The SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a 30-week AmeriCorps program focused on leadership development, completing critical conservation service projects, and building a sense of community. The Corps is composed of 20 young adults age 18 - 25. If you’ve ever wanted to learn the hard and soft skills of being a conservation leader, come join this community of like-minded, service oriented individuals and help us tackle some of Massachusetts most pressing conservation issues.
The SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a partnership between SCA, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), AmeriCorps, and The Massachusetts Service Alliance.
Training Season: The entire corps will begin the program with 6 weeks of training together. Training will include: Orientation, Wilderness First Responder (80-hour course), Conservation Trail Skills, Specialty Skills (chainsaw or rigging), Leadership development, Non-Violent Communication and Leave No Trace.
Field Season: Hitches will typically be 10 days in length, but could vary depending on the location and project needs. During hitches, crews will be based out of front country tent camps in close proximity to the project site. Crews will complete a variety of projects throughout the state, ranging from the Berkshires to the Cape. Projects may include, but not limited to: new trail construction, native or dimensional bridges, rock steps/walls, invasive species management, resource monitoring, sign installation and preservation of historical structures.
Field-life is often rugged, and while on hitch, members should expect to live with limited access to electricity, cell phone reception and sometimes showers. Additionally, while on hitch, this program is alcohol and substance free.
2021 Tentative Schedule
*Please note – this is a tentative schedule. Dates may change, but training opportunities will remain the same.
3/29: Arrival, Move in, and Corps Kick off event
3/30 – 4/2: Member Orientation
4/5 – 4/16: Wilderness First Responder
4/19 – 5/14: Skills Training (Trail Skills, chainsaw/rigging, leadership, LNT)
5/17 – 10/15: Field Season (10 days on, 4 days off)
10/18 – 10/22: Final wrap up and Recognition Day.
*Note – there will be two, one-week breaks during field season
Leadership development is an important component of SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps. Members will go through intentional leadership and communication training to prepare them to excel as leaders in the field. During field season, members will take turns serving as the Hitch Leader for their crew. Responsibilities include managing the work and progress of the crew, meal planning, assessing and managing risk on the project, and reporting and administrative tasks during and following the hitch. SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps field staff will be assigned to support each crew to provide technical on-the-ground support/training and additional leadership training and guidance (as needed).
Long term housing will be provided for all members for the duration of the program in western Massachusetts. Housing will be shared with other members. During training season, members will commute from their designated housing to the corps training location at a local state forest. Program vehicles will likely be provided for this daily commute. During field season, members should expect to be traveling with their crew throughout MA. Once crews arrive at their service project location, they will set up a base camp for the next ten days. Member will travel to the SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps headquarters to issue and de-issue gear before and after each project.
- Ensure project, basecamp, community, and general safety standards are upheld; full engagement is expected in all work projects and community activities.
- Interfacing with general public and partner organizations in a manner that reﬂects positively upon the crew, organization, and agency.
- Take on role of Hitch Leader for at least one hitch, serving as a professional liaison with park managers and SCA project leader and staff, handling the logistics of a project, meal planning, delegating responsibilities, developing emergency response plans, and completing all necessary paperwork.
- Recording work totals and creating reports for submission to agency partners; this may include GPS field data collection and post-processing.
- Comply with all SCA, DCR, and AmeriCorps policies and refrain from any prohibited activities.
Member Qualifications (Essential Functions)
- Interest and investment in leadership development and teamwork is required.
- Commitment to living and working within an intensive crew environment; interpersonal skills and community living experience are pluses.
- Commitment to service in working conditions that will include: extreme heat, extreme cold, high winds, and precipitation.
- Must be willing to learn how to use hand tools and power tools to accomplish service activities.
- Ability to enroll in AmeriCorps Education Award Program.
- Ability to lift 50 lbs, and walk/hike on uneven terrain, uphill or downhill, for 1 mile.
- Ability to pass SCA’s background check.
- Compensation: $100.00/week living allowance.
- Housing and Food provided for entire program.
- AmeriCorps Award (1200 hours - $4,336.50) upon successful completion of program.
- Health Insurance Option
- Member Assistance Program
- Trainings provided: Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace Trainer, Chainsaw or Rigging, Trails Work Skills Training, and SCA Leadership Development Training.
- Some camping equipment provided.
- This position is NOT ELIGIBLE FOR TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT
Corps members serve approximately 43 hours a week for a period of 7.5 months. Members must achieve a minimum of 1200 hours of service within that 7.5-month period (roughly 30 weeks of service). Service hours are typically performed Monday through Friday during training season and Tuesday though the following Thursday (10-days straight) during conservation season. The general schedule each day is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
**This position is part of a specialized SCA AmeriCorps program and if you are selected, you will be serving as an SCA AmeriCorps member. **
*** The COVID-19 pandemic has required SCA to implement several safety protocols and policies to help our teams manage the risks associated with the pandemic. While it is likely these will change slightly before the position starts, please review the documents below for SCA’s updated organizational response plan and participant agreement form to learn more how our teams will be operating in the field.
SCA COVID-19 Response Plan
SCA COVID-19 Participant Agreement Form
It is our strong belief that equal opportunity for all members is central to the continued success of our programs. We will not discriminate against an applicant because of race, religious creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, age, physical disability, mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity characteristics or expressions in selections, terminations and or recommendations. Opportunity is provided to all applicants in the basis of qualifications and program requirements. Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants during the selection process and to members during service.
Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a residential program based in Western Massachusetts. Our HQ is located in Kenneth Dubuque State Forest, an 8,000 acre forest located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
During conservation service season, members get to travel the state of Massachusetts, serving on public lands for 10 days at a time.
Wilderness First Responder
Trail crew leadership
Trail maintenance and construction
Western Massachusetts is a mecca of outdoor adventure opportunities, including hiking, biking, and paddling.
All members will become certified in Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Responder. Members will learn leadership and teamwork skills throughout the term of service. In addition, members will enhance their communication and conﬂict resolution skills while living and serving in a community environment
- some experience
- some experience
- Hand Tools
- some experience
- Leadership Experience
- some experience
- Trail Maintenance
- some experience