Conservation Journal: Connor

The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.

December 5, 2017


I’m starting to remember how much of working with the SLA involves endurance. There are never really any short days, and the work is fairly strenuous most of the time. Take last Thursday for example. I spent the entire day raking one of our hiking trails. Just raking. For the entire day. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I actually rather enjoyed it. But, there’s only so much the body will allow for one kind of activity for that extensive of a time frame. I didn’t start to feel anything until about 6 hours into raking the trail, but I noticed that my work was getting sloppier and my form was becoming lazier. But there was still work to do, and myself and my rake-mate, Meghan, were eager to finish. We pressed on until we had to head back in, and we started to feel the pains from our labor. I’m fairly certain I fell asleep at 7:30 that night.

Luckily, Friday was looking like it was going to be a fairly relaxing day. I was wrong. We were told to fix one of the tent platforms in Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest. This process would involve moving 2 dozen 16’ boards onto our work boat and then moving them to the campsite. Then we would start working, which would involve removing all of the boards and nails from the frame… and that process took us the entire day. We didn’t even get to the stage of hammering in the new boards, but I think I was fine with that because my back wanted to explode before I even started working. The point I am making with these two examples is that we often work on tasks that take us a surprisingly long amount of time, which takes a great deal of endurance. I’m generally okay with that because it gives me the opportunity to space out and think about fun things in my head, like pirates or something.

What I noticed that was especially strange while I was working these two days and the days since was how I am now constantly hungry. Like so much to the point that I think I’m a monster. And I realize it’s likely because I’m constantly doing work that burns a lot of calories, as opposed to sitting on my couch and watching cat videos like I was doing at home. Again, I’m not complaining. It’s a lot better this way. I just hope that I can sustain a lifestyle of eating an entire kitchen’s worth of food on a day-to-day basis. Anyway, here’s a picture of me hugging a mooring. Enjoy, friends.

Connor is from Sioux City, Iowa. He graduated from Saint John’s University in Minnesota with a degree in Biology. Click here to read Connor's bio.