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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.

What can Conservation Corps youth crews do?
Crews complete projects on public lands and/or private lands for public benefit. Projects can range from one day to one week, up to several months. Crews complete projects such as:

  • Erosion control: Slope stabilization

  • Vegetation management: Exotic species removal, planting, nursery activities, seed collection, shoreline & stream bank restoration, rain garden installation

  • Construction & carpentry: Step, retaining wall, boardwalk or bridge construction, trail construction, clearing, and maintenance, basic carpentry, natural resource facility construction & maintenance

What is the crew’s 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 5:00 p.m.

  • One-hour lunch breaks include 30 minutes for education and training.

  • Crews typically camp on or near the work site.

How does it work?

  • 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 eight youth, ages 15-18. The program director and coordinator are responsible for crew scheduling and oversight.

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, and are from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

  • 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 with two crew leaders incurs about $1,140 in expenses per day, including travel, equipment and supervision.

  • Inquire about cost-share opportunities to help defray the cost of a crew.

What equipment do crews have?

  • Hand tools such as shovels, rakes, picks, pulaskis, post-pounders, hammers, wheelbarrows

  • Rubber boots, hip waders, chest waders, PFDs

  • Personal protective gear including steel-toe boots, hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, chaps

  • Camping supplies including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, water containers, cooler

How do I request a crew?

  1. Complete the Minnesota project request form online. Upon submission of the form, you will receive a copy of your request via email and Corps staff will be notified of your project.

  2. Jonathan Goldenberg, Summer Youth Corps Program Manager, will contact you with crew availability and negotiate project terms and rates. A contract will be drafted and agreed upon by both parties.

  3. The project will be scheduled and work can begin. Project hosts should communicate tool and equipment needs prior to project start, meet the crew in the field on the first day for a site overview and task assignment and check in with the crew periodically to monitor progress.

  4. Manager can provide project planning and logistical support if needed, including materials acquisition and project design.

Contact Jonathan Goldenberg, Summer Youth Program Manager
651.209.9900 x27 (Office)
612-417-9968 (Cell)
or email Jonathan

Once the project has begun:

  • The Program Manager 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.

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