Hire a Youth Crew

Why hire a Conservation Corps youth crew?

Conservation Corps youth crew members are trained and ready to spend summer sessions living and working outdoors to restore our natural resources. AmeriCorps crew leaders mentor youth in hard work, community service and environmental stewardship. All are well trained, well equipped and ready for projects throughout Minnesota and surrounding states. The Conservation Corps serves government, education and nonprofit organizations for the common good.

How does it work?

  • Crews are available mid-June to mid-August.
  • Crews complete natural resource projects for the public good in Minnesota and surrounding states. Crews are trained at a rural base camp, then “spike camp” at project locations for one to two weeks at a time.
  • Youth corps members and young adult leaders are considered participants (not employees) and receive a living allowance for their service. Leaders are enrolled in AmeriCorps and they receive an education award at the end of their service.
  • Summer Youth Corps crews each include two adult leaders and six youth, ages 15-18. The program director and coordinator are responsible for crew scheduling and oversight. 

What is the crew’s daily schedule?

  • Crews work 8-hour days, including drive time, Monday through Friday, mid-June through mid-August.
  • Crews depart from their campsite at 8:30 a.m. and return by 5 p.m. 
  • One-hour lunch breaks include 30 minutes for education and training.
  • Crews typically camp on or near the work site.

How much training do crews have?

  • Crew leaders have a range of knowledge and skills. Beside technical skills in natural resource management, they are trained in youth leadership and safety.Youth are trained at the base camp and quickly gain skills needed to complete projects.
  • Youth, ages 15-18, and crew leaders, ages 19-25, come from throughout Minnesota and nearby states.
  • Youth come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and we enroll equal numbers of urban and rural youth and males and females. About 15 percent are deaf or hard-of-hearing youth, assisted by ASL interpreters.  
  • Youth are selected for the program based on interest and commitment. About one in four applicants is enrolled.


Conservation Corps Minnesota crews come fully equipped and provide…


  • Crews of up to 8 young people with trained supervision
  • Crew leaders certified in Wilderness First Aid
  • Well-maintained vehicles for crew use
  • Workers compensation
  • Hand tools and safety equipment
  • Camping equipment and supplies
  • Administrative and crew management
  • Daily education for youth corpsmembers
  • Quality work

How much does a crew cost?


  • An 8-person youth crew incurs about $920 in expenses per day, including travel, equipment and supervision.
  • Inquire about cost-share opportunities to help defray the cost of a crew.  

How do I hire a crew?


Contact Hollis Emery, Youth Programs Director
651.209.9900 x11 or

  • Email Hollis for a project request form. 
  • She will contact you with crew availability and negotiate the terms of the project. 
  • A contract will be drafted and agreed upon by both parties, the project will be scheduled and work can begin.

Once the project has begun:


  • The Program Director will provide project planning and logistical support if needed, including materials acquisition and project design.
  • Project sponsor involvement will vary depending on the nature of the project. Initial oversight may be necessary to orient the crew. 

What can youth crews do?


Slope stabilization

Exotic species removal
Nursery activities
Seed collection
Shoreline & stream bank restoration
Rain garden installation
Timber stand improvement

 Water quality sampling & monitoring
Wildlife surveys

 Docks and bridges
Boardwalks and steps
Natural resource facilities
Trail construction and maintenance
Basic carpentry