I am going to become; that I should and must become.


Blog Sam2

I find it peculiar and ironic that I am writing a blog entry in the woods, miles away from the nearest computer. The concept of “blog” and social media is totally contrary to my experiences with NYC, wherein I and my compatriots are spared the stresses and distractions of the life electric.

It is no stretch to say that in comparing my life in civilization of daily showers, internet access, and toasters to my life in the backcountry of intense labor and weather exposure; the less stressful of the two is the one in which I live a Spartan, almost ascetic lifestyle without the messes, complications and smog of the city. I breathe easier, both literally and figuratively.

This is the reason I keep coming back to NYC during my summers-I am as I write this midway through my fourth session. I can list many other reasons for choosing to come back; such as the excitement of exploring new places; the growth of strength both physical and mental; the experience of being one of ten people who turn from strangers in to a crew, into a family. The untaxed stipend also doesn’t hurt. There is one reason for my presence here that I cannot list, but only because I don’t know what it is yet.

Allow me (not that you are capable of raising an objection) to elaborate. In each of my prior NYC experiences I have come away changed and improved, in a manner I could never have predicted. I went into my second session expecting more of the same and found myself growing. Not as much in ability, but greatly in personality. I went into my thirds session unsure what I would find. I found humanity.

I won’t know until afterward, when I have reflected what it is that I have achieved in my time here that is truly lasting and unique. I’m excited to find out. But the point is this: every time I come to NYC my life changes. The clay from which my nature is hewn is molded, partially into the person that I am going to become; that I should and must become.

And that person is freaking awesome.


Red Crew

Leading by Example

Hayley Yellow Crew

Making the decision to lead a SEED lesson was a big step for me because it could easily go one way or the other in terms of my effectiveness. I had really wanted to take the initiative to try and be on a more personal level with my crew and share my experiences on the topic that I was teaching. I felt that the topic of ‘leave no trace’ was one that I was knowledgeable in and could teach exceptionally well. In my past experiences with SEED lessons, I had always learned and cared a lot more about the topics than I ever did in school. Although SEED teaches about one focused topic at a time, the expansive knowledge that comes from all of the crew members and leaders on that subject is fathomless; we learn far more than just what is in the crew’s SEED manuals. SEED is important and even beneficial to corps’ members because it allows room for questions, thought, overall curiosity, and the demand for more education.

As circumstance would have it, one of NYC’s Program Directors, Ryan, had also volunteered to lead the same SEED lesson that I was planning on teaching. Before the crew assembled, he and I went over the game plan for about 15 minutes. This gave me time to read the crew leaders’ SEED book on the topic that I was going to be teaching. The real trail for me was the intensity that I felt when the crew came together for the lesson; this was my first time really leading my crew through something! Not only that, our Program Director was seated right next to me helping me lead the crew. At first I felt in way over my head! Surely enough the beginning of the lesson was shaky for me but as it went on, I became more comfortable teaching. I started asking questions that corps members could respond and relate to, and I got them thinking about what I was getting at. Towards the end of the SEED lesson, I recognized that Ryan was no longer seated next to me and was not even speaking as often as in the beginning. It was amazing in the fact that the crew noticed me in leadership role where I was an effective and engaging teacher. It was really gratifying!

Overall, I believe that NYC has provided me the most amazing opportunities to gain, build, and work on my leadership skills. Teaching the SEED lesson about ‘leave no trace’ felt beyond amazing, especially when I figured out how to keep my momentum constant. Taking the initiative to ask to lead a SEED was one of the best choices that I have made at NYC and I’ll encourage others to try it as well.

By Hayley

Yellow Crew

Welcome to Northwest Youth Corps’ Trail Journal!


Our goal for this blog is keeping people connected to each other as well as the entire NYC family. We will be sharing the field stories of NYC crew members and other outdoor fun with their family and friends in order to provide a sneak peek into what they are doing during their adventures in our programs.

We are excited to share the NYC experience with you and your family!

Stay Tuned!

Viva la Spitfire!


I originally joined this program just because it was something to do for the summer. I did not even know that I was going to be paid until a week before I had to leave! I have to say, this experience has turned out to be a lot more than I had originally expected. From all of the amazing places I got to see and awesome people I met, I am really glad to have actually committed myself to go through with this and to finish it.

The projects we all had were really incredible, especially the amazing views from the top of mountains and from the ocean beach. This scenery was almost like an award for all of the hard work we had done. I will always remember the hard work and the beautiful locations- from blazing trails to log removal, it was just really fun!

One of my favorite parts of the program was all of the awesome friends I have made. I was on the orange crew and we gave ourselves the name “Spitfire” because we were awesome and because we had earned the name. These people were no longer just strangers that I had to live with for six weeks, they became another family. I will always keep in touch with the friends I made here. Northwest Youth Corps has taught me a lot in the past weeks and has given me an experience I will look forward to re-living in the summers to follow.

Viva la Spitfire!!

By Eugene
Orange Crew

What NYC Means to Me



To me, Northwest Youth Corps is about leadership, commitment, teamwork, friendship, trust, honesty, and family.

Leadership means to pull your own, and sometimes other people’s loads as well.  It means, take action in not only the work field but also at camp, to make sure everything runs smoothly and everything gets completed.

Commitment to me means to finish what you have started and not to give up, no matter how tough it might be.

Teamwork means to all help each other when times get hard or even just the simplest of things such as tying down the trailer.

Friendship means to share, take care and to hold one another when one is injured, hurt-emotionally or physically.  It means to have empathy for one another as well.

Trust and honesty is being honest about what was broken, lost or stolen and trust your team because without honesty or trust, there is no real friendship.

Finally, family.  When off in the woods or on the beach or where ever else they send us, we have to live in close quarters with for a month (sometimes even longer) with complete strangers.  And we have to all get along.  You look around and you see these people 24/7.  It seems as if you have known these guys and girls for years.  When I leave NYC, I will never forget these people.  You could say life-long friends.

Being around everyone here you develop a new sense of thinking, a new way of discipline and a new way of conserving.  Before NYC, I would litter, throw away food, throw cans and wastefully use plastic bags.  I’ve adapted to new rules such as licking plates clean, using what resources you have and appreciating what’s scarce until you don’t have it at all.

When I go back home, I am going to be a lot more creative with food, using what I have and making something great out of it.  I will reuse bags and consume less.  I will reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere when I choose my bicycle over my car.  I will no longer buy brand new clothes.  I will appreciate that I my bed is dry, soft, and warm; that I have a flushable toilet, a washer and drier, and a shower.  I will not take for granted that I get to see my family every day.  Most people don’t realize how lucky they are until they are put into the situation where they don’t have it.

This is what NYC means to me.

By Hannah
Red Crew