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Wyoming Conservation Corps

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the start date?

The Crew Leader position starts in January and runs through August. The Crew Member position starts in May and runs through August. There are some trainings that may occur outside this date range.

Do you have summer-only positions?

Yes. The Crew Member position is a summer only position.

I'm not a student. Can I still apply?

Of course! Many of our members have already graduated or are not enrolled in a college. Just please make sure that your availability coincides with our program dates.

What is the application window?

We look for Crew Leader applications between September to early November and Crew Member applications between January and March.

How do I submit my application?

Please choose one of the following methods:

  • Email: pharrin2@uwyo.edu
  • Fax: 30-766-3613
  • Mail:
    Wyoming Conservation Corps
    Dept. 3394 | 1000 University Ave
    Laramie, Wyoming 82070

Are your programs exclusively for University of Wyoming students?

No, all of our positions are open to all US citizens.

Does WCC provide housing?

During the winter and spring, Crew Leaders are responsible for finding your own housing. Many members find housing together. WCC can help you find suitable housing.

During the summer while on a hitch, your home is a tent most of the time, which you are responsible for providing. WCC can rent tents to individuals depending upon availability. We have the option of staying in single dorm rooms while not on hitch; otherwise you are responsible for finding your own housing.

What about transportation?

You'll need to get to the WCC office and cabin on your own, but it is not necessary to have a car. It is often possible to carpool with other members on a crew. WCC provides transportation from our cabin to all worksites and back.

Are dogs allowed?

If you own a dog and plan to join WCC, you will need to make arrangements for someone to care for your dog while you are in the field. For safety reasons, dogs are not allowed at any WCC work site.

What's the work schedule like?

Flexibility is an essential part of a successful term of service. Your schedule will fluctuate to meet the needs of project sponsors. However, the basic model for every ten day hitch is working 10-12 hour days and taking one day off in the middle of a hitch to explore the area and have some fun. For most of the season you'll be camping at frontcountry and backcountry locations.

Can I be on the same crew as my significant other or relative?

Generally, no. WCC encourages personal development, and therefore, do not like to place couples or relatives on the same crew. You will always get to see each other when you come back to Laramie between hitches.

Can I be on the same crew as my friend?

Maybe. WCC encourages personal development and therefore, encourages members not to "crew up" with friends.

Is food paid for?

While on hitch, all food will be provided. During your days off, you are responsible for your own meals. Your living stipend is meant to cover this expense.

What's a "hitch"?

What we often refer to as a hitch is a ten-day period that the crew is out on any given project.  Each crew will complete six hitches of ten days each during their service.  Each hitch will be partnered with a land management agency in the state of Wyoming, such as the BLM, Forest Service, or State Lands. 

What is a typical hitch like with the WCC?

At the beginning of a hitch, you will meet your crew at an assigned time Monday morning up at the WCC cabin. Your meeting time will vary depending on how far away your destination is, what the project entails, sponsor needs, etc. Once at the cabin, the crew loads all the food they need for the next ten days, kitchen supplies, camping gear, tools, etc into their "rig" (each crew is given a UW vehicle and trailer to travel with). Crew leaders gather the project folder with project details, contact info and so forth from project coordinators and the crew sets out for their destination, which could be anywhere from a ten-minute to a six-hour drive away. 

Crews will arrive at their destination by the assigned meeting time, where they meet with a representative of the agency they'll be working with. The agency representative will give the crew leaders the run-down of where the crew will be camped, and what the plan is for the next ten days. Crews set up camp and begin the project.  Each morning, crew leaders are up at 5 a.m. making breakfast, crew members are up by 6 a.m. and everyone eats breakfast, packs a lunch and is on the job by 7 a.m. Crews typically work eight to ten hour days depending on the workload and project specifics.  Crew members exchange responsibilities for washing dishes and making dinner. Crews return to Laramie at some point Wednesday of the following week.  You then have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday off and return for the next hitch on Monday.

Each hitch is contracted for a total of 80 hours of service from each of eight WCC volunteers (totaling 640 hours per hitch). Either a field supervisor or project coordinator usually stops by at some point during the hitch to check-in. Crews receive an educational day provided at the discretion of the sponsoring agency as well as a day off where they are free to explore any nearby landmarks or activities.

I have a family vacation planned next summer, can I take the time off to go?

Unfortunately, unless your vacation or other plans fit into the four days you have off between hitches, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to miss work. The reason is that each crew is contracted to work a total of 640 hours and the agency pays for those 640 hours (80 hours by eight people). It would be unfair to the agency to only give them part of that amount, barring any unforeseeable circumstances such as an illness or death in the family. We try to be as flexible as possible, but please understand that we have made commitments and cannot usually break them. 

What about wildlife?

You will encounter wildlife. Any animal you encounter should be treated with respect. Wildlife safety will be part of your training. Crews are provided with bear spray when the project calls for it. You may also bring your own. Firearms are not permitted at WCC.

Do I need any training to join?  What types of training will I receive?

Please see position descriptions under "Get Involved" tab.

Are all of your positions with Americorps?

Yes.

Is this a volunteer position?

Yes. WCC positions are part of the AmeriCorps National Service Program. You will receive a monthly living stipend and at the completion of your term of service you are eligible for an education award.

How do I claim my education award?

Is the Americorps living stipend enough to live on?

The stipend is adequate to meet your basic needs for housing, food and other routine needs. Again, while on hitch all housing, transportation, and food is covered so you are only looking to support yourself on your four days off. Also, you may be able to defer your student loan payments during your term of service with AmeriCorps.

Do you offer college credit for your program?

Yes. All members will receive between 1 and 3 upper division college credit by participating in WCC. If you are not a UW student you are responsible for transferring the credit.

How long is the term of service?

Crew Leaders serve from January to August, a minimum of 900 hours. Crew Members serve from May to August, a minimum of 450 hours. You complete the entire length of your service, not just the hours, in order to claim your education award.

What is the nature of the work?

WCC completes projects at high elevations in all types of weather, and the work is physically rigorous. Over the course of your term, you may complete one or more of the following: historical building restoration, trail building/maintenance, fence building, bark beetle mitigation, habitat restoration, noxious weed removal and seed surveys.

Who does WCC work with?

WCC crews work with many of the state's land management agencies including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game and Fish, State Parks, National Forest Service, several energy companies and State Lands and Investments, among others.

What opportunities are available to me after WCC?

Much of this depends on your interests. Many Crew Members return the next year and serve as Crew Leaders. Many Crew Leaders look for work with the Forest Service, State Parks, BLM, etc.

Is there a social networking site for WCC?

WCC has a Facebook page and encourages alumni participation. We'd love to hear from you. We hope you'll stay in touch!

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