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Southeast Conservation Corps

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Youth Crew Knocks Out Projects in the Ocoee

July 2021 | "I have definitely enjoyed my time working for the Southeast Conservation Corps. So far I have worked one week and I have already made good friends with people on my crew. I have also learned how to use certain tools that I had not used before. One example of this is a rock bar. Before this week, I had never used one but I have gotten a lot of experience using a rock bar this week. The only bad thing that has happened is that it has rained I have also really enjoyed getting to know people that I would not have gotten to know otherwise, and I have made some good friends too. One highlight of this week was completing a staircase that I had worked very hard on for a few days, however, there have been many other good experiences that I have had this week. I am also really enjoying getting to do things that I enjoy such as being outdoors and working with my hands." -Joe Carpenter

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"During the first week of work, our group spent most of our time working in or around water. We built two different water crossings, working as a team to move rocks into place, building stepping stones across the streams. On the second day, we un-made a dam blocking the stream, and put small rocks into place for a set of stairs. For the rock stairs, we had to dig into the ground shaping and leveling the dirt so they wouldn’t flip. My favorite part of this week was learning how to hold and use a Pulaski. On the fourth day, we took turns working together using the Pulaski to cut a tree, that had fallen down and blocked the trail. I also enjoyed using a rock net with three other people to move a large rock across the stream, so it could be used for the other set of stairs we were building." -Marina Lancaster

"This third week in the Occoe YCC crew we did a two-mile hike to lop and clean up a fire trail they will be burning next spring. After work, we got to learn two new games and had family time with each other. It has been really hard this week doing a two-mile hike down and back up the trail but the work has been fun and also a little stressful with all the yellow jacket nest and everyone being tired. However, this has been a really fun crew and a really good week so far." -Lauren Marshall

"On Monday of our last week, we took out a bridge that had been closed for three years. We took the wood out and took it back to the car. Then we started clearing and re-routing a trail. On Tuesday, we continued re-routing the trail, and we started pealing bark off of four different trees, so they could be used for the new bridge we were building. On Wednesday we built up the railing and put the bridge in place. We spent the last day, securing the bridge, putting the railing in place, and bolting it to the bridge. My favorite part of the week was when we tried to uncover wooden beams stuck in the ground because I was digging and using a pick-mattock." - Marina Lancaster

"I have definitely enjoyed my time working on this YCC crew. I have also learned a lot of valuable information about a lot of stuff, especially about how the forest service works. This was especially helpful since I am considering working for the forest service. I also got to do a lot of fun stuff. One of my favorite projects was demolishing an old bridge and then building a new bridge across a creek. I also learned how to use a number of tools that I had never used before, such as a Pulaski and a number of other tools. I also really enjoyed getting to talk with the project partners that we had. They were able to tell me a lot about the forest service and other stuff. I really enjoyed getting to know all of the people on my crew better too. I think the highlight of my time was when we got to relax and do fun stuff with the crew on the weekends we were off." -Joe Carpenter

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