31 May 2024

Youth Conservation Corps Recruitment

Written by: Jennifer Coyne

I was so happy to learn that my term was going to be extended for another six months as a Youth Engagement Coordinator. I have absolutely loved my time here at National Parks of Boston and the many experiences and skills I’ve gained from working on the Education, Youth, and Volunteer Engagement team. 

The past couple months have been no exception. Upon my extension I was asked to again run the summer Youth Conservation Corps program. The program this summer will be employing 11 high school aged youth - this is a big jump from the 6 YCCs we had last year. 

I focused heavily on recruitment this year including making promotional materials and attending local high school job fairs. I even talked with some youth through their guidance counselors and got help spreading the word about our program from the local library. The program ended up with a record number of applicants and we were able to host over 45 youth in our group interview process. 

The group interviews were a great way to have the youth interact with one another to determine how they would be working together and with young campers from the YMCA as that’s a large part of our program. We utilized two activities in our group interview process. The first was a small group activity (2-3 people) determining what items they would keep if stranded on a deserted island. This was so fun to hear people who have never met before rationalize certain materials and advocate for what they wanted when there were disagreements. The second activity was in larger groups and involved youth replicating a tower by relaying information about the materials and structure down a line to get to the “builder” who had to replicate it. Both of the activities showcased different skill sets and helped us make decisions in hiring. 

I’m so excited to get going on our first day in June with the 11 YCC candidates who were selected. Along with hiring then comes planning all of the training and onboarding sessions. I’ve been excited to go back through and make changes to activities and sessions we led last year to increase their effectiveness and provide more choice to youth during their time here. We’re also trying new things this summer like implementing a skills ladder for youth to set goals and document their own growth throughout the program. 

Keep a lookout to see how our changes turn out - hopefully for the better of the program this year! Check out our youth website to learn more!

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