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VA - Conversations with Super Girls - VSP Youth Conservation Corps

Girl Power is so awesome

Recently I had the chance to sit down with the Virginia State Park’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) that was stationed at Westmoreland State Park. This all-girl team is working there for three weeks during one of the hottest summers on record. The courageous girls are not only dealing with the humidity but also a yellow jacket invasion at the paddle-in primitive campsite where they were installing an accessible feature to a tent pad. The yellow jackets became so aggressive park management decided to delay the project for the safety of the team and move them to another project. They even made their own Yellow Jacket traps On one of those extremely hot and muggy days, I made the team come into the park’s visitor center to cool off for a while so we could talk and Rob Hedelt from the Fredericksburg FreeLance Star could interview some of them for his column. I started out asking questions about how they were doing, coping with the challenges and if they liked being in the YCC so far?

They readily answered my questions and were quite enthusiastic. All seemed to be enjoying the program and getting to know one another. My conversations got a little more in-depth with the girls that were sitting closer to me and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable exchanges I have had in a while. The girls shared openly about their dreams, their fears, theirs plans for the future, their families and homes. I especially loved to hear some of them talk about their mothers and how beautiful they thought they were but just wished their moms thought so too. How their dads are so funny and made them laugh! We had a more serious conversation about accepting ourselves for who we are and not what we look like. I learned that some girls played musical instruments, some could draw, some could not, some loved writing and some did not. I even found out they gave the hand tools they were using funny names. Like Chopper Offers (loppers) Fickle Floppers (swing blade) and Chigga Chiggas (hand saw). Simply hysterical and fun and I did a lot of laughing that day. I asked them how they were doing being “unplugged” from the internet and their cell phones. They said it was kind of nice and were actually not having a hard time with it at all. Instead of having their faces stuck in the phone they were having real conversations will real people. And, they were taking note of the environment around them.

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