What are Spike Crews?
Spike crews are modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps, a government-funded program for young adults before World War 2 that provided hands-on training through conservation work on public lands. A “spike camp” is a secondary or temporary camp established by a forestry crew that was accessible from the main camp. These spike camps would make travel to work sites easier.
All our Spike Crew Members live in tents in a camp setting and work on high-priority conservation projects around the state of Vermont. Crews live together for the entire session and decide as a group how to spend their weekends.
Crews are co-ed and consist of up to eight Crew Members and two Crew Leaders who come together from all walks of life to build strong bonds with each other and the surrounding environment. They complete high-priority conservation projects such as trail building, bridge construction, watershed restoration, and historic building preservation.
Crews work with a variety of sponsoring agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vermont Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation, and various local and national non-government conservation organizations. These relationships expose crews to a variety of future employment options and allow the opportunity to network with many professionals.
In addition to the projects, each workday holds many opportunities for building technical skills, exploring diverse perspectives during WoRD, gaining job and career building skills, and learning about the natural world. Corps Members develop leadership skills through a variety of hands-on activities.
2019 Program Dates: We offer two summer sessions:
Session 1: Mid-June to Mid-July
Session 2: Mid-July to Mid-August.
Compensation: These are jobs that pay $10.78 per hour, include housing, food and educational learning opportunities. Approximately 40 hours per week. Note: VYCC takes $60/week from compensation for room and board costs.
Eligibility: Crew Applicants must be between 15-18 years of age to apply (some crews have certain age ranges, so please make note). If you are under 18, you must be a resident of Vermont. Must provide transportation to and from Richmond, VT on first and last day of session.
Types of Spike Crews:
General Spike Crew:
We have a number of Spike Crews (camping) which work across the state on a range of projects including trail work, watershed protection, and more. We strive for all our crews to have a balance of social identities, especially gender identities.
WoW (Women of Wilderness) Crew:
A crew for Corps Members who identify as girls, young women, and/or young transwomen. This crew is designed to give Corps Members the chance to explore the conservation field in an environment focused on support, encouragement, and empowerment. Because conservation and other technical trades traditionally have been dominated by cis-men, studies have shown that similar underrepresented identities programs, such as all-women/transwomen programs can be highly effective in building confidence and inspiring them to enter these technical arenas. The members of this crew will be pushed to explore and learn together, and will expand their comfort zones as they build projects and live in a camp setting. Crew Members will benefit from the mentorship of highly-trained leaders, who will add a focus of empowerment, sharing, and support to the crews daily activities.
Note: Crew Members must be ages 15-18.
American Sign Language (ASL) Inclusion Youth Crew:
This is an integrative Youth Corps experience for young people who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing. VYCC and partners develop an integrated, residential, work-immersion experience in-line with the VYCC’s traditional youth conservation program. This model pairs crew members who have hearing with those who are deaf or hard of hearing under the guidance of two leaders proficient in American Sign Language (ASL). This crew is a camping crew and works primarily out with the US Forest Service or other land management agencies/organizations.
Note: Crew Members must be ages 15-18.
Regional Spike (Camping) Crews
This year we will host 4 regional crews that will camp near their work site. These crews will be staffed by youth from the region! This crews will be focused on everything all different types of projects: land management, trail building and maintenance and water quality work!
2019 Regional Crews:
- Rutland County (1st session only: Mid-June to Mid-July)
- Lamoille County (2nd session only: Mid-July to Mid-August)
- Washington County (1st & 2nd session: Mid-June to Mid-July and Mid-July to Mid-August)
We look forward to learning more about you.