by Adriana Rodas

Getting to Know You: Conservation Leadership Corps Orientation

The CLC provides valuable training and work experience to 18- to 25-year-olds who are new to the outdoors by offering professional development in the fields of natural resource and trail management. These young and diverse conservation leaders had never stepped foot on the A.T. before joining us this summer!


From the beginning of orientation, I realized that CLC would be very different from any other job I have taken. In just one game we were able to learn where everyone was from and their names (and it wasn’t even awkward like most orientations!). Julie, Leanna, and Kathryn, our ATC hosts, really made it fun. Within just a few minutes, everyone was connecting well, like a family.


Before arriving in Tennessee, I knew that the Appalachian Trail was over 2000 miles long, but I didn’t know much else about it. In one of my favorite activities from orientation, I learned a lot about the Trail. We had to build a big puzzle, and each piece had one fact about the A.T. In order to bond with our fellow crew members, we were challenged to partner up and explain our facts in front of everyone in a creative way. Personally, I am timid, and I wasn’t about to perform a skit in front of everyone!

CLC Orientation Big Trail Map

Luckily my partner felt the same way, so we drew a picture that looked like a five year old’s artwork. The drawing was not appealing, but we were able to laugh at how terrible it looked. My fact was about Earl Shaffer, the first man to hike the entire A.T. in a season. My partner’s fact was about how the A.T has over 200 shelters for hikers, and how most shelters have a privy and some type of water source nearby. Somehow we managed to combine the two facts together in one picture, and we had fun explaining it. After everyone performed their skits, we placed each of the puzzle pieces together to create the ​Appalachian National Scenic Trail logo. Orientation was a blast and I enjoyed every bit of it. These activities and others created the foundation of our great team, and after just a few short days, I was excited for what the rest of the summer would bring.

atc puzzle clc orientation
Adriana Rodas
Conservation Leadership Corps 2016
Hails from:
 Elizabeth, NJ
Studies at: Union County College
Intended major: Wildlife Biology
Dream job: Veterinarian
Favorite CLC moment: Completing the Leave No Trace Master Educator course