Hard work is driven by the skill and energy of VYCC Crew Leaders.
VYCC carefully selects young leaders that ensure the safety of fellow crew members, effectively manage projects to meet the expectations and deadlines of project sponsors, and build a positive crew community that reflects VYCC’s values.
Meet the individuals who have dedicated themselves to completing vital conservation projects in 2023 (MORE BIOS COMING SOON)!
Scout Braxton – Richmond Leader
Scout Braxton is super excited to be working with the VYCC this year! This will be their first year in the state of Vermont, seeing as she recently graduated from Purdue University in May 2023 with a degree in Psychological Studies. She has a lengthy background in inclusion/confrontation research and is eager to apply the lessons they learned to the real world. Scout is passionate about the outdoors and absolutely adores a good hike or paddle. Originally from the Midwest, Scout is so happy to be working in the outdoors and is looking forward to learning about her new home! From her home state of Indiana, Scout is bringing with her lovely fiancée, Jenna, and their two cats, Tomato and Kroger. She is excited to be outside and get messy with her conservation crew!
Keith Prescott – Summer Woodstock/Rutland Leader
Keith is returning to VYCC as a crew lead after a season on the Pro Trails crew in the summer of 2022. Graduating from UVM with a degree in music education, they found they wanted a change of pace from academia and working in a school setting. The summer of 2022 was certainly not boring (ask them about it sometime, they’ll talk your ear off) but bad weather, sickness, and even a bear encounter couldn’t scare them away from another season.
Jenn Greig – Build Leader
Jenn Greig is an avid collector of seasonal experiences and the long-term friendships that come with it. This led her across the country, joining various Conservation Corps and affordable housing projects in the conjunction with obtaining her Architecture Degree from North Carolina State. For the last two years, she has worked on a carpentry crew focused on historic renovations in Durham, North Carolina, with values of respecting the land with thoughtful construction. Jenn is excited to return to VYCC and meet another great crew who she hopes shares her love of muffins and coffee.
Viv Gillman – Richmond Leader
Viv is leading the Richmond Youth Crew after graduating from UVM with a degree in Environmental Studies. They are originally from Washington, DC but fell in love with working outside in Vermont after summers of farming and working at Vermont State Parks. Viv is incredibly excited to lead people on their own journey to loving the outdoors! They believe in the importance of having fun and getting your hands dirty while working and can’t wait to be goofy while getting stuff done!
Liss Vigil – Summer Trail & Water Quality Leader
Liss Vigil joins the VYCC after celebrating the last 7 birthdays in service to others. From education to disaster response, outreach to firefighting, caregiving to conservation and so much more, Liss has pursued diverse experiences that not only give back to our communities, but also teach and develop several aspects of life. Although never anticipating a global trot, Liss has had the honor of traveling all over the country and the world in the spirit of beneficence. As the journey continues with an ever-growing awareness, Liss hopes to embody the countless lessons in a consistent, intentional, and holistic way.
Spencer McKenzie – Summer Trail & Water Quality Leader
Spencer is an environmental steward deeply passionate about integrating environmentalism into his student leadership at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is excited to return from his semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and make his way back to Vermont for his second summer as a Conservation Camping Crew Leader with VYCC! His environmental science and English majors have prepared Spencer to serve as one of Wake’s Environmental Justice Directors, for which he works closely with members of the Winston-Salem community and uses an intersectional approach to advocate for environmental justice within North Carolina. Spencer enjoys spending his free time hiking around North Carolina, reading, and working in his pottery studio while listening to Maggie Rogers. As a crew leader, Spencer is super excited to return to Vermont, meet some awesome new people, and have a fantastic summer!
Julius BaDour – Fall Build Leader
Julius values hard work and natural living. After serving in the 2021 VYCC carpentry crew, he discovered a passion for building and woodworking; leading him to manage a construction crew back in his home of Madison, Wisconsin. Since he was 18, Julius has traveled much of the country on foot in nearly 20 states, from the deserts of New Mexico to the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Julius accepts challenges head on and believes that personal growth is achieved by overcoming obstacles. He is pumped to visit Vermont again and for the coming VYCC season!
Adrianna Ayers – Fall Build Leader
Adrianna is excited to lead for the VYCC after getting her B.S. in Mathematics and before starting her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies at UMass Lowell! The summer leading up to her fall in Vermont, Adrianna worked with the Massachusetts Climate Corps focusing on salt marsh science and restoration. She is an avid hiker and camper and loves to do as much as she can outdoors. Adrianna cannot wait to learn even more about the wilderness and fully immerse herself and her crew in their work while keeping things light and fun.
Annalise Brinks – Fall Trail Leader
Annalise is from Michigan and grew up spending lots of time outside gardening, exploring, and camping. She just completed a season of trail work in the White Mountains National Forest. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in History and a minor in Environmental Science. Annalise is passionate about conservation and ensuring that outdoor recreation is accessible for all, sustainable, and environmentally conscious. Trail work provides her with the opportunity to do boots-on-the-ground work in the environmental field and live and work in beautiful places. She loves to camp, cook, read, crochet, play cards, and spend time with her family and friends. She is excited to get her hands dirty this fall and teach her crew some cool new skills!
Eric Johnson – Fall Trail Leader
Eric first fell in love with conservation corps while serving as a member on a youth crew in Idaho. Since then, he has enjoyed serving, learning, and growing as a crewleader with corps in Oregon, Utah, and here in Vermont in 2021! He is thrilled to come back to VYCC and experience the incredible fall colors again. The opportunity to travel, live outside, be part of an uplifting crew community, meet amazing people, and complete meaningful work are all reasons why Eric is passionate about conservation corps. He gets super excited by cool clouds, rocks, and plants (especially moss!) and loves to stop to smell the flowers. He also enjoys hacky sack, juggling, photography, telling stories, and recently started learning guitar! He is so excited to bond with the crew over beautiful sunsets and other meaningful moments. 🙂
Rosemary Naydihor & Emma Brinks – Fall Forest Leaders
Rosemary is excited to combine her leadership experience and love for our environment in a new way for her first season as a crew leader with the VYCC! After spending the summer camping and exploring national parks all across the country, they are ready to settle in for the autumn working with and supporting the fall forestry crew. Rosemary can’t wait to incorporate their experience running a vegan kitchen into our camp meals and finding creative ways to use foraged local Vermont delicacies with the crew!
Emma is a recent graduate from Michigan State University with a BS in Horticulture and a minor in Writing. She has spent the past three summer seasons as a trail crew member in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for the Randolph Mountain Club, where she led a crew this past summer. In this role, Emma built rock and wooden structures including waterbars, bog bridges, staircases, cross drains, and scree walls in the backcountry, and has become familiar with tools including axes, rockbars, picks, chainsaws, and rigging and carpentry equipment. In addition to her time in the Whites, Emma has worked in greenhouses, gardens, and as a WWOOF volunteer on farms in England and Wales. Outside of work, Emma enjoys writing, reading essays, playing cards, and playing music with friends. She is particularly excited to learn more about Forestry and see the changing Fall colors with the VYCC this season.