An Interview with Scott Weaver, a 2014 Corps Legacy Achievement Award Winner

An Interview with Scott Weaver

This year, we at The Corps Network interviewed our three 2014 Corps Legacy Achievement Award winners to learn more about their experience and history in the Corps movement. 

Read Scott's Bio

How did you become involved in the world of Service and Conservation Corps?

I came out of 9 years working for the National Park Service – where I met and played guitars with David Muraki when he worked with the Yosemite Institute where I met my wife, Kathy - in which I helped oversee and coordinate visiting SCA crews, which led to me starting to work for SCA itself in 1978. When Reagan ended funding for service organizations and crews in the early 80’s, I worked with SCA’s then Vice President, Scott Izzo, in a meeting in Florida (in 1984??) which led to the creation of NASCC which later changed its name to TCN. Much later in time, I worked with Mary Ellen and Harry Bruell to create the Public Lands Service Coalition for which I have served on their Executive Leadership Group ever since.

Who are some of your heroes? What did they do to inspire you?

Diane Feinstein for having created the original San Francisco Conservation Corps and its first Executive Director Robert Burckhardt. Jerry Brown for having started the California Conservation Corps. 

What are some of your most memorable experiences from working with Corps programs?

I enjoyed coordinating SCA crews when I worked for NPS in Yosemite. I then enjoyed working with Destry Jarvis in assisting his work with Congress (he worked as SCA’s Executive VP then) in creating the legislation which created the Public Lands Corps Authority, and then eventually creating the Public Lands Service Coalition comprised of Corps. In the interim, I enjoyed creating huge muliti-Corps initiatives such as the Greater Yellowstone Recovery Corps after the huge fires in the 80’s and the Mount Rainier Recovery Corps after the huge floods destroyed much of the park’s trails. Lastly, it was greatly rewarding that all 3 of my childrens did SCA high school crews and SCA internships. My oldest son when on to work for the Park Service (even in Yosemite where his parents served and met) and eventually was the crew leader for 6 SCA high school crews of his own! (he outdid his Dad!)…

Which of your accomplishments as a leader in the Corps Movement are you most proud of?

Having helped establish the Greater Yellowstone Recovery Corps, the Mount Rainier Recovery Corps, and the Public Lands Service Coalition. Also enjoyed helping to establish NASCC which became TCN and the legislation creating the Public Land Corps.

Given your experience, what is the primary piece of wisdom you could provide to Corpsmembers?

Don’t give in to your initial fears, reach out to your fellow Corps Members who will become lifetime friends, learn the value and gratification of service, and just open yourself up to new experiences and friends.

Among the many possibilities, what is the primary piece of wisdom you could provide to staff members at Corps?

You will learn as much and perhaps even more from your Corps members than they will learn from you if you just completely open yourself up to helping them grow as individuals.

Ten or twenty years from now, what developments would you like to have taken place in the Corps Movement?

I hope our current effort to establish the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps continues to establish ongoing funding and support so that it grows to the size and financial stability of the original CCC’s of the 1930’s.

If any celebrity or public figure were to become an advocate for Corps, who would you want it to be and why?

When President Obama was brand new to his presidency, we (i.e. SCA) got him and Michelle out to work (Michelle was the toughest of the two, by far!!) with crews in the DC area. I hope he reconnects with either SCA or any/all Conservation Corps to establish a lifetime excitement, connectivity, and support for the Corps Movement.

When not working, how do you like to relax and enjoy yourself?

I used to play a lot of guitar – I’ve got to get back to it when I retire – and, since I can no longer hike due to my partial paralysis I enjoy kayaking in Vermont State Parks (I have a favorite one) and otherwise reading about political issues (I'm a political junky) and watching sports (I actually used to be good at them when younger and not paralyzed).