Youth Corps accepting applications for Summer
Much is being made these days about the need for our youth to prepare to lead in the next generations. There are a wide variety of ways local students can work during the school year to develop skills and make connections, like Future Farmers of America, Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, and Future Business Leaders of America. One of the opportunities across Virginia in the summer is the Youth Conservation Corps.
Applications are being accepted for the program now through March 1st.
Interested young men and women should demonstrate an interest in protecting Virginia’s environment. No one is required to have previous experience, and the work is outdoors and physical. To be selected to serve youth should also be ready to show they have a positive attitude, and interest in learning, curiosity about interpreting nature. Fourteen through seventeen year olds are eligible for the YCC.
They help at a variety of State Parks all across the state, including wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement, trail and campground construction and restoration, timber and shoreline improvement and landscape beautification.
Youth Corps projects are visible, tangible and meaningful. Crewmembers often return to the parks where they served and appreciate their projects for many years. Projects have educational aspects, are environmentally sound and fulfill an unmet need in the park. The YCC is modeled after the federal service program AmeriCorps and the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps that built the original six Virginia State Parks.
One way to tell who the Youth Conservation Corps impacts was the impressive increase in park visitors in 2016.
“The partnership with the National Park Service through the “Find your Park”, and “Every Kid in a Park” initiatives, as well as their anniversary year celebrations brought a new generation of park users out to state and national parks. The nationwide numbers of folks visiting parks is staggering. National parks saw over 308 million visitors and the nations’ state park systems experienced over 750 million visitors.”
June 25 to July 15 and July 23 to Aug. 13. are the dates for the summer of 2017’s programs. Teams of ten will go to each of the participating parks, and will be led by three trained adult leaders. Room and board, T-shirts and equipment are all provided, and Youth Corps participants will receive a five hundred dollar stipend at the end of the three weeks.
For more information visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/youth-conservation corps.