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Southeast Conservation Corps

  • 2001 North Chamberlain Avenue, Chattanooga, TN
  • https://southeastconservationcorps.org/

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Leadership Development Program (LDP) Crew Member  


min experience

salary range

$600 - $600 / week

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Title: Leadership Development Program (LDP) Crew Member   

Crew Structure: 1 Crew Leader, 5 Crew Members   

Location: Based out of Chattanooga, TN, but will be camping and working on various locations across the southeast region. 

Season Dates: March 5th - May 10th, 2024 (options to extend service through the 2024 season). 

Status: Full-time, seasonal 300-hour AmeriCorps National Service position 

Compensation: $600/weekly living stipend, paid biweekly, including a $1,459.26 Segal Education Award upon program completion. 

Hitch Schedule: 9 days on, 5 days off. The typical schedule is either 9 days on followed by five days off (During training season) or five days on followed by two days off (During the Summer Season). Depending on proximity to the work site, crews either return to town each day or camp at the project site (we refer to this as a “hitch”) for its duration. The day starts with a stretch circle and safety meeting, which includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half-hour break for lunch. 

Benefits: Wilderness First Aid and CPR, Leadership Development Training, Public Land Corps Hiring Authority Certificate (upon successful completion of hours), Food & transportation provided while in the field overnight, uniform shirts, personal protective equipment, and other developmental opportunities as available.  


Southeast Conservation Corps 

Engaging future leaders who protect, restore, and enhance our nation’s lands through community-based service. 

Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC), a program of Conservation Legacy, is a non-profit, AmeriCorps-affiliated organization. SECC selects young adults, ages 18-30, to complete conservation work projects on public lands throughout the Southeast. SECC programs encourage environmental stewardship, foster community partnerships, and emphasize experiential learning. SECC serves a diverse population representative of the Southeast, including youth, graduates, veterans, and a cross-section of ethnicities and income levels. SECC is also an active member of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT), and as such, selected crews may be deployed on Disaster response projects for up to 30 days.   

SECC works with various land management agencies in Tennessee and the Southeast region, such as the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, State Parks, and conservation-based non-profits. Projects vary but include trail construction and maintenance, ecosystem restoration, habitat restoration, fire fuel reduction, public land fencing, invasive weed removal, herbicide applications, and many others. The project work is manual labor based, and most projects require a hike into and out of the project site daily carrying tools and a day pack.     

Crews work in front-country and back-country locations in all types of weather conditions. Schedules may vary, but generally, they are 9 days on and 5 days off for camping crews. Workdays are 10-hour shifts with scheduled breaks throughout the day. Depending on project work and location, other schedule variations may be implemented. While the staff at SECC works to provide consistency throughout the season, personal flexibility is expected and should be prepared for when entering the term, as schedules, times, and work locations are subject to change per project needs.      

SECC is an independent, non-residential program. Members are responsible for finding and attaining their housing when outside the field. On-hitch crews prepare all their meals and work together to complete all necessary chores. Community/camp chores will be conducted every evening, with many evenings including group discussions, conservation, and corps-related topics. The members must supply their outdoor gear and equipment, such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack, multi-day pack, work pants, hiking/work boots, etc. SECC will provide group camp equipment, tools, protective gear, and transportation between SECC’s office and project sites.    


Position Summary:  

 Leader Development Program (LDP) is a two-phase program.   

The first phase focuses on orientation, training, and development; the second phase focuses on implementation and continued leadership development as a crew leader or assistant crew leader during the 2024 summer season at SECC. The AmeriCorps LDP will spend 8 weeks in a crew leader development period, including developing leadership skills, technical trial training, and overall project management. As a crew member during this time, you will also get the opportunity to be the assistant crew lead (ACL). This role will rotate among the crew members, with each member getting this opportunity. In June, leaders will transition to co-leading our summer programs. Crews will complete various conservation and community projects within the greater southeast region.   

Program and Crew Goals 

The Leadership Development Program (LDP) aims to provide participants with various training focused on technical and interpersonal skills through peer leadership activities to prepare members for leadership roles within the conservation corps setting.  Upon completion of the Leadership Development Program, members have the potential to apply to various leadership positions with SECC. Placement in a leadership position is not guaranteed and will be based on qualifications, performance, work ethic, and ability. This position is designed to create our leadership team for summer programming. We highly encourage those who participate to stay on throughout the summer.  

Summer Crews: 

We will be running the following crews during the 2024 summer season; please be ready to speak to your preferences and how you will support them during your interview.  

  • Strike Team – 16 Weeks  

Project work will include critical mapping, condition surveys, inventory and monitoring, invasive species removal with herbicide treatment and other data collection activities for recreation, wildlife, engineering (roads), and fire. The work completed by the Strike Team will help land managers prepare for future projects.   

  • Urban Archaeology – 8 weeks = Two Four-week hitches. 

The project will vary but include shovel testing, pedestrian survey, open excavations, backfilling, artifact processing, and use of hand tools to remove vegetation. 

  • Youth Conservation Corps – 8 weeks = Two Four-week crews. 

Crew 1 (4 Weeks) will serve as our in-town crew serving a local partner in the greater Chattanooga area with only day work M-F 7:30-4:30. These projects will include a variety of trail construction and maintenance along local trails. Crew 2 (4 Weeks) will camp and serve in the Ocoee Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest. The partners at the USFS will designate projects and include various trail construction and maintenance projects. Both crews will serve young adults between the ages of 16 and 18.  

  • Adult Stort-Term – 8 Weeks 

Crews will serve on various conservation projects, including trail restoration and maintenance, developed recreation projects, and invasive plant mitigation projects.    

  • Adult Long Term – 12/16 Weeks  

Crews will serve on various conservation projects, including trail restoration and maintenance, developed recreation projects, and invasive plant mitigation projects.    

Training Project Work:  

Projects occur across the southeast, including work with the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, State Parks, and other land managers. During their time in the field, Crew Members camp overnight and work outdoors in all weather conditions, performing heavy manual labor related to environmental conservation and restoration projects. These hands-on projects could include visitor access improvements, trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species treatments, historic restoration, disaster relief, and more. Most projects require hiking out to remote work sites for the day with tools, equipment, and a day pack. 

Training Schedule and Crew Life:  

SECC LDP field crews consist of 5 crew members and one crew leader who provides project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. Field Crews will meet at our office in Chattanooga, TN, travel in a crew vehicle to their project site, and remain in the field for 9 days at a time, followed by 5 days off. While in the field, Crew Members work 8-10 hours a day. Each workday includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half-hour lunch break. 

Food is provided while in the field. Crews work together to plan meals and complete all necessary chores. We can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Camp chores will be conducted every evening, with many evenings including group discussions on conservation topics.  

SECC will always support a culture of feedback and growth. Crew Members will set goals at the beginning of the season and review their performance through self-evaluation and a review with their Crew Leader in the middle and end of their season. Evaluations will cover topics including Professionalism, Responsibility, Leadership, Communication, Community Engagement, Project Work, Safety, Organization, and Equipment. Crew Members will also be asked to evaluate their Crew Leaders’ performance, the overall program, and their experience at the end of their term. 



SECC is an independent, non-residential program. Crew members are responsible for their housing, food, and transportation when outside the field unless otherwise specified.  Some equipment is available to borrow throughout the season, but Crew Members are asked to supply as much of their gear as possible. A gear list is provided upon acceptance into the program; in addition to providing food while in the field, SECC will provide group camp equipment, cooking equipment tools, protective gear, and transportation between Chattanooga and project sites.

Crew Members are asked to work hard, stay positive, and be flexible with changing schedules, weather conditions, and project needs. This is a seasonal position; Crew Members are asked to commit to the experience, expectations, and timeline fully. 

 Minimum Qualifications:      

  • Must be between ages 18 and 30 and up to 35 if a military veteran.  
  • Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident and provide primary documentation to support this.   
  • Must be cleared through an acceptable check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry, as well as state and federal Criminal History Checks   
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED or agree to work toward attaining either during the term of service (this is essential to obtaining and using the AmeriCorps Education Award).   

Preferred Qualifications:   

  • A general comfort and previous knowledge of working/living in an outdoor setting.   
  • Must have a high school diploma, GED, or agree to work toward attaining either during the term of service (this is essential to obtaining and using the AmeriCorps Education Award)   

General Qualifications:   

  • AmeriCorps members must be able to pass a criminal background check.   
  • Professionalism:Members must be willing to follow and enforce all SECC policies, maintain professional boundaries, communicate effectively with partners, crew leaders, members, peers, and SECC staff, and appropriately represent Southeast Conservation Corps and AmeriCorps. (This includes creating a substance-free work environment and refraining from the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and drugs while on “hitch”)  
  • Adaptability: Projects are uncertain and will include variable living conditions and last-minute changes. Members must be adaptive, patient, and able to maintain a positive perspective throughout changes.  
  • Leadership: Experience or a strong desire to lead and mentor a diverse group of young adults (ages 16-18 and 18-30). Ability to manage and participate in day-to-day details of crew life. Ability to listen, willingness to receive feedback, and desire to grow continually. 
  • Community Building:Strong desire to help others grow as individuals while building cohesiveness in a group setting. LDP Members must be willing to work hard, listen and respect others’ viewpoints, embrace diversity, be committed to equity, and be inclusive of differing backgrounds.  
  • Environmental Stewardship: Members must genuinely enjoy and desire to care for the land while living and working outdoors in various conditions. 
  • Fitness: SECC projects are physically demanding! 8 to 10-hour long workdays consist of hiking, backpacking, heavy lifting, and repetitive motions using tools. Projects often occur in variable weather conditions: hot, cold, rain, snow, etc.   
  • Conservation:Experience or a desire to learn the technical skills needed to maintain public lands effectively and meaningfully.    
  • Corps Member Development: Experience or strong desire to learn and participate as an outdoor educator and mentor. 
  • Driving:LDP Members are responsible for driving 8-12-passenger vehicles while pulling a trailer. In order to drive, members must be 21, have a clean driving record (insurable), and have a current driver’s license for the past three years.   
  • Education: At a minimum, LDP members must be high school graduates and GED recipients working toward attaining a high school diploma or GED during their term of service.   
  • Citizenship: Members must provide primary documentation of status as a U.S. citizen or National OR primary documentation of status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. 

Essential Functions:    

  • Enforce all SECC policies. SECC is a substance-free work environment. All must refrain from the use of tobacco products, vaping, alcohol, and drugs while in the program.  


Once Crew Members are selected and before their start date, they must complete an online enrollment process, including completing e-forms, uploading IDs, enrolling with AmeriCorps, and beginning their background check process. For those with limited access to online platforms, accommodations may be available and can be discussed during the interview process.  

Substance Free: In accordance with a drug-free workplace, alcohol, and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and on organization property.    


To Apply: Complete the Application, upload cover letter and resume. 


This program is available to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Where a significant portion of the population eligible to be served needs services or information in a language other than English, the recipient shall take reasonable steps to provide written material of the type ordinarily available to the public in appropriate languages. 


Questions? Contact Ray Wilson at [email protected] 

**To be considered, you must upload a resume in addition to your application** 

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