Have any of you sc/out/s gone through the CCC/backcountry program? Is it any fun/worth it? General americorps and such thread.
I worked with the Montana and Wyoming corps this summer working with the NPS. They seemed to have a good time, it's definitely a lot of work, but they get to see and do some pretty amazing things and you make some lifelong friends.
Haven't heard anything glaringly negative, but what I have heard vouches for >>673577 statements. If you can, time in the corp is perfect for sc/out/s.
I can answer any questions about American Conservation Experience (ACE) if anyone has any or are thinking about joining a Corp.
How hard is it to get onto an ACE crew? I have spotty work history from when I was a shitty teenager. Is this going to make it harder for me? Is being an experienced backpacker helping my chances any?
Your spotty work history shouldn't. ACE is definitely in a growth mindset so they are trying to get a lot of bodies. If you can come across as respectable and not a hippie on the phone interview you should be fine. If you are an experienced backpacker make sure this is noted. If you have previous corp or volunteer experience then you should be a shoe in. It does not hurt to apply.
That being said, where you end up going is very, very important. Unless its Lake Tahoe, do not join the Cali branch, nor the Flagstaff branch. The best in terms of food, housing, organization and morale are Asheville and Utah. If you want a college dorm style, party all the time atmosphere filled with long nights at the Green Room and downtown Flagstaff and be one in a hundred other corpmembers, by all means join Flagstaff. But the real adventure is to be had in Utah. We're literally 20 minutes from Zion, a few hours from Bryce and Capitol Reef. Hurricane has two full blown reservoirs perfect for swimming and cliff diving. Innadesert or innacanyon is literally a 15 minute walk from the dorm, and in a 30 minute drive you can be innaAlpine up in Pine Valley. Plus, people love road tripping, whereas Flagstaff off days are all /in/.
Structure. As of 3 months ago real poor organization and internal communication due to high turnover of staff. However, PCT will probably be worth high levels of bullshit, and I have a low tolerance for needless avoidable administrative bull shit so it might cloud my assessment. If it wasn't for the chance to work on the PCT, I'd say avoid but that is one hell of an opportunity.
There is an exception for veterans for some corps, and you might be able to be a "volunteer" outside of the NCCC or Vista system and still get paid. As to 25 and other, not sure of the actual justification, but it is more of a youth development geared program.
The C's have a pretty big reputation in the trails world. Most kids who come out of the C's come out with an almost fanatical work ethic that's based largely in a sense of competition. Its pretty fraternal and the C's is run like the military, obviously because there's a lot of vets in its ranks. Its always a competition to see who can hike the fastest, farthest, put the most steps in, etc. Pretty silly considering how hard trail work is on your body.
That being said I know a bunch of young people who never went to college but now have decent careers in the NPS after going through the CCC, although any corps program will probably get you there.
it says on the california conservation corps website that being a california resident is necessary for employment. Is this true for all CCC programs? I live in mass so I'd much rather go somewhere else to work outdoors.