http://www.conservationcorps.org

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

AmeriCorps

May - August 2019 • Hinckley, MN

What I liked

A supportive workplace that challenged me to grow and adapt in the face of every obstacle that came my way. Rewarding, despite sun and rain and several very long days.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Crew Leader

May - September 2018 • Tofte, MN

What I liked

The Faces of Tomorrow program was a great opportunity to get experience in various departments in the US Forest Service and get a feel for how the departments work together to maintain national forests.

What I wish was different

I wish there would have been more opportunities to reach out to other Conservation Corps crews working in the same areas because there is so much cool work being done and we had time to work on projects with them.

Advice

I would recommend that people looking to go into this experience ask good questions after really reviewing the job description because it will help to further develop a sense of what you will be doing.
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Conservation Apprentice

May - August 2018 • Fairmont, MN

What I liked

I worked with the Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District. I loved how outgoing the staff was and how passionate they were about their specializations. They were exceptionally willing to introduce me to and teach me new things, as well as entrust me with responsibilities even though my skill level was not as high as theirs. They gave me freedom to ask questions, they advocated for my career development, they went to trainings with me, and helped me set up a shadowing day with a professional engineer in the area.

What I wish was different

I wish I had been a larger part of restoration projects, but due to the season and the weather, not many projects were beginning. However, I was taken to countless restoration sites to learn about techniques and best management conservation practices that went into restoring wetlands and prairie. I was taught how to evaluate the success of projects as well.

Advice

It would have been beneficial to my experience there if I had taken some plant identification courses and surveying courses beforehand. This was not a requirement, but it would have been helpful and I would have been more useful to my co-workers.
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Crew Leader

May - August 2018 • Hinckley, MN

What I liked

The community environment here is absolutely amazing. Head staff is extremely supportive and the training for crew leaders is very thorough. I love the fact that we got to experience so many different state parks and unique projects in each of the locations we went to. All of the sponsors we worked with over the summer were supportive of my crew, my co-leader and me, and helped us all grow and gain more valuable experiences.

What I wish was different

I wish we could have had more opportunities to take a moment to breath. Being a crew leader means you are on 24/7. It is awesome that you have the opportunity to live and work with your crew, so you get to form strong bonds, but it can be extremely tiring at times.

Advice

You should not have any expectations coming into this job because everyone's experience is completely different; your co-crew leader, your crew, your assigned projects and locations will all be unique. Be prepared to look on the bright side of everything because the way you react sets the tone for the whole crew and all of your experiences in CCMI. It can be an amazing experience if you accept all that is fablulous and not so ideal about the program, and make the most of it all.
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Crew Leader

May - August 2018 • St Croix, MN

What I liked

I loved being able to meet a group of passionate people working hard to improve the state parks in Minnesota.

What I wish was different

Advice

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