Five Common Conservation Crew Myths
Hint: You Don’t Need to be a “Hippie” to Join a Crew

1) I should be a physically fit outdoorsy, camping type person to join a conservation crew.

There are common misconceptions that conservation crew members are super athletic and/or ‘extreme environmentalists.’ However, many of our members have never camped before or have much experience in the outdoors. At American Conservation Experience, we are excited to introduce individuals to natural landscapes. While experience is not necessary, individuals who are flexible and are comfortable with changing weather conditions including adverse weather tend to enjoy the experience more. Crew members are oftentimes put in new situations and challenged in new ways which helps individuals to grow personally and professionally.

2) Isn’t serving on a crew just manual labor in a camp-type setting?

While crew members may spend nights in tents while working on projects in the field, the focus is on completing designated projects efficiently and effectively. Crew members typically follow a structured schedule, work in teams, and adhere to safety protocols. The experience involves developing skills in teamwork, gaining insights into land and resource management, and problem solving which benefit members in their professional growth. Plus members learn about essential tools, trail design, ecological principles and much more.

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3) To apply, the person must be studying (or have studied) an environment-related field.

Crew members are not required to have an educational background in a related field as we provide the necessary training to successfully complete projects. Please note that due to the requisite training involved, in order to receive chainsaw training, members must serve a 900-hour term.

4) I’ve never used tools before and I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the crew.

Most of our members are not familiar with commonly used tools in conservation such as a Pulaski, McLeod or Pick Mattock – while these terms may seem foreign at first, we teach members how to efficiently and safely use a range of tools. 

5) I must live in the area where ACE has a hub office.

At our hub locations, ACE provides transportation to and from the project sites and co-housing during ‘off days’ so members are free to join us from other locations. Individuals do need to provide their own transportation to reach our hub sites. We also provide meals while working on ‘hitches’ – the period of time that members are in the field completing projects.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, please visit this webpage or reach out to

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