Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

Make a positive impact on the environment and food access, gain valuable leadership skills, and explore the Green Mountains while serving with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps!

Vermont is home to inspiring landscapes and waterways. For close to 40 years, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) has engaged in environmental stewardship of these lands. Imagine waking up each morning in the woods, beside a lake, or on a historic farm to spend the day building climate resiliency or helping neighbors access farm-fresh food.

Conservation Crews serve in State Parks, National Forests and other conserved lands across the state. Food & Farm Crews serve on VYCC’s 12-acre, organic farm in beautiful Richmond, VT.

About Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

At VYCC, small teams of young people work and learn together with the land. In the Conservation Program, crews complete important projects across the state. Their impact includes improving water quality, forest health, and sustainable outdoor recreation. In the Food & Farm Program, crews grow and harvest organic vegetables to address food insecurity, sustainable agriculture, and responsible land use. Across programs, Corps Members gain skills toward a number of careers. They work directly in and with local communities.

Video: The VYCC Experience 

Video: Why I Chose the Food & Farm Program

Video: Why I Chose the Conservation Program

The Employee Experience

Whether planting crops on the farm, building stairways within the Vermont trail system, or improving water drainage throughout the state, individuals come to VYCC to make a difference.

Crew Leaders (20+ years old) and Crew Members (mostly 15-26 years old) come together for a paid service experience full of connection, hard work, and skill building. Crews work, live, and learn together to complete high priority and meaningful conservation projects such as trail maintenance, carpentry, land management, forestry, and watershed restoration. Farm crews work on the farm at VYCC growing produce that goes to the Health Care Share. These experiences connect crews to the land, community, and one another.

On their first day, Members and Leaders arrive on VYCC’s 400-acre campus to get familiar with staff and meet crew mates.  

After training and orientation on campus, crews get to work on projects. For Conservation Crews, this could be anywhere in Vermont! The crew’s trailer and van will have all the tools and gear you need. 

Meanwhile, Food & Farm crews get their hands in the soil on VYCC’s campus. 

Take skills & credentials with you

Whether you arrive at VYCC with zero work experience, or you come with skills and feel ready to lead – we have a position for you.

VYCC programs are designed for Members to come back for multiple seasons. Build skills toward careers, accumulate AmeriCorps Education Awards and college credits, and earn industry-recognized credentials.

See what skills you can gain!

Read about how VYCC supports alumni after their VYCC experience.

Video: Returning to VYCC

At the end of the season there will be lots to be proud of: the bridge you built, the skills you gained, the crops you harvested, and the community you’ve been a part of. Join us if this sounds like the right adventure for you!

As I anticipated, the work was hard. We carried wet lumber up a mountain. We crushed and moved so many heavy rocks. However, I got stronger and stronger, and I was so proud to see what my body was capable of. With the help of my community around me, I had begun to thrive in an environment that was once scary and intimidating. The Corps experience had pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I was able to expand into a stronger version of myself. – Bex (they/them) Conservation Member and Food & Farm Leader

Affinity spaces at VYCC

Corps Members have opportunities to work alongside others who share some aspect of their identity. In the past, options have included Affinity Crews or Spaces for women, queer folks, and BIPOC individuals. If you are curious about what affinity opportunities might exist for your time with VYCC, ask us during your interview.

The work in the fields is very tedious. You are doing the same thing over and over again for a long time. But you are in a group of people that you come to enjoy: it becomes fun and easy to do. – Kathir (he/him) Food & Farm Member

If you are ready to dig in, with a spirit of curiosity and courage, then VYCC is the place for you.

Ideal Candidate

VYCC offers life-changing experiences to those who bring energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to personal growth.  

The work is hard. Our goal is to support you with high-quality training and ongoing professional development. Your goal is to be a contributing member of the crew, working alongside others to complete projects that benefit the environment and Vermont communities. Crews and VYCC staff are all about advancing the work of growing food, building trails, cleaning up our waterways, building efficient backcountry shelters, and/or improving forest health.

What Qualities Make a Person Successful at VYCC:

  • A passion for the environment.
  • A positive mental attitude.
  • Adaptability and flexibility.
  • A commitment to serving the whole term.
  • A growth mindset.

Room and Board

All Camping crews receive room and board while on crew. That includes a food budget, fresh produce from the farm, and all the necessary camping gear. 

The Food & Farm Program is known for its farm-fresh lunches. Each day, Farm crews prepare lunch from produce grown right here on campus.

Check out Campus & Camping Life to learn more!

Video: VYCC Campus Tour

Employee Perks

VYCC offers paid positions that come with many other benefits. Compensation ranges from a bi-weekly stipend of $962–$1,500 and potential eligibility for an AmeriCorps Education Award. Depending on the position, other benefits include:

  • CPR Certification, Wilderness First Aid Training, Game of Logging
  • On the job learning opportunities to expand technical skill knowledge through the season
  • Career pathways support provided by VYCC's Community Engagement Manager 
  • Access to our robust Alumni network for future adventures and career assistance
  • Eligible for AmeriCorps Segal Education Award upon successful completion of service (service terms vary by member)
  • Eligible for student loan forbearance
  • Potential to earn up to 12 free college credits

For more specifics about compensation and benefits refer to our available positions.

I did VYCC because I knew it would open up opportunities in the future, I got to work outside, and work with an organization trying to make a difference. —Jack, Crew Member & Leader

Getting Here and Getting Around

Getting Here

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps operates on a 400-acre campus in Richmond Vermont. Campus offers conserved forestland, a certified organic farm, and two historic barns. 

VYCC is 20 minutes from Burlington (airport, train station, and bus service)

Address: 1949 East Main Street, Richmond, VT 05477

Getting Around
VYCC provides 10-passenger vans that crews use to drive and from their project sites. 

For Fun

During downtime from fieldwork, VYCC Members can embark on adventures across Vermont’s inspiring landscape. Hikers can explore lush trails right in our backyard---our 400-acre campus has its own trail system! VYCC is only a short drive away from the Camel’s Hump Trail, a challenging yet rewarding hike leading to a summit with panoramic views of the Lake Champlain Valley. For a refreshing break, Richmond (and surrounding towns) offer many swimming holes, providing a refuge to cool off and unwind. Additionally, VYCC Members can experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Burlington Waterfront, enjoying local eateries, live music, and beautiful sunsets over Lake Champlain.

How to Apply

VYCC fills positions on a rolling basis. Preference is given to early applicants. To apply, visit our website and learn more about our available positions. After you’ve decided which position(s) you’d like to apply for, complete the application on our website. A VYCC staff member will reach out to you within 2-3 days after you submit your application.

The most important things for prospective applicants to know is that all positions are paid, there are spots for those with experience and people new to the field, applying is easy, and you’ll make a huge impact!

VYCC is committed to being an organization that is inclusive and welcoming. VYCC is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.  

Contact Vermont Youth Conservation Corps