Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a three-week residential program that provides youth with the opportunity to work in Virginia State Parks on field-based projects. YCC crews help parks with various projects including the construction of benches and picnic and camping pads, trail creation and maintenance, preventing pollution, etc. Crew leaders have many roles and are key to the success of YCC. This position is demanding but provides many rewards. Successful applicants demonstrate high standards, creative problem-solving, excellent judgment, and compassion for Virginia’s natural resources and young people. A crew leader’s primary responsibilities center on helping crew members in the field while ensuring their emotional and physical safety.
Leaders must reside with crew members in provided housing and are responsible for maintaining a positive team atmosphere for the duration of the program. Leaders work with their team to plan various educational and recreational activities including at least one environmental education program a week. Leaders must minimize their use of cell phones, computers and other electronic devices.
Leaders are responsible for organizing crew schedules, a budget, equipment, required forms and evaluations. Leader must submit receipts and documentation for the budget and submit them along with forms, evaluations, and all other documents and files to the program coordinator at the end of each session.
YCC 2020 Program Dates
- Mandatory Crew Leader Training, Twin Lakes State Park, June 15-18.
- Crew leaders report to their sites the Thursday before their session starts.
- Session 1 runs from June 18 to July 11
- Session 2 runs from July 16 to Aug. 8
Crew Leader Duties
Leadership and Mentor
- Manage, supervise and participate in day-to-day activities of the YCC crew at the work-site and at home.
- Promote individual crew member development through mentoring and a healthy teamwork atmosphere.
- Help crew members make the most of their experiences.
Safety and Risk Management
- Monitor, manage and promote the crew’s physical and emotional safety on and off the work-site.
- Transport the crew safely in a minivan or a 15-passenger van.
Program Management and Implementation
- Train and motivate a crew of 10 young adults to efficiently complete projects.
- Plan, attend and engage the crew in environmental education and interpretive programs in the park.
- Plan and incorporate weekend plans to engage the crew in recreational activities.
- Coordinate and communicate logistics and operations with co-leaders, park staff, the program coordinator and the program director.
- Participate in nightly conference calls for the duration of the program to give daily reports and obtain necessary information from the program coordinator.
- Complete documentation including but not limited to work reports, crewmember evaluations, program surveys, accident reports and discipline forms.
- Manage the Small Purchase Credit Card, gas card, food budget and receipt log.
- Must be able to hike up to 5 miles a day.
- Ability to use hands for tools, controls and other objects. Also able to reach with arms and hands.
- Occasionally lift and move up to 50 pounds.
- Required to drive a vehicle.
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Leadership experience with youths and young adults, not simply a peer-group setting
- Ability to work as a team member and mentor, and to be a direct, fair and clear crew leader
- Excellent organization skills
- Experience performing physical outdoor work
- Physically fit and able to work long days in less-than-ideal conditions (heat, rain, etc.)
- Enrolling into junior year of college in fall 2017 (or equivalent post-high school education/experience)
- Must pass a background check
- Good driving record and must possess a current, valid driver’s license
- Experience in a youth corps or conservation corps
- Experience working long days in less-than-ideal conditions and on difficult and hazardous terrain (steep slopes, wetlands, heavily forested areas)
- Experience teaching, facilitating and team-building with diverse groups of people
- Demonstrated creative problem-solving capabilities
- Familiarity with basic conservation skills including the use of tools
- Sense of humor, spirit of adventure and desire to make a positive difference
To become a YCC crew leader, you must be entering at least your junior year of college in fall 2019. The applicant must refrain from using any tobacco or alcohol for the duration of the crew leader training session and the YCC session(s) in which they are working. The applicant must have a driver’s license prior to crew leader training. Those chosen must wear their YCC-issued uniform attire for the duration of the program.
YCC Gear and Amenities
Transportation to and from the park is the sole responsibility of the participant. Upon arrival at the park, meals, lodging and transportation will be provided. The program will provide the participant with a YCC backpack, hat, shirt, water bottle and safety gear. Participants are responsible for bringing a few necessary uniform items. Housing varies by park, but each YCC participant will have a bed or cot with linens provided (bring pillow), access to showers or a bathhouse, and time for laundering. Participants must bring about $10 in change for laundry and some spending money for souvenirs, personal snacks, etc.