How—and Why—to Volunteer with AMC

amc volunteer
PAULA CHAMPAGNEA volunteer naturalist works with a young guest to identify a bird species at AMC’s Cardigan Lodge in New Hampshire.


AMC volunteers are the driving force that moves AMC toward its goals. AMC volunteers touch all corners of conservation, recreation, and outdoor education and leadership with the work they do daily. From Maine to Virginia, volunteers maintain public trails, lead trips, and participate in conservation advocacy and community science. Looking for a way to give back to the outdoors, support others in exploring, or get engaged with conservation issues you care about? AMC has a wide range of opportunities to fit many skills, schedules, and interests. You don’t have to be a conservation expert or have climbed Katahdin to volunteer, and AMC prides itself on excellent volunteer training and support. Here’s a brief guide to some of the ways you can volunteer and deepen your engagement in AMC’s outdoors mission. Which one might be right for you?

  • Volunteer naturalists share their love and knowledge about the outdoors by hosting seasonal nature walks and evening programs at AMC lodges and huts.
  • Programs volunteers assist AMC staff with multi-day programs, such as Welcome Weekends or Family Introduction to Backpacking. 
  • Volunteer trip leaders facilitate everything from short local walks and hikes to day trips to backcountry expeditions. Trip leaders help ensure great outdoor experiences for participants by looking out for group dynamics, risk management, and conservation practices. 
  • Information volunteers welcome guests at AMC lodges and huts, and provide information on everything from nearby hikes to conservation and natural history. 
  • Volunteer-led camps & cabins provide a range of amenities in breathtaking settings—from the remote Harvard Cabin on Mount Washington to Three Mile Island Camp on Lake Winnepesaukee—all managed and run by AMC members. These volunteer opportunities range from seasonal to year-round options. 
  • Trail volunteers maintain, build, and repair thousands of miles of trails each year across New England and the Mid-Atlantic. You can either personally adopt a section of a trail to maintain throughout the year or take part in larger group projects for a specific period of time. 
  • Evening speakers present programs for lodge guests on topics such as natural history, conservation, or local culture. 
  • Adventure Travel leaders plan multi-day group trips more than 500 miles away from AMC headquarters, to destinations in the U.S. and internationally. 
  • Chapter executive committee volunteers lead local efforts around conservation, social media, planning member events, and organizing activities—basically, any tasks that help a Chapter run.


volunteer with amc
PAULA CHAMPAGNEAMC Worcester Chapter volunteer and Young Member Chair Nicole Dewberry co-leads a winter hike along the New England Trail in Erving, Mass.

AMC Volunteers Make a Difference by:

  • Promoting an appreciation of the outdoors in their community. 
  • Enhancing programming at AMC facilities. 
  • Providing positive experiences outdoors. 
  • Bringing new people outdoors to learn new skills and build confidence in the outdoors. 
  • Expanding the reach of AMC to provide conservation action across New England and the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Using their skills and expertise to provide outdoor education.


volunteer with amc
PAULA CHAMPAGNEA volunteer-led AMC Family Adventure Program outing in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest brought out participants of all ages.

But Don’t Take My Word For It

In a recent AMC survey, volunteers shared why they volunteer with AMC:

This last year was the first time I volunteered. I did trail maintenance. I was very unsure if I had the physical strength that would be required. I loved that they divided the work into different levels of strength and ability. I felt I was in a group where I could make a significant contribution. This experience has motivated me to participate again—and I will!

Receiving “Thank yous” from people on my hikes. Seeing people on multiple events shows me that they are enjoying themselves. 

I taught a workshop and got great feedback that participants learned something new, and that I inspired them to learn more.

About the Author…

Hannah Hergenrather

Hannah is AMC's volunteer relations manager.

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