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.
Three young adults from Los Angeles participated in our first Corps Member exchange project.
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.”
Watch this "Stuck in Vermont" episode where they caught up with a community crew at Schmanska Park in Burlington, where they were building stairs to help provide access to the public and also to prevent runoff into the Winooski River.
Life is good in the Owls Head Town Forest in Dorset, but for a group of teens working there, that doesn't mean it's easy.Four teens, ranging in age from 15 to 18, are finishing out what amounts to a month-long camping trip in the forest.But instead of spending their days swimming in quarries or lounging in hammocks they're swinging sledgehammers to break rocks and clear trails to make the path to the top easier for those seeking only a view at the top.
The public will soon have easier access to the Hoosic River with a newly-cleared trail.The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is working to clear a trail along the river in town for hikers and walkers, in an effort to provide more recreation opportunities in the area.
In June, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC)’s was honored by the Woodstock community with the Annette Compton Fiertz Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals or organizations that advance the Woodstock Trails Partnership goals of trail stewardship, outreach and education, volunteerism, and partnership development that supports and enhances the Woodstock trail network.
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.