Conservation Journal: Stevie

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.

February 1, 2019

Stevie Raymond

Laptop open. Huge cup of tea at the ready. Star Wars: The Last Jedi soundtrack playing through headphones. I begin writing my conservation journal when there’s a muffled sound that resembles laughter. I turn my head to see several AmeriCorps members sitting with Clayton, the Office Manager, as they discuss the process for the camping lottery system. I turn back to the computer. Write some more…there’s that sound again. This time they’re joined by our Facilities Manager, Katri Gurney:

“Oh, this is so exciting!”

Next, our Executive Director, E.B. James, strolls in. Then, our Community Engagement Coordinator, Melissa Leszek, has a peak. They’re exhilarated. Eagerly awaiting this year’s first pick for campsite bookings. The process is tremendously complicated involving drawing a name from a hat, or bowl, to ensure its randomness. Sydney extends her arm, reaches in, and pulls out a name. I still had my headphones so the name came out muffled, but congratulations to Mikolpakye ranjycovfefejm!

I’m used to experiencing the SLA during the summer time, which seems as if we operate on a constant state of, “GO, GO, GO.” There’s so much going on to a point where some days you want to build a wall around yourself just for a few moments of peace. However, as soon as you look up to notice snowflakes falling instead of leaves, everything is different. Just like the various animals around us, we too enter a state of torpor for a few months. Taking time to rest, slow down, and lick our wounds, you get a decent amount of bruises on the dive boat. Winter also provides us with a chance to take a step back and ask important questions. How are we doing? What can we do better? Where are we going with this?

Eventually, the holidays pass and the New Year arrives. Soon we’ll be strapping ourselves back in and preparing for the upcoming opportunities that await us. In the meantime, we’re going to continue enjoying what winter has to offer. Ice water quality trips, Winterfest, the new Captain Marvel movie. Savoring every snowflake that falls while relishing in those small glimpses into the summer, such as drawing a name out of bowl.

Stevie excels at making motion pictures, using sarcasm and wit, and flailing his arms wildly during game nights with friends.  You can learn more about Stevie here.


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