Adult Volunteer Vacations
Adult Volunteer Vacations provide a unique opportunity to revitalize and build trails, engage in environmental conservation activities, and meet other outdoor enthusiasts. The beautiful locations where we work range from the White Mountains to the Delaware Water Gap to the Virgin Islands!
We're looking for volunteers who have enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and pitch in to the best of their ability. Experience is not necessary; however, the nature of hiking and the work can be strenuous so good health is important. While you don't need to spend months lifting weights in a gym, overall fitness is key. We have a wide variety of programs from backcountry tenting to roadside accommodations in rustic cabins and we'll help find the crew that is right for you. A great attitude and a willingness to challenge yourself is what you will need! Your Trail Crew Leaders provide training in safety procedures, the use of hand tools, and techniques of trail construction and maintenance. Most crews involve four days of trail work and one free day to explore the area. All crew members lend a hand around camp from preparing meals to washing dishes and evenings are usually spent around the fire with a book, playing a game, or just kicking back and relaxing. The program fee doesn't fully cover all expenses for the week and helps us defray costs. Without these funds we would be unable to operate volunteer crews, or to maintain our trails.
When you join an AMC Trail Crew you can expect to experience the beauty and wonders of nature, put in a hard day's work, and feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing you are doing something for the greater good. Please check out all of our exciting opportunities and thank you for giving back to trails!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the responsibilities of participants?
Everyone on crew helps out with chores and meals as supervised by the crew leaders and food menus are created based on the allergies/non-allergies of the crew, ahead of time. AMC supplies all shared gear such as tents and any personal gear like a sleeping bag must be brought by the volunteer. An extensive gear list will be included with the full registration packet after an application has been received. On SPIKE crews, all group gear, tools, and food is divided up amongst crew members to carry into the backcountry in their backpacks which usually weigh 40-60 pounds. This does not apply to base camps, however, they will carry tools to their work site and may be asked to carry some additional items in their day packs.
Safely participating in trail work opportunities involves inherent risks and other associated risks. The programs listed here vary in several respects: Some take place very near roads and others take place in wilderness settings where participants may experience delays or difficulties with evacuation and transportation to medical care. All participants are expected to share in the responsibility for their own safety and the safety of the group.
Do I need to be exceptionally fit to participate?
While you don't need to spend months lifting weights in a gym, overall fitness is important. For some of our programs you will be working long, strenuous days and carrying a full pack into the woods for overnights. However, we have a variety of programs from backcountry to roadside to help find the crew that is right for you. A great attitude and a willingness to challenge yourself is what you will need!
What happens when the weather is bad?
Weather conditions can vary tremendously during the summer months from warm, clear days, to cool, windy, rainy or even snowy conditions in the higher elevations. While we work within the abilities and comfort of the group, the nature of hiking and the work, is at times, strenuous and demanding, and we'll be out rain or shine.
How do I get to my trail crew program?
The easiest way to travel to our locations is by personal vehicle and we will share email addresses prior to the trip for carpooling purposes. Past participants have traveled by bus and airplane, too. Some locations are easier to get to than others, using public transportation.
Participants should arrive by early evening on the first date listed for the crew, and should expect to leave the woods on the last date listed. Volunteers will often share a final meal back at base camp after packing out of the woods and cleaning up. Volunteers are free to leave after this, or they may stay the night and depart early the following morning. You will be given specific locations and times for each crew after we receive your Initial Registration. Please try not to arrive earlier than instructed for your particular crew.
What does the program fee cover?
Food, Tools, and Equipment
These are provided for all week-long volunteer crews and for other programs as noted. The AMC also provides first-aid supplies, group cooking gear, and some equipment for week-long crews and other programs. Please bring your own sleeping bag, backpack, work gloves, and sturdy, all-leather hiking boots.
Travel and Expenses
You must provide and pay for your own travel to and from the rendezvous point. All travel costs, program fees, and incidental expenses incurred on these public-service projects are considered charitable contributions and are tax-deductible if you itemize.
What is the cancellation policy?
- Reservations canceled more than 30 days in advance will receive a full refund of the program fee.
- Reservation canceled within 14-30 days of the program will receive a refund minus 30% of the program fee.
- Reservations canceled fewer than 14 days in advance will forfeit the full program fee.
- In the event that the AMC must cancel a program, registrants will be notified and all course fees and deposits will be refunded.
- We are unable to make exceptions to this policy.