Get to the Point Volume XVII Issue 14

June 13-21 2011

Volume XVII Issue 14

Get to the Point: The NCCC News
An NCCC Atlantic Region Publication

Perry Point

Maryland

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Featured on the Cover– Class 17, Raven 2 and other Class 17 Members in service to the Atlantic Region

Strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service

Inside Issue 14:
Moose 4 Update AmeriCount AmeriGourment 3-4 4 5

Brain Food Alumni Spotlight Weekly Alums Letter to Raven 7

7 8 9 10

I’m a member of the National Civilian Community Corps, an AmeriCorps program. N-triple-C members are 18 to 24 years old and spend 15 months getting things done for America while developing their own leadership skills. We serve on teams to help communities prepare for and respond to disasters, build homes, and help the environment.

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Moose 4’s Wild Ride Continues
We thought that our second round, in Schwenksville Pennsylvania working at “Camp Hope for Kids”, would be a peaceful contrast to our frenetic first round in New Orleans. And at first we were right; for a week, Moose 4 was almost alone in placid Camp Hope. In the daytime, we did hard physical labor; we cleaned and power-washed the camp’s swimming pool, painted the interiors some of the camp’s cabins, and renovated the camp’s ropes course. Also, Moose 4’s destructive power was unleashed on a rotting section of a Cabin, which we demolished using pickaxes and crowbars. The night after the demolition was complete, we used the spare wood from the destroyed building to fuel a ferocious, towering bonfire. Such were the lengths we went to entertain ourselves in our ever calm surroundings. While we unfortunately weren’t able to work with the children the camp serves, we were given a short introduction to the camp’s mission by Pat, the president of Camp Hope. We heard the back stories of some of the inner-city children the camp would be serving, some of which were heartbreaking. There were children who had no parents to turn to. There were children who had become drug-addicted before the age of ten. So while we never saw these deserving children, we were nevertheless motivated to help maintain this refuge for them. It seemed we would be having a relaxed and stable second round in cozy, bucolic Camp Hope. But a week into our stay at Camp Hope, one of the team members, Courtney Johnson, was sent to Tuscaloosa for tornado relief, and soon the rest of the team was told they were going to Mississippi to assist with flood relief. Thankfully, the Mississippi disaster was relatively mild, and we didn’t have as much to do in Mississippi as we thought we would. Our work was largely limited to sorting food deliveries in the warehouse and spreading the word to flood victims about the shelters Red Cross had set up across Mississippi in response to the flooding. After two weeks in Mississippi we were flown back to Perry Point for Memorial Day weekend where we worked and relaxed for several days. Then we arrived back at Camp Hope with only two weeks of the spike left (It was originally supposed to be six), but it was just enough time to finish preparing seven cabins to be used by children in the upcoming summer. Now, we are about to be redeployed again, this time to Washington D.C. to help various non-profits there. It looks like it will be another two weeks of instability and unpredictability for Moose 4. But by now Moose 4 has grown used to it.

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Rod’s Ruminations:

Things I Hate: Bats
Usually, I’m down with creepy animals. I like snakes and frogs and things like that. I’m not very fond of spiders, but I appreciate them. One animal I will not pretend to like, however, is the bat. I hate bats with a burning passion, and here is why: First of all, they are just gross. Have you ever looked at a bat close up? What a hideous creature. This alone is proof that evolution exists, because I do not believe that a just and loving God would allow that face to happen. Bats also have these really creepy opposable thumb-claw things that they use to grab stuff or something. When I was a child, there was a bat loose in our house and when I saw it, the thing was crawling across the carpet with those freakish thumbhooks. It was horrifying. Secondly, bats are out to kill us. All they want to do is bite us, give us rabies, suck our blood and turn us into vampires and stuff like that. I know some of you will say that only very specific species of bats suck blood and usually it’s only from other animals, not humans. Yeah, keep on dreaming. That’s just something zoologists and other ”experts” say to keep us dumbed down. I’m sure all of these bats are thinking about it and even if they aren’t yet, all it would take is for a few of those vampire bats to get loose and talk to the other native bats and then the cat (or bat) is out of the bag. Once the native bats get a taste of that sweet, sweet human blood, all bets are off and we’re in for trouble people. Finally, bats are by far the most pretentious mammals on the planet. While all of us other warm blooded creatures were content to wander the Earth, as was our lot in life, bats decided to learn how to fly and be too cool for school. They abandoned us! Bats are just posers. Newsflash: You will never be birds. You are all just mice with wings, at best. As far as I know, the only good thing to come from bats is Batman. While we are on this topic, I need to make two statements regarding the caped crusader. 1.) Batman is cool, but he is not a superhero. To be one of those, you have to have a super power. And to my knowledge, his only super power is being rich. What message is this sending to our youth? 2.) Regardless, I love Batman. As some of you already know, I am planning on naming my first born son “Brew.” That would make his full name Brew Swain. Say it out loud… sound it out. Boom! My son is Batman. I rest my case.

AmeriCount Down

4
Days Until Return to the Point

6
Days Until Transition

10
Days Until Summer Break

149
Days Until Graduation

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AmeriGourmet: The Cooking Corner
This week we are in the AmeriKitchen with Laura Mack CRSTL

Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients 1/2 medium onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 2 green bell peppers, chopped 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained 2 (12 oz) packages vegetarian burger crumbles 3 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained 1 (15 oz) can black beans 1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn Seasoning: 2 bay leaves / 1 tps cumin / 2 tbs oregano / 1 tbs salt / 1/4 cup chili powder / 1 tbs black pepper Directions: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

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Brain Food: L&M Trivia
Brought to you by: Laura Mack Community Relations STL & Melissa Jabat Programming Office STL

What is NCCC-Activity: Win the PRIZE! Answer the question to CRSTL Laura Mack and win (but you have to be the first one so hurry up with your answer) What is the NCCC Tag Line? Tree-Tent is a logical game in which your mission is to locate all of the tents in the grid. Each tree is exactly connected to only one tent. A tent can be found in a horizontally or vertically adjacent square of a tree. Tents are never placed adjacent to each other, neither vertical, horizontal, nor diagonal. The numbers outside the grid give the total number of tents in the corresponding row or column. A tree might be next to two tents, but is only connected to one, and vice versa.

MOOSE 6 SHOUT OUT: Moose 6 is on break! Moose 6 would like to thank LaQuine for the ice cream and the awesomeness that was New Orleans! BUFFALO 6 SHOUT OUT: My BuffaMoose 9 family: Being a beach bum is a hard life… hope you’re enjoying every minute of it! I love you all and we will be reuniting soon enough! Love, Minnesota Benson-- Get ur teeth pulled & get back to B6 we miss u BearPaw! “Is this real life!?” B6ers that spent a day in NOLA.. I’m super jealous and want to transfer teams.. j/k I LOVE and miss ya’ll, Fee RAVEN 2 SHOUT OUT: Raven 264 reunited in 2 weeks! “Vacation, Vacation is coming!” -Diego STL SHOUT OUT: Melissa’s weeping incessantly crying due to the departure of Laura Mack!! March your way here if you have to! :’( PHOENIX 2 SHOUT OUT: P2 had a blast channeling the spirit of Pocahontas as they canoed “Just around the river bend!” Aka the shore of Lake Drummond. M2: Just two more weeks until we are reunited! Trudy cannot wait! Megan, I hope you’re able to complete your duties down south despite the sweltering heat! – Brooke R2: see ya soon n ur sassy pants too!! B3 & Splinter 1: Splinter 1 quote of the week: “I could cut down that whole mountain.”

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Alumni Spotlight: Ethan Gehl
Ethan Gehl, served as a Corps Member in Class XV and a Team Leader in Class XVI at the Atlantic Region. Gehl served as a Corps Member on Wolf 4 in Class XV and was the Team Leader of Wolf 4 in Class XVI. How did you find out about AmeriCorps NCCC? I first heard about NCCC through a mailing that I received in High School. It caught my eye, and I thought "Perfect. That's how I'll pay for college!" Gehl as a Team Leader in Class XVI Of course I got caught up in my life and that thought kind of got lost in the shuffle as I worked to make the grades so I could make the money. My senior year in college, I woke up one morning to a feeling of discontent. I didn't realize it then, but that was my quarter life crisis. I realized that I wasn't stoked about the rat race I was running. Before I knew it, I was looking into the Peace Corps and other service opportunities. When I stumbled across NCCC again, it was the right opportunity at the right time, so I jumped on it. What was the best part of your year? Well I enjoyed my first year so much that I came back a second. As a member, I realized that it's the leader who really makes or breaks an experience for a team. I wanted to lead a team and do my part to give them the experience of a lifetime. The best part of my NCCC experience was my entire year as a Team Leader. I had the best team a person could have. And I still miss them

Gehl while on a Phoenix Team in Class XV

everyday. What are your current plans? Currently I'm a Field Team Leader with the Northwest Service Academy based in Washington state. We just got our crews a few weeks ago, and we're headed to our first project near Burney Falls, CA on June 6th. Next summer I'm hoping to be a Team Leader with Bike & Build. Maybe one day far, far in the future I'll come back to my roots and become a Unit Leader with NCCC. Hey you have to dream big!

CM Gehl Wolf 4 Class XV

Do you have any advice for Class 17? Reflection points? Hm...good question. I think the key to having a rewarding service experience is to open yourself up to that experience, to give everything that you have everyday, to take initiative and do the jobs no one else wants to do, to lead by your example, to accept others and appreciate their redeeming qualities. (Continued on Page 8)
Ethan Gehl

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By this point in the year, you all know how stressful (and even painful) this experience can be, but that's precisely how you know that you're doing it right. If you're not struggling a little bit, it means you're not pushing your limits - it means you're not growing. As you continue to age, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to grow in leaps and bounds. Don't let this one get away. And cut your leaders some slack; they're carrying a big load. Besides you're probably their inspiration, so shoot them a smile every once in a while. Remember it's the little things that make all the difference.

Want to be a Team Leader?
Class XVI: Atlantic Region Team Leaders; Be Part of the Green Legacy

This Could Be You!
Applications close August 1st
Those selected start January 2012
MOOSE 7 SHOUT OUT: Moose 7 and Raven 1 are definitely BREAKING THE MOLD in Barre, VT! I hope that joke won’t GROW “M”OLD on you!! We’re too Official for y’all. Don’t get aggy. Ride the wave. – Raoose 17 Freedom 1: Freedom 1 has been preparing for the new lifestyle by attempting to walk everywhere, however, we are missing our “small clothes” so instead we just look like we really love PT. We are excited to take off and begin our journey, we will keep you posted (we are already planning on writing the corps in the traditional fashion, we just need to find some men on horseback who will deliver the letters, or…I know those men who sung the message, yeah that’s who we are looking for…so as soon as we find one you’ll hear from us) Flying by the seat of our pants, Freedom 1! RAVEN 6 SHOUT OUT: Raven 6 would like to say that they miss their dear old Uncle Buck and hope he is doing well back at the point. Also a shout out to our members serving with other teams right now: Paul, Darren & D’Angelo

September 1st, marks our Life After AmeriCorps (LAA) day where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the nonprofit and government sectors, national and international service organizations, and so much more. In addition to the seminars, there will be a career fair with organizations actively seeking employees. Therefore, remember to have your resumes ready. We will also have a variety of colleges and universities to discuss the programs that they offer and their admissions process. Our LAA day is the last day before break. It will be a full day from 8am – 6:30pm, therefore, please note to ensure that your travels are not scheduled until after 7:30pm. Thanks all- - Carlyn

Moose 3 Shout out: Evan David Owen we miss you and can’t wait to have you back! Eliza: Hope the no meat aka oatmeal diet is going well! Miss you! Bike ride when we get back? Amanda: SO glad I saw you and was able to go out! What a pleasant surprise :) have fun on composite! - - Megan
Mirls I need to catch up with all of you and cannot wait to see the 4 of you. A.C. we need to hang out during transition =] To the TLs in Alabama it has been freaking fantastic working/hanging out/living with you. -Jamie

RAVEN 4 SHOUT OUT: Shout-out to FS1: We’re having fun getting wet in the mystic river. Lots of pulling and tugging. All these weeds just won’t stop… Old Greg, what it do?

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Weekly Installments:
AmeriCorps Alums represents over 700,000 alumni of AmeriCorps, a vibrant national network of individuals who spent a year or more in national service. Bound together by a commitment to service, leaders who share a common belief that civic engagement is an essential American ideal. Together, these leaders constitute a powerful force for transformative change. Join today:americorpsalums.org Attention Members who are assigned to a camp project: Most states require anyone working with children, to include schools and camps, to provide a copy of their immunization record- especially for MMR. If you have not submitted your immunization record to Laura Tuck at the beginning of the year, please take some time during the summer break to located and submit a copy of your record.
RAVEN 1 SHOUT OUT: Hello from Vermont! It was hot and now it’s cold. See y’all in a few short weeks! How you doin Ambrosia?!
BUFFALO 5 SHOUT OUT: Will came back this week!!! Katie turned 24!!! We raked out Lake Mashipacong!!! - - - To our fellow Buffalo, you’re welcome for the cards, sorry if they don’t all make sense. - - -Isaac, we’re counting down the days until we see you again!

BUFFALO 1 SHOUT OUT: Aubrey, you’ve got a piece of me and honestly my life would suck without you! - - Lauryn, it was a brutal night when we met Mandy and her friend! Buffalo 1 is loving disaster, but is excited that we only have 2 more weeks until transition and then headed out for summer break! MOOSE 1 SHOUT OUT: Thunder 1- I miss you all! And John(B4) Keep that serial killer look up! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE! To You know who you are - 10 more days!! – Mike To Laura Mack- How’s your mother, tell her I said hello. – Stephanie (she knows everyone.. including Laura Mack’s mom..)

RAVEN 7 SHOUT OUT: In an effort to gain acceptance and accolades from his teammates, New Guy tried to become Hot Dog Guy. He failed at this when he didn’t even attempt to eat all of the hot dogs we wanted him to. Little did we know this was all meant to be, for the next day Hamdog was born. Hamdog showed no fear when he stripped down to his boxer briefs and climbed into that enormous freezing dunk tank. BUFFALO 3 SHOUT OUT: Shout out BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! Oh my god it’s Jupiter Johnson J! Sinking The to Marlee: Hamdog six straight times. The crowd was rendered speechless and you could only hear B3B3B3B3B3B3B3B3B3B3B3B3!!! We miss you, Master Splinter. Lia most of their collective gasps as Jupiter received a free T-shirt and walked away like nothing had all. happened. The exhausted Hamdog couldn’t even move for the next several hours as the Mega Deuce: It was nice working with y’all... except for the smell. James Roder- rest of the team enjoyed the best Star Wars themed minor league baseball game of their ick Swain: Pen pals? Where’s my letter?! lives….Also, Niagara Falls was fun. Fail. Always, BUSTL

Connect & Network with Alumni (even while in the program), there are opportunities such as networking, chapter involvement, job postings, trainings, etc… Connect: www.americorpsalums.org Follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/americorpsalums Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/americorpsalums

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Letter from a Project Sponsor: Shout out to Raven 7
COTTAGE DISTRICT ASSOCIATION 411 Summer Street, Buffalo NY 14213 Valerie Ingold, Chair June 10, 2011 Dear Wonderful AmeriCorps Team— Well, we here in the middle of Buffalo’s West Side, at the Cottage District Community Garden, have had a lot of help from a lot of sources over the last couple of years….. but we have never had anyone like you. It was such a joy to watch people take on work with such enthusiasm and sense of mission – doing it with care and attention, and thought, and purpose and a clear understanding of what was needed, what to do next, and a sense of responsibility about getting it done. People who work like that, and who so obviously ENJOY working like that, especially younger adults, are really scarce, and precious, to be treasured. But also to find a team like yours who has SKILL – your crew really knew what it was doing and did it deaSO WELL!! Although it was only one of the many tasks, most of them requiring a lot of heavy labor, and considerable planning, it was the most shocking that we could actually ask volunteer helpers to weed in a flower bed – and have them do it, eagerly, thoroughly, and only pull out weeds!! Amazing. But everything about your team was amazing. Usually it’s hard to go through an entire day with ―volunteers‖ because they really need help taking every small step, and need encouragement and constant reinforcement in order to inspire them to keep working. With your team, it was just plain enjoyable – fun – delightful. More than anything, your two days in our community garden were transforming. First, in the sense that it turned our space from a haphazard bunch of works in progress, none of them done well, several needing to be completely re-done, with heaps and messes all over, into a beautifully groomed, perfectly completed, ready for company, gorgeous site. You did everything we never imagined would actually get done, or ever get done right, in our wildest dreams!! And second, transforming in the sense that it really gave us back our optimism and our happiest expectations. For that, we just don’t know how to thank you enough. You have our respect, our admiration, and our gratitude. We wish it could be more. We wish we could offer you a nice big old Victorian house in the neighborhood and have you stay – but that would be unbearably unfair to everyone else who needs you. We hope everyone appreciates what you do, how well you do it, and what it means for all of us. And we hope you get to hear the many, many more words of praise that you deserve. Thank you again and again, Ellie Dorritie and Rosann Scott, for the Cottage District Association Garden Committee

Dear Mayor Brown, We just wanted to update you on the wonderful work done recently by the AmeriCorps team at our Community Garden. In only a couple of days, they really transformed the place! We are deeply grateful for their help, as we told them in the letter which we've attached (along with the photos). You can see our beautiful "patio" space in the photos. Now, all it needs is a couple of benches and a picnic table, so that the community can actually enjoy spending time there. What a shame we couldn't purchase those with the Livable Communities Grant we applied for (twice with no success)! Perhaps together we can find a way to transfer ownership of our community garden to ....the block club?... so that it can become eligible for funding. Or, at least, perhaps we can find a way for HUD to explain our ineligibility to us. Can you help? Most sincerely, Ellie Dorritie on behalf of the Cottage District Association Community Garden Committee