SHENANDOAH RIVER STATE PARK, Va -- The Youth Conservation Core built a mulch path to make it easy for visitors to get to a lake at the Shenandoah River State Park. This was just one project of many that they had worked on this summer. The Youth Conservation Core also built fences, new pathways and bridges throughout the park.
Carolina May laid mulch for a path and she said she joined the Youth Conservation Core this summer for many reasons.
"I could meet new friends and be outdoors and learn some things as well as get some work experience," said Carolina.
The work experience is something crew members, like Michelle Broukman, enjoy.
"I didn't come here being too strong. I'm short and kind of scrawny, but I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and becoming more capable with all the tools," said Michelle.
Hannah Wallace is one of the supervisors of the program. She said it was not only a learning experience, but it was also a huge help to the parks.
"We literally had parks fighting for us,” said Wallace. “They're like 'I want the YCC. I want to have them!' because there are so many projects, like I said that just don't get done unless the YCC is here to do it for them."
The program benefits the participants too.
"I actually feel like I'm doing something to help the park and make it prettier and better and help the people."
It is all about being good neighbors to help the parks and making new friends along the way.
"I was kind of afraid I wasn't going to be able to bond and make friends that fast in three weeks, but it's definitely taught me how easily you can get together and get really close with people if you try," said Carolina.
YCC will continue to work on projects through the end of this week. Many of the participants said they hope they can come back again next year to help out.
The program takes place every summer at a different park for three weeks.
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