Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

The Wildland Crew

Not the local workers, The Wildland Crew is an ongoing enterprise that provides wildland work experience for the modern urbanite seeking to re-connect with his or her past and the present world of hard physical outdoor work. People pay to come to the region to do meaningful work in a healthful environment. This is a special wildland type of experience that includes significant amounts of education with part of the work being on research or data collection projects in different parts of the wildland. It is highly variable but primarily involved in forest-and-wildlife-related work.

A lasting membership in The Crew is encouraged. There is social bonding, employment leads for the future, tales of other crew experiences, a web site, new projects and invitations to work on unique team projects (a bridge in a week; a new research tower within a forest; a trail across xxx; a solar collector at zzz; a new corral at hhh)...these are parts of The Wildland Crew concept. This is a seasonal camp experience (moving camps every 3-4 days) for adults with a special dimension of hard physical work combined with education. It provides a radical change from the typical urban office stresses.

Evening entertainment is typically planned. Work is phased to minimize sore muscles and to assure safety. The messages include meaningful physical work, outdoor health, genuine contributions to knowledge, understanding of conservation issues and their complexity, fun of teamwork, and the influence of work on the body and spirit. A sub-unit invites university students of wildland resources to attend to gain work experiences. Half of the experiences are physical, half are analytical and descriptive. The certificate received at the end will become a valuable part of the employment resume in the future since most of the students will view the experience as a lifetime highlight. One task of The Wildland Crew is to improve the field experience base of the modern university wildland student who typically has no wildland hero or heroine and has no physical experience in the outdoors (other than hiking and camping which is largely passive and appreciative.) The students need to learn the wildland and work-world language, learn the meaning of an order, learn the amount of work that can be done in a day, and learn about the human dimensions of leadership and team work.

These are planned as year-around activities with stressful winter work in the region being one aspect of the options available for people seeking realistic experiences. Part of the work for most crews will be conducted out of group tents set up at a work site. The conditions will be comfortable, food excellent, may include wagon or river trips, and evening entertainment of the campfire type planned and arranged to go along with typical stories and conversations.

Business Ethics

In 2003 we began designing a business ethics program that may fit well with some of the Crew activity. It may include seminars, texts, CDs, televised skits that stop and allow discussions about the likely conversations or actions to follow. The design criteria have included a unique program, a special "twist" on the materials, being non-sectarian, and offering solution patterns (not just problems to consider). This is planned to be a diverse program that become part of its strength and pride. All Crew members are promised equal opportunity in an environment that is free of hostility and intolerance. The Crew, its staff as well as participants, become a supportive, diverse community that respects each individual and requires that ideas and reasoned opinions be openly discussed. The Wildland Crew becomes known for its committment to inspiring members to succesful participation and effective leadership in a pluralistic, rapidly urbanizing society.

Development costs are for staff, modest camp equipment, special marketing, and vehicles ($60,000). Profits:

Perhaps you will share ideas with me
about some of the topic(s) above at

Maybe we can work together
... for the good of us all
... for a long time.

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