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The Green Mountain Club

Position title : Back Country Caretakers

Deadline to apply : Rolling

Type of Position : Staff (Seasonal)

Town, City, Park, etc : Waterbury Center,

State / Territory : Vermont

Organization/Program Description :

The mission of the Green Mountain Club is to make the Vermont mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail System and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains.

The GMC provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, place of birth, age, disability, health coverage status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Green Mountain Club Caretakers are the public face of the GMC and are true stewards of Vermont’s Long Trail system. The program as we know it was born during the hiking boom of the 1970’s, but individuals have been caring for the Long Trail and its shelters since the GMC was founded in 1910. Caretakers employ hiker education and backcountry stewardship at our most popular hiking areas in order to promote Leave No Trace principles and to protect our natural resources. Caretakers work throughout the state, either in conjunction with the other caretakers on the mountain or as solo agents (see location descriptions below).

Position Description :

During the months of peak hiking activity, caretakers are stationed at overnight campsites associated with vulnerable natural areas. Caretakers live at their assigned sites five nights a week from June to October and have two days and nights off a week. Work days are divided between trail maintenance and summit or pond “duty.” Each caretaker is assigned ten to twenty miles of trail to maintain, which includes including clearing drainages, cutting branches back from the trail corridor, clearing fallen trees and brush, and repainting signs and blazes. During summit or pond duty, caretakers station themselves at their respective day use area and engage the hiking public in conversations about the fragile natural areas and about low-impact practices.

Caretakers are responsible for their own food and transportation to/from the trailhead and days off. Green Mountain Club provides tents or shelters, stoves, stove fuel, tools, field guides, maps, and informational resources.

Job Duties :
Backcountry Caretaker Responsibilities:
  • Educate hikers about fragile ecosystems at high-use sites along the Long Trail.
  • Maintain assigned backcountry facilities, including privies.
  • Maintain 10 – 20 miles of hiking trail adjacent using hand tools (including saws).
  • Staff designated overnight site, including collecting use fees and acting as knowledge resource for campers.
  • Collect visitor use data at overnight site and at pond or summit.
  • Submit weekly shift reports and group use feedback forms.
  • Write formal End of Season report if leaving in October or informal mid-season report if leaving in August.
  • Encourage and model Leave No Trace practices and low impact behaviors on trails and at summits, ponds, camping areas, and backcountry shelters.
  • Serve as professional backcountry representative of the GMC, both as knowledge source and as behavioral role model.
  • Carry first aid kit and sufficient supplies to travel safely in the backcountry at all times.
  • Voluntarily participate in Search and Rescue operations.
Requirements :
Backcountry Caretaker Qualifications:
  • Strong backpacking and outdoor skills
  • Ability to live independently and work in a remote area with little supervision
  • Comfort working multiple days outdoors in sometimes adverse weather conditions
  • Comfort with basic hand tools
  • Knowledge of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics
  • Basic knowledge of Long Trail/Appalachian Trail system
  • Public speaking experience preferred
  • Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups
  • Environmental and/or outdoor education experience
  • Wilderness First Aid certification (class available during training)
  • Must be willing to work weekends
Benefits :

Compensation: $440/week, plus housing for days off

Contact Information :

Attn: Director of Trail Programs
The Green Mountain Club
4711 Waterbury-Stowe Road
Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677

Questions? Please call (802) 244-7037 Ext. 118 or email Ilana Copel, Field Programs Coordinator.

Additional Information :

Schedule: Five work days and nights, including weekends
Supervisor: Lead Caretakers, Field Assistants, and Field Supervisor