Trail Volunteers Needed ~ Must Like Bugs

Published Aug 16, 2014

Psst! Hey you! Wanna join the S.W.E.A.T. crew?

Psst! Hey you! Wanna join the S.W.E.A.T. crew?

It's almost summer and you're probably asking yourself, "How can I meet more people who live in the forest and carry sharp axes ... and who eat, sleep and [yup] in the woods? If only I could find a poster that says, "Trail volunteers needed!"

Well, have I got good news for you!!!

Our friends at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) -- official caretakers of our Beloved Path -- have openings for volunteers to join Trail Crews to maintain and improve the Appalachian Trail (AT).

They won't even charge you a dime for helping them for a week or so. Talk about a great job with benefits that doesn't require a college degree or high scores on video games or beer pong!

There are just a few conditions you must meet, then you're in!!

You must want to:

  • work like a rented mule
  • live outdoors
  • share such menial tasks as cooking and/or washing dishes
  • help keep tools in good shape
  • work with other volunteers who aren't at all like you or your friends back home
  • endure hard work without whining or going all "princess" on anybody else
  • For free. As in "no pay." [SEE: VOLUNTEER]

But, lest I paint too pretty a picture of being an Appalachian Trail volunteer, here's the ATC's official statement about working conditions:

Trail work is hard, physical labor. It involves working with hand tools, and getting dirty is guaranteed. The crews work eight- or nine-hour days, rain or shine, hot or cold, regardless of black flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. During the course of the crew season, the weather can vary from sweaty, summertime heat to freezing, winter-like cold.

A better writer might toss in a line like: "It's the worst job you'll ever love" or "Ask not what the Appalachian Trail can do for you. Ask what you can do for the Appalachian Trail" or "Join a Trail Crew and see the same trees, rocks and trail every day for a week without going berserk."

If you do not agree with this statement, please do not apply:

Sure it's hard work, but it's better than [insert your alternate plans here].

Click Here for ATC Trail Crew Info

ATC Crew Links

Tags: Attractions, Events, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking Gear, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club, Green Mountain Club, Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, and Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Rando Leon Diaz on May 29, 2014
Looking to move near the trail to help out and be a trail angel with some trail magic so if anybody knows of anyplace in a trail town for rent from $600 down please let me know I am on disability and have plenty of time on my hands.