On the surface, the morning of October 3rd looked like any other Tuesday morning in New England. The sun shone strong in the sky, melting the frost on a chilly 40-degree morning. However, for Twenty-six general corps members this morning was anything but ordinary. For the past month, the members have been working hard. From shellfishing to brush cutting, from toilet costumes to disaster shelters, we have been training to acquire all the skills necessary to complete a year of dedicated service to the Cape Cod community. Today marks the first day of our individual placements. Every member will get the opportunity to serve one on one with an organization, for two or three days a week, for the next ten months. As I walked out the door this morning there was a sense of excitement in the air, but also a noticeable air of nervousness. So, as I rode in the car with the a few other people with placements close to mine, I decided to reflect on the past month to distract myself from the day ahead.
Almost a month ago to the day, thirteen strangers and I stepped foot in a house with only the mindset of making a difference in the world to connect us. We came from different backgrounds, different states, different schools; we were thirteen unique individuals. I was nervous. It felt eerily like moving in to dorms my freshman year of college, except my mom wasn’t there. It was embarrassing then and it would have been twice as embarrassing now. It took all of an hour after we had all arrived to laugh and joke like we were long lost friends. I felt at home among a group of people I had only just met. Not soon after, we met the other general corps house and the fire corps, the results were not much different. It didn’t take long before these strangers became my friends and then my friends became like family. Learning about the horrors of ticks and poison ivy, pulling out endless vines of bittersweet, and hearing about Cape Cod’s single source aquifer for the hundredth time really helped bring us all close together. It didn’t take long after moving in for my apprehensions to disappear and be replaced by excitement. As I sat in the car this morning, reflecting on the past month, my apprehensions were once again replaced by excitement.
“As I walked out the door this morning, there was a sense of excitement in the air…”
This is just the first day of the beginning of the rest of the year, but I could not be more thrilled with my decision to serve on Cape Cod. Over the coming months I hope to utilize this blog to allow my fellow members to share their stories and experiences with the program. There are sure to be tough times ahead; long and physically exhausting days, but just remember “faced with adversity, I will persevere.”
I knew where I was going when I joined Barnstable County AmeriCorps Cape Cod. I knew there was going to be tons of water all around me and beaches around every corner of the land. However, what I didn’t know was how magically beautiful Cape Cod was going to be.
The first day I arrived at the Wellfleet House, some of us went out to visit a pond not far from our new home. The water was peaceful, except for some disturbance made by swimmers, and the view was just breathtaking. I have yet to realize that there was far more where that came from.
In September, ACC had its first retreat of the year. We were housed at a Cape Cod National Seashore house, not far from Coast Guard Beach. The next morning, I went for a walk on the beach. The waves gently crashed against the shore, birds were hanging out in the water, and even the seals seemed to enjoy the early morning sun. The setting was perfect.
Written by Rosie Manzo, Bourne House Member Leader
Barnstable County AmeriCorps Cape Cod teams up with Cape Cod National Seashore for 100th Anniversary!
National Volunteer Week 2016 is approaching fast!
That means we’re looking to encourage anyone and everyone to seek out ways to become engaged in their communities. Living on the Cape – you’re in luck! AmeriCorps Cape Cod is collaborating with the Cape Cod National Seashore for the National Park Service’s Centennial and to help get the seashore up and running for this coming summer season.
The week kicks off on Monday, April 11th, 2016 in Wellfleet at various sites including Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Light Beach, and Marconi Beach. Tuesday and Wednesday the service will head to Provincetown at the Province Lands Visitor Center and then to Head of the Meadow, Race Point, and Herring Cove Beach. Towards the end of the week, volunteers will serve in Truro at the Highlands Center and in Eastham at the Salt Pond Visitors Center. These projects will include a variety of work, such as painting, weeding parking lots, planting beach grass, installing fencing, and trail maintenance.
At the conclusion of the week, on Friday, April 15th, the National Seashore and Barnstable County AmeriCorps Cape Cod will host a Volunteer Recognition Event at the Salt Pond Visitor Center with food and games as a thank you to all those who volunteered their time throughout the week!
This National Volunteer Week project is made possible through a grant written by the Barnstable County Resource Development Office and funded by the Massachusetts Service Alliance and Barnstable County.
If you’re petite like me, you know the short person struggle: standing on tippy-toes to reach the top shelf at the grocery store, getting picked up more often than your average-sized counterparts, always needing to hem your pants. But in AmeriCorps, you have an essential piece of the puzzle to make the Perfect Burn Pile.
But what’s a burn pile, you may ask? Well, at the Cape Cod National Seashore, our AmeriCorps Cape Cod FireCorps members do prescribed burns to decrease the severity of possible wildfires. If you didn’t know, Cape Cod is one of the highest fire-prone areas in the country. Burn piles are stacks of limbs, trunks and brush from vegetation cut down [in natural areas] around Cape Cod. The piles will then be burned during controlled conditions, allowing the nutrients to be returned to the soil and decreasing the severity of forest fires if one were to start.
So what do I have — as a short person — that’s so special, you may ask? Well, it turns out that limbs and such that make their way to burn piles ought to be about four to five feet in length. So, your petite frame is an advantage. Limb longer than your height? Just get your sawyer to buck it! The burn pile also shouldn’t end up being taller than you, so there you go! You have the perfect measure for the correct size of a burn pile.
So even though your height might be below average, you’ll be top notch at burn piles.