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Youth Program

[Image Description: A MCC member stands on an overlook, looking out at the mountainous landscape. They are wearing their uniform and holding a seed dispersal tool.]

Brought Together by Lopping

A youth crew stands smiling in front of a structure. They are holding a sign that says "The End" on it.

The first few days of an 11-day hitch are tough. You’re thrown into a crew of 8 without knowing anybody. It can be nerve-wracking, anxiety-inducing, and awkward. It can be hard to bring a group like this together, but through the right combination of hard work and fun, it can be done. The Drop, Lock, and Found It crew achieved just this balance. While lopping over 1,500 lodgepole pines at Lost Trail, our crew turned this simple task into a fun game, a race to see who could lop 50 pines the quickest. The crew not only had a ton of fun, but also performed the important service of simulating fires that would normally take out these lodgepole pines. Games and fun like this permeated through our crew as we built bridges, lopped trees, pulled noxious weeds, and battled invasive species. By the end of our 11 days spread across Lost Trail and Cruz WPA, our crew had formed incredible friendships; always playing card games together, taking over our planned activities for us, and generally finding the right balance of fun and hard work. It was a pleasure getting to know each one of the crew and watching them become a team over the last two weeks. It was a great reminder as to why conservation work is not only important for the environment, but also the humans who live in it.