NC Youth Conservation Corps


The North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) is a comprehensive youth development program that uses the natural world as a platform for teaching environmental stewardship, job and life skills, leadership, community service, and personal responsibility.

The NCYCC is a partnership between the Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC).   NCYCC participants contribute  hundreds of hours of hard work to improve and expand access to protected natural areas, so that more North Carolina families can connect with the outdoors.  For many participants, it is a life transforming experience.

The Program

dscf8017The NCYCC puts together crews of 8 to 10 young people who work under the close supervision of two highly trained adult leaders on high priority conservation projects. The crews work 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 4 to 7 weeks on local, state, federal, or land trust properties. An additional hour is budgeted each day for WoRD (Writing Reading and Discussion), an educational program focused on relevant current topics. Crews are either “camping,” in which crew members and leaders live together outdoors near the project site, or “commuter,” in which crew members and leaders live at home and report to their work site each workday. Crew members earn minimum wage, and crew leaders earn slightly more.

Work Projects

The NCYCC establishes work projects with various partners across North Carolina. The work varies depending on the geographic location and goals of the sponsoring partner. Projects include trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species removal, building of campground facilities, planting trees, and community garden work.

WoRD – Writing, Reading, and Discussion

The WoRD program is a fundamental component of all NCYCC crews. WoRD encourages crew members and leaders to engage in thoughtful discussions about meaningful, relevant topics throughout the work week. Using a compilation of current articles and essays, all crews read aloud about important environmental and social issues. The crews discuss what they have read and write in their journals about the topic.


Crew leaders are trained on the work they will teach crew members, including potential hazards and ways  to avoid or reduce them. Emergency plans are created for work and camp sites. Crew members receive instructions on the safe way to handle tools.

Participant Requirements

  • 16 to 24 years of age
  • Permanent resident of the US residing in North Carolina
  • Ability to work hard outdoors under challenging work conditions doing a variety of work
  • Strong desire to make a difference

Position Dates for 2015:

  • 7-Weeks: June 20- August 8




One camping crew built a 7-mile mountain bike trail for the U.S. Forest Service in the Croatan National Forest.  A second camping crew completed a variety of projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Falls Lake, trail construction and maintenance for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and removal of invasive plants from the Eno River at Eno River State Park.


photo (17) (1)Two camping crews worked for North Carolina State Parks at Carolina Beach, Fort Fisher, Cliffs of the Neuse, Stone Mountain, Pilot Mountain, and Mount Jefferson State Parks building and maintaining trails, building fencing, constructing tent pads, and making repairs to facilities. A third camping crew built a 1.5 mile trail for the LandTrust for Central North Carolina at Spencer Woods in the Town of Spencer and more than 2 miles of trail for the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in Hickory Nut Gorge.  A fourth Triangle based commuter crew built a new trail at Beaver Creek Nature Preserve in Durham for Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, constructed trails and a playscape at the Falls Lake Visitor Assistance Center and Jordan Lake for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and worked for Wake County on invasive species removal, scientific studies, and construction of a playscape at Harris Lake County Park.

NCYCC in the News:

Salisbury Post News Article

News & Observer Article

Times-News Article


What Can You Do? Help Sponsor a Crew!

Your donation in support of the NCYCC will help young adults gain the following benefits: For a day, a week, even a month! (This covers all direct costs – crew members, crew leaders, transportation, supplies, food, management, and insurance.) 

  • One Crew Member for One Day = $160YCC for web donate
  • One Crew for One Day = $1,600
  • One Crew for One Week = $8,000
  • One Crew for One Month = $32,000


Your donation in support of the NCYCC will help young adults gain the following benefits:

  • Paid summer jobs for resumes and internship credit
  • Meaningful outdoor experiences
  • Supervised work experience with diverse colleagues
  • Natural resource education
  • Career education
  • Community service
  • Hard but rewarding work

2014 Sponsors

Woodson Family Foundation

Fred and Alice Stanback

North Carolina State Parks

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy

Kulynych Family Foundation

Little Acorn Fund

LandTrust for Central North Carolina

Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space


Pepsi Bottling Ventures

Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation

North Carolina Electric Membership Cooperatives

Great Outdoor Provision Company

Columbia Sportswear

Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

Mt. Olive Pickle Company

Outdoor Nation



 The NCYCC was created in loving memory of Martha A. Woodson.