Our work is driven by the skill and energy of our Crew Leaders.
The success of VYCC is indebted to the highly motivated and committed young adults who take on the challenging job of leading crews.
VYCC carefully selects young leaders that ensure the safety of each Corps Member, effectively manage crew projects to meet the expectations and deadlines of project sponsors, build a positive crew community that reflects VYCC’s values, and support the learning and personal growth of each Corps Member.
Crew Leaders complete a rigorous residential training program before Corps Members arrive. Classroom workshops and hands-on practice ensure competence in technical skills, risk management, first aid, safe driving, tool use and maintenance, group dynamics, discipline, meal planning, and Leave No Trace practices.
Crews are typically assigned one male and one female Crew Leader. Once in the field, they are supported by VYCC staff through weekly call-ins, weekly visits including occasional overnight stays, and a 24/7 on-call system. Crews have access to a vehicle at all times and each location has a safety plan including how to access emergency medical care.
2017 spring Crew Leaders have arrived! Summer Leader bios will be posted after they arrive in late May.
Paul – Conservation
Paul Rando is excited to begin his first season with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Three days after graduating from Rutgers University in 2015, he was on a plane to Thailand, where he spent a year teaching English and connecting with young people in the Isan region. After that he moved to Nepal to volunteer with an international disaster relief NGO, where he helped rebuild 50 homes in the Sindhupalchok district and two schools in the Nuwakot district. He also raised over $3,000 to participate in the All Hands on Everest Challenge, a charity trek up to Everest Base Camp. Since returning from Nepal he has led teams of volunteers to much and gut homes affected by the flooding in Texas and Louisiana. His favorite hobbies are reading, swimming, ceramics, and creative writing (he has written five novels!). He is a dedicated individual whose personal motto, “Be dareful,” inspires him to work hard, seek adventure, and strive for mindfulness.
Jason – Conservation
Jason grew up in New Jersey and attended Connecticut College where he graduated with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Biology. His first experiences with the outdoors came when he spent the summer before his senior year of college interning with the US Forest Service in Alaska. It didn’t take long before he realized he wanted to spend as much time as possible working, playing, and living outdoors. After graduating college he quickly enrolled as a NOLS student where he learned about outdoor leadership, environmental stewardship, and most importantly about the power of the wilderness as an environment for personal growth. Since then he has worked on various trail crews across the country, from Arizona to Maine, in order to help conserve these wild places he has come to value so much. His favorite outdoor hobbies include backpacking, rock climbing, and reading under a shady tree and he is ecstatic to bring his love of all things outdoors to VYCC this season.
Ben – Farm
Ben grew up in Richmond Vermont and is glad to be giving back to this community. Since 2014 he has been mentoring youth in outdoor education programs across the country, including High Trails Outdoor Science School in Southern California, the Children’s Garden in Ithaca NY, Cornell’s Team and Leadership Center, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program. Driven by a passion for community-based natural resource management, Ben has been learning the ways of organic farming for the last few years as well! He is excited to be with a team that models healthy food systems to support families in need throughout the state. Outside work, Ben generally spends his free time exploring the Green Mountains, climbing tall rocks, and baking fresh sourdough.
Mike and Kira – Conservation
Mike is a backpacking leather foot with a heart of wood. A free climb, carried by the seas type with a penchant for seasonal migrant work; he spent the last five years putting in time for the National Park Service, Department of Natural Resources, and various small traditional skills schools and farms around the country. A Sterling College graduate with a degree in Natural History, Mike looks forward to the summer season wherein he can share his knowledge with others and help to facilitate a fun and rewarding work environment. When not swinging a pick you might find him enjoying a book in the sun, pawing at a guitar, or carving his initials into a summit roster. His favorite color is coquelicot.
Kira’s Bio coming soon!