Small teams of young people tackle projects that benefit Vermont’s people and land.Conservation crews:
- Build and maintain trails,
- Improve wildlife habitat,
- Improve state park facilities, and
- Reduce erosion and improve the health of our waterways.
Corps Members work outdoors to complete high priority projects they can be proud of. They work with stone, wood, and earth to improve trails and parks, and make wildlife habitats and watersheds healthier. From pick mattocks to circular saws, members become familiar with a range of traditional and modern tools to complete technically diverse projects.
Corps Members work in teams called crews, which are typically six to eight members with two Crew Leaders.
Corps Members and Crew Leaders are paid for their work. This is a real job!
Every day, crews read and discuss an article. This education time, called WoRD (Writing, Reading, and Discussion) allows crew members to learn something new, and sparks interesting conversations. Corps Members take turns selecting articles and facilitating conversations.
Crew Leaders teach their crew the skills needed to complete each project. They meet one-on-one each week with Corps Members to discuss personal challenges, achievements, and goals. Guest speakers, workshops, and weekend outings show Corps Members something new about Vermont, the environment, and one another.
VYCC crews turn off electronic devices and learn to live on and with the land. They cook over fires and camping stoves, purify stream water, and read by the light of a headlamp. Spending time in the woods, mountains, and rivers of Vermont allows Corps Members to learn the true impact we have on our land and what we can do to enjoy and take care of our precious natural resources.
The VYCC experience helps each Corps Member see themselves as someone capable of leading a group, making a difference, and completing a project that at first might seem impossible. Discover just how strong and capable you are. No special skills are required!
Before VYCC I was only marginally aware of myself as a part of a greater natural world – cities were my life. I feel more comfortable interacting with other people, and I realized that everyone has an interesting story if you ask the right questions. VYCC has changed the way I think about being human – that we are not isolated, and that this planet is not only ours.”
— Eleanor (“Nory”)