A program of Virginia State Parks, the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps Veterans Crews places veterans in crews to serve on special park projects throughout the Commonwealth. Veterans Crew members complete projects on public lands in Virginia State Parks, including creating accessible trails and facilities, yurt installation, invasive species control, and habitat construction. Members receive valuable training and certifications during service, including Wildland Firefighting, First Aid/CPR, trail building, chainsaw use, and construction. The work is physically demanding and primarily outdoors in all weather conditions. Crew members are based at Pocahontas State Park and Hungry Mother State Park, and frequent overnight travel is required.
Veterans Crew members will construct and install yurts, assist on prescribed burns, assess and develop trails for user accessibility, and improve public lands through invasive species removal.
Community Need Addressed
Virginia has the highest percentage of veteran population of any state in the country. This program provides meaningful service opportunities for military veterans to help close the reintegration gap many veterans experience when leaving service. The project was designed to meet environmental stewardship needs in Virginia. Virginia Service and Conservation Corps members will rehabilitate and create trails, evaluate and improve accessibility of trails, improve and restore habitat through prescribed burns, and engage volunteers in environmental stewardship projects. .
VSCC members will treat and improve at least 200 acres of public lands. Through service with VSCC, members will also gain certifications, skills and knowledge that will prepare them for successful employment after AmeriCorps
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Student loan forbearance, Training
As part of this position, Individual Placement members will participate in the Park Ranger Career Development Path. Below are the details of this internship which will be offered in a one-year service commitment for members.
Completion of the program makes individuals highly qualified to fill chief ranger positions in state parks.
Students in this program are trained in all aspects of the Chief Ranger position. Students are evaluated on performance each session. Upon graduation from college, students may apply for a preliminary interview and physical agility test (explained below). Upon successful completion of the interview and agility test, students are entered into the applicant pool. Those who satisfactorily complete the initial summer internship are invited to continue in the program for the following year.
Our agency has found that students completing this program gain the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for employment as a chief ranger. Those who complete this training learn about interagency functions and competencies in basic job skills. Most importantly, they gain an opportunity for a career with Virginia State Parks.
Candidates who complete the entire program are qualified to apply for a chief ranger position. DCR is not, however, obliged to hire them. Candidates will also find it helpful to develop good writing and interviewing skills for use in the application and interview process.
Although this intern program was designed with management careers in mind, participants may also apply for other park positions, such as park ranger slots that handle maintenance. Maintenance park rangers have no law enforcement responsibilities. There are, however, park ranger positions with law enforcement responsibilities. Those interested in law enforcement positions will have a preliminary interview and must pass an agility test. The positions are handled through a distinctive pool application process. All law enforcement candidates who are selected are subject to a background check and are required to attend our law enforcement academy.
Skills you will gain
CPR/First Aid, construction/carpentry, wildland fire certification, chainsaw
Competencies You Will Develop
Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment