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.
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.
In 2019, we hosted 3 regional crews that will camp near their work site. These crews will be staffed by youth from the region! These crews will be focused on everything all different types of projects: land management, trail building and maintenance and water quality work!
2019 Locations included Dorset area, Lamoille County, and Washington County.
- We provide a bi-weekly paycheck to our Youth Crews (2020 compensation to be announced in December 2019).
- Housing (camping) and food
- Some of the best “office” views in the state
- Educational learning opportunities
- College and career counseling and support
- Access to our robust Alumni Network
- A Vermonter, between 15-18 years old
- A desire to do your part and change the world with us.
- Openness to learning, working hard outside, meeting new people, and receiving feedback.
- Willingness and commitment to following all immediate and general crew policies.
- Able to join a crew for 4 or 8 weeks from mid June to July or July to mid August.
- If you are unable to find transportation to and from our HeadQuarters in Richmond, please let us know in your interview.
Interested in joining us for 2020? Want to be in the loop about what crews will be heading out next year? Email Nora to join our email list!
Email Hans, Conservation Program Coordinator