Hildene Youth Corps


July 8 - 19, 2019

Hildene Youth Corps is designed for highly-motivated young people who will be entering seventh and eighth grades in the fall of 2019. 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 a 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. They will take pride in their Hildene Youth Corps tee-shirts, develop an Esprit de Corps among themselves and have a great two weeks. We want those who participate to fondly remember this experience for the rest of their lives.


HYC Working


Youth Corps members will be involved in one key project which they will be able to take great pride in completing and leave as a legacy to Hildene. The underlying theme for the Youth Corps experience will be hands-on learning about the special environment in which the members will spend their two weeks. They will construct a boardwalk through a section of Hildene’s forested wetland. The boardwalk will allow hikers to have better access to this unique natural community while also protecting it from guest foot traffic. During the course of the project, the Youth Corps team will learn about forested wetlands and the diverse ecology of the area.

There will be eight members of the Hildene Youth Corps. They will be led and mentored by two Hildene Youth Corps counselors. The Youth Corps team will work with Hildene’s Building Superintendent TJ Lillie to construct the boardwalk. Before the start of each workday, TJ will introduce a new building concept so the team learns about construction while they work.

The cost of this two-week program for each Youth Corps member is $300 for Hildene members and $350 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 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 base their decision on. 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.

Youth Corps members will arrive each morning for a meeting with their leaders at 8:45 a.m. and then head to the job site to work on the boardwalk. There will be a mid-morning break. At noon they will clean up the job site and have lunch. Their afternoons will be spent learning about and exploring the ecology of Hildene, helping with other projects, researching nonprofit organizations, enjoying crafts and playing games. Rain day activities will be built in for days that the team is not able to be outdoors.

Youth Corps members will be expected to dress appropriately: sneakers; clean knee-length shorts; Hildene baseball cap; and one of the two Hildene Youth Corps tee-shirts each member will receive. Youth Corps members are representing Hildene and therefore must maintain an appropriate appearance.

The Hildene Youth Corps program will run from Monday, July 8 through Friday, July 19. Their days will be from 8:45am to 3:00pm. 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.

Although the first day is Monday, July 8, there will be an orientation for Youth Corps members and their parents on Sunday, July 7 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Those interested in being a member of the Hildene Youth Corps must fill out the attached application and submit it to Hildene by mail or by email to lisa@hildene.org. Acceptance is on a first come, first served basis and 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 call Seth Bongartz, Hildene President at 802.362.3996.


Click here to download the 2019 Hildene Youth Corps Application Form.

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