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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.]

MCC Definitely-Not-Urban Dictionary

A youth crew member lowers a sledge hammer onto a wooden stake stuck into the ground. Around her is tall prairie grass.

My hitch with Montana Conservation Corps was simultaneously exactly what I expected and completely the opposite. Stuck in the middle of the dry, barren prairie, I never expected MCC to be fun. I knew I would like the work, giving back to the state that has given me so much, but I was pretty sure everything else would be hot, stinky, and an overall bad time. But despite age gaps, temperatures over 90°, and having no trees in sight, MCC allowed me to learn a lot, laugh a lot, build a bunch of muscles, and make friends along the way. To best sum up my experience, here's our definitely-not-urban dictionary, including just a few of the things I learned with MCC:


B.D.A. (noun): short for Beaver Dam Analog; the work part; frequently referred to as PB&J or bidet

Ex: This BDA is going to help keep moisture in the floodplain. 


Digging Sod (verb): a gossip circle while theoretically contributing to the building of BDAs 

Ex: Let's go dig sod so you can tell me all about your crush.


Flat Stanley (noun):  the squeaky shovel

Ex: I guess I'll go dig sod, pass me Flat Stanley?


Girlboss (noun): a person who is doing a lot of work, and looking cool while doing it

Ex: Kevin, you're such a girlboss with that sledgehammer. 


Rig (noun): the vehicle 

Ex: Throw everything in the rig and let's get outta here!


Willer (noun): a bendy tree that makes an ideal fishing rod 

Ex: Look! I caught a trout with the willer!


Skirt (noun): a tangle of conifer and willow branches on the downstream side of a BDA 

Ex: Throw some more willers in that skirt.


The Mall (noun): the only store in a 20-mile radius of Winnett, MT; not a mall 

Ex: Can we get ice cream at the mall after work?


Chlorine (noun): a ranch cat that randomly shows up at camp

Ex: Did you see that black flash? Do you think it was Chlorine?


Codger Tea (noun): a beverage made from lemonade and black tea 

Ex: It's really hot out, wanna get a codger tea at the mall?


Crawfishin' (verb): the ideal evening activity of wrangling pincher-bearing lake-dwellers

Ex: We're gonna go crawfishin' after dinner. 


City Slicker (noun): a person who has neither cowboy camped, nor crawfished 

Ex: Come down to the creak and catch some fish you City Slicker!


Bossman (noun): a person who has both cowboy camped and crawfished

Ex: Hey look! Bossman caught a big hoss!


Lumens (noun): flashlights, headlamps, or anything helpful for crawfishing at night 

Ex: Get your lumens, we're going crawfishin'!


SackMac (noun): one of several leftover ziploc meals found in the bottom of the cooler; the only acceptable lunch

Ex: Did you remember to pack the SackMac in your backpack?