(Please read Backcountry Caretaker position description as well).
As an Assistant Lead Caretaker, you are responsible for supervising a crew of 2-4 caretakers either on Mt. Mansfield or Camel’s Hump. Assistant Leads work closely with the Northern Lead Caretaker and Caretaker Supervisor to oversee trail maintenance and public outreach on their assigned mountain.
Duties are divided between trail maintenance, hiker education, developing crew skills, managing crew schedules, tool needs, ongoing projects, and more. Caretakers are NOT rangers; you’ll teach and employ friendly education and stewardship techniques at the Green Mountains’ most popular hiking areas in order to encourage safe, low-impact hiking practices and to protect the trail.
Assistant Lead Caretakers will oversee, teach, and perform trail maintenance in their range. This work will include repairing drainage structures, cutting blowdowns, installing puncheon, and repainting signs and blazes. You will also maintain the shelters, privies, and trail structures within your range. Assistant Leads will become well-versed in backcountry waste management and provide oversight of the operation of composting outhouses on their mountain. (Protective equipment is provided when working with human waste.)
Assistant Lead Caretakers will teach and model positive hiker education about low-impact hiking practices and about fragile natural areas which support many rare and endangered species. They will promote an approach to education that is catered to each hiker and that relies on the authority of the resource, not the threat of punishment.
Assistant Leads must be comfortable spending 4 consecutive nights per week in the field, usually including weekends. These nights are generally split between a private state-owned cabin and public overnight sites on the Long Trail.
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. Communal day-off housing is available in Waterbury Center, VT.
2023 Position Dates: May 22 – October 13
Commitment to full season strongly preferred. Some start/end date flexibility may be discussed.
Schedule: Five days per week, typically including weekends. Camping on-site required four nights per week. Regular weekly schedule assigned at start of season.
Compensation: $675/week, plus housing.
Benefits: Housing provided, Wilderness First Aid class included with training, Retirement (403b) matching, eligibility for pro deal gear discounts. Assistant Leads may have the opportunity for further trainings such as chainsaw or crosscut certification.
Assistant Lead Caretaker Responsibilities:
- Oversee and support a crew of caretakers in their regular duties.
- Oversee maintenance of backcountry facilities, including privies.
- Maintain 10-15 miles of hiking trails using hand tools.
- Coordinate communication with and among crew via cell phone and/or radio.
- Assist the Northern Lead Caretaker in creating a weekly work schedule for the mountain.
- Develop healthy and supportive working relationships with and between crew.
- Maintain high standards of work and safety in a range of weather conditions.
- Educate hikers about fragile ecosystems at high-use sites along the Long Trail.
- Coordinate acquisition of supplies with Lead Caretaker and Field Supervisor.
- Staff overnight sites as needed, acting as knowledge resource for backpackers and encouraging minimal impact camping practices.
- Write formal End of Season report summarizing accomplishments on the mountain.
- Encourage and model Leave No Trace practices and low impact behaviors on trails and at summits, 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.
- Assist with weekly cleaning of staff housing.
- Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
Assistant Lead Caretaker Qualifications:
- Valid driver’s license and access to personal transportation required
- 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 (trail maintenance training provided during orientation)
- Knowledge of Leave No Trace principles (training provided during orientation)
- Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups
- Environmental and/or outdoor education experience preferred
- Basic knowledge of Long Trail/Appalachian Trail system
- Wilderness First Aid certification (class available free-of-charge during orientation)
- Must be willing to work weekends and holidays, these are the busiest days on trail!
- Physical Requirements:
- Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds at a time
- Ability to be on foot for prolonged periods of time, including hiking several miles with a heavy pack
- Ability to perform difficult manual labor and to carry heavy loads as a regular part of the workday