What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. AmeriCorps’ members serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations.
As an AmeriCorps Member with SECC, members serve on conservation projects throughout the Southeast durring their term of service. Upon completion of their service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans.
Do I get paid for this work?
As an AmeriCorps member, you will be paid a weekly stipend of about $300 before taxes. After successfully completing the season, you will be eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award ranging from $ 1,222.22 to $2,200.00 depending on the length of your term of service, which can be used to pay for school, loans, etc.
What does a typical schedule look like?
SECC offers two types of adult Conservation Crews, Local or In-Town Crews and Camping Crews. In-town crews typically work Monday-Friday, with weekends off. Camping crews typically work on a hitch schedule meaning they work either 8 days on with 6 days off in-between, or 9 days on with 5 days off in-between for projects that require more travel time.
What is the food like?
Food is not provided for in-town crews, but all meals are provided for corpsmembers enrolled in the camping program. The food options may vary depending on the type of projects and the accessibility to ice and refrigeration. Meals frequently consist of options which will keep in an outdoor setting, such as oatmeal, breads and tortillas, peanut butter and jelly, trail mix, pastas, rice, canned meats and vegetables, cheese, lunch meat and a variety of fresh vegetables. Some accommodations can be made for participants with dietary restrictions or allergies.
What kind of gear is required?
SECC provides all personal protective equipment, all group camping gear, and uniform shirts, however it is up to members to provide their own personal camping equipment and other work cloths. Typically this consists of a personal tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, work pants, work boots, rain gear, and a day pack, as well as additional personal items. In some cases a large backcountry pack may be required as well. SECC does have a small inventory of camping equipment (including backpacks, tents and sleeping bags) that can be rented out to corpsmembers who cannot provide their own equipment. Please contact the office if you have any questions about rentals.
How many people are on a crew?
Typically a crew consists of 6 or 7 members, and two Crew Leaders, although specific numbers can vary depending on projects. Usually corpsmembers work with one crew throughout the entire season, but in some situations members may work with different crews during their term.
How do I communicate with my friends/family during my days in the field?
Cell phones are allowed on AmeriCorps crews, however they should be used during free-time, and should not be accessed during the work day. Access to cell reception can vary widely depending on the location of our projects. While Crew Leaders will always have a spot system, radio, or some way of contacting help during an emergency, daily cell reception is not always available.
Do I need to have experience in the outdoors to apply?
No experience is necessary to apply for a corpsmember position. Our Crew Leaders are all familiar with this work, and will teach everyone the outdoor skills necessary to stay safe and comfortable during the term. All you need to apply is a willingness to learn and be challenged!
“My first three weeks have been nothing short of my expectations but have pushed my imaginative, physical, and personal limits."