The Volunteer Trail Crew program is the link between the GMC professional field program and the thousands of volunteers who are the heart and soul of our GMC history and stewardship. Based out of Mt. Tabor Work Center in Southern Vermont, this volunteer trail crew consists of 4-8 rotating volunteers led by two GMC staff. In 2023 the Volunteer Trail Crew season will consist of seven 5-day hitches.
Volunteer crews work on the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail on projects such as building puncheon, turnpikes, water bars, side-hill tread, and bridges. Most projects are in the Green Mountain National Forest, including some in federally designated wilderness areas. Participating volunteers have the option of working single or multiple weeks.
The Volunteer Crew Assistant Lead works closely with the Crew Lead, Trail Crew Supervisor and agency partners to scout and plan work projects before volunteers arrive. They also work with the GMC’s Volunteer Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator to handle project logistics throughout the work season. Once the project begins, the Assistant Lead supports the Crew Lead in guiding the crew volunteers through a full work week. This includes packing into a work site, setting up camp, completing a multi-day trail project, cooperating on camp chores, and packing out. The Crew Lead and Assistant Lead must be a unified team to ensure an enjoyable season for the volunteers as well as an efficient project timeline.
Volunteer trail crews spend five days and four nights in the field in most weather. They work with rock and lumber, as well as native timber as projects require. Friday through Monday nights crews camp near their work sites and share a communal camp kitchen, as well as camp chores. The Crew Lead and Assistant Leader are responsible for managing the crew’s meal budget, planning crew meals, shopping for crew groceries, and orienting volunteers to the project and GMC.
Communal day-off housing is provided for the Assistant Lead in Danby, VT, which they share with other GMC field staff.
GMC field staff provide their own personal camping gear, though GMC has some gear to loan staff. The GMC provides crew vehicles, food for the crew and staff during hitches, tools, personal protective equipment, and some group equipment (stove, fuel, cook-ware, first-aid supplies).
2023 Position Dates: May 22 – August 11 (some flexibility may be discussed). Potential to transition to another field staff role for fall season.
Schedule: Five-day work shifts include weekends. Camping at work site four nights per shift. Days off likely Wed-Thurs.
Compensation: $675/week, plus housing for days off and meals during work week.
Volunteer Assistant Lead Responsibilities:
- Assist in leading rotating crew of 3-8 volunteers on trail construction and maintenance projects.
- Scout work projects with Supervisors and Field Coordinator before crew season begins.
- Participate in and potentially co-lead staff training with Supervisors and Trail Crew Leads.
- Plan crew meals and meal budget in collaboration with Volunteer Supervisor.
- Purchase groceries throughout season and keep orderly food storage system at Mt. Tabor.
- Set weekly work schedules to efficiently complete project goals in collaboration with Volunteer Supervisor.
- Assist with weekly work logs and formal End of Season work summary.
- Oversee weekly cleaning and maintenance of project tools and camp supplies.
- Develop and foster healthy working relationships with and between all members of crew.
- Maintain high standards of work and safety in a range of weather conditions.
- Instruct volunteers in trail-building and maintenance techniques and safe use of tools.
- Instruct crew volunteers in backcountry safety and outdoor living skills.
- Involve all crew volunteers in camp chores as equally as possible.
- Implement and model Leave No Trace practices at project work site and at camp.
- Responsible for maintaining a clean, safe, and operational tool storage facility at Mt. Tabor Work Center.
- Ensure safe and responsible operation of GMC vehicles and conduct weekly vehicle checks.
- Keep volunteer paperwork organized and confidential.
- Act as GMC on-site liaison with agency partners, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
- Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
Volunteer Assistant Lead Qualifications:
- Valid Driver’s License required
- Wilderness First Aid certification required (class available free-of-charge during training); WFR preferred (re-certification available free-of-charge during training)
- Extensive trail building and maintenance skills
- Extensive experience with trail building tools and basic power tools
- Experience working directly with volunteers, especially supervisory experience
- Strong backcountry living skills, including cooking and waste management
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to maintain positive attitude in high-stress situations
- Ability to problem-solve independently and collaboratively in the backcountry
- Ability to adhere to weekly work schedules and flexibility to adjust schedules as required by project developments
- Ability to perform difficult manual labor and to carry heavy loads as a regular part of the work day
- Must be able to work weekends
Field Staff hiring will begin in January! Check back, or follow GMC on social media to get notified.
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