Idaho Conservation Corps Youth Corps Camping programs combine education, job skill training with outdoor adventure for ages 16 to 18*. Under staff supervision, youth crew members work on conservation, reforestation, and recreation projects, and learn valuable lessons of teamwork and responsibility. Crews camp in the field for several weeks, traveling from project to project. Youth gain a sense of pride that comes with hard work and a job well done. Through education, youth learn to respect and protect the environment in which they live.
*Backcountry Leadership Program allows participants up to age 19.
Youth Corps Camping programs have a tuition of $225. Tuition assistance is available to help cover most of these costs. Tuition Assistance is awarded based on a families' size and monthly income and we are determined to not make tuition a barrier for our programs so please contact us with any questions.
Youth Corps Camping participants earn an education stipend for their participation and can also earn bonuses. Both the stipend and bonus is paid in the form of a check made out to the participant which they can use as they wish. The base stipend is $300 a week which equals:
- $1,500 for Five-week programs
In addition to the base stipend, participants have the opportunity to earn up to $50 in bonuses a week for safety, dependability, and completing the program. Bonuses are paid upon completion of the program.
- Completion Bonus: $20/week for finishing the session
- Dependability Bonus: $20/week for completing all the hours scheduled for your crew
- Safety Bonus: $10/week for a perfect safety record at the end of the session
Food costs ($66.50/week) will be deducted from stipend.
Participants leaving the program before the graduation date will receive a prorated portion of this stipend, calculated to the nearest full day of work, but will forfeit all bonuses.
ICC participants are required to provide their own transportation to and from the orientation and graduation for their specific program. ICC can provide some travel assistance from Boise to the ICC headquarters for those traveling on trains, plains, and busses, call us for more information. In the event that a participant chooses to leave prior to completion, is asked to leave or is unable to complete the program for any reason, they are still required to provide and fund their transportation home. In the event circumstances require ICC to provide and/or pay for a participant’s transportation home for any reason, the participant and his/her family agree to reimburse ICC, upon demand, for all expenses it incurs.
To apply for a program, Check the schedule to make sure that you are free for the entire period of the program, and then complete the application online. Once a youth is offered a position into our program they will be required to 1. Call and confirm their position and 2. Either pay the full tuition or pay at least 25% of the tuition and set up a payment plan to pay the remaining tuition in full before the program starts.
YCCamping session overviews
Sessions open for all applicants to apply for:
Summer Sessions 1 and 2
Sessions only for Alumni who have received a recommendation for BLP or Swamper from a prior YCCamping Session:
Backcountry Leadership Progam Peer Leaders (Swampers)
Summer Session 1 and 2
Length: 5 weeks
The journey begins here! With ICC's Summer Conservation Corps you will complete vital resource management projects and explore the hidden corners of the Mountain West. A 7-10 person crew will spend time building hiking trails, protecting endangered species, and restoring wildlife habitat. You will learn how to swing a tool, bake in a Dutch Oven, pitch a tent, build a campfire, and load a backpack.
With ICC you will learn how easy it is to live in the woods without the comforts of modern civilization. And, you will find incredible pride in a newly peeled log, a stack of firewood, or the removal of a huge boulder. It will be a summer filled with days you will not soon forget; like the feeling of accomplishment that Friday, after a week of sweat and hard work, that you and your crew hike back out over a mile of freshly dug trail.
At ICC you will discover a unique magic where strangers become family, hard work becomes fun, and people find joy and laughter in trivial daily events. It is a place where you discover new priorities. A place where, when you return to the world of pizza and porcelain, you experience a new appreciation for little things and a new distinction between what you need and what you want.
For more than a month you will live and work outdoors all day, every day. You may go to sleep watching the moon rise and get up in time to see the sun come up. It is a busy world, one where days blur into a rhythm of working, eating and sleeping. But it is also a world you will leave with lasting friendships, pride in accomplishment, fresh perspectives and untold new skills.
Backcountry Leadership Program
Length: 5 weeks
*A recommendation from a prior Northwest Youth Corps or Idaho Conservation Corps session is required to do BLP.
You have successfully completed your summer conservation corps program, or maybe even a few, and are now wondering, what’s next? The Backcountry Leadership Program may be the next challenge you crave.
The Backcountry Leadership Program (BLP) provides crew members with additional leadership skills and opportunities. As a part of the BLP team, you will hike deep into secluded wilderness areas and work on intense, challenging, and technical projects. Here the landscape is more pristine, the laughter more bountiful, the expectations higher, and life fuller than any place you may have ever been.
“Leader of the Day” takes on a whole new meaning during the BLP experience. Through a combination of instruction and practice you will develop the skills needed to take charge of individual projects, coordinate camp activities, present natural history lessons and eventually accept all crew leadership responsibilities for a day. Each crew member must do the necessary research prior to their session so they are prepared to teach their leaders and peers their own SEED lesson. This can be on a variety of topics, but should be something you are interested in and can share with others
After your completion of the Backcountry Leadership Program, you will have gained more than just the ability to lead a group of peers at ICC. You will have leadership skills that will assist you in your future pursuits. A few of the many skills you’ll learn and practice are taking initiative, goal setting, time management, and positive motivation. Most importantly, you will gain self-confidence in your own ability to lead a group through the hands-on experience of BLP.
Since 1992, Backcountry Leadership Program crews have earned a reputation for incredible productivity, quality workmanship and an unwavering commitment to getting the job done. Graduates of this program are in high demand to return to ICC programs as a Peer Leader (aka “Swamper”), as well as by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management for their summer trail crews..
Peer Leaders (Swampers)
*A recommendation from a prior Northwest Youth Corps or Idaho Conservation Corps session is required to be a Peer Leader.
Peer Leaders, also called Swampers, help motivate and encourage their crews. They must have demonstrated a high level of commitment to ICC, a mastery of technical skills, and exhibit a high level of leadership competency. Peer Leaders are required to have successfully completed the Backcountry Leadership Program or a previous session as a Swamper. Peer Leaders must have a positive attitude and good humor that will help boost morale and help keep a crew on track.
Peer Leaders are not afraid of challenging work. They are role models for their crew, and set a positive tone by promoting a responsible and respectful standard of conduct. They must be experienced campers and hard workers who are always willing to lend a hand or put forth a bit of extra effort. Most of all, a Peer Leader must have the desire to learn and practice good leadership skills. Peer Leaders must help their crew stay focused, build a nice piece of trail, put in a tight fence post, or construct a strong retaining wall, in addition to the extra assistance they provide back at camp. This may include helping a new corpsmember learn how to sharpen tools, getting kitchen tarps set up, or showing others how to put up the white wall tents.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Peer Leaders are expected to accept additional responsibility for lending a hand on the project site, in camp, and on weekends. Below is a list of Peer Leader responsibilities.
- Conduct tool inventories at all breaks and at the end of the day
- Inspect tools to ensure they are in safe working condition
- Tool Lock out/Tag out
- Assist program training of new corpsmembers
- Assist the Woodsboss with resupply
- Oversee ICC's Recycling program by ensuring that all recycling is properly cleaned and sorted.
- Perform tool inventories each week; account for the previous weeks specialty tools and receive any new tools or gear required for the upcoming week.
- Consult with program staff regarding crew productivity, motivation, and cohesion.