Your Very Next Step newsletter for August 2012

 Your Very Next Step newsletter for August 2012
By Ned Lundquist

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

– Mark Twain


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
– Lao Tzu


“Your Very Next Step” newsletter, published by Ned Lundquist, is a cooperative community, and everyone is invited, no…encouraged, no…urged to participate.   Share your adventures with the network today!  Send to

Subscribe for free. Send a blank email to:

Send us your comments, questions, and contributions to

You are now among 651 subscribers.

Contact Ned at


You may note that our website ( has received a make-over.  Bear with Ned as he learns how to use it.


***  Ned’s upcoming travel:


30 August  – 5 September-Copenhagen / Lystrup / Frederikshavn, Denmark

Tentative end of September – Istanbul and La Spezia

22-26 October – London, UK
*** In this issue:

***  Travel news

***  Falling Waters Trails


***  America’s best swimming holes:


***  Saving weight costs extra:


***  National Fossil Day


***  Reversing Falls


***  Paul Hart and Trails & Rails: The Joy of the Journey


***  Mat Matta and the Maine attraction


*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:
1.) Volunteer Opportunity – Volunteer Conservation Ranger, Greater Worcester Land Trust, Worcester, MA


2.)  Wilderness Ranger, White River National Forest, Glenwood Springs CO


3.)  Volunteer, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, Put-in Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio


*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: August 2012
Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike & Hike Trail
*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:

1.)  NOLS Australia Program Manager, National Outdoor Leadership School, Broome, Western Australia


2.)  Internship Opportunities, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C.


3.)  Conservation Crew Leader Positions, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps


…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!

*** Do you have a travel adventure to share?

Send me your stories and I’ll post in the “Your Very Next Step” and on the YVNS website (




*** Here’s the YVNS Travel News for July:


***  Falling Waters Trails


AMC suggests 10 great waterfall hikes


(Franconia Falls is one of my favorite places in the world.  If you’ve ever wandered the Pemigiwassett wilderness you know what I mean.)


***  America’s best swimming holes:


How many have you been to?


I’ve only been to one on this list (Sliding Rock, North Carolina, Brevard, North Carolina), but I know a few others…and I’m not telling.


***  Saving weight costs extra:


The two-person Sierra Designs Mojo UFO tent weighs a scant 1 pound 11 ounces, uses Cuben Fiber fabric and carbon fiber poles, and costs a whopping $1,800.


***  National Fossil Day


National Fossil Day (October 17): The National Park Service and the American Geological Institute are partnering to host the third annual National Fossil Day on October 17th, 2012 during Earth Science Week.  National Fossil Day is a celebration organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value. Hundreds of events are being held across the country; find one near you.


***  Reversing Falls


It was a crystal clear winter night night in Maine, driving across Mt. Desert Island to Bar harbor for dinner.  We passed pretty ponds with post-card waterfalls.  I remember that night because there was a brilliant comet in the sky.  ASfter dinner (it was off season, so the choices were seasonally limited), we returned to our lodging on the other side of the island, passing the ponds and pools again, but this time I noticed something curious.  The waterfalls were flowing the other way.


It turns out that I had stumbled across the phenomenon of “reversing falls,” caused by the diurnal shifts in the tide, where the high tide fills a coastal pond, bay or stream, then that body of water empties out when the tide recedes.


Turns out there are a number of  these…okay, they’re not that common, but you can go see them for yourself:

The Saint John River in New Brunswick, Canada empties into the Bay of Fundy. Twice a day, the river reverses direction due to the highest tides in the world from the Bay of Fundy. (Up to 45 feet!)


***  From Paul Hart:


Trails & Rails: The Joy of the Journey


The National Park Service offers travel lovers and geography buffs a great volunteer opportunity – Trails & Rails – in cooperation with Amtrak. Trails & Rails volunteers provide rail passengers insights on passing history, culture, flora, fauna, etc., as the guides gain a chance to travel, learn more about the area, and meet people.


I volunteer for one of two Trails & Rails programs offered aboard the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle. Our crew, from San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, works a San Antonio-Fort Worth run. We set up in the train’s spacious and airy lounge car, providing a rolling commentary on the passing countryside. We also pass around local mementos. Our rattlesnake rattle (without the snake) usually proves the biggest hit.


Texans sometimes forget the aura of this part of the world. I recall when I casually announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, please note the Texas Longhorns in the pasture to our left” on the PA. Whoosh! There was a rush to the windows with cameras and phones snapping away as the herd blankly stood and chewed. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed our double-decker, multi-ton Superliner car briefly listed to port.


Lots of chatter followed. That’s train travel for you, passengers tend to be talkative and friendly, unlike the sit-down-and-shut-up atmosphere aboard airlines nowadays.


Our program winds down at dark. Oh, we have lots of Texana left to talk about but passengers wander back to their coach seats or sleeping car compartments at sunset and the car empties. Tired, I paused to think about Trails & Rails on my latest run home from Fort Worth. The ’Eagle was late again and I found an empty window seat in a coach and stared into the night.


I felt the train slow. I’ve done this run enough to know exactly where we were: An otherwise unremarked spot at the edge of the Hill County at a Y in the track. Some Union Pacific dispatcher, staring at a computer screen 800 miles away in Omaha, would decide which of the two routes we’d take into San Antonio. The train curved right and I saw the welcome green-over-red signal ahead. The engineer notched the throttle open and we speeded up.


Deep thoughts in the night: This can be long, exhausting and monotonous, so why do it? Easy, the people:

* The chatty family of grandparents, parents and grandsons, all in Texas Rangers jerseys, headed to a game.

* An elderly couple from Australia touring North America by rail.

* A little boy who climbed in the seat next to us and talked nonstop for an hour.

* The water skier 50 feet below who waved wildly as we roared over the Brazos River/Lake Whitney trestle at 70 and  he went under at 30. I have no idea who you are but I bet we’d be friends.

* A just-graduated, small-town Texas high school senior, nervously headed to enroll at the University of Illinois.

* Conventioneers headed to Austin and multiple trips downstairs to the snack bar for beer.

* A hundred or so noisy teenagers at Fort Worth’s station, all carrying pillows and sleeping bags, headed to a church youth camp.

* The sweet-but-confused little old lady looking for her sleeping car compartment (we helped her find it).

* The heavily tattooed young couple headed to Austin from Oklahoma who seemed to know everything there is to know about guitars but not much else.

* The motherly, jovial snack bar attendant who enjoyed a laugh with every customer.


The scenery changes little, but every Trails & Rails run changes with each new passenger.


***  From Mat Matta:


Maine event


My family decided to visit a new area of the east coast this year and picked Ogunquit, Maine as our destination because of the climate and sandy beaches in the area.   Having never been to Maine, or anywhere in New England,  we were excited.  We drove from Annapolis and arrived after about 9 hours.   Ogunquit is a quaint town, much like I pictured it.  The Perkins Cove section of Ogunquit is postcard perfection.   The town had shops, restaurants and a nice beach area.  We were staying in a resort just a few short blocks from the town.


Another surprise was the number of French Canadians vacationing in the area.  I would say that well over 50% of vacationers were from Quebec.


Most of the area is accessed by Rte 1 so the traffic can get very bad.  Traffic starts to backup about 10:00 am and doesn’t let up until 10:00 pm.  I can recommend the Wild Blueberry for great blueberry pancakes. There is a very good market on the main drag.   We hit Bob’s Clam Shack in Kittery Maine upon the recommendation of Guy Fieri of Diners Drive Ins and Dives.  $23 for a basket of fried clams…  wasn’t expecting that.  Lobster rolls in most places were about $15.   After a week of seafood we had a steak dinner at The Steak House in Wells, Maine.  The steaks were very good and came with a blue cheese butter that came on the side that you could melt on your stick…very good.   A lot of the restaurants tout their local ingredients.


The Kittery Trading Post is a must stop for fisherman and hunters.   Three floors of equipment and clothes.


The Ogunquit Beach was quite unique.  At high tide the beach was only 20 feet wide but by low tide the beach extended at least 300 yards.  The water was quite cold but because of the tide the sand was wet so it didn’t fly about or get hot like at other sandy beaches I’ve been too.  The flat beach also made for great skim boarding.


Another area attraction is the Marginal Way which is a mile long walkway along the coastline.  Very picturesque with plenty of rocks to climb and perfect for pictures.


On our way home we made a detour to Newport R.I. and was thoroughly impressed by that town.  Had a nice waterfront lunch and drive along the coast to see the mansions and views.  I will definitely go back to Newport.



All in all a pretty nice a vacation.  Next time I think we’ll venture farther into the backwoods of Maine.



Traffic alert:  The NJ Turnpike going south is a mess with lots of construction delays.


*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

1.) Volunteer Opportunity – Volunteer Conservation Ranger, Greater Worcester Land Trust, Worcester, MA


Volunteer Conservation Ranger Program


The Volunteer Conservation Ranger Program is made up of volunteers with a desire to monitor, protect, and manage the open spaces protected through the efforts of the Greater Worcester Land Trust.


Volunteer Conservation Rangers begin by receiving training in what to look for and how to look for it, are provided with background materials and some basic provisions, and then assigned a property.


A Volunteer Conservation Ranger checks in on their assigned property once a month for a formal evaluation of current conditions, wildlife and habitat, use, and abuse. These observations are recorded in field journals and are supplemented with annotated maps and photos.


Each Volunteer Conservation Ranger is regularly solicited for thoughts and ideas for the improvement of wildlife habitat and passive recreational access to their property. These reports, maps, photos, and ideas are used by the Trust’s Stewardship Committee, Board of Directors and staff to continually improve conservation lands and to safeguard against the degradation of the natural resources the Trust has worked hard to preserve.


If you have an interest in the volunteer conservation program please contact Mary Caulway.


2.)  Wilderness Ranger, White River National Forest, Glenwood Springs CO


As a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger, you play a crucial role in the White River National Forest.


Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest is the top recreation Forest in the nation. Home to world-renowned ski resorts and the birthplace of Wilderness, the White River has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast.


Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Forest Service. The types of work a volunteer can perform are many and varied—the only tasks a volunteer cannot carry out are those associated with law enforcement.


Your talents and skills are matched with your work preference to obtain a role that satisfies you and best fulfills the mission of the Forest Service. You can participate in a one-time project or serve over several months, seasons, or year-round. The White River National Forest welcomes you and hope we can find a volunteer job that’s just right for you!




Volunteering can offer valuable experience and lifelong memories. Give it a try! Contact your local Ranger District, or the Supervisors Office.


What Projects?


Projects can range from a single-day project to a long-term undertaking lasting for several months.


What captures your interest—trail work, campground host, bird surveys, information receptionist, wilderness restoration, conservation education?


Why Volunteer?


The White River National Forest is a resource we all own, and with your help the Forest will remain one of the most beautiful and exciting spots in the nation.

Earn college credits with volunteer internships

Diversify your job experience

Provide community service

Increase your career choices

Meet people and form new friendships


3.)  Volunteer, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, Put-in Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio


There are many volunteer opportunities at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial from working at the front desk to assisting with one of the park’s many special events. If you enjoy winter, consider volunteering at the park during the off-season October – March. Winters on South Bass Island are peaceful and absolutely beautiful. Park housing may be available especially during the winter months. For more specific information, please call Park Ranger Jeff Helmer at (419)285-2184.


*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: August 2012
Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike & Hike Trail

Kentucky is perhaps best known for its horses, bluegrass and bourbon, but beneath the rolling hills of the state’s Green River valley lies a natural treasure unmatched in the world: Mammoth Cave. With 390 miles of passages, it’s the world’s longest cave, more than double the length of its closest competitor. And now, thanks to the nine-mile Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike & Hike Trail, this geologic wonder is accessible by rail-trail.

Named for its massive size (and not wooly mammoth fossils, which have not been found there), the cave is one of the oldest tourist attractions in the country. It was so successful in the 1920s, in fact, that a number of brazen opportunists used underhanded methods—such as misleading road signs and tour hecklers—to lure tourists to other lesser-known caves in the vicinity. This bitter competition for tourism dollars was known as the “Cave Wars.”

But long before tourists arrived in their Model Ts, the cave was accessible by stagecoach. That wagon route, stretching from the cave’s gateway to Park City in south-central Kentucky, eventually became the basis for the Mammoth Cave Railroad, which branched off the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

The Mammoth Cave Railroad was privately owned by entrepreneurs who also owned lodging along the way. Its railroad ties were put in place during the summer of 1886 and, by that fall, two- and three-car trains were barreling down the corridor. Mail was also carried by the train, and the Chaumont Post Office was included among the many stops during the short, 25-minute journey between Park City and the cave.

“The train was very precise; you knew within two to three minutes of when that train would be stopping,” says Norman Warnell, a local historian who researched the trail’s railroad past for several exhibits. “Old timers would swear that you could set your clock by it.”

Trains continued on the line—two trips daily (except in winter)—for more than 40 years before service finally ended, largely pushed out by the rise of the automobile. In 1936, the rails were removed, but one of the last engines, dubbed Hercules for its pulling power, can still be seen today just south of the park’s visitor center. Formally a streetcar, Hercules was converted for use on the narrow-gauge railroad and is shown pulling a train car in the line’s hallmark red color.

The route’s new life as a rail-trail has been considerably shorter, but the pathway has been an incredible asset to the thousands of cyclists and hikers that visit the park each year. The first five miles of the trail opened in 2005, beginning at the northern outskirts of Park City (known as Glasgow Junction in the railroad’s heyday), where you can explore the old stone structure of the stagecoach stop at Bell’s Tavern, built in the early 1800s. At Sloan’s Crossing, the trail ended; here, a wooden trestle once stood, but now a wooden boardwalk circles a small scenic pond. Two years later in 2007, four more miles were added, completing the trail and taking travelers deeper into the forests of Mammoth Cave National Park.

“It’s not your typical rail-trail,” says Keith Lovan, chairman of the Kentucky Rails to Trails Council‘s board of directors. “It’s quite hilly, so it’s a different experience. I went with my daughter and the trail made the whole week enjoyable. It’s a great family outing because there are lots of things to do.”

At nine miles, it’s currently the longest rail-trail in Kentucky. That may not seem like too much, but a new surge of trail development is under way across the state.

“We’re building on the successes of the trails in Lexington and Louisville,” says Lovan. “There’s more interest in trails now than there’s ever been in the last 30 years.”

Currently, the state has just more than 50 miles of rail-trail. So when the proposed 36-mile Dawkins Line, announced by Governor Steve Beshear last summer, is completed, it will be a significant addition. The trail, running through three counties in eastern Kentucky, is expected to provide a sizeable economic boost to the region. With 35 trestles and two railroad tunnels, there is much to do to get the rail-trail ready for public use, but an engineering firm has been contracted and the design work is in progress.

“The Dawkins Line is a demonstration project,” says Russell Clark, a community planner with the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. “It will serve as a model for other rail-trail projects.”

With recent reports showing Kentucky with one the highest rates of obesity in the nation, the push for more active lifestyles and healthier communities in the state is growing. For the first time, a statewide bike and pedestrian summit is in the works. Planned for the spring of 2013, the multi-day conference will offer technical workshops, expert speakers and networking opportunities for professionals, advocates and government officials on relevant topics, such as trail development.

Luckily, conference-goers won’t have to look far for success stories, as the rail-trail at Mammoth Cave is seen as a recreational gem for the state. The trail and its immediate surroundings are rich with opportunities to hike, bike, ride horseback, canoe, fish, camp and go cave exploring.

“The trail is an asset to the area,” says Warnell, “but the people on it aren’t just going to visit the cave. They’re locals, just enjoying being out.”


*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:

1.)  NOLS Australia Program Manager, National Outdoor Leadership School, Broome, Western Australia


REPORTS TO:  NOLS Australasia Director


JOB OBJECTIVE:  Oversee the implementation of all course operations in accord with the NOLS Australia vision and school-wide strategic goals. Coordinate with director to ensure NOLS program quality and promote student, field and in-town staff satisfaction. Collaborate with NOLS staff and Australian education, government, and finance agencies to ensure NOLS Australia success.


QUALIFICATIONS:  This position requires an understanding of overall school operations and philosophy coupled with an ability to creatively adapt these to an international environment. Also required is a demonstrated ability to manage outdoor program operations with autonomy. Must have excellent oral and written communication skills. Post demands a creative, energetic person with strong organizational skills who is self-motivated as well as adaptable and patient. Strong problem solving skills, flexibility, computer knowledge and good time management are essential. Practical experience with NOLS Australia operations is helpful. A good working knowledge of the geography of the Kimberley, Australian politics, culture and regional issues is very useful. NOLS instructor certification is preferred, but not required. Experience in staff management and working with budgets preferred. Willingness to maintain a flexible schedule, working weekends and/or holidays is essential. A clean Australian drivers license, preferably with off-road and commercial vehicle experience, is desired. Two-year commitment preferred.


LEADERSHIP OR SUPERVISORY DUTIES:  Responsible for all aspects of the NOLS Australia program including land management, risk management and will oversee the following operations departments:  equipment, transportation, rations and kitchen. Oversee the functions of various NOLS Australia support staff as well as the living and working environment at NOLS Australia. Will assist the program team as required. Will help represent NOLS to officials, businesses, residents, and friends.


FUNDS AND/OR PROPERTY:  Responsible for operational department budgets. Will have access to petty cash, credit card and check signing privileges, and will be responsible for their appropriate use. Collects Australian student equipment payments, and reconciles CRV summaries. Works with director on operations budget planning, and future equipment and property asset needs.


WORKING CONDITIONS:  This is a nine-month position. Seven months per year spent in Broome, Western Australia from mid-February to mid-September. Possible fieldwork, if scheduling permits. The remaining two months can be shared between Australia, New Zealand or the USA if desired and agreed to by director.




40% Program Management

• Assume overall responsibility for running NOLS Australia program

• Create the NOLS Australia vision incorporating the current NOLS Strategic Goals

• Hire, supervise, train and develop staff

• Manage budgets pre-determined with director

• Create a community atmosphere and enthusiasm to work towards common goals

•     Responsible for risk management, curriculum and land use access in Australia

• Assist with and sign documents on director’s behalf; file official government paperwork

• Work with NOLS headquarters departments on staffing, course mix, and admissions

• Maintain and develop good and appropriate relationships within the local Broome and wider Australian community

• Assist with local marketing efforts and the increase of Australian students

• Keep abreast of Australian Outdoor Industry standards and regulations and represent NOLS as required within the industry and at conferences.


25% Logistics:

• Supervise and train in-town staff

• Obtain land use permits and permission from other land owners

• Book course logistics providers i.e. planes, buses, helicopter, boats, camping

• Assist with future program schedules, and in-town staffing needs

• Coordinate vehicle and other gear usages for staff

• Coordinate the collection of staff house, vehicle and meal fees

• Act as evacuation coordinator when needed

• Assist with re-supplies drives and other logistical tasks


25% Supervise the equipment, rations, kitchen and transportation departments:

• Supervise, hire and train logistics staff

• Maintain vehicles, trailers and assist with driver training.

• Purchase equipment, rations and other items within budget

• Maintain inventory and run end-of-season repairs and inventory


10% Program supervisor and other tasks as needed:

• Assist with briefings and debriefings of instructors

• Assist with student evacuation management and write up of reports in incident

• Assist with base cleanups and other chores

• Assist with other tasks as needed



Email cover letter and resume to: Position is open to all nationalities. Successful candidates final approval is determined by residency or work visa application.






START DATE OF POSITION:  11th February 2013


E-VERIFY:  NOLS participates in E-verify.


MOTOR VEHICLE CHECK:  Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date and possess a valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving history and be able to meet the criteria for NOLS vehicle insurance coverage.


CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK:  A criminal background check is required from all NOLS employees.


2.)  Internship Opportunities, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C.

Come join the conservation community! The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Intern Program can be your first step. NWF is the nation’s largest member-supported conservation organization, which is at the forefront of global warming issues, reconnecting our children with nature, and protecting America’s wildlife and habitat.

Our intern program is a full time, 11 month paid internship that will begin September 2012 in Washington, DC. You will gain substantive experience, including opportunities to contribute to the national climate policy-making process. Key responsibilities include: drafting and editing congressional correspondence; grassroots activity organizing; attending Committee hearings and legislative markups; research and lobbying.

We are looking for individuals with strong organization skills, a can-do attitude, and a passion for saving wildlife for future generations. Available internships include:

  • Legislative;
  • Climate & Energy;
  • Water Resources and Restoration;
  • Communications;

Qualifications: BA or BS, with strong course work or work experience in political science, wildlife science/ecology, climate science, environmental policy, or economics preferred. Ability to conduct extensive research is a must. Excellent writing, speaking and computer skills are required. Power point skills and knowledge of lay-out and design programs are a plus. Experience in or demonstrated commitment to environmental advocacy and climate change in particular is a plus.

The National Wildlife Federation is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity.

To Apply: Interested candidates please apply by submitting your resume and cover letter to:


3.)  Conservation Crew Leader Positions, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps


Leading a crew for the VYCC is a combination of hard work and adventure; it’s a challenging and rewarding journey unlike any you’ve ever experienced before!


■Positions: Crew Leaders or Assistant Crew Leaders

■Position Types:

■Residential – live and work with your crew

■Community – live at home; work Monday – Friday with your crew


■Salary: $380 – $515 per week, depending on position and experience

■Position Dates: Varies; 3, 4, & 5 month positions

■Application Process: Complete online application and submit cover letter, resume, and 3 references.

■Application Deadline: Applications will be considered starting in late 2012 and until all positions are filled.


As a VYCC Crew Leader you will serve as a teacher, work supervisor, and a role model for your crew of young adults. Together with another leader, you will be responsible for:


■Building a community

■Overseeing the health and safety of your crew

■Professionally managing your work project

■Teaching both life and job skills

■Ensuring that high quality standards are achieved

■Facilitating crew education, including the WoRD program

■Upholding the VYCC’s mission statement




Conservation Crew Leaders begin the season with an intense residential training period designed to teach the technical and interpersonal skills needed to be a successful leader at the VYCC. In addition to what is taught, each leader is encouraged to further develop, identify, and share his or her own strengths and enhance their existing skills. The long days and nights spent as a large group during training will also contribute to building a strong community of leaders, who learn just as much from each other as they do from the rigorous training sessions.


A sample of topics covered at Staff Training:


■Community and teambuilding

■Crew management and motivation

■Risk management and Emergency Response Plans

■Cooperative leadership

■Administrative paperwork

■Work project skills including working with stone, trail theory, and bridge construction

■How to facilitate WoRD

■Conservation education


After training, leaders will have one week to plan and prepare for the arrival of their crew. This week includes project site visits, vehicle and gear distribution, and contacting Corps Members to make sure they have everything they need for their crew experience.


Corps Members


VYCC crews are made up of Corps Members between the ages of 16 and 24 that come from all walks of life. The VYCC hires Corps Members of varied interests and talents, representing many social, economic, and geographical backgrounds, and most crews are co-ed. VYCC Conservation Program Corps Member opportunities are also paying jobs as Corps Members earn minimum wage.




Each year, VYCC crews complete hundreds of hours of high-priority conservation projects in a wide variety of focus areas. Most crews work on projects that are a short drive or hike from their crew base or campsite. Projects can last anywhere between one and seven weeks.




Built into each work day is one hour for the VYCC educational program called WoRD, which stands for Writing, Reading and Discussion. Using a compilation of current articles and essays, all crews read aloud about important environmental and social issues that are relevant both locally and nationally. The crew then engages in thoughtful discussion and spends time journaling on the topic. The goal of WoRD is not only to teach new concepts about the environment or conservation but to help participants learn to listen to other points of view and articulate their thoughts and opinions in a safe environment.


Crew Leaders are also encouraged to bring other educational experiences to their crew, whether it is related to the project, the natural world or personal development. Residential crews also participate in educational activities on the evenings and weekends.  These can include trips to museums, guest speakers, nature hikes or other facilitated activities.


Challenges and Rewards


The combination of a diverse crew with excellent, highly-trained leaders working together on a high-priority conservation project creates a dynamic and educationally rich experience for everyone involved. Once your crew arrives, you will combine your previous experiences with what you’ve learned at training to transform your crew from a diverse group of strangers into a tight-knit community.


It will not be easy. Days (and some nights!) will be long, and you and your co-leader will have a roller coaster of experiences. However, in the end, leading a group of young people in the completion of a backcountry bridge, one mile trail reroute, or construction of urban rain gardens will teach you and your crew lessons you will use for the rest of your lives.


Crew Types and Dates


There are multiple crew types to choose from within the Conservation program, each with its own schedule and type of experience. Each crew type has its own page with more detailed information.


Crew Leader Responsibilities


■Provide leadership, supervision, motivation and direction to a diverse group of Corps Members

■Effectively work with a co-leader

■Build a healthy community

■Uphold VYCC mission

■Train crew in work skills and proper tool use and maintenance

■Work with project sponsors to coordinate and ensure project completion or state park management

■Enforce VYCC policies and follow appropriate discipline procedures

■Facilitate the WoRD Program, and integrate environmental education into crew experience

■Process paperwork and payroll

■Maintain regular communication with supervisor and VYCC headquarters

■Take responsibility for personal development and engage in VYCC Leadership Review process

■Use sound judgment to navigate difficult situations and decisions

■Write a detailed final evaluation of the program


Residential Crews Only:


■Ensure that healthy food is prepared

■Budget management and bulk food purchasing

■Encourage minimum-impact camping and Leave No Trace policies




■Minimum age of 22 years old for Crew Leaders; 20 years old for Assistants

■Background in education, parks and recreation management, environmental studies, or related field

■Leadership experience with diverse groups of young people. Outdoor leadership experience preferred.

■Budget management and bulk food purchasing experience

■Excellent organization and communication skills

■Ability to adapt and be flexible in a variety of situations

■Strong work ethic and ability to work long days in challenging conditions

■Maturity, optimism and a sense of humor

■Red Cross Standard First Aid/CPR or equivalent (Wilderness First Aid required for Wilderness Leaders, preferred for all)

■A good driving record and a valid driver’s license

■Willingness to undergo a criminal background check




■Competitive Salary of $380-515 per week, based on position, crew duration, VYCC experience, and other relevant experience

■Training Stipend – Crew Leaders will receive $250 compensation while attending our residential training

■Room and Board – Provided for all staff on residential crews

■Pro-deals and discounts with local businesses

■Valuable Job Skills – Learn work project management, supervisory, and leadership skills.

■Exceptional Work Environment – Live and work with a community of people in the Green Mountains of Vermont!


For more information about Conservation Crew Leader positions, please contact Aaron at 802.434.3969 Ext 135 or


VYCC | 1-802-434-3969| 1949 East Main Street | Richmond, Vermont 05477


*** Send your job opportunities to share with the YVNS network to

*** Your Very Next Step is a service of the Job of the Week Network LLC
© 2012 The Job of the Week Network LLC
Edward Lundquist, ABC –
Editor and Publisher
Your Very Next Step
7813 Richfield Road
Springfield, VA 22153
Home office phone: (703) 455-7661



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.