One thing that Jonah Keane’s speech at All Corps last week made me think about is, “the bubble.” The bubble is a term that I have heard a lot since joining SCA NH Corps and I have often wondered why. It’s the kind of thing that you can only realize with a bit of reﬂection, which is something that I get to do a lot here and with this blog. During education season at Bear Brook, “the bubble,” was life at camp. No TV, no newspapers no reliable internet… our lives were each other and our students. It was a time where I could notice a big change occurring in me because I was so involved in what was going on at Bear Brook. I could argue that it would have been beneficial to stay more in touch with what was going on outside our camp, but what’s done is done and I tried to make it a positive.
“The bubble” also applies to our program and what we do in only our state in the whole United States. At All Corps we met people from 5 other corps in 4 other states who are doing what we do, and doing it well. There are interpreters, invasive species specialists, surveyors, and biologists working with the SCA everywhere. It’s easily seen through the other Follow Me bloggers, but you’d need to multiply that by the hundreds, if not thousands to get a full picture of the force of people working and serving for the environment.
What I have found the most interesting about, “the bubble,” is how I think of it when I talk to the people outside of it: the public. We were warned that people tend to stop us and ask us a lot of questions. One of the most common and diﬃcult to answer, and probably one of the reasons I was asked to blog in the first place is, “What exactly do you do?” I tell the public that I am part of a corps of 29 members who educate youth about conservation and the environment, engage youth in volunteer opportunities, and work on conservation projects on public land in New Hampshire. Whether they fully understand or not, their reaction is almost always one of great thanks. They see us as volunteers who are spending time away from friends and family and sacrificing normal lives for the good of conservation. We accept their gratitude, but still think that we are doing what we like to do: work outside, meet new people, travel, and work for a good cause.
The gratitude that we have received from the not-so-public is also hugely appreciated, and I feel that I should make mention of it. To the Carter family in Maine, who just so happened to be related to our crew member Sarah Carter, who brought us pizza and had a BBQ for us and let 7 smelly and dirty “bog people” use their shower. To our site contacts (so far) Matt and Nate, who help us get started with any other thing that we need, and sometimes bring us ice cream out on the trail. They have been patient and supportive and let us know that they have been really psyched with our work. To Matt’s boss, Jon from the Nature Conservancy, who also had a BBQ for us, those kebabs were amazing! And to the staff at Bear Brook who have shared with us what they know and given us the tools to learn even more, thanks! The generosity of these people and many more make me feel wanted and important and motivates me to try my absolute best. I think I’ll enjoy the bubble while I can.