In a rural state like Vermont, the power of a shared experience with peers of a similar identity is undeniable. These crews experience all the elements of a Youth Camping Crew, but are designed to provide a more powerful experience for those seeking one like this.
280 individual VYCC corps members worked from as early as March all the way until the end of November on our Farm and Conservation crews. From sowing seeds, to improving state park infrastructures, to removing invasive species, to harvesting organic vegetables for Vermonters in need, our crews learned, earned, and yearned to make their communities better. Our crews spread across New York State, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and of course every county in Vermont.
Check out what Conservation fall crews accomplished! Thanks to these hard working young people, Vermont's parks and trails are even more enjoyable.
As the season moves into fall, harvesting veggies becomes a high priority for Corps Member who will be finishing their service soon.
In 2019, VYCC fielded 12 Community Crews across our Corps, employing over 75 youth!As a way to celebrate their accomplishments, each Community Crew hosted a Meet-Up at their project site where community members could meet them, see their work, and learn more. It was a great way for Corps Members to gain valuable public speaking skills and for locals to be wowed (and thank the crews).“Each VYCC Community Crew member puts in hundreds of hours of hard work in the communities they serve. Meet-ups are an opportunity to showcase their efforts while connecting with community members who will utilize VYCC-built trails, bridges, and boardwalks for years to come,” remarked Daniel Schmidt, Program Officer.”
Blood pressure? Check. Cholesterol? Check. Pasture-raised chicken?For most of us, the first two are what we expect from a visit to our primary care doctor’s office . . . but here in Vermont, on any given day, you might just find a farmer’s market outside your primary care medical home.
The Woodstock Crew proudly showed Congressman Welch their work this summer, the tools they have learned to use, and the learning that surrounds a VYCC project---leave no trace, nature of the day, the impacts of climate change, and more. The crew explained about how they have to work as a team, how the work is challenging but that they get to see the impact it makes and that they know it will last a long time. Congressman Welch shared with the crew that he often hikes or runs on trails and knows that a lot of work goes into it, but it makes it all that more real to see a crew in action.
All over the state, Corps Members will show and tell local community members about the projects they are working on. We are hosting ten of these events across July and August. Your invited, please join us!
VYCC HQ: What did you learn during the day?Alum Marlee M: "There's a lot more citizen voice and involvement in how the government works than I had thought before!" Alum Nick P: "I learned how open and inviting the Vermont Legislature."
What an incredible opportunity and honor to be in DC at The Corps Network Conference and see so many different Corps – all with different program models, specific types of projects, different demographics, and a variety of scales from small Corps focused in a single neighborhood within a city or to a collection of Corps serving multiple states. The common thread? A focus on providing opportunities for young people to serve in our communities, learning and working together, and leaving a lasting legacy of positive change.