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Where Are They Now? Alumni Highlight: Noah Korpi

black and white photo of person hiking through forest

During high school in 2018 and 2019, Noah spent two summers with Summer Youth Corps (SYC), spending the second summer on Isle Royale with the wilderness crew! Now, Noah is a trail crew member with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. Noah attributes those summers spent with SYC to opening a doorway into conservation field work.


What kind of work did you do when you were in the Corps?

Everything from protecting baby oak trees in Afton State Park to carrying antenna sections to the highest point on Isle Royale.

Were there any particularly memorable or challenging experiences during your time in the Corps?

We had one particular rain storm on Isle Royale which is still to this day the hardest I have seen it rain with a complete lack of thunder or lightning. So we all got completely soaked, finished the day by screaming into the void together, and woke up the next morning to find our work pants we had hung to dry the night before were literally frosty. Great way to start the day.

What was the most personally meaningful part of your experience with Conservation Corps?

That is a very difficult question. I’d say my time at CCM (Conservation Corps Minnesota) taught me how much more I was capable of personally when I’m surrounded with amazing, positive, and caring people. Having people around you that lift you up and make you want to be your best self is really life changing.

member in Corps shirt holding a moose antler

How did the experience shape your career/life?

My time at CCM really opened my eyes to a whole field of work and style of living. It was a doorway for me into the field of conservation, and being able to work outdoors in all sorts of cool places instantly had me hooked.

What advice would you offer to a current member serving in Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa?

One of my crew members introduced me to a poem that has a line that goes “I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their minds with forethought of grief”. I think one of the most important things for a serving member of SYC to do is live in the present moment. It’s such a unique opportunity to disconnect from all the worries and troubles of the “real world”. Don’t waste your time thinking about what’s happening out there, or what’s going to happen after this. This is an opportunity to be unapologetically yourself, and if you spend your time dreading what you’re going to have to be afterwards you’re going to miss it.

What did you do immediately after your time in the Corps?

I went into my senior year of high school and spent most of it daydreaming about being back on Isle Royale.

Where are you now?

I’m a trail crew member with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC).

What do you do there?

MATC specializes in stonework along the section of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. We setup a high line, which is a cable hung in the trees that we can attach a rock to and move it to our job site. We build things like stepping stones, stone staircases, retaining walls, and much more.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I ate so much oatmeal during my time with CCM that I still can’t touch it. I couldn’t even smell it for a year after Isle Royale without feeling nauseous.

 


Thank you for sharing your story Noah!

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