Roll up your sleeves and make a difference.

VYCC’s Conservation Program is an experience for youth and young adults who are interested in protecting our environment and improving outdoor recreation. Participants learn how to complete a project that is physically and mentally demanding, gain communication and leadership skills through work and community activities, get to know people from different backgrounds, and learn to work in a team. Find a conservation crew experience that interests you below! We are now hiring for the 2019 season!



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)

Apply now!

We look forward to learning more about you.


Make a lasting contribution to public lands in Vermont. Serving as a VYCC AmeriCorps Member is a unique opportunity to work, travel, and make a difference. Young adults join crews of 6-8 members and camp around the state, near to work sites.

2019 AmeriCorps full sessions: Mid-June to End of October

Compensation: AmeriCorps Members receive a weekly stipend of $250, housing, farm fresh food daily, and earn a Segal Education Award at the completion of service.

Eligibility: AmeriCorps Crews are for young adults, age 18-24 years old, and focus on specific projects: the Parks Restoration Crew offers carpentry experiences; the Assessment Crew studies erosion and trail conditions; and the US Forest Service Crew improves trails, campgrounds, and ecosystems throughout the Green Mountain National Forest.  These crews also assist with watershed improvement projects across the state.

We are especially looking to recruit young people from low-income backgrounds. The skills you learn on these crews can ready you to jump into the Vermont workforce with the knowledge you need to join the trades, construction, and other well-paying fields. Ask us for more info about this!

No prior experience or special skills are needed. We fully train Members to do this job, which will prepare you for future jobs.

Did you see our video? The crew it features is a 2016 AmeriCorps crew.

Apply now!

We look forward to learning more about you.


These crews come together as a team to enhance local natural areas in your own community by day and return home at night (no camping needed!). This might include building trails and bridges in local parks, building rain gardens in town, and removing invasive species.

2019 Community Crew locations:

  • Burlington (1st & 2nd session)
  • Dorset Regional (1st & 2nd session)
  • South Burlington (2nd session only)
  • Williston (1st session only)
  • Woodstock (1st &2nd session)

2019 Program Dates: We are offering two summer sessions this year.
1st session: Mid-June to Mid-July
2nd session: Mid-July to Mid-August.

Compensation: These are jobs that pay $10.78 per hour, approximately 40 hours per week. Generally work days are Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with some community events in the evening.

Eligibility: Vermont residents ages 15 – 18. Must have reliable transportation to and from a designated meeting location Monday through Friday. Members provide their own housing.

Apply now!

We look forward to learning more about you.


Leading a crew is an adventure unlike any you’ve ever had before! As a teacher, work supervisor, and a role model, you will be responsible for building a community, ensuring your crew’s health and safety, and teaching life and job skills. By professionally managing your work project and ensuring high-quality standards, you’ll stretch your comfort zones and bask in the sweet rewards that follow.

Crew Leaders lead Crew Members from all walks of life. We hire Crew Members of varied interests and talents, representing many social, economic, and geographical backgrounds. The combination of a diverse crew, excellent leaders, and high-priority conservation projects creates a dynamic and educationally rich experience.

Your season will begin with paid staff training during which we will focus on teaching both technical and interpersonal skills needed to be a successful leader at VYCC, while also drawing out your own strengths and enhancing your existing skills. You will use what you’ve learned to transform your crew from a varied group of strangers into a tight-knit community. It will not be easy, but leading a group of young people in the completion of a one mile trail reroute or stabilizing river banks will teach you and your crew lessons you will use for the rest of your lives.

Vermont Crew Leader Dates:

Training: May to Mid-June

Summer Crews: Mid-June to end of August

Long Term Crews: Mid-June to end of August

Peer Crew Dates:

Spring Peer Crew:
Peer crew is a six week Peer Led crew prior to our Crew Leader training, its purpose to further develop your technical skills with the intention of assisting HQ staff during our Crew Leader training. Peer Crew begins with an orientation on April 4 (may change due to weather), and runs into Summer Training.

Dates: Early April to end of May (until Crew Leader Training) (may be adapted due to weather)

Crew Leader: Weekly salary of $500-$550; End of Season Completion Bonus – either $250 or $500, depending on crew type.

Assistant Crew Leader: $350 weekly stipend and AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion.

Eligibility/Crew Leader Requirements:

  • At least 22 years of age for Crew Leaders; at least 20 years of age for Assistant Crew Leaders.
  • Good driving record and a valid driver’s license held for at least three years.
  • Red Cross Standard First Aid/CPR or equivalent (Wilderness First Aid required for all Crew Leaders).

We are looking for adult leaders who are ready for a challenge and enjoy working with young people as teachers, mentors, supervisors, and role models. Excellent leadership is the most crucial factor in determining a crew’s success. The level of professionalism, motivation, and sense of community on the crew is a reflection of the strength of the crew’s leadership.

VYCC fills Crew Leader and Assistant Crew Leader positions on a rolling basis beginning as early as the fall that precedes the next season. Preference is given to early applicants.

Apply now!

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to learning more about you!

Our Commitment to Diversity:

The VYCC is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applications from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, women and gender fluid individuals, all sexual orientations, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged. All eligible applicants or job-holders have an equal opportunity in all areas of VYCC employment.

Watch our #FAQFriday short video series about our types of crews, positions, and more!