Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Corpsmember?
Lets first define “Corps”, pronounced kôr, a group of persons associated together or acting under common direction. especially : a body of persons having a common activity or occupation When you join RMYC, you are a “Corpsmember.” Corpsmembers generally serve in crews (under the supervision of a Crew Leader) with up to six other Corpsmembers. By participating in service projects alongside your peers and Crew Leader, Corpsmembers have the opportunity to make a difference in the community, gain hands-on experience in a work atmosphere, and develop skills in leadership, teamwork and communication.
Is RMYC an AmeriCorps Program?
Many, but not all, of our crews are part of the AmeriCorps community. AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has been administering an AmeriCorps grant since 1997. Our AmeriCorps grant comes through a state commission, Serve New Mexico. To learn about all the different AmeriCorps programs in New Mexico, please visit their website at www.dws.state.nm.us/nmccv
What kinds of projects will I work on?
Projects differ based on the program you join. The Conservation Program partners with local, tribal, state, and federal land management agencies to complete regional projects. For example, your crew might work with the National Park Service to help repair campgrounds or trails or with New Mexico State Parks to address invasive plant species. Projects might also include habitat restoration, tree planting, trail building, wildfire fuels reduction, data collection, historic preservation, recycling, open space restoration, and much, much more!
The Prevention Program partners with local and state programs to implement prevention-based programs and campaigns within local schools and with community members.
You may also join an Individual Placement program which is different for each participant, but typically Individual Placements work individually on projects or with staff at their host agency.
Are there additional benefits, aside from a paycheck and the trainings?
Yes, RMYC offers a variety of benefits to our Corpsmembers and may include health insurance, student loan deferment while serving, access to our Member Assistance Program, AmeriCorps Education Award, Public Land Hiring Authority, UNM College Credit, and our camping gear loan program.
How long will I serve on a crew?
It depends, but usually RMYC service lasts between 300 to 1200 hours, or 8 – 34 weeks. For example, you may choose to serve from April to November for a longer season, or for a few months during the summer, then choose to extend your service by joining a fall crew.
Individual placement positions might last up to a year.
Our Public Health Crew works part time during the 36-38 week school year.
Why should I join an RMYC crew?
When you join a Corps, you have the opportunity to:
- Learn new job skills and gain hands-on work experience
- Build your resume
- Earn professional certifications and credentials
- Earn money
- Meet new people and make friends
- Challenge yourself and build confidence
- Earn an AmeriCorps Education Award to put towards student loans or future educational expenses
- Gain access to federal jobs across the country via the Public Land Corps Hiring Authority (for conservation members who work 640 hours)
What are RMYC’s Values?
- Compassion and caring for people and the environment
- The strength of an all-inclusive community
- A safe environment that fosters empowerment and social change
- Integrity and self-accountability
- Growing and learning to meet changing community needs
What does a “day in the life” of a Corpsmember look like?
Each workday begins with Physical Training (PT) to warm up our muscles and hear any important announcements.
After PT, you will begin your project work.
During each workday, you will have a 15-minute break for each 4 hours of work, and 30 minutes for lunch if working a full day (crews on a day schedule will be expected to bring their own lunch each day).
While specific activities depend on which crew you are in, you will spend time improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like mentoring youth, sustaining National Parks, preparing for and mitigating the impact of disasters, and more.
Each crew has a Crew Supervisor who ensures that the project work is carried out in a safe and effective manner. RMYC has specific guidelines and policies that help us facilitate teamwork, build community capacity, and provide an excellent opportunity for growth through hands-on learning.
Conservation Crews travel to project sites in a Corps vehicle (and trailer, if needed), driven by the Crew Supervisor, Assistant Crew Leader, or other authorized driver, with all the tools, training, and materials needed for the project. The public health crews work within the local community during school hours.
At the conclusion of the day, day crews return home while spike crews return to camp, where additional activities and training will take place in the evenings.
What if I’ve never worked outside or camped before?
Don’t worry, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is a great place to explore outdoor work and camping. We do not require any previous experience but we do require that you bring a good attitude and a willingness to commit to the season.
What if I don’t have camping gear or work clothes?
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has a variety of camping gear available for loan, including sleeping bags, tents, backpacks and other gear. We will also provide a work shirt/uniform, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment such as helmet and eye protection), and we have a few pairs of boats that can be loaned out.
Applicants will need to provide their own work pants, top layers, and work boots. Special boots will be required for anyone working on saw projects.
What training or certifications are offered?
Training is a fundamental part of our programming. We place a high priority on teaching life skills to give Corpsmembers the tools they need to be successful in their personal and professional relationships. Skill sets and certification opportunities are provided so that you can leverage your training after you complete the program.
Our certification program is consistently changing to meet your needs, but here are some of certifications and trainings we offer:
- Developing Thinking Sawyers: Chainsaw and Crosscut Saw Certification
- Wilderness First Aid
- First Aid and CPR
- Mental Health First Aid
- Food Handler’s Certification
What will I do when I’m done with RMYC?
As part of your program, you will have the chance to learn about potential career options. We partner with local, state, and federal organizations and agencies to complete impactful service projects. Some Corpsmembers move on to individual placements with these agencies and others might decide to return to school for a different type of career. Corpsmembers can also rejoin a corps for the next season, if they qualify.
How does RMYC connect with the broader world?
Your time with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps will help you envision a world where all generations support one another. You’ll experience a world where young adults actively engage and adapt to an ever-changing environment. Through our work, we promote community service and positive youth development to advance the next generation of change makers. Furthermore, as a RMYC member you will join a broad network of local changemakers through our Alumni network and can find opportunities to further your service, find friendship, or even look for career opportunities. If you join RMYC as an AmeriCorps member, there is an even broader network of alumni for you to explore, connect, and engage with.
What is an AmeriCorps Education Award? Can I get one as part of an RMYC corps?
AmeriCorps Members: AmeriCorps (Segal) Education Awards are available for all AmeriCorps members. Not all positions with RMYC are AmerCorps affiliated positions.
AmeriCorps Education awards are based on the length of a member’s term of service (300, 450, 675, 900, 1200, or 1700 hours) and these amounts change annually; please see your position description for the Education Award amount for which you are eligible.
If you are an RMYC AmeriCorps alumni, the login to the AmeriCorps portal and questions you may have about the AmeriCorps Education award can be found at https://my.americorps.gov/mp/login.do.
Generally, the award can be used to offset the cost of post secondary options like college, trade school, or even a term with the National Outdoor Leadership School. This Award can also be used to pay back Qualified Student Loans. All payments made using the AmeriCorps Education Award are subject to federal tax in the year each payment is made. It is considered taxable income regardless of whether it is used to pay current educational costs or to repay qualified student loans.
Can I work on an ASL Inclusion crew if I’m not Deaf?
Our ASL crews use American Sign Language as the PRIMARY language. As long as you can sign in ASL you can join an ASL Inclusion Crew.
Are you affiliated with RMYC of Colorado?
No, we are two separate organizations with very similar missions. We are both independent, non-profit organizations that just happen to share a name and a love for the same Rocky Mountains.
“What RMYC taught me is grit. It was really a learning moment seeing the grit other people showed. I could see them working everyday going past their boundaries and it was a privilege to see that. I will bring that with me into the future, I look forward to teaching people how to look for the grit in others.”
RMYC Crew Member