2024 Indiana Dunes National Park Crew
5/20 - 6/3/24
6/4 - 6/7/24
6/10 to 8/23/24
9/2 - 9/16/24
9/17 - 9/20/24
9/23 - 11/15/24
Will Begin Accepting Summer Applications in January 2024
Want to live, work, and play at Indiana Dunes National Park? We are seeking individuals who are passionate about community service, teamwork and habitat restoration!
What is it like to be on the WisCorps Dunes Crew?
Work Hard and Create Community
Be prepared to work hard in beautiful places! The Dunes Crew is responsible for the gritty aspect of restoration work at Indiana Dunes National Park. This crew serves together to manage the natural resources of Indiana Dunes National Park, focusing on high priority projects in wetlands and surrounding upland areas. The summer Dunes Crew focuses on wetland management and restoration for their entire season. The fall Dunes Crew spends half of their season serving in wetlands and half of their season performing habitat restoration in upland (forest) environments. Dunes Crew participants learn about potential jobs with the National Park Service, habitat restoration techniques, project logistics, and cooperative living. They get the chance to learn about the history of restoration efforts at Indiana Dunes National Park and become part of the land management legacy for these rare ecosystems.
Dunes Crew participants spend the entire duration of their contract (11 weeks in the summer and 8 weeks in the fall) living, serving, and traveling together along the shores of Lake Michigan. Project service takes place Monday through Friday with weekends "off," but crews stay together participating in recreational activities, taking care of chores, and relaxing.
Live Simply and Connect with Nature
Being on a WisCorps crew can be a platform for personal change. By living without drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, participants can choose to start a new chapter in their lives. Crews connect with nature through their AmeriCorps service and their leisure time. Previous Dunes Crew Leaders and Members have commented that this opportunity to connect with nature has helped them boost their self-esteem, confidence, and body image. WisCorps participants live sustainably and follow Leave No Trace principles. During the experience, service people collaborate to eat healthily and minimize their impact on the earth.
Who is on a typical Roving Crew?A typical Roving Crew is made up of two Crew Leaders and three or four Crew Members. The two Crew Leaders work as a team to lead the crew, passing on their knowledge of conservation practices to Crew Members throughout the season. Crews at WisCorps are supported by the Director of Conservation Corps Programs, the Crew Program Manager, the Crew Program Coordinator, and several seasonal Field Coordinators.
What does a Roving Crew do on weekends?WisCorps crews stay together on the weekends to experience local culture, do outdoor activities, relax, or travel to their next project site. WisCorps prefers to keep its crews together for the entire length of the crew session for logistical reasons and to provide an immersive conservation experience. WisCorps staff understand if an unexpected family emergency comes up or if a service person needs to travel to an event that was mentioned during the Leader or Member's hiring process. WisCorps Crew Leaders and staff do not provide logistical or travel support if someone is leaving for a weekend. That person must be picked up and dropped off by family or friends.
Can I bring my cell phone?Yes, but we ask that you take time to immerse yourself in an unplugged experience. Being on a Roving Crew is a great time to enjoy a simple life of hikes, reading books, journaling, and bonding with the other people on your crew. Crew Leaders are provided with a WisCorps cell phone for work purposes. If you decide to leave your cell phone at home, you can give the Crew Leader cell phone number to family, friends, or partners so that they can still reach you in the case of an emergency.
Do I need to buy a large volume backpack for my personal gear?No. Most of the time, our camping crews are "car-camping" or "front country camping," with easy access to their campsite, lodging, and tent. Large duffel bags, suitcases, or other similar options work just as well. However, members of all crews will need a 20 to 30 liter day-pack to carry your safety gear, rain gear, lunch, snacks, and water during work days in the field.
Where do I park my car while I'm on a WisCorps crew?WisCorps encourages Roving Crew participants to leave their personal vehicle at home. There may be parking options available if you must drive yourself to WisCorps at the beginning of your season, but these options are limited and unreliable. WisCorps staff provide shuttles to airports, bus terminals, and train stations before training begins and at the end of the field season.
Do I need work boots?Yes. Service people must wear all-leather, durable work boots or hiking boots that do not have any mesh. Timberland, Carhartt, Danner, Red Wing, Lowa, and Asolo are a few examples of brands that we recommend. WisCorps does not require a steel-toe. Crew Leaders are required to wear work boots that are at least 6 inches tall due to their use of chainsaws. WisCorps has a leather boot library, from which service people can borrow leather boots for their season (total number of pairs and size options are limited).
What equipment does a Roving Crew use?Crews are outfitted with an SUV, van, or truck. They use a trailer to take project-specific tools and camp gear (tents, kitchen supplies, food, etc.) with them to work sites and campsites. Project-specific tools include chainsaws, brush saws, long handled tools (shovel, McLeod, rake, pick mattock, etc.), loppers, hand saws, and herbicide treatment tools.
What do we eat?Crews have a weekly food budget that covers all meals and snacks for the entire season. Individuals make their own breakfast and lunch, while dinner is a communal meal that is planned for and cooked as a team. The crew will prepare menus, grocery shop, cook meals, and clean dishes as a team. Crews must work together to create meals that take into account all dietary restrictions of each person on their crew.
What should I bring?Service people on all WisCorps crews will receive an extensive gear list during their onboarding process. Roving Crews will be directed to bring specific work clothes, clothing for evenings and weekends, specific types of shoes, and other basics of daily life. You are allowed to bring personal entertainment items to your WisCorps experience, such as a cell phone, books, hacky sack, slack line, binoculars, a journal, and other small items. WisCorps staff must be consulted before bringing any entertainment or hobby item larger than a book. It is very important to bring items that you would keep in a wallet, such as a debit card and ID. More information regarding what to bring for this experience will be communicated with you during our onboarding process.
Can I bring my own tent?Yes! We recommend you bring your own tent if you have a specific tent preference and have experience using that type of tent. WisCorps provides a basic, outfitter tent for all Roving Crew participants. These tents are made by ALPS Mountaineering and are made of relatively heavy material, include a rain fly, include guy lines, and have relatively small vestibules.
Where do we take showers?Some of our Roving Crew campsites have direct access to showers, similar to an established State Park campground. Some Roving Crew campsites do not feature showers, but a shower is available nearby at a community center or YMCA. Sometimes shower access is provided by the project partner at their offices or a different location owned by the project partner. Sometimes showers are provided in the form of a camp shower that is hung inside of a privacy tent near the campsite. In some rare occasions, like our Isle Royale National Park partnership, showers are only accessible during off time because the crew is stationed in a remote part of a wilderness area.
Still Have Questions?Contact Crew Program Manager Paul George-Blazevich by email at email@example.com.