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Field Program

[Image Description: Two MCC members taking a brief break; one is sitting on a rock, the other is standing nearby. They are both in their uniforms, looking out at the expansive, mountain view surrounding them.]


A cabin in a field with tall trees behind and on a hill side in the distance.

When I told folks from home I was coming out to Montana to work with the Conservation Corps, everyone had the same follow-up question:


Sometimes it was said genuinely, with a sincere curiosity; other times it was said politely, but most of the times it was said in confusion.

I had a few answers at the ready.

“I want to learn about conservation work.”
“I love being outside.”
“I want to challenge myself.”
“I thought it sounded fun.”

All of the above are true, of course, but there was a part of me that knew I wasn’t getting to the true “why” of why I was serving with MCC.

As my season started, and I headed out into the Selway-Bitterroot with my crew, I was surprised to discover that every day of my service, I stumbled upon another “Why,” until I looked around and realized they all interlocked with each other like a puzzle whose picture I got to assemble more and more every day.

Mornings at Moose Creek Ranger Station, sharing coffee and breakfast, and hearing about my crew’s dreams.

Taking up the century-old mantle of trail work in the Selway-Bitterroot.

The ache in my arms after a day of cross-cutting.

Working and living with three strangers who quickly became my family.

Fruit snacks.

The view from Freeman Peak.

Making dinner on the trail for my crew, enjoying the sacred act of sharing food and space.

Sleeping under the stars.

The triumphant leg press of a particularly difficult tree off of the trail.


Learning more about my crew.

Learning more about myself.

Meeting people from all over the country who all have one thing in common: their love for Moose Creek.