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Appalachian Mountain Club

Position title : Trail Crew Leader

Type of Position : Corpsmember / Intern

Town, City, Park, etc : Russell

State / Territory : Massachusetts

Organization/Program Description :

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Within the Conservation Department, the AMC’s Volunteer Trails Programs engage teens and adults in meaningful and enjoyable trail stewardship opportunities.

The AMC is a member of the 21 Century Conservation Corps and is a proud partner of The Corps Network. The Corps Network is the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps. The AMC is one of 130 Corps across the country that provides young adults and veterans the opportunity to serve our country through projects on public lands and in rural and urban communities.

Position Description :

AMC Teen Trail Crew Leaders are a three-month, seasonal staff position with the AMC’s Trails Department. Teen Trail Crew Leaders lead Teen Volunteer Trail Crews for participants, ages 14 – 19, on one to four week frontcountry and backcountry trail crews. All Teen Trail Crews are co-led by two AMC Teen Trail Crew Leaders.

The Crew Leader position is an excellent developmental and learning opportunity for individuals interested in conservation, the outdoors, and trail work experience. While prior trail work experience is preferred, it is not required, as these Crew Leader positions will receive substantial mentorship and training in trail work and leadership. Throughout the season, Teen Trail Crew Leaders will be expected to communicate what they have learned about leadership techniques and decision-making processes with their co-Leader while leading in the field.

When in the field, all leaders are expected to act as mentors of the Teen Volunteers and facilitate proper outdoor skills associated with low impact methods. Teen Trail Crews are involved in a variety of projects maintaining hiking and multi-use trails. Leaders work together to teach volunteers trail building/maintenance skills, such as installing and cleaning rock water bars, setting rock steps, building bog bridges, clearing corridor vegetation, blazing to standardize trails, and all while emphasizing safety paired with maintaining a high level of morale and work standards.

The Crew Leader position is ideal for independent and motivated individuals seeking to learn and grow as leaders and trail workers. Our priority is supporting the energetic teens that come through the program and leading them through an experience that is challenging, fun, and positive. Communication is critical, and we are constantly working to ensure that all the teens mentally and physically feel great, safe and leave happy as future stewards.

Hours are variable within the 40-50 hour workweek. All Teen Trail Crew Leaders are responsible for volunteer supervision in the field at all times. Work can be physically and mentally challenging, but the rewards are often unforgettable. Four weeks of training are provided, including leadership development, extensive trail work skills training, ax certification course and a Leave No Trace Awareness course. Food, tools and equipment are provided during training and while in the field leading volunteers. The AMC Teen Trail Crew Leaders report to the Regional Trails Supervisor.

Crew leaders based in Southern New England will split their time between leading basecamp and spike volunteer crews within three primary regions, The Berkshire Mountains (Western MA), Pioneer Valley (Central MA), and the Taconic Range (North West CT). All crew leaders will maintain the same work schedule of 5 days on from Monday through Friday with weekends off. Occasional weekend coverage may be needed for education, events and custom groups; but will be discussed with everyone in advance. Crew Leader positions are based out of Noble View Outdoor Center, in Russell MA. Leaders can stay in shared canvas tents on tent platforms at NV during weekends/days off with full access to showers, kitchen facilities, WIFI, and a vegetable garden. Spike Crews travel into the backcountry throughout the Berkshires and Taconics focusing on projects along the Appalachian Trail. Crew Leaders will be responsible for co-leading a group of up to 10 youth volunteers in all aspects of trail work, safety, well-being and backcountry living for 5 days at a time. Crews return Friday afternoon to participate in tool maintenance, meetings, group gear management, facility chores and an end of week BBQ.

Basecamp Crews will focus efforts on trails in the Pioneer Valley. These crews will camp at AMC Noble View Outdoor Center and will travel daily to a project work site at Noble View’s extensive 12 mile trail network or other nearby locations like the New England National Scenic Trail. Crew Leaders will be responsible for co-leading youth volunteers in all aspects of trail work, safety, well-being and frontcountry living for 5 days at a time. Volunteers and leaders will camp (separately) in canvas wall tents, and have access to bathroom facilities, limited electricity, and limited kitchen facilities. All projects will be frontcountry based, accessed by either vehicle and/or a moderate hike.

Job Duties :

• Supervise and train up to ten teen participants each week in a volunteer trail crew and ensure quality trail work in the field

• Monitor and pay close attention to mental comfort factors that each teen may be dealing with like outdoor experience stress, social dynamics and more

• Manage trail work projects in any setting, maintaining AMC trail work standards

• Communicate decisions and group management techniques with other Leaders

• Foster a spirit of cooperation, safety, teamwork, responsible stewardship, and fun!

• Plan menus, order, and prepare meals for volunteer trail crew participants

• Serve as the primary responder/coordinator in the event of a backcountry emergency

• Emphasize safety and low-impact camping methods in the backcountry

• Communicate regularly with Trails Program staff, and guests to obtain feedback and suggestions

• Maintenance of tools and equipment, and program facility as needed

• Drive 12-passenger vans as needed

• Ability to speak and understand a second language preferred

Requirements :

• Must be at least 18 years of age (21+ years of age preferred) and hold a valid driver’s license and clear driving record required (driving record check will be performed)

• Clear criminal background check (performed by AMC Human Resources Dept.)

• The Appalachian Mountain Club has zero tolerance for child abuse or placing children in danger. The AMC requires all employees who work in a program or facility which serves children, disabled persons, or the elderly to have a criminal record check performed on their name

• Demonstrated desire to learn and develop skills relating to leadership, trail work, and conservation

• Experience backpacking, or spending extended periods of time outdoors

• Ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds

• Ability to set goals, prioritize tasks, assign roles to a group, assess needs and manage tasks simultaneously

• Strong self-motivation and communication skills

• Ability to carry heavy loads (up to 80+ lbs.) for long distances

This job specification should not be construed to imply that these requirements are the exclusive standards of the position. Incumbents will follow any other instructions, and perform any other related duties, as may be required by their supervisor.

Benefits :
  • Four week in-depth training including Wilderness First Aid, Ax Certification and Leave No Trace
  • Room and Board is available through canvas wall tents (approx. 12x12ft) and all food needs including days off at a rate of $45.00 per week (automatically deducted from pay).
  • AMC Membership
  • 30% Staff discount on AMC retail products
  • 4 Free Nights per year at AMC Huts, Lodges, and other facilities while employed
Contact Information :

Aaron North

Southern New England Trails Supervisor

635 S. Quarter Rd

Russell, MA 01071

1-617-523-0636 x6524

[email protected]

Additional Information :

The Appalachian Mountain Club has zero tolerance for child abuse or placing children in danger. The AMC requires all employees who work in a program or facility which serves children, disabled persons, or the elderly to have a criminal background record check performed on their name annually with employment contingent upon satisfactory results.

The AMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace. The AMC encourages the involvement of all people in its mission and activities, through its membership, programs, policies, and procedures. Our goal is to be a community that is comfortable, inviting, and accessible for people of any age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Join us!