Staff Crew Leader - Spring 2023
Title: Staff Crew Leader
Date: 2023 Spring Field Position (February - May)
Reports to: Program Director
Starting Salary: $685.00/Week, Paid Bi-Weekly
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
Status: Seasonal, Exempt
Appalachian Conservation Corps:
Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) works to connect young people to critical conservation service work across Appalachia and neighboring communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania. As a corps program, ACC partners with public land managers to identify, plan, and complete projects that improve public access, habitat quality, and economic development. ACC is a program of Conservation Legacy, a nationwide network of conservation service organizations. Our programs focus on service, place-based learning, life skills development, appreciation of diversity, civic responsibility, and career development. ACC also provides an opportunity for members to learn about the local environment and issues affecting it and introduces individuals to recreation and resource management careers. ACC welcomes national applicants, but also emphasizes the engagement of local individuals who represent the communities in which they serve.
Appalachian Conservation Corps staff crew leaders perform many roles and are the key to our program’s success. The position is multi-faceted and demanding but with opportunity for enormous rewards. Successful candidates will demonstrate resourcefulness, situational flexibility, effective communication skills, excellent judgement, maturity, initiative, professionalism, and the desire to devote themselves to a crew experience where the needs of others are placed above oneself. The crew leader position requires mentorship, patience, technical aptitude, focus on efficiency, and a high level of comfort in the outdoors. Crew leaders are ultimately responsible for successes and shortcomings of the crew.
This position will be joined by an AmeriCorps crew leader (ACL), an AmeriCorps leadership position focusing on the continued development of leadership skills. While this will be a collaborative relationship, the staff crew leader bears ultimate responsibility for member development, as well as high quality and high quantity project accomplishments for our partners.
Project Management & Implementation
- Train and motivate a crew of six to eight young adults to complete conservation projects efficiently on public lands.
- Delegate project work & investment among ACL and crew.
- Manage on-the-ground quality and quantity of project work.
- Think critically to resolve issues and solve problems.
- Communicate effectively & coordinate logistics with project partners, ACL, members, and ACC staff.
Safety & Risk Management
- Monitor, manage, and promote the crew’s physical and emotional safety on and off the work site.
- Exhibit strong situational awareness & promote a culture of safety.
- Transport crew and equipment safely in ACC’s vans or large vehicles with trailers.
- Manage crew medical history forms and incident documentation in conjunction with the ACL
Projects take place across the Appalachian Region, including work with the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and other land managers. During their time in the field, leaders camp overnight and work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, performing heavy manual labor related to environmental conservation and restoration projects. These hands-on projects include visitor access improvements, trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species treatments, historic restoration, disaster relief, and much more. Most projects require hiking out to remote work sites for the day with tools, equipment, and day pack.
Typically, crew leaders will meet at the ACC Office in Harrisonburg, VA, travel in a crew vehicle to their project site and remain in the field for 9 days at a time, followed by 5 days off. While in the field, crew leaders work 8-10 hours a day. The day starts with a stretch circle and safety meeting and includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half hour break for lunch.
Once crew leaders are selected and prior to their start date, they are required to complete an online enrollment process that includes completing e-forms, uploading IDs, enrolling with AmeriCorps, and beginning their background check process. For those with limited access to online platforms, accommodations may be available and can be discussed during the interview process.
Crew leaders with ACC supervise a crew of 4-6 members and provide project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. Food is provided while in the field. Crews work together to plan meals and complete all necessary chores (cooking, washing dishes, etc.). We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. Camp chores will be completed every evening, with many evenings including group discussions on conservation topics.
ACC supports a culture of feedback and growth. Crew leaders will set goals at the beginning of the season and review their performance through both self-evaluation and a review with ACC Staff in the middle and at the end of their season. Evaluations will cover topic areas including Corps culture, leadership, service & experiential learning, risk management, professionalism, and technical skills. Crew leaders will also be asked to evaluate the program and their experience at the end of their term.
ACC is an independent, non-residential program. Participants are responsible for their own housing, food, and transportation when not in the field. Some equipment is available to borrow throughout the season, but crew leaders are asked to supply as much of their own personal outdoor gear (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack, multi-day pack, work pants, hiking/work boots, etc.) as possible. A gear list is provided upon acceptance into the program. In addition to providing food while in the field, ACC will provide group camp equipment, tools, protective gear, and transportation between ACC offices and project sites.
Crew leaders are asked to work hard, stay positive, and be flexible with changing schedules, weather conditions, and project needs. This is a seasonal position; leaders are asked to fully commit to the experience, expectations, and timeline.
- Leadership experience with youth or young adults.
- Must be able to demonstrate strong project management skills.
- Technical trail construction and maintenance experience.
- Physically fit and able to work long days in adverse conditions.
- Experience with backpacking, wilderness living and travel, LNT principles.
- High School diploma or GED certificate.
- Must hold current Wilderness First Responder Certification with CPR/ AED.
- Must be 21, have a clean driving record (insurable by ACC) and a current driver’s license.
- Ability to pass Conservation Legacy’s criminal history checks
- Must be willing to deploy on a Disaster Response projects
- 1-year experience with ACC or another Conservation Corps
- Background with experiential and/ or environmental education.
- Facilitation and team-building experience with diverse groups of people.
- Strong conflict resolution skills.
- Experience with Disaster Responses.
- Forest Service chainsaw certifications.
Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements
Essential eligibility requirements for the program must be met. If you are unable to meet certain requirements, we may be able to assist you with some modification unless it alters the fundamental nature of the program, compromises the health and safety of participants or staff, or places an undue financial or administrative burden on the organization. These requirements are written the same for all positions and therefore may not apply directly to your particular position.
Participation and Expedition Behavior
- Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences
- Contribute to a safe learning environment; of others will be tolerated for any reason.
- Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training and national service. Members must commit to participating in all crew/team activities, including service days in local communities where applicable.
- Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues and organization staff.
- Have the cognitive ability to learn necessary skills and apply them to effectively carry out the service work requirements
- Appropriately represent the Program and AmeriCorps to the public and project partners at all times.
Safety and Judgment
- Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. You must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
- Effectively perceive, understand and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute appropriate and perhaps unfamiliar techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during exposure to the hazard.
- Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions
- Perceive and comprehend significant and apparent hazards, including those hazards previously identified by others.
- Respond appropriately to stress or crises.
- If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.
Environmental Ethics and Outdoor Skills
- Learn and practice ‘Leave No Trace’ techniques
- Learn and safely perform fundamental outdoor living/travel and work skills as appropriate to the project.
- Remain adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed to remain generally healthy and safe, avoiding environmental injuries.
- Live in a physically demanding, possibly remote environment for an uninterrupted period of up to several weeks. Conditions of this environment may vary significantly and may include severe weather. Some remote locations may require at a minimum one hour, but perhaps in excess of 12 hours, to reach the nearest advanced medical care.
- In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.
Equal Employment Opportunity
This program is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Where a significant portion of the population eligible to be served needs services or information in a language other than English, the recipient shall take reasonable steps to provide written material of the type ordinarily available to the public in appropriate languages.
This position is located in Harrisonburg, VA. View the Google Map in full screen.