Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Crew Update #1: First Impressions

Contributing Writer - Zana Holden-Gatling, Summer Crew Team Member

Team-building exercise on the first day of Summer Crew.
We learned so many things in our first week of Summer Crew that it was almost overwhelming. Even the first day was a lot to take in. The staff explained the mission of Casey Trees, urban tree canopy goals (going from a 35% canopy rate in D.C. to 40% by 2035), safety procedures, responsibilities of Summer Crew members and opportunities for career development. I'll admit I was concerned - could I handle all of this information?

The next day we had an introduction to tree species identification. I felt like I didn't know the answers to any of the questions and I wondered how I would manage to keep up. It became clear that I would have to stay focused and determined.

Learning the basics in orientation.
Arriving at the tree yard on the third day, my confidence was up and I began to feel more comfortable in my role on the Summer Crew team. Despite getting my shoes and clothes soaked, things started to look up. On the first day I couldn't tell a silver maple from a red maple or a sweet gum from a black gum, but I'm on my way to becoming a tree ID expert. I now feel like I can be there to help out my fellow team members. I'm excited to learn more about job responsibility, career development and most importantly how to care for our city's trees.

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