Hildene Youth Corps

Summer 2022: Elevating a Woodland Trail
(HILDENE YOUTH CORPS IS FULL FOR THE 2022 SEASON.)

Hildene Youth Corps is designed for eight highly-motivated young people who will be entering seventh and eighth grades in the fall of 2022. First and foremost, the program is intended to be fun. Under the surface, it is also designed to begin the process of allowing these young people to start the transition from childhood to a world in which they have responsibility to others. Our goal is to create a sense of ownership, accomplishment, and caring about the wider world. 

Those participating in the Hildene Youth Corps will, on one hand, be closely supervised. But they will also feel a sense of freedom and of being an insider – a little like being a member of the Hildene staff. We want those who participate to fondly remember this experience for the rest of their lives. The team will be led and mentored by a Hildene Youth Corps counselor.

Hildene Youth Corps 2021, measuring for accuracy

The portion of Hildene’s trails that run through forested wetlands often leave hikers with soggy shoes. The 2022 youth corps team will complete a boardwalk on one of these trails, protecting its integrity and plant life, while also making it more accessible and enjoyable to hikers. During the course of the project, the team will learn about forest ecology, health and sustainability.

Hildene Youth Corps, 2021, filling holes

During the construction of this project, the Youth Corps team will develop basic carpentry skills under the guidance of Hildene’s Building Superintendent, TJ Lillie. While mornings will focus on the trails, the afternoons will be spent learning about and exploring Hildene, helping with chores at the goat dairy and Dene farm, researching nonprofit organizations, enjoying crafts and playing games.

Hildene Youth Corps, 2021, securing cross rail

The cost of this two-week program for each Youth Corps member is $350 for Hildene members and $425 for nonmembers. (Please see below if cost is an issue for you.) At the end of the program, those team members who have shown up every day and interacted well with their teammates, our guests and the Hildene staff, and have fully participated in the experience will be awarded $50 for their hard work to donate to a nonprofit. They will be able to choose from a list of nonprofit organizations committed to ecological conservation. They will have an opportunity to research these organizations to help base their decision. The goal is to deepen their understanding that organizations doing good work need financial support and to give them the satisfaction that comes from doing so.

Hildene Youth Corps, 2021, learning more about the apiary

An orientation for Youth Corps members and their parents will occur on Sunday, July 10 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The program begins the following day, Monday, July 11, and runs weekdays through Friday, July 22. Their days will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. The last day will end with a celebration of the work they have accomplished. Families will be invited to come early that day to share in the celebration.

Hildene Youth Corps, relaxing in front of their newly constructed apiary fence

Those interested in being a member of the Hildene Youth Corps must fill out the application attached to this description and submit it to Hildene by mail or by email to Lisa Maggio, Youth Corps Coordinator, at lisa@hildene.org. Acceptance is based on a first come first serve basis, in addition to calling teachers for references and a meeting with the candidate and his or her guardian(s) within two weeks of Hildene receiving their application. We need to know that the prospective Youth Corps member truly wants to be here, will be engaged and committed to the Youth Corps goals. Upon acceptance into the program, the slot will be assured when Hildene has received full payment. If you think your child would benefit from this program, but find the cost an obstacle, please contact Lisa by email or phone, 802-362-3996. For the safety of the team and Hildene staff we ask that all participants show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.  

Click here to download the 2022 Hildene Youth Corps Application Form.