GMC runs seasonal field staff in two main roles: backcountry caretakers, who steward some of the most popular sites on the Long Trail; and Long Trail Patrol, the trail maintenance crew, which includes a small construction-focused crew. The 2021 field season is a busy one, making up for the reduced crews we ran last year, and hiking trails are as busy as ever. If you’re out on a hike this summer, be sure to say hello to the caretakers and trail crews you may encounter! These outdoors-loving folks hail from all over the U.S. and have one thing in common: they want to give back to Vermont’s wild spaces. Get to know a few of them below.
GMC Field Staff – Caretakers
Green Mountain Club Caretakers are the public face of the GMC and are true stewards of Vermont’s Long Trail system. Caretakers employ hiker education and backcountry stewardship at the Green Mountains’ most popular hiking areas in order to promote Leave No Trace principles and to protect Vermont’s natural resources. If you’re hiking this summer, you’ll likely see caretakers at popular sites like Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield, Sterling Pond, Mt. Abe, Stratton Pond, and Stratton Mountain. Read more about the role of a caretaker in this “A Day in the Life of a Caretaker” article.
Dora Bean (she/her), Northern backcountry caretaker
Dora, 23, hails from Albuquerque New Mexico, where she is currently studying civil engineering. She has previously spent time working in the Northern Andes of New Mexico studying studying climate change and indigenous agricultural responses to our changing climate., and is looking forward to a summer of meaningful friendships and connections to Vermont’s nature.
Favorite trail food: Green Chile Stew
Favorite place to hike: Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico
Dana Gould she/they, Northern backcountry caretaker
Dana is 51 years old, and divides her time between Vermont and Oregon. Her love of the Long Trail and the Green Mountains brings her to GMC, and is stoked to help people who are new to the outdoors enjoy and learn more about Vermont and The Long Trail.
Favorite trail food: Annie’s Mac & Cheese
Favorite place to hike: Currently, a tie between the Long Trail and the Oregon Desert Trail
Teddy Lindberg (they/them), Northern backcountry caretaker
Teddy is 21 and is happy to be back in New England where they have a community of old and new friends. Teddy enjoys reading and writing in their spare time, and is looking forward to time spent outside and interacting with others who love the outside. They are a big fan of GMC’s mission and excited to help advance that mission interacting with others who love being outside.
Favorite trail food: Big fan of chili-flavored ramen and hummus and tempeh!
Favorite Place to Hike: Mt Hood in Oregon. They love the big fir trees out west and hiking through a variety of ecosystems on the mountain.
Penguin Krute (they/ them), backcountry caretaker
Penguin, 35, returns to GMC for their third season as a caretaker! When not working for GMC, Penguin enjoys quilting and fiber crafts. They are looking forward to wildlife sightings this summer, especially chipmunks and loons.
Favorite trail food: Anything Nigel (caretaker supervisor) makes; donuts, and Cheez-Its
Favorite place to hike: The Long Trail from Bromley to Killington
Lucy Wood (she/her), Northern backcountry caretaker
Lucy grew up in Vermont, but now calls eastern Washington home. She’s a student, and spends her time Nordic skiing, backpacking, hiking, climbing, and trail running — in between studying, of course! Lucy was eager to steward the trails around where she grew up, and develop the relationship between herself and the land. She’s also committed to increasing accessibility in the outdoors.
Favorite trail food: Peanut butter, on and off the trail.
Favorite place to hike: The Cascades in Oregon
Emily Hollander (she/her), Southern backcountry caretaker
Emily hails from Manchester, Vermont, and wanted to spend the summer outdoors getting to know the Vermont landscape and people. She’s looking forward to learning the flora and fauna at her caretaking site, and trying a lot of maple creemees this summer. When not in the field, Emily spends her time running for her college team, writing poetry, painting, knitting in the winter, skiing, and backpacking!
Favorite trail food: Homemade or Annie’s Mac n’ cheese
Favorite Place to Hike: Wind River Wilderness is Wyoming
Nora Hughes (she/her), Northern Head backcountry caretaker
Nora is 22, and calls British Columbia home, but grew up skiing in Warren, Vermont. She’s an avid backcountry skier, kayaker, hiker, and newly-minted mountain biker, and is looking forward to developing a new place to call home with her summer station on the Long Trail.
Favorite trail food: Rainbow trout, which she was introduced to while guiding in Iceland
Favorite place to hike: Hornstrandir nature reserve in the west fjords of Iceland
Emily Abbott (she/her), Northern backcountry caretaker
Emily is a 22 year-old outdoor enthusiast hailing from Newport, VT. Emily enjoys exploring the outside through many activities including caving, hiking, and biking. She felt drawn to work with the GMC to interact with people experiencing the outdoors, and is looking forward to educating herself and others this summer!
Favorite trail food: Cheez-Its and Goldfish
Favorite Place to hike: Hedgehog Mountain, in New Hampshire
Elijah Southcott Greiner, Northern caretaker
Elijah, 20, calls both the South Loop of Chicago and Sewanee, Tennessee home when not in Vermont. Elijah loves being outside as well as reading, and is looking forward to growing as a steward of the Green Mountains.
Favorite trail food: Sugar
Favorite place to hike: The Quetico/Superior canoe country of Minnesota and Ontario
Kate Songer (she/her), Northern caretaker
Kate is 24, and native to Shelburne, VT. Kate had a drive to give back to her local community and ecosystems, so she joined the GMC and is looking forward to identifying alpine species and protecting and preserving the land. Kate is passionate about conservation biology, and previously worked on on a chainsaw crew and spent the pandemic patrolling beaches in Costa Rica to protect sea turtles.
Favorite trail food: Banana peppers, olives and pickles
Favorite place to hike: Milford Track, New Zealand
Eva Gerstle (she/her), Southern Caretaker
Eva has thru-hiked the Long Trail previously, and on her first night alone on the trail, a GMC caretaker made her feel very welcome and comfortable. That experience drove Eva to join GMC field staff as a caretaker as well! Eva is from Western Mass, and when not thru-hiking, she enjoys road biking, reading and writing, praying, sharing meals with people, canoeing, and doing crosswords.
Favorite trail food: Tough question, but mac and cheese with dried peas is a favorite
Favorite place to hike: Coyote Gulch in Utah
Zack Chastain (he/him), Coolidge Range Ridge Runner
Zack’s domain includes about 30 miles of trail and four shelters around the Killington area. He is 23 years old and from from Pickens County, SC. After thru-hiking the AT in 2018, he is excited to give back to his favorite section of trail in Vermont and learn the flora and fauna of the Coolidge Range. He spends most of his time outside, paddling, cycling, hiking, shooting 35mm photography and contra dancing.
Favorite trail food: Everything Bread with oil and Italian seasonings
Favorite place to hike: The Mount Mitchell area trail system
Hailey Lynch, Northern caretaker
Hailey considers themself nomadic for now, but worked in Vermont last summer and was eager to return. She spends her free time playing guitar, foraging, and hiking, and is looking forward to a trip to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory on an off day this summer.
Favorite trail food: Ramen bombs (ramen and instant mashed potatoes)
Favorite place to hike: Mt. Abraham
Halie Gehling (she/her), caretaker
Halie is 23 and hails from Wisconsin. She joined GMC to connect with the outdoors and with other people. Halie spends most of her time reading, hiking, and playing Stardew Valley.
Favorite trail food: Chocolate
Favorite place to hike: Cascade Cannon in Teton National Park
Sarah Bailey (she/they), backcountry caretaker
Sarah is 27 years old, from an outdoors background, and has been deeply engaged with the study of herbalism the past few years, so they are very excited to get back in the outdoors and live in the woods this summer!
Favorite trail food: Peanut butter ramen
Favorite place to hike: Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the American Southwest
GMC Field Staff – Long Trail Patrol
The Long Trail Patrol is a key component of GMC field staff. The LTP was established in 1931 as the official trail crew of the Green Mountain Club and has been a staple of our field staff ever since. The crews work on heavily used and damaged sections of trail throughout Vermont that require intensive trail repairs. Projects include building staircases, bridges, waterbars, stepping stones, puncheon, and tread ladders, to name just a few examples. Crews also work on facilities projects, like building new privies (there are eight slated for this season alone) and doing shelter repair.
Scout Phillips (they/them, he/him), Construction Crew Lead
Scout, 42, is originally from Arizona but lived all over the U.S. They love music, trail running, biking, open water swimming, SUPing, generally adventuring and reading/making art/music. They will be leading the three-person construction crew, a subset of the Long Trail Patrol that works on construction-based field projects, like historic shelter reconstruction and new privies.
Favorite trail food: Homemade trail bars.
Favorite place to hike: Always feels at home in the Mogollon (pronounced muggy-own) Wilderness.
Dylan Norris, (he/him), Construction Crew
Dylan, 19, is a member of the construction crew and calls Connecticut home. He wanted to spend a summer in the backcountry, and construction closely aligned with his interests and experience. He’s looking forward to hard work with great people. Dylan spends his time working in the technical theatre industry, hiking, or rock climbing. He has worked with animal rescue groups and animal sanctuaries.
Favorite trail food: Sweet potatoes with bacon, apple, and onions
Favorite place to hike: The White Mountains
McV LaPointe (he/him), Construction Crew
McV is 25 and is a returning GMC field staff member this season., having previously served as a caretaker. He’s from Shelburne Vermont, is an avid biker, and loves the GMC community. This summer, he’s looking forward to working on the Emily Procter shelter.
Favorite trail food: Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches
Sam Sylvester (he/him), Long Trail Patrol
Sam is 25 and from Minnesota. He has done trail work in the past, and joins GMC to continue learning about that work and explore future career possibilities in the outdoors. In his free time he likes to go camping, playing and performing music, and canoeing, hiking and biking.
Favorite trail food: Chopped-up peppers, onions, and spices in tin foil and cooked on the coals of the fire. You can also do this with apples and cinnamon.
Favorite place to hike: The Pinnacles in Kentucky
Andrew Muller (he/him), Long Trail Patrol
Andrew, 20, is from Shaftsbury Vermont. He’s worked on volunteer crews in the past, and wanted to continue on a professional crew this summer — he’s looking forward to moving lots of rocks! He spends the majority of his time outside of work studying.
Favorite trail food: Tuna fish
Favorite place to hike: Mount Equinox, in Manchester
Sarah Pillard (she/her), Long Trail Patrol
Sarah, 22, is from Washington DC but has family from Vermont so wanted to spend the summer here and is looking forward to getting more familiar with the Long Trail. She’s currently studying history at Yale.
Favorite trail food: Burritos
Favorite place to hike: The Adirondacks
Emma Korowotny (she/her), Long Trail Patrol
Emma, 24, currently calls Hyde Park, Vermont home. As a member of the LTP she hopes to explore more of the Long Trail, spend time outdoors, and learn trail building skills. She likes kayaking, reading, and hiking in her spare time.
Favorite trail food: Gummy bears
Favorite place to hike: Camel’s Hump
Samuel Kenney, Long Trail Patrol
Sam, 23, is from Arlington, Mass and is returning to GMC. they enjoyed their past experiences, and want to work outdoors in a post-Covid world. Sam is looking forward to getting to know the crew and moving lots of rocks. He enjoys reading and painting miniatures.
Favorite trail food: Stir fry
Favorite place to hike: Mt. Katahdin
Halle Vernon (she/her/they/them), Long Trail Patrol
Halle is 24 and from Westchester County, New York. Covid-19 allowed her the time and the opportunity to explore her connection to her environment. This sparked their interest in environmental conservation work and a specific interest in trail construction. Halle is an avid painter, a hiker, is learning to play guitar, enjoys gardening, and loves ice skating. This summer Halle is looking forward to learning more about trail construction and rock work and they are excited to get to know the GMC field staff.
Favorite trail food: rice and veggie stir fry with soy sauce.
Favorite place to hike: Grand Tetons, preferably with an alpine lake.
[…] Check out the 2021 field staff’s favorite trail snacks in last week’s blog. […]