CONSERVATION CORPS

CONSERVATION CORPS 18+

Since 2000, this cornerstone program of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has served up to 150 young people each year through residential, environmental conservation projects and education. RMYC offers a diverse set of hard skills training opportunities including trail work, environmental restoration, historic preservation, wildlife habitat management, invasive species management and wild land fire. 

 

Being part of an RMYC crew involves spending a season living and working with a team of 8-10 people and completing meaningful conservation projects throughout northwest Colorado and Wyoming. Corps members live and work together in a camping environment, completing priority projects during the week, and exploring the beautiful outdoor spaces of the Rocky Mountains on the weekends. Participation involves hard work in tough conditions, but makes for amazing memories and experiences.

2023 applications are open! 

Conservation CREWs 18+

Who we are: Conservation Crews are made up of 8-10 people. Work is physically demanding and on any given day, an RMYC crew can be found digging new trails, building water bars, constructing trail reroutes, improving campgrounds, deconstructing old fence lines, reconstructing fence lines, rehabilitating habitats, and much more. RMYC has a handful of more specialized experiences on projects involving high alpine peak management (with The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative), chainsaw operations, crosscutting, and historic structure preservation. These experiences and related training are dependent on crew placement which is discussed during the interview process. 

Where we work: Conservation crews work in a variety of different locations throughout Northwest Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Most crews work in front-country locations (i.e. car camping far from paved roads) while others may be in a remote backcountry location. These crews will be hiking in all crew and personal gear on their backs. Project work varies from year to year and our crews adapt to the work at hand.

Daily life: Members sleep in their tents all season long. RMYC provides all of the group gear for the crew to set up an efficient and effective camp where the crew cooks meals. Personal camping supplies (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc.) are NOT provided. It is the responsibility of the member to provide these materials.  RMYC has however created a gear assistance program for those in need of tents, backpacks, sleeping bags/pads.

What to expect: On an RMYC crew, you can expect to spend 99.9% of your time outside. You will work outdoors in all weather conditions and spend your nights sleeping in a tent. You will be dirty, sweaty, and physically exhausted after each and every day and will work, live and hang with the crew. There is time for laundry, showers, and some personal technology time on weekends, but please note that RMYC is a 24/7 program for the summer season and all crew members are expected to be with the crew for the duration of the program. Fall crews operate on a hitch model, meaning crews will work and live together (camping) during the workweek, and then have personal time off between projects.

When crews work: RMYC operates a summer crew season that generally runs from early June to mid-August for a total of a 10-week season. We also offer long-term positions that go into the fall. The number of crews in operation during the fall session is generally smaller than in the summer. Members and Leaders who participate in the summer season have the option of staying through fall as well, pending performance reviews and crew needs. Our Fall- only Crew session usually operates from mid-August to Mid-October depending on the weather (snow!) and project work.

 
STRIKE TEAMS 18+

What we do: RMYC Strike Teams are 5-6 person crews made to complete smaller and often time more technical projects. They can still be found doing trail work, fencing, habitat restoration, and invasive species management. However, these crews will frequently be working with less guidance from a project partner and are expected to be fairly self-sufficient. While previous corps/outdoor experience is not required, it is preferred on the Strike Team. 

Where we work:  The Strike Team can expect to be working in Northwest Colorado and Wyoming. Projects will likely be a mix of front country and backcountry camping. 

Daily life: Members will be camping during projects. Weekends are off, and members are responsible for their own housing (many people camp during their off time!), food, and transportation during that time which is otherwise paid for by RMYC during the workweek. Everyone takes turns cooking meals, and participation in camp chores is required. Read more about the work schedule in the position descriptions! 

What to Expect:  There are a lot of similarities between Conservation Crews and Strike Teams- you will potentially spend more time outside than you ever have before, you will get (very) dirty, tired, and you will get to know your crew very intimately through the sheer amount of time spent together. Additionally, the Strike Team will commute to and from our office in Steamboat Springs between projects. We have limited facilities to support seasonal staff during weekends, so we ask that you are able to act independently of RMYC during your time off and are comfortable navigating a potential lack of housing. 

When Crews Work: RMYC operates Strike Teams during summer and fall. You can commit to just the summer, just the fall. or a long-term position spanning both seasons.  

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Chainsaw & Women's Chainsaw Crews 18+

What we do: RMYC’s Chainsaw Crews are made up of 8-10 people. These sawyers will spend their season cutting to help maintain trails, improve habitats, manage fuels for wildland fire, protect waterways, and improve forest health. No previous chainsaw experience is required! Chainsaw crews are open to all, and the Women's chainsaw crew is for female-identifying individuals. 

 

Where we work: Like most other RMYC crews, our Chainsaw Crews complete projects throughout Northwest Colorado and Wyoming., and occasionally Utah. 

 

Daily life: Members sleep in their tents all season long. RMYC provides all of the group gear for the crew to set up an efficient and effective camp where the crew cooks meals. Personal camping supplies (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc.) are NOT provided. It is the responsibility of the member to provide these materials.  RMYC has however created a gear assistance program for those in need of tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags/pads.

What to expect: Just like a Conservation Crew, you can expect to spend 99.9% of your time outside. Unlike a conservation crew, you must love the smell of two-stroke engines early in the morning and don't mind bar oil becoming your new perfume (mostly kidding!). You will work outdoors in all weather conditions and spend your nights sleeping in a tent. You will be dirty, sweaty, and physically exhausted after each and every day and will work, live and hang with the crew. There is time for laundry, showers, and some personal technology time on weekends, but please note that RMYC is a 24/7 program for the summer season and all crew members are expected to be with the crew for the duration of the program. Fall crews operate on a hitch model, meaning crews will work and live together (camping) during the workweek, and then have personal time off between projects. 

When we work:  The Chainsaw Crew runs from June to mid-October. End dates are dependent on weather and project availability. 

 
Want more info?

Head to our Field Resource Page for FAQ, Blogs, Photos, and a Gear List

Who to Contact?

If you have questions, please reach out to Program Managers:

Ashley Roscoe & Paul Boronow

FIELD VIDEOS

FROM THE FIELD 

A BIG thanks to Jenny Addler (Trail 7, 2017) for letting us share this video of life during a season with RMYC!

A BIG thanks to Taylor Hobson (Trail 2, 2014) for letting us share this video of life during a season with RMYC!