Being Part of a Ground Crew...

Written by Helina Alvarez
Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Photo of Helina Alvarez.If you’ve never been a part of a ground crew then it’s definitely worth giving it a try if you have an opportunity. I’m not talking about a group project at work or school. I’m talking about doing actual manual labor. This waterfowl breeding population survey isn’t crazy hard work, but it’s still work. May 19, 2016 concluded my second year being a part of the Eastern Dakota ground crew, and every year has been filled with personal growth. Not only does a crew grow as a group, but you tend to grow as an individual as well. You figure out what you can tolerate and have patience for and what you can’t. There are days when some of the crew may not be able to work to their fullest potential and the others pick up their extra work. A good crew doesn’t complain about it because it’s not considered doing someone else’s work. It’s viewed as working as a team. The long sweaty days, the high winds, the ducks flushing before you even get to the wetland. Dealing with these difficulties is doable when a crew can work together. You may come from different backgrounds, and you may have different lifestyles, but if you can find a middle ground, then anything is possible.

Plenty of time in the same survey vehicle is just one thing that brings a ground crew closer together. Photo Credit: Stephen Lejeune, USFWS.

Plenty of time in the same survey vehicle is just one thing that brings a ground crew closer together. Photo Credit: Stephen Lejeune, USFWS.