Valley Forge Day Youth Crew - 2023
Title: Youth Conservation Crew Member
Dates: Summer 2023 – (TBD - start and end dates will be driven by local school districts)
Location: Based out of Valley Forge National Historical Park
Status: Full-time, Exempt, Seasonal
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.
This is an entry-level role which will be supported by two experienced and trained crew leaders, as well as program staff, project partners, and the Conservation Legacy staff. The crew will work with Valley Forge National Historical Park on projects that may include trail construction & maintenance, habitat improvement, improvements to recreation access, re-vegetation, and much more. Additional educational and professional development opportunities may also be included. This program focuses on engaging diverse local youth, ages 16 – 18, in meaningful learning and service opportunities. While prior experience with the outdoors or outdoor work can be helpful, it is not a necessity for this position. We ask that crew members embrace learning opportunities, face challenges, and build community with their crew.
Participants will be required to pack their own lunches. Necessary equipment includes sturdy footwear, work pants, and masks. Uniform shirts (2 per participant) and personal protective equipment including hard hats, gloves, eyewear, and ear protection will be provided by ACC. Some shared equipment is available to be borrowed for the season, such as backpacks, rain jackets, and extra water bottles and face coverings.
This crew will work on critical conservation and recreation access projects including trail maintenance and construction, habitat improvement, sign installation, habitat improvement, and developed recreation area maintenance. Necessary tasks in these projects may include digging, raking, brush trimming, moderate rock work, and minor construction (hammering, drilling, measuring). Our partners rely on this crew to accomplish projects for public benefit and ecological health.
This crew will operate for a 6-week season on a day crew schedule. Participants will work 8-hour days, Monday-Friday, and return to their homes during the night. No camping overnight is required. A typical day will begin with participants arriving at the Valley Forge National Historical Park no later than 7:30am (participants can be dropped off by a friend/family member or may drive themselves to the office). The crew will then travel together to the day’s work site for an 8-hour workday. The crew will break for lunch and snacks. Participants will arrive back at the office to be picked up by 4:30pm. Participants will have Saturdays and Sundays off.
Prior to their start date, selected youth crew members must complete an online enrollment process which includes completing e-forms, and uploading IDs, as well as getting parental signatures on paper forms (for members under 18). For those with limited access to online platforms, accommodations may be available and can be discussed during the interview process. Participants who are 18 years of age or older will also be asked to complete a background check.
Crew leaders provide project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. ACC supports a culture of feedback and growth. Members will set goals at the beginning of the season and review their performance throughout their season through formal and informal check-ins, self-evaluations, and review with their crew leader. Evaluations will cover areas such as professionalism, responsibility and leadership, communication, engagement, productivity, safety, and equipment use. Crew members will also be asked to evaluate their crew leaders’ performance, the overall program, and their experience at the end of their term.
ACC is an independent, non-residential program. Youth crew members are responsible for their own housing, food, and transportation when not in the field. While members will be asked to supply as much of their personal equipment as possible, loaner gear will be available if needed. A gear list is provided upon acceptance into the program. Please ask immediately if there is loaner gear you require. ACC will provide tools, protective gear, and transportation between ACC offices and project sites.
Youth crew members are asked to work hard, stay positive, and be flexible with changing schedules, weather conditions, and project needs. This is a seasonal position; members are expected to fully commit to the experience, expectations, and timeline.
- $15/hour for service project work (up to 40 hours per week), paid bi-weekly
- Member Assistance Program – 3 free sessions of support with a counseling or work-life balance specialist
- Uniform shirts, helmet, work gloves, eye protection, and other necessary safety equipment is provided
- On-the-job training
- Additional subject-specific certifications may be offered (Leave No Trace, etc.)
- Professional development opportunities (mentorship, resume support, alumni listserv, etc.) and exposure to natural resource career paths
- Flexibility, adaptability and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.
- Must be willing and able to work in an outdoor environment.
- Current high school student (or equivalent), recent graduate, or GED.
- Must be between the ages of 16 and 18, and a US citizen. You must be 16 years of age or older prior to the start of the program and cannot turn 19 years old before the end of the program.
- Have US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency status.
- Any selected participants who are 18 years old must successfully complete a background check.
- Local resident of the King of Prussia, PA area.
- Familiarity and comfort with working in the outdoors.
Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements for Conservation Legacy Programs
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; no harassment of others 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 ACC to the public and project partners at all times.
Safety and Judgment Expectations:
- 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 directions 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 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 King of Prussia, PA. View the Google Map in full screen.