by SCA Alum, David Kurapka

It was paradise. My two stints with SCA account for a mere few months of my life, but their importance to me far outweighs the relatively brief time I spent in the program.

Dave pictured top row, 2nd from right

I served in the high school program in Acadia National Park in Maine and as an intern at Assateague Island National Seashore, a 37-mile long barrier island located off the eastern coast of the Delmarva Peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean. I love the mountains and desert, but when asked the “mountains or seashore” question, to this day my answer is seashore thanks to my SCA experience.

While at Acadia, we spent a week on Baker Island, located a few miles south of Mount Desert Island, the main area of the park. It is small, maybe a mile or two across, and somewhat difficult to get to. Except for us, no camping was allowed. Our group of 12 or so essentially had the island to ourselves.

Our leaders Bob and Libby Mills, two famed teachers from the Putney School in Vermont, left a lasting impression on me. They taught us the human and natural history of the area, how to tie basic knots, and how to practice minimum impact camping – all skills that have come in handy at other points in my life. During the day we worked to preserve a historic farm building located on the island. But we had plenty of time to wander around the island, explore the woods in the center of island, and investigate the tidal pools. I still remember the clean salty sea air and the crystalline light as the sun set.

You may be fully involved with SCA as an alum or donor, or perhaps you are connecting with SCA for the first time. Either way, the SCA experience shaped me in countless ways–as it has done for tens of thousands of young adults since 1957–and it’s why I will always give back to SCA however I can.

I hope the entire SCA community will join me on September 22 to support SCA on Giving Day. Be sure to also check out these awesome virtual events taking place that week, as there are so many benefits to sharing our stories, contrasting experiences and broadening networks. Every meeting or blog read is a potential job tip, reunion, learning moment, etc. Please pay it forward by staying involved.