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  • Do I need experience camping or working outdoors for this job?
    No experience is required. RMYC provides any necessary training to get you comfortable with the lifestyle and project work. We just ask you to have a passion for the outdoors and that don’t mind hard work! Many people experience an adjustment period in their first days while getting used to living outdoors and doing manual labor which can be slightly uncomfortable. Still, most people adjust quickly and grow to enjoy crew life immensely. Our crews are made of people with vastly different experience levels, so don’t let previous experience deter you!
  • What else do people get out of this program?
    Lifelong friends, belonging to a community, amazing experiences, a chance to explore Colorado, an opportunity to give back, confidence in the outdoors, a sense of land stewardship, leadership opportunities, self-efficacy, professional development, and so much more!
  • What are RMYC emergency protocols?
    All of our Regional Leaders are Wilderness First Responder Certified, so they are taught basic wilderness medical skills and when it's appropriate to take people out of the field. We also put them through the basic level of mental health training. All crews are required to carry a Spot device(Satellite Communication Device) with texting capabilities to the office, emergency service contact, an SOS button that gives emergency services their location, and we require them to send their check-in coordinates when they get to camp and the worksite every day! If they are in service, we have a 24/7 Duty Officer number for emergencies that is always staffed by a program staff member that is required to be in cell phone service. Our crews also are supported by a Field Coordinator who visits each crew once a session or more and deals with crew dynamics, paperwork, and will directly support with any issues that are happening.
  • When can I expect to receive Session specific information and what will it contain?
    For each session, the program team will send a Session Specific Information email one month to two weeks out from the start date of the session. This email will contain the following information: pick up and drop off locations, project specifics, crew leader details(phone numbers, bios), packing list, our emergency call line information, reminders about I-9 documents, and other pertinent information.
  • What does conservation work look like?
    Conservation projects include but are not limited to the following: trail construction/building, campground improvements, corridor clearing, native plant planting, invasive species removal, weed spraying, sign replacements, log outs, fence installation/deconstruction, wooden/stone step installation, barbed wire fence maintenance and much more. It is important to know the difference between conservation and preservation, and what that means for the service work you will complete with us. Conservation is aimed at the sustainable use of resources, while preservation seeks the protection of resources/nature from use. Our work is in conservation, and most frequently revolves around recreation, but may also include projects related to livestock grazing, habitat management, and water use.
  • Where will we be working?
    RMYC crews are based out of Steamboat Springs, CO. We complete projects all over Northwest Colorado, Wyoming, and occasionally Utah.
  • Who do we work with?
    Our crews work alongside federal land management agencies such as the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, as well as non-profits in the area. The overwhelming majority of our projects are completed on public lands.
  • How physically intense are the projects?
    Projects range vastly in physical demand. You can expect to do a lot of hiking, heavy lifting, and swinging tools for up to 8 hours a day in any and all weather conditions. We do not have any expectations for a certain hiking pace or work output in most cases, but we do expect you to step outside of your comfort zone. Keep in mind you will be doing this with a whole crew, and teamwork really makes a difference on those hard hikes and stubborn rocks.
  • How far can I expect to hike on a given day?
    Depending on the project you could hike anywhere from half a mile to five-plus miles in one day. On average, hikes are usually less than three miles to and from the worksite. Sometimes our crews don’t hike at all and are able to drive to the worksite. Variety is the spice of life!
  • Will we be backpacking?
    The answer here is rarely! Backcountry projects are reserved for Four-Week Sessions. I would say 95% of our projects are front country camping.
  • When will I know what my projects are?
    Two weeks to one month out from your start date! They will be included in the Session Details email. This is however, not set in stone! It happens often that project partners change our dates. If this happens, we will update you with any schedule changes!
  • How many people are on a crew?
    12 people! Each crew will have 2 Crew Leaders and 10 youth.
  • Who will be on my crew and how do you determine crew placements?
    The fist thing we look at when placing members is their date availability! After that, we try to make sure we have an equal distribution of genders, and if possible, we place members that a geographically closer to each other for ease of transportation.
  • What is the hardest part of living on a crew?
    Being around people all the time is simultaneously the best and hardest part of this experience. The connections forged on our crews are deep and meaningful and can be hard to recreate outside this setting, but alone time and independence are often put on the back burner for group priorities. We always put the group first, and that involves compromise and tolerance of others. Members are pushed out of their comfort zones with group dynamics, living arrangements, and the physical nature of the work. People also often say that the remote nature of our season can make staying in consistent contact with their support systems a challenge.
  • How does food on crew work?
    All food is paid for by RMYC for the entirety of the session. Crew Leaders shop the first week and take into account all allergies. All dietary restrictions and preferences are taken into consideration, although very strict diets can be challenging and something you should talk to the program managers about. Breakfast and lunch are made individually, and all dinners are communal.
  • Is there cell service or a way to charge my phone?
    Most project sites and campsites are out of cell service. There will always be opportunities to stop into towns on the weekend to get service. We recommend bringing a rechargeable battery that can be charged in the vehicles while you are driving, or in coffee shops, recreation centers, and libraries on the weekends.
  • Where do we shower? Use the bathroom?
    Crews utilize the many recreation centers in small towns across the Rockies to access showers which are paid for by RMYC. Occasionally project partners allow us access to shower facilities, and that is an option as well. Bathrooms are a luxury on crew, and we follow Leave No Trace principles while we are camping. Group campsites call for latrines, and on the worksite, we utilize cat holes. Learn more about waste disposal here.
  • How can I get my prescription medication while on crew?
    If you have any prescription medication that you need to take throughout the season, please speak with your doctor to see if you can make sure to have enough while on crew. It is generally advisable that if you are on medication regularly for any reason, you consult your prescribing physician and explain to them the extreme rigors of the experience you will be embarking on before you choose to change, begin new, or quit using any regiment of medication. Any adjustment to your usual self care (medically) should be approached with extreme caution and consultation when living and working in back country settings, often far from your normal physician, not to mention medical facilities in general (at times).
  • Can I have friends or family come to visit?
    Any time you are on "RMYC time" we ask that you have no visitors from your personal life come see you at your crew's campsite or worksite. Similarly while together as a crew, you may not have someone come pick you up for the day and drop you off with your crew at a later time or date. That being said, you can make arrangements to meet up with friends or family on your weekend while your crew is having town time. If you choose to do this, just please let your crew leader know beforehand and understand that your meetup will have to fit within the schedule for the rest of your crew.
  • What do I do if I get my period on crew?
    If you do, don't worry! We carry extra pads and tampons in our first aid kits. If you've never dealt with this during camping, no fear! Just like most things in the outdoors, we think ahead and prepare. This REI article has great advice depending on what you feel most comfortable with. Most women will carry a clean bag (contains pads, tampons, hand sanitizer), wet wipes, and a waste bag (ducktaped ziplock bag with another ziplock bag inside where we put our used tampons, pads, and used toilet paper/wet wipes).
  • How much stuff can I bring?
    Personal storage can be limited on a crew. We recommend trying to fit all of your items between a large hiking pack or duffel bag (60-70 liters) and your day pack (30ish liters). Once camp is set up, you can store things in your tent, or the van, but for traveling between sites, keeping your gear condensed and well-organized is helpful. Keep in mind that for backcountry projects you can always leave items behind in the van or trailer. Beyond the essentials, we do recommend bringing books, journals, games, and other fun items. Members have brought musical instruments in the past, but they tend to take up a lot of valuable communal space and will be exposed to the elements.
  • Do you provide assistance of any kind?
    A gear assistance application is open to all participants to provide tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and pads. Gear is intended to serve those who might not otherwise be able to accept a position with us. If you are encountering any other hardship that is preventing you from joining RMYC, please reach out to a program manager.
  • What gear is provided?
    Group gear will be provided as well as personal protection equipment and work shirts. Group gear includes tools, all items related to the kitchen, and medical supplies.
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