So let me introduce myself, my name is Elamon White, which you saw in the title of my blog, and I am a VetsWork AmeriCorps intern serving at the Sumter National Forest on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District as the Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator. All right, now that my very long job title is out of the way I can get into the details.
This is my second term of service with AmeriCorps in my VetsWork internship and I am already off to the races. Starting off my second term of service already understanding my position’s duties and responsibilities gives me more leadership opportunities and the ability to skip the “I’m the new person” vibe. My network of people I know has grown tenfold since I started my first term of service in March 2017 on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District and all of that networking has started to pay off.
The volunteers I started working with, coordinating, and building rapport with last year are very comfortable communicating with me and working on projects on the district. I have also helped develop the ability for volunteers to get training for chainsaw and crosscut certifications to be able to increase our volunteer work capacity to get things done on the district.
On top of that, I have become a big representative for Leave No Trace. Thanks to the help of my supervisor I became a Leave No Trace Master Educator last year. This has enabled me to be able to teach Leave No Trace Ethics on an official capacity on the district to our volunteers, as well as, the general public. This has given me the ability to make a name for myself in the Leave No Trace community and I have been honored with the position of the Leave No Trace South Carolina State Advocate by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. This allows me to be the representative for the entire state of South Carolina for the Center. It is amazing the opportunities I have been given in this internship as I serve my community and get things done for AmeriCorps.
The pictures shared in this blog are of a few work days conducting trail maintenance by cutting trees out of the trail. The difference in the tools used for trail maintenance depends on the area you are working. In our designated wilderness, Ellicott Rock Wilderness, no mechanized equipment is authorized to protect wilderness character so we have to use crosscut saws to cut out trees on the trail. Outside of designated wilderness chainsaws can be utilized. So depending on where I am working on the district I may be carrying a chainsaw or a crosscut saw for the day.