Conservation Corps Minnesota is an exciting organization that allows young people to work outdoors and improve our environment. The Summer Youth Corps can be challenging in that you will work, live, and spend time with other youth for four weeks. The challenge comes from stepping outside your comfort zone, meeting new people, and learning to live and work with many different people These challenges and new experiences are what make this program the experience of a lifetime. Conservation Corps Minnesota encourages you to look over this handbook and discuss it with your parents/guardians while making decisions about your involvement with the program.
The Summer Youth Corps’ philosophy is to develop youth through outdoor, natural resource work and educational and recreational activities. The summer program provides summer jobs for male and female teenagers, ages 15-18. It is unique in that it involves both hearing, deaf, and hard-of-hearing youth. Our 4-week summer program is residential and based in Chisago City, MN. During the work week, crews of six youth and two leaders will work on various natural resource and conservation projects in various state parks, national parks, and public lands around Minnesota. These projects are often physically demanding, as you learn basic work skills and help maintain Minnesota’s habitats. As crew members, you will participate in educational and environmental learning each week. This isn't the typical classroom setting; it’s hands-on learning that is exciting and rewarding!
Crew members work hard, rain or shine, on a variety of outdoor natural resource and service projects. Projects in the past have included trail maintenance and construction, foot-bridge construction, invasive plant removal, campsite restoration, native tree plantings, and wildlife projects. We expect our crew members to work hard and uphold the mission of the Conservation Corps. Much of the work is exhausting but the rewards are great. Whatever the project, staff and youth will learn new job skills and learn to work as a team. You will be traveling to various site locations (called “spike” trips) accomplishing these projects. Most of the summer will be spent in state parks working and camping for one to two weeks at a time. Crews will be working outdoors, camping in tents, cooking over camp stoves, and exploring Minnesota.
Mission Conservation Corps Minnesota provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults while accomplishing conservation, natural resource management, and emergency response work.
Goals: Develop good work habits and work ethic: pride in work, safety, working to maximum potential, working together to achieve a common goal, and understanding the purpose and benefits of the work projects
Personal growth: self discovery, leadership development, positive decisionmaking, career exploration, patience with self and others, adaptation to new people and a new environment, respectful attitude, new friendships, group unity, and self esteem through overcoming challenges
Learn, understand, and appreciate the environment: home and nature
Gain a positive public image: respect for other people's privacy, sense of pride after leaving a camp, interaction with the public through work projects and evening/weekend activities
Crew members have many opportunities to increase their awareness and understanding of the environment, develop stewardship habits that benefit our natural world, learn about conservation careers, and develop leadership, teamwork and positive decision-making skills. You will participate in educational activities each day and recreational activities each weekend. Our program promotes learning and personal development through active participation in outdoor, hands-on learning experiences. On the weekends crew members can try their hand at a variety of recreational activities, such as canoeing, hiking, fishing, visiting museums, and learning about local history and native cultures.
A Typical Weekday 6:30 am
Morning wake-up bell
A Typical Weekend Sleep in!
Breakfast for early risers
Crews depart for work
Early morning groups depart (church, fishing, etc.)
Morning 15 minute break
Lunch in the field
Back to work
Groups leave for day activities (laundry, hiking, canoe trip, interpretive center, etc.)
Arrive at camp/spike site
Groups return from day activities
Evening activities (campfire, games, movies, etc.)
In cabins or tents
In cabins or tents
â€” we recommend bringing no more than $30 to cover the expense of laundry
and other personal items. If you need more money, it should be sent to you in the mail. â€” once a week you will have a chance to do laundry in a nearby community. We recommend bringing enough laundry detergent for 3 or 4 loads of laundry with you at the beginning of the program, as it can be costly at Laundromats.
You will have to live by some basic ground rules. These rules are in place for the safety of everyone in the program and the growth of healthy young adults. Breaking these basic program rules are grounds for being sent home. DO Be on time for work and activities Work hard and follow directions Be a helpful and contributing member of your crew and our Corps community Push yourself to develop new skills, try new challenges, and meet new friends Respect yourself, others, the equipment, and the environment Have a positive attitude
DON’T Abuse drugs Drink alcohol Smoke cigarettes Fight Gamble Have weapons Vandalize or steal property Harass anyone Engage in exclusive relationships
Respect yourself and others by: Making positive choices and decisions, which contribute to the Conservation Corps community. Acknowledging each other as individuals. Abiding by the policies and procedures and maintaining open communication to resolve any conflicts that may arise. Working hard within your abilities.
Respect the environment in which you live and work by: Leaving the site better than when you found it. Making conscious efforts to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Understanding the impact and purpose of projects and the Corps as a whole. Apply “Leave No Trace” principles
Conservation Corps highly encourages letter writing to parents and friends. Please note that e-mail access is not available during the program. Stamps and envelopes should be brought with you at the beginning of summer. Phone use is limited to one hour per weekend and will be arranged weekly when crews are out on weekend activities.
Mailing address: Name Of Youth St. Croix State Park St. John’s Landing/Conservation Corps 35130 St. John’s Landing Rd. Hinckley, MN 55037
You are expected to remain in the program for the entire 4 weeks. Weekends are spent with the crew doing recreational activities, resting, and laundry. Parents/guardians may not visit the base camp during the summer (only at the start and end of the program). In the case of emergencies, arrangements can be made for youth to go home and return to the program when they are ready.
You will receive a weekly stipend of $190 for 37.5 hours of work each week. After completing all check-in procedures upon arrival at camp, you will be enrolled in our payroll. Youth will receive one check at the end of the program and a second check 1 or 2 weeks after the completion of the program. Checks may be delayed if you do not bring appropriate identification cards to check-in. IMPORTANT — You will not be paid for work days and hours missed. Also, the second paycheck will be sent home unless site director is informed to keep it at our St. Paul office for pick up.
If you are receiving a ride to the base camp from your parent/guardian you must arrive at St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park between 2:00 and 4:30 pm on the start day of the program. Lunch will not be provided on this day. Once you arrive, we will make sure all hiring paperwork has been properly signed and all documentation has been received. Shuttle: If you are signed up to take the St. Paul Shuttle to St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park please arrive at the Conservation Corps Central Office at 1:00pm. Lunch will not be provided on this day. Once you arrive at the headquarters we will make sure all hiring paperwork has been properly signed and all documentation has been received.
Parents/guardians are invited to join us during the last day for a lunch and award ceremony. Parents and guardians should arrive at St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park at 11am and can leave with their son or daughter between 3 and 4pm. Parents who would like to join but do not have transportation to St. Croix State Park can meet for a parent shuttle at 9am at the Conservation Corps Central Office. Please RSVP to Jonathan Goldenberg at 612-300-0557 by July 7th (session 1) or August 10th (Session 2) to make sure there are seats available. Parents/guardians not able to attend the lunch and award ceremony should plan to pick up their son or daughter between 3 and 4pm at St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park or 5:30 pm at the Conservation Corps Central Office in St. Paul. **The following page includes a map and address for St. Johns Landing in St. Croix State Park and the Conservation Corps Central Office in St. Paul.**
I learned a lot about myself and the skills that I have. I've made friends with people I probably wouldn't have known otherwise. I enjoy being outside more. Theo M. -Youth Crew Member 2011
Conservation Corps Central Office: 60 Plato Blvd. E. St. Paul, MN 55107
You and your parents/guardians are responsible for transportation to and from St. John’s Landing in St. Croix State Park or the St. Paul shuttle. If your parents plan to drive you to the base camp, it is required that every vehicle driving to St. John’s Landing purchases a group daily permit ($3 per visit) or an annual state park sticker ($25 one-time fee). The Conservation Corps has a shuttle available from the Twin Cities to the base camp at the beginning and end of our programs. For shuttle schedule, refer to “Arrival Day and Transportation Schedule” on the previous page. If you are planning to take the shuttle at the beginning of the program, please contact Jonathan Goldenberg at (612) 300-0557 by June 10th, 2013. (Session 1) or by July 16th, 2013 (Session 2).
St. John’s Landing/Conservation Corps 35130 St. John’s Landing Rd. Hinckley, MN 55037
St. Croix State Park is located 15 miles east of Hinckley,
Session 1: Program Starts — Saturday, June 15th, 2013 Program Ends — Saturday, July 13th, 2013 Session 2: Program Starts– Saturday, July 20th, 2013 Program Ends — Friday, August 17th, 2013
Supervision of youth participants is a top priority in our program. We have a firm policy to ensure you have the opportunity to safely engage in positive activities and carry out your responsibilities as a crew member.
Our philosophy is based on our mission statement, which ensures that every youth participant has the opportunity to engage in service-learning and environmental stewardship opportunities while performing conservation work. We work together as a team to ensure that youth participants gain self-confidence, enhance work skills, and develop healthy behaviors. However, persons who are unsupervised may not have the same potential to get the most out of this experience. Our supervision policy has two leaders in place for each crew of six youth. Crew Leaders will not be able to constantly supervise all youth at all times. However, Crew Leaders must set out clear expectations for behavior. Furthermore, Crew Leaders and youth are responsible for knowing the whereabouts of crew members at all times. Crew Leaders must know the location of all youth at all times and be able to communicate quickly in the event of an emergency. Youth must know the location of the crew leaders at all times and be able to communicate quickly. The standard measure of this range is shouting distance or within eyesight. If for some reason the youth must be away from the Crew Leaders and are out of communication distance, they must: be with two other youth, tell the crew leader where they are going, and establish a return time. Every person has the right to expect to have a safe and positive experience. By working together as a team to provide adequate supervision, we can help ensure that all youth participants and summer staff have a great summer with Conservation Corps Minnesota.
There are deer ticks in some areas where we work throughout the summer. Deer ticks are carriers of Lyme disease. Not all deer ticks carry Lyme disease, which is a bacterial infection spread by the bite of a deer tick. Early symptoms include a bullâ€™s eye rash, fever, and muscle aches. Lyme disease is very treatable if caught early. One of the first activities of the Summer Youth Corps is learning about ticks and preventative techniques. It is recommended that after you return home from the summer you keep an eye out for any of the symptoms aforementioned. If you suspect symptoms of Lyme disease, do not hesitate to tell your parent/guardian and see a doctor as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease after the summer is over, please inform the office by calling 651.209.9900 ext 27.
Safety is the top priority of the Conservation Corps. This applies to both work and non-work situations. However, risk is inherent in the various program activities. Youth are expected to work to their potential during the workday. Furthermore, youth are expected to fully participate in after work activities that are part of the program. Participating in Conservation Corps activities involves known and unanticipated risks which could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis or permanent disability, death, and property damage. Risks include, but are not limited to, broken bones, torn ligaments or other injuries as a result of falls or contact with other participants; death as a result of drowning or brain damage caused by near drowning in pools or other bodies of water; medical conditions resulting from physical activity; and damaged clothing or other property. Such risks simply cannot be eliminated, despite the use of safety equipment, without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity. Please review and sign the release of liability form included in the hiring paperwork. By doing so, you expressly accept and assume all of the risks inherent in the program activities or that might have been caused by the negligence. By signing you acknowledge that your childâ€™s participation in these activities is purely voluntary and they elect to participate despite the risks.
I became more positive and confident. I also learn how to use the tools and made more friends. I have become more open to others and happier. I learn a lot about the environment and how to keep it clean and healthy. Mai Kou V. -Youth Crew Member 2011
If you use prescription medication or over the counter drugs during the summer, you will fill out medication paperwork on arrival day. All medication, both prescription and non-prescription, will be turned into our staff and distributed throughout the summer. All medications need to be brought in the original container or package. It is very important to bring enough medication for the entire program. If you normally take prescription medications or over the counter medications during the school year but will not be taking them during the summer, our staff need to be informed of this change. It is very important to clarify all medical needs prior to the start of the program. The best way to do this is to make sure all paperwork gets turned in on time. It is your responsibility to purchase any prescriptions and/or non-prescription medication prior to the beginning of the program. Any medical expenses that accrue throughout the summer (refill prescriptions or over the counter drugs, etc.) will be taken out of your paycheck.
After being offered a position, please complete and sign all forms — personal, tax, and medical — and return them to the Conservation Corps Central Office.
Proper ID documentation needs to be brought either to orientation or the first day of the program (Photo ID, SS card or Birth certificate, & health insurance card). Conservation Corps staff need to see the original and a copy will be kept for our records.
Be sure to bring your prescription and non-prescription medications with you. Remember that you must hand over all medications to Conservation Corps staff. Make sure medication is in the original bottle or package.
Conservation Corps Minnesota is not responsible for any lost, damaged or stolen items. This includes electronic devices, clothes, and money. Bring only what you need and do not bring electronic devices (digital cameras and medical technology are permitted).
During the weekend laundry trips you will need to pay for your own washing and drying machines. We suggest that you bring $30 of spending money for the Laundromats and personal items. You should also bring laundry detergent.
“[Our daughter] came home with a greater sense of self. She did things she never knew she could do. We were so proud of her and her accomplishments.” Youth Parent, 2011
NO ELECTRONICS — electronics (cell phone, iPod, CD player, etc.) are not allowed and will be handed over to staff for the summer. Avoid this by not bringing these items. PERSONAL ITEMS — Conservation Corps is not responsible for the damage or loss of any personal item brought by a youth to the Summer Youth Corps. This includes electronics, clothes and money.
□ Long pants (jeans or other old comfortable
pants, not sweat pants) □ Socks (bring extra pairs– Wool hiking socks recommended) □ Work boots—leather and must cover ankle. ***Important: Wear these at home at least 7 days to break them in. □ Rain gear— pants and jacket (no ponchos) Work gloves and work shirts are provided by the Corps.
Underwear Warm jacket Swimsuit, swim trunks Sweaters, sweatshirts Sneakers for after work Long pants, shorts, t-shirts for other activities □ Bandanas □ □ □ □ □ □
Laundry runs are made once a week. Be sure to bring enough clothes to last for a week. Also, keep in mind that there is no storage at the base camp so only bring what is needed.
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Sleeping bag Sleeping pad Pillow 2 or 3 one-quart water bottles Towel and washcloth Personal items (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.) Bug lotion/repellent (don’t underestimate the bugs!) Sunscreen and lip balm Flashlight with extra batteries (head lamps are great!) Laundry soap (enough for 4-5 loads only) Prescription medication (enough for 4 weeks) Wrist watch (to help you be on time) Epi-Pen or Inhaler (if needed) Small backpack to carry water bottle and snacks. Brimmed hat & sunglasses Head bug net Books Digital camera or camera and film Fishing gear Stationary, envelopes, stamps Musical instruments (not electric)
The Summer Youth Corps is rough on clothes. Work clothes get ripped by brush, stained by dirt and sweat, and generally worn out. Clothes worn for other activities can get equally worn out. Please don’t bring any clothes that should not get dirty. Second hand stores are good for buying work and non-work clothes.
Civilian Conservation Corps In the 1930's the country was in a financial depression and the spirit of the people was at an all-time low. It has been estimated that more than two million youth were aimlessly wandering the cities and the country in search of jobs and a future. On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States. In his first 100 days in office, he initiated several programs to get the country going again. One of the most widely acclaimed and accepted programs at that time was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC recruited young men into a peace-time army to conserve the land, forests and waters, to build parks and to build young people’s dignity and work skills Life in the Corps appealed to the American frontier spirit. More than three million young men and 8,500 women worked for $1 per day, room and board. Decades later, many said it was the best years of their lives. Civilian Conservation Corps members were true conservationists long before there was an Earth Day. On millions of acres, they worked to slow down erosion and replant depleted forests. They built more than a thousand national, state, county and city parks. They saved our country. Youth Conservation Corps In August 1970, the 91st Congress enacted legislation to create the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) . Patterned after the CCC, the objectives were to accomplish needed conservation work on public lands, provide gainful employment for 15 -18 year-olds from all segments of society, and to develop youth through education and appreciation of the nation's natural environment and heritage. Minnesota Conservation Corps When federal support for the YCC ended, the Minnesota Legislature created the Minnesota Conservation Corps (MCC) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program carried forward the mission of engaging youth and young adults in natural resource work. MCC remained within the Minnesota DNR until it was eliminated from the state budget in 2003 when the nonprofit Friends of the Minnesota Conservation Corps assumed operation of MCC. Current Youth Programs In 2010, MCC changed it’s name to Conservation Corps Minnesota to better reflect the Corps’ work as it launched a smaller model of its young adult program, Conservation Corps Iowa, in Ames. Conservation Corps Minnesota’s other youth program, Youth Outdoors, is for Saint Paul and Minneapolis teenagers who meet 12 hours per week afterschool and Saturdays for education and service projects. The Conservation Corps also has several
If you have any questions or need more information please contact: Jonathan Goldenberg Summer Youth Corps Coordinator 617-686-1205 (Cell) 651.209.9900 ext 27(office) 612-300-0557 (Camp Number) 320-284-6000 (Back-Up Camp Number) -orEric Antonson Program Director 651.209.9900 ext 11 Conservation Corps Minnesota 60 Plato Blvd. E, Suite 210 St. Paul, MN 55107 www.conservationcorps.org “Conservation Corps has helped me realize being you is all you need to be and shouldn't try to be anything less. The work projects help promote the message of taking care of the earth and the feeling that people can come together to make a difference. I’ve made amazing life long friends at CCM and feel safe in the open and inclusive environment CCM provides. “ Tyler R. Youth member 2010, 2011
â€Ś carrying on the tradition and legacy of service learning and youth development.