“If you can see it, you can be it.” VYCC Adds More Identity-Based Crews

January 29, 2020 | 

VYCC’s WoW and Queer Crews are in action for 2020

This year, VYCC will offer two identity-based Youth Camping Crews each summer session! Youth can join for one or both sessions. VYCC’s Youth Women of Wilderness (WoW) and the Youth Queer Crew are designed to encourage more young people who identify as cis-women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, or questioning to pursue careers and adventures in the great outdoors. 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.

Know you’re in? Apply as a Youth Crew Member now!

Why do we have a WoW Crew and Queer Crew? 

Women and folks that identify as LGBTQQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning) are less visible in the conservation field and outdoor industry. This can make entering a career path focused on conservation or the outdoor industry intimidating or make folks question if it is the right space for them. The VYCC is a great entry place for anyone who wants to head into the conservation field, so we wanted to make sure to provide clear pathways and opportunities for folks into the organization that otherwise may not take the step. 

This is a great way that VYCC is breaking down the barriers to VYCC and the conservation field.

These crews will not only be focused on getting the work done (trails, water quality, land management, etc), but will also have an emphasis of empowerment and inspiration for folks to come together in their shared identity doing meaningful work, learning together, and sharing in the VYCC experience. The hope is that this experience empowers the participants to stick with the conservation field and know they have a place. “If you see it, you can be it” is an adaptation of Marian Wright Edelman’s quote “It’s hard to be what you can’t see”.

Women of Wilderness Camping Crew

Women of Wilderness Camping Crew is a youth crew for young women and young transwomen between 15 and 18 years old who will camp and work throughout Vermont on a mighty crew of girl power! This crew will be led by two Crew Leaders who also identify as women or transwomen to teach, mentor, and share in the VYCC experience. Apply here as a Wow Crew Member.

Queer Camping Crew

VYCC’s first ever Queer Crew! This crew for Crew Members (15-18 year olds) and Crew Leaders (19+ years old) who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, queer or questioning (LGBTQQ). If you’ve ever wanted to work hard outside alongside other LGBTQQ+ folks, camp for 1-2 months during the summer, explore Vermont, and learn a lot; this crew is for you. Apply here as a Queer Crew Member.

What is a Camping Crew500x

Youth Camping Crews work and explore new, often remote, places in Vermont and sleep under the stars. Your crew will live as a close-knit group, cooking shared meals, setting up tents, building campfires, and learning what it takes to be part of an effective, diverse, and totally unique team. Your crew will be mentored, taught, and led by talented Crew Leaders who share in the identity of the crew and will be supported by the VYCC staff.

Each day Camping Crews work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. During the evenings, you’ll spend time with your crew at your campsite and on you get to go on adventures with your crew!

Crew Members will earn a weekly stipend of $310/week. In addition, Camping Crews also receive camping accommodations, meals, and snacks at no charge. Youth Camping Crew Members receive an additional Youth Service Stipend of $200 after completing each 4-week session. Returning Crew Members receive a $150 bonus.


Crew Members choose between two summer sessions or do both!

  • Session one is from June 20 until July 19.
  • Session two is from July 25 until August 23.

What to lead one of these crews?

Crew Leaders start as early as mid-April and end as late at November 3, 2020. To lead the WoW or Queer Crew, you must be available for at least May 26 until August 23, 2020.You can always come early or stay later and lead other crews with us! Crew Leaders earn up to $585/week.

Crew Leaders receive hands-on training and coaching in professional and personal growth. Crew Leaders join up at VYCC for up to four weeks of training prior to the start of the season where you’ll also gain valuable skills to improve your communication, leadership and teamwork, and self-care skills and certified trainings in Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Aid (WFA). Additional professional and technical trainings are provided by professionals in the field, as long as opportunities for networking and relationship building.

Love this? Apply to be a Crew Leader. 

Why does the VYCC experience rock?

A VYCC experience will also teach you, a lot! You will get hands-on training and coaching in professional and personal growth. VYCC offers trainings in Leave No Trace, getting you ready to join workforce by improving your communication, teamwork, and more, and increasing your skills to take care of yourself in stressful or new situations. Each day you will learn more about the natural world and the projects you are tackling, have deep conversations about life challenges you or your peers may face, and deepen your connection to your team. We even have a way for you to document your learning for school credit! DM Daniel Schmidt, Officer of Programs for more info.

You will leave your mark for generations to come. Conservation Youth Camping Crews take on projects in public parks, state parks, the Green Mountain National Forest, Long Trail, and many other public lands in Vermont. This work includes trail construction and maintenance, wildlife habitat and forest enhancement, light construction and maintenance work, and protecting the health of rivers, lakes, and streams.

Are you ready to join a crew? Apply as a WoW or Queer Crew Member!

Looking to lead one of these crews? Apply to lead the WoW or Queer Crew


If you have questions about these crews, positions, or the application process, please reach out.

Email our Recruitment Team or text us at (802) 560-8466‬.