what's in a name?

onthegrade is that place where transformational changes occur in the lives of Corpsmembers. The place where lifetime friendships are made, the place where Corpsmembers learn about the natural environment, crew identity and community. The place Corpsmembers learn to work as a team, learn to contribute to the greater good and become a proud member of “my crew”. The place where a caring and competent staff mentor, counselor, crew supervisor -- rolled into one person -- teaches things never heard before, in the place of blood, sweet and tears. The place called onthegrade.

I heard the term “onthegrade” the first day I joined . I had never heard it before then, but heard it almost every day for 36 years.

"We’re going on the grade". "We’ll be on the grade". "I like being on the grade". "I want to get well so I can get back on the grade". "I love the grade".

It’s the generic term used by Corps to describe the place where Corpsmembers plant trees, build playgrounds and community gardens, pour concrete, build fences and trails, fight forest fires, fight floods, rehabilitate riparian habitat, save salmon and steelhead trout, live in the backcountry, go on spike, perform school energy audits, teach children, plant trees, volunteer, pull non native plants and a hundred more things.

We believe in ourselves and the possibilities of a better future in a place called - onthegrade.