Conservation Journal: Connor N.

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.

June 21, 2018

Connor N.

The summer is in full swing here at the Squam Lakes Association, and I am so excited to be a part of it! This is not only my first summer at Squam Lake, but my first time in New Hampshire. In the short month I have been here I’ve experienced so many breathtaking views, days of hard work, and rewarding challenges to overcome. I always expected my education to slow down after graduating from college, but at the SLA it is still full speed ahead! In my time here, I have become Wilderness First Aid certified, CPR certified, SCUBA certified, a weed control diver, a New Hampshire safe boater, and passed my New Hampshire commercial boater certification. It’s incredible how many new skills I have learned in so little time!

This past week we restarted our seemingly endless battle against variable milfoil in Squam Lake, but our efforts are making a huge impact. Through long dive days and excellent supervision from Rebecca and Katri, we AmeriCorps members are getting the milfoil out and keeping the watershed healthy. At first, I was extremely excited to learn how to SCUBA dive, but during our first open water dives I became a bit apprehensive that it wasn’t for me due to troubles clearing my ears and being comfortable staying under for long. As we continued diving, I have become more and more comfortable in the water and now my only worries involve being scared by unexpected large fish under creepy docks. So, things are going well!

This past week also marked the start of summer camping for us AmeriCorps members. So far, the weather has been beautiful for all of my campouts, which I am extremely grateful for. The comfortable days have allowed me to learn everything there is to know about camping on Squam Lake and how to do the same when the weather isn’t so great. One of my favorite parts of camping is the peace and quiet the night brings out on the lake. There’s nothing quite like stargazing on a dock out in the middle of the lake on a clear night. Typically, the only things that break the silence are the calls of the loons, which are a welcome addition. As a Midwesterner, the hills and mountains of New Hampshire are very new to me, but I am excited to live in and among them for the next couple of months. I have thoroughly enjoyed my service at the Squam Lakes Association so far, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer brings!

Connor N. is from Carmel, Indiana. He graduated from Ohio Northern University where he studied Environmental/Field Biology and Spanish. Click here to read Connor's bio.

Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.