Limbing Large!

3 Aug

… Or living large in TN and doing some awesome work with chainsaws. Check out our latest video!

There’s more where that came from!


Having Fun with Independent Service Projects (ISPs!)

31 Jul

As some of you may know, part of our 1700 required hours to graduate from AmeriCorps NCCC have to be set up and planned by the teams. Every team has one or two team members who are trained to look up and plan small (1 day) service projects for members of the team. For us, Kelsey and Eric do a lot of leg work setting up ISPs.

We’ve done a lot of ISP hours thus far, and we’ve done some pretty awesome stuff. So far we’ve had the opportunity to work with three fantastic organizations so far.

First, we ventured into Knoxville on our first day off to volunteer at the Fish Hospitality Pantry. We helped out in the food warehouse labeling cans, we helped bag and hand out fresh corn on the cob, and most of all we met some awesome people!

Afterwards, we explored Knoxville and had a great lunch and did some high quality team bonding!

Then, on a rainy monday with spent the day with the fantastic children at the Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club. After hours of hide and seek, carpet ball, and card games we felt nearly as tired as a day of chainsaw work!

And this past weekend, we headed over to the Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store to help clean, dust and build shelves.

We’ve absolutely loved our time in Jefferson City, living at the fabulous Carson Newman College dorms, but alas our time here is done. We are moving to Greeneville where we will be staying in a church community room and we will be much, much closer to our work. Even though we don’t all get our own rooms (what a luxury!) we will be able to sleep in!



Bye-Bye Bradley!

23 Jul

Today, Bradley leaves us. Bradley has been helping us troubleshoot all the problems we’ve had with the saws over the week and more importantly, he’s been helping us hone our chainsaw skills. It’s been fantastic to have Bradley here helping us out, and we’re definitely going to miss him!

Thanks for everything Brad! Keep it real, and remember, you’re a Raven One now!

The Perks of Chainsawing

20 Jul

So, Raven One has pretty much decided that chainsaws are awesome. Over the past three days, with the guidance of Bradley, the Moose Unit STL (Support Team Leader), we’ve grown more comfortable and more skilled with the saws. We’ve also gotten better at troubleshooting all the little unexpected glitches throughout the work day.

Raven One getting things done in Tennessee... with chainsaws

Aside from the pure joy of running a chainsaw until near exhaustion (Just kidding! We switch off regularly to avoid exhaustion while operating a saw!), there are other perks of being in Tennessee.

1. Sweating so much (through your pants!) you don’t have to pee

2. Tennessee is magical:

Probably the most beautiful place Raven One has been

3. Are all the dogs friendly? We’ve hung out with Tennesseean dogs every day so far!

4. We all have our own rooms (for now) while living in the Carson Newman College dorms in Jefferson City.

5. People in Tennessee are super friendly, and we love it!

Round 3 Update: Swampers, Sawyers and Tennessee

16 Jul

Once upon a time, Raven One was scheduled to drive north to Somerville to pull invasive species from the Mystic River from canoes and kayaks. However, due to unforeseen events, Raven One is going to be sent down to Tennessee for a chainsaw disaster mission. We will be working with the Greene County Emergency Management Agency to help the tornado-hit area recover.

This week we’ve been working with Delaware State Parks helping out with park maintenance and training to use and care for chainsaws.

Raven 1 after a few hard, hot sweaty hours of raking leaves at Fort Dupont State Park

We all got back-from-break blisters. Man, if feels good to be doing AmeriWork again!

Don’t be fooled by the footage of those champion Sawyers who can fell and buck (cut down and chop up) a tree in mere minutes. Chain-sawing is hard work! Those suckers get heavy and they’re super scary. There’s nothing better than hoisting a chainsaw up to a tree and not being able to get the image of the saw kicking back and accidently slicing your neck open.

Just kidding. It’s not that bad. Plus we spent the majority of our day learning about safety and then practicing safety precautions throughout the day.

Learning to safely start chainsaws and practicing taking the chain break on and off.

The best part is, chainsawing is really fun. Once you get over the possibility of cutting off extremities, that is.

Ryan limbs a tree.

Raven 1, ready for our chainsaw disaster mission! Greene County, TN, here we come!

Round Three Reveal!!!

5 Jul

Maybe you’ve been laying awake at night wondering where Raven One is heading next. The Atlantic Region is full of so many opportunities… so it’s hard to really guess.

Maybe you’ve been pestering your favorite Raven Oner for details, and probably your contact has given you the details already. However, for those of you still on pins and needles waiting for the big reveal…

Raven One will be working with Groundwork Somerville, just outside Boston, MA, pulling invasive water chestnuts from the Mystic River.

Last round, Raven Four worked with Groundwork Somerville and had a blast rowing on the Mystic and harvesting the meddlesome water chestnuts. They were kind enough to share these photos from their time on the Mystic, offering us a sneak peek of round three.

Dan from Raven 4 pulling water chestnuts

Raven 4 Team Leader, Amelia, dominating water chestnuts

Raven Four sporting sweet life vests and gearing up for a productive day on the Mystic

It’s hard to believe our year of service is already half over! Stay tuned for details of our Mystic adventures!

Round 3 Brochure

28 Jun

Hi all.  This is Raven One’s team leader, KJ.  Thank you so much for visiting our blog and reading up on the happenings of our team.  Attached, you will find our Round 3 team brochure.  Each round, we are required to submit a team brochure to one of our staff members.  This brochure was created by our blog’s own creater, Ellen L.  Check it out below.

KJ, Raven 1 TL

Raven One Brochure_R3