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For anyone interested in working for a Conservation Corps

I wanted to add a post about my experience this summer working for the Montana Conservation Corps. My hope is that some of you will read this and be interested in the type of work that puts you in some of the most beautiful places in this country while giving back to the communities that you work in. It was an amazing opportunity, and one of the best decisions of my life.

After almost 3 years of sitting at a cubicle doing office work, and after many years of being on the coolworks website dreaming about the jobs and wanting the courage to just go out there and do it, i applied for the Montana Conservation Corps for the 2009 season. I submitted my application in November and found out in early February that I was hired. I was thrilled! I would finally leave this cubicle, dead-end job and go out to see some of the most beautiful places in the country! I worked for the Montana Conservation Corps from May 26 - November 6th. The work, the friendship and the scenery told me my decision was right to leave and do something outside, in nature, under the stars.

Working for a conservation corps, whichever one you may decide to go with, is an amazing opportunity. There are differences between conservation corps jobs and many of the other jobs on coolworks. Many of the jobs on coolworks offer positions working as servers, guest service agents, bartenders, in some of the most beautiful places in the country, such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Acadia National Parks. Working for a conservation corps allows you to work in the same beautiful places with the difference of actually doing your work outside, on trails or prairies, breathing in some of the freshest air you've ever experienced. There is nothing wrong with either option. It just depends on what you're looking far.

My experience with the Montana Conservation Corps allowed me to learn all various types of "conservation". During our 5 1/2 month AmeriCorps term of service (which, may I add, looks GREAT on a resume), I worked on over 50 miles of trails in the Bridger Teton National Forest in Wyoming, built fences on a North Dakota National Wildlife Refuge, sprayed for invasive weeds on a National Wildlife Refuge near Great Falls, Montana, helped rehibilitate the Arctic Greyling (a fish almost extinct in North America, and is now only found in western Montana), and helped people stay warm this winter by insulating their homes.

The types of work we did this season varied. However one thing always remained the same: I learned something new every day, while helping people and their communities. No matter how hard it was during the day, how "boring" some of the work was or how exhausted I was laying down in my tent at night, I went to bed knowing that I had given my all to give back. And there is no better feeling than that.

If you are interested in getting outside, learning to live in a way you probably never would think you'd be living, sleeping in a tent, giving back to communities, building friendships that last lifetimes, losing weight, building muscle, taking thousands of pictures, breathing fresh air, staring at the stars every night, and learning to believe in yourself... then you go to www.coolworks.com and click on the Conservation Corps tab at the very top and take a look at the different places you could go.

If anyone has any questions, please send me a message or a comment on my page and I will gladly answer any questions or concerns you may have. CoolWorks offers jobs in great places - just imagine actually doing it. And do it :-)

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Thanks for posting this discription of your summer. Tell me, did they have older women doing this? I would love to work outside for a season. I enjoyed my summer, but decided against the wintering in Yellowstone, and came back to Georgia for the winter.
good hearing from you
Carol
Hey Carol! They did not have older women doing this... i'm guessing the average age for crew members is about 21 (i'm 28, and we had a few guys a couple of years older than me)... the average age for a crew leader is about 24/25 i believe. But if you want to do it, i would apply for it! With the Obama administration, AmeriCorps is getting alot of extra money and therefore can hire more people!

Glad to hear you enjoyed your summer! How is Georgia treating you? What do you have planned for the winter? I'm back in NJ now, taking December off to help my sister out with her triplets and then i'll look for a temporary job from jan-april or may, then off to something else seasonal... not sure what! Keep in touch, i miss talking to you!
Georgia is really nice this time of year, not too cold, lots of downed leaves to hike through. I'm thinking of going to Cozumel for 6 weeks with my friend and learning to scuba dive. Then, come spring, find a seasonal job here ( a very rich touristy town, close by in NC).
Congrats on the triplets! Wow, that must be a handful. Your sister is lucky to have you.
Do you find it weird not working? I'm brushing up on my Spanish for the winter excursion. When do people chat online nowadays ?
Jason - This is a great post and a wonderful description of your summer. Thanks for sharing. Also, like I've said before, I remember when you first signed up on the site, your enthusiasm, your doubts, and your eventual going for it and not looking back. Good for you, Jason. I can't wait to hear about your next adventure! - Kari : )
You ROCK Jason. Seriously.
Jason thanks for sharing I might try doing that for a summer, hearing about all you adventures around bozeman made me want to move back there.

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