1. What types of youth does NYC serve?

2: Will  participants be safe at NYC?

3: What kind of staff do you hire? What skills do staff have?

4: What gear should participants bring to NYC?

5: I'm concerned about my child being away at a program. What are the sleeping arrangements, rules of behavior and supervision like at NYC?

6: Why does NYC screen for medical conditions, medication regimes and physical limitations?

7: Why does NYC charge a tuition fee?

8: Our family is low-income. Are there scholarships available to help with tuition costs?

9: What is your refund policy?

10: We don't live near the orientation site. How do I get my child to the NYC program they have chosen?

11: How can I contact my child if they are in your program?

12: What if my child wishes to leave NYC?

13: Will participants have to pay taxes on the educational stipend or bonuses?

14. How can participants earn high school credit by participating in NYC's programs?

15. Is there alternative transportation for participants to get to NYC?

16. My youth's friend/relative is joining the program with my child, can they work together?

17. What is Northwest Youth Corps' Fire Safety Policy?

1: What types of youth come to NYC? (back to top)

A: Our participants are active teens and young adults who love the outdoors and seek an opportunity to make new friends, challenge themselves and work as part of a team. We serve youth from all walks of life. Young adults come to NYC from all over the USA.

NYC programs are not for youth with severe emotional problems or behavioral issues or teens who are unable or uninterested in working with others in a structured, team-based environment. NYC is voluntary: we will not force a teen to stay in NYC if he or she does not want to attend the program.  NYC screens for criminal justice background, and makes enrollment decisions on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure all participants' safety in our program.

2. Will participants be safe at NYC? (back to top)

A: The focus of every Northwest Youth Corps activity begins and ends with safety. We begin our safety training on day one at orientation and continue throughout the program session. At the start of each job, crew members complete a rigorous written safety analysis that identifies the safest way to complete each step of the project. Each morning begins with a thorough Safety Circle in which hazards and mitigation is identified.  Additionally, crewmembers take time to evaluate their progress each day and make sure that everyone works in the safest manner possible.

NYC has an unmatched safety record., all field staff receive comprehensive training in leadership, judgment, tool safety, hazard identification, backcountry driving, and wilderness camping. All staff members have CPR and first aid training and many hold certifications as Wilderness First Responders or Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians.

3: What kind of staff do you hire? What skills do staff have? (back to top)

A: Northwest Youth Corps staff are carefully selected, trained, and supervised. They are unique people committed to being available to their crew 24 hours a day. They will make your teen's NYC experience powerful and enriching.

Crewleaders are primarily responsible for participant safety. They also help youth master skills they need to complete each project. Crewleaders likewise assist their team in becoming a hard working community skilled in leadership, collaboration and communication.

Northwest Youth Corps staff come to us from across the United States and bring with them a mix of skills and personal experience that make every session rewarding and unique. Most staff are college students or recent college graduates. Many have traveled widely. Some have just returned from the Peace Corps with great stories to share. Many are earning degrees in education, resource management, biology, or counseling.

4: What gear should participants bring to NYC? (back to top)

A: The Gear list we have is very detailed.  If you are worried about the amount/cost of gear, remember that the three main things to pack are:

  1. Work clothes (boots, work pants, gloves, coat to put over work clothes)
  2. Enough clothing to stay warm. It may get very cold, even if it is summer.\
  3. A sleeping bag that is not cotton.

Work shirts will be provided during orientation of the first day of the program.

We suggest buying as much second-hand gear as possible. Boots and sleeping bags are available through NYC if you are having difficulty finding these items. Their cost may be covered through a payroll draw deducted from the stipend paid to each crewmember. Gear questions can be directed to info@nwyouthcorps.org.

There are some items that will not be allowed at Northwest Youth Corps. In order to promote a drug free work place we ask that you not bring any items that have alcohol, drug, or tobacco advertising. This would include t-shirts, hats, and duffel bags. Non-folding knives (hunting or Rambo variety), axes, and hatchets will also not be needed in this program.

In addition, please do not bring electronic devices such as cell phones, hand held electronic games or music devices that require the use of headphones. These items separate the individual from the team, are a distraction to the group, and in some ways can become a safety hazard by distracting your attention from your surroundings. If members do bring these items with them they will be collected and placed in safe storage until the completion of the program.

5: I'm concerned about my child being away at a program. What are the sleeping arrangements, rules of behavior and supervision like at NYC? (back to top)

A: Sleeping Arrangements: Most of our crews are co-ed.  There are separate tents for male and female participants.

Rules of Behavior: All participants have to sign a memorandum of understanding outlining rules of conduct before beginning the program. We take these rules very seriously. If an infringement is serious and involves crewmembers' safety, immediate removal may occur. If a rule is broken that does not endanger a participant or other participants (physically or emotionally), we will institute a written contract to improve behavior and give the teen another chance; a second occurrence can result in removal from the program.

Supervision: Crewmembers are supervised at all times, both in camp and on the project site. 

6: Why does NYC screen for medical conditions, medication regimes and physical limitations? (back to top)

A: NYC wants to ensure the safety and success of each participant and each crew. We ask for medical information so that we can document pre-existing conditions and past injuries, in some cases requiring a medical release from the treating doctor. We do the same for medication regimes that suggest a youth might have a difficult time participating in NYC. Your son's or daughter's safety is our first concern!

7: Why does NYC charge a tuition fee? (back to top)

A: We are a non-profit organization. NYC programs are supported by project sponsors, grants from foundations, donations from the business community and gifts from individuals and parents. Our main revenues come from the work that we do for various agencies such as the Forest Service. The tuition helps to cover the educational and recreational costs of our program. On the weekends and after work hours, we are not gaining revenue but we still need to provide supervision for the corpsmembers, as well as providing trained and skilled staff to lead educational sessions and recreational activities. In addition, tuition fees help offset the program expenses including liability insurances, the expense of maintaining and fueling vehicles, sufficient tools and equipment for all corpsmembers, including replacing old, damaged or broken field tools and equipment, paying entrance fees to recreational activities and other incidental expenses.

Please keep in mind that full tuition is due 1 month before the start date of the program. Tuition must be paid in full at this time.

8: Our family is low-income. Are there scholarships available to help with tuition costs? (back to top)

A: NYC has developed a modest financial aid program to assist youth in cases where fees, tuition, or equipment costs create barriers. Scholarships and financial aid are awarded to participants based on financial need. Call the Community Engagement Team for information, (541) 349-5055.

9: What is your refund policy? (back to top)

A: It is our objective to offer the NYC experience to as many youth as possible. In the event your plans change, we have the following refund policy:

  • 29 or more days prior to program: Full refund
  • 22 to 28 days prior to program: 50% of fee refunded
  • 16 to 21 days prior to program: 25% of fee refunded
  • Fewer than 15 days prior to program: No refund

Cancellation notices received after 5:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) are considered to have been received the next day. To notify us of a cancellation e-mail us at info@nwyouthcorps.org or call  NYC at (541) 349-5055. Please allow four to six weeks for refunds to be processed.

In the event of an injury or a family emergency that prevents a participant from attending an NYC session on short notice, we require documentation of the situation from the participant (doctor's note/bill, letter describing family crisis, etc.) and we will evaluate these on a case-by-case basis.

No refunds are given for voluntary withdrawals after the refund deadline, no-shows, or dismissals.

10: We don't live near the orientation site. How do I get my participants to the NYC program they have chosen? (back to top)

A: If crew members arrive at the orientation site early, there are motels nearby where they can stay overnight (we do not pay for the hotel).  NYC coordinates limited pickups at bus and train stations. For some programs, we can also pick participants up at the nearest airport (one scheduled pickup for all youth on the morning of the program). The pickup is usually about 1-2 hours before orientation begins. Please do not bring your car: there is no safe place to leave it during the session. For help with transportation and travel issues, contact our office at (541) 349-5055.

11: How can I contact my child if they are in your program? (back to top)

A: Parents, family, and friends can visit on the parent weekends. We ask that they do not visit during the first or last weekend so that the youth have time to spend with their crews. Directions to the weekend sites are available  at our Field News Page.

NYC will provide food for a group dinner, but it is helpful if you can bring extra treats during your visit (fresh fruit, salads, cookies, soda and chips are good options).

Mail can be sent to:

Washington Programs
Corps Members Name
Session Name
c/o Northwest Youth Corps
General Delivery
Leavenworth, WA 98826

Oregon Programs
Corps Members Name
Session Name
c/o Northwest Youth Corps
2621 Augusta Street
Eugene, OR 97403

Please check if you are unsure of the correct mailing address for your teen. Mail and packages are delivered once a week to crews in the frontcountry, and to backcountry crews when they come out of the backcountry.

In emergencies (death in the family, etc.), you can call (541) 349-5055 and leave a message with staff at Northwest Youth Corps. Your message will be relayed to your teen in the field as soon as possible. In the rare case of an emergency in the field, NYC will contact the people listed on each teen's emergency contact file, relaying information to your family from the field.

12: What if a participant wants to leave NYC? (back to top)

A: Encourage your child to consider a position with NYC carefully. Participants are considered adults able to quit and leave the team if that is their decision. Please do not force the participation of your child. They should, with your help and support, make their own decisions about joining an NYC crew.

13: Will participants have to pay taxes on the educational stipend or bonuses? (back to top)

A: Youth participants earn a non-taxable education stipend. Bonuses are part of the education stipend and also non-taxable. Therefore, youth will not receive a W-2.

14: How can participants earn high school credit by participating in NYC's programs? (back to top)

A: NYC programs include structured, accredited educational sessions called SEED (Something Educational Every Day). NYC does not grant school credit to participants, but we can help participants earn credit by providing information to a participant's school. Ultimately it is up to the school to decide how to apply school credit, please check with your school's counselor. The program was developed based on national educational standards to give each participant the opportunity to earn at least 1 full credit in physical education and 1/4 credit for Natural Resource Education.

15: Is there alternative transportation for my son/daughter to get to NYC? (back to top)

A: NYC does not offer transportation to its facilities, you can call (541) 349-5055 to see if any other participants may have offered to carpool. 

16. My youth's friend/sibling is joining the program with my child, can they work together? (back to top)

A: At Northwest Youth Corps we strive to make an environment that is all inclusive and clique free. As a result, whenever possible, we will separate friends and siblings to different crews.  This is the time for your youth to make new friends and have their own experiences. Please be advised that if your youth is friends with someone or related to someone in the program they will most likely not work together, but they will mostly likely get the opportunity to see each other on the weekends.

17.  Fire Safety at Northwest Youth Corps (back to top)

A: Wildfires are an integral part of the northwest forest ecology. However, these fires can be extremely dangerous to anyone that spends time working or recreating in the forests of the northwest. For this reason, Northwest Youth Corps has proactively developed a number of methods to help keep the youth we serve safe.

Youth are taught to respect fire and all safety rules are applied to our activities. Fire safety is taught as a part of our SEED (something educational every day) curriculum. Safety measures include those required by land management agencies such as shovels and water is located nearby, all fire precaution levels are recognized and followed, and all fires are kept to a minimum size and appropriate for the activity.

Our crew locations and activities are monitored closely by administrative staff and the land management agencies for which we work. Each time a fire breaks out fire managers assess the location of all agency personnel as well as all Northwest Youth Corps crews. This assessment also includes plans for notifying and evacuating any crews or personnel who might be at risk. In this way, crews are always moved well before any crew is at risk.

If you would like further information about fires in the northwest (or anywhere in the US) please visit http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_main.html or you may contact our office @ (541) 349-5055

If your question is not answered here, please call  (541) 349-5055.