We use an online system called SilkRoad Onboarding to complete paperwork. You should receive an email after you have been accepted with a username and password to access this account. We greatly appreciate you finishing this paperwork before your first day! Contact your office if you have any issues or questions about the Silk Road system. Please bring original copies of your ID's on your first day.
What kind of training will I receive?
Crews start off with a week long orientation before work begins to learn more about our program and policies, learn how to use tools properly, and get some hands-on project experience. Please note that orientation is not paid, but all food will be provided.
What are the rules on tobacco use?
If you are on an adult crew, the use of tobacco products is allowed in designated areas only. The use of tobacco products (this includes smokeless tobacco, vapor, and e-cigarettes) on the work site and communal living spaces is prohibited. Talk to your crew leader about designating a location near camp that is acceptable for tobacco use.
Can I contact my friends and family in the field?
Cell phones are allowed, however service can be spotty or non-existent in many of the areas in which we work, so plan accordingly. Let your loved ones know that you may be out of touch during remote projects.
What if there is an emergency in the field?
All of your crew leaders will be equipped with a Garmin InReach device that allows them to check in daily via text message and contact help if needed. We have an On-Call system where a staff member is available by phone 24 hours a day. If you are injured in the field you may be covered by our workers compensation, and your crew leaders will have the appropriate forms to file a claim. If your friends or family have an emergency and need to reach you, they can contact the office during business hours and we will get in contact with your crew leaders as soon as possible.
Where can I receive mail?
Mail can be sent to the office and picked up when you are back in town (see the 'CONTACT' tab to find our address). Make sure that anything sent to the office has your name written clearly on it. The office address should not be listed as your personal permanent place of residence for any purpose, including driver’s licenses, resident applications, etc. Do not fill out an official USPS change of address form to have your mail forwarded to us. Once the session is over, your mail will be returned to the sender.
What are the benefits of serving with ACC?
As an AmeriCorps program, members will receive a bi-weekly living stipend. Following completion of program, members will also receive an AmeriCorps education award. Award amounts are based on hours served (see the 'AMERICORPS BENEFITS' tab to find the "Hours Served-Americorps Awards" table). In addition to the living allowance and education award, members receive professional development opportunities, hands-on experience with environmental and conservation projects, access to examples of partnerships and information for collaborative restoration and community building, and build connections to agencies.
When do I get paid?
Your stipend will be deposited in your bank account bi-weekly throughout your term (see the 'PAYROLL' tab for more information). You will need to fill in your time-sheet after each hitch when you return from the field. If you are being reimbursed for a program-related expense, the reimbursement will be added to your paycheck.
How can I use my AmeriCorps education award?
Upon successful completion of your term, you will receive the AmeriCorps Education Award. You will be able to access this award through the my.americorps.gov website. It is distributed like a grant and will count as income on your taxes for the year in which you use it. More information can be found on Conservation Legacy's Resource Page
What does a typical work day look like?
Days on hitch can be long. Breakfast usually starts around 6:30 am followed by cleanup. You might have to drive and/or hike to your project site. Every work day starts with a stretch & safety circle to prepare you for your project work. You will have two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute break for lunch during the day. Dinner usually starts around 6:30 pm; you will probably have some downtime before dinner, unless you are assigned to cook. All meals are eaten as a group. Most nights end with a debrief, which is a way for you and your crew to come together and reflect about that day. Typically, you will be working 10 hour days.
Do we work in the rain?
Yes! Crews work in a variety of weather and different ecosystems. You should be prepared for sudden changes in weather, and always have your rain-gear and layers accessible in your day pack. If weather becomes dangerous, work will stop, and your crew leader will instruct you on lightning procedure or other precautions.
Crews work nine days straight (called a "hitch"), followed by five days off. Typically, hitches start on Monday morning ("rig-up") and will run through the following Tuesday ("de-rig). You will be done no later than 5pm on de-rig day. Rig-up and de-rig will typically be in Harrisonburg, VA unless you have been hired for a remote crew (generally based out of Nelsonville, OH or Beckley, WV). ACC will provide food and a campsite during work; members are responsible for food and housing on their days off.
Where do I stay during my days off?
Members are responsible for food and housing during days off. In previous years members have camped, traveled, or found shared housing in Harrisonburg (see the 'PLACES TO STAY' tab under 'OFF HITCH' for more information).
Where can I park my vehicle during hitch?
While on hitch, vehicles can be parked at ACC’s office. While ACC considers this to be a safe location, ACC is not responsible for theft or damage to vehicles or contents.