the beach cleanup benefits both the local community and ocean ecosystem as a whole. Following the cleanup, all the volunteers were able to debrief with the Blue Ocean Society. This gave us a good opportunity to ask questions, take pictures, and engage with professionals after the project.
After the cleanup we departed for our second destination, The Seacoast Science Center. Located about 10 minutes north towards Portsmouth, the center boasts interpretive exhibits, an interactive touch-tank, and seaside setting. Members were able to provide service to the center through various tasks needed to maintain a properly working facility. There were many exhibits illustrating the local history of the New England coast. In addition, there were many interactive engaging activities, such as a touch-tank with starfish, aquariums with various fish, and historical information.
The Manchester Conservation Leadership Corps members all seemed to have a great time, and thoroughly enjoyed their day by the ocean!
1 - Crew leader Sean and members Evan, Mihn-Tam, and Destiny begin the beach cleanup with Patty from the Blue Ocean Society.
2 - The windy day at the beach didn't stop the SCA Manchester crew from picking up 65 pounds of litter!
3 - Crew members Destiny, Mihn-Tam, Qi Qi, Weiman, and Evan enjoy one of the many interpretive exhibits at the Seacoast Science Center.
SCA is gearing up for a great summer in New Jersey this year!
We are now accepting applications from high school students (ages 15-19) for community crews in Hunterdon County and Essex County (Newark), NJ. As an SCA crew member, you will:
Crews work Monday-Friday for 6 weeks and work 7 hours a day. Transportation is provided from a central location.
Hunterdon County Dates: June 26-August 3rd (subject to change by a few days)
Essex County Dates: June 26th-August 2nd
Apply online today by filling out an application for a Community Crew here: http://mysca.force.com/member/NewRegistration
Be sure to:
- Put the code PR-00045510 in the 'Application Code' field when you sign up
- Indicate which region you're interested in working in Hunterdon, or Essex in the Essay Section of the application.
Once you’ve submitted your application please send an email to email@example.com to let us know!
For more information, please contact Rachel at 703-524-2441 x2017 or firstname.lastname@example.org