Since building Taft Lodge on Mt. Mansfield in 1920, GMC staff and volunteers have been hard at work building and maintaining the dozens of overnight shelters, tenting areas, privies, and informational signs of the Long Trail. GMC runs a specialized crew, the Backcountry Construction Crew, to focus on those unique and challenging projects.
The Construction Crew consists of the Crew Coordinator, an Assistant Leader, and two Crewmembers. Crews work Monday through Friday in the field in most weather. For backcountry projects, crews camp near their work sites Monday through Thursday nights and share a communal camp kitchen, as well as camp chores.
BCC projects range from the construction of new moldering outhouses, to much-needed shelter repairs, to construction of new overnight shelters. Work may include replacing or repairing roofs, replacing footings or joists, and constructing via timberframe and conventional framing. Pre-fabrication of materials is done at the GMC tool barn when appropriate. Some projects may take place in federal Wilderness Areas, where only hand tools may be used.
Most work sites cannot be driven to, and supplies must be transported the remaining distance via hiking trails, snowmobile trails, and the like. Material is transported via hiking, all-terrain vehicles, helicopter airlifts, or a combination of methods.
Communal housing is available for days off as well as during projects which do not require camping. GMC provides tools, personal protective equipment, some group camping equipment (stove, fuel, first-aid supplies, water filters), and vehicles for transportation to the work site. Crew members provide their own personal camping gear and food.
Locations: The BCC works all over the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail in Vermont, and their side trails. Crews may spend a single week at a location for a smaller project, and return to other locations for many weeks on larger projects.
2022 Position Dates: Commitment to full season preferred. Some end date flexibility may be allowed.
Full Season: June 1-October 14
Summer: June 1-August 12
Fall: Mid August-October 14
Schedule: 40 hours/week, Monday-Friday or Monday-Thursday
Compensation: 2022 rates TBA early January
Benefits: Housing provided, Wilderness First Aid Class provided, Retirement (403b) employer matching, eligible for prodeal discounts.
Supervisor: BCC Coordinator, BCC Assistant Leader
Construction Crew Member Responsibilities:
- Complete trail maintenance and construction projects on hiking trails throughout Vermont as part of 3- or 4-person crew.
- Use trail tools and construction tools in accordance with GMC safety protocol and comply with personal protective equipment requirements at all times.
- Perform weekly cleaning and maintenance of all tools and camp gear.
- Share equal responsibilities in camp duties such as cooking, cleaning, and food storage.
- Maintain high standards of work in a wide range of weather conditions.
- Work in a professional and respectful manner with crew leader and fellow crew members.
- Utilize Leave No Trace practices while working and in camp.
- Act as GMC on-site liaison with agency partners, including the US Forest Service and Vermont Forest, Parks, and Recreation.
- Assist with weekly cleaning of GMC staff housing.
Construction Crew Member Qualifications:
- Experience with hand tools and basic power tools preferred
- Experience in trail building preferred
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well as a member of a small group
- Strong backcountry living skills
- Experience working in small groups on focused projects
- Friendly and professional attitude towards hiking public
- Knowledge of Leave No Trace principles preferred (training provided during orientation)
- Wilderness First Aid Certification (class available free-of-charge during orientation)
- 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
Field Staff hiring will begin in January! Check back, or follow GMC on social media to get notified.
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